Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Holy Spirit pledge

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Corinthians 1:15-2:11

TO CHEW ON: "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

When I read the word 'guarantee', I think of buying a new appliance or gadget and deciding on one model over another because the guarantee is better. With an appliance, the guarantee is the manufacturer's promise that our appliance will work and not break down for one, two etc. years, and if it does, they will fix it.

[Guarantee can also mean "something that assures or seems to assure a specified condition or outcome."] This slightly different definition comes close to the meaning of what guarantee means in 2 Corinthians 1:22 where the Greek word arrabon is used. It is a business term that refers to promise money. We would call it a down payment or the first installment which guarantees full possession when the whole is paid later.

What condition or outcome does God guarantee with the down-payment of the Holy Spirit in our hearts? Several comments in my Bible shed light on what that might mean:

"God has marked us as belonging to Him. The Holy Spirit Himself serves as guarantee (Greek arrabon, "pledge," "deposit') of God's commitment to complete His work in us (2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:23), thus confirming the Yes that is in Jesus" - Arden Conrad Autry, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1612 (emphasis added).

"Arrabon" describes the Holy Spirit as the pledge of our future joy and bliss in heaven. The Holy Spirit gives us a foretaste or guarantee of things to come" - Dick Mills "Word Wealth - guarantee," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1612 (emphasis added)

The question this brings to mind is are we aware of the Holy Spirit within us? Are we enjoying what we already have of the Spirit-presenced life so that we want more? Perhaps this is a good time to review some of the work the Spirit does in our lives.

1. In addition to providing this foretaste of heaven as He completes His work in us, He also:

2. Bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16; Galatians 4:6).

3. Reveals His desires to us so that we can be led by those desires and follow them (Romans 8:4-16; Galatians 5:16-25).

4. Gives gifts that manifest His presence (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).

5. From time to time works miraculous signs and wonders that strongly attest to the presence of God in the preaching of the gospel (Hebrews 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:4; Romans 15:19). (List from Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology, p. 641.)

Wow! As I review this list and realize afresh the beneficial work of the Holy Spirit in my life, I get excited for more, don't you? Let's thank God for what the Holy Spirit is to us and what His presence signifies for our future.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the work of Your Spirit in my life and the promise of even more to come. Help me to give you the run of my heart-house today. Amen.

MORE: Valentine's Day

Today is Saint Valentine's Day or Valentine's Day. Wikipedia defines it as:

"...an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine....
Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards." Read entire...

I'm thinking in a way the Holy Spirit's presence in our hearts is like a Valentine card from God—the pledge of His love and the promise of more.

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