Marked With a Promise

I suppose we have heard this verse so much that we no longer make an attempt to study it. However it is only when we slow down to hear every separately and then as a whole that we learn the gospel message incorporated into the written words of Paul. For the most part, Paul wrote in spiritual terms but when he found it useful he used human terms to illustrate his points. At the same times truths of the bible can be seen with human eyes and understood by the human mind with a different concept then when it is taken to heart and understood by the spirit.

Truth is important for our spiritual lives and for this reason we need the guidance of the spirit as God’s words are spiritually discerned.  While we may seek the truth, we may not fully understand that our minds can suppress the truth. The only explanation I know to give is that current beliefs will create opposition, a war of sorts (within your mind) with the spiritual concepts you learn from bible study. The ideas we have assumed to be true can be contrary to the explanations the Bible gives. Confusion sets in as to what is true however working with God’s truth you can corroborate the facts with further study.

I say this because of my quest to seek the truth concerning the matter of the Holy Spirit being a third person of the trinity. Ever since I went to church as a child the Holy Spirit has been taught as being the third person of the trinity. As an adult, I have been trying to make sense of the trinity doctrine as the Holy Spirit did not inspire anyone to use the terms -- trinity and third person in the bible.  How can I have a biblical view of those concepts without a means of connecting the dots between the bible and church doctrine?

For example I derived several facts contrary to church doctrine from the study of Ephesians 1:13. In this verse the Holy Spirit is reckoned as a promise. The word promise is not an attribute of a person rather a promise is an oath, a pledge, a vow and a guarantee made by a person. To define promise simply, a promise is a pledge of a person stating what they will or will not do.

The words you were marked in him with a seal or sealed are other words that describe the action that God used to further describe the Holy Spirit. Again these words are not attributes of a person but a means of identifying the believer with a visible seal. The word seal refers to a private mark or logo that leaves a permanent impression that attest to its validity (similar to a public notary seal pressed into official documents.) Sealing is an action that takes place to certify things as authentic, genuine and verifiable.

Being marked in Christ is the outcome of believing and takes place as we accept Jesus as Lord. Believing allows you to conceive trust and the capacity to commit your life to what you can trust and in this case the faith to commit to a covenant with Jesus Christ. What we may not understand is that both parties must be of the same mind before an agreement can be reached.

Having believed also indicates to God that you have assented to a covenant with God and with the assent God helps you to firm up the agreement. You were given the Holy Spirit who empowers you to commit your life with the words—“Jesus is lord” (see 1 Corinthians 12:3.) In other words we are baptized with the Holy Spirit before we actually say the words – Jesus is Lord. It shows the eagerness of God to agree because he does not anyone to perish and he is willing to take the first step to solidify a covenant with you.  Now how does this agree with other scripture especially with our salvation?

When confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord you have finalized a formal agreement with God. Not only have you humbled yourself to acknowledge Jesus as Lord but you agreed to obey him as long as you live. God has pledged to never leave you nor forsake you – He will be with you wherever you go, he has said, obey me and I will be your God, but the promise concerning the Holy Spirit is this.  

The promise of the Holy Spirit is more than empowering his children to live a godly life but it is God’s personal commitment to guide us into an acceptable servant of his son’s kingdom. Like all covenants there has to be some sort of commitment on both sides for the agreement to be equitable. God does not want anyone to perish so he gives his promise of the Holy Spirit to ensure that we complete our side of this commitment. In the promise above look at the first person personal pronouns that that reveal the promise God made. Although God made the promise, Jesus Christ received the promised Holy Spirit from the father and personally baptized his disciples with the promise.

Although Peter was referring to the events of Pentecost, the promise of Acts 2:17-18 also pertained to the people of God. From this quick study we can conclude this, the father gave a promise of being with his people but he gave the promise to his son who came to dwell in our hearts. The moment he entered our hearts we were endowed with the Holy Spirit.


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