Essay / Theology

The Order of Christian Experience


1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.     ~Ephesians 1:14

The Holy Spirit, whom we definitely receive, is an earnest (i.e., a pledge, a specimen block, a foretaste) of our coming inheritance (cf. Rom. 8:28, 11). The word translated “earnest” is also used for the bridegroom’s betrothal gift to the bride, and the Holy Spirit is Christ’s betrothal gift to believers.

He is an earnest of our full inheritance (Rom. 8:17). We have this earnest until the time we get the whole, of which it is a part; “until the redemption (i.e. the redemption from the grave and all spiritual imperfection –Rom. 8:23), of God’s own possession,” i.e. us, God’s own property, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ (cf. I Peter 2:9, R. V.; Acts 20:28; I Peter 1:18). This also will be “unto the praise of His glory” (cf. v. 12).

Note the order of Christian experience as set forth in these verses: (1) Hearing “the word of the truth;” (2) Believing “the word of the truth;” (3) “Salvation;” (4) Sealing with the Holy Spirit of Promise; (5) In the coming time the full redemption of the possession that God has already purchased, i.e., the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23), the transforming of our bodies into the likeness off the body of the glory of Christ (Phil. 3:21), which will be full salvation.

We already “have our redemption” in the sense of “the forgiveness of our trespasses” (v. 7), but we still look forward to “redemption” in the full sense of emancipation from all the consequences of sin and from all imperfection (Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:20; I John 3:2; I Peter 1:5, R. V.)

[This was written by R.A. Torrey for his regular column, “Daily Devotional Studies in the New Testament: For Individual Meditation and Family Worship,” published regularly in Biola’s magazine The King’s Business from 1915-1918. These comments on Ephesians have never been republished since their original appearance there in the June, 1918 issue.]

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