- Text: Ephesians 1:11-14, NKJV
- Series: The Holy Spirit (2021), Pt. 2
- Date: Sunday, August 8, 2021 — AM
- Venue: Central Baptist Church — Lawton, Oklahoma
- Speaker: Jared Byrns
- Download Audio: mp3
The following rough transcript has not been edited, proofread, or corrected. It is a draft transcript and is not certified to be true and correct. It has been produced by AI and may contain inaccuracies. It is presented here primarily to enable users to search the audio by keywords.
There was one day this week that I was digging through my suitcase at the hospital, and a bottle of superglue fell out. And Charla said, Why did you bring superglue to the hospital? Now you have no idea how close I came to saying. She’s used to my smart mouth answers. You have no idea how close I came to saying, Well, you know, studies have shown that babies are far less likely to drop their pacifiers when you superglue. Amen. But she was just coming off Anastasia and was in no mood. So I told her. It was it was you know, you never know when you’re going to need to fix something but it was actually leftover still in my suitcase from when Jojo was in the hospital. Because when she was in the hospital I did so much walking at that hospital that my shoes started coming apart. And I didn’t have time to go shoe shopping. I mean we barely had time to eat and sleep. I didn’t have time to go shoe shopping. So I had super glue and glued my shoes back together. The body and soul were coming apart and I glued the leather back where it would be attached and and went on and and it worked. That’s still that’s still holding those same shoes though. Because once Carly Jo felt better, she thought it was fun to throw things down and holler daddy for me to come get them. So I spent so much time crouched down, picking up stuff for her that the soles began to split across the bottom. And I thought well, superglue again. I’ll try that. Did you know there are some things that superglue cannot secure, at least not long term. I was surprised because I’ve used it for everything come in from working outside have a gaping hole in my finger dab of superglue will take care of it. I’ve left more pieces of skin and woodworking projects than I care to remember because of the power of superglue. But there are some things that even superglue can’t secure. And it makes sense because I would never want to use superglue say to attach a trailer to a trailer hitch or something like that. Yeah, there are just some things that you shouldn’t use it for. There are some things that even superglue can’t secure, it seems no matter what we look at the in our world the things that are supposed to hold things secure, even they have their breaking point. Case in point, think about the bridge there at Memphis over the summer that had this man, you know, you’ve got these massive metal plates and, and rivets that are supposed to secure everything in place. Even they have a breaking point. And that caused by 40 to be shut down just before I was having to think about driving to Nashville. Thankfully, that didn’t happen with the plane route instead. But with everything that we try to do to hold things secure, there’s always a breaking point. Well, the Bible talks about something that holds us secure, that has no breaking point. And that’s what we’re going to look at this morning. I told you last week, that we were going to spend Sunday mornings through the month of August talking about the Holy Spirit. And when Paul talks about the Holy Spirit in Ephesians, chapter one, he talks about the ability of the Holy Holy Spirit to hold us secure. And the way he describes it, there is no breaking point there is no there is no way to break this secure seal. It’s a seal that we can always trust. And so this morning, we’re going to be in Ephesians be in Ephesians chapter one, if you have your Bibles and in turn there if you’re using your phone, there’s a link to the passage in our bulletin or it’ll be here on the screen for you. But once you find it if you’d stand with me as we read together from God’s word, if you’re able to do that without too much difficulty, we’re going to start in verse 11, of Ephesians chapter one. And look through verse 14. It says in him that’s in Jesus, also we have obtained and inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of his glory. In Him you also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory, and you may be seated. So if you read further and earlier throughout Ephesians chapter one, he’s talking about the gifts of salvation that we received in Jesus Christ. He says that when you trust Christ as your Savior when you are in Christ, here are the things that happen. Here are the things that God does for you. By the time we get to verse 11, Paul’s attention has turned to God’s future plans for us in Christ. as we’re going through all these promises, all these gifts of salvation, he starts, he starts out with what God’s already done and what God is now doing. And then around verse 11, he starts moving into what God is going to do. There’s a past president future progression through this passage, he turns to God’s future plans for believers. And he talks about some of these things. Verse 11, he says that we have an inheritance. That means God has made promises to us. And that’s certainly true. God has made promises to us in salvation. Just the very fact that he promises to save us is a promise. It’s part of our inheritance. He uses the word predestined, and I don’t I know sometimes we get a little jumpy when we hear the word predestination, I believe in predestination, I believe the Bible teaches it says right here predestination. But there’s a lot of confusion over what predestination means. And I don’t think we will solve that debate here today. But I’ll tell you what, I understand predestination to me. I understand predestination to mean the plan of God for His people who are in Jesus Christ. Now there are other people smarter than I am, even Bible teachers that I like to listen to, who will tell us it means something else that God has predestined, some to be saved and some to be lost. That’s not how I understand it. Anytime I read about predestination and election, if I’m wrong, well, they won’t hesitate to try to show me but I just don’t see that they’re the example that I have used for years. And I read it again this week, I honestly don’t remember if I came up with it, and then read where somebody else shared it. Or if I took it from them years ago, and I’ve just been sharing it for so long that I think it’s mine, I honestly don’t know. But the difference between the two views would be if you were looking at a team captain picking up picking teams, where one says, I have a plan for all the people I’m going to pick on my team. And you’re going to be on my team, and you’re going to be on my team, and you’re going to be on my team. And the other view saying I have a plan for how I’m going to train my team. And the ladder is how I understand predestination. Now, God is sovereign. The Bible teaches that Bible also teaches that we have free will how those work together is still kind of a mystery. And anybody I told you this a few weeks ago, on a Wednesday night, anybody who tells you that they have that mystery all figured out, is either confused, or they’re deliberately lying to you, there are some things that are in the mind of God that are beyond our comprehension. And maybe he’ll explain them to us better one day. But as for right now, we know that God has a God has a plan, God is sovereign, but he’s also given us freewill to respond to the gospel. So when I read predestination, here, I believe he’s talking about his plan for what he’s going to do with us, once we’re in Christ, just want to be clear about that. And then he says in verse 12, to the praise of his glory, part of his future plan for us, is that Jesus is going to be is going to be glorified in what he accomplishes. in us, when you do something incredible. Some of you ladies are fantastic bakers, some of you men are as well, Nelson, my wife still talking about those cookies that were sent to her at the hospital. That you can take just random ingredients, a bunch of flour and a bunch of sugar and butter and whatever else and you, you put them together in the right ingredients in the right or in the right proportions in the right order and cook them at the certain temperature for however long and out pops something incredible. And everybody says, Oh, look at the great job you did? Well, when Jesus takes something like us, when Jesus takes this lump of clay, when Jesus takes this sinner and transforms us into something else, through His sacrifice, transforms us from sinners into saints, he’s glorified in that much more than anybody would be with baking. So he’s made all these promises of things that are going to happen of things that he’s going to do for us. And he says he has plans for us. And he says that it’s all so that Jesus will be glorified. But how can we be sure? Now Now the simple answer is will because it says so in God’s word. Listen, I believe in the truth of God’s word. I believe it means what it says. I believe that when it promises something, it’s true, that we are still humans. And I think we still have those moments where we wonder, no matter how committed we are, we still have those moments where we wonder, is it all true? Is there any chance that it’s not? How do I know that God is going to do this? We have those moments where we we lie awake at night. And we wonder these things sometimes? Well, the apostle Paul was writing to a group of people who were no less human than we are. And regardless of how much confidence they had in God, here, they might have still had those nagging questions. How do I know? And he points to what it is that holds us secure when he begins talking about the Holy Spirit? Because the Holy Spirit provides the assurance that we need, that God will do what he says that God will fulfill His promises. And that includes assuring us of the salvation that he’s offer that includes assuring us that the salvation He’s given us is not something that God is his God is not Lucy with the football waiting to pull it back from us. All right that God is going to fulfill what he says he’s going to do. The Holy Spirit is evidence of that. Let’s look at a few things that he says here about the Holy Spirit. He calls him in verse 13, Paul does the Holy Spirit of promise. And by the way, I want to be clear, this is not just Paul’s opinion, when we read this in Scripture, it is the Holy Spirit speaking through Paul. And he’s called here the Holy Spirit of promise in verse 13. Now, this is because Jesus had promised to send him he’s calling him the promised Spirit. The Holy Spirit didn’t just show up one day in the book of Acts, and the people said, Oh, this is something new that we didn’t expect that we didn’t see coming. Jesus had been telling them we, we read last week, some of what Jesus said to his followers about the Holy Spirit. And he told them, when I go away, I will send you another comforter. As a matter of fact, he said it was better for him to go away, because he could send this other comforter, Jesus in human form was, was there with him when he was physically there with them. But the Holy Spirit is the presence of God that can be in all of us. And in any of us, no matter where we are anywhere in the world. He’s with us all the time. And so he said, it was better for, for him to go away for this spirit to come. So Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit in his stead, as a matter of fact, when he was trying to reassure his followers, because he is about to go away. And I’m sure they’re thinking, but what’s going to happen? He’s saying, there’s somebody else that’s going to come, I promise, I’m not going to leave you alone, I promise, I’m not going to abandon you. There is somebody else coming to take care of you. The Holy Spirit was that promise, and he came to dwell in and among us, it’s why Jesus said in john, Chapter 14, I will pray to the Father. And he will give you another helper that he may abide with you forever. He won’t just be here for a little while he will be with you for the duration, he says, The Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him, but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. Jesus said, I’m promising you that I’m going to send you another helper, he’ll be here, he will stay here, you will know him. And he’s not just going to be with you for a little while you will know Him and He will be in you. And he will be with you. He’s going to stick around. There’s no point where the Holy Spirit says, Yeah, I’m just going to take off. It’s been a nice run, the Holy Spirit is here with us. Until we’re united with Jesus. Jesus promised never to abandon his people. So he sent this, his comforter, this counselor, the Bible uses several words to describe the Holy Spirit. And they’re all true. He has many things to us. And so the presence of the Holy Spirit, is the fulfillment of this promise? Or is the fulfillment of this promise Jesus made? And the presence of the Holy Spirit among us, is the evidence that Jesus has not forgotten us, and that he’s not abandon us? Because he’s provided the Comforter that he promised. And so if you ever have those moments, where you think, How do I know he’s really going to save me? How do I know he’s really going to come back for me? Is there a chance it’s not true? Books, the Holy Spirit, the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life is evidence that everything Jesus said he would do he would he’ll do? Now you may have the question, How do I know if I have the Holy Spirit? big part of that is if there if you see spiritual growth in your life. Now, that doesn’t mean I must have the Holy Spirit, because I’m the most spiritual person I know. Or if I’m not the most spiritual person, I know that I don’t have the Holy Spirit. None of us are a spiritually mature as we could be, or should be. But the presence of the Holy Spirit leads to growth, I can look back and with all of my admittedly, with all of my faults, and all of my failures, I can look back over the last five years, over 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, and I can see spiritual growth. And it’s not just that I’m getting older and wiser, because apart from the Holy Spirit, I’m not sure that’s true. The older part is true. I’m not sure the wiser part is true. But I can see the work of the Holy Spirit, I see how I react to things differently than I used to, I see where I understand God’s word better than I used to, I can see the evidence of his of his work in my life. If the Holy Spirit is present in your life, you will see his work. You may not be able to look at yesterday and today and tell a big difference. But you should be able to over the long haul, see the evidence of where he’s changing you and where he’s growing you have where he’s making you more like Jesus Christ, and the presence of that Holy Spirit. The presence of that Holy Spirit is evidence verse that Jesus has not forgotten us, or abandoned us. So he’s not only the promise presence of God, we go into verse 14, and we see that he’s the downpayment on our inheritance and Christ is the downpayment. Verse 14 says, The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance. Now, I’ve seen this word, translated several different ways in several different translations. And part of the reason for that is that this Greek word aeroball has a wide application of meanings that we don’t have just one English word that sums up all of it. And so when one translation says guarantee when one when when one translation says downpayment when one translation says earnest, when one translation says promise, it’s all of those things. He’s the guarantee. I like the picture of earnest money. This is one of the this is one of the ways that Greek word would have been used was to indicate earnest money. If you’ve ever bought a house, you know what earnest money is. And I may have complained to you about this before in explaining this. But I remember years ago buying a house in Norman, I had to put $500 down with my offer. So they would take it off the market. While you know while it was under while it was pending. I don’t remember all the terminology. When I went to buy a house in Arkansas, I had to put down earnest money on that house. Also, when I went to sell a house in Arkansas, the realtor told me, I said, Where’s the earnest money in this offer? Oh, we don’t really do that anymore. That’s kind of going by the wayside. Okay, whatever. But by golly, I come to buy a house in Lawton. And guess what we’ve started doing again. So I guess it’s only I don’t get earnest money, I have to pay earnest money every time. But anyway. So that’s my complaint for the morning. But the earnest money is the money you put down to show that you’re serious. Because if you’re like me, even if even if you’re buying a house, $500 is still a lot of money, or 1000, or whatever they want you to put down. I don’t want to just lose $500 for no reason. And so I put that $500 down as earnest with the contract to say, I’m serious, and I’m offering you this contract. And if you accept, then that earnest money sits there. And if I just walk away, if I just decide No, just kidding, I don’t want this house after all, I lose that earnest money, you get to keep it. And if I fulfill the contract, it either goes toward the house or I get it back or however that works. The earnest money is a is a promise it’s a down payment a guaranteed to show that you’re serious in what you’ve agreed to do. And that’s exactly what he says here about the holy spirit being the guarantee or the down payment or the earnest money on our inheritance. There’s inheritance he talks about are all the all the promises that he’s given in Jesus Christ. And we do have an inheritance waiting for us. Now to be clear when you are in Christ, when you trust Christ as your Savior, when you’re born again, when your converted, whatever biblical terminology you want to use to apply to that moment, when you are in Christ, you are at that moment of saved as you are ever going to be alright, there are not different degrees of salvation that, okay, now today, you’re superduper safe, you are as saved and as in Christ as you’re ever going to be inheritance and receiving the inheritance doesn’t mean later on will be superduper. Same inheritance means that we still are not having the full enjoyment of all of the benefits that we’ve been promised. They’re there and they’re ours. We just haven’t gotten to hold them in our hands yet. And proof positive of that is that we’re not in heaven yet. Right? Isn’t? Aren’t we promised eternal life with him in heaven. Have any of you have any of you received that yet? I mean, have you received maybe the wrong word, it’s yours. But Have any of you gotten to enjoy that yet? Okay. Unless somebody has actually died? Well, I’ve spent well, I’ve been talking, hey, Paul preached the sermon so long somebody fell out a window and died. Hopefully I don’t do that to you this morning. No, none of us have gone to experience the full enjoyment of that promise yet. And so that inheritance is still a far off, it’s ours. But we’re still waiting for it. And the Holy Spirit is the downpayment, the downpayment, on that promise, is the guarantee that we’ll receive the promised inheritance in full. God wanted us to be so sure that he was going to do what he promised. God wanted us to be so sure that he was going to come back for us. God wanted us to be so sure that he would receive us to himself for eternal life in his presence, that he put the third person of the Trinity Trinity down here as a downpayment. Isn’t that incredible? When God wants to make or fulfill a promise, he sends himself when our salvation needed to be purchased, Jesus Christ came, God, the son, the second person of the Trinity, and when we needed assurance of the third person of the Trinity came and spent time with us, it’s incredible. And then I love this. He’s not only the downpayment on our inheritance in Christ, He is the seal that no man can break. Because it says here in verse 13, that having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit. We are sealed in Christ with an unbreakable seal. That is the Holy Spirit. Now I’ve read this verse for years, and thought that’s a really nice thought the Holy Spirit has sealed us. I think of sealing up an envelope you don’t seal it up to You’re done, you know your is ready to send out. But a while back, a year or two ago, I started doing a little bit more study on on this word and what God meant when he used this word seal. It’s a Greek word for jeiza, which I know doesn’t mean much to us. But when you start looking at some of the other places in Scripture that it’s used, you begin to see just how serious God is about this seal. Now, this is used in several places in the New Testament. But there are three in particular that pop out at me that I that I want to share with you this morning, to help you understand just how secure this seal is that God has put on us with the Holy Spirit. One of the places where this word is used is in Matthew 2666. It’s after the crucifixion, when the Jews and Romans are worried about Jesus’s tomb being broken into and the disciples stealing the body and and saying that he’s risen, faking the resurrection. And so in Matthew 2766, it says, so they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard. And when it says sealing, that’s the words for Jizo when they wanted to seal it up so they could make sure nobody could break in. And we’re not talking about the seal on an envelope, we’re talking about sealing it up and setting the guard so nobody’s getting in there for jeido is the word that they used. Now there are two more that jumped out at me both from the book of Revelation. In Revelation seven for this is talking about during the Tribulation. JOHN writes, I heard the number of those who were sealed 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed. And then he goes on to use that same word, he used it twice in that verse, he goes on to say, to use the same word as he describes the number that are sealed from every tribe of Israel. Now, the purpose of this seal was that they were stamped with a mark and they were sealed, that they belong to God so nobody could hurt them, so nobody could harm them. And they were there to be witnesses of Christ during the Tribulation. So the point of this is, as the tribulation is coming, is going on. And many of you are familiar with the description in the book of Revelation of what the tribulation will look like. Chaos is erupting all over the world, everything is out of control. People, people are being hurt, people are dying. At one point, it talks about the destruction and the devastation being so bad people pray for death, and it doesn’t come. But in the midst of all that, God seals 144,000, where the chaos can’t get to them. And the forces of evil no matter how bad they want to, cannot do anything to harm them. It’s like a forcefield that all the forces of evil cannot break through. That’s the same word it uses. Talk about us being sealed by the Holy Spirit. And then in Revelation, chapter 20. At the beginning of the millennium, verse three, it says he cast him that Satan into the bottomless pit, and shut him up and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the 1000 years, were finished. So when Jesus comes along at the beginning of the millennium, and he goes to put Satan in a pit, and seal him up, where even Satan himself cannot escape, until God says, so the word that they use for sealing him up is for gija. When you look at the places where this word is used in the New Testament, it’s not just, it’s not just a seal, it’s not just you know, you put a sticker on the envelope, so we’ll know if it’s been tampered with, hold it close, so it didn’t pop open in the mail. They’re talking about a seal that nobody can break, that no man can break, a seal that God puts in place into the cases, or in one case, the Roman authorities, but a seal that you’re absolutely convinced that no man on earth is going to get through. That’s the same word it uses to describe the seal the Holy Spirit puts on us. And that word is used that that terminologies used multiple times in the New Testament, for the Holy Spirit. In Second Corinthians chapter one, he has sealed us and given us the spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. Ephesians chapter four by the Holy Spirit, you were sealed for the day of redemption. The presence of the Holy Spirit is evidence that nothing can separate us from Jesus Christ. Paul talked about it in Romans chapter eight. I’m persuaded that nothing can separate you from the love of God and Jesus. And he goes through all the list of possibilities, neither height nor depth, principalities or powers, things to come. None of them will separate us from the love of God. Jesus says, No man will be able to pluck them out of my hand. How do we know? Because the Holy Spirit is that unbreakable seal. It’s not up to me to hold on to my salvation. I like what I can’t remember if it was Adrian Rogers or john MacArthur who said, if you could lose your salvation, you would lose your salvation. On my best day I wasn’t righteous enough to earn my salvation and on my best day, I’m not righteous enough to keep it but thank God the Holy Spirit is that seal who holds it secure? He’s thought of everything. God thought of everything I talked last to you about how sometimes we we ignore the Holy Spirit. I think that’s sometimes why we walk around defeated and down in the dumps. We’ve got the third person of the Trinity within us and among us, empowering us leading us as we’re going to talk about in future weeks. But not only that, holding us secure sealing secure in our relationship with Jesus Christ, what do we have to worry about? What can defeat us what can separate us from him? We’ve been sealed with an unbreakable seal. And folks, this assurance that we’ve been given remains in place, not just not just until we mess up, not just until we no longer feel like it, not just until something better comes along, not not just until the Holy Spirit gets bored with us. This assurance remains in place until that salvation is fully realized, until those benefits are right there in our hands until the promises have all been fulfilled, so that Jesus will be glorified in saving us. Paul said he is the Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchase possession, until all the promises come to fruition, to the praise of his glory to Jesus’s, the Holy Spirit is not going to leave us or abandon us, because he’s going to stay there to get the job done, to make sure that Jesus gets the glory that he deserves. The same Holy Spirit that draws us to Christ holds a secure in Christ. And this morning, if you don’t have that Holy Spirit, as we’ve talked about that, that spirit that lives inside you, and is growing you and changing you to be more like Jesus Christ, if you don’t have that Holy Spirit, because you don’t have Jesus. The Holy Spirit draws us to Christ and then holds us secure. But what he’s drawing us to is the realization that we’ve sinned against God, the realization that we’ve all disobeyed him that we’ve all done wrong, and because God is holy, our sin is offensive to him, and it separates us from him. So we have to come to that realization, first of all, that we can’t be good enough on our own, to be right with God. And because we’ve all sinned, there was nothing good that you or I could do to change that fact. Somebody had to pay for our sins. We couldn’t, we couldn’t ever pay enough to be rid of it. So Jesus Christ, God, the son came and lived a perfect sinless life. And he was nailed to the cross where He shed His blood, and he died for us. He died taking responsibility for my sin, and for your sin, so that we could be forgiven. He paid for our sins in full. And now because Jesus paid for our sins in full God offers forgiveness, and he offers Prince he offers forgiveness and eternal life, a clean slate, a relationship with Him all of these things that that we file under the heading of salvation, he offers all of them to us as a free gift not because we’ve been good not because we’ve earned it or deserved it, but because Jesus Christ paid for it.