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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Identity of the Holy Spirit

Don Stewart :: Why Is the Holy Spirit Compared to a Pledge or a Guarantee?

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Why Is the Holy Spirit Compared to a Pledge or a Guarantee?

The Identity of the Holy Spirit – Question 28

One of the comparisons of the Holy Spirit is to a “guarantee.” We find this used by the Apostle Paul when he wrote to the Ephesians. It says.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:13, 14 ESV).

The Holy Spirit makes us certain that God will give us what He promised. He guarantees that we will receive our inheritance.

Paul told the Corinthians the Holy Spirit is a down payment of what is to come. He wrote the following words in his second letter to that church.

He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:22 HCSB).

Paul emphasized this again in his second letter to the Corinthians. He said.

And the One who prepared us for this very thing is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment (2 Corinthians 5:5 HCSB).

The Holy Spirit is our down payment that more is to come.

What We Learn from the Comparison

There are a number of things that we can learn from this comparison of the Holy Spirit with a deposit, or a pledge.

1. It Refers to an Obligation to Pay

The Holy Spirit is the deposit, or pledge, for the believer. The Greek word arrabon means the first installment, down payment, or deposit. The idea is that it pays part of the purchase price ahead of time to make an agreement or contract valid. It is a guarantee that the remainder will eventually be paid. The down payment represents an obligation on the part of the one who makes the deposit.

2. The Holy Spirit Is the down Payment

The Holy Spirit, therefore, is the down payment from God. This obligates God to follow through with what He has pledged. The fulfillment of all God’s promises toward those who believe is now guaranteed. It symbolizes the fact that believers are secure in Jesus Christ because He has promised to keep His part of the agreement. Paul wrote elsewhere.

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23 NRSV).

The Holy Spirit gives us a foretaste of the glory that is to come. The Contemporary English Version says.

The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. This means that our bodies will also be set free. (Romans 8:23 CEV)

God always keeps His promises. There is certainly no question of this.

3. This Emphasizes That God Always Keeps His Word

All of this emphasizes the fact that God keeps His Word. When He promises something, He will come through with His promises. The psalmist wrote.

The promises of the LORD are promises that are pure, silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times (Psalm 12:6 NRSV).

The Lord means what He says and says what He means. His promises are certain.

4. He Guarantees the Future Inheritance of Believers

The Holy Spirit is the down payment, or deposit, that God will keep His Word and give us the promised blessings that are found in Scripture. This includes the future inheritance that the believer is promised.

One of these promises is that believers are joint-heirs, or co-heirs, with Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the Romans.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together (Romans 8:16, 17 NKJV).

We are promised that we will share in His eternal glory. Certain things which belong to Him will also belong to us. The Holy Spirit confirms this wonderful truth in the heart of the believer.

The fulfillment of this promise will take place when Jesus Christ comes back to earth to dwell with believers. The Bible promises this will indeed happen one day.

John wrote the following in the Book of Revelation.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever” (Revelation 21:3, 4 NLT).

God has promised a wonderful future for those who believe. The Holy Spirit is the One who guarantees this. Therefore, we can have complete assurance that it will indeed come to pass.

Summary – Question 28
Why Is the Holy Spirit Compared to a Pledge or Guarantee?

The Spirit of God is compared to something which is pledged or guaranteed. Indeed, we are told that the Holy Spirit is given to each believer as a pledge, or deposit, that God will keep the agreement that He has made with those who trust Christ. He is the down payment that assures us that God will keep His part of the bargain.

This includes all of the promised blessings that are to come. The Bible has so many wonderful things in store for those who believe in Jesus.

Among other things, the Holy Spirit confirms that we are co-heirs, or joint-heirs, with Jesus Christ. Many of the things which rightly belong to Him will also belong to us. This is because we are “in Christ.” The Spirit of God confirms this to our hearts.

In sum, God has given us His Holy Spirit as a guarantee that He will come through will all of His promises toward us.

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