Intro. We are talking about our trusting in Christ.
I. "IN WHOM YOU ALSO TRUSTED AFTER YOU HEARD THE WORD OF TRUTH."
A. Paul asked in his epistle to the Romans, "How can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?"
1. The hearing of the word of truth is the first step.
2. The trusting in the word, that it is truth is the second step.
B. Paul went on to explain that faith then comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
C. Though nature speaks to us of God, the problem is that revelation of God through nature is not complete enough to bring us to salvation.
1. Nature can tell us of the glory of God.
2. Nature can tell us of the wisdom of God.
a. It teaches us that He is a God of order.
b. It teaches that He has set certain laws that govern our universe.
3. Nature cannot reveal to us His grace, love and mercy.
4. To know these truths took special revelation.
a. So God in different times of history and to different men revealed these truths to mankind by His prophets.
b. Finally God sent His only begotten Son to teach us concerning Himself.
D. Another problem of the revelation of God through nature, is that we are getting a distorted view of God because of fallen nature.
1. Man has left his mark of pollution all over the world.
2. Through air and light pollution we do not see the heavens that Abraham saw when God told him to go out and look up at the stars.
3. Where man could at one time see the truth of God more clearly in nature, it is necessary now to hear the truth of God.
E. Having heard the truth, you have now come to trust in Him.
F. The truth of the gospel of salvation that He has offered to all who would trust in Him.
1. He has chosen us.
2. He has predestined us for adoption into His family.
3. He has accepted us.
4. He has redeemed us.
5. He has forgiven our sins.
6. His grace has abounded toward us.
7. He has made known to us the mystery of His will.
8. He has given us an inheritance.
9. This is all a part of this glorious gospel of salvation.
II. "IN WHOM ALSO AFTER YOU BELIEVED, YOU WERE SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE."
A. This is true of everyone who has ever believed in Jesus Christ for their salvation, they have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
1. On the day of pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church, when the people convicted by the word of the gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead asked the apostles what they must do. Peter answered, "Repent and believe in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, for this promise of Joel when God promised to pour out His Spirit on all flesh is unto you and to your children and to those who are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
2. Paul again in writing to the Romans declared that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
3. This being sealed with the Holy Spirit is not the same as being baptized with the Holy Spirit which is the enduement with power to be witnesses of Him.
4. All believers have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, not all believers have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.
B. What is meant by being sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise?
1. Ephesus was one of the world trade centers of that day, the goods from the East would come into Ephesus to be carried from there by sea to Rome and the other capitals of Europe.
2. It was a city of bustling commerce, and always filled with merchants from Rome, and other major areas.
3. These merchants would buy their goods there, then ship them from Ephesus to the Western world. It was here that East met West.
4. When they would purchase the goods, they would pack them for shipment, they would then put their seal of ownership on the merchandise that was to be sent to the Roman port of Puteoli where the merchandise would be identified and claimed by the servants of the merchant.
a. The seal was the sign of ownership.
b. These goods belong to the owner whose seal is affixed to them
5. The Holy Spirit is God's mark of ownership on you.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
6. We who are Christ's have given up our rights to Him. I am not my own to live as I please, or to do as I please, I have surrendered those rights to Him. I am now His and He can do as He pleases with me.
7. It is interesting how many times we find ourselves asserting our rights which we really no longer have. "The path that I have trod, Has brought me near to God, Though oft it led through sorrows gate, It's not the way I chose, For in my way, I might lose, The joy that yet for me awaits. Not what I wish to be, Nor where I wish to go, For who am I, that I should choose my way? The Lord shall choose for me, Tis better far I know, So let Him bid me go, or stay."
III. THAT SEAL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS EARNEST OF OUR INHERITANCE UNTIL THE REDEMPTION OF THE PURCHASED POSSESSION.
A. When the merchandise was bought in Ephesus and sealed by the owner, it was then placed on the ship and carried to Rome. When it arrived in port and identified by the seal, it was then claimed by the owner, who redeemed that which was His.
1. We have been sealed by God's mark of ownership, and are presently on the journey to the home port, when we arrive He will claim us as His for He purchased us, it is then that our redemption will be complete.
2. Paul to the Romans spoke how that the whole creation was groaning and travailing together as they waited for the manifestation of the Sons of God, to wit, the redemption of our bodies.
B. In the mean time the Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance.
1. Last week we saw that we had obtained an inheritance as the sons of God. Heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ of the promised Kingdom of God.
2. The Holy Spirit is my proof that God is earnest or sincere in His intentions concerning me.
3. How certain am I that God is going to complete my redemption and give to me the inheritance?
a. The oath that God has taken.
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath:
That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
b. The seal of ownership which is the Holy Spirit who is the earnest or down payment of my inheritance.
c. The glory and joy of walking in the power of the Spirit is just a foretaste of the glory and joy of the full inheritance that awaits me when I arrive in the home port.