13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Paul uses an interesting sequence here. First they trusted, then they heard the gospel, then they believed and then they were sealed with the Holy Spirit. What a beautiful way to say how it actually happens in our lives.
The first thing that comes about is we have to trust the messenger. We probably have all been to different venues where we say I don’t really trust the messenger. He does not sound sincere. He’s arrogant, or he’s not preaching very well. We don’t know who that person is, we don’t know their background and their preaching something that we haven’t heard before. So we don’t necessarily trust them. Paul says first they trusted. This is important. We must win the trust of those that people before we witness to them. They have to believe that were authentic and that we are speaking out of love.
Second Step – they heard the truth = the gospel. We must be preaching the gospel wherever we go. I see so many churches they don’t preach the gospel anymore. They don’t talk about the blood. They don’t talk about the need for personal commitment to Christ. If we will preach the word of Truth then we will see people saved.
Third step – then they believed. Of course this is an all-important step. We always pray that when we present the gospel that some will believe. Typically if we go into a church preaching, we figure most of the people there are already saved. But we never know which ones are and which ones aren’t. It’s important that we share the Gospel wherever we go. I’ll always remember the day a regular churchgoer who was 77 years old went to the altar in our Assembly of God Church and received Christ. I had always assumed that he was saved. Never make that assumption
So they trusted in the word and then they believed. Then they’re sealed by the Holy Spirit, who brings the promise of God. The promise is heaven and if we have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior we are bound for heaven. I happened to be one that believes you can lose that. There are too many scriptures that tell us we can lose our place in heaven. Even Jesus said there will be some who call him Lord that won;t go to heaven. We must continue in His word to attain that.
So remember these steps. First you have to gain their trust. Then you have to preach the word – the gospel. Then they have to believe. Then the Holy Spirit seals them. This is how it works and this is what we need to see happening in our world today.
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
The word earnest here can throw us off/ what it means is a large part of a payment given in advance as a security so that the whole will be paid afterwards (Strong’s Concordance). The earnest of our inheritance is the holy spirit of promise. It makes the payment into our lives that eventually we will reach heaven, even though right now we are still on this earth for a time. That payment has been made into heaven to secure a place.
In the day of the Lord, Christ will come back and will take us home to heaven. That’s what Paul talks about the Redemption of the purchased possession. That will be the day that the payment is paid in full for a home in heaven. We will be completely redeemed and not just redeemed on this earth but redeemed in heavenly places as well, because we have been bought with a price. We are the purchased possession. And all of this will be done to bring him glory and praise
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love
unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
Paul was pleased with the Ephesians and the love that they had for the Saints. He continually gave thanks for them because they are displaying what Jesus called for -love of their fellow man. Jesus said they will know we are Christians by our love to one another (John 13:35). How important it is that the church learn this today. We must love each other and not get into these silly squabbles between denominations. The church is so broken. It’s no wonder that the culture is leaving us behind. We must find a way to get together and love one another.
Paul’s way of giving thanks for them is to pray for them. This should be our calling card as well. Praying for those who are doing what God is asking them to do. Pray for our pastors. Pray for our missionaries. Pray for evangelist. Pray for the worship leaders. Pray for those who are in a uthority in our denomination. These are all people that have made it possible for us to have a place to worship. We must lift them up in prayer