Several years ago, my wife and I were considering a move to Florida. We made several trips down there to look at homes in a number of active adult communities. On one of those trips, we visited a community in Ocala that we felt would be a great fit and even found a lot that we liked that backed up to a small body of water. Unfortunately, we were not ready to buy yet, as we had to have some work done in our New Jersey home before we could put it on the market. So, not wanting to lose the lot, we put down money, a deposit to guarantee that the builder would hold the lot for us for a period of one year. That deposit was what is known as earnest money. Although we eventually chose not to complete the transaction, we were guaranteed that the lot would be ours because of that earnest money.
When it comes to our inheritance from God, the Holy Spirit is God’s “earnest money.” In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul speaks of the inheritance that we have received as a result of hearing the Gospel and receiving the salvation that is given through believing that Jesus died for our sins and rose again. And when we receive that salvation, it is sealed with the Holy Spirit, just as a legal document is sealed to signify that the transaction being made is complete. Our salvation is made complete in Jesus and then is sealed by the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us when we have chosen to follow Jesus. The Holy Spirit then becomes God’s deposit, His “earnest money” toward the inheritance that we will share with Jesus, the kingdom of God (Ephesians 1:13-14).
The Holy Spirit is God’s deposit, or first installment, which guarantees that God will finish the work that He began in us (Philippians 1:6). That work is the work of redemption, which begins when we come to faith in Jesus (Ephesians 1:7), and continues as the Holy Spirit works in us to help us to become more like Christ (Romans 8:1-4). Our redemption will be completed on the day that Christ returns to call us to Himself and we become like Him. And, when that takes place, the inheritance that was sealed and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit, will become ours, an inheritance that belongs to Jesus and to all who follow Him.