Summary: We are sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise. (#8 in the "Every Spiritual Blessing" series)
I want to spend the next couple of weeks talking about two main thoughts being expressed in verses 11 through 14. They pertain to the words ‘inheritance’, and ‘sealed’. I want us to consider them together because, you see, one is a promise of rich blessing, most of which is yet to be realized, and the other gives assurance that those blessings are secure and irrevocable.
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will...” (vs 11)
Before we progress to this idea of ‘sealing’ in verse 13, let’s pause and consider the word ‘inheritance’.
First of all let’s not let it escape our notice that while we are promised an inheritance in Christ, we ourselves are His inheritance.
This is what the prophet Isaiah was getting at in his prophecy, chapter 53, when he said “If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring...” (vs 10)
And again, with Isaiah’s prophecy in mind, the writer to the Hebrews quotes Isaiah 8:18 as through him the Holy Spirit confirms to us that the verse refers to the relationship between Christ and His purchased possession (the church), when he says, “Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.”
Of all the assurances of scripture that God reckons the one who comes to Him in faith to be right with him; and that once we are His, adopted into his family, made sons, we are His forever; ~ of all the places that tell us of His faithfulness to keep His promises and to see us through into eternal bliss in His presence...places like the end of Romans 8 that assure us nothing can separate us from His love...
...if none of those passages were ever put to paper; if some evil power could rip them out of our Bibles and destroy them so that future generations could never read them...
...If we just understand this one truth, it should give us the greatest and sturdiest foundation of peace and hope for eternal rest that the human breast can contain:
That by purchase of His own blood, and by the fact that He rendered Himself willingly as a guilt offering for sin, we are now HIS inheritance. Even if He never promised us anything else, Heaven is sure for the one who believes in Christ and His cross, because we are His possession. Bought with a price!
No matter what other truth exists, about us or the world or the entire created universe, rest in this, you who have placed your trust in Jesus Christ for salvation,...
...you are His inheritance, and He will, will, will, receive all that is rightfully His, when all things are summed up in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.
Praise be to God though, that there is so much more to it. If we were simply pawns in some cosmic chess game; if God’s only concern was ownership and ultimate control, then there would be no more to say than that we were His, we rebelled, He purchased us back and now we are His again.
I say “praise be to God”, because if that was all there was to it, then there would be no reason not to believe in the idea of universalism; where everything, and all people of all history will be summed up in Him, in that great reunion we discussed last week.
If there was no more to it than God reclaiming what was His, then we would have no choice and we would not be called ‘sons’. The idea of ‘adoption’ would not apply.
We would not be special, any more than one Styrofoam plate is more special than forty-nine others in a bag of 50. There would only be reclamation of a possession; nothing more. Nothing to praise about.
But I say, “Praise be to God”! Why?
Because love was involved.
“...we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will...”
The wording of this verse brings to mind the very familiar Romans 8:28,29
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren...”
Believer, the beginning of your inheritance in Him, is that you have been predestined to be made perfectly into His image...made like Jesus.
That is God’s purpose in you, and it is the greatest expression of His love. He works with and in you, to cause all things to work together toward that end...and calls you ‘brethren’ in the process.