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]
the big, main idea throughout this verse is that there is only one way to come to the Lord, and that depends on explicit, personal faith in Jesus our messiah. he gives us the opportunity to accept salvation, he grants us the privilege to believe in him, he seals our heart with his Holy Spirit, and he guarantees that he will protect and provide us forever with an eternal inheritance. need i say any more? how wonderful is our God!
if God does all of this when his Spirit is within us, then that assumes that the reverse is true as well. when we strive in our flesh we make our works our salvation, we believe in ourselves and do things out of our own strength, we try to rip-off the spiritual band-aid that God so lovingly uses to mend us back together, and we turn from the riches of he promises for short-term, selfish, materialistic gain. “those who are in the flesh cannot please God”- romans 8:8. and yet, God still desires for us to turn from our selfish ways so that we can please him!
coty pinckney, says it well, “the world says, “look at your life’s experiences, and then pick something that you would like to believe in.” paul is saying, “you heard the word of truth — the only word of truth. believe in that!” the only thing that lasts is faith in the revealed word of God. we try to illustrate the truths of God’s word by relating our experiences, but we don’t use subjective experiences as the basis for our teaching; we always apply the word to our lives, but we start with the word, we don’t start with our life’s experiences.” what he is getting at, and what paul is getting at, is spiritual maturity. spiritual maturity emphasizes that we read the bible to see the attributes of God, not to see how the word fits into our experiences.
are your experiences changing your view of the word or is the word changing your experiences?
~ angela younger