In an earlier article we looked at 10 things we should know about the person of the Holy Spirit. In this article we turn our attention to the work of the Spirit. Continue reading . . .
In an earlier article we looked at 10 things we should know about the person of the Holy Spirit. In this article we turn our attention to the work of the Spirit.
(1) The Holy Spirit serves us as a “down payment” on the future inheritance of our salvation (2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14).
The term (arrabon), translated “down payment” or guarantee, was used in commercial transactions to refer to the first installment of the total amount due. The down payment effectively guaranteed the fulfillment of whatever contractual obligations were assumed. "The Spirit, therefore," says Gordon Fee, "serves as God's down payment in our present lives, the certain evidence that the future has come into the present, the sure guarantee that the future will be realized in full measure" (God’s Empowering Presence, 807).
But there is more. As Peter O’Brien points out, in giving the Holy Spirit to us “God is not simply promising us our final inheritance but actually providing us with a foretaste of it, even if it ‘is only a small fraction of the future endowment’” (121). In other words, if you want to know in part what life in the age to come will be like, meditate on the glorious, comforting, empowering presence of the Spirit in your heart right now!
(2) The Holy Spirit also serves to provide us with the “first fruits” of our salvation (Rom. 8:23).
This metaphor is also used of Christ's resurrection as the guarantee of ours (1 Cor. 15:20,23). Similar to the idea behind “down payment”, the Holy Spirit as "the first shea