A Word for Today | Ephesians 1:14
In Ephesians 1:13, Paul described the Holy Spirit as a “seal” by which God marks us as His own and secures us for heaven. In Ephesians 1:14, he adds another vital term for the Spirit, saying, He is “the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.” The word for “guarantee” is arrobon, which means a “down-payment,” which is paid at the time when something is purchased, guaranteeing that the full amount will follow. Our possession of God’s Holy Spirit is His down-payment on the eternal glory, the fulness of which will appear in the final redemption of Christ’s return. If we have the Spirit, through faith in Christ, He guarantees that we will be in heaven. We will one day know the fullness of blessings that God intends for those who are His own.
As God’s down-payment on our redemption, the Holy Spirit grants us a present foretaste of the future glory. One feature of a down-payment is that it is paid in kind. To buy a house with money, you write a check, securing the possession with an advance of money. Our future glory consists of the knowledge of God, communion with the Father and Son, and the joy of worship in Spirit and in truth. And just as many heirs receive a generous allowance from the vast sum held in trust for them, so we are given the Spirit, who is the foretaste and firstfruit of all that remains to come. John Owen writes, “By the Holy Spirit, then, we get a foretaste of the fullness of that glory which God has prepared for those that love him and the more communion we have with the Holy Spirit as an ‘earnest’ the more we taste of that heavenly glory that awaits us.”
In later development of the Greek language, the word arrabon came to be used for a wedding ring. This, too, is a way we should think about the indwelling Holy Spirit, as the ring God slips on our finger, betrothing us to himself, and pledging his devotion forever. As a minister, I perform many weddings, saying to the bride and groom, “Have you a token to give of your fidelity to this covenant?” Placing the wedding ring on the bride’s finger, the groom speaks words that also stand for us in God’s gift of the Holy Spirit: “I give you this ring as a symbol and pledge of my constant faith and abiding love.” The wedding ring pledges fidelity to the covenant of marriage, and God pledges fidelity in His covenant with us in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit, dwelling in our hearts like a ring on the finger of the bride, pledges God’s faithfulness to everything He has promised, ensuring His constant faith and abiding love to you.
In Christ’s Love,
 John Owen, Communion with God (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991), 186-187.