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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 36
YOU ARE SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE
Now as we begin book 36 we’ll pick up in verse 13. Now the Book of Ephesians is a doctrinal Book – that is a step up from Paul’s earlier Books of Romans, Galatians, and Corinthians. Ephesians comes into that deeper area of our position in Christ. Few believers realize where we are positionally, and how we can rest on it that it’s not just for this life, but for all eternity. And I’ll remind you that the prepositional phrase “in Christ, in Whom, in Him,” that I’m always referring to, is recorded over 90 times in Ephesians, and is always in reference to our position.
So as we’ve been coming through these first 12 verses, this is what Paul has been showing. As a result of our glorious salvation by faith, and faith alone, God has not only placed us into the Body of Christ, but He has also positioned us in the heavenlies. My oldest son once asked, “Well how do we know that’s where we are?” Well it’s by faith, because we don’t have a diploma on the wall, or anything we can put our hands on, but rather we go by what the Word says. And the Word tells us that this is where we are. So by faith we understand our position is now in the heavenlies, and we’re just pilgrims passing through. As the song writer once wrote, “This world is not my home, we’re just passing through.” Paul tells us in Philippians –
“For our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven;…” For all eternity our position is in the heavenlies. Now as we begin today’s study, just for a little review let’s come in at verse 11.
“In whom also we have (already) obtained an inheritance, being predestinated (God’s sovereign way of doing things) according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:” And of course we digressed on that quite a bit in one of our previous lessons. Now verse 12. All of this has been done on our behalf –
“That we should be to the praise of his glory,…”
In other words none of this is for our benefit is it? None of this has been done to glorify us. This has all been done that we in turn might glorify Him. I always like to go back, and I’m not much of a catechism expert, but I remember one of the questions of one of the old Heidelberg catechism which started out with this question. “What is the chief end of man?”And the answer to that question was what? “To glorify God, and enjoy Him forever!” Now I like that answer, because absolutely that’s the whole purpose of man being on the scene. And so Paul puts it in verse 12 then –
“That we should be to the praise of his glory, (we) who first trusted in Christ.” Not a ritual, not a denomination, but rather “in Christ.” Now in verse 13 we’ll start with some new ground.
“In whom (Christ) ye also trusted,…” Now in the newer translations the word trusted is italicized, which means it’s been added. I checked with the original, and sure enough the original does not have that word in there. Neither does it have the two words after `trusted.’ So from the original let’s just read like it says, and then we’ll come back and look at the KJV.
“In whom having heard the word the truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom having believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” Now that’s the way the original Greek was written. Now in the King James Version they’re not destroying the concept by any means, but when they say then, “In whom ye also trusted,” or as it was implied in the original, having heard.
“In whom ye also trusted,…” Always remember these words that are synonymous in Scripture. Trust is usually used in the Old Testament, but it’s the same thing as believing. Then you also have the word faith which is believing. So I always make the point that trust, faith, and believe all basically mean the same thing, so you can use them synonymously. Verse 13 again.
“In whom (Christ) ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth,…”
Now you see we’re living in a day and age where truth is almost being stomped into the ground as irrelevant, and that there are no absolutes. We’re more or less living in a society of instant gratification, and the whole concept that as long as you don’t kill someone in the process then go ahead and enjoy it. But you see that’s not what truth declares. Truth of course is manifested by the Word of God, and it’s to that Word we always have to fly to when we see these things coming upon us. So having heard –
“…the word of truth…”
Not from some TV preacher, not from Les Feldick, not from somebody else, but having heard God’s Word. Now that reminds me of a verse in Romans. I didn’t intend to do this, but that’s not unusual, as I never know where I’m going to go next, because I just depend on the Holy Spirit to lead in these lessons. Come back to Romans chapter 10 for a moment, and this is in the light of having heard the Word of truth. Here Paul puts it so explicitly. Drop on down to verse 14, and we may have even looked at this in the last lesson.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?…” Do you see the connection? Flip back to Ephesians again, because this is real Bible study. Ephesians says-
“In whom ye have trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth,…” And how flip back to Romans where it says –
“…and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? shall they hear without a preacher?” (or proclaimer)
“And how shall they preach, (proclaim) except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Now verse 17 –
“So then faith (trust, believing) cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
I always make the comment, can you believe something you have never heard? Can you hear something that’s never been said? This seem mundane I know, but listen, this is foundational. God did not say everything we need to know back in Genesis. You have to realize that as these Old Testament patriarchs were coming up through Scripture, they never heard some of these things that we’re hearing, because God hadn’t spoken it yet, but rather He had kept it secret as Paul said. So always be reminded that you can’t believe something that God hasn’t said. And when you do hear it, He expects us to believe it. Now back to Romans for a moment. Looking at verse 17 again we find.
“So then faith (or believing) cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Or in simpler terms, “When God Speaks It!” Now we know that God speaks through the printed page, through the writers, and in this case, through the apostle Paul. Since Paul is the apostle to us Gentiles, then he’s the one we’d better be listening to. You know we’re getting a lot of people that are now able to see that, and there’s still a lot that are confused as to why I constantly empathize Paul. Always remember that Paul is the apostle of the Gentiles. While we’re here in Romans we might as well show you that in chapter 11. So this is the basis of my constantly emphasizing that for you and I today we have to go by what Paul writes, not what Peter says, not what Jesus said in His earthly ministry, but what does Paul write. And remember Paul gets this by revelation from the crucified risen Lord in glory.
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,…”
Now if Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles, and Peter and the eleven were the apostles of Israel, and Israel was under the law, 2 + 2 makes 4, this and this makes that, so we’d better understand that we don’t go by what Peter, James and John said to Israel under the law, but rather we’d better go by what this man says to us under Grace. Can you see that? That’s where the difference come in. We are totally under Grace. Now Ephesians verse 13 again, Paul says –
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, (and what is the word of truth?) the gospel of your salvation:…”
And where do we find the Gospel by which we are saved? Turn with me to I Corinthians 15:1-4. I’m constantly using this for people who call. Now this is the Gospel, and you have to know that this is what God has now said. This is the Word that has been proclaimed by Paul, and we’d better believe it, or we’re in trouble. You can’t go around this, you can’t go over or under it, but rather face this head on, and for goodness sake don’t try to add anything to it, just believe it for salvation!
I Corinthians 15:1
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” Now that’s our position. You’re not out there floating around from one doctrine to another, or like a ship without a rudder. We are positioned by virtue of our having believed the Gospel. Verse 2.
I Corinthians 15:2
“By which (the Gospel) also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory (or understand) what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” You have to understand what the Word of truth is all about. Now here comes the Gospel of truth.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (we understand that from Galatians chapter 1, Paul received this Gospel from heaven. It had been kept secret in the mind of God until Paul received it. He received our Gospel from the ascended Lord in Glory. He received these basic truths, and here it is.) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4. And that he w was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to scriptures;”
Now that’s the Gospel. That’s the truth, and anything that compromises the Gospel is no longer the truth. And if that happens then Paul says in Galatians chapter 1, it becomes a perverted Gospel. But we stick to the truth, and let the chips fall where they may. Now coming back to Ephesians chapter 1, and verse 13 again. This is such a powerful verse and has so much in it, especially in light of what’s out there in Christendom today. This just blows so much of it right out of the saddle. Why? Not because of so much as what it says, as what it doesn’t say! As you read this verse constantly ask yourself this question. “Is what I’ve been taught growing up in this verse?” And I’m sure most of you will have to answer no. But this verse just says, “after you believed.” I’m not going to say all the things that most denominations tell us we must do for salvation, but rather I’ll let you think back and see if they have taught you correctly. If what you’ve been taught isn’t in this verse then it’s superficial, it’s chaff, and you’d better just blow it away. Here is the basic truth –
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: (as we looked at in I Corinthians 15:1-4 in which Christ is the center. He’s the one who died. He’s the one who was buried, and He’s the one who rose from the dead.) in whom also after that ye believed,…” (you placed your trust, your faith in that Gospel, and that was it.)
You see everybody tries to complicate it, and that’s what happens when you try to mix what Peter taught and what Paul taught. Law and Grace cannot mix, and I think that’s a Satanic ploy. Oh there’s nothing the Devil likes better than to make you think, “Well it’s so difficult.” I remember when I was teaching down in San Antonio several years back there was a lady in attendance that I knew was having a lot of problems. She wanted the assurance of salvation, but her religion had just so put her in bondage that she just couldn’t see it. So after one of my classes she came up and talked to me all alone, and I’ll never forget our conversation. I told her all she had to do is believe that as a sinner Christ died for you, and rose from the dead! And when you believe that, God does everything else. Well she looked at me with the most exasperating look, and said, “But Les that’s too simple.”
And isn’t that exactly what most people think? “Hey it’s got to be tougher than that.” But you see it isn’t. It is so simple that even a 5 year old can understand it. 90 year old people can understand it, and every body in between can understand it, but oh you see the religionist, and the theologians, and the powers that be have just loaded it all down with all these other requirements, you’ve got to come this way, you’ve got to come that way, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that, but listen, this verse exposes all that. This verse says it’s just as simple as ABC. That when you come as a lost sinner and you believe the truth of the Gospel then God does everything else, we don’t. Now let’s finish the verse, and we’ll see the first thing that God does when He sees us believe the Gospel.
“…ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”
Now this word sealed, and again I’m not a language expert, I’m not a Greek scholar, but I know this much from my little feeble attempts of studying language that this word “sealed”goes all the way back into antiquity, and it was a mark of ownership. If a king put his seal on something, it meant it belonged to the empire. If someone bought a piece of land, they would put their seal on that title deed, it denoted ownership. This seal never lost it’s meaning all the way back through Scripture, or ahead through Scripture. In fact let’s turn to Jude for a moment. Here you have almost the same word, at least it comes out of the same root if I’m not mistaken.
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:”
See nobody knows better than women who can fruit and vegetables what that word means. That means that once that jar or can is sealed, my that food is good for who know how long. It’s preserved, it’s sealed. So once God has sealed us, we are not just His for a week or two, but for how long? Forever! Now I know some people don’t like that, but I can’t help it because the Word declares it. We are sealed forever, but we do have to make sure we get into that believing position to be sealed. So looking at verse 13 again in Ephesians.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”
Being a cattleman, I like to use the Word, “branded.” When that critter is branded, there’s a mark of ownership that you cannot take away. You might be able to mark it up a little bit, but you can’t take it away. And here it’s the same thing, the moment we believe the Gospel the Holy Spirit made us a mark of God’s ownership. Now it’s interesting that in the Greek the word “Spirit” is the Pneuma. And the moment we believe we receive the “Pneuma,” the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is the One who has become our brand, He is the One who denotes ownership that we belong to God. Now in the short time we have left let’s begin verse 14. Once the Holy Spirit has been placed within us as God’s mark of ownership, then it goes into the other part of the Spirit works, and He becomes the earnest money or the down payment of our inheritance.
“Which is the earnest of our inheritance…” Now in order to compare Scripture with Scripture let’s compare verse 14 and 11, this is essential for good Bible study.
“In whom also we have (already) obtained an inheritance,…” Well what’s the inheritance? Now that requires us to go all the way back to the Book of Romans chapter 8, and dropping down to verse 14. It says the same thing only in a little different way.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, (the Pneuma) they are the sons (or the children, or born ones) of God. It doesn’t say they might be, but rather they already are. Now verse 15.
” For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16. The Spirit (the Pneuma) itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;…”
Now come back to Ephesians. So what is our inheritance? For that which is a part of the One who has purchased us and made us His own. In other words everything that belongs to Christ also belongs to us, and that’s our inheritance. And it’s all because we believe the Gospel. That’s where it starts, then God moves in, and He seals us with that Holy Spirit of promise, and then as a gift of that Holy Spirit He gives us the inheritance. Now the next word for that next verse is the Pneuma Hagion. The Pneuma Hagion to be translated over into English means? That power from high.