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Salvation's Seal

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2020 7:00 am

Salvation's Seal

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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December 16, 2020 7:00 am

When you think about the Holy Spirit, what comes to mind? Do you think of a voice in your head that convicts you of sin? Maybe you picture the Biblical scene of the Day of Pentecost. In this message entitled, Salvations Seal, Dr. Boice provides sound Biblical teaching on this often misunderstood member of the Trinity.

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When you think about the Holy Spirit, what comes to mind.

Do you think of a voice in your head that conviction of sin, maybe a picture of the biblical scene of the day of Pentecost in this message entitled salvation seal Dr. James Boyce provides sound biblical teaching on this often misunderstood member of the Trinity.

Thanks for joining us for the Bible study our welcome to the Bible study hours with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly.

Last week we learned that Christ brought us out of bondage and pain for our redemption with his very life, but God's ultimate plan doesn't stop there without the Holy Spirit the seal of our salvation. Christ gift would be inaccessible to us this past week as hi Ben, preparing our study of Ephesians 1 verses 11 to 14 Philadelphia papers in radio and television news programs have been filled with talk about the possible move of our national franchise football team from Philadelphia, Phoenix, Arizona, wherever that is what a story that's been a story broke on Tuesday and it is filled most of the papers in the airways ever since. On Friday I was listening to the evening news and one 30 minute news program gave the first 15 minutes of the Eagle story never mind what's happening in the rest of the world or Washington or anything. The important thing was the Philadelphia Eagles and after having given 15 minutes till it they even return to it again later on in the program.

That's the kind of thing that fascinates the world of the apostle Paul was fascinated with the great news story and as Paul writes about it. We understand that this was not just a new story, but it is the greatest news story there is ever been a story that has to do with salvation and the origins of that story go back before the creation of the world to the plan of the mind of God from all eternity and the go forward as that plan unfolds throughout all of what we call history and the distant eternity as well.

The story has three parts first part has to do with the electing counsels of God. As for his own reasons and causes known to him, though not us. He has elected a certain number salvation in Jesus Christ second movement has to do with the accomplishment of that salvation through the work of Jesus Christ centered and redemption whereby we have the forgiveness of sins, and have a right relationship with God restored. Then the third movement.

The third part of the story part that we are to study now from verses 11 through 14 of this first chapter. This third part has to do with what theologians call the application of that salvation to us personally by the work of the Holy Spirit left to ourselves. The salvation might be accomplished by Christ, but none of us would embrace it and is the work of the Holy Spirit to take that and apply it to us individually, one by one. This is what Paul writes about when he says in him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory, you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession.

The praise of his glory. These are great versus this entire section of Ephesians 1, beginning with verse three and going through verse 14 is a great paragraph. I pointed out several times already, that in the Greek that lies behind it is all one sentence in which the apostle Paul pours together, it would seem in great effusion.

One great doctrine of the Christian faith upon another.

This is a great statement of Christian theology has to do with the doctrines of God in the Trinity, Christ redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The church's body and even with glorification and the summing up of all things in Christ being made subject to him at the end times and other doctrines.

Besides, and in the midst of all of that.

The apostle Paul has given us a magnificent biblical statement of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Most of what needs to be said about the Holy Spirit is set in just these four verses as we look at it, we find that not only are we given a biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. We are given.

It in such a way that we have a balance in these things, which is necessary. As you know, because this is one area of theology, where many people tend to get things much out of balance. Let me look at some of these teachings. The first is what theologians call the doctrine of the effectual call. That's to say, the work of the Holy Spirit by which those who are deaf to the offer of the gospel are given ears to hear, and who have eyes, which are blind to the truth of the gospel in Scripture given eyes to see this is what the Lord Jesus Christ talked about when he said that Holy Spirit when he came would lead people to understanding and is what Paul talks about here when we read verse 11.

First, we tend to think of it in the same categories as we think of verse four because one of the words is the same. Verse 11 says in him we were also chosen, and in verse four.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world. The first of those two verses was talking about elections that we read the second we say well here's election again. Actually I don't believe that. So it's true that we have the same word, but the second place, says having been predestinated.

We were chosen.

In other words it's talking about.

If I could put it this way. The choice of the chosen here are those whom God in his wisdom is elected to save but whom now by the Holy Spirit in the context and web of history.

He calls in a personal way to faith in Jesus Christ.

This is absolutely essential because left to ourselves. None of us would respond to the preaching of the gospel. No matter how gruesomely it was presented or how wise it was expounded. I sometimes say even if God had sent angels from heaven to announce to every man woman and child in the face of the earth the Lord Jesus Christ came to die and be your savior.

That's the meaning of Christmas.

He died on the cross.

That's the meaning of Good Friday.

He rose from the dead.

That's the meaning of Easter to be your savior.

Even if an angel from heaven would come and proclaim that every man woman and child in the face of the earth personally and in a winsome life apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit. No one would respond to that teaching. Instead, we would go our own way and we would say well that's all very interesting but we don't want that that might be all right for somebody else. But that's not our thing and so in our blindness we would perish.

That's why the Lord Jesus Christ when he was talking about coming of the Holy Spirit said that when he comes, he will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment of sin, because they don't believe on me, he'll make clear that that is the worst of all sins hear the gospel and rejected righteousness, because I go to the father and once Jesus was God.

How are we ever to tell it. Righteousness is certainly not by looking at one another and of judgment because the prince of this world is judge the Holy Spirit. Does that work of convicting and drawing apart from it by a single soul would be saved. The second aspect of the Holy Spirit's work that Paul mentions in these verses is the glorification of Christ which we have in verse 12. It's a continuation of what he says in the previous verse. All this is done, says Paul in order that we who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Jesus himself talked about the work of the Holy Spirit in those terms. Jesus was instructing his disciples what we call the last discourses just before his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to heaven.

He talked about the coming of the Holy Spirit and he said when the Holy Spirit comes he won't speak of himself, but he will take from that which is mine and give it unto you, he said the Holy Spirit will glorify me very important that we recognize this because whenever the church has forgotten that the role of only spirit is to glorify Christ and instead has focused upon the Holy Spirit himself while you have an inevitable introduction the division in the church because people then begin to think in terms of an experience experience of the Holy Spirit or experiences of the Holy Spirit you find him asking questions like, well, have you had.

Have you had a second work of grace. Have you received a second baptism do you have evidence of this.

All all these things we consider valuable happened in your life do you have the Holy Spirit and the church is divided but whenever the church has allowed the Holy Spirit to do his proper work which is to point to Jesus Christ. And when it sees the various ministries of the Holy Spirit which there are many inspiration of the Scriptures. The regeneration of the dead soul. The sanctification of the believer.

Many, many other things. Whatever the church sees all of those things operating for the purpose for which the Holy Spirit does them. That is the glorify Christ in the church is gathered together as one around Jesus and so the church is not divided, but the church is united in him we can gain a very practical lesson at this point, and the lesson would go like this whenever there is something that calls attention to the work of the Holy Spirit, rather than calling attention to Jesus Christ.

That is whenever there is something that gets our mind off him. Then we can identify that movement as being of another Spirit namely the spirit of antichrist and job it is to detract from Christ whenever something points to Christ and glorifies him. Then, from whatever source icons we can identify that is being of the Holy Spirit. We can rejoice and what's not to say one other thing about this, I noticed that when Paul writes about this workable Holy Spirit and glorifying Christ. He says that it is through us. His words are literally in order that we might be for the praise of his glory to errors. The Christian fall into when they talk about the Holy Spirit what is the error to be overly subjective. We say well Christianity consistent experiences have you had it whenever you do that your minds on yourself and certainly not a Jesus that is a weak position, but the other which rent is equally serious as the era becoming so abstract or so intellectual, or at least so detached from what God's doing that we say well if God's going to do it. Let God do it. I don't have to be involved Paul by a divinely directed choice of language here indicates that although it is the business of the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus Christ. God works through the Holy Spirit through means not independent. We of you and me say when God calls men and women, the faith doesn't through maintenance through the Scriptures and the work of the Holy Spirit in interpreting them to our hearts. When God glorifies Jesus Christ.

He doesn't through means by the Holy Spirit in the lives of individuals were surrendered to him so he asked the question, are you glorifying Jesus Christ in your life.

If not, you have no part of the Holy Spirit because it's a Holy Spirit's job to glorify Christ to those who are his followers other hand, if you are by God's grace. Being able to glorify Christ. What you do, how you testify to him then you can rejoice because it is evidence of what God is doing in saving you and making you useful for him. The third function of the Holy Spirit that Paul mentions in these verses is to make one. The body of Jesus Christ. Or as Paul says at one new man, one body, he talks about it in chapter 2 in Great Lakes because it becomes a theme that he develops there. What is talking about the church but it's also present here in a very interesting way. John Stott in his commentary thinks this is so significant that he outlines this portion of Ephesians 1. On that basis.

He talks about this unity that exists is a talks about the scope of the unity pointing out that it is meant to include both Jew and Gentile in all other people besides I have the parallelism yet understand verses 11 and 12. On the one side in verses 13 and 14.

On the other is going like this Paul writing, speaking of himself in Jewish believers saying in him we were also chosen, to the praise of his glory.

I'm leaving out the middle portion, but that's the way that goes we Jews were chosen to the praise of his glory now verse 13 and you also writing to Gentile believers.

The Greeks in Ephesus.

You also were included in Christ.

What, to the praise of his glory. See what he say Paul was very much aware of the divisions that existed in the world and this time great hostility that was there between Jew and Gentile in chapter 2 we talked about it as a wall of partition wall of hostility the divided Jew and Gentile, and he could've said, as perhaps he does elsewhere in different language.

I wall of hostility, the divided Greek for Roman Rich from poor or the freed man from the one who was still a slave. All these divisions that existed in his day, in which different categories. Nevertheless, real ones are also true today. Paul was very aware of that Paul was saying look God for the work of the Holy Spirit is doing something new in the world. What God is doing in the world is drawing men and women from this particular body of society and that body of society and goes over here. This body of society who perhaps under normal circumstances would never speak to those over there and certainly dislike them is drawing them together into a new society around Jesus Christ and he doesn't abolish those realities.

The Jew was still a Jew and the Gentile is still a Gentile. The rich are still rich, and so on. But the mind of this new society of people those things begin to fade away. I begin to see themselves primarily as Jew and Gentile bond and free, rich, poor, Roman, Greek, male-female, but they begin to see themselves primarily as servants of Jesus Christ there delighted to be drawn together with others who also professes name that's a great thing. That's a new thing in this world. The world in our day is in Paul's day is racked with divisions of the Holy Spirit draws people together and blesses them around the cross of Christ I feel sorry for churches that don't have an opportunity to reflect that kind of diversity, church growth, people tell us that the best way to have your church grow is to have everybody like because people like to associate with people who are like them.

I suppose that's true. I don't know but I must say that is a sad kind of growth purchased at a very great price on a privilege it is work in a place where people from all walks of life of all kinds of backgrounds brought together because there you have a testimony to what God Holy Spirit is able to zoom in people whose lives are surrendered to them. The fourth of these doctrines concerning the Holy Spirit, the Paul talks about here has to do with the work of the Holy Spirit in using the word of God and applying it in order to bring people to faith in Christ. Paul talks about that in verse 13. You also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, which includes the gospel of your salvation. This conjunction of the Spirit's work in the written word of God was something that was discovered new and fresh way by the Protestant reformers.

They were men who were very much aware of the Holy Spirit's work may know that nothing ever happened spiritually like in any manner woman apart from the work of the Holy Spirit and the reason I know this is because the Bible teaches it so clearly they thought of the Holy Spirit. They thought a verses like John 38 the wind blows where it pleases you hear its sound, but you can't tell where it comes from or where it goes.

So was everyone who was born of the spirit or first John 56 spirit testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. First Corinthians 212 through 14. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God that we may understand what God is freely given us is what we speak on in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught us by the spirit expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words and without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the spirit of God because they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned. Protestant reformers knew those verses and so they had a great concern to acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation, but at same time reformers were very much aware of the fact that what God does in the world he does. Also, by means of his written word Bible, and therefore they said that when the Holy Spirit speaks the Holy Spirit never spaced apart from Scripture. Otherwise, well, you have an individual here that says all I had a revelation than another one of yours is all I had a revelation of people doing all kinds of diverse things and there's no way of checking that the reformer sadden I believe said very wisely that God speaks through Scripture and so when we meet around the Scriptures the people of God, we examine that which we feel in our hearts to see if it's in conformity with the word and if it's in conformity with the word we find ourselves being drawn by that word informed by anxious to do what it says. Then we say the Holy Spirit is at work powerfully in our beds and that's what Paul says you were included in Christ by means of the Holy Spirit, but it was as the Holy Spirit illuminated the word of the gospel to your heart.

Apart from revelation of God in nature, which by itself saves no one. God reveals himself in three ways. He reveals himself in history centered primarily on the work of Jesus Christ. He reveals himself in writing, which is also centered in the work of Jesus Christ and explains what God has done in history and he reveals himself by the work of the Holy Spirit whereby what is written is illuminated our understanding and we find ourselves being drawn to it all.

It's a great thing. When word is less exalted when the Holy Spirit works through it. I must say as I prepare messages and study the work of preaching and teaching week by week. I am constantly amazed at how God honors his word.

You look at it from a human point of view, there is nothing more foolish. Paul actually use that word of himself. Speaking of the foolishness of preaching. There's nothing more foolish than to think that you can change the lives of people simply by the kind of teaching that goes on in pulpits, week by week. I find myself saying how is that possible, why does it happen and the answer is that God chooses to work that way by his word. All there's lots of preaching is an effective but even the most ineffectual preacher, humanly speaking, where he teaches the word of God is blessed by God spirit because God delights to honor his word and he leads many people to faith in that way week by week by week and then there's a specific doctrine is what Paul talks about in verses 13 and 14. It's the ceiling of our lives by the Holy Spirit, he says, having believed, you were marked in him with the seal, the promised Holy Spirit was a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those or God's possession. What is a seal do Charles Hodge and his great exposition of this book points out that the seal is used in three different ways that used authenticated document is used to identify something as a person's possession and its used to make something faster, secure an illustration of the former would be great seal of the United States that occurs on paper currency and authenticates it is real currency or seal that's in a passport which authenticates it is a real passport example of second would be perhaps a bookplate nameplate that you put in the flyleaf of the book identifies the book as belonging to you. Example of the third would be the seal that the Sanhedrin put upon the tomb of Jesus Christ. Hoping to make it fast must the disciples, as they thought and steal the body away.

Interesting that in Scripture. Each of these uses of the seal is applied in a symbolic way, what the Holy Spirit does in the life of an individual Christian Holy Spirit authenticates the Christian's experiences being genuine. That's why Paul in Romans talks about the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, the holy spirit identifies us as being God's possession is what Paul talks about here using that very phrase God's possession and the Holy Spirit is also that which seals us of the sense of keeping a secure, fast, until the day of our final redemption. All use of the word deposit means a down payment word in Greek is about the word, which in contemporary Greek is used for an engagement ring, a token of what is yet to come. It's a deposit which is also part of the full price balls is what the Holy Spirit which is all that God's people. When you begin to think about what God does in this great work of salvation. Don't forget that he seals you in that way, in order that you might know that you are his, and that you're going to be kept fast until the day of the full redemption of your bodies, we come to the end of the section and the last words are these the praise of his glory is not interesting because that's the way in which Paul started. You go back to verse 3 to 5 Paul saying praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

That's what he wants to do.

He wants to praise God and in this grade long extended sentence. He gives all these points of theology, one after the other to show why the other.

Praise God because ours is such a magnificent redemption when he gets to the end he comes right back to where he was at the beginning he says all of this is that the praise of his glory or you can look at it in this way Paul traces our salvation. He goes back to the will of God, where did our salvation have its origin in snow. Certainly not enough in the cross of Christ dwell in a certain sense, yes, but not ultimately where did our salvation have its origin in the mind of God before the creation of the world and all eternity. That's where we find the origin of our salvation and he goes on to say, where does our salvation habits and say in the living of a holy life and not there in the glorification of the church. No, not there, rather in the glorification of God.

Since all of this is to the praise of his glory.

See what he saying he says salvation begins in God and salvation ends in God and therefore that all praise be given to God. I don't know of any new story better than that. You and if not ask this question.

What you do with good news, yet talents other people. Let's be faithful until others. The good news we've heard. Let us pray father, bless these words of Scripture to our hearts. These words which terms of language because they're so condensed her heart to fully understand yet in terms of the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing us to faith and keeping us in faith are absolutely essential to knowing what you have done and what we must be due our father, grant that those who have experiences, salvation, and the new no what you have been doing in all of history that they might be empowered to tell it out boldly in the midst of this world that needs to hear it. We pray for ourselves, make us witnesses to that great good news for Jesus and you are listening to the Bible study hour with a Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by.

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