Did you know that you are living in an eternal realm now? Through the redemption of Christ, adoption into God’s family, and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you are living in the future Kingdom inheritance promised to those who believe in Jesus.

God has taken the initiative through Jesus; the Spirit is part of the promised future meeting us now in the present. The Spirit is a sign that one day we shall fully possess our inheritance—the already and not yet of the Kingdom.

You and I have been marked by God, sealed securely by Him in Christ who is always our yes! Further, the Holy Spirit has been given as a deposit, down payment money, a first installment—which guarantees full inheritance when the whole is paid later! The Holy Spirit is partial payment or pledge of our future joys and bliss in heaven! The Holy Spirit gives a foretaste—a guarantee—of things to come!

Let’s discuss this further in this week’s article, “Living from Our Inheritance in Christ.”

Recapping from last week, in Christ, we are placed into God’s family, adopted by God.

Before God created the world, man—who was in the heart and mind of God—was chosen to be part of God’s family, like Him, holy and without fault.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.” (Eph. 1:4-6 NLT)

Notice verse 5, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family.” God brings us into His family; it gives Him pleasure!

Through Christ, all of humanity can receive this grace; it’s not restricted to a certain few predestined to salvation. The plan—not individuals—was predetermined by God before the creation of the world. Jesus, co-eternal with the Father, is the lamb who was slain for all of humanity!

God’s plan for all humanity is to know of Him. We aren’t merely chosen for our own sake, but we’re chosen for a much larger plan that God wants to accomplish through us.

Your adoption liberates you from bondage to—and fear of—the law. Paul explains in Romans that you do not need to be afraid of God as if He were a slave master.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Rom. 8:15 NLT)

We can be intimate with the Father because we have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus and we have been given His Spirit. We are given a spirit of sonship through new life in Christ. We don’t have to fear being rejected by the Father.

Placed in God’s family, you have the full rights of His family, complete with His unconditional love. In Christ, you are no longer an orphan, an outcast, or from a broken family lineage. Rather, you are a loved, adopted, and empowered child of God.

Under Roman law, an adopted child received all legal rights to the father’s property, even if he or she was formerly a slave. The adopted child could never be disowned or disinherited from the family. When we become a Christian, we gain all the privileges of being a child in God’s family.

You are legitimate, no longer a slave or an orphan striving to earn God’s love and acceptance! You are completely loved, accepted, and forgiven in Christ!

Your adoption into God’s family has given you the privilege to live as an heir of God, and as a joint heir with Christ in the inheritance of the Father’s house.

Rejection and abandonment are powerful emotions that cause deep pain in the human heart.

If we measure an earthquake, the higher the number on the Richter Scale, the more severe the quake. If we had a similar scale to measure human pain and suffering, rejection and abandonment would be at the top of the scale. Rejection and abandonment can occur through the relationships we have with parents, family, friends, associates, a spouse, or others.

Commenting about the intense human need for love and acceptance, Mother Teresa said, “There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation than for bread.” Humanity avoids rejection and strives for acceptance.

Here is the good news: as a follower of Jesus, the Father can eternally accept you. You never have to experience the Father’s rejection; rather, you experience the benefits of His adoption and the privilege of a relationship with the Creator. Through your relationship with Jesus, you will never be separated from God’s love and presence. This truth must become foundational in your heart as you walk with Christ. I write more about this subject in my book, Fulfill Your Dreams.

If you live as a fearful slave—not knowing you are an adopted son or daughter—you will fear God whenever you do not measure up or perform well. As a Christian, you never need to fear God’s judgment or rejection again, no matter the circumstances. Jesus Christ has eternally reconciled you to the Father. His unconditional love and acceptance are not based on what you have done or will do; rather, it is based on what Jesus did for you. Pursue holy living, but rest confidently in the finished work of Christ.

Jesus took the initiative, broke down the wall that separated you from Him, and loved you unconditionally. When you have completely received His love and walk in this truth, fear of rejection leaves. What a revelation this is! Not from an intellectual understanding in your mind, but as a revelation to your heart and spirit.

Through your union with Jesus, you can claim with confidence your inheritance as His child and the rights to God’s promises and resources.

God’s love for you is complete; nothing will separate you from His love and you can find security in it. You do not have to strive to earn His love or acceptance. You need to love yourself as much as God loves you.

In Christ, we have redemption. We have forgiveness of sins.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.” (Eph. 1:7-10 NLT)

Like the Passover, where the blood of the Passover lamb was sprinkled on the door post and rescued the Israelites from judgment, redemption or deliverance occurred when God went to Egypt and bought for Himself the people who had been enslaved there.

This is what Christ did for us with His blood; He redeemed us, and He purchased our forgiveness and deliverance from the powers that enslaved us. The new Exodus is through Jesus from slavery to freedom. He has already freed us, and we must walk in this truth.

We are freed from the power of the slave master, sin, by the blood of Christ which forgives, heals, and delivers from oppression. Even if you are not experiencing total freedom yet in your life, you are positionally free; believe you are free and declare your freedom!

Our redemption—our purchased freedom—is in Him, through His blood (Eph. 1:7). God’s will—the salvation plan—was put into effect in Christ (Eph. 1:9), which will result in all things being brought together under one leader, Christ (Eph. 1:10).[1]

God will, at the right time, bring everything in heaven and in earth under the authority of one leader—Jesus! All the chaos of our world and nations will one day be under the complete rule of Christ and His Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is ever-increasing and will triumph over all the evil and turmoil in our world. Hold on to this hope!

In Christ, the Holy Spirit is the Guarantee of our Eternal Inheritance.

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee (arrabōn) that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” (Eph. 1:11-14 NLT)

This is an echo of Christ’s earlier promise given to the disciples before His crucifixion (see John 14:16-17, 25–26; 16:5–15). The presence of the Spirit working in the believer has always been evidence of God’s salvation existing with the believer; as we read in the book of Romans, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:16).[2]

The Spirit is to the Christian what the cloud by day and fire by night was to the Israelite. God’s powerful, personal presence! The Spirit is part and confirmation of our present and future inheritance. Through faith in Jesus, we are sealed and anointed with the Holy Spirit!

The Spirit identifies us as the people in the present who are guaranteed to inherit God’s new world.[3] The Holy Spirit is confirmation and guarantee of our promised inheritance.

Paul now moves from this Christian version of the Exodus, freeing of slaves, in order that they may obtain their promised land—their inheritance—which was promised to them. Paul sees the Church coming out of slavery of sin and on their way to their new promised land or inheritance. But what is it?

Many have thought that it’s heaven. While heaven is an aspect of the inheritance, in reality, it’s the whole world—the whole of the universe where God fills all with His presence. A new heaven and a new earth with God.

The guarantee of this is the deposit or sealing of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit is our down payment—our guarantee—of our present and future hope in Christ.

Why is this important? Paul wants the reader to know we have resurrection hope! He wants us to know we have an eternal inheritance in Christ, far greater than the world we observe and live in presently. The Holy Spirit confirms to us that we are God’s children and He continually reminds us of the present future in Christ!

The Greek for “guarantee” in verse 14 is arrabōn which means “the first or initial payment of money or assets, as a guarantee for the completion of a transaction or pledge (in the NT ἀρραβών is used only figuratively in referring to the Holy Spirit as the pledge or guarantee of the blessings promised by God)—‘first installment, down payment, pledge, guarantee.’” [4]

Paul mentions a similar theme in 2 Corinthians:

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (arrabōn).” (2 Cor. 1:21-22 NKJV)

Paul continues this theme in 2 Corinthians 5:

Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (arrabōn).” (2 Cor. 5:5 NKJV)

In this passage (2 Cor. 5:1-8), Paul is giving the reader assurance of the resurrection and glorified body we long for. Our present new life in Christ is experienced by the Holy Spirit within as a guarantee, pledge, or down payment of our future resurrected life!

Paul’s use of arrabōn in these verses implies God taking the initiative, and it implies that the Spirit is part of the promised future meeting us now in the present.

Arrabōn is a word used at the time for legal or commercial transactions, such as down payment on a piece of land. Today, we often think of an inheritance as just money, but in the ancient world, it was primarily land that would remain in the family.

God has taken the initiative; the Spirit is part of the promised future meeting us now in the present! The Spirit is a sign that, one day, we shall fully possess our inheritance—the already and not yet of the Kingdom.

Theologian Gordon Fee states of the Spirit as guarantee,

Along with the resurrection of Christ, the Spirit is the certain evidence that the future has been set in motion; and the Spirit’s indwelling presence serves as God’s own guarantee that we are to inherit all that has been promised.” [5]

You and I have been marked by God, sealed securely by Him in Christ, who is always our yes. Further, the Holy Spirit has been given as a deposit, down payment money, a first installment, which guarantees full inheritance when the whole is paid later! The Holy Spirit is partial payment or pledge of our future joys and bliss in heaven! The Holy Spirit gives a foretaste or guarantee of things to come!

Final Thoughts…

With this already and not yet perspective in mind, Paul brings the blessing prayer of Ephesians 1:3-14 to its glorious conclusion and, at the same time, he brings into focus the Holy Spirit.

We can praise God for His plan to adopt us in Christ, our freedom purchased by His blood, and the guarantee of this inheritance by the Holy Spirit!

What we are experiencing in our churches and in the nations reveal the now and not yet of God’s Kingdom. Salvations, healings, and moves of the Spirit are increasing in our day. Again, the Spirit is revealing the present future to us!

We are perhaps beginning to see something Smith Wigglesworth reportedly prophesied to Lester Sumrall in 1939. He told him about a wave of healing that would break out and prophesied about the final wave of God’s glory.

Twentieth-century Healing Evangelist, Smith Wigglesworth, declared:

I see the last day revival that’s going to usher in the precious fruit of the earth. It will be the greatest revival this world has ever seen! It’s going to be a wave of the gifts of the Spirit. The ministry gifts will be flowing on this planet earth. I see hospitals being emptied out, and they will bring the sick to churches where they allow the Holy Ghost to move.”  

Next week, I will follow up more on this with a message titled, “The Greatness of His Power.”

For a deeper look at this topic, watch the Passion Church message “The  Glory of Christ and His Church: Living From Our Inheritance in Christ”:


[1] Mark A. Holmes, Ephesians: A Bible Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 1997), 35.

[2] Ibid., 36.

[3] Tom Wright, Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2004), 13.

[4] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 576.

[5] Gordon D. Fee, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1994), 671.

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