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KEEPING THE PROMISE

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You know that she had to be special for him to have spent so much money on her. When the most he'd ever bought for anyone before was a tee shirt from black pool, a seven diamond ring was really going to the other extreme. And it wasn't only the money. It was the selfless way he had asked her to be his bride - he'd put his money where his mouth was. The ring was his word. It was the best way he knew how to say that his intentions were both loving and honourable. He had made a promise he planned to keep. If he had given the ring, then he would later give himself. It was his guarantee.
When john came preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, he told of One greater who would baptize the people with the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus departed this earth He told His followers that He would send the gift - His Father had promised, the one they had heard Him speak about. When Peter stood up on that memorable day of Pentecost, he told the people how that the resurrected Jesus had poured out the promised Holy Spirit which He had received from the Father, and that the promise was for them, their children, and for all whom the Lord would call. And when Paul writes to the Ephesians he speaks of being marked in Christ "with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit."
The Scriptures repeatedly insist that God is a keeper of promises. Men of faith, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Elijah, Daniel and many more would readily testify to God's faithfulness to His word. When God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him, He is fulfilling a promise - He is keeping His word.
But more than that, when God gives His Holy Spirit, He is providing a guarantee to fulfill all the other promises He has made. The Holy Spirit "is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance" (Ephesians 1:14). He is "in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5). Where each of these verses use the word "deposit", Paul uses the Greek word arrabon - a word used in the ancient business world for a pledge or down payment assuring the subsequent payment of the full amount. And, significantly, it is a word which the modern Greeks use for an engagement ring.
If we have the Spirit of God living within us, we have assurance of "the promised eternal inherence" (Hebrew 9:5), "an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade" (1Peter 1:3,4). It is not a matter of I'll be going to heaven if I've been good enough or if I've attended church meetings. It is rather a matter of I'll be going to heaven if I have the Spirit of Christ within me. If God has given us His Spirit, He will also give us our inheritance.
And when God comes to invade our lives with His presence, He doesn't come with a suitcase. He comes with a removal van and plans to stay. And He's not like a tenant who is willing to put up with that ghastly wallpaper until it is time to move on to the next place - God has plans to redecorate and remodel us to His liking and by His spirit. The abiding presence of God within the life of every true believer is a constant assurance that our hope is real and everlasting. If He has given us His ring, then He will give us His all. - By Patrick Boynes.

 

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