There is so much more to this life as a Christian than just being saved. True salvation is the most important part. A person that accepts Jesus as their Lord & Savior but does not go on to become filled with the Holy Spirit is like you needing to get from the East coast to the West coast on foot because you do not have any access to a vehicle. With a lot of effort you will get there, but the obstacles and distance to travel will wear you out and the journey will be very tough. You can start walking if you want to, but I’ll take an airplane. That’s the power of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life.
Ephesians 1:13, 13 “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
Many people reading over this verse may have missed the depth it truly has. We need to look back in the book of Acts Chapter 19 to get a better understanding of why Paul is reminding the Ephesians of their trust in Jesus after they heard the truth and became filled with the Holy Spirit.
Some of the Ephesians were obviously seekers wanting to know the truth and grow in their understanding of God and living a Godly life. A man by the name Apollos had gone to them and preached the baptism of John into repentance. At that time Apollos’ teaching was not full with the awareness of the death and resurrection of Jesus. His understanding of the scriptures was limited to the Old Testament, but not aware of what Jesus’ death and resurrection had accomplished. He was made aware afterwards, through the help of Aquila and Priscilla. They had taken him aside and lead him into the truth of Jesus and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and we have evidence of this in the last few verses of Acts Chapter 18. While Apollos had gone on to Corinth, Paul later came to Ephesus and found these same Ephesians who had been taught of the Baptism of John by Apollos. When Paul realized that they had not heard the Gospel of Christ, but had only accepted the repentance of sin, he shared the fullness of Christ to them and they were baptized in the name of the Lord.
This same misunderstanding happens today when seekers learn a partial truth of the word of God, but not the full truth. God wants us to move past repentance into a true relationship with Him. We must consistently keep learning and as the Ephesians did. We too can gain a deeper understanding of our walk as we learn. Consistently learning the truth is actually a must; what would have happened if some of these Ephesians would have died before knowing the true Gospel of Christ? As I mention often, the day will come that each of us will stand before the Lord in final Judgment. I personally do not want to be held accountable to Jesus on just what someone else has taught me; I want to know all of the truth for myself. I must stand on my own before Jesus, knowing that the excuse, “I didn’t take the time to learn the truth”, will not be accepted. Paul is stirring up their remembrance of how when they heard the truth it changed their lives for the better.
It is very important to notice that Paul makes the statement, “having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”. Paul knows and consistently preached that just being Born Again in Jesus was only the first step. It is the most important step to take, but there is more to the promise of God. He wants to reveal His love and will for us through His Holy Spirit. John 14 tells us that it is the Holy Spirit that will teach us all things in Christ Jesus. Jesus tells us in Luke 24 & Acts 1 that the Holy Spirit will endued us with power. This power is the power of God to live the life He has chosen for us in Jesus.
There is much more to learn on the Holy Spirit and I encourage all Christians to open their hearts to understand who He is and His purpose for us while we are still here on earth. I have a CD teaching on Spirit, Soul, & Body that helps the listener understand the three parts of Man and how the Holy Spirit is an essential part of our growth here on earth. There is also a CD teaching on the Holy Spirit Himself to help the listener understand the possibly the least unknown person of the Godhead. Finally I have a five CD series on The Gifts of the Holy Spirit which is a deep study of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit as written by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 which can be found on our Seminars page.
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