2Cor. 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
When Parris and I decided to get married, we were broke. I went to the pawn shop in Slidel and purchased our wedding rings. Her ring served as the wedding ring as well as the engagement ring. It was small and inexpensive, quite an understatement to the life the Lord has blessed us with. Even with the incredible extravagance of the outpourings of the Holy Spirit in this life, I think these outpourings will prove to be God’s understatement of the life to come. I am not playing down the joys available to us throughout the Spirit in this life. Far from it. All I am saying is that heaven will be beyond our ability to comprehend. None of us will be disappointed.
Today’s verse is an interesting passage of scripture in which Paul uses various images to share with us the importance of the anointing upon our lives. He said that the Spirit is given into our hearts as a pledge of things to come. The actual word Paul used was arrhabon which has some very powerful shades of meaning that help us grasp the function of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
One of the implications of this word is the idea of a pledge. The Holy Spirit is like the first installment of the promise of life purchased by Christ on the cross. His death was about more than just forgiveness and eternal life. The life that He purchased for us was more than length of days, it was actually a quality of life. When we experience the fullness of the Spirit in this life, it serves as a promise that there is more to come. Actually, heaven will be an eternal unfolding of this incredible promise as we are totally swallowed up in this heavenly ocean of love, the fullness of the Holy Spirit, Who is our purchased possession which we will experience for eternity.
This word, arrhabon, has also taken on a new meaning in the modern greek language. It has become the word for engagement ring. This can give us a powerful image of the promise given to us in Christ of our life to come. Think about it, what is the purpose of an engagement ring? It is a statement made by the future husband to his fiancee. He is saying this is a small taste of the life I will give to you. Of course the future bride wants a beautiful stone on this ring, the beauty and value represents the promise of a beautiful marriage to come. That is exactly what the Holy Spirit does for us, when we receive His fullness through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we begin to catch an idea of how wonderful heaven will be. This baptism is characterized by extreme instances of joy, sometimes the kind of joy that seems beyond our human capacity. This is clearly a small foretaste of the joys of heaven. Peter called it “joy unspeakable and full of Glory”. That brings us back to the ring I purchased at the pawn shop. It was small and insignificant to the natural eye, but it represented the wonderful life the Lord had planned for Parris and I. In the same way, the baptism in the Spirit may seem insignificant to most. In it, there is found the promise of joy evermore in the life ahead.