“Marked” (John MacDiarmid)

“Marked” (Ephesians 1 v2-14 part four)

 Sermon preached at Poole High School for Poole Christian Fellowship on 19 March 2017

Listen to this talk (or download – right-click here and ‘Save as’):

 

We continue looking at this remarkable passage the start of the letter to the church in Ephesus.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace  that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,  he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,  to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

 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, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,  who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Over  five sessions as we go through these verses we will see that we have been

Chosen – by means of predestination and adoption (looked at in the last message_

Redeemed – by the payment made by Jesus (the subject of today’s talk)

Enlightened – about the gospel

Associated – by means of being included in Christ

Marked – with a seal – the promised Holy Spirit

Truly we are the Cream of creation.

Today we look at the fifth of these five aspects of our salvation – the truth that we have been Associated.

When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,  who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

1. Marked

When an owner wants to make it known that he owns something, that it is his property and that it belongs to him, he puts a mark on it. That can be a sheep, a piece of jewellery or a mobile phone.  God wants us to know that the Christian belongs to Him.

2. Sealed

Being sealed speaks of permanence. The matter is closed for time and for eternity. The believer belongs to God.

3. The Promise

Throughout the OT there had been a series of promises that the life of God himself would enter those who trusted in God. At Pentecost that promise was fulfilled.

4. Deposit

Whatever blessings there are in this life from being with God, they are a mere deposit. Just a foretaste of what is to come, That is true for every experience of God that we have in this life. Whatever blessing God may give you it is only a deposit

5. Guarantee

And that deposit is a guarantee. There is no doubt, no question, no ambiguity. We have all had promises made to us in the past that have not been kept, and we have felt hurt, let down, even devastated. The promise of God – we are destined for glory. Irreversibly and inevitably.

 

John MacDiarmid

March 2017