Ephesians 1:14
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
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(14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance.—On the word “earnest” (arrhabôn), a precious gift, as surety for a fuller gift hereafter, see 2Corinthians 1:22. The word “inheritance” has a correspondent meaning. It is a present possession (as in Acts 7:5), which shall be developed into a more precious future. “We are very members, incorporate in the mystical body of Christ, and also heirs through hope of His everlasting kingdom.”

Until the redemption of the purchased possession.—The “redemption” here is the complete and final salvation from sin and death (as in Romans 8:23). The original word here rendered “purchased possession” properly means “the act of purchase or acquisition,” and is so used in 1Thessalonians 5:9; 2Thessalonians 2:14; Hebrews 10:39. But it seems clear that it is here used (in the sense of our version) with that confusion of idea, common in English, though rare in Greek, under which the result of an action is understood instead of the action itself, so that the word “purchases” is used for “things purchased,” “acquisitions” for “things acquired” and the like. The transition is marked in relation to this same word in Malachi 3:17; 1Peter 2:9, where the Israelites are spoken of as “a people for acquisition,” that is, as a people acquired or purchased.



Ephesians 1:14I have dealt with a portion of this verse in conjunction with the fragment of another in this chapter. I tried to show you how much the idea of the mutual possession of God by the believing soul, and of the believing soul by God, was present to the Apostle’s thoughts in this context. These two ideas are brought into close juxtaposition in the verse before us, for, as you will see if you use the Revised Version, the latter clause is there rightly paraphrased by the addition of a supplement, and reads ‘until the redemption of God’s own possession.’ So that in the first clause we have ‘our inheritance,’ and in the second we have ‘God’s possession.’ This double idea, however, has appended to it in this verse some very striking and important thoughts. The possession of both sides is regarded as incomplete, for what we have is the ‘earnest’ of the ‘inheritance,’ and ‘God’s own possession’ has yet to be ‘redeemed,’ in the fullest sense of that word, at some point in the future. An ‘earnest’ is a fraction of an inheritance, or of a sum hereafter to be paid, and is the guarantee and pledge that the whole shall one day be handed over to the man who has received the foretaste of it in the ‘earnest.’ The soldier’s shilling, the ploughman’s ‘arles,’ the clod of earth and tuft of grass which, in some forms of transfer, were handed over to the purchaser, were all the guarantee that the rest was going to come. So the great future is sealed to us by the small present and the experiences of the Christian life to-day, imperfect, fragmentary, defective as they are, are the best prophecy and the most glorious pledge of that great to-morrow. The same law of continuity which, in application to our characters, and our work, and our daily life, makes ‘to-morrow as this day, and much more abundant,’ in its application to the future life makes the life here its parent, and the life yonder the prolongation and the raising to its highest power, of what is the main though often impeded tendency and direction of the present. The earnest of the ‘inheritance’ is the pledge until the full redemption of ‘God’s own possession.’ I wish, then, to draw attention to these additional thoughts which are here attached to the main idea with which we were dealing in the last sermon.

I. And I ask you to look with me, first, at the incompleteness of the present possession.

I tried to show in my last sermon how those great thoughts of God’s having us, and our having God, rested upon the three ideas of mutual love, mutual communication, and mutual indwelling. On His side the love, the impartation, the indwelling, are all perfect. On our side they are incomplete, broken, defective; and, therefore, the incompleteness on our side hinders both God’s possession of us, and our possession of Him; so that we have but the ‘earnest’ and not the ‘inheritance.’ That is to say, the ownership may be perfect in idea, but in realisation it is imperfect.

And then, if we turn to the word in the other clause, ‘the redemption of the purchased possession,’ that suggests the incompleteness with which God as yet owns us. For though the initial act of redeeming is complete, yet redemption is a process, and not an act. And we ‘are having’ it, as the Apostle says in another place very emphatically, in continual and growing experience. The estate has been acquired, but has not yet been fully subdued. For there are tribes in the jungles and in the hills who still hold out against the reign of Him who has won it for Himself. And so seeing that the redemption in its fulness is relegated to some point in the future, towards which we are progressively approximating, and seeing that the best that can be said about the Christian experience here is that we have an ‘earnest of the inheritance,’ we must recognise the incompleteness to-day of our possession of God, and of God’s possession of us.

That is a matter of experience. We know that only too well. ‘I have God’-have I? I have a drop at the bottom of a too often unsteadily held and spilling cup, and the great ocean rolls unfathomable and boundless at my feet. How partial, how fragmentary, how clouded with doubts and blank ignorance, how intermittent, and, alas! rare, is our knowledge of Him. We sometimes go down our streets between tall houses, walking in their shadow, and now and then there is a cross street down which a blaze of sunshine comes, and when we reach it, and the houses fall back, we see the blue beyond. But we go on, and we are in the shadow again. And so our earthly lives are passed, to a large extent, beneath the shade of the grimy buildings that we ourselves have put up, and which shut out heaven from us, and only now and then a slanting beam comes through some opening, and carries wistful thoughts and longings into the Empyrean beyond. And how feeble our faith, and how little of His power comes into our hearts, and how little of the joy of the Lord is realised in our daily experience we all know, and it is sometimes good for us to force ourselves to feel it is but an ‘earnest’ of the ‘inheritance’ that the best of us has.

‘God has us.’ Has He? Has He my will, which submits itself, and finds joy in submitting itself, to Him? How many competitors are there for my love which come in in front of Him, and we ‘cannot get at Him for the press’! How many other motives are dominant in our lives, and how often we wrench ourselves away from our submission to Him, and try to set up a little dominion of our own, and say, ‘Our lives are ours; who is lord over us?’ Oh, brethren! we have God if we are Christians at all, and God has us. But alas! surely all honest experience tells us that there are awful gaps in the circle, and that our possession of Him, and His possession of us, are wofully incomplete.

Now, let me remind you that this incompleteness is mainly our own fault. Of course, I know that for the absolute completeness, either of my possession of God or of His of me, I must pass from out this world, and enter upon another stage and manner of being. But it is not being in the flesh, but it is being dominated by the flesh, that is the reason for the incompleteness of our mutual possession. And it is not being in the world, but it is being seduced and tyrannised over by the influx of worldly desires and thoughts, surging into our hearts, that drives God from out of our hearts, and draws us away from the sweet security of being possessed by, and living close to, Him. Death does a great deal for a man in advancing him in the scale of being, and in changing the centre of gravity, as it were, of this life. But there is no reason to believe that anything in death, or beyond it, will so alter the set and direction of his soul as that it will lead him into that possession of God, and being possessed by Him, which he has not here. There are many of us who, if we were to die this instant, would no more have God for ours, or belong to God, than we do now. It is our fault if the circle is broken into so many segments, if the moments of mutual love, communion, and indwelling are so rare and interrupted in our lives. The incompleteness which is due to our earthly condition is nothing as compared with the incompleteness which is due to our own sin.

But this incompleteness is one which may be progressively diminished, and we may be tending moment by moment, and year by year, nearer and nearer, and ever nearer, to the unreachable ideal of the entire possession of, and being possessed by, our God. There is a continual process of redemption of ‘God’s own possession’ going on if a Christian man is true to himself and to that Divine Spirit which is the ‘earnest’ of the ‘inheritance.’ Mark that in my text, as it stands in our Bibles, and reads ‘until the redemption,’ there seems to be merely a pointing onwards to a future epoch, but that, in the more accurate rendering which you will find in the Revised Version, instead of ‘until’ we have ‘unto,’ and that teaches us that the Divine Spirit, which in one aspect is the ‘earnest of the inheritance,’ is also operating upon men’s hearts and minds so as to bring about the gradual completion of the process of redemption.

So, dear brethren, seeing that by our own faults the possession is incomplete, and seeing that in the incompleteness there is given to each of us, if we rightly use it, a mighty power which is working ever towards the completion, it becomes us day by day to draw into our spirits more and more of that divine influence, and to let it work more fully upon the sins and faults which, far more than the body of flesh, or the connection with the world which it brings about, are the reasons for the incompleteness of the possession. We have, if we are wise, the task to discharge of daily enclosing, so to speak, more and more of the broad land which is all given over to us for our inheritance, but of which only so much as we fence in and cultivate, and make our own, is our own.

The incompleteness is progressively completed, and it is our work as much as God’s work to complete it. For though in our text that redemption is conceived of as a divine act, it is not an act in which we are but passive. The air goes into the lungs, and that oxygenates the blood, but the lung has to inflate if the air is to penetrate all its vesicles. And so the Spirit which seals us unto the redemption of the possession has to be received, held, diffused throughout, and utilised by our own effort.

II. Now, secondly, notice the certainty of the completion of the incompleteness.

As I have already said, the clod of earth and the handful of grass, the servant’s wages, the soldier’s shilling, are all guarantees that the whole of the inheritance or of the pay will be forthcoming in due time. And so there emerges from this consideration of the Divine Spirit as the ‘earnest,’ the thought that the present experiences of a Christian soul are the surest proofs, and the irrefragable guarantees, of that perfect future. We ask for proofs of a future life. They may be very useful in certain states of mind, and to certain phases of opinion, but as it seems to me, far deeper than the region of logical understanding, and far more conclusive than anything that can be cast into the form of a syllogism, is the experience of a soul which knows that God is its, and that it is God’s. ‘I think, therefore, I am,’ said the philosopher. ‘I have God; therefore I shall always be,’ says the Christian. Whilst that evidence is available only for himself, it is absolutely conclusive for himself. And the fact that it does spring in the hearts which are purest, because nearest God, is no small matter to be considered by men who may be groping for proofs of a life to come. If the selected moments of the purest devotion here on earth bring with them inevitably the confidence of the unending continuance of that communion, then those who do not believe in that future have to account for the fact as best they may. As for us who do know, though brokenly, and by reason of our own faults very imperfectly, what it is to have God, and be had by Him, we do not need to travel out to dim and doubtful analogies, nor do we even depend entirely upon the fact of a risen Christ ascended to the heavens, and living evermore, but we can say, ‘I am God’s; God is mine, and death has no power over such a mutual possession.’

The very incompleteness adds strength to the assurance, for the facts of the Christian life are such as to demand, both by its greatness and by its littleness, by its loftiness and by its lapses into lowliness, by the floodtide of devotion that sometimes sweeps rejoicingly over the mud-shoals and by the ebb that sometimes leaves them all black and festering, a future life wherein what was manifestly meant to be, and capable of being, dominant, supreme, but was hampered and hindered here, shall reach its full development, and where the plant that was dwarfed in this alien soil, transplanted into that higher house, shall blossom and bear immortal fruits. The new moon has a ragged edge, and each of the protrusions and concavities are the prophecy of the perfect orb which shall ere long fill the night with calm light from its silvery shield. The incompleteness prophesies completion.

And if the incompleteness is so blessed, what will the completeness be? A shilling to a million pounds, Knowledge which is partial and intermittent, like the twilight, as contrasted with the blaze of noonday, Joy like winter sunshine as compared with the warmth and heat of the midday sun at the zenith on the Equator. The ‘earnest’ of the ‘inheritance’ is wealth; the inheritance itself shall be unaccountable treasure.

III. And so, lastly, a word about the completion of the possession.

The ‘earnest’ is always of the same nature as, and a part of the ‘inheritance.’ Therefore, since the Holy Spirit is the earnest, the conclusion is plain, that the inheritance is nothing less than God Himself. Heaven is to possess God, and to be possessed by Him. That is the highest conception that we can form of that future life. And it is sorely to be lamented that subsidiary conceptions, which are all useful in their subordinate places, have, by popular Christianity, been far too much elevated into being the central blessedness of that future heaven. It is all right that we should cast the things which it is ‘impossible for men to utter’ into the shape of symbols which may a little relieve the necessary inarticulateness; but golden streets, and crystal pavements, and white robes, and golden palms, and all such representations, are but the dimmest shadows of that which they intend to express, and do often, as is the vice of all symbols, obscure. We can only conceive of a condition of which we have had no experience, by the two ways of symbolism and of negation. We can say, ‘There shall be no night there; there shall be no curse there; they need no candle, neither light of the sun; they rest not day nor night; there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.’ But all these negations, like their sister symbols, are but surface work, and we have to go deeper than all of them.

But to possess God, and to be possessed by Him, and in either case fully, perfectly in degree, progressively in measure, eternal in duration, is the Heaven of heaven.

If that is the true conception of the inheritance, then it follows indubitably that such a Heaven is not for everybody. God would fain have us all for His there, as He would fain have each of us here and now, but it may not be. There are creatures which live beneath stones, and if you turn their coverings up, and let light fall on them, it kills them. And there are men who have refused to belong to God here, and refused to claim their portion in Him, and such cannot possess that true Heaven which is God Himself. Then, if its possession is not a mere matter of divine volition, giving a man what he is not capable of receiving, it plainly follows that the preparation must begin now and here by the incomplete possession of which my text is discoursing. And the way of such preparation is plain. The context says: ‘In whom, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.’ Faith in Jesus Christ, and trust in Him and His work as my forgiveness, my acceptance, my changed nature and heart-is the condition of being ‘sealed’ with that Spirit whose sealing of us is the condition of our love, our surrender, and mutual indwelling, which are our possession of God and being possessed by Him, and are the condition of our future complete possession of the ‘inheritance.’ We must begin with faith in Christ. Then comes the sealing, then comes the earnest, then comes the growing redemption, and in due time shall come the fulness of the possession. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ’ if thou wouldst have the earnest, whilst thou dost tabernacle in tents in the wilderness of Time, and if thou wouldst have the inheritance when thou crossest the flood into the goodly land.1:9-14 Blessings were made known to believers, by the Lord's showing to them the mystery of his sovereign will, and the method of redemption and salvation. But these must have been for ever hidden from us, if God had not made them known by his written word, preached gospel, and Spirit of truth. Christ united the two differing parties, God and man, in his own person, and satisfied for that wrong which caused the separation. He wrought, by his Spirit, those graces of faith and love, whereby we are made one with God, and among ourselves. He dispenses all his blessings, according to his good pleasure. His Divine teaching led whom he pleased to see the glory of those truths, which others were left to blaspheme. What a gracious promise that is, which secures the gift of the Holy Ghost to those who ask him! The sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit seal believers as the children of God, and heirs of heaven. These are the first-fruits of holy happiness. For this we were made, and for this we were redeemed; this is the great design of God in all that he has done for us; let all be ascribed unto the praise of his glory.Which is the earnest of our inheritance - On the meaning of this, see the notes at 2 Corinthians 1:22.

Until the redemption - see the notes at Romans 8:23. The meaning here is, we have the Holy Spirit as the pledge that that shall be ours, and the Holy Spirit will be imparted to us until we enter on that inheritance.

Of the purchased possession - Heaven, purchased for us by the death of the Redeemer. The word used here - περιποίησις peripoiēsis - occurs in the following places in the New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 5:9, rendered "to obtain salvation;" 2 Thessalonians 2:14, "to the obtaining of the glory of the Lord;" Hebrews 10:39, "to the saving of the soul;" 1 Peter 2:9, "a peculiar people;" literally, a people of "acquirement" to himself; and in the passage before us. It properly means, an acquisition, an obtaining, a laying up. Here it means, the complete deliverance from sin, and the eternal salvation "acquired" for us by Christ. The influence of the Holy Spirit, renewing and sanctifying us, comforting us in trials, and sustaining us in afflictions, is the pledge that the redemption is yet to be wholly ours.

Unto the praise of his glory - see Ephesians 1:6.

14. earnest—the first instalment paid as a pledge that the rest will follow (Ro 8:23; 2Co 1:22).

until—rather, "Unto the redemption," &c.; joined thus, "ye were sealed (Eph 1:13) unto," that is, for the purpose of and against, the accomplishment of "the redemption," namely, not the redemption in its first stage, made by the blood of Christ, which secures our title, but, in its final completion, when the actual possession shall be ours, the full "redemption of the body" (Ro 8:23), as well as of the soul, from every infirmity (Eph 4:30). The deliverance of the creature (the body, and the whole visible creation) from the bondage of corruption, and from the usurping prince of this world, into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Ro 8:21-23; 2Pe 3:13).

of the purchased possession—God's people purchased ("acquired," Greek) as His peculiar (Greek) possession by the blood of Christ (Ac 20:28). We value highly that which we pay a high price for; so God, His Church (Eph 5:25, 26; 1Pe 1:18; 2:9; "my special treasure," Mal 3:17, Margin).

Which is the earnest of our inheritance: the Spirit, given to and dwelling in believers by his gifts and graces, is the earnest or pledge whereby their inheritance is secured to them; as men are secured the payment of a promised sum, by a part given beforehand in earnest for the rest.

Until the redemption of the purchased possession; either:

1. The redemption of the possession is put for the possessing of the redemption, (by an hypallage), viz. full and final redemption from sin, and death, and hell, and Satan; which redemption though perfectly wrought by Christ, is but in part applied in this life, and is to be fully enjoyed in the other: or rather:

2. (Though to the same sense), To the full and final redemption in the end of the world, of all God’s people, who are here called his purchased possession: see the same word so taken, Acts 20:28 1 Peter 2:9.

Unto the praise of his glory; the final salvation and complete redemption of God’s people, will be especially for the glory of God, 2 Thessalonians 1:10. Which is the earnest of our inheritance,.... The incorruptible and never fading one in heaven, or the heavenly kingdom; this is the Father's gift, his bequest, and belongs only to children; it comes to them through the death of the testator, Christ, and is for ever; and of this the Spirit of God is the pledge and earnest: an earnest, is what confirms an agreement, and assures the right to the thing agreed to, and is a part of it, and lesser than it, and is never returned; so the Spirit of God certifies the right to the heavenly inheritance, as well as gives a meetness for it; he is the firstfruits of eternal glory and happiness, and of the same kind with it; and as he is enjoyed in measure by the saints now, is lesser than the communion which they shall have with him, and with the Father, and the Son, hereafter, for the best things are reserved till last; and being once given into the heart as an earnest, he always continues, he never removes more, or is ever taken away:

until the redemption of the purchased possession, or "of the peculiar people"; see 1 Peter 2:9, for this is not to be understood of heaven, which is never said to be purchased, nor can it with any propriety be said to be redeemed; but of saints, of the church of God, who are bought with a price, and are purchased with his blood; and who, as they were redeemed from sin, Satan, and the law, when they were purchased, so will be redeemed again in the resurrection morn, which is called the day of redemption, Ephesians 4:30, and which will be a redemption of them from the weakness, corruption, and mortality of the body; from their present state of absence and pilgrimage; from the body of sin and death; from all sorrows and afflictions, both inward and outward; from the reproaches and persecutions of men; from a tempting devil, and an unbelieving heart; from all doubts and fears; and from death and the grave; and so the Syriac version very justly renders it, "until the redemption of them that are saved". Now till such time, the Spirit of God abides as an earnest, even until the whole felicity is enjoyed both in soul and body; and this shows the perpetuity of the Spirit's inhabitation, and grace, the final perseverance of the saints, and the security of the inheritance to them.

Unto the praise of his glory; as to the glory of the Father, by whom the saints are chosen and predestinated, Ephesians 1:6 and to the glory of the Son, by whom they are redeemed, in whom they obtain the inheritance, and in whom they trust, Ephesians 1:12, so to the glory of the Holy Spirit, by whom they are sealed, and who is their earnest; for he must have his share of glory in the salvation of the elect, as well as the other two persons.

Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the {t} redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

(t) Full and perfect.

Ephesians 1:14. Ὅς ἐστιν ἀῤῥαβὼν τῆς κληρονομίας ἡμ.] stands in significant relation (as affording more precise information) to ἐσφραγίσθητε: who is earnest of our inheritance; for in the reception of the Spirit the recipients have obtained the guarantee—as one receives earnest-money as a guarantee of future payment in full—that they shall become actually partakers of the Messianic blessedness (comp. Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 4:6-7). ὅς, applying to the πνεῦμα, not to Christ, agrees in gender with ἀῤῥαβών. See Herm. ad Viger. p. 708; Heindorf, ad Phaedr. p. 279; Buttm. neut. Gr. p. 241 [E. T. 281]. As to the epexegetic relative, see Nägelsb. on Horn. Ilias, ed. 3, p. 3. As to ἀῤῥαβών, see on 2 Corinthians 1:22.

εἰς ἀπολύτρωσιν τῆς περιποιήσεως] unto the redemption, etc., is likewise (comp. also Ephesians 4:30) the causa finalis of ἐσφραγίσθητε κ.τ.λ., consequently that, to which the purpose of God was directed, when ye were sealed. Comp. Ephesians 1:10. Others connect it with ὅς ἐστινἡμῶν (Estius, Flatt, Rückert, Schenkel, Bleek, al.), in which case εἰς is taken by some likewise in a telic sense, by others as usque ad (the latter at variance with the parallel εἰς which follows). But the more precise definition thus resulting would in fact be, after τ. κληρον. ἡμ., quite self-evident and unnecessary.

The ἀπολύτρωσις is here—in accordance with the whole connection, and because the περιποίησις (see below) is the subject which experiences the ἀπολύτρωσιςthe final consummation of the redemption effected by the λύτρον of Christ (Ephesians 1:7) at the Parousia (Luke 21:28), when suffering, sin, and death are wholly done away, and in the glorifying (resurrection, or relative transformation) of the body there sets in the δόξα of the children of God, and the in all all-determining dominion of God (1 Corinthians 15:28). See Romans 8:18-23; 1 Corinthians 15:54 ff. Comp. Ephesians 4:30. Beza aptly terms this final definitive redemption ἀπολύτρωσιν ἐλευθερώσεως.

The περιποίησις αὐτοῦ (for αὐτοῦ at the end does not apply, as it is usually referred, merely to τῆς δόξης, but also to τῆς περιποιήσ., whereby the latter obtains its definite character, and the discourse gains in vividness and energy[107]) is the acquisition of God, i.e. the people acquired by God for His possession, by which is here meant the whole body of Christians, the true people of God, acquired by God as His property by means of the redeeming work of Christ. Comp. 1 Peter 2:9; as also Acts 20:28, where the Christian community is presented as the acquisition of Christ (comp. Titus 2:14). The expression quite corresponds to the Hebrew סְגֻלַּה יְהֹוָה, by which the people of Israel is designated as the sacred peculium Dei, and opposed to the Gentiles. See Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 26:18 f; Psalm 135:4. The LXX. too, though usually expressing the notion of סגלה by ΠΕΡΙΟΎΣΙΟς, translate it, Malachi 3:17, by ΠΕΡΙΠΟΊΗΣΙς. Comp. also Isaiah 43:21 : ΛΑΌΝ ΜΟΥ ὋΝ ΠΕΡΙΕΠΟΙΗΣΆΜΗΝ (יָצַרְתִּי) Κ.Τ.Λ. The objection to this view (which is followed, after the Peshito and Oecumenius, by Erasmus, Calvin, Grotius, and most expositors, including Flatt, Rückert, Meier, Harless, Olshausen, de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Schenkel), that ΠΕΡΙΠΟΊΗΣΙς never in itself, without defining addition, signifies the people of God (see specially Koppe), entirely disappears when we take in the ΑὐΤΟῦ: “unto redemption of His acquired possession, unto the praise of His glory.” Others, retaining likewise the signification of acquired possession, explained it in the neuter sense, like Calovius (comp. already Bugenhagen): “plena fruitio redemtionis haereditatis nobis acquisitae.” Comp. Matthies: “unto the redeeming of the promised glorious possession.” But how can it be said of the salvation acquired for us, that it is redeemed? And the plena fruitio is imported. Beza, wrongly denying the concrete use of περιποίησις, insists upon the abstract notion of vindicatio, assertio, and specifies as the meaning: “dum in liberationem vindicemur.” But this would need to be expressed by ΕἸς ΠΕΡΙΠΟΊΗΣΙΝ Τῆς ἈΠΟΛΥΤΡΏΣΕΩς (comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:14). The word is also taken in the abstract sense by those who understand it as preservation, conservatio (Hebrews 10:39; 2 Chronicles 14:13; Test. XII. Patr. p. 633; Plat. Defin. p. 415 C; Wetst. II. p. 424), like Bengel, Bos (“redemtio, quae salutem et conservationem affert”), Bretschneider (“redemtio, qua vitae aeternae servamur”), Holzhausen (who, following Homberg, arbitrarily assumes ἈΠΟΛ. Τῆς ΠΕΡΙΠ. to stand for ἈΠΟΛ. ΚΑῚ ΠΕΡΙΠ.). But against these explanations it may be decisively urged that in the case of ΠΕΡΙΠΟΊΗΣΙς the thought: unto everlasting life, or the like, is added arbitrarily, and that the assumed genitive relation does not arise out of the notion of ἀπολύτρωσις, according to which the genitive is either the subject, which is redeemed (Luke 21:28; Romans 8:23), or expresses that, from which one becomes free (Hebrews 9:15; Fritzsche, ad Rom. II. p. 178). To the erroneous attempts at explanation belongs also that (Vatablus, Koppe) which takes Τῆς ΠΕΡΙΠΟΙΉΣΕΩς for ΤῆΝ ΠΕΡΙΠΟΙΗΘΕῖΣΑΝ, the redemption acquired for us, or (so Bleek) the redemption, which is to become our possession.[108]

εἰς ἔπαινον τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ] a climactic parallel to what goes before, containing as it does the final aim of God in the sealing with the Holy Spirit. And thus has Paul accordingly reached what he had in view in the joining on of ἐν ᾧ καὶ ὑμεῖς, Ephesians 1:13, namely, the assigning to the Gentile-Christians the same ultimate destination, which he has in Ephesians 1:12 predicated of the Jewish-Christians.

The reference of αὐτοῦ to God, as in Ephesians 1:12; Ephesians 1:6 (not, with Estius and Hofmann, to Christ), flows from ἐσφραγ., which is God’s act. See van Hengel, Annot. p. 198 ff. The glory of God is the final aim of the whole unfolding of salvation.

[107] So also Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 29; and Schenkel.

[108] This sense, too, would in fact have needed to be expressed by εἰς περιποίησιν τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως.Ephesians 1:14. ὅς ἐστιν ἀρραβὼν τῆς κληρονομίας ἡμῶν: which is an earnest of our inheritance. So with the RV, rather than “who is the earnest,” etc., of the AV. The reading is preferred by Lachm., Alf., WH, etc., as supported by [72] [73] [74] [75], Athan., Cyr., Chrys., etc. The TR is the reading of [76] [77] [78], Thdrt., Damasc., Theophyl., etc.; the masc. form being due to attraction to the following ἀρραβών, as, e.g., in τῷ σπέρματί σου ὅς ἐστι Χριστός, Galatians 3:16. The word ἀρραβών (or ἀραβών, the form preferred by Tisch. and regarded by WH as only Western, cf. Westcott and Hort’s New Testament in Greek, II., App., p. 148) is the LXX reproduction of the Heb. צֲרָבוֹן which occurs in Genesis 38:17-18; Genesis 38:20 and is rendered “pledge”. It is found in classical Greek of earlier date than the LXX (e.g., Isaeus, De Cir. her., 23; Aristotle, Pol., i., 11; Menander, Frag. Com. (Meineke), iv., pp. 268, 283; etc., cf. Light., Notes, ut sup., p. 323), and is supposed, therefore, to have come from the Phœnicians into Greek use. At an early date it was introduced also into Latin, but by what channel we know not. In Latin it occurs in the three forms-arrabo, rabo (e.g., in Plautus, Truc., iii., 20), and arra (e.g., Aul. Gell., xvii., 2). It survives in the forms arra, arrhes in the languages most directly derived from the Latin; as also in our arles, the obsolete English earlespenny, etc. Etymologically, it appears to have expressed the idea of exchange, and so its primary sense may have been that of a “pledge” simply. But it came to mean more than ἐνέχυρον, or pledge, in the sense of something exchanged between two parties to a contract or agreement. Its proper sense is that of earnest—part of the price to be received or part of the thing that is to be possessed, given in assurance that the full payment or the complete possession will follow. Wycl. gives “ernes”; the Rhemish, “pledge”; Tynd., Cran., and the Genevan, “earnest”. The idea is similar to that elsewhere expressed by ἀπαρχή, “first-fruits” (Romans 8:23). The “earnest of the Spirit” is mentioned by itself in 2 Corinthians 5:5; in 1 Corinthians 1:22, as here, it is introduced along with the sealing of the Spirit. To the truth expressed by the latter it adds the higher idea that the believer possesses already in reality, though but in part, the life of the future; the inheritance of the present and the inheritance of the future differing not in kind but only in degree, so that even now we have the life and blessedness of the future in the way of foretaste. It is doubtful whether the term is also meant to suggest the idea of obligation on the believer’s side, as Light. thinks, who takes it to intimate that “the Spirit has, as it were, a lien upon us”.—εἰς ἀπολύτρωσιν: unto the redemption. The “unto” of the RV is to be preferred to the “until” of the AV. The clause is to be connected not with the ὅς ἐστιν ἀρραβών, κ.τ.λ., but with the main statement, viz., the ἐσφραγίσθητε, and the εἰς expresses not the idea of time but that of purpose. It is the first of two purposes which God is here declared to have had in sealing them. In that operation of His grace God had it in view to make them certain of the complete redemption which was to come at the consummation of the Kingdom of God. The ἀπολύτρωσις here, as the tenor of the passage plainly indicates, is the final, perfected redemption, as in Ephesians 4:30, Romans 8:23, and probably 1 Corinthians 1:30.—τῆς περιποιήσεως: of the possession. The “purchased possession” of the AV is less apt, as the verb περιποιεῖσθαι expresses the general idea of preserving, acquiring, gaining for oneself, without specific reference to a price. But what is the import of the phrase here? The form of the noun περιποίησις and its use point to the active sense, preserving, acquiring. In 2 Chronicles 14:13 it is said of the Ethiopians that they fell ὥστε μὴ εἶναι ἐν αὐτοῖς περιποίησιν, so “that they could not recover themselves” (RV text), or, “so that none remained alive” (RV marg.). The word occurs in the NT five times in all (Ephesians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; Hebrews 10:39; 1 Peter 2:9). In three of these instances it certainly has the active sense (1 Thessalonians 5:9, περιπ. σωτηρίας; 2 Thessalonians 2:14, περιπ. δόξης; Hebrews 10:39, περιπ. ψυχῆς), and it would be most natural to take it in that sense here. But it is difficult to adjust that to the genitive case dependent on the ἀπολύτρωσιν. The most plausible rendering on that view is that proposed by Abbott, viz., “a complete redemption which will give possession”. The noun may be taken, however, in the passive sense, and a more natural meaning results. Some then understand it of the inheritance we are to possess. So Aug. and Calv. make it = haereditas acquisita; Matthies, “the promised glorious possession”; Bleek, “the redemption which is to become our possession”. So, too, Macpherson takes the “possession” to be the “inheritance of the saints” here, as he takes the previous ἐκληρώθημεν to mean “made possessors of our lot”. But all becomes plainer if we understand the idea to be rather that of God’s possession in us, the περιποίησις being taken as the equivalent of the OT סְגֻלָּה מִבָּל־הָצַמִּיס, סגֻלָה, by which Israel is designated as the possession acquired by the Lord for Himself (Exodus 19:5; cf. Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 26:18; Psalm 135:4). It is true that the LXX rendering of סְגֻלָּה is usually περιούσιος. But that is not the only form that is adopted. In Psalm 135:4 the phrase is εἰς περιουσιασμὸν ἑαυτῷ; and in Malachi 3:17, where Aquila has περιούσιος, the LXX has εἰς περιποίησιν. Further, in Isaiah 43:21 the same idea is expressed by the corresponding verb—λαόν μου ὃν περιεποιησάμην (cf. Acts 20:28, τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἣν περιεποιήσατο). So, too, Peter, with this passage in view, describes the spiritual Israel of the NT as λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν (1 Peter 2:9); while in Titus 2:14, again, we have λαὸν περιούσιον. This interpretation is that of the Syriac, Erasm., Calvin, etc., and it is preferred by most recent commentators, including Harless, Meyer, Ell., Alf., etc. It is adopted also by the RV, which renders it “God’s own possession”. Wycliffe, however, gives “purchasynge”; the Genevan, “that we might be fully restored to liberty”; the Rhemish, “the redemption of acquisition”; the AV, Tyndall and Cranmer give “the purchased possession”.—εἰς ἔπαινον τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ: unto the praise of his glory. The second end of the sealing, or rather the second aspect of the ultimate purpose of God in the sealing. The final end on our side of that great act of grace is the consummation of the redemption of those who have been made God’s own people. On God’s side the final end of the same grace is “the praise of His glory”—the adoring confession of the glories of the Divine Nature and Mind so revealed to men. The αὐτοῦ refers to the main subject here, not Christ in whom we obtain the grace, but God by whom it is willed—the Eternal Origin of all.

[72] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[73] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[74] Codex Boernerianus (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Dresden, edited by Matthæi in 1791. Written by an Irish scribe, it once formed part of the same volume as Codex Sangallensis (δ) of the Gospels. The Latin text, g, is based on the O.L. translation.

[75] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[76] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[77] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[78] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.14. the earnest] The Gr. word is arrhabôn. It appears in the LXX. (only in Genesis 38:17-18; Genesis 38:20); in the later Greek classics (e.g. Aristotle); and in the Latin classics. It is Shemitic (Heb. ’êrâbhôn, Genesis 38) by derivation. See further, Additional Note, p. 164. It probably reached the Greeks and Latins through the (Shemitic) Phenician traders. By derivation it has to do with exchange, and so first means a pledge (the word used here by the ancient Latin versions) to be exchanged between two parties to an agreement—first given, then on fulfilment returned. But usage brought it to the kindred meaning of an earnest; a part of a price, given as a tangible promise of the payment of the whole in time. Thus it is defined by the Greek lexicographers. It was used for the bridegroom’s betrothal-gifts to the bride; a case exactly in point here. In ecclesiastical Latin, prose and verse, it appears usually in the shortened form arra. It survives in the French arrhes, the money paid to strike a bargain.—Arrhâbôn occurs elsewhere in N. T. 2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5. There, as here, it denotes the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to the saints, as the part-payment of their coming “weight of glory,” the inmost essence of which is the complete attainment (1 John 3:2) of that likeness to their Lord which the Spirit begins and developes here (2 Corinthians 3:18). A kindred expression is “the firstfruits of the Spirit,” Romans 8:23, where see note in this Series.

our inheritance] The “enjoyment fully for ever” of God in Christ; the final Canaan of the true Israel, His “heirs” because His children (Romans 8:17).

until] Better, perhaps (as the more usual meaning of the Gr.), unto; with a view to; as the spiritual means to the glorious end.

redemption] See note on Ephesians 1:7, and on Romans 8:23. The saints already “have redemption,” in the radical sense of Acceptance, rescue from condemnation into sonship. But they still look forward to redemption, in the developed sense of actual emancipation from the last effects of sin, which is to come when the body is glorified along with the spirit.

the purchased possession] The R. V. renders “God’s own possession.” “Purchased” is an idea not necessary to the Gr. noun (though such passages as Acts 20:28 readily suggest it as a kindred idea here), which denotes simply “acquisition,” however made.—The explanatory word “God” is doubtless a true interpretation.—The noun is the same as that in 1 Peter 2:9, where “peculiar” means (literally from the Gr.) “intended for (His) personal property”. Thus the thought here is not of “glory” as the “property” of the saints, but of the saints, the Church, the New Israel (cp. Exodus 19:5; Psalm 135:4), as the property of God, to be hereafter actually “bought back” from the grave for His eternal use and pleasure.

unto the praise of His glory] Cp. note on Ephesians 1:12. Here perhaps the word “glory” has a special reference to the manifestation of the Divine Character, as the Object of praise, in the glorified world.Ephesians 1:14. Ἡμῶν, of our) He here includes Jews and Greeks.—εἰς ἀπολύτρωσιν, unto redemption) Construe with you were sealed); Ephesians 4:30. This future deliverance or redemption, by the addition of τῆς περιποιήσεως, of preservation [‘conservationis,’ Engl. Vers., of the purchased possession], is distinguished from the redemption made by the blood of Christ. So περιποίησις σωτηρίας and ψυχῆς, 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Hebrews 10:39.—περιποίησις is said of that which remains still, when all other things perish:[14] LXX., 2 Chronicles 14:12 (13); Malachi 3:17.

[14] Wahl, in his Clavis, takes περιποίησις passively, “res acquisita; περιούσιος λαὸς, quem Deus hoc consilio elegit ut sit sibi proprius: populus Deo proprius: τοῦ λαοῦ, ὃν περιεποιήσατο Θεός.” The full redemption of His purchased people.—ED.Verse 14. - Who is the earnest of our inheritance. The gift of the Spirit is not only a seal, but an earnest, firstfruit, or installment, a pledge that the rest shall follow. The seal of the Spirit not only assures us of the full inheritance to come, but gives us a right conception of its nature. It shows us the kind of provision God makes for those whom he takes as his heritage, his peculiar people. It is an inward heaven the Spirit brings them. "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." The full inheritance will consist in a heart in full sympathy with God, and in those occupations and joys, intellectual and moral, which are most congenial to such a heart. Unto the redemption of the purchased possession. The until of the A.V. is not textual, and does not give the force of εἰς, which implies that the earnest of the Spirit is a contribution toward the result described; it tends to realize it. "Redemption" here is not quite equivalent to "redemption" in ver. 7; for there it is a thing accomplished, here it is a thing to come. It is obvious that here the meaning is the completed redemption - the full and final deliverance of the Lord's heritage from all sin and sorrow, from all the evils and disorders of this life. The term περιποιήσις, translated" purchased possession," is an unusual one. But its resemblance to περιούσιος, the Septuagint rendering for "a special people;" its use by Peter, λαὸς περιποίησεως, "a peculiar people;" the use of the verb ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ η}ν περιεποιήσατο διὰ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτου, "the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood;" - show that it must be regarded in this place as denoting the special, own, purchased possession of God, whose final glory is so often presented to our thoughts in this Epistle. To the praise of his glory. For the third time in this paragraph, these or similar words are introduced. In this place the precise meaning is that the consummation of redemption will be the highest tribute to God's glory - his infinite excellence will be wonderfully manifested thereby. Neither men nor angels are qualified to apprehend the glorious excellence of God in an abstract way; it needs to be revealed, exhibited in acts and operations. The teaching of this verse is that it will be manifested with triumphant brightness in the final redemption of the Church, when the groans of nature shall come to an end, and the creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into "the glorious liberty of the sons of God" (Romans 8:21). Earnest

See on 2 Corinthians 1:22.

Unto the redemption, etc.

Construe with ye were sealed.

Of the purchased possession (τῆς περιποιήσεως)

See on peculiar, 1 Peter 2:9. The word originally means a making to remain over and above; hence preservation; preservation for one's self; acquisition; the thing acquired, or a possession. Used here collectively for the people possessed, as the circumcision for those circumcised, Philippians 3:3; the election for those chosen, Romans 11:7. Rev., God's own possession, God's own being inserted for the sake of clearness. Compare Isaiah 43:21; Acts 20:28; Titus 2:14.

Unto the praise of His glory

Construe with ye were sealed: Ye were sealed unto the redemption, etc.; setting forth God's purpose as it contemplates man. Ye were sealed unto the praise of His glory; God's purpose as it respects Himself.

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