Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT IMPARTS HEAVENLY KNOWLEDGE TO THE MIND, AND IS THUS THE EARNEST OF OUR INHERITANCE.
1. Heaven's glory will consist partly in the direct and full vision of God, whom the redeemed shall see, no longer darkly as through a glass, but "face to face." They will possess an immediate and intuitive knowledge of God in their minds, and as far as finite can comprehend the infinite, they will enjoy a clear perception of His nature and perfections, sufficient for their perfect satisfaction and blessedness. This knowledge is the most excellent possession which the intellect of man can conceive. It is the loftiest, the purest, and the most comprehensive of all kinds of knowledge. What a piece of goodness and condescension is it on God's part to give unto us His blessed Word, inspired of the Holy Ghost, as a means to dispel the darkness of our minds and bring us to the knowledge of "the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, which is eternal life"! He the glory of heaven alights upon earth, dimmed, it may be indeed, by the earthly atmosphere, but still essentially the same. If God the Spirit is to speak to man, if He is to communicate the knowledge of God to us in our imperfect state, He must use the language of man — the language of earth; and He must also have respect to our weak capacities. In the Bible we have a clear and sufficient revelation of God. This light is furnished by the Holy Spirit.
2. Let us also notice another department of knowledge in which the Spirit so instructs believers as to become "an earnest" of heaven. We refer to the method of Divine Providence, a subject full of high and profitable instruction, but often difficult and inscrutable.
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS AN EARNEST OF THE INHERITANCE BY THE PEACE AND JOY AND COMFORT WHICH HE IMPARTS TO THE SOUL. The essential elements of the saints' inheritance, apart from any outward sources of heavenly riches, will consist in a full and perfectly satisfying knowledge of God and His works, in a pure and perfect love dwelling in their hearts, and in a constant and ineffable joy filling their souls like a river. The vision of God, perfect love, and boundless delight, will go together to make up heaven's happiness — light, love, joy — a triune blessedness.
(W. Alves, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.