In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed…
1. God, by the hearing of His word, makes us partakers in His Spirit (John 6:45; Ephesians 4:21; Colossians 1:6). As the ground cannot be quickened with fruits till it receive seed and the clews from heaven, no more can our soul be quickened with the spirit and fruits of the Spirit, till by hearing it has taken in this seed immortal, and drunk in this heavenly shower of God's Word. It is not every hearing which is accompanied with the Spirit, but hearing with the heart, so as the heart is affected to do what it hears.
(1) Where there is much hearing, yet the Word is not there heard as it should be. Some are viler after hearing than before. With much hearing they have become past hearing. As those who dwell near the continual roaring of mighty waters become deaf through constantly hearing such a great noise, so there are many who have so long had the Word of God in their ears, that they cannot discern anything in it, no matter what is spoken.
(2) This must teach us to attend on hearing. Wouldst thou keep the Spirit from being quenched? Despise not prophecy, i.e., hearing the Scriptures opened to thy use. Even as the conduit pipes carry the water hither and thither, so does the Word convey the graces of the Spirit into our hearts.
2. The word of the gospel is that which, being heard, brings us the quickening Spirit. Hence the ministry of the gospel is called the ministry of the Spirit.
3. All God's promises made in Christ are true and faithful.
(1) Let us not give God the lie by our deeds. "He that believeth" not, maketh God a liar."(2) Let this strengthen our faith toward the promises of God.
4. It is not enough to hear, but we must believe before we can partake of the good Spirit of Christ.
(1) Let us labour to be one with Him by faith.
(2) Let us take care that our faith is active and productive of holiness. Otherwise it is worthless.
5. The faithful are, as it were by seal, confirmed touching their salvation and full redemption (Ephesians 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22). As God sealed His Christ, as the Person in whom He would be glorious by working our redemption, so He seals us who are believers, for persons who shall have redemption by Him. Even as persons contracting do mutually seal and deliver each of them their deeds in several: so between God and the believer; the believer does by faith set to his seal, as it were, that God is true in that which He promises (John 3:33), and God seals unto the believer that he shall be infallibly brought to the salvation he has believed.
(1) A seal sometimes makes secret the thing sealed. So the graces of the Spirit make believers unknown to the world.
(2) A seal distinguishes. Believers are set apart from the world.
(3) A seal authenticates.
6. The Holy Spirit, and the graces of the Spirit, are the seal assuring our redemption.
7. The Holy Spirit, not only as a seal, but as earnest money, confirms to us our inheritance. It is not with the Spirit and His gifts as with the sun and its light — the body of the sun being in the heavens, while the light is with us here on earth; but we are to conceive the Spirit Himself dwelling in this sanctuary of grace which He has Himself erected in our souls. Even as men assure others that they will pay them the whole sum due for this or that, by giving an earnest; so God makes us, as it were, part payment, that we may be persuaded of His gracious purpose of bringing us to our heavenly inheritance.
(1) An earnest is part of the whole.
(2) An earnest is but little compared to the whole.
(3) An earnest assures him who receives of the good intention of him with whom he contracts.
Parallel VersesKJV: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,