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…
I. THE OBJECT OF THEIR FAITH.
1. The word of truth. It contains all that truth which concerns our present duty and our future glory.
2. The gospel of our salvation, It discovers to us our ruined, helpless condition; the mercy of God to give us salvation; the way in which it is procured for us; the terms on which we may become interested in it; the evidences by which our title to it must be ascertained; and the glory and happiness which it comprehends.
II. THE FORWARDNESS, AND YET REASONABLENESS, OF THEIR FAITH. They trusted in Christ after they heard the word of truth. They acted as honest and rational men: they did not trust before they heard it, nor refuse to trust after they heard it.
III. THE HAPPY CONSEQUENCE OF THEIR FAITH.
1. The sealing of the Spirit.
2. The earnest of the Spirit.
(1) The virtues of the Christian temper, which are called the fruit of the Spirit, are to believers an earnest of their inheritance, because they are, in part, a fulfilment of the promise, which conveys the inheritance.
(2) The graces of the Spirit are an earnest of the inheritance, as they are preparatives for it.
(3) The sealing and sanctifying influence of the Spirit is especially called an earnest of the inheritance, because it is a part of the inheritance given beforehand. Concluding reflections:
1. Our subject teaches us that all the operations of the Divine Spirit on the minds of men are of a holy nature and tendency.
2. Our subject strongly encourages humble souls to apply to God for the needful influences of His grace.
3. It appears that we can have no conclusive evidence of a title to heaven, without the experience of a holy temper.
4. We see that Christians are under indispensable obligations to universal holiness.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
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,