Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
I. IN WHAT RESPECTS THE SPIRIT IS AN EARNEST TO US.
1. A pledge of something yet future.
2. A part of something hereafter to be received in its entirety. As such the Spirit itself will never pass away from the possession of the Church. It is in itself a final end and supreme blessedness. But in another aspect of its presence and work it is only a part of what shall be. Powers (as of faith and holiness) are awakened and developed by its influence within us which do not belong to our bodily nature, but are the beginnings of a higher life, hereafter to be perfected in the presence of God. And it is one of a number of manifestations belonging to a new supernatural order or kingdom, whose completeness and glory are yet to be revealed (2 Corinthians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 5:5). Above all, it is "the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:4) — a consciousness which seems to open up infinite vistas of possibility (Romans 8:17; 1 John 3:1, 2). We are thus brought into universal relations, and are indissolubly linked with the eternal and Divine.
II. WHAT EFFECT IT IS INTENDED TO PRODUCE. The Gentile Christians were "sealed" with it, and were thus —
1. Separated from unbelievers. As circumcision was a seal to Abraham of the personal acceptance with God of which he had been already assured (Genesis 15:6, 18; Genesis 17:11), so it became a seal to his children in the sense of separating them to God in covenant. In like manner the saints are said to be sealed with the name of the Lord (Revelation 22:4; Revelation 9:4), Something of the same general sense is conveyed by 2 Timothy 2:19. Christians are, by the indwelling of the Spirit, set apart, consecrated to God.
2. Confirmed in their own souls. By intensifying and rendering more vivid religious impressions and resolves, it seals believers "unto the day of redemption."
(A. F. Muir, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.