already – not yet

Rita Moenck posted this amazing photograph on the Artful Story–Journaling Facebook page with these comments: I sat down this morning, and was praising God for His many blessings (specifics would be a long story!)…As I turned to pick up my cup of coffee, I glanced out the window and saw this . . . It certainly did take away a breath or two! Felt like God winked at me…those unexpected “winks” give me such breathtaking, “blessed assurance!”

How grateful we are for the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our daily relationship with Him, the foretaste of glory divine, the guarantee of our inheritance…our blessed assurance…my heart is drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study of the word,guarantee, from Ephesians 1:13-14

Amplified: In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit. That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the first-fruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it—to the praise of His glory.

Barclay: And it was in Christ that it was determined that you, too, should become the means whereby God’s glory is praised, after you had heard the word which brings the truth, the good news of your salvation—that good news, in which, after you had come to believe, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit, who had been promised to you, the Spirit Who is the foretaste and guarantee of all that one day we will inherit, until we enter into that complete redemption which brings complete possession.

NET: And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

NIV: And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Phillips: And you too trusted him, when you heard the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. And after you gave your confidence to him you were, so to speak, stamped with the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of purchase, until the day when God completes the redemption of what he has paid for as his own; and that will again be to the praise of his glory.

Young’s Literal: in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth–the good news of your salvation–in whom also having believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise,  which is an earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory.

Wuest: in whom also, as for you, having heard the word of the truth, the good news of your salvation, in whom also having believed, you were sealed with the Spirit of the promise, the Holy Spirit, Who is the token payment of our inheritance guaranteeing the full payment of all, looking forward to the redemption of the possession which is being preserved with a view to the praise of His glory.

Guarantee, pledge (arrabon) is the payment of part of a purchase price in advance. Literally was a legal and commercial technical term, representing an advance transaction that guarantees the validity of a contract or a full purchase price. The corresponding modern term is “earnest money,” “down payment,” installment or deposit that guarantees full amount will be paid. The Greek word arrabon denotes the first payment or first installment of money or goods which serves as a guarantee or pledge for the completion of the transaction. The term is used only figuratively of the Holy Spirit as the down payment of the blessings promised by God. In the New Testament, this has been described as “already – not yet“… the possession of the Spirit now by believers (“already“) can be viewed as a guarantee that God will give them the balance of the promised blessings in the future (“not yet“). One form ofarrabon was used for an engagement ring. God’s bestowal of His Spirit is our irrevocable pledge, “divine engagement ring,” giving us blessed assurance in Christ. In the New Testament, arrabon is used only in a figurative sense and is used to describe the Holy Spirit Who the Father has given to believers in this present life to assure them of their future and eternal inheritance. God gives us the Holy Spirit as the down payment or earnest of the full blessing of our future redemption. In one sense, we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. But, in another sense, our redemption is not complete until we get to heaven. Right now we can begin to enjoy the inheritance that is ours in Christ. But it’s just a foretaste of future glory. We don’t get the complete inheritance until we go to heaven. What Paul is saying is that the experience of the Holy Spirit which we have in this world is a foretaste of the blessedness of heaven; and it is the guarantee for our future.

Arthur Lewis, an expert in biblical Greek, was walking along the streets of Athens. Accompanying him was a professor who teaches Greek. They stopped occasionally to read the signs in shop windows. As they gazed into a jewelry store, they saw a sign with the word arrabon on it. When they entered and talked to the proprietor, he told them that in modern Greek the word arrabon means “an engagement ring.” The Greek professor thought for a moment, then commented, “How interesting! In the New Testament that’s the term for ‘a guarantee, a down payment.'” Now the Spirit lives in us to give us guidance and power to live for God. But someday we’ll have even more: We will live in the very presence of God. With joyful anticipation we await that day—for our future is guaranteed—blessed assurance!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the blessed assurance Your Word gives me that You reign over heaven and earth and that no one can thwart Your plans for my life—and for the whole world. I put my trust in You today. Only You understand everything—even those things that are mysteries to me. Because You have all authority on earth and in heaven, I can rest in You. You are my shield and my eternal protector. When I am in danger or distress, help me trust in You. Lift my gaze and my heart from everything on this earth to You, who reign over all. Thank You for answering me from heaven and acting on my behalf when I cry out to You. May You be glorified in my life. In Your mighty name I pray, amen.


Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:13-14 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:13-14… pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is_________, I will_____________.”

Look Out—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:13-14…pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

About the author : Beth Willis Miller

Beth Willis Miller

Meet Beth Willis Miller, M.Ed., author of Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ with illustrator Krista Hamrick; contributing author of three books: Under His Wings: Truths to Heal Adopted Children's Hearts; 21 Stories of Generosity: Real Stories to Inspire a Full Life (A Life of Generosity); A New Song: Glimpses of the Grace Journey (an anthology of essays, poems, stories and photos celebrating God's grace on life's journey); and member of AWSA, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Beth has a Master's degree in Education, in curriculum, instruction, and supervision. She writes articles on a variety of topics to inspire and encourage others. Her expertise as a creative and critical thinking specialist is steeped in years of experience as a writer, presenter, educator and former Florida Department of Education State Consultant for Gifted Education. Seeing others' lives transformed by the truth of God's Word is her passion and purpose. She is married with two adult children, and two adorable grandsons.

View all articles