Sometimes we imagine that God is so distant from us, so much greater and more powerful, that He really doesn’t understand what we, as human beings, go through. To the contrary, the gift of His Holy Spirit shows us that nothing could be further from the truth.
“[The Holy Spirit] who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:14)
Because Jesus was truly human in addition to being truly divine, He does understand our mortal predicament. He understands that we have doubts. He understands that we are afraid at times. He understands that even though we believe in Him and trust His word, we live in a physical world and struggle with understanding things that are spiritual in nature. This is one of the many reasons He sent us His Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells us that God gives Christians the Holy Spirit as a guarantee, a downpayment, if you will. When we purchase a car, we give the seller a downpayment so he doesn’t sell the car we have selected to someone else before we get back with all the money. When we rent an apartment we leave a deposit with the landlord so he stops showing it to others until we come back. In the same way, God gives us the Holy Spirit as proof that He will some day come back and redeem us, the purchased possession, fully from the power of death and sin. The Holy Spirit is our evidence that we are bought by the blood of Christ, that we are His possession, that He loves us and cares for us and has not abandoned us.
In addition to being the deposit or downpayment—the guarantee—that God will come back for us, the Holy Spirit is also called a firstfruit. In the Old Testament, the Jews were commanded to offer up their firstfruits, literally the first of their crops to ripen, to God as evidence of their faith in Him that there would be more to come. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is evidence to us from God that there is, indeed, more to come from Him. “…we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:23)
Another proof that God has provided to us that we will not decay in our graves after our death indefinitely is the resurrection of Christ. In the New Testament, Jesus is also called a firstfruit—the firstfruits from the dead. It is because God raised Him from the dead that we can also be certain that He will raise us up from the grave some day:
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death…Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (I Corinthians 15:20-28)
God does indeed care about the things we struggle with. Psalm 78, which tells of His steadfast love and mercy to the children of Israel, evidences God’s understanding of the human condition.“…for He remembered that they were but flesh…” (Psalm 78:39) He graciously provides not just His written Word for us to possess, but also His Holy Spirit in us as a guarantee that we are His precious, purchased possession for which He is, indeed, returning–a firstfruit which is evidence that there definitely is more to come!
Thank You for Your Spirit. Thank You that You provide Him as a guarantee and a firstfruit, evidence that You will return for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.