The Earnest of the Spirit

Another way to approach this partial fulfillment idea is to look at what the scriptures say about the Giving of the Spirit.

In Ephesians, it tells about being sealed by the Holy Spirit using the word earnest.

Eph 1:13 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, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Second Corinthians also mentions the earnest of the Spirit.

2Co 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

2Co 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

So what is an earnest?

Strong's lexicon gives this definition:

earnest - a pledge, i.e. part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest.

In other words, an earnest is a down payment. It's only part of the payment. And the early church receiving this partial payment in Acts 2 means that it was a partial fulfillment.

The word for earnest is translated pledge in the Old Testament.

Ge 38:18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.

Easton's bible dictionary says this:

The Spirit is the earnest of the believer's destined inheritance (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14). The word thus rendered is the same as that rendered "pledge" in Gen. 38:17-20; "indeed, the Hebrew word has simply passed into the Greek and Latin languages, probably through commercial dealings with the Phoenicians, the great trading people of ancient days. Originally it meant no more than a pledge; but in common usage it came to denote that particular kind of pledge which is a part of the full price of an article paid in advance; and as it is joined with the figure of a seal when applied to the Spirit, it seems to be used by Paul in this specific sense." The Spirit's gracious presence and working in believers is a foretaste to them of the blessedness of heaven. God is graciously pleased to give not only pledges but foretastes of future blessedness.

Ephesians 1:14 describes the Holy Spirit as the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. As we are looking at the earnest meaning pledge or down payment, this tells us that the rest of the payment will come at the time of the redemption of the purchased possession. This is speaking of the redemption of the church by the full outpouring of the Spirit in the last days i.e. the End Times.

Ac 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

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