III. THE PLEDGING
After the anointing, 2 Corinthians 1 mentions the sealing. Along with the anointing and sealing is the pledging. Ephesians 1:14 says that the Spirit is the pledge of our inheritance.
A. A Sample and a Foretaste
[In ancient times, the Greek word for pledge was used in the purchase of land. The seller gave the buyer a sample of the soil from the land being purchased. Hence, a pledge, according to ancient Greek usage, was also a sample. The Holy Spirit is the sample of what we shall inherit of God in full.
The Greek word for "pledge" is somewhat equal to today’s down payment, which indicates good faith and is a guarantee of coming payments. Pledge, earnest, and guarantee—all these words are about the same in meaning, all referring to a payment that guarantees the balance. But the Greek word in addition signifies a sample, a foretaste. Some translators prefer the word "foretaste." By enjoying the sample we have a foretaste of what is coming. Suppose someone gives me ten peaches from his peach orchard. These peaches are a sample and a foretaste of the produce of the whole orchard. As those who are to inherit God, we have the Holy Spirit as a pledge, guarantee, earnest, and down payment of our inheritance. At the same time the Holy Spirit is also a sample and a foretaste. The foretaste gives us a taste of God; the full taste is yet to come.]
B. Given for Our Enjoyment
[The pledging of the Spirit is given for our enjoyment. Whenever I am disappointed or depressed, the pledging comes in to uplift me. I experience this pledging daily, even hourly. Pledging also means that something is given to us as a guarantee. Through the Spirit’s pledging, we are encouraged and stirred up. Whenever we feel that the situation is hopeless, the pledging fills us with hope.]
[Probably in your whole Christian life you have never heard a message on the pledging of the Spirit. According to my experience, the Holy Spirit is constantly pledging within me, giving me more of God and more of Christ. The more I receive of Christ, the more my appetite for Him increases. Some may admit that they do not have a very large appetite for Christ. The reason for this is that they do not care for the pledging of the Spirit. We need to care not only for the anointing and the sealing, but also for the pledging. We need to say, "O Lord Jesus, You are so sweet. Amen, Lord." If we do this, the sense of the Spirit’s pledging will increase within us. What a real experience this is!]
IV. A MUTUAL INHERITANCE
[We need both the sealing and the pledging because in God’s work on us two kinds of inheritances are involved. Ephesians 1:11 indicates that we were made God’s inheritance, and verse 14, that God is our inheritance. Our inheritance is God Himself. In God’s economy we are an inheritance to God, and God is an inheritance to us. This is a mutual inheritance.] [ The Spirit in us as a seal is God’s guarantee that we shall be His inheritance (Eph. 1:13); the Spirit as a pledge in us is our guarantee that God will be our inheritance for eternity. The New Jerusalem will be a mutual dwelling place and also a mutual enjoyment in which we will enjoy God as our eternal inheritance and He will enjoy us as His eternal possession; this is the consummation of His being dispensed into us and of our being constituted with Him.]
The anointing, sealing, and pledging describe three aspects of the Spirit’s work in the believers. The anointing is the moving of the compound Spirit in us. It adds the divine element and essence to us. The Holy Spirit is also a living seal in us indicating that we belong to God. This sealing continues in us until we fully bear the image of God in our entire being. Furthermore, the Spirit is the pledge, the foretaste of the full taste of the enjoyment of God that we will inherit. The Spirit as a seal in us is God’s guarantee that we shall be His inheritance; the Spirit as the pledge in us is our guarantee that God will be our inheritance for eternity.
- What ground do we have for saying that the anointing refers to the moving of the compound Spirit?
- Explain what we mean by the "paining" work of the Spirit.
- What are the two aspects of the Spirit as a seal in us?
- How does Ephesians 1:13-14 indicate that the sealing in us is still going on?
- What is the Greek origin of the word "pledge"? What does this tell us about the Spirit in us?
- Describe the two kinds of inheritances and how the Spirit is the pledge and seal to guarantee these inheritances.
Quoted Portions from (Lee/LSM) Publications
- Life-study of First John, pp. 160, 178, 283.
- The Spirit and the Body, pp. 50-51.
- Life-study of Ephesians, pp. 106, 108, 111, 114, 116, 118, 113.
- 1985 Winter Training Message Abstracts, p. 14.
(Lesson Book, Level 3: Two Spirits—Two Spirits - the Divine Spirit and the Human Spirit, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)