(For accuracy of this transcript, please refer to audio file of this sermon)
In pre-modern eras, the methods of communication looked very differently, then they do today, with all of the electronic means that we have to communicate. Every generation before this one, of course, was without the Internet and most generations before our own were without things like a telephone or even electricity and so to communicate in most generations, prior to our own. You actually had to send a hand written communication and someone had to physically take that from your geographical location to the geographical location of the person that you wanted to communicate with. But if you were to receive such communication at that time, how would you know that it was genuine? How would you know that it wasn’t fake, that there wasn’t an impostor who was trying to trick you in and pretend to be someone else in the letter? Well, one way this could be prevented was by sending the letter with a trustworthy messenger and two. If I recognize the person bringing the letter, I know I can trust the contents of the letter but another way that cultures throughout this planet have used for hundreds and even thousands of years. Another way to verify communication was by placing a seal on the document. Often these seals were made with a ring, a unique, one of a kind, ring that it would have a symbol engraved on it. And you pour some hot wax on the document and then make an imprint with that unique ring forming this seal and this was used to verify the source to prove the authenticity of the communication that’s being given. The Bible says that the presence of the Holy Spirit is like a seal on the people of God. We’ve been talking about the Holy Spirit for the last two months. Now, together we’ve learned how the spirit is any eternal person fully equal to the father and the son, fully equal member of the Trinity. We’ve seen how the spirit was president creation, giving life and throughout the Old Testament, giving power to the people of God and speaking truth for the scriptures to be written. We saw how in Jesus came. The spirit anointed him, declaring that he was the promised one and then we saw on our conversion. When someone believes in Christ, because the spirit shines truth into their life, and then after that, we see the role of the spirit and in transforming us, making us like Jesus. We covered the difficult topic of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. In the last two Sundays, we’ve talked about spiritual gifts. Now, much of what we’ve heard most of it, I trust, is actually reflected in the ICMK’s statement of faith (part C), the biblical doctrine that we as a church affirmed. Let me just remind us of what our doctrinal statement says about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God. Fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He calls men to the savior and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character comforts believers and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God. Through his church, He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism and service.
I do hope that from the sermon series the last two months together, we are more aware of who the Holy Spirit is. How he is at work in his church and in the world today and my prayer as Michael just prayed for us that in response to sitting under God’s word the last two months, ICMK, more and more will be a church that is spirit led. That his spirit filled that is empowered by the Holy Spirit as we seek to exalt Christ here in this city. Well, there’s certainly much more as we come to the end of this sermon series that we could talk about the Holy Spirit. The Bible talks a lot more about him than we’ve covered, but I think it appropriate end for our sermon series is to go to perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the holy spirits work in our life and what we’re going to see this morning. As we’ve already seen in our Saint, singing and in our Scripture reading. Is this because the Holy Spirit has been given to us as believers, we can know that we are saved. We can have assurance of our eternal salvation because the spirit has been given to us. We’re going to see that in Ephesians 1:13-14 encourage you to turn there in your Bibles, looking at versus 13 to 14, and as you do notice that these verses, we’re going to look at are actually reflected in this final paragraph. We just read from our doctrinal statement telling us that the Holy Spirit seals and the Holy Spirit is our guarantee. We’ll look now to God’s word and explain this further. I read Ephesians 1:13-14 (verbal reading). Lord willing, at two weeks from today, we’re going to start our new sermon series on the Book of Ephesians. So, I’m actually not going to explain much of the context right now. We’ll save that for a couple of weeks from now. Then will go into depth in this chapter but just notice that verse 13-14, here are the final that the end of an opening hymn of praise that begins in Ephesians 1:3-14 (verbal reading of verse 3) and then the next 11 verses. I’m excited to get into this together is God’s people. The next 11 verses start explaining all of these spiritual blessings we have right now in Christ, including at the end here what we’re looking at this morning, the blessings of the personal work of the Holy Spirit in us. What we find in the two verses I just read for us are two illustrations, seal and guarantee that will use them for this basic outline to work through this morning. The presence of the Holy Spirit is like a seal declaring God’s ownership, declaring to whom we belong and then. Secondly the presence of the Holy Spirit is a guarantee promising eternal blessing to us. The verse begins in him, and clearly from the context him is Christ. Fact, we could say the theme of the book of Ephesians is what it means to be in Christ. To be in him will leave that again for future weeks to learn the definition of a true believer throughout this hymn of praise Paul. Several times that said in him, we, as believers in general, have these blessings. But at the end of the hymn of praise, he turns and makes it personal and so specifically now, to you readers. The church there in Ephesus, specifically you also these blessings are for you, too. Notice Jesus is for all people in general, but he’s also for you individually notice how he makes it even more personal. In addition to saying you also when you heard that’s how he calls this Gospel, he refers to the Gospel of Your salvation. Yes, it’s the Gospel of Our salvation, of course, but it’s also the Gospel of Your salvation. Do you ever talk like that? Do you think like that? It’s the Gospel of My salvation, the gospel of Alison’s salvation. It’s the gospel of Paul’s salvation. It’s the gospel of Travis’s salvation. You see that the personal nature of the spirit, taking the truth of Christ and speaking to our hearts as individuals that the Gospels not supposed to be theoretical. It’s extremely personal. It’s extremely practical. The gospel changes me, the gospel re-orients your life. It saves us from our sin and our shame and the judgment we deserve. The gospel is our gospel. It’s the gospel of your salvation. Speaking of these personal terms, he speaks to the believers there in Ephesus and he says in him, you also when you heard the word of truth. And as we ponder the emphasize, he makes here on them, hearing this gospel, we’re reminded why evangelical churches like ICMK, so emphasized preaching and it’s not because preachers just have something amazing to share, we should listen to. No, the reason evangelical churches emphasized the preaching, declaring of the word of God is because this is what God has ordained. God has declared that the main way we come into relationship with God, the main way we stay in fellowship with God is by hearing truth and by believing the truth that God speaks to us through his word. So, you see both of those elements you also, you heard and you believed what you heard you recognize that it was truth. It was truthful. The message proclaimed to you, and this is really important. You can’t separate these two. Coming to Jesus for salvation means coming to truth.
Now we have to realize how strange that sounds to too many people who are not followers of Jesus in our world today. Human philosophies throughout the centuries, they come and go and they gave different definitions of knowing truth and knowing yourself. But generation after generation, throughout the millennia, regardless of what the philosophies have said, God’s word has stood firm and God’s word has declared this. There is such a thing as truth. There is such a thing as absolute eternal truth that’s based on the very character of God on the very character of the creator of this universe, and this creator shares this truth with us. He’s shared this to us through his son, Jesus, who came declaring truth. He shares this with us through his eternal word, the scriptures, which declared the truth of God. So, I just want to say if you’re not quite sure, you will agree with my statement about there being absolute truth, I encourage you just explore. What does the Bible claim about truth and compare with the Bible claims with other religious claims? Compare what the Bible says with what a secular and philosophical explanation of realities might be out there, seek them, compare them. But most of all, seek to hear what Jesus says about himself, seek to hear and understand what Jesus says about why he came to Earth and why there was a cross on which he died.
As we seek the very words of Jesus, we find this. He tells us that he came to Earth because you and I are separated from our creator. We’ve been kicked out of God’s family because we brought such shame to his name. We’ve repeatedly dishonored him in our rebellion, living the way we want to live, not in the way our creator has made us to live and told us to live and because we’re separated from the one who made us. No wonder this life is often so miserable. No wonder we’re often not satisfied in this life. We’re ignoring what our creator has said we were made for. Jesus came to earth, then, to warn us, to warn us If you stubbornly continue in this path of dishonoring your creator, there will be a judgment day. There will be eternal punishment for continuing to dishonor your God. Jesus came to warn us of this, but he also came with this incredible Good News that despite the fact that we’re heading to judgment and deserving judgment, our creator says he still loves us. Our creator says he’s willing to forgive us. Our creator says he’s willing to restore us back into relationship with himself, even though we could never make that happen ourselves. And how is it that Jesus said that was going to be made possible? The only way was made possible is because Jesus had come to be our substitute. He chose to be crucified on that cross so that the shame we bear he bore upon himself. So, the judgment we deserve for our rebellion against God he took the judgment upon himself on the cross. Notice how just up a few versus we read this glorious truth Ephesians 1:7, “In him (Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace.”. If you my friend, this morning if you would hear this and if you would believe it, trusting in Christ alone. Well, then this will be the gospel of your salvation. This will be the way God will rescue you from your shame and restore you into a relationship with your creator. We urge you this morning hear the words of Jesus. Believe what he says and for all of us who’ve heard for all of us who have believed this good news. See the focus now of this first illustration in Ephesians 1:13 (verbal reading). Now that word “promise”, should stick out to you. I hope if you’ve been here the last two months, we talked about throughout the Old Testament, there was the promise of the coming of the spirit and John the Baptist repeatedly said when the spirit comes and Jesus himself promised, When I go away, it’s for your benefit. I’m going to send the helper or the counselor to be with you. We’ve seen this promise. We saw the fulfillment of it Acts 2, to feast of Pentecost 50 days after the crucifixion, God sent the Holy Spirit to his church to remain with the church. So we understand that whole promised part about the Holy Spirit we’ve also studied, I trust we remember that at the moment of conversion today, any time someone hears and believes, the Holy Spirit is given to that new believer, Holy Spirit comes and lives inside, transforming and causing this new believer to follow after Christ. Again, I trust most of what I just said was revealed because we’ve been covering that in recent weeks. But what’s new here, is this term and this illustration of the Holy Spirit being a seal. I already explained historically how seals worked. They were very common in the first century, so this has just been an illustration that the first readers in Ephesus would have known readily. We just need a bit more explanation since we’re not as familiar with it. While documents were the main thing to receive seals, they weren’t the only thing, ships carrying cargo would receive a seal before they left to verify from whom it was. There were other kinds of seals not made with wax, more like branding livestock were sealed, slaves could be sealed as well, branded. It was a clear and unique way of marking something as belonging to someone or something else and when God gives us his spirit, the illustration that’s first is this. It’s like he’s placing a seal on the life of that individual on that Christian. Likely appointed to perhaps a few different meanings all incorporate with this idea of a seal. First of all, as you’ve already said, a seal was a sign of ownership. It’s a sign of belonging. It’s a sign of identification, maybe to relate, a bit more modern illustration, I think some of you know there are some tribal cultures. There are some urban gangs which used tattoos. It’s a clear marking. This person belongs to our tribe. That person belongs to the enemy gang. That’s a similar idea here, a sign of belonging in, a sign of ownership and yet God’s word says he’s given us something much better than an external marking. We have an internal marking of the spirit. Remember, we read Romans 8:16 (verbal reading). So, with the seal of the spirit, God declares, this one belongs to me. So, a seal is a sign of ownership. A seal also proved that something was authentic or genuine. Some of you perhaps have gone in purchased expensive jewelry and perhaps that jewelry store offers some sort of an official certificate that says these diamonds are genuine. These are authentic jewel we’ve inspected that and verified them. That’s also how a seal worked and so with the Holy Spirit, just as there could be fake jewelry, there could be fake Christians as well. We read throughout the New Testament of fake Christians. Many of us probably know some of who’ve claimed Christ, in the passage of time makes it clear there not a genuine follower of Jesus. And yet what we see in our passages this morning, is the best indicator of true faith in someone’s life is the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is at work, and he’s changing, showing there’s a genuine, authentic faith in this person. Assign also, then, thirdly, see a seal, could be used as a sign of security or a sign of protection, if something had the mark of the king on it, thieves would be more than likely to stay away from that object. Knowing the consequences that might come. A courier might receive a rite of passage if, in an important person has authorized the document that he was carrying, it was a sign of protection or security, again trying to think of maybe a more modern example. Some of you perhaps have permanent residency in Malaysia or Singapore or Australia. You’ve gotten the stamp in your passport, a stamp that says you have these rights and this protection recognized by the government whose issued the seal for you. All of these were aspects of what a seal was in the first century and probably included in this teaching of the Holy Spirit. The seal of the Holy Spirit is a sign of our ownership. We belong to God, a sign of authentic and genuine faith, a sign of the protection and security of our salvation that the spirit gives us and notice back to Ephesians 1:13. We see declare that this is a fact, “In him you also when you heard the word of truth the gospel of your salvation and believed in him were sealed with the promise Holy Spirit.”. This has happened for all true believers. There’s no exception. This is true for all followers of Christ. Do we see? Then what? What an amazing, an encouraging truth. This should be to us as we sit in here. God’s word. This morning you can have assurance of your salvation because God has marked you. He’s given you his spirit and then giving us his spirit of the seal. God says those people are mine. That man belongs to me. That woman is a follower of me. They’re mine. Our salvation is secure and we can know that by looking to the seal the presence of the Holy Spirit and this is such grace of God. We didn’t get saved by our merit. We couldn’t earn our salvation. Jesus earned it for us. And we don’t stay saved by merit. The Holy Spirit keeps us saved. We see this assurance of salvation in the opening illustration of verse 13 and I think we’ll see it even more so in the second illustration in Ephesians 1:14. The second illustration our English translation refers to a “guarantee”. Sometimes it’s helpful just to understand how scriptures were written in another language. New Testament, of course, was written in the ancient Greek language. Sometimes those words that are difficult to translate directly into English. We compare other English translations helps us to kind of understand. With that original word meant you compare several English translations. You’ll see several different ways to interpret this word, which are helpful. I think the English translation we use as a “guarantee”, other translations will use the English word deposit or down payment or pledge. This term is a financial word. It was a well-known term, one that was easily again understood by the first readers of this book and at the concept. I think it’s still pretty clear today because we can make a similar comparison with a down payment. This idea of a guarantee refers to when, when a partial payment is made for something, and after that partial payment has been made. The receiver, the payer of the down payment, then receives full legal claim of that item. He hasn’t paid all of it yet. He’s given the down payment, the deposit, and yet that down payment is a guarantee that all of it belongs to him. now here’s where I think in today’s society, we could understand this. Those of you who are home owners, I would venture to say most of you probably didn’t purchase your home with cash all up front. Most of you probably had to go to a bank and you made a down payment and you took out a loan for the rest of it. But ever since the down payment was made, you are now called the owner of your home. You haven’t paid off the mortgage yet. You’ve just given the deposit, but that deposits a pledge, that you will be paying the full amount and so, the house is considered to be yours. That’s illustration. Here the Holy Spirit is like that down payment. Having said that, it’s a bit more. First century mortgages didn’t exist like they do today, and so we need to understand why our translation uses the word guarantee away that this kind of down payment would have been even more significant in the first century than the 21st century. In the culture of bible times, this first payment, this initial pledge was even seen as a promise. It was seen as I’m giving my word. This is a matter of honor, I guarantee I will complete the payment that I have begun with this initial deposit. Do you see then he beauty of this illustration for the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is God’s promise. He’s God’s guarantee. I’ve already saved you from your sin and I will fully save you in the future. Yes, I know my followers, you still struggle with sin. Yes, I know this physical planet is still plagued with illnesses and you’re going to physically die one day. But an eternal Kingdom coming, God would say and when that day comes, you, your weak bodies, we’re going to be fully glorified. And there’s not going to be any more sin and there’s not going to be any more weakness. There’s not going to be any more death. There’s going to be this eternal blessing of being with God and all this goodness and the spirit already guarantees us we will experience these blessings. We will experience this inheritance. Our Scripture reading this morning makes this same promise. 2 Corinthians 5:1-2, notice how in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul explains this further (verbal reading of 2 Corinthians 5:1-2) He refers to our human bodies as a tent. He says this for we know that if the tents that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. For in this tent, we groan longing to put on our heavenly dwelling 2 Corinthians 5:4-5, “For while we are still in this tent, we groan being burdens-not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed so that what is mortal may be swallowed by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the spirit as a guarantee.”. Do you hear what we’re supposed to grasp from the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life? He’s a promise. He’s a guarantee of eternal blessing for God’s people. Back in our passage is referred to as an inheritance. He is the guarantee the pledge off our inheritance that were a waiting for. And you get this again the idea of being a down payment. We don’t have to wait for heaven to start enjoying this inheritance. We have the deposit right now. Right now, the Holy Spirit is giving us the blessings of Christ. And the blessings we have of Christ right now are just a taste of the ultimate joy and peace and rest that we’re going to have when we obtained the full inheritance. So, the Holy Spirit is both a seal and he’s also a guarantee. Two illustrations that start overlapping and meaning as we consider both of these illustrations. Now back to our scripture reading where we see both of these illustrations used 2 Corinthians 5:21-22, “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us. And who has also put his seal on us and given us his spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”. One more verse, if we go back to Ephesians 4:30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”. We covered the first part of this verse in a previous message about not grieving the spirit. Just notice here again how the spirit is described. We’ve been sealed with him. We’ve been marked for eternity until the completion of our salvation, the completion of our redemption. Now I put redemption in different color on the screen (see slides) to show us this same word is actually back now in our passage. It’s just translated differently, in our English verse, we come back to Ephesians 1:14. He’s the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire same term for redemption over in Ephesians 4:30. Notice I supplied another English translation puts the verse this way until the redemption of God’s possession, perhaps a couple different ways we can understand this final phrase. The 1st one it would be, as we see in the English Standard Version (ESV), that we’re using. This inheritance we have similarly, is the possession that we will acquire the fullness of God’s redemption, when he returns for us, our inheritance will acquire it one day. Or it’s also possible that the possession being referred to being acquired is actually the possession that describes the church, the people of God and God himself. In his final redemption will be acquiring his people to the praise of his glory as he shares the inheritance of Christ with us. Perhaps that’s the more likely meaning as we look at the final phrase of the verse, all of this to the praise of God’s glory. Either way, however, what is clear is there is this inheritance that we’ve already received. The down payment’s been made. We’ve got the certificate of ownership, if you will, that’s certain and it’s going to be completed at the redemption finally of Christ and his return. Meaning this if God’s made the pledge, if God’s made the promise, if he’s given us his spirit as a guarantee that this is going to happen than every follower of Jesus can and should have assurance of your salvation. God has saved you and we’ll keep you saved till the end. But it’s very common, I assure you. It’s very common for probably most Christians, at times, at least to doubt if they’re really safe. It’s very common for Christians to lack, an assurance God says I belong to him, and my eternity is secure in Christ. One reason. I think this is so common is because I think it’s a strategy of Satan. I think one of the strategies of Satan is get Christians to doubt whether or not they’re truly saved, because if we’re doubt in that, it’s going to keep us from a faithful service where we’re seeking to bring others into the kingdom where were seeking to share with others the hope we have in Christ. I think it’s a spiritual battle that many of us fight. But what does Jesus tell us? Truth is, what sets us free. Truth is what sets us free from these lies of Satan that would cause us to doubt whether or not God truly loves us. If we’re truly saved for all eternity and the truth has been so clear in God’s word this morning because we have the Holy Spirit, we can know we’re saved. We can rest in our eternal salvation. We can have assurance that God has forgiven us once for all. He’s given us, the seal, the Holy Spirit declares God’s ownership. We belong to him. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee, promising eternal blessing. I think the meaning of the passage is straightforward. I think most of what we’ve seen this morning is understandable but I’m pretty sure that’s some if not many of us, brothers and sisters. Members of ICMK might be thinking this. I understand what the versus saying, but my question right now is. Do I have this seal? Do I personally have this guarantee in my life? Is it the gospel of my salvation? And that’s a very good question to be asking yourself. Only true Christians have the Holy Spirit. We read this warning back in Romans 8:9, “Anyone who does not have the spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”. Spirit of Christ, one of the many titles for the Holy Spirit, if you don’t have the spirit, you’re not a true follower of Jesus. We’ve talked about this. You can go to church without being in Christ without truly being a follower of Jesus. So, certainly it is wise, listen to God’s word this morning to examine your heart’s condition before God and ask. Am I a true believer? But I also hope that you’ll remember from our study together over the last two months that all followers of Jesus have received the Holy Spirit from the moment of your conversion. Where the spirit led you to repent and believe God’s spirit resides inside each Christian and he’s the seal for all believers. No matter how young you are in your faith, no matter how immature you are in your faith. Still, some of you might say I know That Adam, that doctrine. I’ve heard that, but the question still in my mind this morning is. Do I have the spirit? Is there this seal on my life? Do I have this guarantee? Throughout the sermon series, we have addressed that I hope you remember. We’ve talked about the spirits work of transforming us the fruit of the spirit as my character has changed. That’s evidence that the spirit is at work in my life. But see the one clear evidence in our passage this morning that I hope will help answer the question that some of us have this morning. Reading through again Ephesians 1:13 (verbal reading). So according to this verse, who has the Holy Spirit, who has been sealed by the spirit of God? Those who believed, there’s not two stages of Christian experience. It’s one occurrence as the Holy Spirit shows you Christ and gives faith to you to trust in him and turn to him. The spirit comes into your life and into your heart. Meaning this, if you are believing this morning, if you are trusting in Christ as your savior this morning, that itself is evidence, you’ve been sealed by the Holy Spirit. No one turns from sin and calls Jesus as Lord genuinely, apart from the Holy Spirit work on their heart. So, if you’re believing this morning, if you’re confessing your sins and trust in Christ as your savior, that is evidence you’ve been marked. That is evidence, you have the seal on your life. That is evidence, the Holy Spirit says you belong to God. You don’t need any dramatic experience beyond that to know you’ve received the spirit. I really like this quote from Pastor John Piper, he writes this, “If you want to know that you are a child of God, you don’t put your ear to the Holy Spirit and wait for a whisper. Put your ear to the gospel and your eye to the cross of Christ and you pray that the Holy Spirit would enable you to see it and savor it for what it really is.”. Faith in Christ is evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work in your hearts, be encouraged, brothers and sisters. You wouldn’t say Jesus is Lord, if the Spirit wasn’t present with. So believers in conclusion, rest in this Gospel, hear and believe what God’s word has said to us this morning. Remind yourself daily you’ve got a tattoo. God claims you as his own. Praise him for the gift of this Holy Spirit. Rest in this Gospel, also find hope and what we’ve read this morning find hope when life is really hard and that describes the season of life that many of us are in right now. Find hope, we’ve already received the inheritance in Christ. The spirit is our down payment and the Holy Spirit would be saying to us through the word of God this morning. Keep your eyes on eternity. God is at work in your situation and one day you’re going to have the full inheritance in Christ with hope and then thirdly, based on God’s word this morning, encourage others with what we’ve seen. This morning has already mentioned that there are many Christians who don’t have assurance of their salvation. Many times, we look and we see how we failed. Once again, we see sin in our life and we wondered. Does God really acept me? I trust in Christ, but I still have so much weaknesses. Does God truly love me? Many of us, I would venture to say, even within the membership of ICMK, many of us struggle. Can I know for sure that God has forgiven me? And one of the main ways that we as a church can cared for each other is by continuing to encourage one another with the gospel that we’ve heard this morning. Reminding one another, Jesus has done it all. It’s not up to you to stay saved. We don’t earn God’s love. It’s not up to us to keep God’s love. We need to hear this good news from each other and so church family in our community, groups in our men and in our women studies. Share your burdens with other believers, be honest and admit that you’re not sure you have assurance off salvation. And as you share these struggles, you have found encouragement from brothers and sisters as the church together affirms what Jesus has done for us. As together, we affirm what the Holy Spirit is declaring in our midst. And by the way, let me just say if your only connection with a church is going to a Sunday morning worship service like this hour, you are missing out. You are missing out on a main way that the Holy Spirit gives us assurance of our salvation. He does it through other church members, who know us and love us and pray for us and speak truth into our lives. In Christ, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He’s the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. What a gift the Holy Spirit is to God’s people. Amen.