Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 October 2021 Ephesians 4:30.

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

Oh Friday, are we ever glad to see you, because you are the harbinger of good news – the weekend! And this past week in my area has been so rainy, and if not rainy, then cloudy and grey, like the sun has lost its energy or will to shine. But it’s a good thing that we have the best light ever – Jesus – who shines His marvellous light on our souls, thus we can handle the lack of light on our bodies. So that even when our outsides are clothed in darkness, our insides are filled with joy, and gladness, the everlasting light of life that is Jesus! 

That’s why we shout: ‘The joy of the Lord is our strength!’ And no one can take that from us, though the enemy keeps on trying. Yes friends, once we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and effectively seals us as a child of God, a seal that no man can break. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘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. Which is the earnest (down payment or deposit) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.’ (Eph. 1:13-14) And yes friends, that sounds like it’s very complicated, but it’s not. It simply means that we Gentiles who believed on Christ received the Holy Spirit when we believed, not afterwards. 

The scholars tell us: ‘The sealer is Jesus; the seal is the Holy Spirit. The sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantees the benefits of our salvation, as a person might seal an envelope to guarantee its enclosures. The Holy Spirit as the seal to the believer is also the earnest of our inheritance, that’s a down payment of Christ’s commitment to someday give the believer all other things God has promised. With that seal of the Holy Spirit, God therefore assures the Christian that the realization of the rest of his salvation is forthcoming.’ 

So, once we believe, there’s no need to worry about all the other promises of salvation, because we have the deposit, the down payment of salvation dwelling with us, within us, and by our side! Glory Hallelujah! Now why would I refuse to accept such a wonderful invitation to come into Christ’s marvellous body, His church eh? No reason whatsoever! 

And there are a couple of other verses that talk about the sealing of the Holy Spirit. Bruh Paul also mentions it in that beautiful fourth chapter of Ephesians where he discusses the new life in Christ that believers ought to adopt. Things like putting on the new man, being renewed in the spirit of our minds, not lying, not being angry, and not letting the sun go down upon our anger. Not using foul language, but words that are edifying to our listeners. Then He says: ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30). 

Yes mih bredrin, we do grieve the Holy Spirit when we abuse our fellow men with foul language. It’s like James said of the tongue: ‘Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude (likeness or image) of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter. Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.’ (James 3:9-12) 

Oh my people, that’s ever so true! We bless God and curse those made in His likeness with the same tongue. It ought not to be that way, because then we grieve the Holy Spirit. And the last scripture about sealed by the Holy Spirit, comes from the second epistle of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, where he reassures them of the promises of God and his confidence in them. ‘Now he which stablisheth (established) us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us is God. Who hath sealed us, and given the earnest (down payment) of the Spirit in our hearts.’ (2 Cor. 1:21-22) What reassurance for the believer! 

And the scholars explain that ‘The sealing of the Holy Spirit has a threefold significance in the New Testament. (1) to indicate ownership; (2) to indicate genuineness; (3) to preserve and keep safe (cf. Eph. 4:40; 2 Tim. 2:19; Rev. 7:2-3) This last idea is amplified with the earnest of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit Himself is the down payment or pledge, of redemption. The indwelling Spirit is the surety and the “security” of all that is to follow in the final salvation of the believer (cf. Rom. 8:9-11, 23; 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:14).’ 

Oh saints in Christ, what more or better assurance can we have, or do we need to put all our trust in Christ Jesus eh? None whatsoever! Christ not only died for us, He also pledged the Holy Spirit, the best deposit or down payment we can ever have as a promise of our salvation! 

Now being thus reassured of Christ’s promise, let’s do what we are advised to do nuh; go boldly to the throne of grace with our problems, to seek help in this time of great need. So as one strong, confident, but humble voice, let’s declare our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And I should not have to remind us, but I will, (smile) that all of what we asked for, depends on our repentant behaviour and the true motives of our hearts. Much LOVE!

…the best guarantee ever…the Holy Spirit…on Christ’s promise of salvation…                                                                                                       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2015 Ephesians 4:30‏

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

And a fine good morning to you all, my Scrip-Bit Family! And it is indeed a fine day to be alive, since new, unexpected blessings and mercies are in the offing! May the God, our God of peace and LOVE bless us all this Tuesday morning as we go about doing His holy will. 

And since today is Tuesday, I guess that calls for us to recite our Tuesday Mantra. So in one strong and sincere voice let’s affirm this wonderful affirmation. (smile) 

‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to hurry. I don’t have to worry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, the most important aspect of our lives is that we are children of the Most High God Jehovah! That’s the telling characteristic that defines us!  What we do and what we have are immaterial and unimportant when matched up with the fact that we are God’s children. Please remember that. 

And to corroborate what we just said about Jesus being our Friend, listen to this poem from Gramps Schuller’s  (Dr. Robert A Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t know if I have ever shared it before, but it certainly is very apropos for today. So please pray this prayer with me titled ‘What a Friend!’ 

‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’ 

Oh my people, my people, that is gospel truth! I can testify to it, as many of you can, because in the darkest, roughest and loneliest hours of our lives, our ever-faithful Friend, Jesus, is ALWAYS there with us, and helps us to come through those unnerving times. Glory Hallelujah! 

NO ONE else is ever ALWAYS with us! And for that reason we ought to feel safe and comforted in each and every circumstance and be able to fulfill the words of our Bit. ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s something we should always try to do, because it shows a lack of trust and character on our part. The Holy Spirit indwells us to lead and guide us aright, on the straight and narrow path that leads to God. So if we continually grieve Him, then we’re showing a terrible lack of integrity, of morality and goodness of character. 

And how do we grieve the Holy Spirit? Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Ephesians. ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. 

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:25-32)  

Now that’s how we grieve not the Holy Spirit my brethren! Basically by letting go of all our past behaviour and putting on the new man that’s in Christ. As we keep saying, it’s not always easy to give up our former habits and friendships, but with God’s ever-present help, we certainly can move along that long and challenging continuum of maturity in Christ Jesus. 

Now here are some more detailed explanations from the scholars. ‘4:25-5:2. This section gives practical guidelines as to how “the old man” (v.22) can be laid aside and how “the new man” (v.24) can be assumed in daily living. The passage specifies five sins to be discarded, the virtues that are to replace them, and the motive for such an exchange: 

(1) Lying is to be replaced by truth-telling, since Christians are fellow members (v.25). (2) Sinful anger is to be replaced by (briefly held) righteous indignation, that the devil may not be given opportunity (vv.26-27). (3) Theft is to be replaced by honest work, in order that one may have the means to meet the needs of others, (v.28). 

(4) Foul language is to be replaced by gracious speech, that it may edify others (v.28) and not grieve the Spirit (vv.29-30). (5) Resentment and wrath are to give way to kindness and forgiveness, since God has forgiven us (vv.31-32).’ 

And there we have it in spades Friends; how not to grieve the Holy Spirit! So please, today let’s ponder all what we’ve read and, obviously with God’s help, try to improve our individual situations, re the grieving of the Holy Spirit, for that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…what a Friend we have in Jesus…all our sins and griefs to bear…what a privilege to carry…everything to God in prayer… 

P.S. You’ll notice that the font is slightly bigger, that’s because one reader complained that it was too small for her deteriorating eyes. I wanted to tell her, well just go and get some glasses nuh. (smile) But that would have been rude and unmannerly, and we pride ourselves on not being that way. Hope it helps some others with the same problem.(smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2015 Ephesians 4:30

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

Arise! Arise my people! Arise and let us go forth into the wicked, godless world that surrounds us. It’s Monday morning, that means it’s the beginning of a new workweek and our free paper has been burnt. Glory Hallelujah! (smile) 

And with the burning of our free paper we have to get ourselves together and go out and work so that we can eat, buy clothes and have a roof over our heads. And while we are earning a living, we must also be furthering the kingdom of God through our witness, both spoken word and physical behaviour. That is the task that is set before us this chilly Monday morning in early October. 

Now let’s stop the foolish complaining, and throw of the miserableness, and simply do what we need to do; go out and join Jesus in battle; go out and do good like Jesus did. And since not all of us are quite awake and with it as yet, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get our motors running and our adrenalin pumping. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah Friends, that rendition of our famous Battle Hymn was not very moving or enlivening at all! You could see that our choirmaster, Jesus wasn’t too thrilled, because there was no enthusiasm, no brashness, no get up and go, no joie de vivre, nothing to truly light one’s fire. But hopefully we’re up and about now, our motors are running, or rather sputtering, until we imbibe that first jolt of our morning caffeine. (smile) 

Oh my brethren, if we are in such a sad state, then how can we go out into the cruel and evil world and adhere to Bruh Paul’s admonition in our Bit eh? ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ It’s very difficult to do under the best of circumstances, much less when we are somewhat under the weather, not at our finest.

That’s why we keep encouraging us to make Sunday a warm up day for Monday, so we can go back to work rejuvenated and refreshed – emotionally, spiritually and physically, and truly live the new life in Christ. 

And what is this new life in Christ, you ask? Well Bruh Paul spells it out thus for the Ephesians and also for us. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph.4:22-24)  

And what does all of that mean? Here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘4:22-24. Christianity taught the addressees to (1) put off…the old man, to renounce their pre-conversion life and sins; (2) be renewed in…your mind, to be constantly changed, being brought more and more into line with God’s own viewpoint; and (3) put on the new man, that is, to assume a new nature (character) and conduct (life) at conversion.’ 

Yes Friends, when we come to walk seriously with Jesus, we need to throw out all the old, sinful trash that was in our lives before; stop going to certain places and doing certain things with certain people, which will prevent us from being all that Jesus expects us to be. 

We’ve just got to scrap our old way of life and become a new person in Christ. Now that doesn’t happen overnight, or come easily, for there will be tests and trials and tribulations still in our lives, ostensibly to test our faith. So please understand that becoming a new person in Jesus is not all wine, roses and song. (smile) 

But with the Holy Spirit of God living within you and leading and guiding you, it is indeed possible for you to slowly move from glory to glory, and thus understand what the new man is all about. Again, it all depends on the individual’s willingness to learn; to read and study God’s Word and to put that word into practice. 

Unfortunately, that character trait seems to be sadly lacking in us Christians today. We talk about God, intimating that we’ve put on the new man, but in reality we live like the world, like we used to live before, with the old ways taking precedence over the new ways of God. 

Now that obviously grieves the Holy Spirit; in fact the entire God-head, the Holy Trinity which also includes the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. 

It’s just like our earthly bosses are displeased when we claim to do what we ought, but have actually done the opposite. And there can be serious repercussions for such lies and deceit. Likewise, there are repercussions when we are not obedient to God’s will. 

So Friends, let’s all wake up and smell the coffee, (smile) and get ourselves together this Monday morning, so that we won’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Now that is true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…like Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says…the best way to live this life…is to simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to him…