Ephesians 1:13-14, we see a three-fold role of the Holy Spirit in assuring the Christian of God’s gift of salvation. First, He is the “promise,” that is, God promises to give Him to everyone who repents and believes. Second, He is God’s ‘seal,’ that is, His mark of ownership and of authenticity. And then thirdly, the Spirit is the earnest, which God gives to His children, guaranteeing their safe passage into eternity. The Greek word, arrabon, has come to mean, “an engagement ring,” in modern Greek; however, in ancient times it was a trader’s word signifying the first installment or deposit – the portion of the purchase price paid in advance which guarantees full payment. While an engagement ring promises marriage, but is not itself part of the marriage, the arrabon, or deposit, is more than a guarantee – it is part of the actual payment itself. So by giving us His Holy Spirit, God is not merely promising a final inheritance, but is actually giving us a foretaste of it! What a joy it is to know that because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, eternal life is something which we possess a share in today.
The Scripture makes it abundantly clear that he who believes in the Son has eternal life (Jn 3:16, 36, 5:24, 6:47, 1 Jn 5:10-11). Salvation, while something that is to be consummated in the future, is something we possess today, based upon faith alone in Christ alone. The gift of salvation, as all of God’s gifts, are given to us, without repentance (Ro 11:29). God assures the Christian disciple of His preserving grace, many times in the Scripture and in many ways.