When we think of gifts, it’s almost an instant reaction to think about the gifts of the Spirit. But I would argue that the promised gifts from God listed in 2 Corinthians 1:21 are more meaningful, and are also eternal.
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.
In the sentence above, we have 4 promises given to us from the Father. We’re going to break them down and take a good look at each of them.
We’ve been Established in Christ by the Father
This is a truth that we tend to forget. Yes, Jesus did all that he did in obedience to the Father, opening the door for salvation through himself to become a reality.
But as the scripture above says, “He who stablisheth us with you in Christ”- “He” that is being mentioned is the Father.
It’s the Father who has established us in Christ Jesus.
Even further, he has established us together in Christ. You and I are spiritually knit together as members of one body- the Body of Christ.
Romans 12: King James Bible
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Jesus is so important, and so crucial to know and understand. In him is the very nature of God Almighty! Because we understand how important Jesus is, I think at times, we mistakenly remove emphasis off of the Father.
John 15: King James Bible
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
The God of the Old Testament is still God of the New
As we read the New Testament, we have the privilege to get to know Jesus through every book. Because of this, we lose focus of how deeply involved our Heavenly Father remains in our lives.
As we find out in the study into 2 Corinthians 1 part 9, Jesus is the promises of the Lord fulfilled. Jesus is the Amen. All that the Old Testament had been building up to concerning him, had been fulfilled in him.
But what we should never lose focus on the Father’s involvement:
- It’s the Father who sent him.
- It’s the Father who led him.
- It’s the Father who made the sacrifice in order to wash away our sin for all time.
- It’s the Father who fulfilled the promises through Christ Jesus, his only begotten Son.
- It’s the Father who establishes each and every one of us who have called upon the name of Christ for salvation, in Christ Jesus.
Sent, led, made, fulfilled, and establishes, are all emboldened to show that these are action words, revealing just a small portion of the Lord’s involvement concerning our salvation.
The Father is by no means asleep!
The Father is Involved
He is just as involved in our “post” salvation lives as he ever was getting us there. We’re saved and washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb, but it was the will of the Lord to make it so, and it is by his hand that the course of history led up to the fulfillment of his promises in Christ Jesus.
John 5: King James Bible
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
The Lord God has Anointed Us
It is by the Father that we are anointed, consecrated, set apart, hallowed, dedicated, observed as holy, honored, and kept sacred. He uses Christ Jesus and the Holy Ghost as a means by which he translates these things toward us, but it’s his doing.
James 1: King James Bible
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Anointing of the Holy Ghost
We refer to the anointing of the Holy Ghost all the time. And it’s true; through the Holy Ghost, we receive a variety of different things that we would categorize as anointing. These are the type that work through us, and in most cases benefit others.
The anointing that Paul is talking about in verse 21, isn’t a kind that heals the sick, raises the dead, speak in tongues, or any of the others that we identify with the anointing of the Holy Ghost.
A Personal Gift Promised by the Lord
This anointing is far more personal than others. This anointing is the Lord setting you apart from everyone else. This anointing is a gift that makes you even more unique than you’ve ever been.
1 John 2: King James Bible
27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
This anointing is handed to you by God Almighty, making you holy, because he is holy. This anointing doesn’t come and go as situations arise like the gifts of the Spirit, but is ever there, always at 100%, never wavering, and eternal.
When you’ve received salvation in Christ Jesus, the Father gives out an anointing over your life that is different than that which belongs to anyone else. We often consider our being set apart from this world, and being cut loose from it’s inevitable fate.
But so often the cares of this world tend to influence our focus away from these things.
From the Hand of God
Be they the gifts listed in the verse above, or the gifts of the Holy Ghost, all of these things trickle down from the Father to us, through the Holy Ghost. After all, it is the Spirit of the Lord God himself.
All these things come directly from the Father, and 2 Corinthians 1:21 makes it clear where anointing comes from. This is a gift to us handed over from the Lord to the Holy Ghost, transferred to us through Christ.
Our Relationship with the Lord
Here are some graphics to help you to visualize the structure of our relationship with the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. The images you’ll see are the result of a revelation that was given to me by the Lord many years ago concerning how this all works.
I believe that after you gain a full understanding of our relationship with the Godhead, all kinds of blessings will open up in your heart.
As we grow in understanding these promised gifts from God, it’s every bit as important to place our Heavenly Father in the right perspective. I don’t mean remove any importance off of Jesus, or to remove any importance off of the Holy Ghost.
But rather, avoid removing the importance from the Father.
John 16: King James Bible
26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
We have been Sealed by the Lord
This is a gift that deserves to be understood. What does it mean for us to be sealed by the Lord?
This is a promised gift that we take by faith, because it isn’t something that we can see or touch, as it is a spiritual seal. However, I believe that spiritually, it shines like a beacon for all spiritual eyes to see.
We are Known by this Seal
When I say spiritual eyes, I’m talking angels, demons, and any other thing that we’re not aware of that dwells in a spiritual form rather than both spiritual and flesh and bone like we do.
To me, this is a practical gift. A blessing for sure, but also a promised gift that has its own function.
This seal does the following:
- It will activate the transformation from our old bodies to the new.
- It is a visible display upon our spiritual bodies displaying our authority in Christ.
- It is evidence of our citizenry of the Kingdom of Heaven.
- A homing beacon of sorts (best way I can think of it) to get us directly to the pearly gates when we go by way of the grave.
Ephesians 1: King James Bible
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 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.
We are already marked with a particular seal, given to us directly from the Lord. But there will be others that will bear a different seal.
The Seal in Revelation
Revelation 7: King James Bible
1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
There will be 144,000 Israelites that will also be sealed by the Lord. (This is where I grabbed some of the items in the list above.) This is going to be a different seal I believe, because they are going to be answering a very different calling than today’s Christian.
Our Creator Put the Earnest of the Spirit in our Hearts
Well alright then… What is the earnest of the Spirit, and why is this such a great gift?
I would say that Paul spells it out for us later on in 2 Corinthians 7, where he points out that the the Spirit of the Lord is given to us as the earnest of our inheritance.
The Seal and Earnest are not Synonymous
The earnest of the Spirit is much different than the seal given to us by the Lord, though they seems similar in one area. It serves as a reminder to us, that though we’re physically absent from the Lord, we’ve been given a deposit of a portion of what is to come one day.
We’ve been sealed by the Father through the Holy Ghost, and as a deposit of the fulfillment of the promises to come, is a measure of his Spirit as the earnest.
He Gives us a Piece of Himself
This portion that has been given in advance, is to hold us over till we arrive at our final destination- Heaven itself. As the seal makes it happen, the earnest of the Spirit is a taste of what’s going to happen. Both of which are sent by the Father and delivered by the Holy Ghost.
This earnest is a pledge by the Father to fulfill all that he has promised. With this in our hearts, we have hope toward this end no matter what life is trying to throw at us.
We’re given a portion of the Spirit of the Living God, which Christ Jesus enjoyed without measure while he walked the earth. He is our connection to the Father, only made possible through Christ.
To Sum it Up
What a verse! What an awesome God we serve!
If I were to sum up the entirety of this part of the 2 Corinthians 1 Study, I’d say the following:
Be still and know that God is God. He has given us things that we’re not even aware of, nor boasts about all that he’s given.
Place him in his rightful perspective in your heart, as he cares for you more than you’ll ever know, until the day you’ll stand before him and all will be revealed. Remember these four promised gifts, and know that they are not earned by any other means, save through salvation.
You can earn a wage or rewards, but gifts cost much and are freely given. Remember these gifts.
I hope that you are enjoying these studies into the book of 2 Corinthians! As you can see, it can be quite productive taking a look at a verse, and chewing on it for awhile. The Lord has prepared a banquet for us in 2 Corinthians, that’s for sure!
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Thanks for checking in and checking out “4 Promised Gifts from God – 2 Corinthians 1 Part 10.”