The Down Payment
The Down Payment
Words of Faith 9-29-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
2 Corinthians 5
 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Okay. So we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. We may go through difficulties and even groan in longing to be with the Lord and swallowed up by life. But how can we be sure of all this? Is this just some pipe dream? A mind trick? Paul tells us. We can be sure of all this because the Lord had paid down a deposit, a down payment.
We are familiar with deposits and down payments. Many purchases start with a down payment. A down payment obligates a buyer to finish the purchase or forfeit the deposit. We may call it "earnest money" because it shows a genuine interest beyond just talk. In fact, we often will make that kind of a deposit on the purchase of a house or car or piece of property.
That is exactly what the Greek word here describes, a deposit that is non-refundable. In Greek life such a down payment was an amount costly enough to "guarantee" that the purchaser would return to conclude the contract and pay the remaining balance. That is exactly what God has did in the giving of His Spirit. He left His Spirit with us as a deposit, a down payment, a guarantee.
We are also familiar with a "damage deposit". When renting a house, apartment, equipment or car, we often are required to put down a damage deposit. This deposit is a little different because it guarantees that one will put things in order or repair any damage to the satisfaction of the other party. We can apply the Greek in a similar way because, although the Lord has never ever damaged us, He has left His Spirit as a damage deposit, a guarantee that repairs and restoration are being made. That is really good news.
God made us for the very purpose of belonging to Him and He has left this deposit to guarantee His return at which time He will conclude the transaction. In the meantime, He also guarantees His personal work to heal, repair and restore any damage that has occurred. That deposit is His Spirit.
Since the Spirit of God is Himself, He has left something more valuable than anything. For us it would be like pledging your self, your very being, the obligation of your life. The Lord must return because He cannot forfeit such a deposit. He cannot forfeit Himself. Yes. It is guaranteed. He is coming back for us because He lives in us.
Paul began this letter by saying that God has "set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (1:22). The Spirit of God is a comfort and strength for us but He is also the surety bond and absolute guarantee of His return.
In the life of each Christian, God has begun the transforming process that will one day culminate in possessing a heavenly body and perfect Christlikeness. The surety of that consummation is the Holy Spirit, whose presence and transforming work forms the beginning and is guaranteeing the completion of God's gracious salvation.
The down payment is at work in us. The Spirit on deposit is shaping us and preparing us. The surety bond is molding us into who God wants us to be.
Father God, mold me and shape me today as I await Your return for me. Make me into a Christlike image that reflects You every day. In Jesus' Name.