What an opening section this has been to Ephesians! Paul has, in one huge sentence, laid out some foundational Christian truths. If you haven’t read the previous days’ pieces, you can do so here.
Today in vv.13-14 Paul says, clearly, that all are welcome in Christ:
“…when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.”
Having addressed his Jewish audience in v.12 (we) Paul now includes his Gentile audience in v.13:
“…when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit…”
All are welcome in Christ, both Jew and Gentile.
No matter our national origin or religious upbringing (if we even had one or not), all are welcome in Christ.
No matter who we are or where we are from, no matter the route we take to [believing] in Christ, we all receive the seal of the promised Holy Spirt.
This, Paul says, is the down payment of our inheritance. We are sealed and indwelt by the Spirit of God until a time comes when we are [redeemed as] God’s own possession (Revelation 20.4, 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18).
For you and for me this means that no matter who we are and no matter where we are from, faith in Jesus is all it takes to receive the down payment of the Holy Spirit, to be born again as a new creation, to have sins forgiven, and to be redeemed as God’s own possession. Simply, all are welcome in Christ and all have the opportunity to live life as it was designed to be lived. Faith in Jesus is all it takes, and that faith is the same regardless of who or what we were before.