18th July, 2012
Have you ever eaten truffles?
Several years ago my wife and I tried a new restaurant where we were served a free sample of truffles as an appetiser.
A FORETASTE: Just as a taste of truffles (above) had Lloyd Harkness wanting more, so too does Jesus Christ offer us a foretaste of what's to come. PICTURE: © Luca Manieri/istockphoto.com
"It is Jesus’ equipping of His followers with the Holy Spirit ‘in you’ which Paul says is a foretaste, a foretaste of what is on offer beyond the grave."
Mmmmmmmmm. Yes, they are yum. I now know why pigs get excited when they find them.
We had been invited into the heavenly succour of ‘truffledom’.
Obviously the restaurant wanted us back and they wanted us to buy truffles when we returned.
Jesus played the restaurateur to His followers in that He too offered a foretaste, a savouring, a morsel of what will come.
He did this after His ascension but prior to that He told His disciples when He went He would send the Holy Spirit to dwell richly in their lives. The Holy Spirit would be a counsellor who resides ‘in you’. As a counsellor the Holy Spirit would speak in a twofold manner. He would teach – there were new things to be grasped and lived out as followers of Jesus. He would remind - things said and done would be brought back, made clearer and applicable in following Jesus in the now.
The Holy Spirit was Jesus’ equipping for His followers when He was gone to the Father. After Jesus rose he entered the locked upper room and gave His disciples four things to equip them: 1. Peace; 2. The mission of being sent out in His name; 3. The Holy Spirit; and, 4. The ministry of forgiveness which is the Gospel of God’s grace through Jesus.
It is Jesus’ equipping of His followers with the Holy Spirit ‘in you’ which Paul says is a foretaste, a foretaste of what is on offer beyond the grave.
The Holy Spirit is God’s part payment, or first instalment, given as a guarantee the rest will come. Paul is speaking about the inheritance of believers and assuring people the Holy Spirit is but the foretaste.
This is a sealed deal. God set up the contract of grace. When we accept the contract He gives us the Holy Spirit as a deposit on all that grace will open up to us.
In a business sense, this means Jesus’ followers have received a down-payment on a job to be done. If, for example, you were to employ musicians for a family wedding, the band would be paid an advance and receive their payment in full after the wedding. A simple written contract would ensure the obligations of both parties are met and the deal is agreeable to all concerned. If for some reason the wedding fell through then the deposit would be lost.
The book of Revelation tells us there will be a wedding. The bride and groom will be ready. God is not going to cancel the date or the event. The musicians will be there and they will be paid in full.
There is a job to be done. The job involves handing over our lives daily to Christ and walking with the Holy Spirit as teacher and reminder.
The NIV footnote for II Corinthians 1:22 says the single Greek word arrabon is translated into English as "a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" because its definition "justifies the expansion". The Holy Spirit, as a deposit, has been placed in our hearts.
God’s will is unchanging. He does not waver or waffle. His yes is yes and His no is no and he "has stamped us with his eternal pledge" (The Message), the Holy Spirit.
Followers of Jesus have the guarantee, the deposit, the earnest pledge, and the foretaste of resurrection life in the presence of the Holy Spirit with them each day. There is a groaning for mortality to be swallowed up by life, a groaning to be housed in the eternity of God. And God has wet our appetites or put "a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less" (The Message).
"The Holy Spirit is the 'deposit guaranteeing our inheritance' (NIV). He is a deposit who will continue to be given until all who are to be redeemed are God’s possession."
The Holy Spirit is the "deposit guaranteeing our inheritance" (NIV). He is a deposit who will continue to be given until all who are to be redeemed are God’s possession. Now is God’s time frame for depositing and the next time frame will be for inheriting a full and glorious life with Him. This is a signed, sealed and delivered given.
One distortion regarding the Holy Spirit is linked into perfectionism. The Holy Spirit in a follower’s life does not produce the fruit of spiritual arrogance or cockiness. No-one has a 100 per cent accuracy rate on hearing and being empowered by God’s voice in their life. People remain imperfect in their discernment and interpretation, and in their accumulated knowledge and understanding.
This said the Holy Spirit remains the bringer of truth and the one who enables people to see the truth. He is a foretaste.
Every time a follower receives from the Holy Spirit they are receiving a pledge of what is to come beyond the present.
The fruit the Holy Spirit can produce in our lives is a down payment on the life still to be lived fully.
Today’s joy will become perfect joy in heaven. Today’s love will become perfect love in heaven. Today’s peace will become perfect peace in heaven.
God knows mankind intimately and the Holy Spirit has been given so mortal man might know Him.
Christ’s followers are headed for a place of no more sorrow or sadness where the arrobon of the Holy Spirit at work in fallen flesh will move from foretaste to feast.
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