Each Person of the Trinity is a distinct personality, and although they’re one in essence, they each have a different part to play in our salvation. Yesterday we looked at what the Father did in eternity past: He chose us in his Son in accordance with his pleasure and will to be holy, blameless, and adopted. Today we’re going to examine what this glorious passage has to say about the Son’s and the Spirit’s part in all this.
The Father sent the Son to earth, and everything the Son did was in full conformity to the Father’s will and in the full authority of the One who sent him. The Gospel according to John in particular focuses on this truth: Jesus even went so far as to say “I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”
So the Son’s main purpose on earth, at rock bottom, was to fulfill his Father’s plan and will. The Son loves us with an everlasting love, but that’s not the #1 reason why he came and died. The Father planned out how we were going to be saved, chose to set his love upon us, and (in some sense) planned out each person’s individual salvation--If you have a problem with that last part, I have to point you to Romans 8:29-30. But every aspect of the Father’s plan for us was carried out by the Son—“his good pleasure was “purposed in Christ” (vs. 8). All of the blessings of God are mediated down to us through the Son. The Father’s grace was given to us through Christ (vs. 6).
And of course the really hard part was “redemption.” The English word “redemption” means to “buy back” something or someone. To buy something means a price has to be paid. In this case, that price was the very blood of Christ (vs. 7). This enabled the Father to forgive us once and for all and forever.
That brings us to the Spirit’s part in all this. The Father sent the Son, and the Son said that when he returned to the Father, both the Father and he (Jesus) would send the Spirit to back to us. Among the many works the Spirit does is that he marks us with a seal. According to MacArthur, “The sealing of which Paul speaks refers to an official mark of identification placed on a letter, contract, or other document. That document was thereby officially under the authority of the person whose stamp was on the seal. Four primary truths are signified by the seal: 1) security (cf. Da 6:17; Mt 27:62-66); 2) authenticity (cf. 1Ki 21:6-16); 3) ownership (cf. Jer. 32:10); and 4) authority (cf. Esther 8:8-12). The Holy Spirit is given by God as His pledge of the believer's future inheritance in glory (cf. 2 Cor. 1:21).”
There’s one more aspect of this that we need to consider here, namely the end of all this. What’s the “end game” here? It’s both complex and simple at the same time: “to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” Everything and everyone in heaven and on earth will be brought to unity under Christ’s feet. In a sense, the Father has already placed all things under his feet, but all the universe will one day get to see it up close and personal. One day every individual person (angel, demon or human) who’s ever existed will bow the knee at the name of Jesus and acknowledge him as Lord of all, to the glory of God the Father. Paul’s phrase in vs.10 which is translated in the NIV as “unity. . .under” was often used as an accounting term, referring to adding up a column of figures, similar to a bank ledger or a check book register. In life, things often don’t “add up,” so to speak. We see chaos and injustice and lots of things which make no sense. But there will come a day when that won’t be true any longer. Everything and everyone will be united in submission to the Son, who will then hand it all over to the Father.
So it all started with the Father, and it all comes round full circle back to him. And what’s my part in all this? Once again, my raison d'être is to glorify and honor and bring praise to my Savior God. But the more I understand about my salvation, the better I can do this.
There’s plenty to mediate upon today. Pick some glorious truth we talked about, and focus your thoughts on that for a while. Thank and praise him for it.