Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 1

The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of Godís promises

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

God has made his promise; Christ has fulfilled (carried out) the promise, and we must accept it* Then something else happens.

Some Christians in Corinth had thought that they received the complete benefit of all Godís promises at once*. They were wrong. Most of Godís promises are for the future age, after Christís return*.

What God gives to Christians immediately is not the benefit of these promises but the guarantee, or proof, of them. That guarantee is Godís Holy Spirit, who is working in the life of every Christian.

That is not the kind of proof that convinces the human mind*. It is more like the legal proof of something. When people sign a cheque or a contract, nothing may seem to happen immediately. However, the law considers that payment or that agreement to be certain. Whatever they have agreed must happen at the proper time in the future. So, Godís Holy Spirit proves that a person has the benefit of Godís promises.

Paul describes the Holy Spiritís work in 4 different ways here. Each time, he emphasises that God has done this for his people.

(1) By means of the Holy Spirit, God establishes his people in their relationship with Christ. In other words, he gives them a strong relationship with Christ.

(2) God anoints his people with the Holy Spirit. To Ďanointí means to Ďcoverí; it was the custom to anoint Israelís kings and priest with oil, to separate them for their special work for God.

(3) God seals (or marks) his people with the Holy Spirit*. The purpose of the mark is to show that they belong to him.

(4) God places his Holy Spirit inside them, as a guarantee that they will receive the benefit of his promises.

Next part: The nature of a church leaderís authority (1:23-24)


* See complete article for these Bible references.

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© 2016, Keith Simons.