2 Corinthians 1:22-23

2 Corinthians 1:22-23

21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:22-23 NIV

21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and Who has also put His seal on us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
2 Corinthians 1:22-23 ESV

21 Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
2 Corinthians 1:22-23 KJV

I have given three different versions of the verses for today so we can see a common meaning arising out of them.

  • set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come NIV
  • Who has also put His seal on us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee ESV
  • Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts KJV

In the NIV the Spirit in placed in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. In the ESV the Spirit in our hearts is the guarantee, while in the KJV we have the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. So, how does earnest fit in with as a deposit or as a guarantee? Well, it turns out the Greek word for earnest (arrhabon) is originally a Hebrew word from a verb with the use here of its definition ‘to pledge’. Later is was shortened in Roman law to ‘arrha’ with the meaning of a payment of a small sum given on the completion of a bargain as a pledge that the payer would complete or execute a contract. Today, we call that ‘earnest money’ especially in real estate transactions. With this in mind the KJV could become the following in the NKJV

21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
2 Corinthians 1:22-23 NKJV

While other versions replaced earnest with pledge.

So what was guaranteed or what is to come per the NIV? First of all we have the fruits of the Spirit love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23a). However, more importantly

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:13-14

Our inheritance was guaranteed, our home in Heaven with Jesus. In His own words in John 14

2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may also be where I am.
John 14:2-3

What a wonderful thing, our hearts have a pledge from God about our future, a guarantee from God. What more could we ask for? What more could we want? It is a Free Gift of Grace and all we did was accept it. That’s worth going to church this weekend and celebrating as we approach the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.