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APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot

who is a down payment of our inheritance for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:14)

Who is a down payment of our inheritance. The Greek word used here (ἀρραβών arrabōn) from the Hebrew (עֵרָבוֹן erabon)  means a partial payment made at the time of purchase, with the balance to be paid later. It is a first installment, a deposit that guarantees a sure down payment, a pledge. (2Co 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:14) In the NT, arrabōn is used only figuratively in referring to the Holy Spirit as the pledge or guarantee of the blessings promised by God, the ‘first installment, down payment, pledge, guarantee.’[1]  In the Septuagint and Hebrew, the word occurs in Gen. 38:17-18; Gen. 38:20. In the New Testament, it occurs only in 2Co 5:5 and Eph 1:14, which applies to the Holy Spirit’s effect on the heart. It refers to those effects as a promise of the glories that await Christians in heaven. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians says, “There may be some complications involved in the statement the Spirit is the guarantee, for literally it is not the Holy Spirit which guarantees that we shall receive what God has promised, but it is the fact that we possess the Spirit.”[2]

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For the redemption. The ransom is a price that covers to satisfy justice, while redemption (ἐξαγοράζω exagorazo) underscores the release achieved due to the ransom paid. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words tells us that exagorazo is “a strengthened form of agorazo, “to buy,” denotes “to buy out” (ex for ek), especially of purchasing a slave with a view to his freedom.”[3] The redemption or releasing of sins in the Hebrew Old Testament gives us the basis for understanding the ransom given for humankind through God’s Son, Christ Jesus.

Young Christians

The rebellion in the Garden of Eden brought about mankind’s need for the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Adam willfully chose in his human perfection to reject the sovereignty of God to continue his relationship with Eve, in essence, selling himself to Satan. He was then a transgressor, so he had condemned standing before God and facing eternal destruction. In this one act, he sentenced himself and his descendants to slavery to sin, and death, the price God said he would pay for not obeying the one command laid upon the human family, “for in the day that you eat of it [tree of the knowledge] you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12-19; Cf. Rom. 7:14-25) Adam had forfeited human perfection for himself and all who would come after him.

The Epistle to the Hebrews PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

God’s perfect justice required ‘soul for a soul.’ (Ex 21:23-25; De 19:21) The preciseness of God’s justice saw that man himself could not provide his redeemer. (Ps 49:6-9) However, this evidenced his mercy in that he stayed with his own requirements at a tremendous cost to himself. Yes, he gave the life of his Son to deliver the redemption price. (Ro 5:6-8) In order to accomplish this, the Son needed to become a perfect human in order to correspond to the perfect Adam. God did this by placing the life of his Son in the womb of the Jewish virgin Mary. – Lu 1:26-37; John 1:14.

Of the possession. The Greek word (περιποίησις peripoiēsis) refers to the act of gaining possession of something, especially in a secure permanent manner, that which is acquired, presumably with considerable effort. Here it means that the believers are completely delivered from sin, and the salvation hope acquired for them by Christ. The effect of the Holy Spirit, renewing and sanctifying them, uplifting, and reassuring them in times of difficulty, and supporting us in conditions that are beyond our strength, is the solemn promise that the redemption is yet to be absolutely theirs.

PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

To the praise of his glory. The expression here To the praise (ἔπαινος epainos) is an exhortation, an obligation. Many times the Hebrew term (כָּבוֹד kabod) is a manifestation of power and glory to his people (Ex 16:7; Nu 14:22); his glorious presence, formally, glory. (Ex 29:43; 1Sa 4:21) And the Greek term (δόξα doxa) rendered glory also refers to the manifestation of God’s saving presence and his redemptive power with his people.

[1] It is possible that in the NT arrabōn has already been generalized in meaning and thus signifies simply ‘that which guarantees.’

[2] Robert G. Bratcher and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993), 25.

[3] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 515.

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