In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. [emphasis added]
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:11-23
In 1953 my parents opened the David Louis Motel in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Boasting a total of 5 rooms they soon found themselves needing to add more rooms, until – 17 addition projects later – they had 42 rooms, a swimming pool and restaurant on the property. Back in those days you didn’t need a guaranteed reservation. We knew many of our customers, from Mr. Daily (room 4) to the railroad crew “regulars” who stayed with us. And if they needed to cancel, we would allow it, no questions asked. We didn’t have many no-shows in those early days. My family no longer owns or runs the Sands Motel.
How the times have changed! Reserve a room today and you will provide your credit card number as an assurance that you will show up. If you cancel too late you’ll still be charged for the room. Such is the state of the art in the motel/hotel business these days. But if your hotel overbooks and you arrive without a place to stay – too bad for you. They may try to get you a room elsewhere, but reserved doesn’t always mean reserved when it comes to the hotel industry. The airline industry is even worse.
Thankfully, however, God is faithful to his promises, and those who have been guaranteed a place in his kingdom will never fail to find one available. That’s because God is faithful to his word and promise. It’s also because, in the words of an evangelistic hymn, “There’s room at the cross for you.” Admission is guaranteed to those who come by means of Jesus’ cross.
I notice that our guarantee is grounded in Jesus Christ. In fact the phrase, “In him” and “In Christ,” is found four times in these verses as well as a number of times in the verses preceding these. He even makes the point that Jesus Christ has the place of ultimate preeminence in the heavenly realm: “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
In the hotel or airline industry we guarantee things through names like VISA, MasterCard, or American Express. That’s OK, but holds no candle to the guarantee that is in the name above all names: Jesus Christ our Lord.