The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Fourteen Answers by Larry White
March, 1986

Compared to the Old Testament On the Context of “we” “ye” in Eph.1
The Spirit Came The seal is the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is the Promise 10  On the Context of 2Cor.1:21-22
The Gift is the Promise 11  On the Miraculous
All Christians receive this Gift 12  Where the Spirit dwells
Indwelling begins when Gospel is obeyed 13  The EARNEST of the Spirit
The words “Dwell” and “Abide” 14  Gentiles were Predestinated





These debate arguments were compiled to answer those in the churches of Christ who do not believe that the Holy Spirit is personally indwelling any Christian nor personally active in any Christian's life. They were argued in a debate with Wayne Timmons in Boise, Idaho.
I have edited and expanded some of the points for clarity.

(1)   Compared to the Old Testament

     In the O.T. the Holy Spirit worked in certain chosen individuals like prophets, priests, kings and judges. This is how his Spirit was “among them”: (Hag.2:5) (cf. Hos.12:13; Neh.9:20,30)

     Everyone or anyone didn’t receive the Spirit. When the burden of the people became too much for Moses, God put his Spirit upon 70 chosen elders of the people. When a young man became jealous of Moses, Moses said, “Would to God that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them.” (Num.11:29)

     But this wish of Moses’ was not to be, until the plan of God was finished in the N.T. This different giving of the Spirit was promised in Joel.2:28-32. The Spirit would be poured out upon all flesh in the later days. (Acts.2:17)

    Pour out is the idea of communication of the Spirit in rich abundance as opposed to the limited bestowal in the Old Testament period.

    All flesh signifies humanity, all men, without regard to gender, age or rank; “Sons and daughters, old and young men, servants, handmaids”. [Keil-Delitzch; Hengstenberg]

Peter in Acts.2:39 applies this to “you and your children and to all that are afar off (Gentiles cf. Eph.2:13) as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

     This fundamental difference in giving of the Holy Spirit in the New Age was spoken of by John in Jno.7:38-39 to the extent that he could say, “the Spirit was not yet”. He would come in a way unlike anytime before.

     We can also make a distinction in the giving of the Holy Spirit and what the Disciples and the 70 had before Jesus was glorified, which is also under the O.T. economy.

     Jno.7:39 the Spirit was not given until after Jesus was glorified. Jesus could not send him until after Jesus went away (died). (Jno.16:7)

     He would not be a transient guest, or a comforter who went away (like Jesus did) but he would be in them, dwelling with them and remaining with them forever. (Jno.14:15-18)

(2)   The Spirit Came

   When the time came for this promise to be given, after Jesus had died, he prepared his disciples for the Spirit’s reception. The promise of the Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father. “It is the Father who promises; in Acts2:33, the promise of the Holy Spirit, the genitive is objective; it is the Spirit who is promised.” [F.F. Bruce on Acts.1:4]

We see this from the following in chronological order:

        Lk.24:49    “I send the promise of my Father upon you.”

Acts.1:4-5  “wait for the promise of the Father…FOR you shall be immersed with the Holy Spirit.”

        Acts.2:33   “having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit…”

        Acts.2:39   “for the promise is unto you /children / all afar off”

Eph.1:13    “You were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” or “that promised Holy Spirit.”

Therefore: The promise of the Father is the giving of the Holy Spirit, the immersion being the beginning of it. This promise was shed forth (poured out) after it was received from the Father. The promise is to all, as many as God shall call.

Holy Spirit is the Promise

The Holy Spirit can be seen to be the promise by the terms “pour-out,” “shed forth,” “upon,” and “immerse.”

            Lk.24:49   “send the promise of the Father upon you.”

            Acts.1:5   “ye shall be immersed with the Holy Spirit.” (promise of the Father. v.4)

            Acts.1:8   “receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you.”

            Acts.2:17  “I will pour-out of my Spirit…”

            Acts.2:33  “shed forth this…” (the promise of the Father)

            Tit.3:5-6    “…Holy Spirit which he shed on us abundantly.”

 Therefore:  The promise of the Father was sent upon them.
                    The promise of the Holy Spirit was shed forth.
                    The Holy Spirit was shed on us abundantly.
                    The promise of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit.

(4)   The Gift is the Promise

The gift of the Holy Spirit is the promise of the Holy Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit himself.

Acts.2:38  All those who repent and are immersed shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts.2:39  “FOR the promise is unto you…”

Therefore: This promise apparently was the promise of this gift, and we’ve already seen that this promise was the Holy Spirit whom the Father promised.

 Jno.4:10      “If you knew the gift of God…you would have asked…and he would have given you living water.”

Jno.7:38-39  “He that believes in me…out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet [given;] because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Acts.5:32     “…Holy Spirit whom God has given to them that obey him.”

Lk.11:13      “Your heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Therefore: The Holy Spirit is the Living Water which is the gift of God given to all those who obey him.

(5)   All Christians receive this Gift

All Christians receive this gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts.2:39     The promise was “to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Rom.5:5      “…the Holy Spirit which is given unto us” The context here is not limited.

2Cor.5:5      All those who will be raised from the dead have been given the Holy Spirit.

1Thess.4:8   “…God, who has given unto us his Holy Spirit”  This context includes all those whom God wills to be sanctified. (v.3) (cf. 1Cor.6:19)

Gal.4:6         “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts.” Every Christian is a son.

Therefore: All people who obey the gospel and become Christians, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

(6)   The Indwelling begins when the Gospel is obeyed

The Spirit begins indwelling when we obey the gospel.

Acts.2:38-41   “for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”

Acts.5:32  He is given to those who obey him.

Gal.4:6  First we are made sons of God by faith (3:26) and then he gives us the Spirit.

Eph.1:13  First they heard the gospel, then they believed that trust, then they were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

Gal.3:14   The blessing of Abraham (salvation) comes on the Gentiles so that (ινα, in order that) we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Therefore:  When we obey the gospel, God’s normal relationship and communion is re-established with us (that of his children) and he can give us all the spiritual blessings that were interrupted because of sin.

(7)   The words “Dwell” and “Abide”

   The term “to dwell in,” OIKEO, οικέω, is from the word OIKOS, “an inhabited house”, and carries the idea of being fixed and operative in that dwelling. [Thayer]

   The term “abide” which the KJV sometimes translates “dwell” is the Greek MENO, μένο, which means “to tarry, not to depart, to continue, not to leave, to cleave, to endure, to remain as one is.” [Thayer]

   It seems that John uses the term MENO exclusively and never uses the word OIKEO. Also take note that when deity is said to dwell in us, it’s OIKEO,  lit. “to take up residence in a house”, when we are said to dwell (KJV) in God, it’s always MENO, “to continue with, or remain in connection with, abide.

Therefore:  We remain united in our relationship with God, which is to abide in Him, but the Holy Spirit dwells in us, which means he takes up residence in our hearts, and it is clear that when the Father or the Son are said to dwell in us (OIKEO) it is representative and there is an agency given for it, that agency being the Holy Spirit. (Eph.2:22; 3:16-17) Every time the Holy Spirit is said to dwell in us, no agency is given (passage?) and therefore suggests a personal habitation.

    Every time we are said to dwell in God or Christ, it’s the word MENO that is used, which refers to a continuation of our relationship to him in Christ (for which we are responsible) and not a personal habitation.

The Spirit represents the Father and the Son: Eph.2:22; Rom.8:9-10; Jno.14:16-18

(8)   On the Context of “we” “ye” in Eph.1

Rom.8:28-30   The called of God – those he foreknew – whom he predestinated, viz. the Romans in context, both Jew and Gentile elect.

Rom.9:23-24   Those who were before prepared unto glory, even us, the called, not Jews only but also Gentiles.

Rom.9:31        Israel did not attain to righteousness.

Rom.11:1-5     God hasn’t cast away his people which he foreknew (he only cast away physical Israel) there remains a remnant according to the election of grace.

Rom.11:7        Israel has not obtained what he seeks for, but the election has obtained it, the rest were blinded. (Christians obtained it, both Jew and Gentile and physical, unbelieving Israel was blinded. v.25)

These are the same people to which Ephesians chapter 1 is referring in its context, namely, the Elect of God, both Jew and Gentile – Christians.

Eph.1:3   “blessed us with all spiritual blessings”

1:4   “chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” (i.e. the elect Jew or Gentile – 2Thess.2:13-14)

1:5   “predestinated us unto the adoption of children”

1:7   “we have redemption and forgiveness”

1:9   “made known the mystery (only to the N.T. apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 1Cor.2:7-10)

1:10  “all things that exist are put under him” (cf. Phil.2:10-11; 1Cor.15:24-28)

1:11  “have obtained an inheritance” The elect are God’s heritage. (1Pet.5:3) which includes the Gentiles (Col.1:12)

1:12  “that we should be to the praise of his glory who (PROELPIZO, προελπίζω, hoped before, hoped in advance) in Christ.” (cf. Rom.8:23-25) “In this hope we were saved.” i.e. when his glory is revealed – the elect will be to his praise, having before hoped in Christ for this very thing, viz. the manifestation of his glory and theirs in him.

1:13  “In whom you also [were included], after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and after you believed you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”

1:14  “who is the earnest (down-payment), pledge) of our inheritance unto the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of his glory.”

Therefore: We have obtained an inheritance, which is what we hope for in advance in Christ, and the Holy Spirit is the down-payment of that inheritance. This is all to the praise of God’s glory because we believed it and looked for it before it was revealed. The Ephesians are included in this also.

(9)   The seal is the Holy Spirit


SPHAGIDZO σφραγίζω, = to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal.


a) For security Mat.27:66 (tomb) Rev.20:3 (over Satan)

b) trop. to hide, keep in silence, keep secret. Rev.10:4 (seal up, write not)

c) to set a mark upon by the impress of a seal, to stamp. Rev.7:3 (servants of God in the forehead.) Eph.1:13; 4:30; 2Cor.1:22; “by the gift of the Holy Spirit indicates who are his.”

d) trop. to confirm, authenticate, place beyond doubt. Jno.3:33 (set to his seal that God is true.) Rom.15:28 (seal to them this fruit.)

* All occurrences in the N.T. are noted.

[Thayer under PNEUMA, πνεύμα]

“For the Holy Spirit is the seal and pledge of citizenship in the kingdom of God, 2Cor.1:22; Eph.1:13.”

[Wegram Anal. Grk. Lex.] on TO PNEUMATI
τω πνεύματι
, “with that Spirit”
TO = dat. sing. indef. for TINI (dat. sing. indef. TIS)
PNEUMATI = dat. sing.


“The simple dative w/o any prepositions sometimes expresses means or instrument.”

“’εγείρονται τω λόγω του κυρίου, they are being raised up by (by means of) the word of the Lord. Compare εγείρουται υπό του κυρίου, they are being raised up by the Lord. The comparison will serve to distinguish ‘υπό with the genitive (expressing the active personal agent) from the dative expressing means.”

Therefore: εσφραγίσθητε τω πνεύματι, can mean “you were sealed with (by means of) a spirit.” He’s not the “personal active agent” (υπό with the genitive) but the means by which we are sealed.

Compare: The letter has been sealed with a drop of wax.

What is the means?

What is the seal?

Who sealed it?

[Lenski] on Eph.1”13

   “In this connection God sealed us with the Spirit, for God is the agent in this passive.” “The dative might express the agent but it cannot do so here where the Spirit is at once called ‘the pledge’ etc.”

In 2Cor.1:22   it’s the Father who is the agent in our being sealed. 

(literally) v.21  But the one making firm us [along] with you in Christ and having anointed us [is] God.

v.22  The [one] both having sealed us and having given the earnest of the Spirit in the hearts of us.

   A seal was affixed to something to show ownership or authentication. By this seal – the giving of the Spirit – God marks us as his own. Paul in Rom.8:9 says that if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him, which carries the idea of a seal of ownership.

   We are sealed unto the day of redemption Eph.4:30. This is because in the day of “the redemption of our body” (Rom.8:23) i.e. the resurrection day, our mortal bodies will be made alive by the Holy Spirit that indwells us. (Rom.8:11)

(10)   On the Context of 2Cor.1:21-22

   The “we – ye”, “I – you” that Paul uses, he uses throughout the 2 Corinthian letter and he does so in a very pathetic and touching way. Paul is great among the saints, yet he is despised. He is highly exalted in Christ, a spiritual giant, as it were; yet to write to the Corinthians he puts himself well below them. He established their church himself, and yet they doubt his apostleship. He loves them more than he can tell them and yet they treat him like nothing, from their “exalted height.”

   So he approaches them humbly – “we don’t need to commend ourselves” (3:1) “we have come as far as you in preaching the gospel.” (10:14) “death works in us but life in you” (12:15) Speaking foolishly, he’s just as much, if not more of an apostle than anyone else (chp.11) “God has even established us along with (συν) you in Christ and anointed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (1:21-22)

   I believe he says this because they themselves had the same thing from God and knew it, and Paul is in this way reminding them that their (his) sufficiency is of God, as he says in (3:5).

   It appears from 2Cor.5:5 that the “we” he uses is also the apostle and company as distinct from the Corinthians. (5:11-12). But this literary style doesn’t preclude the fact that the Corinthians will also partake of the blessing of the resurrection and therefore also are partakers now of the Holy Spirit as the earnest (2Cor.5:5; Heb.6:4)

   The earnest was not the pledge that God would be with them as some say, but rather is directly connected with the inheritance. He is the down payment of the inheritance, the foretaste and first-fruits of the coming glory and inheritance. (Rom.8:23)

   Even as each individual Corinthian as well as the Apostle, was in “this tabernacle” (5:1), so each individual Corinthian had the earnest of the Spirit in his heart.

   I believe our view of the inheritance; our appreciation for what that means; our grasp and understanding of the hope before us and the riches that are ours in Christ; our insight into the eternal joys of heaven, are all happy endowments and the enabling efficacy of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. (Eph.1:17-19; 3:16-21; 2Cor.5:6; Rom.8:23-25; 15:13)

(11)   On the Miraculous

   Some think that whenever the Holy Spirit is personally present, this has to be something miraculous, accompanied by signs and wonders. I do not think this is necessary. It is my understanding that the presence of the Holy Spirit need not be called miraculous, even though he did work miracles through the Apostles. He doesn’t need to work miracles today for reasons that are well understood (Heb.2:3-4). To give miraculous gifts was not all that Jesus sent him to do. He is to be a comforter, i.e. a supporter in times of weakness, (Rom.8:26) a counselor in times of difficulty (1Thess.1:6) and a consoler in suffering. (Acts.9:31; 2Cor.13:14; 1Pet.4:14; Rom.15:13)

   But he is not a comforter quite like Jesus among them, who then goes away – the Spirit would be with them forever. (Jno.14:16) He is also given the job of recreating the likeness or the image of Christ in every believer. (2Cor.3:17-18) God is conforming us to the image of his son (v.29) In the context, this is done by means of the Holy Spirit. He enables us to be spiritual (v.9) and he communicates the life of Jesus to us and makes us alive spiritually. (2Cor.3:6; Rom.8:2,10) The link between Rom.8 and John 14 concerning the Spirit is in the Life he imparts (not miracles). Jesus said that the Spirit would dwell with the disciples and be in them (Jno.141:17) then, that he would not leave them orphans, that he (Jesus) would come to them. (v.18) Then he says that he would live and because of this that they would live also. (v.19) The way this all happens is by means of the Spirit of Life; He imparts and causes to live the holy life of Christ within us.

   Again, I would not call this miraculous, but it is supernatural. Christianity is supernatural.

(12)   Where the Spirit dwells

   Scripture states He dwells in the human heart. Gal. 4:6 "And because you are sons, God has sent forth (EXAPOSTELLO) the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying Abba, Father." The word "sent forth" is lit. to apostle out, and carries the idea of Him being commissioned to go and accomplish something.  This is the same word that Jesus uses in Lk. 24:49 when He says He would "send the promise of my Father upon you." It's also the word used for God sending Jesus. (Gal. 4:4)

It must be kept in mind that the reason He (the Spirit) could be sent into their hearts was because they were already sons, and they already knew they were sons of God by faith in Jesus Christ, being immersed into Christ. (Gal. 3:26-27)

The Holy Spirit has a lot to do with the adoption of God's sons. Those who are led by Him are God's sons (Rom. 8:14) and Gal. 5:18 says if we are led by Him, we are not under Law, which suggests a full grown son. (Gal. 4:1-5)

   So, applying this to Rom. 8:15, the Spirit we have received from God is not one who brings us under slavery to Law unto a disposition of fear, but He's a Spirit that has to do with our Adoption, who works in us a filial disposition of a son. That's why Paul says we cry Abba, Father by this Spirit.  It seems that this disposition is worked in us by Himself crying Abba, Father (Gal. 4:6).  He isn't crying Abba, Father on His own behalf (as if He were a son) but on our behalf, so that our disposition will reflect our true position as sons.

I think the interpretation of "the Spirit of His Son" as an "attitude of His son" is forced.
1) The genitive "his son" is not an attitude.  Now, "spirit of meekness," (Gal. 6:1) I recognize as an attitude of meekness, because meekness is an attitude, we can have a meek spirit.  But "His son" is not an attitude, nor is "Christ" an attitude (Rom. 8:9) These are persons, and persons in the genitive shows possession, ownership or source.

2) This interpretation is arbitrary in its use, being called upon when an ad hoc reason is needed to explain away the Spirit.  Spirit of God is always God's Spirit or Spirit that is of God.  Spirit of Christ is always Christ's Spirit or Spirit that is of Christ.  Therefore, Spirit of His son must be His son's Spirit or Spirit that is of His son.

3) How does God "apostle out" or commission an attitude into our hearts?  An attitude isn't commissioned and sent out. (Gal.4:6)

2 Cor. 1:22  “sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

I'll cover the "earnest" under my next argument, (13).  I've already dealt with the context here, under (10).  This verse I'll use simply to point out where this down-payment or pledge is located, viz. in the heart.

Heart = the center and seat of spiritual life, the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors [so in Eng. heart, inner man, etc.) [Thayer]

Eph. 4:30  "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God where by ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." 

This verse shows us not the fact of personal indwelling -- but the relationship we have with Him as a result; a result that one would expect from a personal indwelling.  The Christian can grieve Him by corrupt speech (v.19) and bitterness, wrath, clamor, slander (v.31).

   But then why should the Spirit be so grieved but not the Father or the Son?  The reason this would grieve the Holy Spirit as distinct from the Father or the Son, is because all these things coming from the Christian's mouth issue from his heart -- where the Holy Spirit happens to dwell.  It would be the same as being a guest in the house of a family who bitterly tore at each other all the time.  We would not be comfortable there, neither would the Holy one from God.

   This is the same motivational strength that Paul's argument has on us in 1Cor. 6:19.  What kind of reason would be have against committing fornication in this verse, if what Paul said about our bodies being the Holy Spirit's inner sanctuary was not a reality.

I Cor. 6:19 "Or know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God and you are not your own?  For you are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body."

   Since the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart, and your heart is located in your body, so your body is said to be His temple, (NAOS) or sanctuary.  The divine being must be there personally or this language means nothing.

   Jesus spoke of His body being a temple (Jno.2:19-22) A NAOS, but this could only be true because His body housed a divine person. While the Spirit's indwelling is not an incarnation (the Spirit doesn't become a man and live a life and die) His indwelling is nevertheless personal which is what "temple" suggests.

   By the phrase "which you have" or "which you hold from God" Paul intends to emphasize the extra human origin of the Spirit whom the Christian receives.  And he also emphasizes by this the dignity of the body in which the Spirit dwells.

(13)   The EARNEST of the Spirit

   Eph.1:14  After Paul had explained that the Ephesians were sealed with the Holy Spirit after they believed, he explains further that this Spirit "is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory."

   The word earnest is ARRABON, "an earnest, i.e. money which in purchases is given as a pledge that the full amount will subsequently be paid." (Thayer)  We Americans know this as a down-payment. Consider that in Modern Greek an ARRABONA  is an engagement ring.

   The idea here is that we have been adopted (Eph.1:5) and that involves an inheritance (Eph 1:11) and the Holy Spirit is only the first down-payment guaranteeing that we will receive the full inheritance in due time.  This is the earnest from our point of view.  He's a supernatural down-payment of a super­natural inheritance.  I believe this is also what Paul means by "the first fruits of the Spirit" in Rom. 8:23.  Even though we have this foretaste of the coming glory, we still groan or yearn for the full harvest, the manifestation of the inheritance of the saints in light. (Col. 1:12)

   From God’s perspective, this earnest is a down-payment unto (effecting the outcome of) the redemption or the final ransoming of what was purchased.  This brings in 1Cor 6:19 again, for we were bought with a price, the blood of Christ, and God owns us or possesses us.  That is why he marks us as His own (sealed unto the day of redemption Eph. 4:30) and gives us the earnest of the Spirit unto the final day when we are wholly redeemed in Glory (Rom. 8:23, the redemption of our body), which is the final act of the adoption, i.e. the receiving of the inheritance.  This all, is to the praise of His glory.

2 Cor. 1:22  The fact we gain from this verse is that this earnest of the inheritance, who is the Holy Spirit, is in the heart.

2 Cor. 5:5  Verses 1-5 is another description of what we have already noted under Eph.1:14 (Also see my (4))  Paul is speaking of the final inheritance and adoption, "to wit, the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23) and we groan or strongly yearn for that redemption, to be clothed with immortality.

   God wrought us for this very thing, i.e., all this is according to His purpose.  Having life swallow up our mortality is the reason why God made us Christians.  And according to this also he has given us the earnest of the Spirit.  He is the down-payment or pledge that this resurrection and glorification will occur.

   If you take the view that Rom. 8:11 is saying that we will be raised because of his Spirit dwelling in us, you would still be harmony with the idea of the earnest of the Holy Spirit.  Here, the train of Paul's thought could be:

Because of sin, therefore -death,

Because of justification, therefore - life of the spirit. (Rom. 8:10)

And because of the life of the spirit, therefore - the quickening of the body. (Rom. 8:11)

(14)  Gentiles were Predestinated

Eph 1:15    predestinated us unto adoption

Eph 1:11    predestinated according to the purpose

The only other place this word is used in the New Testament is Romans 8.

Rom. 8:28  Them that love God.. .He called according to His purpose.

Rom. 8:29  predestinated to be conformed to the image of his son.

Rom. 8:30  predestinated them he also called.

Therefore:  Those who love God have been predestinated to be conformed to the image of God's son (Rom. 8:28-29) which is the predestination unto adoption (Eph.1:5)  This predestination was according to His purpose (Rom.8:28; Eph. 1:11) and everyone who is thus predestinated is called by the gospel (Rom. 8:30).  This applies to all the saints in Rome; the majority of which were Gentiles as well as the saints in Ephesus, both Jew and Gentile.

2 Thess 2:13-14 - The Thessalonians were chosen by God from the beginning to salvation and called by the gospel, to the obtaining of Christ's glory.

Eph. 1:4  This is also true of the Ephesian Christians - chosen before the foundation of the world.

Paul here refers to all Christians not just Jews.

Eph. 2:10 "...good works....God has before ordained that we should walk in them." (which has been alleged to refer to Jews only) uses the word PROETOIMAZO, προετοιμάζω,  to prepare beforehand in mind and purpose, i.e. to decree [Thayer]

This is the same word found in:

Rom. 9:23-24 "...which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles."

Therefore:   The Gentiles are certainly included in God's fore­ordaining and are included in the Christians that Paul is speaking of in Eph. 2:10.

    Part of the mystery of God was that the Gentiles would be fellow heirs and partakers of the promise in Christ by the gospel (Eph. 3:6), which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory (Col.1:27)

   But this mystery was kept secret since the world began (Rom. 16:25) and was ordained by God before the world unto our glory. 1Cor.2.

This is what Paul means by "predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will." (Eph. 1:11)  Of course, Paul is speaking of all who love God who are called according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28

Therefore:  the Gentiles were indeed predestinated by God according to His purpose and therefore all of Ephesians Chapter 1 refers to the Gentile as well as the Jew, and every individual Christian, both Jew and Gentile, in Ephesus after they heard and believed the gospel were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise and given the earnest of the Spirit in their hearts (v. 13)

   Eph. 1:13, Paul is not referring to the conversion of Cornelius and the gift of the Holy Spirit received by him in Acts 10 as opposed to what the Jews received in Acts 2, for there were many Jews in Ephesus (Acts 19:10) as well as Gentiles who were converted.  These Jews also, after that they believed, were sealed with the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 1:13.) Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, was given the Holy Spirit approx. 40 AD and approx 14 years later in 53-54 AD the Ephesians, when they obeyed the gospel, were also given the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:6)

Paul's statement in Eph. 1:13 refers to all that believed in Ephesus both Jew and Gentile that they were sealed with the Holy Spirit.


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