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.” (Ephesians 1:13–14 (ESV)
What does the Bible mean when in Ephesians 1:14 the Apostle Paul speaks of believers in Christ acquiring possession of their inheritance? Let examine the word possession today.
The word possession (περιποίησις; peripoiesis) literally means gaining a personal piece of property. The Bible speaks of believers in Christ being God’s own possession (I Peter 2:9), and believers possessing salvation in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Greek language scholar Kenneth Wuest writes, “The words “purchased possession” are peripoiēsis (περιποιησις), which “expresses the general idea of preserving, acquiring, gaining for one’s self, without specific reference to a price” (Expositors). It refers to the saints as God’s heritage which He preserves for Himself. The final redemption of this possession is glorification, when the physical body will be the recipient of the work of salvation. The soul and spirit are now the recipients of God’s saving grace. The body will experience that work at the Rapture when the first resurrection takes place. This will result to the praise of God’s glory.”
Dr. R. C. Sproul explains, “The goal of the Spirit’s work is that it be unto the praise of His glory. This is the main point of Ephesians 1:3-14. This phrase is repeated as the goal and main point of the Father’s work (vv.3-6; cf. v.12), and of the Son’s work (vv.7-12; cf. v.12). Thus, the overriding main point of all of vv.3-14 is that the work of the Trinity in electing, redeeming, and sealing is to the glory of God. That is why election and predestination are repeated (vv.3, 4, 11), since God can receive glory for the work of redemption only if that work is all of God. If believers contribute anything independently to their salvation, then Paul could say that they get to share the glory, but instead, all the glory belongs to God.”
This is why the 16th century Protestant Reformers used the phase Soli deo Gloria! In the Latin language, it means to God alone, be the glory. Amen!