THE SMELLS OF HEAVEN
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, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
It was Saturday afternoon and my house was filled with the delicious smell of roasted pork. Parris wasn’t home, but dinner was obviously cooking in the oven. The smells were almost irresistible. I was hungry and the aroma was driving me crazy. I was waiting for dinner, but I already had a good idea of what the delicious meal would be like, the smells had given me a clear indication of what was to come. That is exactly what Paul was describing in today’s verses. Inside of all of us is a longing, it could be described as a hunger, to be in heaven with the Lord. The outpourings of the Spirit provide a fragrance or even a foretaste of the pleasures we will experience in His presence. This joy is not only promised, but the measure of His presence that we receive in this life is a clear indication of the “pleasures evermore” that we are about to step into. Jonathan Edwards spoke often of the attraction of the Spirit. His church had been deeply impacted by outpourings that had begun in his church in 1734. Listen to his take on the earnest or down payment of our inheritance.
“The Holy Spirit is the purchased possession and inheritance of the saints, as appears, because that little of it which the saints have in this world is said to be the earnest of that purchased inheritance, (Eph. 1:13,14; 2 Cor. 1:22, v.5.) ‘Tis an earnest of that which we are to have a fulness of hereafter. The Holy Ghost is the great subject of all gospel promises, and therefore is called the Spirit of promise, (Eph.1:13.) He is called the promise of the Father, (Luke 24:49.)”
The Holy Spirit is the great subject of all gospel promises, I love that. God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, is the fulfillment of all God’s promises given to us in Christ. What could be better, what could He give us more valuable than Himself? He is the foretaste of the joy of heaven. Do you smell that heavenly fragrance? I think the gospel feast is almost ready. If the heavenly banquet is anything like these smells, heaven is going to be quite a place.