The Earnest of the Spirit
by Wayne D. Turner
Note: underlined references are links to the BibleTrack notes on that particular passage.
There is a vivid picture of the security of the Believer found in Paul's epistles where he compares our salvation to the Old Testament principle of a security deposit.
Notice the following passages from Paul's writings:
The word "earnest" used in those three passages is translated from the Greek word, "arrhabon." This Greek word is only used these three times in the New Testament and is an exact transliteration of the Hebrew word translated "pledge" in Genesis 38:17, 18 and 20. These are the only Old Testament occurrences of this Hebrew word. These verses are found in a fascinating story involving an exchange between Judah and his daughter-in-law, Tamar in Genesis 38:1-30. The "pledge" there was Judah's security deposit to Tamar to insure his full future payment; this story has Messianic implications. It is still common practice to put a security deposit of cash (aka "earnest" money) to assure a second party that payment will definitely be forthcoming.
Very few New Testament Greek words are transliterations of Hebrew words, but this one is. Paul uses this word to demonstrate the security of one's salvation. And what is it secured by? The Holy Spirit. When one trusts Jesus Christ as his personal savior, he is given the Holy Spirit as a security deposit which guarantees his place in Heaven, as seen in II Corinthians 1:21-22.