I wrote this post, then found this essay which captures the idea much better than I could. Here's the point in better prose.
Eph 1:13-14 - You were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
I am saved. But I still sin, hurt others, hurt myself and I am going to die.
We often talk about the work of salvation as a past event. “When were you saved?” A popular answer is “when I asked Jesus into my heart at age ___.” Yet, we still sin, we still hurt, we still hurt others and we all die. Why? This is what the Bible says: Because we are not yet saved.
While we have been saved, and are presently saved, if that is all we have in “the finished work of redemption,” then salvation is a disappointment. We are not yet glorified and the problem still exists: we all hurt, sin and die. What is so great about that?
Paul, however, tells us by God sealing us in the Spirit, we have an earnest (or down-payment) of our inheritance. Paul reminds us of the necessity of hope. We hope because salvation is not finished and we look towards “the redemption of the purchased possession.” We have been bought and we will one day be saved.
John tells us:
Rev 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
The next verse floors me. The final two chapters of Revelation pull back the curtain and flood our mind with hope and Christ declares:
Rev 21:5 And He who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."
We have been told Christ is done. It is finished. He sat down at the right hand of God. While the payment has been made, He is not done. He tells us so. This is not as good as it gets. Hallelujah for that.