Ephesians 1:13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
In this paragraph Paul answers the question: “When were you saved?” two very different ways: At the foundations of the world (see v. 3); and when one hears and believes.
The date one finally hears God’s word of grace in a way relevant to the struggle of life is much more obvious that a spiritual inheritance. Yet the spiritual inheritance is even more significant; think of all of the people who preserved God’s word, carefully translated it, taught it through countless generations, … so that it would arrive in your ear on the precise day you needed to hear it.
This week I am preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Optimally the roasted bird will be fully cooked shortly after my brother arrives. But hours earlier, with some assistance, I will rinse the bird, seasoned, and stuffed and placed in a slow oven. A day earlier I will immerse it in a carefully prepared brine. Days before that, I transferred to the refrigerator to thaw. For months before that farmers have fed that bird and kept it healthy. Years before that the farm would be prepared to raise turkeys. All so a family can sit down together and give thanks for God seeing us through another year.
Thus give thanks for all the people who toiled long before you chose that slice of turkey and give thanks for all the people who toiled long before the word of grace reached your ear.