In considering the Seven Precious Blessings for the Believer, we have dealt with five so far. Salvation, Forgiveness, Justification, Peace, and Eternal Life. Today we deal with “the Sealing of the Holy Spirit”. As you grow and mature in Christ, so these blessings become more and more precious because you know you cannot take your salvation for granted and therefore reflect upon these points often for comfort and encouragement, especially during those darker days of trial and temptation. The Sealing by the Holy Spirit is not some man designed doctrine to launch something new. It comes straight from the pages of the Bible! Due to neglect, both as the Church and as individuals, we have focused far more on the Father and Son in the Godhead than The Holy Spirit. This is very sad because both Covenants speak about the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God extensively. Take Ephesians 1:13-14:
Eph 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
It is true the Holy Spirit is the silent (unseen) agent in the Godhead, but He plays a vital role in every aspect of the Father or Son’s ministry. Here, having heard the Gospel effectively (in a saving way), you are included in Christ … become part of His Eternal Family (part of the Kingdom) … and the moment you believed and were saved and added into the Kingdom you were marked in Jesus. What is the mark? It is a seal … and what is this seal? It is the Holy Spirit (v14). But … what does it mean? In the First Century, slaves were branded with a seal to indicate ownership. This was an external sealing. God seals too … as a sign of ownership. You are God’s possession. You are marked to prove it (Greek meaning) and authenticity … meaning with the Spirit’s presence … you are marked as the genuine article … not an imitation Christian. (John Stott) … yet this “branding” or “sealing” is internal as opposed to external! How does this internal sealing work? On Jenny’s 21st Birthday I proposed to her. (It was not a surprise as I had purchased the engagement ring many months before. I had secured permission from the parents to marry their daughter. We cemented our relationship by making it intentional with marriage in sight. So on her 21st I proposed and she accepted and I put the ring on her finger. To the people present at the party it was surprising and romantic. That is sort of emotional. To us it was far more. You see, engagement is intentional. It is not marriage. There are no added privileges compared to a courting couple. The difference is that the ring signals not turning back. It is a guarantee that marriage with all the privileges of marriage will follow within a certain time zone. The ring guarantees permanency. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is more that ownership and authenticity … more than you belong to God, owned by God and genuinely Christian … it signals the intention that you will be at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. You will participate at the Consummation of the Groom (Jesus) and the Bride (The True Church of God of whom all believers are part). Just like an real engagement is permanent leading to marriage … so the Spirit, God’s spiritual engagement ring, signals a permanent relationship leading towards that spiritual marriage between the Church … the Bride (all true believers of all time) and the Lord Jesus … the Groom. Jenny and I were engaged for about 1 ½ years before we married. How long will we have this spiritual engagement before the Wedding Supper of the Lamb?
Eph 1:14 until the redemption of those who are God’s possession
This guaranteed spiritual engagement … this sealing, this indwelling Holy Spirit will last for as long as it takes for all those God chose before the creation of the world to be born, hear the Gospel effectively and be saved.
Once the last one is saved, the end will come. This could happen during the night or in a week’s time. Maybe it could takes a few years or even a thousand or more years … but what we do know for certain is that Jesus is coming again and when He does all the chosen will be in the Kingdom and after the Judgment Day, the Wedding Supper of the Lamb can proceed. O what a glorious day this will be. I hope you are looking forward to this day! This news is glorious, exciting and precious … but the relationship is not a once sided affair. Elvis Presley sang a song with an up tempo Boogie Woogie beat. One of the lines went like this: “If you wanna be loved, you gotta love too.” If you want to enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart and life and all the blessings He has available for you … you need to remember that this is not a one sided affair (relationship) as Elvis sang. So how and what would the relationship contribution from your side be like? Something like this:
Eph 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Sandwiched in between the “do not let” of verse 29 and the “get rid of” verse 31 and “be kind” of verse 31 we find … “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” verse 30. Grieving the Holy Spirit … God’s sealing, God’s engagement ring leads to an unhappy relationship of frustration and purposelessness with no fulfilment. So as God puts holiness in you (the presence of the Holy Spirit) … you need to get rid of and put off everything that is unholy. Otherwise there is relational failure!
Dear Lord, thank You for sealing me with Your Spirit. Thank You that He is resident within me. Thank You that He is Your deposit to me guaranteeing my Eternal Salvation and participation in the marriage Supper of the Lamb. Lord, help me to get ready for this great and glorious day … and help me to live a holy life on earth as I await for You to collect me and take me to my eternal home that You have prepared for me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.