Are You "Sealed With the Holy Spirit"? (Article 19-15)
Before the night of the Passover Feast, knowing that His hour had come to depart the world, Jesus ate with His disciples and during the course of the meal, revealed many things to them. Jesus did so, for He knew as their Teacher and Lord, His disciples would be filled with great fear and anxiety upon His death and departure from the world. Christ reassured them that they would not be left as orphans, but would have another be with them in His place. Christ tells His disciples, 15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Holy Spirit), that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17). Christ later says to His disciples in verses 25-27, 25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.
In These Powerful Words. In these powerful words, Christ tells us many things. He tells us that although He may not talk to us much after His departure, we, as believers, will never be alone. The Holy Spirit, (the Spirit of Christ) will always be “in” us and will teach us all things, while bringing remembrance of all things that Christ has told us. By way of the Holy Spirit, we will be given Christ’s peace and with it, the rest we all seek in our lives. Finally, and equally important, Christ tells us that by way of the Holy Spirit, we are neither to be troubled or afraid of any events or situations in our lives. So now, the question is how we are to sealed with Holy Spirit and the promises Christ speaks?
The Process of Being Seal With the Holy Spirit. Paul speaks to being Sealed with the Holy Spirit and its promises in Ephesians 1:13-14. Paul says in these verses, "13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory". In these verses, Paul speaks to two (2) things. First, he talks to the process of being sealed and then its guarantees. Note that the process of being sealed by the Holy Spirit focuses on trusting in Jesus Christ; however, before you can trust Christ you must first hear the word of truth. What is this “word of truth” Paul speaks? The word of truth is the Gospel (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). In fact, the word “Gospel” means the “Good News” and others “the absolute truth”, for it is the record of Jesus’ life and teachings in the first four (4) books of the New Testament. In sum, Paul is saying that to be sealed by the Holy Spirit, you must first read (or hear the gospels regarding salvation) and believe the words of the Gospel regarding salvation are true. It is only then and only then by believing what the Gospel says that we can trust Christ. It is only by way of trusting Christ can we have faith. It is only by our faith that we receive salvation.
What Does the Seal Mean? We see by way of believing the Gospel, thus giving us the ability to trust and have faith in Christ, we will receive the Holy Spirit’s seal. What does this seal mean? It means that as believers of the Gospel, by which we trust Christ, we will be sealed as “God’s own” and with receive a seal of authenticity, sanctification (being set apart), and protection. It’s a seal that is sensed by others in the physical world, but is easily seen and acknowledged in the invisible world.
The Guarantees of Being Sealed. The final verse (verse 14) calls the Holy Spirit "the guarantee" of those parts of the inheritance which we do not yet have. In verse 13, the Holy Spirit was called a "seal;" here He is also called a “guarantee”. The ideas are virtually identical. Both are symbolic of a promise, or a validation, made by God. Here, it invokes the idea of an investment. The believer's yet-to-be-received inheritance—eternity in heaven with the Lord—is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. This repeated theme marks the end of Paul’s instruction, and highlights the goal of the Holy Spirit's work in a believer's life: God's glory. The same glory mentioned regarding Jesus is also associated with the Holy Spirit. This again indicates Paul's view of God as triune, with Father, Son, and Spirit each part of the divine Godhead, each eternal, equal, and perfect (Matthew 28:19–20).
In Closing. I’ve heard many expressed concerns to whether they are saved or not. I’ve also heard many who want to become believers, but are unsure where to begin to understand God and His promises of salvation. It is my hope that by meditating on what is said in this article that these questions are answered. To find your answers you need not begin at the beginning of the Bible, nor do you begin with reading the end. It begins and ends with reading the Gospel. For it is by reading and believing the Gospel’s truths that we are able to trust Christ, by which faith is obtained, and our salvation is achieved and all the promises and guarantees that accompany being God’s own child.