In whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 13a-14 (NKJV)
To this point in our study of Ephesians 1, Paul has focused on the work of Triune God in fulfilling the work of salvation. God the Father chose believers and predestined them to adoption. God purposed in Himself and according to His glorious grace and love “provided the way to redemption” (Eph. 1:3-8). Jesus Christ the Son, offered Himself for the redemption and forgiveness of sin for those who accept Him by faith. Through His blood, Christ paid the righteous demand for sin for without the shedding of blood there can be no redemption (Heb. 9:21-22). As we approach the conclusion of our series, Spiritual Blessings for Victorious Living, Paul describes the extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Promise, as He fulfills His role in the work of salvation. It would be the Holy Spirit who would seal those in Christ “until the redemption of the purchased possession” in eternity future.
A seal, in biblical times as today, is used to guarantee security or indicate ownership. Ancient seals were often made of wax, embedded with the personalized imprint of their guarantor. In both the Old and New Testament the significance of the act of sealing was dependent on the authority of the one doing the sealing. It would authenticate the guarantor’s ability to “make good” on that which was promised within the sealed document; in this case the promise of the believer’s salvation and future inheritance. The Holy Spirit of Promise not only endows the believer with power to accomplish the purposes of God (Phil. 1:6; 4:13) but He also gives assurances that God will do and can do all that He has pledged—promises and blessings for today and an inheritance in the future.
The Holy Spirit seals those who trust in Christ (Eph1:12, 13) and His presence is God’s guarantee that believers are owned by Him and secure in Him. Since the Holy Spirit’s task is to apply Christ’s work to God’s people, He anoints those in Christ the moment they believe (2 Cor. 1:21-22). The believer is then secured as a member of God’s family, not in their own power, but because the Spirit is applying the promises made possible by God through our relationship with Christ. His sealing comprises the initial down payment or the earnest of the full redemption of God’s possession (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
In reading Ephesians 13a-14, the words of the hymn, “Blessed Assurance” echoes within my heart and mind:
Blessed assurance Jesus is mine
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, Lost in His love
This song captures in totality the work of salvation and the interceding role of each member of the Holy Trinity. It describes in its opening lines the work specifically of the Holy Spirit who gives us a foretaste of the glory that belongs to those who are in Christ. “Foretaste” is made up of two Latin words: ante which means “ahead, before or previously” and gustus meaning “flavor, zeal” (this is where we get our word gusto). Foretaste is described as a taste before possession; a limited awareness of something to occur. This is a good illustration of what the sealing of the Holy Spirit accomplishes—it whets the spiritual appetite for those things which God has reserved for believers until the day we all shall see Jesus for ourselves (1 John 3:2).
This is my story, this is my song.
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Thanks you Father God for Your love and for giving us a foretaste of Your Divine nature. May our lives as believers in Christ be to the praise of Your glory.
SELAH: Read Revelations 7:9-17. Then take time to praise God with your own “story and song” as you live in the present awareness of His glory while anticipating future glory with Him.