13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (NIV)
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First, see the big picture: Spiritual Blessings 1 An Election that can never be annulled—chosen in Him Eph. 1:4 2 A Relationship that can never be severed—unto the adoption of Children Eph. 1:5 3 An Acceptance that can never be gainsaid [denied]—accepted in the Beloved Eph. 1:6 4 A Redemption that can never be challenged—through His blood Eph. 1:7 5 A Forgiveness that will never be rescinded—forgiveness of sins Eph. 1:7 6 An Abundance that can never be exhausted—He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence Eph. 1:8 7 A Revelation that will never be superseded—the mystery of His will Eph. 1:9 8 An Inheritance that can never fade away—we have obtained Eph. 1:11,14 9 A Seal that can never be dissolved—sealed with that Holy Spirit Eph. 1:13 10 A Pledge that will never be dishonored—the earnest Eph. 1:14 A succinct statement of the work of the Spirit in salvation (isn't Ryrie always known for his succinct statements?) follows: Sealing. from the Greek word, Sphragizō, “To Seal” 1. The agent --the Father (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30). 2. The means --the Spirit is the seal. 3. The extent --for all believers. 4. The time --at the time of conversion. 5. The purpose Sealing means the certainty of being possessed by God and preserved until the day of redemption. It is a guarantee of the Christian's security. Ephesians 1:13,14, and 4:30 say that the Holy Spirit ___________ us until the day of ___________________________. He becomes the signet of divine ownership by the Father. He has promised to _____________________, Philippians 1:6. The seal stands for two things: ownership and likeness. You were sealed In the ancient world, a seal indicated ownership and protection (compare Dan 6:17 – Daniel 6:17 sealed it with his signet ring A broken seal would alert the authorities that the den had been opened during the night. The seal also testified to the issuance, authority, and approval of the decree. Compare Esther 3:10 signet ring The face of these rings included an engraving that would be used to stamp an image on a document, particularly when sealing it. This functioned as the king’s identification symbol. During the Persian period, signet rings were commonly imprinted on wet clay or wax that was allowed to dry, thereby sealing documents such as scrolls. The imprint of the king’s signet ring essentially served as his signature. And compare 2 Cor 1:22). The notion of sealing in this context is related to the Day of Judgment: Sealed believers will be kept for their ultimate inheritance—redemption at the end of the age (Eph 1:14)—by the gift of the promised Spirit (Ezek 36:26-27; Joel 2:28-30), which is given to Jews and Gentiles alike. "Sealed with the Holy Spirit" according to Ryrie: "A seal indicates possession and security. The presence of the Holy Spirit, the seal, is the believer's guarantee of the security of His salvation.” Sweet Assurance Sweet assurance, Thou hast sealed me With Thy precious blood divine; And I know, for Thou hast told me, I in life or death am Thine.
I would say that the sealing of which Paul is speaking occurs when individuals realize that they cannot attain salvation or eternal life (which would require them to be totally without sin) through their own efforts, and thus, in response to that awareness, place their total faith and reliance on the atoning death and resurrection of Christ for forgiveness of their sins and reconciliation to God. At that point, the Holy Spirit begins to dwell within them as a "seal" (which can also be expressed in terms of being a guarantee, earnest money payment, down payment, or deposit) in this life of the full attainment of everlasting life (the same life possessed by the Holy Spirit Himself as a Person of the triune God) that the redeemed believer will fully possess in eternity.
When do we get the Holy Spirit? First Corinthians 15:1-4 is the gospel of grace apart from works for the free gift of eternal life. That Christ died for our sins, (all our sin forever,) according to the scriptures, that He was buried and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures. When we believe that gospel, that no matter how much we sin, it is already paid for by Jesus one blood sacrifice for all our sin debt in full, and we can no longer be condemned John 3:18, that God seals us by the Holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13-14, unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30. Romans 8-9 Without the Spirit of God there is no salvation. Not born again. Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the GOSPEL of your salvation, in whom also AFTER ye believed, ye were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise. Born again, born of God.
The Bible speaks of two seals of God - the first one is found in Ephesians and the second in Revelation 7:2, 3; 9:4; 14:9. Although related, they represent different things and serve two separate purposes. The first seal is received at the start of our spiritual walk when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Paul states that when one surrenders to Jesus and accepts Him as Savior, the Holy Spirit seals the believer in Christ for the day of redemption. Thus, the Spirit of God marks Christ’s followers with the seal of salvation when they first believe. Paul describes in Ephesians the following steps: - we heard the Word of truth - we believed in Jesus Christ - we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit - the Holy Spirit is given to us as a deposit (Eph 1:14; 2 Cor 1:22) or as a firstfruit (Rom 8:23, 24). The seal is a divine act where the Holy Spirit becomes the pledge and Guarantor of our salvation and He guarantees our redemption as long as we remain faithful until the end of time. Paul also caution Christians not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30). He urges them not to sadden the Spirit by evil conduct (Eph 4:31; 5:3). Instead encourages to be “imitators of God,” following His example “as beloved children,” and walk in love (Eph 5:1, 2). The second seal mentioned in Revelation is God's seal placed (symbolically) on Christians' forehead as sign of ownership and protection from the God's wrath so they can stand on that great day (Rev 6:17; 7:3). Those who belong to God have His seal - those who belong to Satan have the beast's mark (Rev 13:16, 17; 14:9, 11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4), This seal of God shields His people at the time of the outpouring of the divine judgment of condemnation.
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