194. Seal of the Spirit.
'Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession.' (Ephesians 1:13) The word seal in Greek is sphragizo which means to seal, to put a mark on an object to show possession, authority, identity or security. That is the same word used in Revelation 7:8 - "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." Apparently, the seal was meant to keep them from the judgement of God for the locusts 'were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.' ( 9:4) Ezekiel heard the Lord say to the man clothed in linen and with a writing kit at his side: "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable to things that are done in it." Then the Lord said to others (the guards of the city) : "Follow him through the city and kill ... but do not touch anyone who has the mark." (Ezekiel 9:1-6) It is believed that the man in linen marked those to be saved with a 'taw' , the final letter in Hebrew alphabet, written in the oldest script as X - a cross, as Christians have noted. So the cross has come to be known as the saving mark! The reason God seals his people, either literally with a mark as in the cases above or figuratively with the deposit of the Holy Spirit is to keep them from his wrath, 'for God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.' ( 1 Thessalonians 5:9) Moreover, the Holy Spirit is the deposit within us, guaranteeing what is yet to come. 'He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.' (2 Corinthians 1:22) The Spirit within us guarantees the following:-
1. The Spirit within us is the guarantee that 'our lowly bodies will be transformed so that they will be like his glorious body' (Philippians 3:21) and it will happen 'in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye' (1 Corinthians 15:50-53) How can this happen if you do not have the Spirit of Christ? But 'if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.' ( Romans 8:11)
2. The 'Spirit of wisdom and revelation' within us is the guarantee of our inheritance because he enlightens us to 'know the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints' ( Ephesians 1:18) for he birthed us 'into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade- kept in heaven for you.' (1 Peter 1:4) The Spirit within us is the guarantee that we will enter the Kingdom of God and see the Holy city, the New Jerusalem because "no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again ... no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and Spirit". (John 3:3,5 )
3. Finally, the Spirit within us is the guarantee that 'we will see the face of God' ( Matthew 5:8, 1 John 3:2, Revelation 22:4), 'be with him forever' ( 1 Thessalonians 4:17) and 'be comforted by him.' (Matthew 5:4) "They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
'Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come.' ( 2 Corinthians 5:5) Amen.