He will show Him greater works than these so that you will be amazed.—John 5:20
In Ephesians 1:13, we see that those who “heard” and “believed” were “sealed”: “When you heard the message … you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” Does the “sealing” take place at conversion or at some point beyond it? I believe it takes place at conversion. A seal is a mark of ownership, and when the Holy Spirit comes in to regenerate our beings at conversion, He produces the assurance in our hearts that we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
I know that some believe that the “sealing” takes place subsequent to conversion, such as at one’s baptism by total immersion, or at a crisis point of sanctification, or, as some would describe it, when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. But how insecure life would be if we had to wait for “this” or “that” experience in order to know that we are safe in Christ.
One historian says that it was customary in Ephesus for certain traders to send their slaves into the marketplace to make purchases for them and, once the transaction was complete, the slaves would mark the item with their master’s seal, whereupon it was delivered to the master’s home. In something of the same way, the Holy Spirit in our own hearts seals, once and for all, the question of His ownership over our lives, and also acts as a pledge, or guarantee, that one day we will be safely delivered to our Father’s home in glory. In Wales, many years ago, I heard a frail old Christian say: “The envelope (meaning his body) may be a bit tattered, but the letter inside is quite safe.” It is!
O Father, what endless blessings follow the coming of Your Spirit into my life. I am saved by grace, sealed by the Spirit, and supported by eternal love. What more could I ask for this side of glory! Amen.
Jn 5; Rm 8:16; Gl 4:6; 1Jn 4:13
How does the Holy Spirit “bear witness”?
What confidence does this give us?