“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,”
Ephesians 1:13 NKJV
I haven’t visited this passage for a while but found myself being drawn to it this morning. It is reassuring and comforting to read the promise of being sealed by the Holy Spirit, but part of that comes from knowing what sealing means.
The sealing that Paul is talking about is the mark of identification often placed upon important documents to show authenticity, ownership and authority. The seal was usually made from hot wax and then impressed with a signet ring. Thereby identifying the document with the owner of the ring.
As a believer, the Holy Spirit is the seal of my salvation. He marks us as belonging to the Lord, by His authority, an eternal security. It is difficult to reconcile this image with the idea that some have that we can lose our salvation. But it is images like this that assure me of the amazing grace that is from the Lord in salvation. It is His work and not mine. It is not by my effort that I am saved. As Paul goes on to say in his letter to the Ephesians, it is by grace you have been saved, it is not of yourself, it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8).
We can rest in Him, in the sufficiency of his work, in the effectiveness of his work. He is able to save us completely until the end. Yet that doesn’t leave us without responsibility, we have a responsibility to love each other and to persevere until the end, both of which are the fruit sealing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.