The Holy Spirit’s Influence on Us

THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO SEALS BAPTIZES AND FILLS

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PENTECOST PAINTING BY LOUIS GALLOCHE 1670-1761

Ephesians 1: 13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

  1. Sealing

When we believed and fully trusted that Jesus of Nazareth is exactly who the Bible says He is we received the Holy Spirit. One way of expressing the certainty of the Christian hope is to say that the people of God have been “Sealed with the Spirit.” The term, sphragizo occurs three times in the Epistles; (II Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). In the Old Testament the literal meaning of sphragizo is somewhat more common, but in the New Testament (at times also in the Old) the term is used only metaphorically, in the sense of “ratify”, “confirm”, “attest”. In the three texts in which Paul uses the term it refers to the marking of the believers as God’s property. The Holy Spirit is the mark of the child of God. But the sealing has a reference to the end of the age, for God will deliver all those who have his stamp on them (cf. Revelation 7:4).

The background for the concept of sealing may be seen in tattooing, or in the marking of Cain, or in the marking of Jewish house with blood at the first Passover, or in the marking of the foreheads of the faithful before the judgment from Ezekiel 9. The seal of the old covenant, circumcision, must also be considered as a form of sealing. It is not surprising, since the believers are incorporated into the Christian community by baptism (which is often related to the work of the Spirit), that baptism is known by some as sealing.

However, sealing with the Spirit as an assurance of the hope of the believer can be seen as the “earnest” (deposit) of the Spirit (II Corinthians 1:21). It is even more explicitly stated in Ephesians 1:13, 14: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

It is worth noticing here that the sealing with the Spirit takes place when men listen unto salvation to the word of truth, the Gospel.

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