Week 2: The Spirit comes as a seal
A seal is a commonplace item. We put seals on things to indicate ownership: “This is the property of_________ __ .” Or we put a seal on a package to prevent tampering: “Do not open if seal is broken.”
Sometimes an official document will have a seal to indicate authenticity. All these uses are behind Paul’s usage of the term when he applies it to the Holy Spirit and believers. God’s Spirit says: “You belong to God! You are under God’s protection!” And the Spirit’s presence in your life is God saying to you, “This adoption is real!”
John Piper explains that “God sends the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith, as an authenticating seal to validate our son/daughtership” and also as protection “to keep out destructive forces.” By destruction, he is talking about the soul, not the body. “When you 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—to the praise of his glory” Ephesians 1:13-14.
The seal of the Holy Spirit offers a wonderful glimpse of God’s role in salvation. When we receive salvation in Christ, we are given a guarantee, exchange our ownership for His, and are protected against forces of evil. This seal should provide wonderful encouragement for the believer against the spiritual battles in this life Ephesians 6:12 and anticipation for the life to come.
Sacred Seal Christ set his imprint on my heart, the Spirit’s sacred seal. His name on me my life secures, his purposes reveal: He means my life to guard and keep, and this his guarantee— No one may harm what bears his name the Master’s property! What grace that I belong to him, marked as his very own. I’m sealed unto redemption’s day, by order of the throne. ~Len Kuyvenhoven