Meditation for Monday

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. Ephesians 1:13,14

As a boy, I watched many times as my mother would make jam and jelly from the many berries and apples that we had available to us on the farm. As the jam was boiling in a large kettle on the stove, she would sterilize the bottles into which the jam was to be poured. And she had another pot on the stove, a smaller pot containing parrafin wax that would be heated until it was a clear liquid. After she poured the jam into the jars, and skimmed off the bubbles and foam that would rise to the top of the jars, my mother would take the pot of melted wax and pour some of it on top of the jam in each jar. After an hour or two, as the jam cooled, the wax would solidify and become translucent, forming a seal that would prevent any bacteria or other contaminants from spoiling the jam. Very seldom did that seal fail to do its job; every jar we opened during the winter months was as fresh as the day it was made. God has also placed a seal on us as Christians to preserve us. But it is not a seal of wax, it is a seal of the Holy Spirit Himself. This seal is another of the wonderful spiritual blessings that are referred to in verse 3 of Ephesians 1.

The seal that our text refers to is actually a mark of identification or ownership. What better mark of God’s ownership of us than the Person of the Holy Spirit living in us. 1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us that each of our bodies is actually a temple of the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit is our guarantee of authenticity as a child of God: ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God’ – Romans 8:16. The Holy Spirit’s residence within us makes a huge difference in our lives. He empowers us, equips us for ministry, and for our functioning through the gifts He has given us. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and Advocate. He protects and encourages us. He also guarantees our inheritance in Jesus Christ.

In Bible times, a seal was also a designation of authority. If you had the king’s seal, you could act with the full authority of the king, and your actions would be just as valid as if the king himself had done them. So anything that we are led of the Spirit to do, we have Heaven’s highest authority to do. When God gives us His Holy Spirit, it is as if He stamps us with a seal that reads, ‘This person belongs to Me and is an authentic citizen of My divine kingdom and member of My divine family’. Our text’s reference to the earnest of our inheritance means that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a down payment by God on the great inheritance that he has in store for us for all eternity. So while we are still here in time, we can appreciate and access the authority of our Lord that will be our lot for eternity.

To be sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise is a spiritual blessing indeed. Do we appreciate it as we should? -Jim MacIntosh

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