Lesson 4: The Spirit Sealed Believers in their Personal Past Part 2 of 2 (series Lessons 2 of 2)
by John Lowe
14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Let me point out the part the Holy Spirit has in our redemption:
1) The Holy Spirit is called the “guarantee of our heavenly inheritance.” The Greek word rendered “guarantee” was originally a commercial term meaning a “down payment” or “first installment,” given in pledge that the entire sum would be paid later. In the same way our experience of the Holy Spirit in our hearts is God’s guarantee of His will and intention to pay in full when he consummates our salvation in the bliss of heaven. Then we shall enjoy “all those blessed things that God has prepared for them that love Him.”
2) God the Father planned our salvation in the eternity behind us. God the Son provided and purchased our salvation in the fullness of time. The Spirit of God applied our salvation. The Holy Ghost persuaded us to accept salvation. “The natural man receiveth not the things of God.” No person could ever receive or believe the Word of God apart from the power of the Holy Spirit.
3) Jesus said concerning the Spirit, “When He does come, He shall not speak of Himself. He shall take of mine and show it unto you!” (John 16:13-15). The Holy Ghost is in this world during this Dispensation of Grace to point men to the Lamb of God. He is not in the world to magnify Himself; He is in the world to make known the gift of God; salvation through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4) In John 6:44 we find, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” Sinners are drawn to God through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-9). When the sinner hears the Word of God, the Holy Spirit through and by the Word of God opens the eyes of understanding. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). The Spirit opens the eyes of the mind, the understanding of the heart, and makes known to us the glorious fact that Jesus finished everything having to do with our salvation, and that it is only through faith that we can become the possessor of the gift of God. This is the initial work of the Holy Ghost in our salvation.
5) In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). The Holy Spirit “borns”us into the family of God.
6) We are baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit—“For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
The Holy Spirit is the seal, and that guarantees that God is going to deliver us. We are sealed until the day of redemption. A day will come when the Holy Spirit will deliver us to Christ. This sealing implies ownership: God has put His seal on us because: (1) He has purchased us to be His own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20); (2) it signifies the completion of a transaction; (3) it means security and protection—the Roman seal on the tomb of Jesus carried this meaning; it marks authenticity—just as a signature on a letter attests to the genuineness of the document, so the presence of the Spirit proves the believer is genuine. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9). It’s nice to be sealed like that—we are just like a letter that is insured.
And consider that there are other important features of the Holy Spirit’s service:
• The Holy Spirit takes up His abode in our Hearts (Romans 8:9).
• The Holy Spirit leads us (Romans 8:14).
• The Holy Spirit assures us (Romans 8:16).
The phrase “until the redemption of those who are God’s possession” expresses the purpose of the sealing. “God’s possession” must be understood as referring to God’s people (1 Peter 2:9), and the “redemption” in view is the full completion of redemption. There is, of course, a sense in which believers already are redeemed; but there is another sense in which redemption is yet future, for at present our redemption is incomplete. It will not be complete until we each have a resurrected and glorified body and stand before Christ without blemish. The presence of the spirit in our lives guarantees that what God has begun He will in due time accomplish fully. We must bear in mind that nothing more needs to be done to ensure our salvation—Jesus did it all at Calvary. There is still prophesy, however, that must be fulfilled according to God’s timetable—the Tribulation, the Rapture, the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Great White Throne Judgment, the thousand year reign of Christ, Armageddon (not in that order.)
It is to the praise of the Glory of God that the Holy Spirit regenerates us, becomes our refuge and seal, and gives us reality.