In my previous blogs we have looked at God’s love in choosing us and the power of Jesus’ blood in redemption. This is great news, but if you are honest with yourself, have you ever struggled with assurance that you are really saved? If you are really going to heaven? When I was a young Christian, I really struggled with assurance of my salvation. In cannot tell you how many times I “asked Jesus into my heart” just to be safe. If you feel like this or ever have felt like this, then Ephesians 1:13-14 is good news for you!
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
In verse 13, we see that in salvation we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. We can only receive the Holy Spirit through salvation. Paul is clear: “When you heard the word of truth… and believed in him.” This is a great reminder that if you just come to church and hear the gospel you do not receive the Holy Spirit. You do not receive the Holy Spirit by obeying God. You only receive salvation and the Holy Spirit by believing in Him. And this is not mere acknowledgment that Jesus was real, it is belief that he is God, died for you, and is worthy of surrendering your life.
These verses show us that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit at salvation. The language used for sealed is like the idea of branding cattle. We brand cattle to show who they belong to and in the same way, the sealing of the Holy Spirit shows we belong to God. In previous blogs we have seen that if we are Christians we belong to God and that He has purchased us with His priceless blood! God wants to make sure we do not forget it, like when you were younger and had a toy you really loved, you wrote your name on it like Andy in Toy Story.
If you follow Jesus, you belong to God and He has sealed you. He has not only put his name on your heart, but He Himself has marked you and lives with you. The God of the universe seals you with His own presence! This sealing is not external, but internal. It is in our hearts. Thankfully we do not have to be burned to show we are God’s children; we should see evidence of this seal in our life. Here are 3 signs every true Christian sealed with the Holy Spirit should see in their lives:
Sign 1: We see God as our father:
Romans 8:16, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”
Sign 2: We are convicted of sin:
John 16:8, “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:”
Sign 3: We are growing to be like Christ:
John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
These signs point to the fact that we are saved, and we have the Holy Spirit. If we see these signs in our life, we can be confident of our salvation and our sealing by the Holy Spirit. Look at what this means for us in verse 14: “14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
Verse 14 reminds us that if we are saved and have the Holy Spirit, we are guaranteed salvation and eternal life in Him. There is nothing we can do to mess it up because it rests now on God who chose us, Jesus who redeemed us and the Spirit who seals us. You can be confident and assured in your salvation!
Even still, a guarantee is only as good as the one who makes the promise and when it comes to our salvation, the one who makes the promise is none other than the triune God of the universe who rules over the entire earth. If you are repenting of your sin and believing in Jesus as Lord, you are guaranteed salvation and eternal life. We do not have to worry about it or second guess because the same God who raised Jesus from the dead is living in us and holding on to us through the Holy Spirit! Since He has sealed us with Himself, He will preserve us and hold us till we make it to heaven because his reputation and character as God are at stake.
Since he has sealed us, God guarantee through the Holy Spirit is like when one goes to buy a house and is asked to give earnest money or a down payment. The payment goes to the house and guarantees the new owner will buy the house. If they do not pay, then they will lose the house and the earnest money they put down. They lose the house and the down payment. God has given Himself as the down payment for our souls in salvation: the Holy Spirit. If he does not save us, then he loses us and the Holy Spirit. In other words, for us to lose our salvation, he would have to stop being God! That is how secure salvation is because He sealed us with the Holy Spirit!
Praise God our salvation does not depend on us, how perfect we are, or what others think of us. The only thing that matters is that we belong to God now, forever, and ever and ever! The Holy Spirit guarantees that we belong to God now and forever! This should give us great confidence, assurance, and make us feel deeply loved. As we see at the end of verse 14, it should also lead us to praise him.
In Ephesians 1 Paul has been worshiping God for what he has done in saving us. Take a few moments and think about God’s love in choosing you, Jesus’ love in redeeming you through his blood, and in the Spirit’s love in Guaranteeing your salvation. Rest in this beautiful good new, rest in it and give glory to God! You can know with all confidence that you are saved because of the triune God!