Wax Seals

Ephesians 1: 13

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the holy Spirit of promise.

I know that was a lot of text to take in so we will focus on parts of it. The first thing I want you to see is the companion word to the Holy Spirit. Paul calls him the Spirit of promise. If you look up all the references to the Holy Spirit in the Bible you will find that he is often linked with the word promise and this is not the only place he is called the Spirit of promise.

Way back in the Old testament times, God promised the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2: 28). He wasn’t the only one to promise us the gift of the Holy Spirit. In John 16: 7 Jesus said that it was to our advantage that he leave because in leaving he could and would send to us the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit has been promised you by both the Father and the Son. Now, some people say that receiving the Holy Spirit is automatic. Maybe, but I have noticed that the gifts of the Father are not usually automatic. We have to reach out and receive them. Receiving anything from the Father is an intentional act.

Regardless of your position on that argument the end is the same. If you have any doubt as to whether you have received the promise of the Holy Spirit, all you have to do is ask the Father and reach out, by faith, or in faith, and receive. God is not withholding the Spirit from you. In the same message to the disciples Jesus said, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it “(John 14: 14). So the promise is for you and receiving the promises of God are as easy and reaching out to Jesus, believing he will give what you ask.

I also want you to see from this passage that you are “sealed” in someone. Who is that someone? It is Jesus. You are sealed in Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the sealant. Often, when I hear about seals I think of the old timey wax seals people used for letters and documents. Imagine, if you will, an envelope. On the back of the envelope there is a seal of red wax and in the center is the insignia of the one who sealed the envelope. The envelope is Jesus. The seal bears the initials “HS” and the content of the envelope, well, that is you. You are sealed in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can break that seal. That is powerful imagery to me. We are completely enveloped in the loving, protective embrace of Jesus with the Holy Spirit making an impenetrable barrier from the world outside.

Paul’s writing can be convoluted and sometimes a bit difficult. Afterall, he was trained as a lawyer. However, I also believe he chose his words selectively, but not only that. He wrote under the unction of the Holy Spirit so when he wrote that we were sealed in Jesus by the Holy Spirit of promise, I think he used those specific words in order to reveal important elements of our life IN Christ. Sometimes you have to meditate on Paul’s writings for the meanings to become apparent but it is so worth it.

Staying Dry

Ephesians 1: 13

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.

We are sealed in Christ. Our lives are sealed in Him. That is enough good news for us to close the book and go home. Perhaps some of you are outdoors adventurers and can relate to this. I like to kayak but one thing about kayaking is the water. Now, I love the water but my electronics don’t and even the dry clothes I carry with me are useless to me if they do not remain dry so I have dry bags for everything. I have a dry bag fanny pack and a dry bag for my phone and a dry bag for towels, clothes, etc. The technology of sealing these bags is remarkable. Some bags have zip lips, others fold down and clamp, others have zip locks that are impenetrable. So when I think of being sealed in Christ I have an idea that nothing unwanted, not even dust, can get to me. I am hidden away in Christ. We are in Christ but it is the Holy Spirit which seals us in Christ. So, imagine that Jesus is the dry bag. The Holy Spirit is the new technology of zip lips. The Holy Spirit is the seal that secures us from the damaging effects of the world. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one working together for our protection and security much like the dry bag and the closure on the dry bag. You cannot separate one from the other and truthfully say, “Well the bag is what protects my phone,” because the bag would not function fully without the seal and vice versa.

This is part of the miracle of Jesus’ victory over Satan. We know that Satan is like a lion on the prowl just looking for someone he can devour (1 Peter 5: 8). We know also that Satan’s intent is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10: 10). Knowing Satan’s nature God devised a plan to send the Holy Spirit into the world. Jesus even told us that it was to our advantage that he leave the earth so that he could send the helper, the Holy Spirit (John 16: 7). So, God sent the Christ to die for us so that the eternal life we live might be with Him in paradise. Then the Christ sent the Holy Spirit of promise so that we might live this life on earth in security and victory. God’s plan was a master plan that left nothing out. He did not disregard the time that we spend here on earth. He made a plan to seal our eternal life in His son, the Messiah and his plan further sealed out all of the devastating effects of life in the earth.  

I include amongst those ravaging effects the decay that the things of the world undergo. You know that just living on this planet creates a wear and tear on our bodies. Even gravity, for all of the good it does us, has its down side too. It is just like the water when you kayak. It is really, really beneficial to have water if you want to kayak but at the same time you have to protect yourself and your possessions from it too. So God gave us dry bags, and life preservers. In the same way, God sealed us from the negative impact of living in the earth so that our bodies do not have to suffer the negative effects of living in the world without protection.

The revelation of Paul was so huge that one little statement, such as today’s verse, contains a marvel of the miracle and mystery of Christ. This is why we must meditate on the scriptures. There is so much contained in even just a few words.