Friday, May 10, 2013

A Study in Ephesians: Pt. 4, Ephesians 1:3-14

Chosen, Redeemed, and Sealed

Ephesians 1:11-14 We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will, 12 so that we who had already put our hope in the Messiah might bring praise to His glory. 13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.

From the HELPS word study for the word translated "sealed":

4972 /sphragízō ("to seal") signifies ownership and the full security carried by the backing (full authority) of the owner. "Sealing" in the ancient world served as a "legal signature" which guaranteed the promise (contents) of what was sealed.

Being sealed by the Spirit* means not only that we are owned by God, but we carry within us the authority and power of God. How often do we forget this fundamental truth?

Having the power of God via the Holy Spirit has at least three very significant implications. One, you have the power within you to resist the temptation to sin. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

Two, by the Spirit of God, when you speak the truth of God's Word, you are speaking with the authority of God. This is especially important to lay hold of when refuting the "wisdom" of this world. 

99 I have more insight than all my teachers
because Your decrees are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the elders
because I obey Your precepts.
Psalm 119:99-100

1 Corinthians 1:27 Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong.

Three, the Spirit of God is the One who leads us on the path to Christ-likeness. Galatians 5:22-23 gives several fruits of the Spirit, character qualities that mark the life of a mature believer. It is the Spirit of God, with which all believers have been sealed, that makes the fruits manifest in the believer's life.

The Spirit of God in your life is the guarantee of the inheritance that the Father has promised you in the Son. No matter how bad things get in this temporary world, you have this guarantee from God: You are His, chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sealed by the Spirit*. He will never leave you nor forsake you, because ultimately, He's not saving you for your sake. Your salvation is for the ultimate purpose of "bring[ing] praise to His glory." And God will not give His glory to anyone else. (Isaiah 42:8)

*See slight correction here.