September 16, 2007

Ephesians 1:12-14


   As believers we were chosen by the Father’s will, delivered by the Son’s work, and sealed by the Spirit’s witness. We were predestined to sonship and predestined to be taken as God’s inheritance (Eph. 1:5, 11). From the moment we believed, we enjoy the honor and protection of the seal of the Spirit, which is God’s pledge, the earnest “of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (1:14). We are “sealed unto the day of redemption” (4:30).
   An early Bible reference of seals is Job 38:14, where under God’s hand “The earth takes shape like clay under a seal” (NIV). Similarly Jezebel used Ahab’s seal and forged his name as an official edict (1 Kg. 21:8). Who can forget the Roman seal on the tomb of the Lord, lest any should steal His body and falsely claim resurrection (Mt. 27:66). Seals are done to guarantee ownership, protect privacy, express endorsement, and give authenticity.
   Paul wrote the Corinthians that “...God...has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Cor. 1:21-22). He wrote Timothy that there would be problems. Yet, “the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are His. And, let every one who  names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 1:19). No Bible book abounds with seals more than the Revelation. John saw “a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals...” (Rev. 5:1). It took three chapters to open them. In Revelation 7 we read of 12,000 out of each of the twelve tribes being sealed by angels for protection from God’s wrath.
   Even Christ was sealed, for “Him has God the Father sealed” (Jn. 6:27). Though the Corinthians challenged Paul’s apostleship, “the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord” (1 Cor. 9:1). Their own conversion and the establishment of their church, under God, were proof positive that Paul was a true apostle sent, blessed, and greatly used of God. God will employ angels to seal the devil in the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:3). John 3:33 reads, “He who has received His testimony has set to his seal that God is true.”

Ivan L. Burgener