Ephesians 1:13, 14
In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed…
I. THE ASSURANCE THAT CHRISTIANS ARE SEALED.
1. They are owned by God. "The Lord knoweth them that are his." God is said to keep a book of remembrance, so that they who fear him shall be remembered in the day when he makes up his jewels (Malachi 3:16, 17).
2. They are to be known by men. A seal is conspicuous. It is intended to be seen and understood. There are signs in the life by which the inward spiritual religion may be detected. If we know how to read the seal, we shall be able to discover whether or no it is on ourselves. Yet it is possible to be a true servant of Christ, and yet to be sadly doubtful as to one's own condition, not because we have not the sea], but because we are too blinded with fears to read it, or because we are looking for a different kind of seal.
3. They are preserved by God. The seal is a security. All the authority of its owner accompanies it. Christians being once owned will never be deserted by God.
II. THE CONDITION ON WHICH CHRISTIANS ARE SEALED. This is faith. As a preliminary, the gospel must be beard. But all who hear are not sealed. We must, individually and voluntarily, yield submission to the truth we have received. Two motives for faith may be gathered from the words of St. Paul, viz.:
1. The claims of truth. It is "the Word of the truth" that we have heard. Truth is royal and authoritative, and rightly demands obedience.
2. Our own salvation. This "Word of the truth" is also "the gospel of your salvation." Our highest interest lies in our accepting the gospel and giving our faith to it.
III. THE METHOD BY WHICH CHRISTIANS ARE SEALED. It is "with the Holy Spirit of promise." The early Christians were endued with the Holy Spirit after they had given their faith to Christ. None but those who were thus "believers" received it. The gift was, therefore, a sign of true faith. We do not have it in the same form - as a gift of tongues, of healing, etc. But we receive it in spiritual graces. Christians are still endued by the Holy Spirit, and, as a consequence, realize their sonship to God (Romans 8:16, 17), and enjoy communion with God (Romans 8:26, 27). The reality of these things and of the spiritual gifts from which they flow is proved by the resulting fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23).
IV. THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH CHRISTIANS ARE SEALED. They are sealed by a Spirit of promise. The blessings assured by the Divine recognition are as yet chiefly future. We are heirs, not owners; or, regarding it from another point of view, God has paid the ransom for his own possession, but the redemption of it is not yet fully accomplished. Yet he has so far claimed it as to set his seal upon it. Christians bear the mark of God's ownership, though they are not wholly recovered to him. Their present condition is an assurance of final recovery. It is an earnest of redemption. Enough grace is already given to result in some measure of redemption. If we have not this foretaste of heaven, these first droppings of the showers of blessings, we have no right to expect more. But if we have, the beginning points on to the fulfillment, when God will be glorified in our perfect redemption. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,