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…
The "sealing" of the Spirit is evidently a distinct act from faith, and the "sealing of the Holy Spirit" appears to be a metaphorical expression to denote that the same Divine Agent who had implanted in their souls a principle of faith, and brought this principle into exercise, had likewise produced in their minds an assurance of their interest in the premises of the gospel, and in the blessings of salvation by a Redeemer. Preliminary observations.
(1) There is such a Being as the Holy Spirit (Genesis 6:3; Proverbs 1:23; Luke 11:13; John 7:37-40; Romans 8:16, 26; Ephesians 4:30).
(2) The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person.
(3) This Divine Spirit is the subject of many revealed and precious promises.
(4) A true and saving faith in Christ is the special gift of the Divine Spirit — a principle produced by His gracious operations on the heart, and ordinarily effected by means of a preached gospel.
(5) It is the peculiar office of the Holy Spirit to carry on and complete the work of sanctification in those who believe, and to comfort their minds by a sweet and spiritual application of the promises of grace in Christ Jesus to their souls.
(6) It is a matter of unspeakable importance to know and believe, on substantial evidence, that we are the subjects of the Spirit's sanctifying and comforting influences. We inquire, then, "How may we know this?"
1. Our characters must answer to the characters of those who have a right to claim an interest in the promises. They only who are brought to believe truly in Christ are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
2. We must be led to see our need of His assistance.
3. Our state must be that of those for whom the promises are designed. Sorrow for sin, fear of God, etc. (Psalm 31:19; Psalm 27:14; Psalm 18:30; Psalm 37:40; Psalm 32:10; Psalm 112:7). If God be not the object of our reverence, confidence, and love, these promises do not belong to us.
4. In the application of a promise of Scripture to the heart, the Holy Spirit impresses the mind with a conviction that the promise is true, and gives the soul a persuasion on scriptural grounds, that God is both able and willing to perform it.
5. We may know that a promise of Scripture is applied to the mind by the Holy Spirit, when, upon a strict and impartial examination, we are directed to conclude that we are possessed of those several qualifications and graces of the Christian life which are inseparably connected with a right application of the promises to the heart (see Galatians 5:22, 23). These graces are not the causes, but the necessary evidences of an interest in the promises.
6. There is ground to believe that we are interested in the promises, when our general conduct, both personally and relatively, answers to the rules and obligations prescribed in the Word of God (Hebrews 12:14).Inferences:
1. Let us rejoice in the promises of revelation, and bless God for them.
2. Let us examine, strictly and closely, the foundation of our title to the promises.
3. Let those who have felt and enjoyed the application of the promises to their souls remember their obligations to sovereign mercy.
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,