In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The Word of Truth
In this day and age we are all subject to “fake news”. How can you tell if something is true? This question has plagued philosophers since time began. When interviewing Jesus prior to his crucifixion Herod asked Jesus “What is Truth?” (John 18:38). Jesus did not reply because He is the truth (John 14:6). Jesus is the Word (John 1:1). The word of God is true (John 17:17) and Jesus, the Word made flesh, is full of truth.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Here Paul teaches that the word of truth is the gospel of your salvation. The good news that in Christ you are alive. See the previous blog or the gospel section for how you can respond to the gospel if you have not accepted Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
What is salvation? Well, salvation is a process. You are saved, you are being saved and you will be saved. Ask for forgiveness and accept Jesus as your Lord and you receive salvation. The Holy Spirit seals you with a guarantee (2 Corinthians 1:22). Then, as you learn to walk the believer’s life you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18). Eventually when your body dies you will be glorified (Philippians 3:31).
In the Bible these processes are called salvation, sanctification and glorification. These are huge subjects and can not be adequately explained in these blogs. The idea here is to whet your appetite and point you to where there is more information if you want to learn more. Any of the web sites this blog directs you to are worth exploring if you want to find out more.
Sealed with the Holy Spirit
To us the term sealed generally means to be fastened, like a sealed envelope. In the biblical times the seal was a ring or die that had a raised emblem that made an impression in wax or lead. A person’s seal was a valuable item. Judah gave his seal to Tamar as a guarantee that he would pay her what he owed (Genesis 38:18). The Roman guards sealed the tomb that the body of Jesus was put in (Matthew 27:66) as an act of securing it. We tend to use our signature in the way they used seals. But, even today we sign and seal documents in law giving them apparently more authority.
In those days traders sealed cargo they sent by sea. The seal showed who that item belonged to. It represented ownership. Paul reveals that God sealed us with the promised Holy Spirit, The seal of the Holy Spirit guarantees our ownership by God. The seal guarantees our inheritance. We belong in Christ and belong to God the Father. That is the most amazing promise that we are God’s and no one can take us out of His ownership.
When we pass on from this life the seal of promise of the Holy Spirit ensures that we will acquire possession of our inheritance. To be in Christ for eternity. And that is what will give God the glory. To see the children of God relating to the Father (John 20:17), the bride of Christ relating to Christ (Revelation 21:9) and the Holy Spirit living in the living temple (2 Corinthians 6:16)