And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
I really like using FedEx to ship a package. Because, like the saying, you use it when it absolutely, positively, has to be there. I’m willing to pay the extra money; I’m willing to go to the extra trouble to make sure something arrives by a certain date and time.
One of the things that I enjoy about using FedEx are the envelopes. They already have glue on the flap. There’s a sense of accomplishment when you seal the envelope. Once you seal it, that’s it. There’s no more opening it. It’s closed for good.
It’s not like a regular envelope at all. There is no way to reopen it. You can take a regular envelope and put it over boiling water, letting the steam melt the glue. But a FedEx envelope is sealed shut once and for all. And sealing the envelope is the last thing you do before sending it off.
Yes, they now have a resealable, reusable shipping pouch. And we applaud their concern for the environment. But this new, resealable, envelope does not have the same feeling, sense of accomplishment as the traditional envelope.
When God saves us, he also does all the sealing. He seals us in and with his Holy Spirit. When God seals us, he’s telling us that everything is taken care of. It’s the mark that we belong to him and him alone.
The Holy Spirit sealing us is also the sign and symbol that the transaction is complete. It’s a sign that all our sin; past, present, and future have been taken care of by God on the cross. The question of sin had been dealt with once and for all. The great transaction, making us God’s children has been approved by the court of heaven, by the judge of all creation, even God the Father himself.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
And nothing, no one can take us out of his hand. The sealing by God’s Holy Spirit identifies us as his. Once we are his, there is no unbecoming his. We are securely and permanently in him. The once-and-for-all transaction is finished. Jesus paid it all, so there is nothing left to pay.
In general, we don’t like permanent things. We always want another option if and when things get tough. There’s always another car. Always another job. Always another house. Always another partner.
But God doesn’t deal in temporary fixes. When he fixes something, it stays that way forever. Once the Holy Spirit seals us, we are his. Period. We become part of his forever family. We become his mature children, no matter how immaturely we act or speak.
Once this idea that we are sealed once-and-for-all by God’s Holy Spirit gets past our initial reaction, it gives us a comfort and peace like nothing else.
I have done some dumb things in my life. I have said some hurtful words. I have thought some awful things. And yet, I’ve always been Chester and Rita’s son. There’s no getting around it. I am theirs. I might try and deny them, but the birth certificate says otherwise. And if you put my picture next to my dad’s, there’s a likeness.
The same is true when it comes to our Heavenly Father. When we are born again, our re-birth includes a rebirth certificate. And it’s something oh so much better and more permanent than any paper document. It’s a person.
God’s Holy Spirit personally comes in and lives within us. He makes his home within us, never to leave. And his being in us is the seal, the symbol that we really belong to God. We have been changed and transferred from darkness to light. He makes us into a new creation. The old is removed as obsolete, replaced with the new.
With all this going on, how can we do anything but fall down and worship him? All of this is done, accomplished by God. He does all the heavy lifting. All that’s left is for us to all the falling down in worship, love, and praise.
If you’ve come to Christ, they you have a rebirth certificate. It’s documented in heaven, on the heart of God, and through God’s Holy Spirit living in you. Your response, my response, comes through a thankful heart that energizes holy, helpful hands. Hands that are lifted in worship, prayer, and praise. Hands that are lifted up and out to help our neighbors who are all around us.
How does the truth of being sealed by God change the way you think? Act?
When does God’s likeness come out in you? When is it most likely to hide?
How is your worship energized by your rebirth certificate.