Live Like a Champion – Week 23

The Promise of a Seal!

Ephesians 1:13c (NAS95)


Two weeks ago we celebrated Pentecost Sunday and the birth of the Church through the infilling of the Holy Spirit, which historically occurred fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection in order to further and more deeply imbed God’s salvific work through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit with God’s work through Israel. We discussed the ancient and biblical doctrine of salvation and the importance of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for eternal life. The Holy Spirit is an essential part of your salvation and today we are going to learn more.


The play of the week is “The Promise of a Seal!” The memory verse for this promise is Ephesians 1:13c, “You were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”


The sealing happens when you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you have not yet received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you are still dead in your sins and your spirit has not yet been quickened to life through this indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit in you. As Paul said in Romans 8:9-11,


However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.


To understand today’s memory verse, let’s study the context of Paul’s words from Ephesians 1:3-14,


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.


Amen! Let’s unpack this to reinforce the work of God in our salvation and what Paul is communicating to us about the partnership between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


  1. God the Father is the great architect of God’s plan to create and redeem creation (Ephesians 1:3-6).
    1. The Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
    2. The Father chose us before the foundation of the world.
    3. In love, the Father predestined us and adopted us to be His children. He willed it and it was done!
    4. The Father freely bestows His grace on us; He lavishes the riches of His grace on us.


  1. God the Son makes the provision with His crucified and resurrected body to fulfill God’s plan (Ephesians 1:7-12).
    1. It is in the Son and through the Son that the Father blesses us and adopts us.
    2. The Son is the grace freely bestowed on us.
    3. It is through the Son’s shed blood on the Cross that we have redemption, the forgiveness of our trespasses.
    4. The Son is the one who makes known the wisdom and insight of the mystery of God’s will.
    5. The Son is summing up all things, in heaven and on earth.
    6. The Son grants us access to our inheritance.


  1. God the Holy Spirit is the promised pledge, the seal, of God’s plan (Ephesians 1:13-14).
    1. The Holy Spirit seals us in Christ as the pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.


What does it mean that the Holy Spirit seals us?


Here is a simple explanation of what a seal meant in Bible times. We all know that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Matthew 27:66 describes, “And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.” The seal they set on the stone “refers to pressing wax or clay between the stone and the tomb entrance and then stamping it with an imperial insignia.”[1] The seal on the tomb meant that if you rolled the stone away, you would incur the wrath of the Roman government. The stone blocked the way as it was heavy and cumbersome, but it was the power behind the seal that prevented people from removing the stone.


First, the promise of a seal secures our identity in Christ!

The Holy Spirit authenticates you (verifies who you are!) as one who belongs to Jesus Christ.


Think of all the software that’s out there that does facial recognition or thumbprint recognition. In the context of that image, it’s as if, when our identity is checked, the Holy Spirit’s presence in us allows us to be identified as Christ-like, and not as merely ourselves. We have the thumbprint of Christ in us because we have the Holy Spirit. Holiness is the Holy Spirit in you—God abiding in you—not that you are doing certain things, but that holy activities are flowing from God’s holy presence in you!


In 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

, Paul declares,
“For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”


The Holy Spirit in our lives is like the seal on milk or drinks, like the seal on medicine. You know it is what it is promised to be when it is sealed. If you find something not sealed, you question whether it is what it says it is or wonder whether it has been tampered with.


This is why we cannot live the Christian life apart from the seal of the Holy Spirit. Just as the gifts of the Spirit demonstrate our ministry, the fruit of the Spirit authenticates that we are in Christ Jesus.


Second, the promise of a seal secures your eternal life with God!

The Holy Spirit is the “pledge of our inheritance” meaning that the Holy Spirit guarantees delivery to the intended destination of Heaven, with God as one who belongs to Jesus Christ!


In Ephesians 4:30, Paul warns,
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

When you think of the Holy Spirit, you can think of the mail or a carrier service you trust. We seal, address, and stamp a letter for the USPS expecting it to get to the address it was intended. It is a federal crime to tamper with the mail or impede its rightful delivery. A seal is a sign of both ownership and authorship! When something is sealed, you know who it came from and that they authored it.


The good news is that the Holy Spirit never misses a delivery! The seal of the Holy Spirit allows us to live with the security of God’s grace and love towards us in Christ Jesus! God is the author and finisher!  


This is why Paul can say about those of us who are in Christ Jesus in Romans 8:38-39,
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The seal is a guarantee of that which God owns; we were bought at a price!


Our security in Christ is because of the promise of the seal, which happens at our conversion, when we enter into eternal life. We are safe in God! Not from bombs, gunmen, cancer, financial woes, family heartache, accidents, betrayals, or any other messes that occur by living in a broken world, but we are securely embraced by God through His redemption plan for His creation.


We are not only invited and welcomed into a relationship with the Triune God, but the triumphant work of the Holy Spirit is to authenticate God’s presence in our lives by putting His seal on us. We are now a part of God’s redemption plan and how we live our lives matters in God’s plan.


The blood of Jesus Christ has covered all of our sins for eternity (the payment is made!) and the Holy Spirit has sealed us for eternity (the guarantee is given!). It is done!


Why? Because the Holy Spirit as the seal of God’s promise proves we belong to God as His children and authenticates us as His approved representatives to the world. As Paul explained in 2 Corinthians 5:17-20,

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.


The Holy Spirit is the visible sign that we belong to God. And we are sent by God to do His will; we are under His authority! The Holy Spirit is the sign—the seal—of the authority and power by which we are authorized, and through which we are empowered, to accomplish God’s will. We are bound together with God and with one another as the body of Christ through the seal of the Holy Spirit.


Over the next two weeks, we are going to learn that the promise of the seal of God goes hand in hand with God’s promises of anointing and power in the Christian life. As we progress in the sanctification process, we have greater awareness and access to the Holy Spirit as He is activated within us, more and more.


While it is important that we feel secure in God’s love because of the work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we must know that our security is so that we can go out into the world and shine God’s light and love with anointing and power as His ambassadors—we are His messengers, His image bearers!


Then, the world will hear, believe, and know that there is a God who loves them! Because they will see His power and presence in us and how we live our lives!

You can listen to this message from Pastor Jerry here:


Or you can watch the video by clicking Here.




[1] John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016), Mt 27:66.