What does it mean to be sealed with the Holy Spirit?

Source: DesiringGod, sermon by Pastor John Piper

In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1)

So what did Paul mean in Ephesians 1:13 when he said that believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit? No matter which of these meanings you use the basic truth is the same.

  1. If the Spirit seals shut, the point must be that he seals in faith and seals out unbelief and apostasy.
  2. If the Spirit seals us as a sign of authenticity, then he is that sign and it is the Spirit’s work in our life which is God’s trademark. Our eternal sonship is real and authentic if we have the Spirit. He is the sign of divine reality in our lives.
  3. Or if the Spirit marks us with God’s seal, he protects us from evil forces which won’t dare to enter a person bearing the mark of God’s own possession.

However you come at this message contained in this word “sealed,” it is a message of safety and security in God’s love and power. God sends the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith, as an authenticating seal to validate our sonship, and as a protecting seal to keep out destructive forces. The point is that God wants us to feel secure and safe in his love and power.

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