GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #520
††††††††††† A DIVINE SEAL
††††††††††† Pastor Don Fortner
††††††††††† Grace Baptist Church of Danville
††††††††††† 2734 Old Stanford Road
††††††††††† Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
††††††††††† The sealing work of the Spirit is mentioned after the experience of faith because our salvation is attested to and revealed only after we believe. Many twist and pervert the Word of God, wresting the Scriptures to the eternal ruin of their own souls and to the eternal ruin of those who follow them. Ephesians 1:13 is one of those texts which is commonly abused by such men, by those who handle the Word of God deceitfully.
††††††††††† Specifically, those freewill Arminians who teach that we need to seek a second work of grace from God the Holy Spirit, after we have been granted life and faith in Christ, point to this as a proof text for their heresy.
††††††††††† Paul is not talking here about a second work of grace. He uses the word ďafterĒ not to suggest a time sequence, but an experience sequence. We came to trust in Christ after we heard the Word of Truth. And we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise after we believed.
Actually, a careful reading of the Word of God reveals that we were sealed in Christ by the Holy Spirit before we believed; but we knew nothing of the Spiritís seal experimentally until after we believed. Every believer has a threefold seal from God.
∑ The Seal of The Fatherís Foreknowledge (2 Tim. 2:19).
∑ The Seal of The Sonís Love (Song. 8:6; 4:12; Rev. 7:3).
∑ The Seal of The Spiritís Work of Grace (Eph. 4:30).
††††††††††† As circumcision was the seal of Godís covenant in the Old Testament, under the law, the Spirit of God is the seal of the new covenant. A seal is a mark of ownership. A seal is† that which keeps something legally secure. A seal suggests permanent freshness. A seal means everything is okay.
††††††††††† When my wife cans green beans, my job is to salt and seal. I put a spoonful of salt in each quart of beans. Shelby pours in the boiling water. Then I put the lid and cap on the jar, and tighten it down as firm as I can. Then, we put the beans, jars and all, into a pressure canner to boil. Once they have boiled for the appropriate amount of time, we take them out of the canner, set them on the counter to cool, and listen for them to ping. The ping sound means the beans are sealed. Once they are sealed, they will keep a long, long time. They will not spoil unless the seal is broken.
††††††††††† Blessed be his name, Godís seal, that seal of the Holy Spirit, the seal of grace can never be broken! Godís elect are not sealed temporarily, but until the day of the resurrection of our bodies with Christ. Paul calls this ďthe redemption of the purchased possessionĒ because Christ purchased the bodies as well as the souls of his elect; and our redemption will not be complete until we are forever with Christ in glory.