And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel
of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy
Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who
are God's possession--to the praise of his glory (Eph.1:13-14).
You may have heard
of the way kings would send messengers with important letters to other people or other
kingdoms. The king would write his words, or have a scribe write what he would tell him
to, and then he would seal the letter to authenticate it. He would do this by putting hot
wax at the seam of the letter, and then he would press his signet ring into the wax, thus
creating a royal seal. This indicated to anyone who received the letter that it was, in
fact, from the king, and that the words within it were his very own.
Paul writes to the Ephesians, and tells them that, "Having believed, you were marked
with a seal." And that the seal we are marked with is the Holy Spirit. This seal is
not unlike the seal of the wax on the letter. We are marked so that all who see us will
know who we belong to. We are the possession of God.
Now even as the words that were contained within the letter were the king's words, so we
also are to contain the words of our King. Could you imagine a king putting his seal upon
the words of another--words which perhaps he would not support. As God puts His seal upon
us, it is an indication that what He has placed inside of us belongs to Him. And even as
the king would not put his seal in something he did not agree with, so our God will not
put His seal upon us if what we promote is not of Him. That is, He places a seal of
approval upon us according to the Spirit that resides within; but if what is within us is
based in selfish gain then He cannot approve, and He cannot seal it as though He does.
But the seal of approval is not about actions. Although actions should and often do show
evidence of what is in the heart, our works are not the prerequisite for His seal of
approval. But a heart that truly desires for the will of God to be done, one that is full
of faith and one that has received grace and redemption through Christ, that is a heart
that is ready to bear His seal.
As we are marked by God and presented as His, and have been sealed with the Holy Spirit,
we become living letters--written in God's own hand. But instead of wax, it is the blood
of Christ that forms the seal, marking us as God's. And it was the signet ring of God's
right hand that was pressed firmly and deeply into Christ--marking Him for
us--demonstrating His approval of what was now to be contained within each of us through
the shedding of blood.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt
make his soul an offering for sin. . .(Isaiah 53:10).
That which is contained in each of us is not our own.
"For we have been bought with a price." And with that, God earned the right to
put His seal upon us, and to put in us that which is pleasing to Him. He has marked Christ
for our redemption, and has placed His Spirit as a mark upon us. And we are the King's
letter that is to be carried to the people, and the kingdoms of this earth--to carry the
Word of our Lord to the ends of the earth.
Let us ask God to remind us whose words we are to
contain, proclaim and maintain as we go throughout this day and every day. And let us
pray, "Lord, remind me of the seal that is upon me, and how You set it there to mark