October 22, 2017

Sealed by the Holy Spirit

2 Corinthians 1:12-22

He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

—  2 Corinthians 1:21-22

Ancient seals were usually carved in stone or etched in metal, and the person using a seal pressed it into soft clay or wax to leave a symbol representing the seal’s owner. Like a signature today, a document or other object with a seal conveyed authenticity, authority, and ownership.

In our verses for today, the apostle Paul uses the image of a seal to describe the Holy Spirit’s guarantee that we belong to God. As a seal, the Holy Spirit assures us that we belong to God and that nothing will ever separate us from his love (Romans 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives serves as God’s mark on us, as well as a guarantee or deposit, showing that in belonging to God we will flourish and grow in our walk with Jesus.

Is this sealing work something that we do?

The short answer is an emphatic “No!” The Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts proves that we are saved by grace alone.

The longer answer reminds us that once we have been saved by grace, our lives are transformed as we cooperate with the Spirit in reflecting God’s grace in the world around us.

Sealed by the Holy Spirit, live in grace today and let grace flow to everyone around you.

God, you have sealed our hearts with your Holy Spirit. In our fears and our doubts, let your Spirit speak to us and through us so that we may know and share the love of Jesus. In his name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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