Signed, Sealed and Delivered

Posted: January 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

wooden-sailing-boatI love the story about the little boy who carefully built a boat only to one day lose it down a river. A few days later, on the way home from school, he notices a boat just like his in a store window. When he gets closer, he could see that it was his and so he hurries to the store manager: “Sir, that’s my boat in your window! I made it!” To which the manager replies, “Sorry son, but someone else brought it in this morning. If you want it, you’ll have to buy it for one dollar.” And so the boy runs home and counted all his money. Exactly one dollar! When he reached the store, he rushed to the counter. “Here’s the money for my boat.” As he leaves the store, the boy hugs his boat and says, “Now you’re twice mine. First, I made you and now I bought you.”

Now that is a very good picture of our salvation. Last Sunday we looked at how Luke describes the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as a mighty wind which brings to mind something Jesus said about the Spirit in John 3 as he talked about our need to be born again.

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. – John 3:8 (ESV)

In other words, it is by God’s free grace that sinners like you and I are saved. Again, Jesus says that we must be born again of the Spirit who blows wherever He wishes. But listen, along with saving us, the Spirit also seals us.

In Christ you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV)

You see, one of the meanings of being sealed with the Holy Spirit has to do with the idea of ownership. Scripture tells us that by grace through faith in Christ, we now belong to God. Which is to say that when we talk about being redeemed by the blood of Christ we are saying that He has purchased us with His blood and set us free from our slavery to sin.

Again, this is a good picture of our salvation… of what God has done for us in Christ as He purchases us back by the death of His Son on the cross. First He created us and then by the riches of His mercy He has bought us, we are His twice. And to secure the transaction, as it were, He seals us with His mark of ownership, the Holy Spirit who Paul calls “the guarantee of our inheritance”.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)

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