In a recent sermon, my pastor used this verse and spoke briefly about the sealing of the Holy Spirit. The verse caught my attention, and when I came across it in my devotional time this morning, I decided to dig a little deeper and find out just what it means to be sealed by the Holy Spirit. My findings were too exciting not to share. Put your seatbelt on friends, because you’re in for a ride!
First of all, I looked up seal in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia and found that a seal was made of stone, metal or other hard substance. It was engraved with a symbol that was unique to its owner. The seal was used to make an impression on a soft substance such as clay or wax and then affixed to a document or other object. This was not new information to me, but it was a good starting place. I did think about the idea of a soft substance. Our hearts need to be soft before the Lord so that he can place his seal upon us. A hard heart won’t be moved to accept the impression of God’s seal.
There were several things that a seal was used for. One was as a proof of authenticity. When God sealed you with the Holy Spirit, he placed on you a proof of authenticity. You were bought with a price and at the moment of your conversion, God stamped you with his seal. It sets you apart as genuine, the real deal.
A seal also formally ratified a transaction or a covenant. Through the seal of the Holy Spirit, God sets in place his covenant with you. It’s a covenant of grace, redemption, freedom, and adoption as sons or daughters of the King!
In ancient times, when they wanted to preserve a scroll, it would be rolled, secured with twine, and affixed with a seal. The seal could only be broken by an authorized person, thus the scroll would remain rolled and preserved until the appointed time. Think about this. God desires to preserve you. He has a plan for you and at the appointed time the seal will be broken and God’s purpose for you will be fulfilled.
A seal was a badge of authority and power. Wow! You wear the badge of authority and power from God. Through Christ you have authority over the powers of darkness. In John 14:12 Jesus tells us: Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And in Luke 10:19 he says: Behold, I give unto you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. The seal of the Holy Spirit over your life says to Satan that you are one with authority and power over him. I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to run an aisle or two shouting, “Glory!”
When a king or person in authority wanted to prevent the entrance of unauthorized persons into a building, room, or tomb, he would stretch a cord over the entrance and affix his seal upon it. Only an authorized person would have permission to break the seal. God’s seal on you says to Satan, “Authorized personnel only!”
The final use of a seal was as a mark of ownership. You are marked as a child of the King. You are grafted into the vine of God’s family and adopted as a son or daughter of his. His seal proclaims it so! (Galatians 4:4-5).