When we become God’s children, He places His mark of ownership on us, guaranteeing our eternal security. This is spoken of as the down-payment of our full redemption, to hold us until the day Christ brings us to Him. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:13-14)
The Ryrie Study Bible notes: “A seal indicated possession and security. The presence of the Holy Spirit, the seal, is the believer’s guarantee of the security of his salvation.” This seal–the Holy Spirit–is a pledge. The Holy Spirit is God’s “earnest money” guaranteeing our future in God, and it is “to the praise of His glory”. This is God claiming us as His very own.
The MacArthur Study Bible tells us: “God’s own Spirit comes to indwell the believer and secures and preserves his eternal salvation. The sealing of which Paul speaks refers to an official mark of identification placed on a letter, contract, or other document. That document was thereby officially under the authority of the person whose stamp was on the seal. Four primary truths are signified by the seal: 1) security (cf. Matt. 27:62–66); 2) authenticity (cf. 1 Kin. 21:6–16); 3) ownership (cf. Jer. 32:10); and 4) authority (cf. Esth. 8:8–12). The Holy Spirit is given by God as His pledge of the believer’s future inheritance in glory, and He is God: “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God” (2 Cor. 1:21).
These verses (Eph. 1:13-14) point to a close connection between the Holy Spirit and God’s glory. In fact, the Spirit helps us exist for the praise of God’s glory. If we seek to glorify God in our own strength, we will inevitably fail. Yet God has supplied us with his own strength through the Spirit. Thus, with divine help, we can live for God’s glory.
Moreover, the Spirit is helping us, not only to glorify God, but also to share in His glory. We see this most clearly in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Did you catch that? You and I not only get to contemplate God’s glory, but also to share in His glory by becoming more like Him.
Thus, with the Spirit’s help, we glorify God, not only in our actions, not only in our thoughts, not only in our feelings, but even in our very existence. As we grow more deeply in our relationship with God, we become more like Him, even sharing in His glory. As this happens, we reflect God’s glory to the world, so that people might be drawn to Him in faith and worship.
By faith we are: blessed with every spiritual blessing, chosen to be holy and blameless, adopted into His family, redeemed by the blood of Jesus, forgiven and reconciled with the Father, who has shared His wonderful mystery with us that gives us eternal hope, and we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, to show that we belong to Him.
Can you think of ways that the Holy Spirit has been transforming you to be more like God? Will you ask the Spirit to help you live this day for the praise of God’s glory in everything you do?
PRAYER: Thank you, gracious God, for the gift of your Spirit. Thank you for helping me, by the Spirit, to see your glory. Thank you for your power in me that is helping me to live for the praise of your glory. Thank you even for beginning to transform me so that I might share in your glory. May your Spirit have free reign in my life today, in all that I do, whether at home or at work, whether riding on the subway or driving in my car, whether I’m with friends, colleagues, neighbors, or family members. Glorify yourself through me, O God. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.