God’s seal is for eternity
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you 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.”
— Ephesians 1:11-14
A seal is a very important instrument. During biblical times it guaranteed security or denoted ownership. In years past, a seal was made of wax and embedded with the signet ring of the person making the document.
The significance of the act of sealing is dependent on the importance of the one doing the sealing. Once a seal is affixed to a document, any promise made is guaranteed.
A most common seal is a company’s seal. When an officer of the company affixes the company’s seal to a document, the company is committed and can be held liable.
Today we know the importance of a seal, whether it is on a legal document or a container of food. As in the past, a seal in our times provides protection.
Even though this is so, today in our world, we are aware of many lawyers who try to dance around documents that are protected by seal. There are food items and medications protected by seal, yet criminals raise them and contaminate the contents.
The apostle assures us in the text that we who are in Christ have been sealed by God. It is a promise that cannot be broken. We know that because the one doing the sealing is God.
Unlike the sealed containers and documents, the seal of God cannot be broken. Satan may try, but he cannot break it. God’s seal is permanent.
The text gives the reassurance that, when you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. This is not a transient or temporary arrangement. This is for all eternity.
Paul says that God predestined us to be his in Christ before the creation of the world. In other words, he is saying that God created a way back to him for sinful man even before we fell from grace.
God does not want any of his creation to end up in the place he created for the devil and his angels. Consequently, he made it possible that all humans would have an opportunity to be redeemed in Christ, who is a propitiation for us.
Satan nor his angels can be redeemed. The redemptive work of Christ does not extend to Satan. He and his angels are lost for all eternity.
All of Satan’s promises are lies. He cannot help himself. Therefore, how can he make promises and keep them? He may be the lord of hell but he can never leave; hell is his prison.
Through our Lord’s crucifixion, death and resurrection, we are redeemed when we look to the cross and cast our faith in the redemptive work of Christ. In him, we die to sin and become a new creation.
The seal of God protects us. No one on earth, under the earth or above it can tamper with God’s seal. No lawyer can find a way to get around it. No devil or demon can deprive us of God’s blessings under his seal.
God’s seal is for all eternity. The Holy Spirit will keep us safe until our Lord calls us home to our eternal rest. Amen.
- Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone 323-4107; E-mail: [email protected].