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Signed, Sealed, and Delivered for the Glory of God (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Ephesians 1:13–14 - 13 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, 14 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. 

 

What does today’s passage say?

In today's passage, Paul reminds the Ephesian believers how they came to faith in Christ. He says that when they heard the message of truth, the good news of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and believed that message, God sealed them as His own with the promised Holy Spirit (v. 13). This Spirit living in them is God's guarantee that one day they will receive their full inheritance - eternal life made perfect with Christ. The Spirit marks them as God's possession, set apart for His glory (v. 14).

 

How can I apply Ephesians 1:13-14 to my life?

The moment we heard the gospel of salvation and genuinely believed, the Holy Spirit entered our lives as God’s guarantee of all His glorious promises yet to come. What an incredible gift! When we trusted in Christ’s finished work, we passed from darkness, alienation, and futility into God’s light and family. We gained a perfect Father, a flawless Brother, and the Spirit as our daily Helper and Friend. In love, the Lord claimed us as His treasured possession through the Spirit’s abiding presence. Since we carry the light of eternity within us, we should live differently now. Our key calling includes faithfully spreading the truth entrusted to us through the gospel message. We also steward God’s gift of new life by making choices that honor Him. One day we will gain every promised blessing when Christ returns, but already His Spirit gives us a taste of glory divine. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

1.    We Must Be Faithful Witnesses because It is Only Through Hearing and Believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ that People Can Be Saved (v. 13a): When people hear and respond in faith to the good news of salvation through Christ, it ushers them into God's kingdom as the Holy Spirit seals their redemption. This pivotal truth spotlights our duty as followers of Jesus to actively share the gospel message with others. While some of us may evangelize through sophisticated theological arguments or public preaching, simple conversations about the hope within us can also impact lives for eternity. Jesus calls each of us, whether extroverted or introverted, educated or not, to be his voice to a lost world through the power of the Holy Spirit. We should look for organic opportunities to guide discussions towards spiritual matters, overcoming the nerves that may tempt us to stay quiet. As we courageously yet gently tell people about the difference Christ makes in our lives, we can trust that the Holy Spirit uses His children's words in concert with His power to soften hearts. Our role is not to save, but to inform; It is God alone who saves people through their faith in Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:8-9).


Food for Thought: What personal fears or anxieties crop up when you consider sharing your faith? How can recalling God's power and promises help overcome them?


2.    We Can Be Assured of Our Salvation and Eternal Inheritance because God Has Put His Stamp of Ownership, the Holy Spirit, in Us (vv. 13b-14a): God gives us the Holy Spirit like a seal and first installment when we hear the gospel and believe. This deposit of the Spirit marks us as God's cherished possession, setting us apart for his purposes. Even when we stumble and doubts arise, the Spirit's presence reminds us that God has claimed us forever as his redeemed children. Though the glories of eternity remain unseen for now, the counsel, wisdom, and power the Spirit supplies become a foretaste of our glorious future inheritance. His seal outweighs our fluctuating emotions. Rather than trying to manufacture feelings about God, we can cling to the Spirit's constant witness within to affirm our secure status before the Father. Since God has forever bound Himself to us through the Spirit, we can have rock-solid confidence in His unconditional love and plans for our lives. The Almighty Creator has made us His own! (John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9, 16-17; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22).


Food for Thought: What doubts about your salvation occasionally surface? How can you overcome them by trusting in the Spirit's guarantee?


3.    We Should Live Lives that Give Glory to God Because He Has Saved Us and Redeemed Us (v. 14b): Since we belong to God and live for His praise, how we conduct ourselves matters. Our lifestyle and conversations should point people toward our gracious Redeemer, not repel them. Practically speaking, bringing glory to God involves repenting when we misstep, pursuing spiritual disciplines like Bible study and prayer that transform us into Christ's image, and serving in our church body. It includes proclaiming His goodness, gracefully interacting with difficult people, forgiving injuries, and giving generously of time and assets. God crafts each of us with unique personalities, gifts and stories for His glory. As the Spirit empowers and guides us, we can build deeper intimacy with Christ through obedience while also creatively blessing others in ways only we can. While by no means earning the salvation Jesus purchased, our Spirit-empowered actions verify the authenticity of our faith. May our tongues, testimony, and selfless service all magnify the indescribable gift of redemption we enjoy in God's beloved Son to the praise of His Glory (1 Corinthians 6:20, 10:31; Ephesians 5:1-2; 1 Peter 4:10-11).


Food for Thought: Which spiritual disciplines most powerfully shape you into Christlike maturity? Which do you still find difficult or tedious?  In what ways does your life bring glory to God?  In what ways does it not?


As believers sealed by the Spirit, we hold a treasure within - the light of eternity! This gospel hope changes everything, compelling us to share Christ's love that others too may know the Savior and our peace. Our calling also includes living as befits the children of heaven's King. By the power of Him who dwells within, we can increasingly mirror Jesus' holiness, righteousness, and virtues to bless all we meet. The Spirit's guidance shows us how to navigate each day with kingdom goals in view, not earthly aims. For we are God's special possessions, His pride and joy, saved to shower the world around with grace.

 

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

I bow my heart before You today, marveling at the mystery of salvation by Your power at work within my soul. I praise You for the seal of the Spirit that assures me I am Yours forever. His presence fills me with joy and hope. I pray that You would help me to share this gospel hope by the words I speak and the way I live my life. Help me to walk each day in step with Your Spirit. May I display the goodness of Christ in practical ways to all I meet, overcoming my fleshly flaws with strength from Your Spirit. I pray that You would use me to draw others closer to You through my reactions and decisions.

I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

 

With His Blessings,

Pastor Corby

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