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Saved and Sealed

Ephesians 1:13-14



God saved us.  He is one God.  But He has three persons.

vv. 4-6     The Father is planning our salvation.

vv. 7-12   The Son is purchasing our salvation.

vv. 13-14 The Holy Spirit preserving our salvation.


We are saved FROM bondage, BY the blood, FOR blessing.


When you got saved, it was like you stepped into the grand entryway of a lavish mansion.  At first all you knew was that you were a sinner and needed to be saved, and that Jesus was the Savior who could handle that job for you.  But now that you are growing in the Lord it is like beginning to walk thru that mansion, room to room.  Each door you walk through reveals a new room with more doors to more rooms.  You begin to explore and learn the wonders and wealth of the salvation you possess.


Today, we continue to open doors and explore our salvation further. 


1.     The Holy Spirit's involvement in saving us.

v. 13        Notice 'heard' and 'believed'.

        a.     The Holy Spirit calls.

2 Thessalonians 2:13
... God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

'Sanctify' means set apart.  And the sanctification of the Spirit is the divine appointment...God using circumstances to bring you to the point of salvation.  YOU still had to believe...but the Spirit of God plays a major role in confronting us w/ the gospel.


        b.     The Holy Spirit convicts.

John 16:8
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

It matters not how emotional our song service may be / how great our preaching is / how touching the illustration...only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction that is real and life changing to the human heart!


        c.     The Holy Spirit convinces.

Think for a moment about what we are asking people to believe here:

That 2,000 years ago a baby was born to a woman never touched by a man, that He lived a perfect life, never sinning even once, died and rose from the dead, rode a cloud to heaven, will return riding on a horse to fight the devil.  [When you put it like that!]

        Listen, WE don't convince people, the Holy Spirit does, and how many of you are convinced that all of the above are true?!


2.     The Holy Spirit's involvement in sealing us.

v. 13        It's not a seal like a jar or in an engine.  It's not a funny water mammal...and they're not skilled in 'good housekeeping' despite what you may have heard. 


A seal in the Bible is a mark or a stamp which had three primary purposes:

1.                Finished transaction

Ever had something notarized?  Then you know what it means to have something sealed (notary embosses/imprints seal)


It’s a done deal, it’s official!  And when you got saved, God sealed the transaction! “’Tis done, ‘Tis done, the great transaction’s done”


Think of it like a business transaction…God took all of your sins on your account:  all the lust/greed/lies/impure thoughts/gossiping words/habits/evil deeds…God took it all, and placed it on Christ’s account.  And Jesus Christ then paid for those sins when He died on the cross…and when He paid, He paid in full!  Your sin debt has been paid…paid in full!


But it’s not done…it’s a 2 part transaction…God not only takes your sins and places them on Christ’s account, but then He does something even more wonderful…He takes the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and He places that on YOUR account!!


Question:  What does it take to get into heaven?  Give me one word which describes the entrance requirement… “Perfection”.  The Bible says that no sin shall enter those gates.


You say, well, God will let me in…He’s a God of love!

        Yes, He is, but He’s a holy God who even turned His back on His own Son, when He took our sins upon Himself on the cross.


And so, the only way to get into heaven w/out Christ is to live a perfect life…I didn’t say a good life, but a perfect life!


Anyone here perfect? Anyone know a perfect person?


Joke—pastor asked that/a timid man in back raised his hand/Pastor said, really?/well, I don’t know him, but I’ve heard a lot about him…he’s my wife’s first husband!


It’s takes perfection to get into heaven…and if you don’t have perfection, you’re gonna need to find it somewhere.  And since you can’t achieve perfection…you’re gonna have to receive perfection…as a gift!


Only one Person can give it to you…only He can afford to purchase it for you.

Hebrews 7:28
...the Son, who is consecrated [perfect] for evermore.

How did Jesus purchase perfection for you?


You may say, “He died for me”…Wrong!  When He died, it was because of your sins…it wasn’t His death that purchased perfection for you, it was His life!  He lived the perfect life you couldn’t live, and God places that perfect righteousness on your account when you receive the gift of salvation by faith.


Jesus lived a perfect life, never sinning even once in thought, word, or deed…and when He died, he was paying a debt He did not owe, and then He gave to you a perfection you do not have, and that you don’t deserve!


In and of yourself, you can’t enter into heaven, you’re not allowed, you can’t afford the cover charge, but oh, you have a guest pass!  Ok!  You come on in, you’ve already been paid for, as a matter of fact, you’re a special guest of our host, Jesus!


Our salvation is so simple a child can easily believe and receive it, and yet so deep, we can never fully grasp just how far-reaching it truly is.  (The thought that you can lose your salvation is shallow thinking, compared to the depth of what salvation is!)


If you’ve been saved, you need to understand that God doesn’t see you as a wicked, filthy sinner that’s been forgiven…He sees you clothed in the very righteousness of Jesus Christ…He sees you thru the blood of Christ, and sees you justified: “Just as if I’d never sinned!”  He sees you as perfect…come on in!


You say, "I don’t feel perfect."  That’s because you’re not!  When we say a Christian is viewed as perfect, we’re talking about your judicial standing w/ God/legal standing.  That’s imputed righteousness you received at salvation.


There’s another righteousness called imparted righteousness, and that’s the righteousness that’s lived out in our daily lives, and God is still working on us on that matter…we’ve all still got a very long way to go, and we’ll never fully arrive!


But legally, judicially, when you stand before God, you have received the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, it’s a legal transaction that takes place, like money changing hands:  your sins are traded for Christ’s righteousness…and then to complete the transaction…BOOM!  He seals it w/ the Holy Spirit!  A finished transaction!


The second meaning of “seal”...


2.                Ownership

Ephesus was the very center of the lumber business in those days.  It was located on a river, which was used to transport logs from the logging camps to the mill, downstream.  Each camp would have its own seal, stamped on the end of the logs, so the mill knew whom to credit.


We had horses in NM, and we branded them w/ our brand, 'J slash lazy S', so they could be told apart from others…even if they got away!!


And my Bible says I’m sealed/branded w/ God’s signature (property of God), and even if I get away from Him, I’m still one of His sheep, I know His voice, and He comes after me, calling me, bringing me back into the fold.


Remember the story of Job, look at this verse:


Job 1

8And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand.


Satan had to ask God’s permission to touch Job, there was a hedge around him that said, private property, no trespassing!


I’m sealed…it’s a finished transaction; I’m His property…thirdly...


3.                Security (is indicated by a “seal”)


Much like you seal a letter, but more.


For instance, in Mt. 27:66, the Romans put Jesus in the grave, rolled the rock over the entrance, and then sealed it.  History says they would take a string on either side held by hot wax, and then the seal was pressed into the wax as it dried and hardened.


Some might say, yeah, but that seal was broken, it didn’t last. 


That’s right.  “So, how long will the seal of the Holy Spirit last?”  Look at Eph. 4:30


“until the day of redemption


Consider one more thing:

Rev. 7

4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.


During the tribulation, God will turn loose 144,000 Jewish evangelists, who will attempt to spread the gospel during the tribulation, warning people of the wrath to come, and not to take the mark of the beast. 


The tribulation will be the most dangerous time the earth has ever known, as those on earth will come up against everything hell has to offer.  It will be a deadly time for many people, esp. anyone who trusts in Christ.  How will these evangelists remain safe?

Rev. 14

1And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.


The seal that gets all of them thru the tribulation period, is the same seal that secures you now/makes you safe now!


It’s a finished transaction/you’re His property/you’re secure!


So we see the seal, and now here's' the promise:


I know I will go to heaven some day.  Is this presumptuous?

Eph. 1:14        “Earnest”

Earnest money means “there’s more to come

How much earnest you put down indicates how serious you are.

(house: $5!  No, you’re not serious!)


God put the earnest of the Holy Spirit into our hearts…a down payment He would have to forfeit if He reneged on the deal…and in so doing He was promising us several things in the future:


1.                new home in heaven (exciting)


joke—man dies, St. Peter interviews/man disappears/few seconds later…appears again/happened twice more/Peter says, what in the world is going on?/ “Sorry, they’re trying to resuscitate me!”


joke—used car salesman died/went to heaven/balloon parade, confetti, people shouting and screaming/ “all this for me?”/ “of course!”/then Jerry Falwell died/went to heaven…nothing happened…everyone just said hi/ Billy Graham (same)/car salesman says, “I don’t understand:  shouldn’t there be celebration for these men instead of me?”/no, we get preachers up here all the time…we’ve never had a used car salesman!


2.                new body (some of us are very excited!)

3.                new city (no crime, no taxes, no locks on doors of our mansions)

4.                glad reunions w/ friends and loved ones

5.                eternal joy (rev. 21… “the no mores of heaven”…heaven is best described not by what is there, but what is not there:  no more tears/sorrow/crying/dying/sighing/funerals/nursing homes/hospitals/pain/bills!)

6.                eternal fellowship w/ Christ

If the walls were particle board instead of Jasper,/streets gravel instead of gold/gates chain link instead of pearl/shack instead of a mansion…I’d still want to go to heaven, because Jesus is there, and Jesus will be what makes it heaven for me!


All the above is promised, and God says, just to make it real to you, just so you can know that I AM going to give it to you…you can look forward to it…I’m going to go ahead right now and drop into your heart the down payment!  The Holy Spirit at that moment became the earnest of your inheritance.


It’s not presumptuous to say you know you’re going to heaven, because you already have the earnest.

1 John 5:13
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 

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