Summary: This sermon addressed the power of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life.
We Are The Sealed
SEALED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
We live in a world where people try their best to stop others from tampering with certain materials. The milk containers that we buy have the tamper-proof rings around the cap. Pickles come vacuum-packed. There is a little knob on the pickle lid. All of these items are used as a protective measure. They are there to stop people from harming the product and the consumers.
If the ring on a jug of milk has become separated from the lid, would you buy that milk? No! It would cause my hair to stand on end thinking about what might be in the milk that could harm my family.
In the case of the pickles, there is a specific warning telling the consumers not to buy them if the button has popped up. The food could be spoiled, or someone may have opened that jar of pickles.
These items have been sealed. When we see intact rings as depressed jar lids, we feel secure in purchasing these products. We believe that no one has tampered with the milk or pickles since they left the factory because they have been sealed. We place our faith in the seal.
The practice of sealing things for security purposes has been going on for centuries. The use of seals, in wax (sealing wax), in lacquer or embossed on paper, to authenticate documents, is a practice as old as writing itself. Seals of this nature were applied directly to the face of the document or attached to the document by cords in the owner’s, or to a narrow strip of the document sliced and folded down as a tail but not detached from the document. This helped maintain authenticity by not allowing the reuse of the seal. If a forger tried to remove the seal in the first case, it would break.
In our conclusion of the “We are” series, today I want to look at the believers once more. Only the believers, the Christians, the Redeemed, are the ones with a “seal” on their lives. Unsaved people do not have it, but it is available.
Just like a medieval letter, God, through the Holy Spirit, has placed a seal on our lives. It is as if He placed His insignia on our lives and said, “Do not mess with! This one is mine!” My question for us today is this: How do we know that we are sealed?
1. You Believed the Gospel
What does verse 13 say about the gospel of salvation? And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. (Ephesians 1:13) It says that the “word of truth,” which Paul equates as the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, as the means to these peoples salvation. These people heard the Good News about Jesus Christ, and because they listened to the Gospel Message, they were saved! And everyone said...???
Salvation is simple, but it is not THAT simple. Hearing alone will not change a person’s life. Hearing about Jesus dying on the cross for your life does not make you a Christian. I’ll even go as far as to say just because you know He rose again and feel that He is God does not make you a “new creation.”
No, there is another step to the equation. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed... Before you can accept Him as your Saviour from your sins and yourself, you need to BELIEVE.
Paul commended these people because they BELIEVED what they had heard. Paul is not talking about a head knowledge. There are many so called “experts” in the world that believe that Jesus was a real person. They believe that he lived on this earth and lived when He lived. They believe that He died on the cross. Many Muslims even believe, according to the Qu’ran that God “raised Jesus up.” But that head knowledge belief doesn’t quite stand up.
The “believing” that Paul is talking about here is more than just a head knowledge. This belief changes a person’s life. This belief reaches down into the heart of the sinner that hears about what Jesus did for them and cried out like Peter “Lord, Save Me!”
C. H. Spurgeon, a Baptist minister in the mid-eighteen hundreds, claimed that 98 percent of the people he met-- including the criminals he visited in England’s prisons--told him that they believed the Bible to be true. But the vast majority had never made a personal, life-changing commitment to Jesus Christ. For them, "believe" was not an active verb.
The people in Ephesus, and many here today, believed the Gospel to be so true that it changed their entire lives. Many of you today have believed with all your hearts that Christ is the Messiah. You knelt and repented of you sins, and left KNOWING that He forgave you. That’s HEART belief. That’s life changing belief! As a result, our second point is...