“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1:13 (ESV)
God’s spiritual blessings for believers are based not only on the sovereign election of the Father (vv. 3–6) and the redemptive work of the Son (vv. 7–12), but also upon the seal of the Holy Spirit.
The phrase “In him you also… introduces the third series of spiritual blessings from the Triune God. The phrase directs our attention to God the Father. Along with all the previously mentioned blessings discussed in Ephesians 1:3-12, there are still more blessings from God to the believer in Christ.
This third category of blessing occurred in the believer’s life “when you heard the word of truth.” The phrase when you heard (ἀκούω; akouo) means to actively understand and receive as truth what was heard and understood. The Apostle Paul indicated that what was heard by the believing sinner was “the word of truth.” In other words, it was a message of reality. It was not a fairy tale or fiction.
What was this word of truth? It was “the gospel of your salvation.” It was the good news that God the Father exists, that sin exists, that deliverance from sin’s penalty, power and eventual presence exits, and the deliverer is none other than Jesus Christ.
When the converted sinner has believed in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, God sealed them “with the promised Holy Spirit.” It is solely a work of God upon the individual believer.
To be sealed (σφραγίζω; sphragizo) means to be marked for possession or identity, to be made secure, and to be safely delivered to one’s intended destination. For the believer in Christ, God marks each one with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). This identifies the individual as God’s purchased possession and also indicates that their destiny for heaven is safe and secure.
We will have more to say about God’s sealing blessing when next we meet. Until then, thank God that by His grace, He has signed, sealed and promises to deliver you to Himself.
Soli deo Gloria!