IT'S ALL SEALED IN THE GUARANTEE
13 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,14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his." 2 Timothy 2:19a
I know that for many of us we no longer really pay attention to the guarantee of things. For some of us, we are willing to pay the extra cost to provide what we feel like is protection until the item breaks, and we find out that there is a million ways that the company can void the guarantee. I am not saying that it happens that way all of the time, but I am saying that for a large portions of things, today's guarantee is not worth the words that are written on the box. I hate that because it seems as if that is the type of society that we have become. I know that I have mentioned before that growing up my father had told me that my word is my bond. But today it seems as if a guarantee is just a hope and a dream and no longer means what it use to. I say that, because I want truth to be real to every one again. I want all of us to realize that when God said something, it was not a question of whether or not that was going to be fulfilled. God said it and it happened. God sealed His truth in a guarantee that was paid upfront with the blood of Jesus. And so I really hope and pray that we can get back to being a society that is able to seal the truth by fulfilling our actions.
Back in the day, if you really wanted to feel safe and protected, you would get a letter from the king with a wax seal of the king's insignia. This would tell anyone who had any questions that the person holding this decree or letter was protected by the king. There was never any doubt. As is true for worldly kings of the day, so the same was true for us under the
protection of Christ. We, as Christians, must realize that we too have been sealed by the blood of the Lamb and we are protected by the power of the Holy Spirit. We must realize that we have been given this opportunity to go and profess this message that is not meant to be held just for us. When we are sealed, it means that we have had a deposit given on our behalf. As I said yesterday, it is as if God used Jesus as our earnest money and deposit for our sins. But we have to be willing to step out on faith and fulfill the promise our vow to God. If not, the sacrifice of grace and mercy shed on the cross is meaningless for us. We have to be willing to meet God from our side. We have to be willing to fulfill the promise of giving our heart, mind, soul and strength fully to God. We have been sealed with the guarantee of the Holy Spirit to protect us along the journey, but we still have to make a full commitment to God in order that the debt can be paid in full. If we walk away from God, we lose the earnest money paid on our behalf and we will receive the full payment we deserve for our sins.
As we look at the two scriptures for today, we are able to see something begin to jump out at us. The key word is guarantee. The Greek word that is used to describe this word guarantee is arrabōn. It occurs only one time in all of the Bible, and that one time is here in Ephesians 1:14. It means to be given as a pledge or an earnest for our debt. Websters defines it this way, "to pledge or agree to be responsible for another's debt or contractual performance if that other person does not pay or perform. Usually, the party receiving the guarantee will first try to collect or obtain performance from the debtor before trying to collect from the one making the guarantee." Paul is saying that he has personally experienced this transaction paid by Christ. We are marked by the seal of God or by the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus. We are given a promissory note until we are redeemed for His glory. We are found to be IN CHRIST, because we are able to see the magnitude of God's love for us. Studying Ephesians has truly given me a broader understanding of the identity that we have IN CHRIST. We are no longer our own. God has given us a 100% guarantee through Christ that will be claimed at the end of our lives. We need to continue to realize the true power of that promise. It is not like the ones of the world. It is specifically lived out through the life of Christ. Paul re-emphasizes it as well when he writes to Timothy and says, "Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his." God knows those who have the seal on their hearts and His promise will continue to stand firm until we meet Him in eternity.
So I close today just reiterating what exactly we have been guaranteed through the life and death of Jesus. We can see it clearly in Ephesians 1:3-14. V4-We are chosen, V5-adopted into sonship, V6-given grace for free, V7-redeemed through His blood-forgiveness of sins, V8-wisdom and understanding, V9-made known the mystery of His will, V10-to be put into effect when we reached fulfillment-end of life, V11-we are chosen, V-12 we are the praise of
His glory, V13-we are included/sealed carry His name, V14-he paid the deposit- guaranteeing our place. WE are marked in Him and sealed by the Holy Spirit to have the guarantee of eternal life... IF we are willing to fully give our whole self to God. We are guaranteed eternal life if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. There is no other guarantee in this world that I would even accept. This joy that God is wanting to give to us is sealed in the body of Jesus. We must truly be willing to understand our part if we want to receive it fully. When we finally step into a life filled with Christ, we are able to live a life that exemplifies that same attitude. We are to love unconditionally and be one in spirit and mind. We are not to be about ourselves filled with selfish ambition and vain conceit, but we are called in humility to consider others better than ourselves. Jesus came and lived out the life of a servant. He trusted God's plan, gave every effort to reach as many as He could. His attitude was humility and grace, and His motivation was us. He came to save us and to help us understand the price that He had paid for our salvation. God has marked us for an opportunity where our obedience will fulfill our debt and make God's joy complete. We have to take a step of faith and trust through humility. Are we ready to take hold of the marker paid on our behalf? Are we ready to show the seal that has marked our lives through Jesus?