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Theology > Salvation > Work of Salvation > Preservation and Perseverance > Spirit's Sealing


The seal is the Spirit; He Himself is the seal, meaning that the seal is not something but Someone. God gives the Spirit to the believer, and the Spirit’s presence in the life of the believer is the presence of God and the seal of God.

God who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (II Cor. 1:21-22);

God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (II Cor. 5:5);

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Gal. 4:6);

You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14);

And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).

The time of the sealing or the proper place of the sealing in the ordo salutis is a question that cannot be answered; perhaps the question should not even be asked. Is the sealing at the time of union with Christ, regeneration, personal faith, justification, or adoption? The significance is not in the sequence but in the reality.

Not only is the Spirit the seal, but the seal is the down payment, that is, the guarantee. The presence of the Spirit is God’s promise that what He has begun, He will continue, and He will complete. He is the guarantee to the believer that the believer is secure both in time and eternity. Thus, the Lord is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). All of salvation is His doing.

Being the down payment, the seal is presented as the first installment, meaning there is more ahead. The Scriptures speak of “our inheritance” (Eph. 1:14) and of “the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). In colloquial language, the best is yet to be. Therefore, the sealing is related to the Eschaton. Always God’s work in the believer’s life is related to eschatology, that is, to the End.

In the sealing the believer is given the Giver as well as His gift, or gifts. But the reception of the Spirit is not the reception of the essence of the Spirit but the reception of the life or acts of the Spirit in the life or acts of the believer. Thus there is a participation in the life of God without a participation in God. Man cannot experience the essence of God but can benefit from the activity of God.

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