“When you believed (in Christ), you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession….” (Ephesians 1: 13b, 14)

     Today we are in a time where marking ownership of low-cost possessions does not seem as important as it was years ago. Family members born in the early part of the 20th century would often write their names on items they owned such as a lamp, a picture frame, or a book. For example, just the other day we were helping my parents clean out their garage and we came across several items that used to be my now-deceased grandmother’s. She had used a permanent marker to write her name on several items. For many of us, with the Internet and Amazon.com, we might choose to leave our names off of an item in case we can re-sell it to someone else in the future.

    In ancient, biblical times, one way that some people in society would declare ownership of an object was with a seal. Soft material such as wet clay might be placed on a document or over a folded piece of parchment to protect it until the right person could open it. A seal might also be placed on a piece of pottery before firing signifying ownership.

    In the Bible, the Apostle Paul made several references in his letters to various churches about a seal.

     “When you believed (in Christ), you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession….” (Ephesians 1: 13b, 14)

     Here it appears that Paul, who is writing to the church in Ephesus, is saying when they believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, in a sense, seals them as owned by God. The Spirit is a deposit until that day when they receive their inheritance. What is our inheritance? It is spending eternity with God after our physical death.

     “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

     Later, in the same letter, Paul again emphasizes that the Holy Spirit is the One who seals us or places the stamp of God’s ownership on us “for the day of redemption” – that important day when we go be with God forever.

    Finally, in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Paul says, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

     What is God saying to us through these passages? The Holy Spirit is our seal that indicates to the world that we belong to and are possessions of God through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is also a “deposit” that gives us a glimpse of what it may be like on that day when we leave this earth and be with God for all eternity.

     If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, be grateful God has set His seal of ownership on you and given you His Holy Spirit to live this life. Daily come before Him to express your dependence on Him and then see how He might use you to accomplish His purposes in this world.