Sealed by the Spirit

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This passage is about our INHERITANCE in Christ.
We’re taking these out of order because a proper understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit is crucial to a proper understanding of our eternity in Christ. Today we focus in on the work of the Spirit, next week we take a closer look at what the inheritance is/isn’t


Ephesians 1:11–14 ESV
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 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, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Author: Paul
Audience: All the Saints
Content: We are saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit in one action.
Context: Our inheritance and our sealing are meant to cause us to Praise and give Glory to God
Comparison: Acts 1:4You heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Verse 13 - The process by which we are sealed:
you heard
you believed
you were sealed
Verse 14 - The product of our sealing:
We have a promise of an inheritance
We will possess an inheritance
We will praise God and give Him glory in our inheritance


We must perceive God’s Word

Romans 10:14–15 ESV
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

We must believe the testimony of Jesus

John 3:16–18 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

We must receive the Holy Spirit

Two major questions:
Does being baptized with the Holy Spirit happen some time after salvation?
In the book of Acts, we see the Holy Spirit come to those who have not yet been baptized E.G. at the moment of belief (Acts 10:44 - “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.”), sometime after being baptized (Acts 8:12-16 - “… they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”), or even at the occasion of baptism:
Acts 19:1–2 ESV
1 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
This verse is used to argue that there is a water baptism and a Spirit baptism
Acts 19:3–4 ESV
3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”
The proper context of this passage shows us that they had never believed in the Gospel of Jesus
Acts 19:5–7 ESV
5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
This leads us to our second major question:
2. Is the Holy Spirit we are sealed with the same Holy Spirit we see in the book of Acts?
This is a question that seems obvious, but is also reasonable: The way the Spirit works in Acts is different from the way we see the Spirit work in the church today. This leads to questions about the authenticity of one’s salvation.
2a. After the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is consistent in its delivery. See Eph 1:13
2b. After the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is personal in its evidences. (GIFTS and WORKS)
Cessationism vs. Continuationism
Cessationism tends to refer to a belief that the miraculous gifts of healing, tongues, and, to a lesser extent, prophecy all ended with the apostolic ministries.
J. Lee Grady’s book “The Holy Spirit is NOT for Sale” creates three classifications for cessationists:
Full cessationists: ALL miracles and ALL miraculous gifts have ended with the Apostles
Classical cessationists: The miraculous gifts ceased with the apostles, but God still does supernatural work at His discretion and NOT through a believer performing signs and wonders. (Most of us who consider ourselves cessationists will fall into this category.)
Consistent cessationists: After the miraculous gifts ceased, there is also no need for apostles, prophets, or other figureheads/pillars within the church.
Daniel Wallace, founder and director of The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts and a professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, creates one more classification.
Concentric cessationists: Miraculous gifts have ceased in the mainstream church and evangelized areas, but may appear in unreached areas for evangelistic purposes. (I place my own beliefs very near concentric cessationism.)
Continuationism tends to refer to a belief that the miraculous gifts and the calling of apostles still occurs today. (Sometimes referred to as Charismatic, a misnomer.)
Conservative/Biblical continuationists would state that the baptism of the Spirit is the outpouring of the work of the Spirit from within the believer who is already saved and already has the Spirit. J. Lee Grady and R. T. Kendall are both what I would consider Biblical continuationists.
Chaotic Continuationists would state that Salvation and Baptism with the Spirit are separate events. They begin from an unbiblical stance and only drift further from the Word.
What’s the point? The Spirit we are sealed with has no gifts and no manifestation. What does the Spirit do?
The Spirit gives us faith to believe and follow
The Spirit gives us freedom from our slavery to sin
The Spirit is with us forever. The seal cannot be broken
Response: Salvation/Baptism/Recommit/New Ministry
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