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FIRST Thoughts

Preachers, teachers, evangelists, missionaries, and laymen devote much time, energy, and resources in proclaiming the good news that Jesus saves. Salvation is the central issue in every heart, for all of us have an emptiness within that can only be filled satisfactorily by the person of Jesus.

That said, not much by comparison is shared on the issue of security. Many who believe that Jesus saves struggle with believing that Jesus secures those He saves. And that leaves a cloud of uncertainty hanging over their soul. That is something that Jesus never intended for those who embrace Him by the grace of God. What good is salvation if I am not secure in it?

The Apostle Paul wrote these words to believers in the city of Ephesus. They still speak powerful truth today to anyone willing to hear. God says in Ephesians 1:13 "In Him, (Christ) you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise."

Did you notice the word 'sealed' in that verse? That word is important. Through the use of the seal, we understand that Christ authenticates those who trust Him as Lord and Savior with the presence of the person of the Holy Spirit. In other words, God moves into the soul of a sinner who repents of sin and begins to reorder everything within the soul of that person. Consequently, that life begins the process of 'things' being removed while other 'things' are rearranged/reordered for the glory of God.

In the years leading up to Christ's birth as well as those that would follow, a seal was used to protect the contents of what was written. Today we simply place what is important into an envelope and seal it before mailing. During these days, a person would fold a document, apply hot wax to it and then imprint the seal of the Sovereign into it. That seal would not be broken for any reason until the contents had reached its desired destination.

The same is true of every believer who embraces the treasure of Christ in faith. The contents of His person are placed in the soul of the believer at the point of surrender. God then places His Sovereign seal on it, thereby authorizing safe passage to the desired destination.

The seal of God's Spirit declares ownership in the same way that people brand their livestock for purposes of personal identification. Once the brand is applied by the owner, in this case the Lord Jesus Christ, it leaves an enduring reminder of the ownership of God. As believers, we are God's property who bear in our soul the brand of God's presence in our daily lives. Romans 8:16 says, "the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God."

During my days of caring for cattle, there were more than a few times when one or more would fail to show up and be counted, and fed. Sometimes they were in trouble and had to be rescued and returned. On other occasions some would find a way through the fence and would be found roaming along the road, often in greater danger than they realized. The brand of ownership played a significant role in being returned to safety. Their 'hide' bore the mark of ownership and no one could legally claim anything to the contrary.

The same is true with God and His sealing us with the presence of His Spirit. We become His through redemption of sin and the regeneration of our soul by the power of His Spirit.

The world system under Satan no longer has a claim on me. In the words of an old hymn, 'He is mine, and I am His forever, He is leading me along life's way, He'll be holding my hand when I cross death's river, He will take the sting of death away.'

It is imperative that a person is saved! No greater decision will all of humanity face in this life. It is just as important that a person is secure in order to enjoy the fulfillment of God's purpose for their life!

Do you bear in your spirit, soul, and body the mark of authenticity that identifies you as a member of God's forever family? It's not a 'thing' you wear when you feel like it. Rather, this is the enduring imprint of the living God who joins you for the journey of life as you 'work out' (exercise) His salvation (Philippians 2:12).



You don't have to hope so. You can know so in Christ. That is good news!

May the blessing of His presence rest upon you and bring you peace,

Pstr K

Psalm 27:1