Saturday, 6 June 2015
…who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:22
In the previous verse, Paul noted that those who believe in Christ are anointed by God. Tied to this comes another benefit, an eternal one. Understanding what he is speaking of here should completely put at ease anyone who has been confused about the doctrine of “eternal salvation.” In other words, can a person “lose” their salvation? The answer is “No!” God Himself has anointed us and God Himself has “sealed us.”
The word for “sealed” is sphragizó. It means “properly to seal (affix) with a signet ring or other instrument; to stamp.” It “signifies ownership and the full security carried by the backing (full authority) of the owner. ‘Sealing’ in the ancient world served as a ‘legal signature’ which guaranteed the promise (contents) of what was sealed.” A change in ownership has taken place and that change, from the devil to God, bears His seal. As there is no higher authority in heaven or on earth, it must be an eternal salvation. God does not make mistakes.
Further, as evidence of this, Paul notes that He has “given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” The word “guarantee” is the Greek word arrabón. It properly means, “A pledge; an earnest, earnest-money, a large part of the payment, given in advance as a security that the whole will be paid afterwards.” The sealing of the Spirit is “a guarantee.” To say that a person who receives God’s anointing, seal, and Spirit could then lose it is to accuse God of reneging on a guarantee that He has made; it is an impossible situation to even consider.
As Paul says in Ephesians 1:13, 14 –
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
Paul notes there, using the same words sphragizó and arrabón, the certainty of eternal salvation. Any other verses which appear to contradict this doctrine have either been misunderstood or they been taken out of their intended context. God is not in the business of making errors, especially with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
This Greek word, arrabón is a transliteration from the Hebrew word erabon. Both words are used only three times in Scripture. In the Old Testament, they are all found in Genesis 38, in a story which seems so peculiar that it is almost universally misunderstood. The three times it is found in the New Testament are in Paul’s writings – 2 Corinthians 1:22, 2 Corinthians 5:5, and Ephesians 1:14. To obtain a fuller understanding of the significance of that beautiful Old Testament passage found in Genesis 38, please make time to watch this sermon on YouTube -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezrTF468Q_I
Life application: If you are like every other person on earth (and you are), then you will fail your Lord often after you call out to Him for salvation. However, He has received you and you have been sealed for the day of redemption. Don’t allow others to make you feel you have “lost” your salvation. You could no more do so than God would reject His own Son Jesus. You have moved to Him and you are “in” Him. You are secure. Press on in His good graces with this surety. Pick up the pieces of your sin and rebellion, place them in the garbage can, and move on in His security.
Lord God, thank You for the absolute security I have in You because of the work of Jesus. I am fully confident in the doctrine of “eternal salvation” because it is what Your word teaches. I know that I will stumble and fall, and I know that You have already forgiven me for doing so. Grant me wisdom to live properly before You, but keep reminding me that I am Yours, now and forever, because of the work of another… because of Jesus! Hallelujah and Amen.