The War Cry
What's Holiness Got to Do with It? 6: Sealed by the Spirit
We are sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption, as a sign of Gods property in us.
Salvation Army USA - We are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God by receiving His stamp upon our souls, thus being made partakers of the divine nature and "qualified ... to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light" (Col. 1:12). This is, indeed, the design of His dwelling in us, to heal our disordered souls, and to restore His image upon our nature, which is so defaced by sins corruptions.
Until our spirits are in some measure thus renewed, we can have no fellowship with Jesus Christ. For "If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth" (1 John 1:6). But by the renewal of our minds into the image of God who created us, we are brought under His influences, and by means of a daily relationship with Him, we are more and more transformed into His likeness.
This likeness to God, this conformity of our will and affections to His will is, properly speaking, holiness. And to produce this in us is the proper end and design of all the influences of the Holy Spirit. By means of His presence with us, we receive from Him a great wealth of holy virtues. The features of our spirit are changed to correspond to His original design of humankind in the Garden. And through this process we are sealed by Him, in the first sense, as a way of preparation for our day of redemption.
We are sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption, as a sign of Gods property in us, and as a mark that we belong to Christ. This is, by His appointment, the condition and security of heaven, into which He will admit none but those who have received the Spirit of His Son into their hearts. He will take to Himself whoever He finds this mark and character upon when He comes to judge the world, and will not allow the destroyer to hurt them.
To this very purpose the prophet Malachi, speaking of those who feared God, says, "They will be Mine, says the Lord Almighty, in the day when I make up My treasured possession. [That is to say, when I set my seal and mark upon them, and] I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his own son who serves him" (Mal. 3:17).
The Holy Spirit within us is the security of our salvation. He is like a deposit and assures our spirits that we have a title to eternal happiness. "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are Gods children" (Rom. 8:16). And in order that this inward testimony may be lively and permanent, it is absolutely necessary to attend carefully to the secret operation of the Holy Spirit within us; who, by infusing His holy consolation into our souls, by enlivening our drooping spirits, and by giving us a quick relish of Gods promises, raises bright and joyous sensations in us. He gives man a taste of the bliss he will experience in the eternal presence of God.
In this sense, Paul says that God has "set His seal of ownership upon us, and put His spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (2 Cor. 1:22). And that deposit is not only a way of confirming our title to happiness, but is an actual part of that reward experienced now at the present time, with the balance to be enjoyed in the hereafter.