ETERNAL SECURITY IN ONE VERSE
Intro: It matters not how some people misinterpret other Bible verses to teach that one's personal salvation can be lost due to the commission of some sin or sins. They are wrong to conclude that any true believer sealed by the Holy Spirit is in jeopardy of falling from grace and losing salvation by any act of his doing.
There are many stand alone verses which prove the impossibility of a born again believer losing his salvation by any means whatsoever. Stand alone verses! But if we put all of the verses together which, standing alone prove our eternal security in Christ, we have an amazing amount of proof, evidence, incontrovertible and undeniable scripture to SUPPORT and DEFEND the doctrine of the eternal security of believers, i.e. "Once saved, always saved." This is a doctrine hated by those who misinterpret other verses which they claim teach ones' salvation can be forfeited by acts of sin or apostasy.
My text is only one of the many stand alone proof verses. Eph 4:30 "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
There are two points to be made here. This verse shows that it is possible for us to grieve the Spirit by our wrong behavior, but such grieving, though wrong, does not break the seal by which the Holy Spirit sealed us at the time of our personal salvation when we were drawn by the Holy Spirit to repent of our sin and to trust Jesus Christ for forgiveness and for salvation and eternal life in heaven.
I would like to present this verse by explaining the Sealing work of the Spirit this morning. Then tonight, I want to explain what it means to grieve Him.
I. What it means to be SEALED.
The rational of OUR not grieving the Holy Spirit is simply because it is He who has sealed us unto God once and for all. Such a remarkable action on the part of God Almighty to bestow the gift of eternal salvation upon us through the agency of the Holy Spirit is indeed to be respected by our not insulting the administrator of it by causing Him grief by the things which we do !!!
THE EARNEST PLEDGE. 2 Co 1:21-22 "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."
Verse 22. Who hath also sealed us. The word "sealed" used in the text and here, means,- to seal up; to close and make fast with a seal, or signet--as, documents, books, letters, etc. It is also used in the sense of setting a mark on anything, or a seal, to denote that it is genuine, authentic, confirmed, or approved as when a deed, compact, contract or other kind of agreement is sealed as authentic and a done deal. It is made sure; and is confirmed, or established.
Sealing is applied to people by the text, to denote that they are approved. In Joh 6:27, it is said of the Saviour, "for him hath God the Father sealed." In a similar manner Christians are said to be sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Why is this done? The Holy Spirit is given to us to confirm to us that we now belong to God. Now He is more than our creator, He is our Father He has given to us his Spirit. He sanctified us, set us apart to himself. He produced in our hearts all of the feelings, hopes, and desires which are an evidence that we have been adoped into His family, secured forever and approved by God; that we no longer a part of this world system because we have been transformed, that our hope is genuine; and that our redemption and salvation are SURE in the same way as a seal makes a will or an agreement sure. God grants to us his Holy Spirit as the certain pledge that we are his. Cp. 2Ti 2:19 "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." Iniquity grieves the Holy Spirit.
The SEAL shows that we have been approved and will surely be saved in the last day, "the day of redemption." This SEALING consists of the ordinary operations of the Spirit on the heart, producing repentance, faith, hope, joy, conformity to God's will, the love of prayer and praise, and to general Christian virtues. These things are the evidences that the Holy Spirit has renewed the heart, and that the Christian is sealed off for the day of redemption.
What is this seal? Or should I say, "who" is this seal? The Holy Spirit, Himself is the seal. In the symbolism of Scripture a seal signifies three things: (1) A finished transaction, (2) Ownership, & (3) Security.
The assurance of our salvation is so very important that the Apostle Paul tells us to look for the evidences, he puts it this way, 2Co 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" How is Christ in us? By the person of the Holy Spirit.
Do each of us know we are not a reprobate (Gr. unapproved, rejected). 1Co 9:27 "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." What is a castaway? It is the same Greek word translated as "reprobate," disapproved, rejected. Paul did not fear losing his salvation. He rather wished to prove by his life that he was not a reprobate... one who only pretended to be saved, but who was not.
"And given the earnest of the Spirit." The word means, a pledge given to ratify a contract; a part of the price, or purchase money; a first installment or the down payment which confirms the transaction, and which is regarded as a pledge that all the price will be paid. i.e. the down payment earnest money when signing a contract to purchase a house. It is the assurance to the seller that you will follow through to the final payment in the contract to buy their property. The larger the earnest deposit the more the seller is certain you will perform what is promised. It says to the seller, you mean business, you do NOT plan to lose your deposit by defaulting the contract. God made contract with us to save us. His earnest deposit is His Holy Spirit who lives in us, the guarantee that He will NOT DEFAULT, He CANNOT default without losing His entire credibility and divine attribute of faithfulness to His word. God is more than ABLE! Jude 1:24 "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."
Earnest is further explained in 2 Co 5:5 "Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit."; It refers to those promises as a pledge of the future glories which await Christians in heaven. One of which is a new body, 2Co 5:2 "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:"
In regard to the "earnest," or the part of a price which was paid in a contract, it should be understood, first that it was of the same character as the full redemption promise, being regarded as the first part of it; and secondly it was regarded as a pledge or assurance that the full promise would be received on the day of redemption. So the "earnest of the Spirit" means that God gives to us the influences of his Spirit in his operation in our hearts, as a pledge that all the blessings of the covenant of redemption will, in due time, be given to us. His plan cannot and will not fail of completion. This is the believers assurance that one saved, always safe. But the caution to be exercised here is this, "examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith... prove... know...that Jesus Christ is in you...." This can give us the confirmation of assurance of having true salvation. Others may misjudge us to be reprobates or hypocrites, but only we can KNOW for sure when and if Christ testifies to our spirit that He lives inside our heart. Ro 8:16 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" This is our assurance, this is our confirmation, this is the inward evidence which we NEED in order for us to establish that we have in fact passed the test of a born again believer with assurance of eternal salvation which will never be taken away from us.
And it implies, that the assurances of the Christian here are of the same nature as they will be in heaven. Heaven will consist of like assurance; of love, and peace, and joy, and purity begun here, and simply expanded there. The joys of heaven differ only in degree, not in kind, from those of the Christian on earth. That which is begun here is perfected there; and the feelings and views which the Christian has here, if expanded and carried out, would constitute heaven.
These assurances, these evidences of the Spirit, are a pledge of heaven. They are the security which God gives us that we shall absolutely be saved. If we are brought under the renewing influences of the Spirit here; if we are made meek, and humble, and prayerful by his agency; if we are made to partake of the joys which result from pardoned sin; if we are filled with the hope of heaven, it is all produced by the Holy Spirit; and is a pledge or earnest, of our future inheritance just as the first sheaves of a harvest are a pledge of a harvest, or the first payment under a contract or pledge that all will be paid. God thus gives to his people the assurance that they shall be saved; and by this "pledge" makes their title to eternal life secure.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise." The SEAL cannot be broken by anything we do. It is not a seal of our making, it is done by the H.S. Does a jar of green beans seal itself? No, the sealing is done by an outside source. It is preserved until the seal is broken, again by an outside source. This sealing is our assurance that we are 1Pe 1:5 ... kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
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Revelation 11:17 "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned."
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