Sealed with the Spirit
A Sermon on Ephesians 1:13
13In Him, 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 the promise,
13In 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,
What causes Christians to be lethargic and lose the joy of their salvation? What steals the enthusiasm for spiritual growth? These are certainly questions evangelical Christians should be concerned about but many Christians are skeptical of talk about the “experience” of the Holy Spirit. In this sermon on Ephesians 1:13 titled “Sealed with the Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones suggests the joy in Christ – the experience of that joy – might not be present in a Christian life because they do not fully grasp the truth about the sealing of the Holy Spirit. Since they do not know what they are missing, they do not seek it nor ask the Lord for it. The listener is taken through a detailed examination of the meaning of the apostle Paul’s teaching on the Holy Spirit, beginning with the effect of the Holy Spirit upon the Lord Jesus Christ in His life and ministry. Dr. Lloyd-Jones interacts with two competing views regarding the sealing of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Listen closely as Dr. Lloyd-Jones systematically walks through Scripture, illustrating both the meaning and the timing of the apostle’s teaching on the sealing of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.
- The sermon focuses on Ephesians 1:13 which states "In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise."
- The preacher begins by explaining that this verse introduces the Holy Spirit explicitly for the first time in Ephesians.
- The preacher notes that the verse refers to something that happened in the past, not something happening currently.
- The preacher lays out three common meanings of the term "seal": authentication, ownership, and security. These help understand the meaning of being "sealed with the Holy Spirit."
- The preacher examines how the term "seal" is used in John 3:33, 1 John 5:10, and John 6:27. These usages refer to authentication and authority.
- The preacher notes that in John 6:27, Jesus says "Him hath God the Father sealed" referring to how God authenticated Jesus through the Holy Spirit, miracles, words, etc.
- The preacher says that with us, being "sealed with the Holy Spirit" means we have been authenticated as children of God through intelligible signs.
- The preacher addresses whether being sealed with the Holy Spirit happens at the same time as belief or after belief. He argues that it happens after belief based on various passages.
- The preacher cites John 14, Acts 1-2, Acts 8, Acts 9, Acts 15, and Acts 19 as evidence that being sealed with the Holy Spirit follows belief and is not automatic or inevitable. There is an interval between belief and being sealed.
- The preacher notes that while there may be a short or long interval, being sealed always follows belief. Only believers can be sealed. Belief makes us children of God; being sealed authenticates that.
- The preacher says he will discuss the ways the Holy Spirit authenticates our status as children of God in the next sermon.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.