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Sermon #4023

Sealing: Problems and Difficulties

A Sermon on Ephesians 1:13


Ephesians 1:13 ESV KJV
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, (ESV)

Sermon Description

Effective witnessing makes God’s people radiant with joy and there is no experience like it on this side of heaven. In this sermon on Ephesians 1:13 titled “Sealing: Problems and Difficulties,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives a passionate plea for Christians to seek the sealing of the Spirit. The Christian life is not mechanical and emotionless because the love of God, and the love for God in return is not mechanical or emotionless. The fear of emotions should not discourage Christians to seek this experience of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Lloyd-Jones works through objections to this doctrine and answers them by bringing other passages of the Bible to bear on the topic, while also looking at subsequent church history for other Christian men and women who have experienced this work of the Holy Spirit. Finally, Dr. Lloyd-Jones cautions his listeners on the best way to seek the sealing of the Spirit. One must be hesitant to seek the experience for its own sake but instead should seek the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian cannot be fooled into thinking the Spirit is not sovereign in this matter but instead must recognize the Lordship of the Spirit. With these cautions, Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the people of God to seek this remarkable assurance that God graciously gives His people.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sealing of the Spirit is the greatest experience a Christian can have in this world. It provides absolute certainty of salvation and heaven.
  2. The sealing of the Spirit is not the same as regeneration, faith, belief, conversion, assurance from Scripture, or sanctification. It is an additional experience given by the Holy Spirit.
  3. The sealing of the Spirit is difficult to describe in words. It is a secret and intimate experience between God and the believer.
  4. Not all early Christians necessarily had the sealing of the Spirit. The statements in Scripture about all Christians having it could refer to the norm or ideal, not every single individual. During times of revival, the sealing of the Spirit may have been more widespread.
  5. The sealing of the Spirit is meant for all Christians, not just outstanding believers. The promise of the Spirit is for all who repent and believe.
  6. The sealing of the Spirit does not have to be dramatic or emotional for every Christian. It can vary in intensity but should still provide certainty.
  7. The sealing of the Spirit should be sought through reading Scripture, purifying one's life, and persistent prayer. One should seek God and His love, not just experiences. Waiting in "tarrying meetings" for a set time is unscriptural.
  8. God often grants the sealing of the Spirit at special times, such as before trials, after desertion, or near death. For some, it comes unexpectedly while seeking God. For others, ignorance of this experience prevents them from seeking it until late in life.
  9. The sealing of the Spirit provides a foretaste of heaven and fellowship with God that surpasses understanding. It is a source of joy and spiritual power.

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.