Vol.XVIII No.II Pg.7
April 1981

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Your comments on the Holy Spirit as a "seal" (Eph. 1:13) would be appreciated. A.I.B.


This request was accompanied by an excellent paper showing careful study, which I will incorporate in reply.

Deity has distinctive roles of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But God is ONE and the eternal characteristics of God are inherent in all roles. One can not serve the Son without serving the Father; one can not live by the Spirit without living by or in the Son. We "know" God (are intimately related) to the extent we obey Him (1 Jn. 2:3-6); and God dwells in those who love one another, dwell in love, confess Jesus as Son of God (4:12-16). Now the connecting link for all of this is God's word: Spirit inspired revelation that must be objectively approached, believed, and followed by man (Rom. 10:13-17). It is little wonder that the same Greek word for "indwelling" of God (2 Cor. 6:16) and the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:11), is also applied to the "indwelling" of the word of Christ (Col. 3:16) and faith (2 Tim. 1:5). I agree with my correspondent that "The indwelling of Deity within the Christian figuratively describes the closeness of the relationship that is sustained between God and the believer." Think this over carefully!

The "seal" (Eph. 1:13) is a mark of ownership. Being approved of God, although affecting our feelings and the hope within us, is not subjectively determined. The "mark" of God is given only after we "hear" and "believe" or, as put in Acts 2:37-38, we hear, repent, and are baptized. The promise of the Spirit was closely related to the Abrahamic promise (Gal. 3:14-29, Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:) and embraced all blessings enjoyed "in Christ." We believe those who make "sealed with... the Spirit" an "inner peace" determined by our "feelings" are ignoring the general context of revelation.

Paul taught that those who truly have God's Spirit "walk" in Him, show His "fruit" in their life (Gal. 5:1626). The assurance we have of mercy and forgiveness is contingent upon a life of faith, of trying, of pressing toward the mark (Rom. 8:13-17, Phil. 3: 12-15). And in this very endeavor we, by God's grace, "partake of the divine image" (Phil .2:5-f; 2 Pet. 1:3-f).

The miraculous and extra-ordinary manifestations of the Holy Spirit are included in many statements made to people of the first century (Acts 2:. 5:32) for confirmation was still necessary. But the "earnest" of our inheritance is something that extends far beyond those early days when the word was being delivered. It is a "down payment" on our future glory. Expositor's says, "it is clear that what is in view here is not the... miraculous gifts of the Spirit, but that ... In which all believers shared, which was the subject of ... OT prophecies ...and of which a new heart, a new spirit, was to be the result." God-likeness in the saint, partaking of the divine image, being holy as He is holy (I Pet. 1:16) or pure as He is pure (1 Jn. 3:3), etc., is "seal" and "earnest" of the heavenly glory.