The Book of Ephesians.
(Verse by verse study.)
By Pastor Nick Bibile
†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,
Last week we saw the righteousness that is required by God to be saved. And even in the 10 commandments absolute righteousness is required. Then we saw all men try to show how righteous they are in their religions. Adam and Eve tried to cover up their nakedness by covering themselves with leaves. In the same way many are trying to cover their sins with their own righteousness. Religions of the world show how they cover up their sins with their righteousness. We saw even in the modern churches today there is a lack of true biblical teaching. Just go to their websites and you will see how large their churches are, but in their websites you will find all about their church, their programs but where is the gospel and the teachings? They too cover up their nakedness with their own righteousness of programs. We saw how God rebuked the church of Laodicea, that church was rich and lacked nothing yet God rebuked for her worldliness.
The only righteousness is found in Christ Jesus, we saw how the gospel revealed this righteousness in Christ Jesus as he was born sinless, he was righteous. He fulfilled all of the law he was righteous. He obeyed God to the very end he was righteous. He being God in flesh he is righteous. In Christ there is the positive righteousness. It is his righteousness that is in the gospel and in this gospel we receive the righteousness of Christ. Even if all our sins are forgiven still we cannot go to heaven, as we do not have a positive righteousness to be with the holy God of heaven. But praise be to God as in Christís righteousness we can be with the Father.
Q60:† How are you righteous before God?
A60:† Only by true faith in Jesus Christ: [Rom. 3:21-25; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 3:9] that is, although my conscience accuses me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, [Rom. 3:9-10] and am still prone always to all evil; [Rom. 7:23] yet God, without any merit of mine, [Titus 3:5] of mere grace, [Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8] grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, [I John 2:2] righteousness and holiness of Christ, [I John 2:1; Rom. 4:4-5; II Cor. 5:19] as if I had never committed nor had any sins, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me;[II Cor. 5:21] if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart.[John 3:18; Rom. 3:28; 10:10]
Apostle Paul continues with the following.
In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.
Greek word for seal is sphragizo sfrag-idí-zo
1) to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal
1a) for security: from Satan
1b) since things sealed up are concealed (as the contents of a letter), to hide, keep in silence, keep secret
1c) in order to mark a person or a thing
1c1) to set a mark upon by the impress of a seal or a stamp
1c2) angels are said to be sealed by God
1d) in order to prove, confirm, or attest a thing
1d1) to confirm authenticate, place beyond doubt
1d1a) of a written document
1d1b) to prove oneís testimony to a person that he is what he professes to be
In the Old Testament when a king issues a decree he seals it with his own ring and it cannot be reversed.
Es 8:8 Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.
There is a false teaching that says once you are truly saved in Christ you can lose your salvation. This is a heretical teaching. God gives eternal life and eternal life is not temporal. Once God seals the believer with his seal no one can reverse it. It shows his authenticity over the believer and our security of salvation in God. Here by sealing the true believer he confirms and certify the assurance of our salvation. This is called in theology Perseverance of the Saints. The eternal security we have in Christ Jesus.
Joh 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
It says you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. The Spirit of promise. All scripture that is the word of God is breathed out by the Spirit of God and this promise is in the word of God. The promises of God never fail.
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
There are some who teach that you can lose your salvation. They believe people who are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith. One of the prominent teacherís of this doctrine was John Wesley who founded the Methodist Church. John Wesley said the following.
I believe a saint may fall away; that one who is holy or righteous in the judgment of God himself may nevertheless so fall from God as to perish everlastingly.Ē
Nevertheless Wesley published the book. Then George
Whitefield answered back ďA Letter from George Whitefield to Rev. Mr. John
Wesley in answer to Mr. Wesleyís sermon entitled Free Grace.
Here is paragraph of the beginning of Whitefieldís letter to Wesley.
"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed" (Gal. 2:11).
Bethesda in Georgia, Dec. 24, 1740
Reverend and very dear Brother,
ďFor some time before, and especially since my last departure from England, both in public and private, by preaching and printing, you have been propagating the doctrine of universal redemption. And when I remember how Paul reproved Peter for his dissimulation, I fear I have been sinfully silent too long. O then be not angry with me, dear and honoured Sir, if now I deliver my soul, by telling you that I think in this you greatly err.Ē
(You can see the entire letter on this link http://www.gty.org/~phil/wesley.htm)
†However we believe all who were chosen by God before the foundation of the world are redeemed by Christ in our time, and sealed by the Spirit. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end. We as believers have the confidence in this, this confidence is not in us but of Christ what he did for us on the cross. I doubt he will impute his righteousness to the believer and will take it back.
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Our perseverance is not depended on our works but on Godís grace. We did not love God but he loved us first and if he loved us who were enmity with God he will keep us to the end.
1Jo 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
If a true genuine Christian lose his salvation then we need to come to the conclusion that God had withdrawn his grace and put the person back under the law, which is impossible as the word says we are saved not under the law but by grace and God is immutable and we are chosen before the foundation of the world.
Godís love for the believer is unmerited.
Jer 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.
Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
†29† For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
†30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
†31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
"God's love in this respect," says Dr. Charles Hodge "is compared to parental love. A mother does not love her child because it is lovely. Her love leads her to do all she can to render it attractive and to keep it so. So the love of God, being in like manner mysterious, unaccountable by anything in its objects, secures His adorning His children with the graces of His Spirit, and arraying them in all the beauty of holiness. It is only the lamentable mistake that God loves us for our goodness, that can lead any one to suppose that His love is dependent on our self-sustained attractiveness.
Martin Luther said, "God's decree of predestination is firm and certain; and the necessity resulting from it is, in like manner, immovable, and cannot but take place. For we ourselves are so feeble.' that if the matter were left in our hands, very few, or rather none, would be saved; but Satan would overcome us all."
But the doctrine of perseverance does not say we will never fall into sin anymore. A believer can backslide like King David and Peter but Godís grace will show the believer of the sin and there is continuous repentance in this life.
The believer, like a man on shipboard, may fall again and again on the deck, but he will never fall overboard."' -C. H. Spurgeon
Ps 94:14 For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
Lordís people are his special and peculiar people, whom he has loved, chosen, redeemed, and called, his "foreknown people"; these he never casts off.
Jer 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
It is an everlasting covenant, flows from everlasting love, and founded on an everlasting purpose; consists of promises, which God, that cannot lie, made before the world began; and of grace, and blessings of grace, given in Christ Jesus our mediator of the new covenant.
John 10:28. "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand!" These words are spoken of the sheep of Christ, which he has a property in, whom the Father has given to him, and he has laid down his life, whom he knows and calls by name. The eternal life he gives them; they can never die the second death.
The sealing of the Spirit should motivates us to holiness to God as we are sealed not with a worldly stamp but by the Holy Spirit which should cause us to be holy in the site of God and to obey him. The Spirit that sealed us is Holy and we should walk in accordance to that seal.
1Jo 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
Ether you have the mark of God or the mark of the devil, 666. God is called Holy to the third degree, if you remember in Isaiah said;
Isa 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
But the devil is unholy to the third degree as his mark is repeated three times 666. Either you are a true Christian marked and sealed in the Spirit of God or a child of the devil. There is no middle ground.
Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The scripture is the dawning of the gospel. There are two seeds mentioned here. Womanís seed and the devilís seed. Out of the womanís seed we see Christ was born of the virgin and his offspring are the true Christians, then we see the devilís seed the non-Christians. There is always enmity, hatred between Christians and the non-Christians. Christians were tortured, persecuted and some were even killed by the devilís children.
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
But how do you know that you belong to Christ and not to the devil?
There are hypocrites in the church who will outwardly perform the Christians duties. But inwardly they have no desire and a love for the Lord. Christianity is just a duty for them.
1Jo 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Ro 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
Ro 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The spirit does not lead to false teachings, emotionalism but the Holy Spirit will exalt the Lord Jesus and testify his teachings.
Joh 15:26† But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.
The Holy Spirit that sealed the believer will sanctify the believer in Godís word. There will be a greater thirst in the believer to learn the word of God and to grow in the image of Christ. The true Christian has his heart in heaven; his affections are set in Heaven his chosen country and inheritance. He is a traveler on this world. The traveler can content himself to be in a strange land for a while.
The Holy Spirit seals the believer and confirms the believer as he abides in us and he leads us in the will of God in obedience.