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In whom also, you having heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also having trusted, were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13)
Having heard the word of truth.
God’s Word is truth. God’s Word gives us the reality of things. It reveals his attributes, will and purposes, commands, and the actual conditions that his people face in this fallen world and the hope of what lies ahead. God’s Word of truth gives fallen man what has been provided for them to be sanctified or made holy and what is needed to remain sanctified to the end. Hence, Jesus prayed concerning his followers: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17; Cf. James 1:18.) Only by being obedient to the word of truth will lead the believer into sanctification. The apostle Peter tells us, “Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth, with an unhypocritical love of the brothers, intensely love one another from a pure heart, having been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1Pe 1:22-23) The believer is “no part of the world” that is alienated from God because they refuse to recognize the word of truth. – John 17:16.
In whom also having trusted. Having trusted in God’s grace.
The gospel of your salvation. This is the gospel that brings salvation to the believer.
In whom also. In the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul tells us that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how will they hear without someone to preach?” – Romans 10:13-15.
Were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Sealed: (Gr. σφραγίζω sphragizō) refers to God marking the believer with the Holy Spirit. The seal signifies that they belong to God and have the hope of eternal life. The believer has been marked or sealed, which signifies that they are genuine, authentic, true, and approved. Hence, in Revelation 7:3, we have an angel saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the slaves of our God on their foreheads.” Similarly, in Ezekiel 9:3-4, “And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the scribe’s inkhorn at his waist. Jehovah said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the detestable things which are being committed in its midst.’” In John 6:27, it is said of Jesus, “For on him God the Father has set his seal.” So, similarly, genuine Christians are sealed, marked, and approved by the Holy Spirit. (Eph 1:13; 4:30) In other words, by way of the Holy Spirit, they have been confirmed that they belong to God. They have been renewed and sanctified. The seal signifies that they are God’s possession. (2Co 1:21, 22) He brings about in their hearts genuine feelings, hopes, and desires that enable them to know for certain that God approves of them, that he has adopted them as his children, and that their redemption and salvation are unquestionable. God has given them his Holy Spirit as the certain pledge that they belong to him and shall be approved and saved if they endure to the end. No one can break the seal but God and the one who has received it. Being sealed with the Holy Spirit is not miraculous, nor is there any direct revelation. It is simply an operation of the Spirit on the believer’s heart, which brings about repentance, faith, hope, joy, conformity to what is good, the desire to talk intimately with God and praise his name, and the adoption of Christian virtues and values. Christian values are principles or standards of behavior based on God’s Word that help the believer decide what is right and wrong in life. In contrast, virtues are godly qualities that are biblically based and good and desirable. These things are evidence to the believer that the Holy Spirit has renewed their heart and that they are sealed. These things also produce an outward display to the world that the believer is a genuine Christian.