Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

stevie wonderThe young music artist was experimenting with the melody and played it for his mom. When she heard it, she exclaimed the words: “Signed, sealed and delivered, I’m yours.” Stevie Wonder completed the rest of the lyrics and released it in 1970 as his first single, landing six weeks as Number 1 on the R&B charts. In 2008 a presidential candidate had the song played at campaign events after he delivered his speech. Without question, it’s a catchy tune.

In the business world this phrase means that a particular document was properly “executed”, “secured” in a suitable envelope, and then “handed over” to the intended recipient. Press speed dial for the spiritual application of this phrase: our salvation was signed in heaven, sealed in Christ, and delivered to the human race. “For on Him (Jesus) God the Father has set His seal” (John 6:27)

This wonderful truth is summed up nicely here: “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,  who is the guarantee (down payment) of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it (or, until God redeems His possession) to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

As of this writing, I’ve been enjoying the “down payment” of my inheritance in Christ for almost four decades. It’s supplied all that I’ve needed to live life and it continually renews anticipation of my acquiring another dimension of its reality. As strangers and sojourners, we have tasted of the powers of the age to come and the superior pleasure of knowing Christ. Yet we are beleaguered daily by the transient things of this world that carry the intense feel of permanence. Biblically, they are defined as “light momentary affliction” but they sure do pack a wallop.

small_8438055400I lean totally upon the Divine guarantee that is behind the “seal” of God. Being sealed with the Holy Spirit speaks of Jesus’ ownership, protection, and authority over our lives. In the ancient world the royal seal of the king’s signet ring was used to authenticate documents. Breaking a royal seal was considered a serious crime. The first transgression was initiated by the serpent in the garden and his evil army has sought ever since to separate the heart of God’s people from intimate connection. Unable to break the seal of God, the enemy’s only recourse was to deceive and entice mankind into making poor decisions. The battle rages on.

The strength of God’s seal is clearly expressed in John chapter ten. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” The greatness of the Father and the Son is what I depend upon for my safety.

Yet there are sheep, and marriages, that are seemingly “snatched” away by the enemy. Families are plundered and future generations marred. What is the role that we must play to ensure that the perimeter is not breached?

To Be Continued…

photo credit: Rob-Wei via photopin cc

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