Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours

Here I am baby
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m yours
(You got my future in your hands)
Here I am baby
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m yours
(You got my future in your hands)

The popular Stevie Wonder tune is the story of a contrite sweetheart—returning after a long parting — seeking forgiveness, and expressing his desire to recommit.   The song came to my mind as I was reading about seals in Scripture. Picture a document of great import.  It is a decree from the king himself.  He takes the document from his scribe, rolls it up and lifts the deep red candle from its holder.  The flame flickers as he tilts the candle just enough to allow the hot wax to drip down onto the curved outer edge.  Removing his ornate gold ring, he stamps his unique imprint and seal of authority into the wax, signifying his approval of the order.  The stamp is proof of the king’s endorsement.  It bears witness to the recipient that herein are the words given by the king, himself.

As believers we are also sealed — by the King of Kings:          

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

How awesome to know that as believers we are sealed by God Himself!  The Holy Spirit indwelling us is proof that we belong to Him, and is our assurance that His promise of redemption will one day become a reality to us!  The metaphor doesn’t end there, though.  The seal is the King’s official mark, so what is written inside must be very important, The Apostle Paul calls the Corinthian believers “letters,” which were written on his heart.  Furthermore, he suggested that the lives they lived in obedience to the Lord were in essence, his letter of recommendation as an Apostle.  He goes on to state the following: “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:3)

We do well to ask ourselves, “What does my letter proclaim to those who read it?” In Ephesians 4, verse 30, we read, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Think about it: God’s seal is upon us.  Are our lives bearing witness to the One who has sealed us, or are our choices and actions telling a different story?  How do we grieve the Holy Spirit? Interestingly, verse 30 is sandwiched in-between various principles of behavior that should govern our lives as believers:

Ephesians 4:17-5:21
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible — and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.  Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

That’s a lot to digest, isn’t it?  If you find these things overwhelming, take heart! Remember that these qualities reflect who God is.  It’s not about following all the rules in our own strength, but rather, about the strength that comes from walking in Christ.  It’s not about enslavement to the law, but about freedom: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

There is no better day than today to refocus on what is really important. There is no better time than now — so sing with me a little song of surrender:

Here I am Jesus
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m yours
(You got my future in your hands)
Here I am Jesus
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m yours
(You got my future in your hands)

All Scriptures NIV

1 comment for “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours

  1. Beth
    November 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Beautifully written and on a day I most needed this reminder. Thank you.

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