By Adam Traylor
“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 of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:13-14
Very few times do I read a passage of scripture and not think of a song. I guess the reason has to be that every week for the past 17 years I have looked at sermon passages and tried to find songs that will complement the preacher’s message. The difference in those times and the scripture you just read is that the song that comes to mind this time has more than likely never been sung in a church service. The song that comes to my mind today is “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder. Yep, you read that correctly. This secular song has no similarity to Ephesians 1:13-14 other than the title itself. In fact, I do not even know any words to the song other than the title so let us take those three words alone and see if they can help us in applying this passage.
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him…”
The first portion of this scripture points us to our salvation story. First of all, do you have a salvation story? Have you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and have you believed in Him? The gospel is Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus was born of a virgin. He lived a perfect, sinless life…one that we could never live. He was crucified on a cross while taking upon every sin you and I have ever or will ever commit. He died and was placed in a tomb and then he rose from the dead on the third day giving victory to all who believe. Such victory is of eternal significance. All who repent of their sin and place their faith and life in Jesus Christ will one day rise from the dead too and live forever. If you do have a salvation story, then rejoice because your name is signed in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27).
“were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit…”
The second portion of this scripture points us to the grace gift given to each believer in the person and work of the Holy Spirit. I love how Paul is telling each believer that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. As if salvation wasn’t enough, Jesus gave to each believer a help mate, one to walk beside us. The Holy Spirit helps us walk in this sin cursed world every day and nothing can change that. Brother or sister, you are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. May the world around us see that we are not our own and we are not alone. We not only have our name signed in the Lamb’s book of life but we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
“who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
The final portion of this scripture points us to each believer’s inheritance. Not only is our name signed in the Lamb’s book of life, not only are we sealed with the Holy Spirit in this life, but we also will be delivered into eternal life. What an inheritance! Eternal life in a place called heaven where there will be no sin, no pain, no grief, and no more night. The Lamb of God will be our light through all eternity. There we will sing and praise King Jesus for His wondrous love to us forever and ever and ever. I can hardly wait to be delivered from this sinful world and this broken body.
In conclusion, Stevie Wonder is no gospel songwriter or theologian. His song does not point us to the King of Kings but thankfully, we can claim the title of his song as a summary of our life in Christ. You have been signed and sealed and one day you will be delivered. Take the next few moments to praise Jesus for His indescribable gift. Think of a song you can sing that would flow from your heart to God’s heart.