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
Many Christians are not aware of any grace God extended to us before we were saved. We are aware that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners and our sins were nailed to the cross Jesus died on. Yet God’s grace is beyond measure, deeper than the ocean, broader than the sky and vaster than the universe. What I am about to write is something I have never heard in the years I have been a Christian but I have come to know as truth. God is at work in us so that we would enter into a covenant with him.
Jesus said that no man could come to him unless drawn by the father. And for the most part we were drawn to Jesus through hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s consider that we could not have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ unless someone was sent with the message of reconciliation. We learned that our sins had been atoned for through the death of Jesus and through his blood were justified and made holy in God’s sight. After repenting of our sins, the relationship to God had been restored and from that time until now has been growing. We have a personal relationship with God and an eternal covenant with God and our Lord and Savior.
We were drawn to Jesus Christ through the gospel and absorbed the truth within its story to the point we placed our belief in its origin and the person of Jesus Christ. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. This is not a mental assent to believe but a belief that reached to the very core of our being causing us to repent. This belief reaches to the heart of man, for the bible says it is with the heart that you believe and are justified (Romans 10:10).
Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). The seal which is evidence of your belief and it is worth our time to connect this thought with scriptures that reveals the meaning for the seal. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 reveals that the seal is a way God says that he is your God and his possession. Let’s remember that this agreement with God demands acknowledgement of Christ’s death and repentance on the part of man. At the same time God adopts us as his descendant and receives us into his family with all its benefits.
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
The seal not only identifies us as belonging to God, but reminds us that we were bought for a price and purchased with his blood. While the seal is the Holy Spirit these words are associated with a means of identifying the believer. The seal refers to a private mark or logo that leaves a permanent impression (similar to a public notary seal pressed into official documents), that attest to its validity. Sealing is an action that takes place to certify things as authentic, genuine and verifiable.
However, being sealed is the outcome of a promise that said repent and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Being marked in Christ is the outcome of believing and takes place before we accept Jesus as Lord. Believing allows you to conceive trust and the capacity to commit your life to Christ making a covenant with Jesus Christ. What we may not understand is that both parties must be of the same mind before an agreement can be reached. You are baptized with the Holy Spirit before you can say Jesus Is Lord.
Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3
Having believed gives you the motivation to agree and make a covenant with Jesus Christ. Being marked in Him with his spirit gives you the ability to firm up the agreement. You were given the Holy Spirit who empowers you to commit your life with the words—“Jesus is lord” (see 1 Corinthians 12:3.) In other words we are marked in Jesus Christ and baptized with the Holy Spirit before we actually say the words – Jesus is Lord. It shows the eagerness of God to agree and that he has agreed to covenant with you. He does not want anyone to perish and is willing to take the first step to solidify a covenant with you. Let’s look a little deeper into our covenant with God.
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
It is with your mouth that that you confess that Jesus is Lord. Not only have you humbled yourself to acknowledge Jesus as Lord but you agreed to obey him as long as you live. God has pledged to never leave you nor forsake you – He will be with you wherever you go, he has said, obey me and I will be your God, but the promise concerning the Holy Spirit is this. No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. In the Greek confession is defined from homologeo “to agree or approve to promise or pledge to recognize and accept.”
He drew you to Christ through the gospel story and gave you reason to believe, gave you the ability to confess Jesus as Lord. When we look at 1 Corinthians 12:3, God changed us so we are not ashamed to say Jesus is Lord and through the grace of God would never consider saying Jesus be cursed.