The Gift Pt 2
The Gift Sealer
We entered into this triune series for the specific purpose of having us understand that Salvation is a gift, a gift that only needs to be received. That it is nothing more complicated than that, that it is as simple as that, that there is nothing more than any need do but receive the gift offered to him by God, the gift for which only the death of Christ could procure.
We will find that within this triune study we undertake, that all three persons of the Godhead are most specifically involved in your salvation;
- God the Father (The Gift Bearer),
- God the Holy Spirit (The Gift Sealer) and;
- God the Son (The Gift Procurer).
It is one of the most amazing studies and I do pray that you might glean some of the wonderful gems that are found herein.
In the first message, we spoke of the condemnation of all of mankind, how that you and I were the objects of God’s wrath, that we were all Naughty, wicked and sinful, that none of us deserves heaven and all are perfectly deserving of hell.
We saw that there was absolutely nothing we could do in our own strength to save ourselves,
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Then we spoke about the gift of God, that is Salvation. God being the Gift Bearer. We highlighted that God was the giver and that salvation is the gift.
We looked at the reality that this “gift of God” is an undiminished gift, that it is eternal, that those who belong to Christ “shall never perish”, (those are his words not mine see Jn 10:28).
They are preserved, kept against that day, writes Paul in 2 Tim 1:12.
We had seen that this undiminished gift cannot be added to, nor taken away from: You do not gain more salvation because you have been long a Christian, nor less salvation because you entered the Lords labours in the final hour.
In this I highlighted salvation itself as it is presented for us in the parable Jesus gave of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matt 20.
(Now this says nothing about Reward or the Loss of reward, only salvation itself, those are subjects for another time)
Now, the triune aspect of this Gift is going to be highlighted through this three part series, there will be overlap both of consideration and scriptures.
- God is featured in the first message as the gift bearer, the giver of eternal life, the gift of salvation.
- The Holy Spirit will feature in todays sermon as “the Gift Sealer”, he is both given as a gift, inseparably linked to salvation, but also as the sealer of the gift.
- Jesus Christ will be highlighted in the last sermon as “the Gift Procurer” as the Son given.
There are two elements to the sermon this morning respecting the Holy Spirit, two and two only can I deal with and I pray that you have them both firmly implanted in your understanding.
- The Holy Spirit Is Given At Salvation (Identified as The gift of God)
- The Holy Spirit Seals Our Salvation (Guarantee, earnest, down payment. He is the Gift Sealer)
The Holy Ghost At Salvation
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
There are many considerations that can be given to the passage which is before us, but I do not want us to be distracted from one simple point, and that is the nature of the Gift directed toward us, that is, the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
This is THE GIFT OF GOD
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
When Jesus spoke of the Living water to the woman at the well, this was what he was referring to. The Gift of the Holy Spirit of God
Turn in your bibles to
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
In that passage of John we note two things;
- The first is that the Holy Spirit is the gift that is given to everyone the moment they believe the Gospel of Christ.
- But we ALSO note something very important that many who do NOT hold the Bible as their final authority, rarely consider, that is that narratives are not doctrine.
There is a short historical timeframe that explains the reason why the Holy Spirit was not be given the moment people believed the Gospel during the time of Christ and part way through the ministry time of the Apostles.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (Jn 7:39)
Jesus spoke of the comforter that would come AFTER he was glorified.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
But there is also something else, and the key to that is seen on that incredible passage where Jesus is speaking to the woman at the well.
Turn back to John 4:
Now beloved, as you are turning back there, let me ask you a question, In the Old Testament times, who did God choose to introduce him to the world?
The Jews. It was always to be through the Jews that salvation was to come to the world. They have always been the key and so they have always been the pivotal hatred of Satan since the time they were alluded to In Genesis 3.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
This explains why certain things occurred during the Acts of the Apostles that the Holy Spirit was not given to certain gentile believers UNTIL one of the Jewish Apostles laid hands on them.
Now this seemed to continue until all the Jews were reached in Israel, and then were the Apostles separated to the gentile nations just as Jesus commanded;
“…ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8)
And Paul affirmed in ROMANS 1:16 “…to the Jew first”
But there are many today who ignore the historical context of these things and teach that the Holy Spirit is still today given subsequent to salvation. But this is not what the Bible teaches.
Beloved, if the Bible teaches one thing plainly as doctrine, but we see an historical contrast to how the doctrines present it, we do not replace the teaching with the event!
Jesus stated in John 3 that a person must be born again to see the kingdom of God, and he goes on to explain to the enquiring Nicodemus that he must be born of the Spirit;
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Therefore being “born again” and being a part of Gods kingdom is linked directly to having received the Spirit of God.
In case you do not for some reason think this is clearly presented by Christ, neither in this passage in John 3, nor in the explanatory parenthesis of John 7:39 that we read earlier that Jesus spoke “of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive”,
Paul confirms that unless you have the Spirit of Christ you do NOT belong to God;
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Look further in the next two verses;
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
We could go on to consider ROMANS 5:5 Or GALATIANS 3:2, 4:6, 1 COR 6:19-20, 2 COR 5:5 (which we will consider in the next point), 1 JN 3:24 and so on.
You cannot be saved, you cannot be born again unless you have the Spirit of God in you. The so-called “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” is not some subsequent experience, it is that which occurs the moment an individual is born again.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
The Holy Spirit Seals Salvation.
There were two points I desired that you might have an understanding of;
The first was that the Holy Spirit is the gift that was promised to be given to all who believe.
The second is that, among other purposes he has, he is given as the seal of our salvation.
2 CORINTHIANS 1:21–22
21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Throughout the Bible we see the representation of a seal as that which is closed, closed in a way that no man is given to open but he to whom the seal is entrusted.
The words “Seal and Sealed” appear in 68 occurrences in the Bible, so it is not too difficult to ascertain what it means.
The first appearance is in
34 Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?
That which is sealed is kept in store, treasured, and secured.
That is a wonderful way to consider those who have believed the Gospel.
How precious a consideration that we are sealed, kept in store, treasured, and secured?
The definition works well with what we looked at last week in John 10, that both God the father and Christ the Son have the believer firmly in their hands and no man is able to pluck them out.
In our passage of 2 CORINTHIANS 1, we are told that we are sealed and given theearnest of the Spirit, but we are not told what that means, what are we sealed by?
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation are Given the Spirit of God the moment they were born again, and now we see the purpose of that Gift of God, the Holy Spirit is the seal that keep us.
But let us read on to the next verse in the hope we might glean some more;
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Did you see that beloved? Let’s read it as one from verse 12;
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
You and I and all who have believed the Gospel have been given a gift, The Gift of God and that Gift is the Holy Spirit, he affirms our salvation!
That same Holy Spirit is the seal that seal us for God, and is the earnest, in other words, it is the down payment, the guarantee, of our inheritance, i.e. the inheritance of everlasting life, “UNTIL” (such a great word that word ‘until’), “Until the redemption of the purchased possession”;
That is, Until we are face to face, finally, physically and practically redeemed and in the presence of God, as that purchased for him through the blood of Christ Jesus.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
There is a day, the day of redemption when we will be united in the very real sense with our saviour once and for all. That day will be either at our death; This is where we will be “absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 COR 5:8). Or it will be at the Rapture of the Church, where we “shall be caught up together… in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 THESSALONIANS 4:17
The Holy Spirit is NOT a Subsequent Gift
I am turning to So we see the doctrine respecting the gift of the Holy Spirit is a simple one. He is given the moment we are born again, and he seals us until we are with the Lord. But beloved there is one matter that I feel I must address this morning also.
No doctrine has been more corrupted in these last days more than that concerning the Holy Spirit. Yes the Spirit of God does other works in us, he bestows gifts, he leads us to the truth, he cause us to remember all things, but most importantly the work of the Holy Spirit is that he shall glorify Jesus Christ.
The work he does in you should make Jesus evident through you.
But false teachers and teachings concerning the Holy Ghost abound today.
This should not surprise us, False teachers and false doctrine Jesus said will get worse and worse in the last days as men turn away from the Book of books, and turn to other books or teachers.
2 TIMOTHY 4:3–4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away theirears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
BUT GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU DECEIVED.
I do not want you to be deceived. I am very much like Paul in my affection toward you;
2 COR 11:2-3
2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
The Lord has done all he can to warn you of the tendency of false teachers desiring to snatch you away from his word.
26 of the 27 books of the New Testament warn of false teachers and false prophets, God is Jealous for you, and expects you to be warned and to avoid heretics and false teachers.
How does that happen? How are so many easily led astray?
The same way I was led astray, the same way we all are…
11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. 12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. 13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
If you are new in the faith, do not search other notions, you cannot measure heresy BUT by first knowing the truth.
Do not be holding a commentary in the one hand and your Bible in the other, do not be reading books telling you what the Bible says, and then turning to the Bible and think you have come to its understanding without influence.
Do not be watching sermons on YouTube as a replacement for your own devotional reading of the scriptures.
Above all, hold the Bible as your final authority.
When it comes to the historical heretical cults both small and large, we are not ignorant to them and they exist to this very day. Some are ancient, most began in the 19thcentury when their was a historical turning away from the scriptures.
But each of these historical heretical cults can be identified by their WORKS BASED salvation.
They may claim you are saved by faith, but ultimately you are kept by works.
They deny the Gift of the Holy Ghost at salvation and they deny he seals us.
That was the historical cults. The new ones form in the 20th century are the opposite to the historical cults. The new cults are the Lascivious Churches, those for whom anything goes as long as you call yourself a Christian.
Like those written of by Isaiah of the time yet future to him;
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. (ISA 4:1)
“We will do whatever we desire to do, so long as we call ourselves Christian.”
These ONLY trust ONLY their experiences and interpret them based on feeling. The word of God has now long been abandoned, they rarely refer to it.
These have the Holy Spirit as a play-thing to be at their bec and call. They book him in for their 7:30 pm healing services and the devils, who retain their ability to ‘minister’ stand ready to sway the people into a mindless emotional euphoria and sell fool’s gold to the congregation.
These ascribe to the Spirit of God things OPPOSED to the character of God and how he is revealed in the Bible.
So much more could be said of them. But primarily and for this subject, these cults hold that the Holy Spirit is a subsequent Gift, a second blessing.
A Baptism that occurs AFTER one is saved. They employ the historical narrative as present doctrine and reinterpret the actual doctrines or simply ignore them.
The end result is lasciviousness, that is, a sinful abandon of all restraints, and a giving over to feelings by the opening up of one’s heart to demonic influences and manifestations.
Paul writes of these also to Timothy;
Turn to 2 TIM 3:1-7
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
What links both the old and the new cults?
One ignores the Spirit and the other blasphemes him.
Paul warns of ALL these heretical cults, he tells us to MARK them, to name them, to highlight them in the third last paragraph of his letter to the Romans, and to avoid them not entertain them;
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
That last line is the most interesting of all.
How do you test them?
20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there isno light in them.
It does not say there is “some light in them”.
A glass of 99% pure water and 1% poison will still harm if not kill you!
Beloved, it was not difficult for me to get swept away into a false Church, stuck there for a decade because I did not first trust I could READ, let alone learn, the Bible.
I would spare you that grief. Read your bible!
The Bible teaches simply that the Holy Spirit is the Gift of God the moment of your salvation.
It is God’s gift to save you and to seal you.
This is the wonderful simplicity of salvation.
Now, of all that I have spoken this is the sum.
Salvation is the gift of God, free of encumbrance or expenditure. There is no cost to pay and no debt to be reimbursed, it is a free gift.
The Holy Spirit is the Gift of God given to us the moment of our salvation, as a seal and guarantee of the inheritance of heaven, until we are with him face to face.
Those two sentences summarise both the first and this second sermon.
The first has its focus on God.
This second has its focus on the spirit of God
The last will have its focus on Jesus Christ
The overall subject we are dealing with is The Gift, that is, The Gift of Salvation.
Now that we have the doctrine laid out plainly before us, it is time to answer the “so what” question.
What does all this mean for me practically?
On the 1st of January, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln drafted and signed the Emancipation Declaration of the United States.
Within this handwritten, five-page document was the legal proclamation that in that nation, all who were once the property of slave owners were now free. They are no longer under bondage, no longer slaves, they are now free.
Free from the labour they had once endured, free to live life more abundantly, free to serve their nation voluntarily.
But even though the notice was drafted and made into law on the 1st of January, 1863, it would take time for that declaration to spread around the nation, some slaves simply would not hear of it for years as the information was kept from their hearing.
I was born again and given the Spirit of God as the earnest of my inheritance sometime in 1996. But for the first five or six years of my life, I still lived as if I was to serve sin, just as I had done for the previous 29 years of life.
I had no idea I was free from sin, free from its penalty and free from its service.
When I understood that I was saved, I could not contain my joy.
Today, you sit here listening to the truth about this gift. In the end, you have either received it or you have not.
Though there are ONLY two possible positions, there are four possible beliefs about your own state if you trust the Bible as true respecting this gift.
- Either you are saved and you know it.
- Or you are saved and you don’t know it.
- Or you are lost and you know it.
- Or you are lost but think you are saved.
The first three positions are relatively safe. Yes, even the third. Those who know they are lost have an opportunity to do something about it.
The most dangerous position of all is the fourth.
1 PETER 1:3–5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.