Do we have the markings of a genuine Christian?
[Steve Myers] It doesn't seem like people write letters very much anymore. We text and we call or we FaceTime. We do video calling. We do conferences that way. And oftentimes letters kind of go by the wayside and just doesn't seem to be the main way we communicate today. But back in the day, that was the Twitter, that was the Facebook, that was the Instagram of the day, writing letters. And in order to authenticate that this letter actually came from the individual who it was supposedly originating from, they would mark that letter very securely. And you know how they did that? They would seal it. They would seal that letter.
And in fact, in the New Testament, there's a reference to letter writing in the first century. This particular one is found in 2 Corinthians, and it's in 1:22. And it has this reference to first-century letters. It says, "He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the spirit in our hearts as a guarantee."
Now, the Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthians telling them, we're like God's letter and we are sealed. And that seal is referring to a wax stamp. They would melt wax and stamp it on a document or a letter. And that stamp, that seal did a couple of things. First, it showed this is the real deal. This is authentic. And it also showed who owned it, who was the one who was sending it. And of course, the other part is, it would also protect that information that was in that letter because if you tore that letter open, you'd see that wax seal, that stamp was broken. And so we see that when we connect that to us, God has sealed us. We have His stamp, His seal on us through the Holy Spirit.
And so, what an amazing blessing this is that we can recognize the fact that we're safe. We're like that document. We are sealed. We are authentic and who do we belong to? We belong to God. And in fact, the Apostle Paul doesn't stop there. He says also, it says the spirit in our hearts is a guarantee. God gives us His Spirit. And because He gives us His Spirit, we see it's a guarantee. Literally, that word means in the Greek, a down payment. God's Spirit at us is a down payment to eternal life. And so we can count on it. When we stay close to God, we strive to obey Him. We are repentant before Him. God gives us this pledge, this Ernest, some translation say that Ernest of his spirit, that's a down payment to eternal life. And that's ultimately our inheritance.
So, how encouraging this verse is in 2 Corinthians, that God seals us, we belong to Him, He owns us. And when we stay close to Him, He says, "Here's my guarantee. Here's my down payment. Here's the Holy Spirit that will give you the power over sin." And ultimately, we can take to heart, it is a guarantee. It's a pledge of our inheritance of eternal life.
That's BT Daily. We'll see you next time.