Vol. 15 No. 47 – December 11, 2016
Eph 4:30-32; “30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. “
In the second half of this sentence, we see one of the blessings and ministries of the indwelling Holy Spirit, “by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
It begins with the phrase, “by whom you were sealed,” EN HOS SPHRAGIZO. SPHRAGIZO, σφραγίζω means, “seal, affirm, authenticate, certify, or acknowledge.” It is in the Aorist, Passive, Indicative, 2nd Person, Plural that means it is a dogmatic fact of unchangeable reality that believers received the action of being sealed that continues into the future. It means that we have eternal security and that the believer will never lose his salvation because with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, (from the moment of our baptism by the Holy Spirit on the day of our faith in Jesus Christ), we were certified, affirm, and acknowledge as members of the Royal Family of God forever, 2 Cor 1:22.
2 Cor 1:21-22, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”
The sealing of the Spirit is the down-payment guarantee of security for the royal family forever.
In ancient days sealing was a signature guarantee. It was typically enacted by melting wax and stamping it with a signet ring or other impression that represented the one making a deal or contract. The seal was equivalent to a signature on a contract that guarantees something. When a king sealed a proclamation, it became a law. When people signed a contract by using a wax seal, it was their guarantee from their integrity that they would fulfill their part of the contract.
“Seals” in the ancient world were used in four ways
1.) A guarantee of a transaction
2.) Identification of ownership.
3.) An authentication. The authen-tication of invoices, contracts, laws, directives, orders was always by the use of a seal to make them authentic.
4.) The ratification of a treaty in the ancient world.
Sealing as a signature was used as a guarantee of transactions, identification of ownership, authentication of invoices, contracts, laws, directives, orders, and policies of kings or rulers, and sealing was used to ratify treaties or agreements, the sealing of tombs, (as Christ’s tomb was sealed with the Roman seal), libraries, or treasuries to indicate ownership.
Therefore, the sealing of the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that:
1.) We have received salvation.
2.) We were purchased by Jesus Christ upon the Cross.
3.) We are members of the Royal Family of God forever.
4.) We have eternal life because the sin barrier between God and man was destroyed at the Cross and now the believer has peace with God.
We will discuss the sealing of God the Holy Spirit further below.
Our eternal security is emphasized in the phrase, “for the day of redemption,” EIS HEMERA APOLUTROSIS. APOLUTROSIS, ἀπολύτρωσις means, “release, (as from slavery or our physical body of sin), redemption, or deliverance.” It is used in Luke 21:28; Rom 3:24; 8:23; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph 1:7, 14; 4:30; Col 1:14; Heb 9:15; 11: 35.
APOLUTROSIS is a derivative of LUTRON that means, “ransom,” where APOLUTROSIS is the act of release or state of being, resulting in release or redemption. Originally, APOLUTRŌSIS denoted “the buying back of a slave or captive, thus making him free by payment of a ransom.” That is exactly what Jesus Christ did for every member of the human race. He purchased their sins upon the Cross, by taking them into Himself and paying the penalty for them. However, this ransom payment is only realized by those who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It is they who are truly released from slavery to sin and given freedom to live the spiritual life unto God.
Mat 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Redemption in Scripture speaks of one of two redemptions or sometimes both. First of all there is the soteriological redemption, redemption of the soul, which means freedom from the slave market of sin at the moment of salvation through faith in Christ, Rom 3:24; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph. 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:12; Gal 2:13; 1 Peter 1:18. The second redemption in the Bible is the eschatological redemption, redemption of the body, Rom 8:23; Eph 1:14; 4:30.
Rom 8:23, “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
This means that we lose this physical body of sin we are currently living in and receive a new, perfect, and eternal resurrection body. We will receive this final resurrection body at the Rapture of the Church, at the end of the Church Age. This latter redemption is in view in our passage. Therefore, redemption of the soul is related to the salvation work of Christ on the Cross. Whereas the redemption of the body is related to the resurrection body of the believer, which the Holy Spirit is the guarantor through His indwelling ministry during our physical lives here on earth until we die or are Raptured and receive our final resurrection bodies.
Eph 1:7, speaks of the believers’ present day soteriological redemption, being freed in our soul from the slave market of sin, (a.k.a., our positional sanctification). While vs. 14, speaks of the eschatological redemption, being freed for our physical body that houses the Old Man, the Old Sin Nature, and receiving our resurrection body, (a.k.a., our ultimate sanctification). Likewise, in our verse, the Holy Spirit has been given as a pledge or guarantee of our future inheritance in Christ, where Paul declared that we have received the Holy Spirit as a seal until the day of our redemption. This “day,” HEMERA, is for the believer only and includes the time we leave planet earth, either through death or the Rapture, through to the time of receiving our final resurrection bodies.
The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit is one of the 40+ things we receive at the moment of salvation. It is one of the seven things specifically done by God the Holy Spirit for each of us at the moment of salvation.
The seven things that the Holy Spirit does for us at the moment of salvation:
- Common and Efficacious grace. It starts out with the gospel being presented to those who are in spiritual death, where God the Holy Spirit makes the gospel understandable because spiritual dead people cannot understand anything of spiritual phenomena. Therefore, the Holy Spirit acts as the human spirit to make the gospel understandable and this is what we call Common Grace. Then comes Efficacious Grace. This is when the unbeliever is positive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and believes. Because he is spiritually dead, he can do nothing regarding the spiritual life. Therefore, God the Holy Spirit takes his faith and makes it effective for salvation, and therefore the new believer receives salvation. Efficacious Grace is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in taking the faith in Christ of the spiritually dead person and making it effective for their salvation. When the Holy Spirit makes our faith effective for salvation and we receive salvation, that is sealing salvation.
- Regeneration, Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23.
Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
This is defined as the ministry of the Holy Spirit at salvation in creating a human spirit in the believer, which causes him to become instantly trichotomous: body, soul, and now having a human spirit. This is the second birth.
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit takes each one of us at the moment of faith in Christ and enters us into union with the person of Christ. This is the basis for being created as a “New Man,” a new spiritual species.
- The Holy Spirit indwells every believer at the moment of salvation, 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20; 2 Cor 6:16.
1 Cor 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” This provides a temple for God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to dwell and reside in, Eph 2:19-22.
- The Filling of the Holy Spirit. This first occurs at the moment of salvation, but it is experiential and is lost when we sin, Eph 5:18. It is regained when we confess our sins to God, 1 John 1:5-9. The Filling of the Holy Spirit is His empowering and enabling ministry to the soul of the believer.
- The sovereign distribution of a spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit at salvation, 1 Cor 12:11, through which we execute God’s Plan for our lives.
- The sealing ministry of the Spirit; a signature guarantee. It is a signature guarantee of four things:
a.) Efficacious grace, the Holy Spirit takes the faith of the spiritually dead person and makes it effective for salvation;
b.) The guarantee of eternal life.
c.) The guarantee of eternal security.
d.) The guarantee of your very own Portfolio of Invisible Assets, which God the Father prepared for each one of us in eternity past.
Therefore, the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit covers eternity past, our life in time, and eternity future, (“the day of our redemption”), in these four guarantees.
The “day of redemption” also speaks to our “Ultimate Sanctification,” of which the Holy Spirit is the agent. Not only is the Holy Spirit the agent of our ultimate sanctification, but also our positional and experiential sanctification, Rom 15:16; 2 Thes 2:13.
2 Thes 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through, (positional), sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”
Rom 15:16, “To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, (experiential).”
He is the agent in sanctification by the seven things noted above he does for us at salvation.
Phase One, or Positional Sanctification refers to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit taking every believer at the moment he believes and is saved and enters him into union with Christ who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Christ is eternal life, we have His life. He is righteousness, we share His righteousness. He is the Son, we share His sonship. We share His heirship, His election, His destiny, and His Kingship, 1 Cor 1:2, 30; 6:11; Heb 10:10, 14.
1 Cor 6:11, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”
Phase Two or Experiential Sanctification is divided into two areas. a) The growing area; b) The victorious area, which is the sphere of maturity. The growing area of putting on the New Man and being filled with the Spirit, 2 Thes 2:13.
2 Thes 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”
It is also the daily function of GAP, John 17:17; Eph 5:26.
John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.”
The second area is the super-grace stage, the objective where we glorify God and where we have occupation with the person of Jesus Christ.
Phase Three or Ultimate Sanctification, were the believer receives his resurrection body, Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 1:8; Eph 4:30; Phil 3:21; 1 Thes 5:23; 1 John 3:1-2. This is the Royal Family being prepared to return with Jesus Christ.
Phil 3:21, “Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”
Ultimate sanctification involves at least three principles.
a.) The acquisition of a resurrection body, 1 Cor 15:51-57.
b.) The removal of all human good by divine judgment, 1 Cor 3:11-16.
c.) The removal of the Old Sin Nature, Phil 3:21.
The Royal Family on earth is called the body of Christ collectively. It is called in heaven, after the resurrection, the bride and then wife of Christ collectively.
Vs. 31-32, The New Man must Replace Bitterness, Rage, Anger, Shouting, Slander, and/or, Malice with Kindness, Compassion, and Forgiveness.
In vs. 31, we have the fifth and cumulative or summation Old Man characteristics we are to “put off,” (i.e., no longer use or participate in), “bitterness, rage, anger, shouting, slander, or malice.” These are a summary of what we noted in the first four and are mental attitude, verbal, and overt sins.
Eph 4:31, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
“Let” in the Greek actually comes towards the end of the sentence as one word that also encompasses “be put away.” It is the Verb AIRO, αἴρω that means, “raise, lift up, take up, pick up, bear away, or carry off.” Essentially, it means, “to lift from the ground,” hence “to carry, or to take.” So it means, “to take away or remove,” with the idea of lifting away from, usually with the idea of violence and authority.
This reminds us of the Cross of Jesus Christ where He suffered the violence of the payment of the penalty of our sins so that they would be removed from our account. It has to do with the completed work of the Lord signified in the taking up of His life, or the payment of the penalty of our sins, John 10:18; Acts 8:33.
It also reminds us of the judgment He received through the sovereign authority of God the Father for our sins, as well as, the authority the filling of the Holy Spirit should have over our souls, and the authority the Word of God in us should have over our lives.
AIRO can also refer to the act of weighing anchor, and thus mean, “to depart,” Acts 27:13. This sense suggests the idea of taking or carrying along for the purposes of removal. Jesus spoke of taking up or carrying His yoke, which He contrasted with the yoke of the Law, Mat 11:28-30. In other words, give your burdens and temptation to Christ, for His yoke is easy and light, whereas the yoke of the Law (human good) is heavy, cumbersome, and actually impossible to bear.
In the Aorist, Passive, Imperative it is yet another command that we receive the action of having these mental, verbal, and overt sins be removed or taken away from us. The Ingressive Aoris with the Imperative stresses that we begin or enter into the action of “letting” these behaviors be removed from our life. The Passive voice tells us, that linked with reversionism, reversionism grieves the Holy Spirit, and the believer must receive removal of these things through the intake of Bible doctrine and spiritual growth.
Given the various usages of AIRO in the NT, we understand that these sinful behaviors are only removed when we go back to the Cross of Jesus Christ in faith, post salvation, by the power of the filling of the Holy Spirit. In other words, Jesus paid for every sin we would ever commit. As we go forward in the spiritual life, the only way we become overcomers in life is by turning our temptations to sin over to Jesus by means of the filling of the Holy Spirit. When we do, the temptations to sin are removed from the mentality of our soul so that we do not commit sin. Likewise, if we do sin, the answer is also simple, easy, and light. We go back to the Cross in confession of our sins, 1 John 1:9, so that we are cleansed of our known and unknown sins, “all unrighteousness.” This halts sinful trends in their tracks, whereby we receive experiential forgiveness of sins as well as the removal of sinful trends in our life. Therefore, we are commanded to let the Holy Spirit, through the Cross of Jesus Christ, remove sins from our lives experientially.
In the Greek this sentence actually begins with the Subject Nominative of the Adjective PAS that means, “all or every.” This introduces the list of sinful behaviors we are commanded to give over to Christ and the Holy Spirit. It emphasizes “every instance,” of mental, verbal, or overt sin listed here, but more generally, it means all sins. We are to allow the removal of these sins from our life, as it says, “from you,” APO HUMEIS, that means, “from or away from you.”
Then we have a list of six, (the number of man), vices that the believer can have in his life that he is command to allow God to remove, either before or after he commits them. Each is connected with the coordinating Conjunction KAI for “and,” expect for the last one, “malice,” which is added to the list using, “along with all,” SUN PAS.
- “Bitterness,” PIKRIA, πικρία that means, “bitter, animosity, anger, harshness, or resentfulness.” Used only in Acts 8:23; Rom 3:14; Heb 12:15 and our verse. It originally meant, “pointed or sharp,” as in arrows, or the sharp or bitterness and penetrating of taste or smell, the shrill of a noise, or painful feeling. In regards to the use in the sphere of the soul, it meant experience of what is unpleasant, unexpected, or undesired. It is expressing intense hostility towards others. So here with other sins it means, “bitterness, resentment, or an incensed and angry attitude of mind,” towards one’s neighbor.
Heb 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” It denotes extreme wickedness, highly offensive to God and obnoxious to men.
Husbands are command not to have this attitude, especially towards their wives, either in thought or more particularly in word and deed, Col 3:19.
- “Wrath,” THUMOS, θυμός means, “great anger, wrath, rage, or passion.” In classical Greek, it meant, “to well up or boil over.” It is strong anger, often with a desire for revenge. It stands for a violent outburst of anger, a violent emotion, or passion of the mind. Paul used THUMOS five times. On four of these, it is a deplorable human condition, and he joined it with other such base sins as in our verse and 2 Cor 12:20; Gal 5:20; Col 3:8.
Col 3:8, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.”
- “Anger,” ORGE, ὀργή, which was used in vs. 26, means “anger or wrath, a settled feeling of anger.” The most basic meaning of ORGE relates to the inner disposition as evidenced by passion, impulse, and especially outward expressions of displeasure or anger. One might be characterized by an unhappy or “angry” disposition. Therefore, it is a state of relatively strong displeasure, with focus on emotional revolt of the soul. In our passage, it is the sinful type of anger from the human emotional disposition of a strong feeling of grievance and displeasure that is not acceptable in the Christian way of life.
James 1:19, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”
- “Clamor,” KRAUGE, κραυγή that means, “to shout, outcry, clamor, uproar, or crying.” It is based on the croaking sound of ravens. Although it has a positive sense, it is used in the negative of demons driven out by Jesus and their raised cries in Mat 8:29; Mark 5:5, 7; 9:26; Luke 4:33; 8:28; 9:39. In our passage, it has the negative connotation of shouting without proper restraint. It is a persistent demand for something, made in an excited, noisily, and/or angry way. Therefore, it is people shouting back and forth in a quarrel to incite one another, i.e., verbal brawling.
Acts 23:9, “And there arose a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?””
- “Slander,” BLASPHEMIA, βλασφημία it means, “blasphemy, evil speaking, slander, or reviling.” It is from BLAPTO that means, “to hurt, harm, or injure,” and PHEME that means, “speech.” It means, “injurious speech or words.” It can mean, “profane speech, defamation, slander, speech that denigrates or defames, reviling, denigration, disrespect, or slander.” It is the strongest form of mockery or slander. It means murder with your mouth, or character assassination. In reference to God, it is the misrepresentation of His true nature or power, Mat 12:31. In our passage, it is used primarily regarding our speech towards our fellow man, Mat 15:19; Mark 7:22; Col 3:8; 1 Tim 6:4; Jude 9, the act or offense of saying something false or malicious that damages somebody’s reputation.
Mat 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”
- “Malice,” KAKIA, κακία that means, “badness, depravity, evil, trouble, wickedness, vice, malice, or ill will.” It generally means evil or wickedness,” from KAKOS that means, “bad.” It is the intention or desire to commit an unlawful and unjustifiable act that will result in harm or pain to another. In our verse it typifies the wide range of wicked behaviors that oppose godly living and righteousness, and sums up all the above, plus any other types or categories of sin, cf. Rom 1:29; Col 3:8; James 1:21; Titus 3:3; 1 Peter 2:1, 16.
Rom 1:29, “Being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips.”
James 1:21, “Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”
Titus 3:3, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.”
1 Peter 2:1, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”
Any one of these individually or in combination produces five categories of misery.
a.) Self-induced misery.
b.) Chain sinning.
c.) Misery to those in your periphery.
d.) Revenge type misery. i.e., two wrongs do not make a right, and you cannot build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness.
e.) The various categories of Divine discipline, which are administered to the reversionist.
Therefore, we are commanded to allow all sin to be put away from us by God, so that we do not incur misery and instead have the inner peace, happiness, and joy of God in our lives, through the filling of the Holy Spirit and the application of Bible doctrine from our souls that will lead us to Divine Good Production as noted in our next and final verse of this chapter.
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 16-138 through 16-140
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!