Sermon:  Seal of the Spirit

Purpose:  To encourage hearers, and help put perspective on life.  There is more that 
this earth, there is a destination with God in the end, and the Spirit will help us get there.

1.  We see different kinds of "seals" around us
	a.  Some buildings, documents, parts of a uniform
	b.  My College Transcript has a seal
	c.  Birth Certificate has a seal  
2.  Bible also talks about a seal.  Passages:
	a.  Ezek 9:1-6 - The faithful were sealed and protected
	b.  Rev 7:1-4 - All of God's faithful people were sealed
		- Symbolic number 12 (God's people) times 1000 (completeness)
		- From each tribe suggests ALL God's people accounted for
		- ALL of God's people get the seal
		- They will be exempt and protected from the coming plagues
3.  Do we have a seal that we have as Christians?
4.  Eph 1:13-14 - Tells us what we are sealed with and how
	a.  Heard the Gospel and believed
		- The Gospel, the story of Christ, death, burial resurrection
		- Belief, or faith, which led to obedience and action
			-- Repentance
			-- Confession
			-- Baptism 
				== (Acts 2:38 - Receive gift of Holy Spirit)
				== (Acts 5:32 - Holy Spirit given to those who obey)
	b.  Afterwards, you were "sealed" with the Holy Spirit
	c.  What does this mean?  Why call it a seal?

I.  We are identified as children of God 
	A.  Keep in mind, seals identifies ownership and authenticity
	B.  Rom 8:
		1.  (v.15) - Spirit of adoption
		2.  (v.16) - "Testifies" we are children of God
	C.  Interesting choice of words
		1.  Spirit is your self of sonship
			a.  I have birth certificate.  
			b.  Know how it is authentic?  It has a seal
			c.  Spirit is a seal that you are God's child
		2.  "Testify" - Legal language
			a.  Satan looks at past, sin, etc.
			b.  Can build a good case against you
			c.  But Spirit of God, a "seal" testifies you are God's child
	D.  This means you are no longer slaves -- to sin
		1.  You are God's child, and become more like your Father every 
		2.  His "seal" of the Spirit will help you do so

II.  We are transformed
	A.  Without a seal, a document is just a scrap of paper
		1.  Recycle paper, full of common paper
		2.  But add a seal, it transforms to an official document
			a.  Not go to recycling bin
			b.  Gets filed, used, has ongoing function
	B.  We are transformed by the Spirit, the seal
		1.  (Rom 8:26) - Helps us in our weaknesses
			a.  Not 100% up to our own human efforts to change
			b.  Spirit helps us to transform
		2.  (Rom 8:29) - Conformed to the image of his son
		3.  (Tit 3:5) - Saved…and renewed by the Spirit
	C.  ILL:  Old self is gone, now a new person - Like a remodel…
		1.  Land trust in Vermont - Gutted down to studs
		2.  Remodel, like new, nice
		3.  Transform house, transform people, transform neighborhood
	D.  Old self is gone, now have the new self
		1.  Fruit of Spirit begins to grow in your life
		2.  You are not the same person you were before  

III.  We are protected as children of God 
	A.  Seals were also designed to protect the contents of a scroll
	B.  (Rom 8:31-39)
		1.  In all these thing we "overwhelmingly" conquer
		2.  We are overcomes through the Spirit God has given
		3.  Look at the power we have been given
	C.  Power - We usually think of brute physical force 
		1.  Guns, tanks, physical strength
		2.  But - Eph 6- Sword of the Spirit = Word of God
			a.  You can't fight off God's enemies with guns, tanks
			b.  You can't resist God's enemies with physical force
	D.  You have something of infinite power
		1.  Same power that created the universe
		2.  The word of God, the breath of God, the Spirit of God
		3.  It is the sword that comes from the mouth of God

IV.  We have a promise as children of God  
	A.  (Eph 1:14) - It is called a pledge or earnest (down payment)
	B.  ILL:  Getting a loan, or buying on credit
		1.  When buy on credit, you put up collateral
			a.  It secures the repayment
			b.  Acts as a gaurantee
		2.  If buy something on credit, maybe just a downpayment
			a.  Can take the item, or it holds the item until paid
			b.  Acts as a guarantee of sorts as well
		3.  The idea is that the Spirit is a "guarantee" of full payment later
	C.  What is that full payment?
		1.  Eph 1:14 - Inheritance.  
		2.  (Rom 8:11) - Spirit will also raise your body from the dead
	D.  Is it about a home, mansion?  
		1.  Question:  Why do you want to go to Heaven?
			a. I used to say, to stay out of hell
			b.  In growing in relationship to God, answer has changed
		2.  (1 Thess 4:13-17) - Will always be with the Lord
		3.  Want to go to Heaven because that is where God is
		4.  The Spirit is God's pledge, this WILL happen

1.  Jesus did not leave us alone
2.  Spirit is given to all how believe and obey
3.  Jesus reminded disciples of this to encourage them.  Through the Spirit, he is still with 
us even today.  The Spirit has unlimited power to change us.
4.  Don't get attached, we have an inheritance.  Spirit will get us there.