I paused as I hung the last of my certificates and diplomas on the wall. I'm I in danger of being filled with pride by doing this? Some people say that these are worthless. A degree is "just a piece of paper" they say. After giving it some thought, I strongly disagree. You don't go see a doctor just because he has a piece of paper on his wall. You don't hire a school teacher because she possesses a framed document. You don't employ an engineer to build a safe car because of a parchment. You hire them because of what that paper represents. There are some things in life that cannot be touched or handled simply because they are intangibles. Therefore, we make something tangible to represent them. So we have diplomas and certificates. With the diploma we can quickly show someone that we have had the training, education, and expertise required for a specific calling in life.
This is not unlike what happens to us when we become a Christian. When we are converted, something happens that is intangible. The only physical evidence is wet hair when you come up out of the water. However, God gives each of us a certificate to certify our authenticity. Unlike my diplomas on my wall, I didn't earn the certificate God gave me. Paul calls it a "seal."
"In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory (Eph 1:13-14)."
This "qualifies" us for our inheritance. The Spirit is a "pledge" or our inheritance. Thank God we didn't have to earn it otherwise we never would have received it. This is why the passage goes on to say that "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph 2:10)." So the "certificate" or "seal" that God has given us is so we can do good works. So this week, look for opportunities for good works you can do to the praise of his glory!