Many securists lay claim to be sealed by the Holy Spirit as another absolute guarantee of their salvation. But is it a bonafide claim?
What if the guarantee spoken of in regards to our sealing
was only a misinterpretation? What, exactly, is the seal that
Paul speaks of? Is it any different than his referring to sealed
as in his ministry being sealed by believers? Is it any different
than his stating that Abraham's circumcision was a seal
of his faith?
Let's first discuss what the seal is and it's implication.
"In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the
gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were
sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee
of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,
to the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:13-14 RSV
Now we have the definition of what the seal is. We can assume
that it is the Holy Spirit, Himself, and that He is the
guarantee of our inheritance "until we acquire possession of
it". Now we are faced with another question. If the Holy
Spirit is our guarantee until we acquire possession, then does
it mean that we don't possess eternal life as we speak?
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal
life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath
life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1
So then, we DO have current possession, so to speak. God
has given us eternal life, but it is in Jesus. If we are in Jesus
then we have eternal life. If we don't have Jesus then we
don't have eternal life. In other words, Jesus is in actual
possession of this eternal life, we share in it with Him. We
have the privilege of participating in it with Him. "...the free
gift of God is eternal life IN Christ Jesus, our Lord." Romans
The Securist uses the argument that if eternal life can be
terminated, then how can it be eternal? The problem with
this line of reasoning is that it rest upon a faulty assumption.
To the Securist, God implants a bit of this eternal life into us
in such a way that it becomes a tangible personal possession.
This can't be so if the life is in the Son and we must be in
the Son to partake of it. He that hath the Son hath the life.
This life is "shared" with men, not given as a tangible possession,
but none the less, we DO possess eternal life in the
Back to our discussion of sealing.
"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are
sealed unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30
This verse is used extensively by Securists to prove OSAS,
but by itself really proves nothing. In fact, studying this verse
you will find that it is actually a warning, rather than a proof!
First off, the Securist lays claim on the word seal. We have
discovered what the seal is. But is this seal binding? I am asking
that, even though the seal denotes a guarantee of future
possession, does it guarantee that the seal, itself, is guaranteed?
The word "seal" in and of itself does not give any indication
that it can or can not be broken. Many Securist claim that it
can not because it is implied by "unto the day of redemption".
They take "unto" as meaning "till" or "all the way to" the day
of redemption. The problem with this is that it is a misinterpretation
of the original language. In fact, most version of the Bible
interpret "until" as "for" the day of redemption. The idea
being that we are sealed with a "view" of the day of redemption.
This is not a guarantee.
So this passage doesn't imply that
the sealing is guaranteed clear up until the day of redemption.
If so, then we need to have the Securist explain if Romans
10:10 actually means "believes until righteousness" or "confesses
clear up until salvation".
This same word for seal
(sphragizo), used in these verses, is also referred to in Matthew
27:66, "So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a
seal on the stone and posting the guard "(NIV). It is stated in
verses 59 and 60 that the tomb was not owned by the ones that
sealed it. That in itself doesn't give credence to using this analogy to prove OSAS. Also, this seal didn't protect the tomb
from being opened, did it? It was placed on the tomb to show
that it hadn't been tampered with. A guarantee must be read
"into" this scripture.
The passage DOES imply that we can
grieve the Holy Spirit, which IS our seal. This is implied by the
sheer fact that it says NOT to grieve the Holy Spirit. Doesn't
that imply that there is a possibility of this happening, with a
possible outcome being that the Holy Spirit may leave you,
thereby breaking the seal? If any implication can be pulled
from this verse, it is that the seal can be broken, rather than being
So now we see that the Securist has no credible proof that the
"seal" itself is guaranteed unbreakable, only that what the seal
denotes is a guarantee.
Let's take it a step further. If the seal is not proven to be unbreakable,
what about the guarantee that it contains?
We have seen Ephesians 1:13-14 above. The NIV renders it as
"Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the
promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance
until the redemption of those who are God's
possession-to the praise of his glory."
From 2 Corinthians we find two more references to the Spirit
being our guarantee:
"He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and
put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing
what is to come." 2 Cor. 1:22 NIV
"Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose
and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing
what is to come." 2 Cor. 5:5 NIV
All three verses tell us that the Holy Spirit is our guarantee
of receiving our inheritance. Notice that they also
state that the Holy Spirit is a deposit giving that guarantee.
So is that an absolute guarantee?
We get a completely different rendering in the King
"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, Which is the earnest of our inheritance
until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto
the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV
"Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and
hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us,
and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." 2
Cor. 1:21-22 KJV
"Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing
is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the
Spirit." 2 Cor. 5:5 KJV
Let's look at Young's Literal Translation of these verses.
"In whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth
-- the good news of your salvation -- in whom also
having believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of
the promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance, to
the redemption of the acquired possession, to the
praise of His glory." Ephesians 1:13-14 YLT
"And He who is confirming you with us into Christ,
and did anoint us, is God, who also sealed us, and
gave the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" 2 Cor.
"And He who did work us to this self-same thing [is]
God, who also did give to us the earnest of the Spirit;"
2 Cor. 5:5 YLT
Notice that all three verses from the NIV state that the
Holy Spirit is a deposit, yet all three verses from the
KJV and the YLT use the term earnest, rather than deposit.
And the term guarantee can not be found in the
KJV or YLT verses. So what's the difference? Big
deal...deposit, earnest...same thing. Right?
The Vine's Expository Dictionary has no listing dealing
directly with the word "deposit", but refers us to
"commit" which has no reference to any of the verses
in question. But "earnest" is defined as a deposit given
by the purchaser and forfeited if the purchase was not
completed. The word rendered as "earnest" is arrabon.
In modern Greek arrabona is an engagement ring. Getting
a picture here? Perhaps that the Holy Spirit is, in a
sense, an engagement ring given by the groom to his
bride to be? Doesn't that equate to the symbolism that
the Bible uses in reference to the relationship between
Jesus and His church? "Earnest" is the proper rendering.
Since the term "deposit" isn't listed in reference to
these verses, let's use the next best thing, a standard
dictionary. The Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
describes "deposit" as being "something placed for
safe keeping as money deposited in a bank or money
given as a pledge or down-payment". "Earnest" is defined
as "something of value given by a buyer to a
seller to bind a bargain" or as "a token of what is to
Examining these definition, you will find that neither
has "guarantee" associated with it as part of it's meaning,
yet it is inserted into the verses of the NIV and
some others by the interpreters that did the translations.
The only thing we see that "deposit" and "earnest"
have in common is that they are both given as a
down payment to bind a deal, yet an "earnest" is also
defined as something that is a token of what is to
To take it further, the term "token" is defined as a
symbol, a distinguishing feature, a small part representing
the whole, or something given as a guarantee. OK, OK, I hear you! There it is! A GUARANTEE!!!!
But this is a guarantee referring to guarantee of authority,
right or identity. It has no application to a guarantee
of our inheritance, which is what these passages are
dealing with. With that out of the way, we can concentrate
on the other three definitions, and an "earnest"
as pertaining to these passages could be any of these.
But we are looking to see how it implies any guarantee.
With that in mind, we should use "earnest" (the
properly rendered term) in a financial application.
What is an earnest? As stated before "a deposit given
by the purchaser and forfeited if the purchase was not
completed". In today's world, an earnest is forfeited by
the buyer if he fails to hold up to the agreement, and
must be returned by the seller if he should back out.
With that in mind, we can see that "guarantee" has no connection
with either "deposit" or "earnest". If we fail to keep
our part of the New Covenant, God has every right to take
back or forfeit His earnest, which is the Holy Spirit, of
Whom we are told NOT to grieve!
Rendering the term "guarantee" in these verses is a mistake
by the translators and serves as a great example of how
translators can choose words to match their own theological beliefs. The actual rendering of "earnest" doesn't support
the use of the term "guarantee". "Earnest" is the proper
rendering and should not have been replaced by "deposit".
They were added by translators. Anytime we come to a
passage as important as this one is to our theology, we need
to look at several renderings and study the original words to
come to a proper and true understanding.
Next: Can't Be Erased From The Book of Life