This message was preached by Colin D' Cruz at Word of Grace Church on the April 26 th 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here
Have you ever purchased something and realized that it is a fake?
In life, when we get hold of something, we need to be assured that it is genuine.
So today we will look at how you know that you are a genuine follower of Jesus.
Ephesians 1: 13- 14 says “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you 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.”
I. First, the person hears the gospel. This is critical for someone to be born again. In a nutshell this is the gospel- we are all sinners with degrees of sinfulness. We try to achieve a sense of morality by enforcing a set of laws. But we are powerless to obey the law. The wages of sin is death. Man’s solution is to try and get things right with God.
But no matter how much good we do, it cannot take away our sins. But God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God’s solution is Jesus who died on the cross and rose again.
If you believe this gospel your sins can also be forgiven. Then an amazing exchange takes place.
II. Secondly, the person is marked in the seal- a stamp of approval showing you are saved.
Q. What is the meaning of a seal?
1. After Jesus was crucified, a seal was placed on the tomb. A seal is used to secure what it inside.
2. In Romans 4:11 it says that Abraham received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. A seal is a sign that he has received righteousness. This authenticates it.
3. In Revelation 7:3 the angel put a seal on all those who believe. A seal also represents ownership.
Today, all these three apply to us. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives secures that there is a genuine faith. It is a sign of authentication and ownership.
There can be a stage where the believers are believers but not saved.
III. Thirdly, the Holy Spirit is a deposit in us. It’s a foretaste of what we are going to enjoy forever. 2 Corinthians 1:22 says that God set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.. God says “you are mine” by giving us the Holy Spirit. Again in 2 Cor 5:5 Paul reminds, the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. It is important to receive this gift of the Holy Spirit. There has always been a second anointing in the Bible where believers received power- received the Holy Spirit.
Now the Holy Spirit gives us different gifts. How do we know that we are truly followers of Jesus. 1 Cor 12 speaks about these gifts. Today, believers don’t want to talk about it because they say they don’t understand it. But Paul says, do not be ignorant about the gifts. There are different kinds of gifts but the Holy Spirit gives these gifts for the common good. We do not decide which gifts we receive. It depends on God. But in verse 31 it says, eagerly desire the greater gifts. Romans 12 gives another list of gifts.
Do you know if you have received any of the gifts of the spirit? Have we received the sealing of the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
There are objective and subjective signs of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Some of the subjective signs, which cannot be seen outwardly are as follows. In Christian history it has been recorded that whenever the Holy Spirit came upon people, there has been a deep sense of the love of God. There is immense boldness and power to witness. Mark 16:20- Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
God never changes. So this needs to be our experience today as well. The prayer of a lot of preachers and evangelists today is to see a revival accompanied with signs and wonders. We need to desire it.
Some of the objective signs are as follows. The physical appearance of the person changes. Like Stephen who was filled with the Spirit while being stoned, the face would glow. There is freedom of speech. There is new boldness and fearlessness and authority in the person’s speech. When God’s spirit comes into us, life is changed.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.