In the last few weeks I’ve blogged about the security we have in our relationship with God the Father and God the Son. Today, I want to focus on the Holy Spirit’s role in keeping us safe and secure in our salvation. The ministry of the Holy Spirit to those who have trusted in Jesus is a source of constant contention and it has frequently confused believers. But the Bible is clear in what it teaches about how the Holy Spirit keeps us secure—it’s shown in three simple truths.
First, the Holy Spirit immerses every believer into the body of Messiah. In 1 Corinthians 12:13, Paul writes, “For we were all baptized (immersed) by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” The word “baptized” means “to immerse” or “to dip.” What this verse means is that at the exact moment we believe, the Holy Spirit of God takes the individual believer, and immerses him or her into the universal body of Jesus the Messiah. It’s the Holy Spirit who makes us members of the world-wide universal family of God’s people. Here’s the significance—this is a work which no human being can do, it’s supernatural. And, therefore, it’s a work which no human being can undo. We are secure as part of the universal body of Messiah Jesus and can do nothing to change that.
Second, the Holy Spirit indwells every believer when we believe. Many biblical texts teach the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Paul frequently reminds believers that we are temples of God’s Holy Spirit who is in us (1 Cor 3:16, 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16). But in John 14:16-17, the Lord Jesus Himself promised us that He would send the Holy Spirit to indwell us. He said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.” According to the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit will remain with us forever because the Holy Spirit is in us. The Holy Spirit functions like the Man Who Came to Dinner. When we invite the Lord into our lives, the Holy Spirit comes, and He never leaves. But when He stays, He doesn’t annoy us. Rather, He transforms us.
Third, the Holy Spirit seals us until we stand before the Lord Himself. Paul mentions the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit twice in the book of Ephesians. In 1:13 He says, when we believed in Messiah Jesus, we “were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” And in Ephesians 4:30, he wrote that we were sealed by the Holy Spirit “for the day of redemption.” The significance of a seal in the Greco-Roman world was two-fold. First, a seal was put on a letter, or a scroll, or a package, to identify who sent it. So it was a mark of identification. The Holy Spirit seals us to identify us as God’s children. Second, a seal was placed on a letter, scroll or package as a mark of security until it was redeemed by the person to whom it was sent. The sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantees our safety and security until we arrive in the presence of the Lord, our ultimate day of redemption. No human can break this seal, not even we ourselves can break it. So we are absolutely safe and secure in our relationship with the Lord until we stand in His presence.
The Holy Spirit has been called “the shy member of the God-Head.” That’s because He doesn’t draw attention to Himself but instead He works to glorify the Lord Jesus (John 16:14). Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is fully God and His unchangeable and unbreakable work in securing our salvation will keep us safe and secure until we see Jesus.