God gave me a pointed visual of the believer’s new identity in Christ.

We recently went on vacation, and I had placed a “hold mail” order for our address. After vacation I went to the Post Office to pick up our accumulated mail. The postwoman took my ID and asked if I was resuming mail delivery. When I answered in the affirmative, she took a scrap piece of paper, printed my name and address, wrote “resume delivery,” then she took the postal stamp and sealed that scrap piece of paper.

The woman’s action was surprising and comical. This is our government’s up to date technology at work? She took a cut up piece of paper that once served another purpose and wrote new information on it? Don’t they have an official form for that like the official form for holding mail? Then I realized that this beautifully illustrated a believer’s new position in Christ as a person sealed by the Holy Spirit.

The piece of paper received a new identity. It was no longer a piece of scrap paper; it became an official document. All the things on the back of that cut up piece of paper became irrelevant; all that mattered was the official information on the front. That piece of paper could no longer be used for other information; it had a new purpose, which was to make my “resume delivery” order known. That paper was an official, sealed document because the postwoman put the official governmental seal on it.

This reminded me of the truth in Ephesians 1:13-14. Believers in Jesus Christ are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. We are no longer sinners in our identity. Instead, we have a new identity in Jesus Christ. We are the official property of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the things in our past have become irrelevant; all that matters is the new life we have been given. We now have a new purpose, which is to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). We have been set apart as God’s inheritance. [1]

The difference in that piece of paper was not the result of that paper’s action. The action of the postwoman made the difference, when she chose that piece of paper and sealed it with the official USPS seal. The change came from someone else’s work and the seal placed on the paper.

The same is true of saints. Our new position is not based in any work that we have done. Saints are not individuals who do remarkable things for God. Rather, saints are individuals who have received the wonderful things God has done for us in Christ. The change in our identity has come because God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit. The work of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit are what make the difference.

What about you? Are you sealed with the promised Holy Spirit? That terminology may seem confusing, so let me ask it differently: Have you heard the Good News of Jesus and believed in Him? Have you heard that Jesus Christ has died for your sins and risen again, and are you trusting in Him alone to save you from sin?

Listen to God’s words through Paul: Ephesians 1:13-14: In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. [2]

Are you sealed?

  1. Consider the title “saint.” Saints – Ones Set Apart, Holy Ones. Saints are individuals set apart by God from sin, judgement, and the world. They are also set apart by God to God by the work of Jesus Christ. Saints are God’s cherished possession, set apart in love and set apart for His purposes. Saints are those who believe on the Lord Jesus. See:
  2. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.