Sadly, many Christians are afraid of losing their salvation. For now, at least in this book, I will avoid the debate about whether or not one can lose his or her salvation. What I’d rather focus on here is the fact that many believers just simply do not understand the work of salvation.
Often, I receive very specific questions from very fearful people who are wondering if they have done something to lose their salvation. The questions vary in specifics but are exactly alike at the core. “Brother David, I listened to a worldly song, and I felt bad—have I lost my salvation?”
“David, I spoke ungodly words in anger toward my spouse, and now I feel a weight of guilt on me. Did I lose my salvation?” “Brother David, I don’t feel God near me anymore. Am I still saved?”
Not a single believer should live under the paranoia, the constant fear, of being cast away from God’s salvation. We place much faith in the power of our misdeeds and not enough in God’s ability to secure that which He has purchased.
What’s even sadder is the fact that most people I try to counsel out of such paranoia are much too busied in the mind to pay any attention to the truth. The truth can liberate them from the religious weight of performance-based faith, but they don’t pause to really receive that truth. They obsess over the details about their own specific errors and ignore the principles of truth that apply to all. They long for a specific assurance that what they have done in particular has not disqualified them from the family of God.
So, dear reader, please read this carefully: salvation is quite simple. Jesus did the work, and He just asks that you believe in His accomplishment. Of course, we must live righteously thereafter, but not in order to gain salvation. We don’t live holy to be saved; we choose to live holy because we are saved.
Still, even knowing this information about the simplicity of salvation, many Christians live their lives in misery. They carry the weight of their sins and live in fear. They live in fear because they think their salvation depends on their performance, when it doesn’t. Again, I must emphasize that I believe in holy living, and I believe that there are consequences to sin.
But that doesn’t mean that the believer isn’t going through a transformation. Perfection is a process.
Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit to help us defeat the religious paradigms that can so easily infect the mind. He is the One who assures us that we belong to God. I daresay that convincing you of your new identity is one of His most important works.
The Holy Spirit is the “down payment” on your heavenly inheritance. Yes, Jesus paid the price in full for your salvation when He gave His life upon the cross. However, the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that we will receive the salvation for which Christ died to give us. The day of redemption is a certain reality for you and me because we have the Holy Spirit.
And He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us (2 Corinthians 1:22)
Because we have the Holy Spirit, we can be assured that we belong to God, and because we belong to God, we can be assured of all He has promised to give us and do for us through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is your mark and guarantee. He is God’s pledge and seal of promise upon you.
In Jewish wedding culture, the father of the groom would usually be the one who picked the bride for his son. After the father of the groom found whom he believed to be the choice bride, he would approach the bride and her family. There would be a written marriage agreement made. After the written agreement was finished, it was customary for the father of the groom to give a gift to the father of the bride. That gift acted as a deposit for the bride. It was a promissory note, a guarantee of the groom’s intentions to marry. Once that deposit was made, the intent to marry would become official.
The Jewish wedding traditions, like many of the Jewish traditions, mirror the spiritual realm.
Just as the father of the groom selects the bride, so God the Father has chosen to give the Church to His Son. And just as the father of the groom leaves a gift representing a promise, so God fills you with His Holy Spirit, His divine promise.
While here upon the earth, we receive many things from the Lord. And many people, when they get to Heaven, will be saddened to discover what they could have experienced while here on earth. Still, not everything that God has promised us concerning our salvation can be experienced here and now. For example, the new glorified bodies we will receive cannot now be obtained. So, the Holy Spirit is God’s seal of promise in you, guaranteeing that you will eventually receive it all!
For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God Himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee He has given us His Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:3-5).
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).
The seal represents the certainty that we receive from the Holy Spirit. Despite what our emotions tell us, despite what the lies of the enemy tell us, despite what our own human reasoning tells us, we know that we belong to God because of the Holy Spirit, the seal of the promise of salvation. The seal, the Holy Spirit, is God’s fear-defeating, peace-giving promise to us, the assurance of our own salvation. The seal can be symbolic of the Holy Spirit.