Have you ever been somewhere like an amusement park or a festival where you had to wear a special bracelet or get a stamp as proof of your admission? While a lot more convenient than having to keep up with a ticket stub, this practice presents a bit of a challenge for my family. My daughter, Carley, doesn’t like to be stamped or stickered or tagged in any way. In order to convince her to cooperate, I have to explain to her that she can’t go in and have fun until she consents to being marked.
As Christians, we bear a seal that permits our admission into the kingdom of heaven. Listen to these verses from Ephesians 1:13&14 “And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him”
When we become Christians we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit who serves as our guide, our helper, a source of strength and a seal which identifies us as children of God. Since this seal is invisible to human eyes, how do we know whether or not we bear it? The Bible tells us that if we are living according to the spirit, the fruit we bear will serve as evidence. Galatians 5:22-25 tells us, specifically, what a spirit-filled life looks like. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
We’re still human, so we can’t expect to bear this fruit every moment of every day. However, once we accept Jesus and inherit the Holy Spirit there ought to be evidence of this inheritance in our attitudes and behaviors. We won’t get it right all of the time, but there should be a longing in our hearts to please God…our father and our King who has marked us with his seal.