Now He who established us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22
You are sealed in Christ! This act performed by God upon our hearts claims and identifies us as children of God when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Throughout Scripture, we read about a seal being placed upon a testimony, or fixed upon a scroll, upon the forehead of a high priest, on vessels of worship, and upon us. So what does this mean to be sealed by God? What encouragement can that give us for today? What encouragement will that give us for the future?
Sealing with a clay impression is as old as language itself. A seal secures the contents of a scroll. It closes, hides, keeps, locks up, and conceals the contents. The same word for seal is used for the signet ring that is pressed on soft clay to create the seal. It is called so because it bears the image of the owner’s seal. In the case of the seal of a king, it is proof of the authenticity of a document, confirms the king’s authority, and is a testimony to the presence of the reign of a king.
During my last visit to Israel archeologists made a rare discovery near the southern steps of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem at the entrance to the Temple where Jesus taught. They discovered several seals. Two seals (called bulla) caused an extreme amount of excitement. One of the bulla is clearly identifiable as the seal of King Hezekiah and the other, though damaged, is believed to be of the Prophet Isaiah.1
Not only an exciting find, but proof of the kingdom of Hezekiah in Jerusalem some 700 years before Christ. To find the possible seal of the Prophet Isaiah, upon whom King Hezekiah relied at the same spot is incredible to say the least. Another confirmation of the Bible’s accuracy and credibility.
Turning our thoughts back to the original questions above. What does being sealed by God mean for us? Let’s go deeper by looking into the ancient Hebrew language to see if it will unearth more understanding than our 21st Century cultural context provides.
The ancient Hebrew word picture for “seal” or “sealed” reveals an interesting image. The root word of “seal” is three letters; Chet which means fence or wall that protects that which is inside, Tav which means sign, mark, seal, and covenant, and Mem which means water, massive, mighty and chaos as the stormy sea.
The pictograph reveals a beautiful message. When we are sealed by God we are protected with the sign of His covenant from chaos. It is God’s personal stamp that He applies to us. We bear His image and the content, the Holy Spirit, is secure. It is proof of His authority, the authenticity of His covenant promise, and is as sure as the eternal reign of our God and King.
Here is the touching part of the discovery of the possible Isaiah bulla. Archeologists have pointed out they can clearly see the impression of a fingerprint on the face of the Isaiah bulla. They marvel at the idea that it could be the fingerprint of Isaiah the Prophet. Consider for a moment the thought of God’s fingerprint on the seal of your heart. His personal fingerprint on YOU.
Is God’s fingerprint impressed on our hearts? I believe so. Is He going to protect us unto salvation? Absolutely! Is He going to destroy that which causes chaos? I know so!