Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. — 2 Corinthians 1: 21–22
We are God’s property as well as His messengers.
God has established us in Christ through the rebirth out of water and the Spirit.
We belong to God
The Holy Spirit makes us firm in faith by reminding us that we have received the seal of God, which is a clear sign that we belong to God.
- God is not only our Creator, but also our Father, who loves us and watches over us.
- We belong to Christ (John 17: 6). He is our Advocate and intercedes on our behalf, no matter what. No one can tear us from His hand.
- We belong to the community of God’s children. Even though it consists of sinners, it is nevertheless a source of strength, joy, and comfort for us.
- The seal is also an image for the fellowship of the faithful with the apostolate, which imparts to them all the elements of salvation they need in order to prepare themselves for the return of the Lord.
Messengers of the Lord
Through the rebirth out of water and the Spirit, we were anointed by God. Also associated with this is that we have been sent in order to serve Him.
In a certain sense, God even sends us out as prophets, as it were, in order to
- Proclaim His will. When basic principles of the gospel go unfulfilled, we show our disapproval and endeavour to prove, through our conduct, that it is indeed possible to fulfil the law of Christ.
- Proclaim the future. We are certain that Christ will always have the last word!
A royal priesthood
As those who have been reborn out of water and the Spirit, we belong to the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2: 5, 9), who have been called in order to
- Proclaim the praises of God. These fill us with joy and thankfulness. His grace moves us to also practise forgiveness in our own right.
- Bring spiritual sacrifices (that is, sacrifices produced by the Spirit). Humbleness is a sacrifice that is pleasing to God, as is a life that is completely dedicated to God, in other words, a life that is led in the mind and spirit of the gospel. (Catechism 13.2.1).
- Do good and to share with our neighbour (Hebrews 13: 16), because all of these are sacrifices that please
God has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. Thanks to the gift of the Holy Spirit we can already today enjoy fellowship with God and have a foretaste of His kingdom (Hebrews 6: 5).
* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for divine service held on Sunday, 15 November 2015 at Midrand Congregation.