I love the song “Flawless” by MercyMe: “No matter the bumps, no matter the bruises, no matter the scars, still the truth is the cross has made, the cross has made you flawless. No matter the hurt, or how deep the wound is, no matter the pain, still the truth is the cross has made, the cross has made you flawless.” In Christ, you were adopted, chosen, and marked…but your human nature reminds you of how flawed you are. Ephesians 1:13-14 reveals that in Christ, you can have confidence and security in the fact that you are marked by the Spirit…to the praise of His glory!
13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
If you have a tattoo, share with your group what it is and what the significance of it is.
Read Ephesians 1:13-14. What two things do you learn about the Spirit in these verses?
What do you think it means to be “sealed…with the Holy Spirit”?
The Greek word for “listening” (or “heard” in some versions), akouō, has the connotation of listening AND understanding. Read Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23. What are the four types of “hearers” in this parable? Which of these “hearers” do you believe is “sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit”?
The word for sealed is sphragizō (to stamp with a private mark for security or preservation) and the word for pledge is arrabōn (earnest or down-payment). In Christ, you are marked with the Spirit as an indication that you have already received part of an inheritance that is to come. What is this inheritance?
We live in a world where it is common for people break their promises, but this inheritance is guaranteed by God. Does this knowledge give you assurance that you are secure in His love and power?
This is the third instance in Ephesians 1 that Paul used a form of the phrase “to the praise of His glory” (verses 6 and 12). What does this tell you about why God created, saves, and blesses us?
Are there hurts, habits, or hang-ups that create doubt and keep you from living with confidence that you are adopted, chosen, and marked? Brainstorm with your group practical things you can do when doubt arises.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
The Holy Spirit does not just seal those in Christ; He has many roles. Read the passages below, and list His work in each.
- John 3:5-8
- John 6:62-63
- John 14:26-27
- John 16:8
- John 16:13
- Acts 1:8
- Romans 8:26-27
- 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
- Galatians 5:16-26
- Ephesians 4:1-6
- Ephesians 5:18
- Titus 3:5
Which of the above most impact you, and why?
What is the “fruit of the Spirit”?
What does it mean to be “filled with the Spirit”?