8.3.9 The effects of Holy Sealing

Through the sacrament of Holy Sealing, the baptised believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, with power from God (see 3.5.2).

Through Holy Sealing, the Spirit of God makes His permanent abode in a human being–God Himself grants him a share in His nature: "... the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5: 5). The initial relationship of proximity to God founded upon baptism with water now takes on a new quality in the childhood in God.

Through the rebirth out of water and Spirit, the believer is moreover called by God to become a firstling. With respect to the kingdom of God, the rebirth has both a present and future aspect (John 3: 5).

The present effect of the rebirth–the childhood in God–represents, as it were, an anticipation of being a firstling and part of the "royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2: 9). In this sense, "childhood in God" thus refers to that condition of a human being before God which is characterised by having received all the sacraments, believing in the proper proclamation of the gospel, and aligning one's life by the return of Christ.

The "Spirit of adoption" whose activity begins to unfold within a human being through Holy Sealing, confidently addresses God as "Abba, Father!" The Holy Spirit testifies to those who have received Him that they are children of God (Romans 8: 16). This occurs in the conscience (see 4.2.1.3) but also through the word proclaimed in the divine service.

At Holy Sealing the believer surrenders himself to the triune God, and God accepts him as His property. This means that the reborn believer becomes an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. He is called to suffer with Christ, and receives the promise that he will be glorified with Christ (Romans 8: 15-18).

The surrender to Christ begun in Holy Baptism with water is completed in Holy Sealing. The believer thereby receives that spiritual revival which will lead him into fellowship with the returning Lord (James 1: 18; Revelation 14: 4). Accordingly the believer now belongs to that group within the church whom God prepares through Apostles for the return of Christ and the marriage in heaven (Revelation 19: 7-8).

The enduring presence of Holy Spirit within a human being also has profound and noticeable effects on one's earthly life: if the sealed believer gives the Holy Spirit room to unfold, divine virtues will develop, which Apostle Paul figuratively describes as "fruit" of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23).

The Holy Spirit will then reveal Himself as a light that provides the believer with insight into divine interrelationships. He is a Comforter and Helper. The Holy Spirit also admonishes the sealed believer, sharpens his conscience, and provides orientation on the way to the goal of faith.

SUMMARY

The prerequisites for receiving Holy Sealing are baptism with water, belief in the triune God, as well as belief in the Apostles sent by Jesus Christ. (8.3.7)

The rebirth out of water and the Spirit, which was begun by God in Holy Baptism with water, is completed through Holy Sealing. The new creation that comes about through the rebirth is a reference to the sanctification and renewal that occurs through God, the Holy Spirit. (8.3.8)

At Holy Sealing a human being is enduringly filled with the Holy Spirit. (8.3.9)

The effect of the rebirth out of water and the Spirit is childhood in God as well as the calling to be a firstling. If the sealed soul gives the Holy Spirit room to unfold, divine virtues will develop. (8.3.9)

See also