“You trusted, after you heard…
having believed, you were sealed.”
What a magnificent procedure is illustrated in this verse. And yet so simple! Paul is commending the church at Ephesus for their faith here, and he reminds us that before one can trust, one must hear. Remember Paul’s words to the Romans: “How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” So first, we hear. Through a parent, through a pastor, through a friend, through a curious reading of the Bible, or the need to fill the unexplained void of the heart.
And then, after the hearing, a decision must be made: to believe, or to reject. Oh sure, often people think they are choosing a third option: analyzing the information before coming to any definite conclusion. This can take years. But God really doesn’t see it as a defendable position. Not if it’s just a stall tactic. It’s like being the driver of a getaway car, and saying you were only along for the ride while you decided if the occupants of the car were good or bad. God knows, however, that upon hearing the truth of Christ, your heart can open or close.
For those who hear and do believe, the next action does not belong to us, but to the Holy Spirit. “Having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” This is such a glorious verse. It is so simple, so straightforward, and so conclusive. In the next chapter of Ephesians, Paul will go into more detail about it. It’s faith ~ not works ~ by which we are saved, but this line sums it up nicely: “having believed, you were sealed.” Period. Securely and irrevocably. What a comforting, encouraging, and joyous knowledge. Sure makes me glad I heard!