A seal makes something official.
For example, a college transcript or a state document might be stamped with the seal of the institution that issues it.
In my last post, “Scars on the Heart – Open Heart Surgery,” I talked about how God gives us a new heart, leaving a spiritual “scar” behind. He marks us with the Holy Spirit, the seal of His approval.
We tend to think of circumcision as a physical operation that leaves a distinctive scar, marking a man for life. However, the spiritual operation of circumcision which God performs is a surgery on the heart. Like circumcision in the days of Moses, the scar left by God’s heart transplant (our circumcision of the heart) is a means of identification.
In the days of Abraham and Moses, circumcision had two purposes for the tribes of Israel:
Circumcision is the most common kind of ritual scarring used for identification purposes. From ancient times (predating Abraham,) the ritual of circumcision was performed for a few different reasons. Most frequently, the operation was performed at or before the age of thirteen to identify a male as a(n):
- Grown man
- Belonging to a group
In the case of Jewish males, the operation was generally performed on the eighth day of life, and the clear purpose was to mark the male as a descendant of Abraham.
The other purpose of circumcision for the tribes of Israel was to separate them from the surrounding peoples. They were marked. They were different. They were called out. They were “cut off.” A circle was drawn in scar tissue on a man’s body to denote his separation for all time.
Seal of the Holy Spirit
Identification is the first purpose of God’s seal.
Surgical scars and those resulting from wounds are used as “forensic evidence.” Admitted into evidence in a trial, scars can serve the legal purpose of establishing a person’s identity.
However, outward appearance isn’t sufficient evidence to establish your rights as an heir of God. God’s operation leaves His seal on your heart, and make no mistake, you must bear that seal at the time of the Judgment to establish your identity as one of God’s people.
“And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
2 Corinthians 1:21-22
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit….”
Separation is the other purpose of God’s seal.
God’s seal marks us as different, called out, and “cut off” from the sinful nature of the world around us. The world is cut away, leaving a circle of scar around our hearts. Because we are in Christ (the firm foundation,) we bear God’s seal. Notice the inscription on the seal:
“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’”
2 Timothy 2:19
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Ephesians 4:30-31
Critical Condition, Surgical Solution
Our critical condition requires divine intervention, a surgical solution. Our death sentence requires a pardon bearing God’s seal. The solution is found in the circumcision of Christ. And, here is the way that is accomplished:
“In him [Christ] also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:11-14
Have you been sealed by God? Please, leave your questions and comments below:
To download or print this post: Scars on the Heart – The Seal of God
Other related scriptures:
- Scars on the Heart – Open Heart Surgery (christsreflections.wordpress.com)
- Circumcision of the Heart by Robert A. Friedman (Jews for Jesus)