Scripture Queries and Answers: Quickening - Sealing

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 8
"J. K. M." asks-What is the difference between being quickened by the Holy Ghost, and being sealed; and when 'are we sealed?
The difference is very great, and is of immense importance, and will account for the different states of soul one sees around. The difference is, that between the state of a saint before, and the proper state since the day of Pentecost, prior to which there was no sealing of the Holy Ghost. The saints, prior to that time, were born again. A saint now, in his normal state as such, is not only quickened, but sealed. Of old, the Holy Ghost was not given;. nor Was He given until Jesus was glorified. (John 7:37-3937In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37‑39)).
Quickening, is the Holy Ghost producing by a new nature, which a man had not before as a sinner, holy desires, hatred of evil, the love of Jesus, the love of all that God is, and of what is due to Him. A soul in being born again, receives a nature that it had not before as a sinner. A soul having this new nature, hating what it finds of the old, and loving the things of God, before deliverance finds itself in the deepest distress-delighting in the law of God after the inward Man-consenting to God's requirements in the law-finding to will present, but how to perform that which is good finding not; in the deepest distress of soul because it finds it has no strength to carry out the desires of the new man. Finding another law in the members warring against the aspirations after holiness of the new man, and ° bringing into captivity to the law of sin in its members. All these are the symptoms to be found in a soul born of God, without the knowledge of redemption. Sad to say that this is the most general state in which Christians are found. This is not the normal, proper Christian state -at all. Many souls in such a state are seeking to get peace by progress and victory over self-that is; trying by suppressing the workings of an evil nature which is found twisted and knotted round the heart, to follow the desires and hopes for which the new man struggles so unsuccessfully against the old.
What then is to bring the sense of deliverance and set the new man free? The knowledge of redemption of Christ's finished delivering work, must be submitted to, and peace found by the surrender of every pretension to strength; and by being completely cast over upon Him for victory and deliverance. In other words, to find that the new nature has no strength, and cannot get peace or liberty by progress; but that it must get peace by surrender to the work of another. Then it is, when at the end of itself, and the thought of strength in itself, that it finds that the work of Christ applies to its ungodly, and not its improved state—that when it was without strength Christ died for the ungodly. Thus cast over upon the victory of another, the deliverance is complete and the new nature set free. It can thank God through Jesus Christ, in whom, on the cross, God condemned sin in the flesh; i.e., the evil nature which so harassed and distressed the soul.
This will give some idea of the state of a quickened soul without the sealing of the Spirit. Now we will seek to ascertain what the sealing is, and when it comes.
Here we find the sealing of the Holy Ghost the result of believing the gospel of salvation with which it is intimately connected. The Holy Ghost in sealing, gives the consciousness of deliverance and power, and the joy of His presence in the knowledge of the finished work of Christ. This is the normal and healthy state of a believer; and is the only normal and healthy state of a Christian known in Scripture-the full assurance of faith, and the Spirit of adoption. It is not that a soul has to pray for the Holy Spirit as a seal. Scripture teaches that the reception of the Holy Ghost as a seal, is the result and consequence of having believed the gospel of salvation. This involves a great deal; for here comes in union with Christ-membership of Christ. Union is only by the Holy Ghost. A Christian has life in Christ, but he. is united to Christ only by the Holy Ghost-life in itself alone, is not union. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (1 Cor. 6:17-1917But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:17‑19)). It is by the hearing of faith; the Holy Ghost is received. We read in Gal. 3:22This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Galatians 3:2), " Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of fattier
We find instances which will illustrate these two states of soul in the Acts of the apostles. Cornelius was a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, and gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. (Acts 10) Here was a soul in which the desires and hopes of the new nature were at work. What he wanted was the knowledge of salvation to bring bins into the enjoyment of true Christian state and privileges. Peter is to be sent for that he might hear words of him;-(v. 22.) who when he conies, preaches salvation, and forgiveness and peace; and the result—of the reception of the words of salvation, ("words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved," Acts 11:1414Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. (Acts 11:14).) was, that the gift of the Holy Ghost, came upon him and those in his house who believed. Again in Acts 19, Paul finds certain disciples at Ephesus whom he asks, "have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" They were believers of John Baptist's testimony which was the announcement of a Messiah to come, and a Holy Ghost which he would communicate. They wanted the further testimony of the rejection, death and resurrection of Christ, and the efficacy of His work in salvation, and the consequent gift of the Holy Ghost as a seal on believing. The result of Paul's testimony to them was, that they received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
These instances show the difference between saints who had been quickened; and believers who were sealed.
How. then do we know when a soul is sealed? when it has got peace with God, not merely a hope of it. When it is sealed? when it has believed the Gospel of salvation.