Ephesians 1:13, 14
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, the praise of His glory.”
Notice the change of the pronouns in Verse 12. First it is “we” and then in verse 13 it is “you”. It is first the apostles and then the Gentiles to whom Paul is writing. But notice the order of the progress of their faith. They “trusted” after they had heard the gospel. That seems reasonable doesn’t it? Surely they could not trust in something they knew nothing about. But having heard now they could believe. Isn’t that what Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” They could not believe if they had not heard the gospel. Now with the word “believe” is implied other acts of obedience. In Acts 2:38 when those who had heard the Word of God were “cut to the heart” and cried out “what shall we do?” Peter “said to them, ‘repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 5:32” We are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Thus the Holy Spirit would not be given until that person had obeyed the gospel completely. We should never get the order of the plan of salvation turned around... It is always the same. We must hear first, and then trust or believe, as the basis of obedience.
There is another vital happening that occurs at this point. We are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise.” Official papers are often stamped with a seal. A Notary Public will officially stamp papers to guarantee their genuineness. When we heard the Word of truth, believed it, and obeyed the commands, which, of course, includes baptism (Galatians 3:26-27; Acts 2:38) God gave us of His Spirit.Now that Spirit living in us produces evidence; Love, joy, peace longsuffering, gentleness,goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. It is these characteristics that stamps and seals us as being God’s property. It ought to be obvious to anyone who associates with a Christian that he is sealed with God’s Spirit.
Now further that Spirit is an earnest (down payment) of our inheritance. Only a hint of what is waiting.
Follow up Scripture:
Ephesians 1:13, 14
1 John 3:2