What marks do you bear in your body? In mine, I bear a scar in the middle of my forehead from a tumble I took as a toddler, and one on my knee from one I took as a youth. My body shows evidence of giving birth, twice....various adventures in the dental office, pierced ears...I could go on with this boring recitation, but won't.
A family friend broke a bone last week. Now, that bone will heal. But, when it is viewed on the x-ray, it will always show evidence of having been broken. The bone is forever changed.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and Ephesians 1:13-14 brought it to the forefront of my mind this morning. Here are the verses :
3And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ – you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.
So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away--look, what is new has come.
There is such a thing as "spiritual DNA". We are born with a flawed type of it, a type that is hopelessly contaminated wtih sin. But when we hear the gospel (1:13 above) and accept Jesus as Savior, that DNA with which we were born ("born into sin") is forever, eternally changed.
It's pretty amazing, really. Think of it as a "chemical change". I took just enough chemistry in high school to be dangerous, (thank you, Dr. Singh!). But, I did learn enough to know that when two things are merged/combined, they might make a mixture, defined as a combination that can later be separated. For example, if you combine iron filings with grains of salt, a magnet will separate the iron from the salt for you. A mixture is not a "forever change". Both (or however many) different entities retain their original properties, clear and distinct from each other. There is no chemical change that occurs.
When you combine things like vinegar and baking soda, however, there is a chemical change. You can see it occur, and after it occurs, the chemist is no longer able to separate the vinegar from the baking soda again. They are both forever altered.
So, what does that have to do with salvation of the soul? When one accepts Christ, His Holy Spirit enters the body, soul and spirit in some way we cannot quantify or fully comprehend. The "old" becomes "new", the scriptures declare! This is a forever change.
In Ephesians, Paul describes the Holy Spirit as a "mark", making Christians "marked people".
Is this a mark that one can physically see? Sometimes. Unbelievers or yet-to-become-believers will sometimes remark, "There's something different about him/her..." I don't know about you, but I've met people I immediately knew were believers, not by their appearance, but rather by the presence of the Holy Spirit in and around them.
This happened to me at a conference, and I'll never forget it. A lady came up to me at one of the breaks - - a lady I'd never met or heard of - - and asked if I was a Christian. She said she could see the Holy Spirit in me. Not so stunning when you consider Romans 8:16 - - -
The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children,
True Christians all have the same Spirit, the Spirit of their Savior, and that Spirit testifies that they are God's children.
21Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NET)
We are "God's own possession" because His Spirit inhabits and possesses us. Christians are as marked for all eternity as Christ's wounds are. God will keep His Word. He is unchangeable. We can rest in that certainty of eternal destiny.
Have we received all of our eternal inheritance in Christ?
Not entirely, and we won't have received all until we are with Him, in glory. But, because of the Holy Spirit, because He has marked us, we know we have as much of God's wealth that we can possibly handle here on earth and WILL receive all of the riches in Christ Jesus when we step onto the golden shore of that beautiful land called Heaven.
"O say but I'm glad!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jN-h1wEfyc
Father God, thank you for marking Your children as Your very own. There is such comfort and peace in that! We know that our salvation grows and matures as we battle daily the sin nature that continues to be a part of us. But, we know that we can never be separated from You, from the love that is ours in Christ Jesus. I'm so grateful to be Yours, and to know that I am forever Yours! In Jesus' name, amen.