2 Cor.1:22 – He knows we are his since he has also stamped his seal of love over our hearts and has given us the Holy Spirit like an engagement ring is given to a bride—a down payment of the blessings to come!
The seal is not so common in our twenty first century culture. It did make a slight comeback in the 1970’s during the ‘Flower Power’ days. If you are not sure what I am talking about some people were using melted wax with a pressed image to seal their letters. Who even sends letters these days? Seals were in common use in the days of the New Testament. Scrolls were sealed for various purposes. Here is a description from the Passion Notes.
“The Greek word for seal is sphragizō. God has sealed believers with a seven-fold seal: (1) a seal of security, sealed tightly and kept secure in God’s love, (2) a seal of authentication that marks us as God’s very own, (3) a seal to certify genuineness, (4) a seal of ownership, (5) a seal of approval, (6) a seal of righteousness, and (7) a seal denoting a promise to be fulfilled. The mark given by the beast is upon the forehead and hand, but the “seal” of Christ is over our hearts. Jesus, our Bridegroom, invites us to place him over our hearts like a fiery seal of love, the jealous flame of God that burns continually in our hearts. We are born of the Spirit, sealed with the Spirit, indwelt by the Spirit, baptized in the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, made one (unity) in the Spirit, given gifts of the Spirit, and given ministries by the Spirit. He is a promise, a seal, and a guarantee of receiving our full inheritance. The Greek word for “down payment” is arrabōn and is used in Greek culture for ‘engagement ring’.”
Paul uses the image of the seal to picture the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of a believer. I love the last example described in these notes. The seal is a promise to be fulfilled perfectly picturing the Holy Spirit as a promise or foretaste of the life to come. If you have tasted the powerful blessings of the Spirit for yourself then you know exactly what Paul is saying. Heaven will be amazing. The taste of His presence here and now makes us hungry for the world to come.