Who hath also sealed us
"Two" things more are here attributed to God; "first", the sealing of his people. The use of seals is various, as to denote property in things, to distinguish one thing from another, to show esteem and affection for persons or things, and for security and protection, and to hide and conceal; all which might be applied to sealing, as expressive of the grace of God to his people, in claiming a property in them, distinguishing them from the rest of the world, setting his affections on them, securing and protecting their persons, and hiding them under the shadow of his wings: but sometimes a seal is used to certify, make sure, or assure the truth of a thing; see ( John 3:33 ) ( 1 Corinthians 9:3 ) ( Jeremiah 33:10 ) in which sense the word "sealing" is used here, and intends that assurance which God gives his people of their interest in his love, and the covenant of grace; of their election of God, and redemption by Christ; of their interest in Christ, and union with him; of their justification by him, and adoption through him; of the truth of grace in their hearts, their perseverance in it, and sure and certain enjoyment of eternal glory. The persons thus sealed are not carnal and unconverted persons, only believers in Christ, and these, after they commence such; the seal by which they are sealed, is not any of the ordinances, as circumcision under the Old Testament, or baptism, or the Lord's supper under the New; for these are no seals, nor are they ever so called; but the Spirit of God himself, as the Holy Spirit of promise; for the same who, in the next clause, is called the earnest, is the seal; see ( Ephesians 1:13 ) . "Secondly", the giving of the earnest of the Spirit:
and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts:
by "the Spirit" is meant, not the gifts and graces of the Spirit merely, but the Spirit of God and Christ himself; who was concerned in the creation of the world, in inditing the Scriptures, in forming and filling the human nature of Christ, and in his resurrection from the dead; he himself is given as an "earnest": the word (arrabwn) , here used, and in ( 2 Corinthians 5:5 ) ( Ephesians 1:14 ) is the Hebrew word (Nwbre) , and comes from (bre) , which signifies "to become a surety, to give a pledge"; and is used for a pledge in covenants and bargains, both in Scripture, see ( Genesis 38:17 Genesis 38:18 Genesis 38:20 ) , and in Jewish writings F4; which is given as an earnest, and in part of what it is a pledge of, and is never returned: the Spirit of God is an earnest or pledge of the heavenly inheritance, which is not only prepared for us, and promised to us, and Christ is in the possession of in our nature, in our room and stead, and as our representative; but the Spirit of God also is sent down "into our hearts" as a pledge of it; where he dwells as in his temple, supplies us with all grace, witnesses to us our sonship, and assures us of the heavenly glory: and as such he is "given"; and an unmerited free grace gift he is; for him to be given in this manner, and for such a purpose, is a wonderful display of the love of the Father, and of the Son, and is a surprising instance of his grace and condescension of the Spirit, and for which we should be abundantly thankful.
F4 Midrash Megillath Esther, fol. 94. 2. Maimon. Hilch. Mechira, c. 7. sect. 1. & c. 11. sect. 4.