Understanding and claiming the truth of our position as
Author’s Note: I know that it’s been a couple years since I’ve posted on this series, but I have not forgotten the different topics and symbolism I planned on covering here. In fact, I’ve been to several weddings over the past couple years and watched my friends experience the joy of true love, which has rekindled the passionate realization that we all have a heavenly Bridegroom and are living in a divine romance. Therefore, I hope you enjoy this long overdue post and are encouraged to live fully content in the unconditional, amazing love Jesus has for you.
It’s gold; it’s shiny. It sparkles in the sunlight and is beautiful to behold. Containing precious stones and real gold, this object can cost a small fortune and is a token of love, commitment, and promise. Can you guess what I’m talking about?
The engagement ring is probably the most fantasized object in the bride’s wardrobe, with the wedding dress being a close second. Girls and ladies ooh and awe over it, and the groom proudly displays it for all to see. Traditionally a band of gold with sparkling diamonds on top, this small object has become a status symbol. A statement that she’s taken. A reminder that he loves me. A declaration that she said “Yes!” And a promise of commitment for the rest of life.
While the engagement ring stands for so many things, at the end of the day, it’s a promise—a promise that he’s coming back and you’re getting married. It’s a tangible token of heartfelt commitment and a physical object guaranteeing a spoken promise. While humans are sinful and fickle and many engagements have been broken off, the intention of the engagement ring is to remind the wearer of an agreement that will not be broken.
In a similar way, the Holy Spirit is our engagement ring. It is the guarantee and surety of our hope. While it may not be as tangible as a gold circlet, it is just as real. And just as a bride looks at her engagement ring with expectation and hope and wears it everywhere, so also we, as Christ’s Bride, should daily be filled with the Holy Spirit and remember the promises He has made to us. Here’s what Paul says about our spiritual “engagement ring.”
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
Is the word engagement ring used in this passage? No, but the concept is. The Greek word translated as guarantee can also be translated as “deposit, pledge, guarantee, earnest.” While we recognize most of these words, the word earnest is not in our daily vocabulary. It is an old English word that means “something of value given by a buyer to a seller to bind a bargain” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). A similar word in our culture would be surety, which is a valuable asset that can legally be taken if one fails to follow through on a guarantee.
Therefore, the Holy Spirit is a down payment promising a return. It is something of immeasurable value that God gives us as a symbol of His promise to never leave us or forsake us. It is also the Lord’s pledge to us, a promise that He will return for His Bride one day. Finally, the Holy Spirit is a symbol to the world that we are taken.
Throughout the Bible, God tells us that He has sealed us by giving us the Holy Spirit. This sealing is a sign to us and to a watching world that we are taken and claimed by Christ. In II Corinthians and Ephesians, Paul also tells us that the Holy Spirit is our seal or mark of belonging. It’s what sets us apart from the rest of the world.
“and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
~II Corinthians 1:22
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
The literal meaning of the Greek word for seal: “to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literal or figurative)” (Strong’s Dictionary). Do you feel special, loved, and protected? You should! The Holy Spirit is God’s way of marking us for Himself. It is a sign that claims us as His and warns the enemy not to mess with us. It is a stamp of protection and promise.
Are you beginning to see how precious the Holy Spirit is in your life? Not only is it a helper and powerful force to guide you in this life as a Christian, but it is your spiritual engagement ring! It is a semi-tangible reminder of your Bridegroom who has promised to love you forever. You are not alone; your heavenly Bridegroom will return for you and in the meantime, He has left you the Holy Spirit as a pledge and reminder of His promises.
Therefore, the next time you feel alone, forgotten, unseen, and overlooked, remember the Holy Spirit which is your promise from God that you are seen, loved, cherished, and chosen. So when you see a shiny physical engagement ring, think of your own glorious, invaluable spiritual one and set your heart and mind on the One who gave it to you. Jesus loves you and is coming back for you, so walk in the joy and love that He’s promised and wear your spiritual engagement ring—the Holy Spirit—daily, with pride and eager expectation of all that it represents.