The seal of the Spirit (2 Cor. 1:22)

“He has put his seal

On us.

He has given us

His Spirit

In our hearts

As a first installment.”

ὁ καὶ σφραγισάμενος ἡμᾶς καὶ δοὺς τὸν ἀρραβῶνα τοῦ Πνεύματος ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν.

Paul said that he has put his seal on us (ὁ καὶ σφραγισάμενος ἡμᾶς).  He has given us (καὶ δοὺς) his Spirit (τοῦ Πνεύματος) in our hearts (ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν) as a first installment (τὸν ἀρραβῶνα).  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀρραβῶνα, that means an earnest part payment, an advance payment, or a security payment.  This text contains the classic Latin confirmation terminology signavit (sealed).  The Greek text has this verb as an aorist that indicates a reference to a past concrete event that all have experienced.  The participle word σφραγισάμενος is combined with the aorist legal term άρραβώνα, so that some juridical implications are involved with this sealing.  This legal vocabulary implies a relationship to God within an eschatological context, because the giving of the Spirit is the pledge of a future reward.  There is little doubt that this text combines non-water baptismal initiation terminology with juridical and eschatological concepts.  If it is a metaphor, what concrete event is this metaphor alluding to?  The seal implies an external mark, and not baptism.  The Spirit is the guarantee and security for the full salvation still to come.  It is a confirmation of what has taken place within that person.  Do you feel sealed by the Holy Spirit?

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