Eph. 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph. 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
For people in Paul’s day, the seal was a mark of ownership. It was often attached to personal correspondence, clearly identifying whom the letter came from. Paul said we Christians are sealed, or marked by God. The Holy Spirit upon us and within us is the guarantee that we belong to God. At the time of the New Testament, shepherds would often mark their sheep individually. Just as the American cowboys would brand their livestock, the shepherd had an identifying mark on his sheep. We are also marked, marked by God. Paul said we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Samuel Smith had some interesting observations about the Shepherd’s mark. Check this out.
“One property of a good shepherd is, skill to know and judge aright of his sheep, and hence is it that it is a usual thing to set mark upon sheep, to the end that if they go astray (as of all creatures they are most subject to wander), the shepherd may seek them up and bring them home again. The same thing is affirmed of Christ, or rather indeed Christ affirms the same thing of himself, “I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27. Yea, doubtless, he that hath numbered the stars, and calleth them all by their names, yea, the very hairs of our head, taketh special notice of his own children, “the sheep of his pasture”, that they may be provided for and protected from all danger.”
There is a major difference between the shepherd’s mark and the seal of the Holy Spirit. God has marked us all right, He has marked us with Himself. We have been sealed or marked, with God the Holy Spirit. His constant presence with us is the promise to our heart, He will never leave us or forsake us, He is with us until the end of the age. His abiding presence equips us for the purposes and plans the Lord has for us. His indwelling presence keeps us from straying off, actually His presence “leads us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” This mark is a sign to the forces of darkness that we are God’s property, that no weapon formed against us can prosper. This mark actually serves as a constant reminder to us that we are not our own, we are bought with a price. Our heart does not belong to the world, our heart belongs to God.
If the Holy Spirit is the mark of the Good Shepherd, then I want to be filled continually with the Holy Spirit. This is the clear distinctive in my life, I am different, I am marked by God.