Gospel Message & Recording
In antiquity and at present, a seal is the joining to two parts so that they do not separate. Secondly, it is a liquid that has a symbol stamped on it that denotes that it belongs to a certain person or entity. Here, when we speak of a seal, we are speaking in spiritual terms; nevertheless, the idea is the same.
In Revelation 7:1-8, it says that the redeemed bear a seal on their foreheads. This seal consists of the names of God and the Lamb and shows that the redeemed belong to God (Revelation 14:1). This seal is presumably not a visible one but a way of indicating that people find their identity in Christ. This seal does not mean that people are exempt from all earthly suffering, but it does show that God has claimed them and gives them the promise of life everlasting.
For the Orthodox Christian, the seal that is spoken about in the Book of Revelation is none other than the seal of Myron, which is the Holy Spirit, given to the person/baby on the day of his or her baptism. This demonstrates to the world and to the demonic forces that this person is “sealed” for Christ. In the Antiochian Orthodox Church, when the Myron is applied, the Priest, Acolytes, and congregation all recite “sealed” three times. In other words, it is a declaration that he or she belongs to Christ.
In the Gospel reading today we hear Christ speaking about a seal that has been placed on him. “ Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:27) Here the seal that is on Christ denotes that He, Christ, belongs to God His Father. Similarly, Christ has set His seal on us through baptism; so, therefore, we belong to Christ.
There are a few things that we have to remember since we are sealed in Christ.
1) Don’t worry God has a plan: Worrying leads to anxiety. Anxiety could lead to depression. Worry also leads to serious health issues. We should trust in the Lord and know that He will provide. The Lord has a plan for our family and us. We have to put our trust in Him.
2) God’s protection is on you: Psalm 91 should be recited when we go encounter a situation that is extremely difficult to handle and we need direction on how to deal with it. We should be assured that the living God is always with us and will protect us.
It is the determination of Satan and all his forces to break this seal from our lives. So we must do whatever it takes to preserve and protect it. Remember you are Christ’s and Christ is yours. This is the one thing that no one can take from you.
How do we keep this seal preserved and protected?
- Purity: By purity I mean maintaining our bodies as the temple of God, by keeping away from circumstances that destroy our lives and our marriages. Purity is not only in terms of relationship to others but to oneself. Remember to guard you eyes, ears and mouth—all of which can sin. The eyes must look up the holy things. The ears must be eager to listen to the holy things. And the mouth must we willing to speak about the holy things. When we keep our purity in an impure world we protect ourselves from spiritual harm and protect the seal that in our hearts.
- Honesty: Honesty is simply by definition telling the truth. But it’s more than that. Being honest keeps us away from compromising situations that would otherwise harm our spiritual life. For example, don’t lie to get your way or for financial gain, position, recognition or status.
- Integrity: Integrity is key to success in life. It is simply put: living up to a high moral and ethical standard. At work, church, and home (marriage and children) be a person of integrity. A person with integrity is a person that can be trusted. At work when you work with integrity, you will be more trusted, valuable in certain areas, and considered for higher positions. Once you lose your integrity, you lose the trust of others. That said, we are imperfect and mistakes are made. In such cases, be prepared to accept the consequences for your actions. In the long run, humility and meekness will restore your integrity.
- As men/women, what difficulties do we face in regard to purity, in marriage, and at work, etc? What circumstances could lead to impure actions that could cause harm to the seal of Christ that is in us and what kind of damage could it do to our reputation?
- What areas of life do you find yourself to be the least honest? Do you think it is possible to live an honest life? Is there such thing as a “good” lie?
- Do you feel there is a lack of integrity in our society currently? Do you feel like you live a life of integrity? Would you want your children to emulate your moral or ethical standards? Why? or Why not?
- If we do belong to Christ, why do many of us have worry and anxiety? Do you feel depression is a mental or spiritual condition?