13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of His glory.
What does this mean? That I am in Christ? Who else could I be in? Where else, or what else, was I in before? I think part of Paul's answer is found in Romans 5. I mainly think this because of a sermon series by Andy Stanley where he talks about the distinction between being in Adam or in Christ. We're one or the other. We inherited the sinful condition of Adam and we're in him until something gets us out. We get put into Christ somehow. We become viewed as Christ somehow. When God looks at us he no longer sees a sinner; he sees someone who is holy and blameless. Somehow we are clothed, covered, coated over with Christ in such a way that it goes down deep.
It's not tricking God. It's not like those terrible, fake glasses/moustache combination or a cheap masquerade; something actually happens where we get Jesus' life and he gets ours. This is Aslan's deep magic and I don't get it. I don't get what happens when someone hears the word and believes. An unspeakable transformation takes place in the instant of believing the good news: the excluded become the included; orphan becomes heir.
But God wants us to be sure. God doesn't want us to question whether or not we're really in His son. He doesn't want his kids to be unsure of their place in the family. His precious Spirit is His way of making us sure. He is our deposit, down-payment, guarantee, pledge. His presence in our hearts is how we know that it's true.
Even as I read these verses earlier I stuttered on the word 'truth.' Am I really sure? Am I really so uncompromising, so arrogant, as to be able to say that what I believe is universal truth? That Jesus is the truth; He is the truest thing that can ever be known. And yet and yet, I have his Spirit. I have a seal branded on my heart that leads me back to the truth even when it seems impossible to believe it. God has marked me out as His own and he promises to keep me from stumbling. He promises to keep me safe and secure until it's home time. He promises that His Spirit is enough: he is my guide, my reminder, my sustainer. And such a gift compels me to praise Him.