Ephesians 1:13 In (Jesus) you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
V.13 stands out for me today, “you also… were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit…”. For many centuries it was the dream of God’s people to be able to speak to God directly and/or to hear a word from God directly. Instead, before Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the church at Pentecost, the faithful had to go to a priest to intercede for them. Or to a prophet to hear a word from God. With a few exceptions, people did not have direct access to the living God. They needed an intermediary, a person through whom to communicate with God.
By sending the Holy Spirit, Jesus changed all that.
Paul reminds us that, as Christian believers, we now have full access to God. We can go directly to God in prayer, pouring out the concerns and praises of our hearts. We can intercede for others, no animal sacrifice required as was true during the Old Testament days. We can confess our sins to God directly and receive forgiveness directly. We can hear the Lord call us “Beloved” in our hearts, or hear a word of comfort when we are in distress, or hear the call to love others as Jesus first loved us.
I realize this kind of speaking and listening to God isn’t always as clear as we’d like. Sometimes it seems we can pray to the Lord for days or weeks or years and hear very little in return. Praying is not like speaking with someone face to face. But that day, too, will come – when Jesus returns to us and ushers in the new age. Lord Jesus let it be so, as you have promised. Amen.