Ann Brooks, Kerr Jars, and the Holy Spirit of God
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” – 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
Consider our passage above. The Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian believers and stresses three particular things that God does for His children; He establishes us, He anoints us, and He seals us. Let’s us consider this third blessing from God in the life of the believer in greater depth. What does it mean to be sealed by God?
The word “sealed” is a very interesting word. Whenever I hear it, I think about my maternal grandmother who lived in Albertville, Alabama. Albertville is a town positioned on the top of Sand Mountain, the southernmost ridge of the Appalachian mountain range. One particular memory from the pages of my childhood was how each year she grew a massive garden in the backyard. And each year, like clockwork, she canned her fruits and vegetables using those old “Kerr Jars.” It seemed as if she had stock in that particular jar company. You name it; from tasty jellies and jams, to pickle relish, her kitchen cupboards were full each and every winter. She passed away when I was in my early twenties. In the years since her passing, it seems like many things from her generation have passed away as well. Canning would be a prime example. It is certainly a lost art. I know very few young people that are “canners” (if that is even a word). Unfortunately, our microwave generation and our fast food society is guilty of eating away at the old-fashioned discipline of canning.
But what is the purpose of canning? It is to preserve the contents within. And in the canning process, it is the act of “sealing” that preserves the contents within the jar. Without the seal, the contents cannot be preserved. This is a great illustration of what God the Holy Spirit does in the life of the believer. As He places His final seal upon us, He preserves us in the faith. Without His spiritual seal, a person cannot be preserved. This seal secures our eternal safety in Christ.
Also within the process of canning, heat is used to sterilize the containers before the contents are placed within. And just like heat is used to sterilize the glass jars, the fires of the Holy Spirit begin the cleansing process within our lives from the inside out, a refining process that begins at the moment of conversion.
But there is a point where this comparative illustration unravels; unlike canning, the Holy Spirit’s seal upon the believer is a seal that cannot be cracked or broken. Once we are saved, we are gloriously saved forever, and are sealed to the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). Paul also stressed this to the church at Ephesus when he wrote, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation; having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise…” (Ephesians 1:13). Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is given to the believer as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 5:5). Similar to how some companies might offer a seal of guarantee upon their product, the Holy Spirit is our seal of guarantee that we are eternally secure. Oh what a wonderful thing to find rest in the truth that God’s children cannot lose our salvation.
Have you been sealed and eternally preserved by the Holy Spirit of God? If not, sincerely ask Christ to come into your heart, submit to His Lordship, and rest in the promise that you can sealed forever. I pray these things come to mind next time you encounter something that has been “canned.”