Being Sealed With The Spirit
Yet the truth remains that there were two different operations of the Holy Ghost. The first is, when a man is brought to a sense of sin. What makes a man abhor himself? He is born of God. He has no happiness at all perhaps, but a real sense of ruin; yet his heart cleaves to God. That man is born of God - truly converted: no comfort as yet perhaps in his soul, but his heart is open to listen further to the word of the truth, the gospel of salvation. He believes it. What then? He is sealed of the Holy Ghost, as a believer, not only in Christ, but in the gospel of our salvation - the work that Christ has done.
For I do not think that you can have a soul sealed with the Holy Ghost, unless he enters into the work as well as the person of Christ. This accounts for the fact that there were persons born of the Holy Ghost who never were sealed. For instance, the Old Testament saints were believers in Christ; they all looked for Christ. All were born of God, but not one was sealed with the Holy Ghost. To be born of the Spirit and sealed with the Spirit are very different things, which may or may not be united in the same person. All must be born of the Spirit, but it is never said that all must be sealed with the Spirit in order to enter into the kingdom of God. Wherever the Holy Ghost speaks of the sealing of the Spirit, it proves the clean contrary.
Who was the first person said to be sealed with the Spirit? Our blessed Lord Himself. He had it in a way peculiar to Himself. When was He sealed? When redemption was accomplished and He went up to heaven? No; but when He walked upon earth. "Him hath God the Father sealed." It was as Son of man He was sealed, and as Son of man on earth before redemption - without blood-shedding, because He knew no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. He was absolutely sinless: He could have the Holy Ghost abiding on Him entirely apart from blood, because He was the Holy One - the Saviour. He needed no work - no blood - no redemption; but yet He died, and there was blood shed and redemption effected. Why so? That we might be sealed - that we, who had no natural title to be brought nigh, that we, in whom the Holy Ghost could never take up His abode, might have that same Holy Ghost who dwelt in Him abiding in us.
William Kelly (extract from 'Notes of Lectures on the Epistle to the Ephesians' (chapter 1:13))