“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13).
Most careful commentaries of the Bible make it clear that the words “after that,” in the above passage, actually have an immediate result in view. Upon hearing (or heeding) we believed, and upon believing we were sealed with the Spirit.
What is perhaps even more important to note, is the fact that upon believing “the gospel of… salvation,” we are “sealed with” the “Holy Spirit,” not “by” the Spirit. There is a difference between the two, which can be simply illustrated.
Imagine a housewife who is “putting up” jam or preserves and sealing each jar with wax. Now, the jars are being sealed by the woman, but she is sealing them with wax. Thus the Holy Spirit does not merely cause believers to be sealed and made secure. Rather He Himself is the Seal that keeps us eternally secure as God’s beloved children. We are sealed, not “by the Spirit,” but “with the Spirit,” — the Spirit Himself the Seal!
It is wonderful indeed to know that before the bar of God, the simplest believer in Christ has been fully justified (Acts 13:38,39). But this is a court action, a matter of law and justice. Besides this, the Spirit, who first brought the sinner under conviction, now gives him life — eternal life. This is why Rom. 8:2 tells us that “the law of the Spirit, [that] of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Thank God for the Spirit, who convicts, regenerates and seals every believer in Christ! source