In these two verses we have four very great and noble privileges, which the apostle declares God had conferred upon the Corinthians: namely, his establishing, anointing, and sealing of them, and giving the earnest of his Holy Spirit to them.
First, their establishment: He which stablisheth us with you is God.
Learn thence, That a people's establishment in the doctrine of the gospel, and in the faith of the promise, is alone the gracious work of God. We are naturally like reeds shaken with every wind: it is the establishing grace of God that makes us pillars in the church.
Again, secondly their anointing, this is from God; the sanctifying grace of God is often in scripture compared to oil, in regard of its effects. It refresheth the weary, it healeth the wounded, it comforts the heart, it beautifies the face, it strengthens the limbs. Such internal virtues and excellences hath the sanctifying grace of God in the hearts of the people.
Thirdly, their sealing: Who hath also sealed us. God's sealing of his children doth imply his high valuation and esteem of them. What is sealed is esteemed very precious: it implies their safety and security; what is under seal, is not in danger of being lost.
Again, sealing doth imply secrecy and privacy; that which is sealed is secret and hidden; it is the new name which none know but he that receiveth it.
Finally, sealing is for confirmation; contracts and bargains among men are confirmed by hand and seal. Thus the graces of the Spirit which sanctify us, do also witness and seal to us the assurance of God's love and special favour in Jesus Christ.
The fourth privilege here conferred by God upon the Corinthians, is his giving the earnest of his Spirit in their hearts: grace wrought in the heart here is a sure earnest of glory hereafter; there is a great deal of difference between a shilling, a single piece of money, and a shilling that is an earnest of a greater sum. It is joy to find grace in the soul, as grace mortifying our corruptions; but it rejoices much more to look upon grace as an earnest of glory, as the first- fruits which insure the full crop.