Woven into our study of Ephesians this past semester, a very intelligent teacher has come to share her knowledge of Christian martyrs. Last week we heard about a man by the name of Thomas Cranmer. He ended up being very well liked by King Henry VIII. So much so that Thomas was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. However, not everyone was a fan and the kings council worked up a plan to arrest Thomas. King Henry heard about this plan and not only warned Thomas, but gave him his royal ring. When the men came to carry out their plan, Thomas heard them out and then showed them the ring. I would have loved to have been in that room!
You see, the ring held the authority of the king. With Thomas possessing the royal ring, he could have very easily turned and had the accusing council thrown into jail. The ring was power. Something so small, but because it bore the seal of the king, it had the final word.
When our teacher mentioned the royal ring, I immediately pictured the cross. The work of Christ on the cross and our response to it, act as our royal ring. Like the council came for Thomas, satan comes for each of us. His plan isn’t new. In fact, he started with Adam and Eve in the garden. He would love nothing more than to arrest us with lies and lead us into the slavery of sin. But again, we have a choice. Look at Galatians 5:1 where Paul says, “For freedom, Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Who doesn’t want to be free?
Go back with me to Galatians 2:20 and read these freeing words. “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Because Christ, the Son of God, willingly gave his life for ours, we can live in freedom. We do not have to live like our old selves. We do not have to live in fear and shame. We can live in freedom by standing firm in our faith because we know who gave himself in our place. So to the devil we show our royal ring by pointing him to the cross! We remind him that as believers, we are sealed by the King of kings and Lord of lords!