Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Holy Spirit and Salvation

Chuckle: "No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes!"
Quote: "O God, forasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee; mercifully grant, that thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts." --Book of Common Prayer
"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ" (Romans 8:9 NIV).
Jesus Himself said, "God is Spirit" (John 4:24 NIV). The Father is God; the Son (Jesus) is God; and the Holy Spirit is God. By His Spirit, God saves you, transforms you, seals you, and continually lives within you. This all happens when you repent of your sins and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life as Savior and Lord. You cannot be saved and become a Christian unless you have the Holy Spirit within you.
When asked if they are Christians, some will answer something like this: "Oh, yes, I try to obey the Ten Commandments, live at peace with my neighbors, provide for my family, and always live by the Golden Rule." In other words, they think they can be good enough to earn their way into God's favor and eternal bliss in heaven. The meaning of words like, "you must be born again by the Spirit" (John 3:3,8c) from the lips of Jesus do not compute in their minds. To them, becoming a Christian (being saved) is reduced to a list of do's and don'ts rather than, "by (God's) grace you have been saved through faith (in Jesus Christ) -- and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God -- not by works (deeds), so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
Spiritual birth is analogous to physical birth. When we are born physically, we are helpless infants totally dependent upon others to supply all our needs. When we are born spiritually, we become what the Scripture calls "babes in Christ," or spiritual infants. When we are born, physically, we are a complete human being with all the organs and appendages that we will ever have. However, we must receive love, nourishment, exercise, education, and training to become mature adults. When you are born again by the Spirit, you are a complete child of God bound for heaven as a member of His spiritual family. However, you require spiritual nourishment form God's Word, spiritual strengthening by the exercise of your faith, and spiritual growth through Christian education and training to become a mature spiritual adult in God's kingdom.
We are born again by faith (believing) in Jesus Christ, and when we accept Him as Savior, God's Spirit becomes resident within us and transforms us into a new creation. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone and the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). It is the Holy Spirit of God, not our good moral life, that transforms us into God's new creation, holy and acceptable to Him.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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