Salvation belongs to the Lord. Man as he is by nature does not understand the effects of the Spirit of God. He bases his life on the physical environment, and does not see the things that can not be seen. He has no perception of spiritual matters, and struggles to understand “spiritual regeneration.” When we are born we are “self conscious.” Whatever our physical needs are at the moment is what our focus is on. As we mature many of us never expound our spiritual horizons, but stay focused on our needs and activities. We hear the wind, but we don’t know where it comes from or where it goes. The Holy Spirit of God is very similar to the wind. He is here inside of our mind, but many of us don’t recognize His existence. When we explore the Bible we become “God conscious,” and we learn of spiritual matters.
When we accept the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we are spiritually born into the family of God. This new birth is given to any and all who believe on Jesus name. This birth is not of flesh and blood, that is, man’s blood. The new birth is not of the will of the flesh, and it is not of the will of man. The new birth God offers was paid for by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. The spiritual birth begins with the sowing of “living seed.” Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. 1 Peter 1:23 NKJV It is the Spirit that makes us alive through the words He has spoken to us through the Bible. We do not receive the Spirit through our own ability, we receive it through the power of God.
The Bible exposes our sinful nature, or our behavior which is contrary to God’s will. We come to the conclusion that all have sinned and fallen short of the mark that God has set for us. The natural man has no interest in these words and continues in his self indulgent lifestyle. But the person who sees these words and understands is in search of a new consciousness. Studying God’s Word makes us aware of our sinfulness. Sadly to those whose perish it is foolishness. We need to consume God’s Word just as we would our mom’s home – cooked meal. Then through the power of spiritual digestion, the Word actually becomes part of us.
The Word of faith which we received is in our mouth and in our heart. If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation… So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:9-10,17 NKJV It is the precious words we read and hear in the Bible that allow the Holly Spirit to regenerate our minds to the consciousness of God. Christ’s Word imparts spiritual life. We are born of the Word and of the Spirit.
Just as in an operating room the doctor removes what was infected or dead, so is the operation of the new birth. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ. We become ministers of reconciliation and are ambassadors for Christ to share what we have received with others. God made Jesus Who knew no sin, to become sin for us so that we might get right with God. We become partakers in His divine nature, having escaped the corruption of this world through lust. We believers are led by the Holy Spirit, and we become sons and daughters of God. We are adopted into our heavenly Father’s family. Unfortunately this does not mean that our old nature is gone. It is still there, but we don’t let the natural man control our hearts, because through Christ we have overcome the spirit of Satan. We are no longer children of disobedience.
God wants us to enjoy our spiritual birthright. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9 NKJV All Christians are born of the Spirit, however, the flesh does not change until we receive our eternal bodies from God. It is the inner man that is born of the Spirit. As long as we live in these physical bodies we will fall short of the glory of God. When we sin our conscience reminds us who we are, and we confess our sins to God. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:9-10 NKJV John writes these things to us so we will understand that our heavenly Father wants us to do all things right to the best of our ability. God knows we are going to trip up on a daily basis. That’s why we have an Advocate with the heavenly Father. Jesus Christ appeased God with His sinless life and the sacrifice He made for our sins. He not only paid the price for our sins, but all the sins of mankind. Jesus promises us that He will never leave us, nor forsake us in any way.
There is a process to salvation – we hearing the Word… we receiving the Word…we repent or turn away from sin and towards God… we are called, or share the Word with others. It is very important that we as Christians follow through this process to the very end, because faith without works is dead, and anything that is not faith is sin. We are called upon to produce fruit or share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others so they will follow our example. Believing is just the beginning. Through our initial faith the entire Word of God is revealed to us. We can’t just stop at believing. We have to follow through with our commitment and continue our journey until the end. The greatest experience I have ever had was when I shared the gospel of Jesus Christ the first time. I was 10 years old and I talked to my friend, Doug Olsen, about coming to church. He accepted Christ as his Savior and later convinced his brother to come. Now I wonder all these years later how many people Doug has shared the gospel with. Please read “How to Develop a Ministry.”