“God’s past promises meet our present response.”
“Faith is believing God’s Word and acting upon it.”
Salvation is summed up by Paul here in Romans:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.”
THE GOAL OF THE WORD: To “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
THE PURPOSE OF THE WORD: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
THE QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE WORD:
THE PROMISE FROM THE WORD: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
“God’s promises will expire (in the twinkling of an eye) between our last breath and our entrance into eternity.”
HOW TO BE BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT
UNLESS ONE IS BORN AGAIN
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
We need a spiritual rebirth because that is where the Spirit lives. The flesh offers nothing of value.
UNLESS ONE IS BORN AGAIN
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). We need a spiritual rebirth because that is where the Spirit lives. The flesh offers nothing of value.
Paul wrote, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:13-14). There’s a whole other dimension when a person is born again of the Spirit. The natural man knows nothing about this realm. You’ll never understand God until you enter that spiritual dimension.
Being born-again makes the process of transformation possible. It’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Transformed is the ancient Greek word ‘metamorphosis’ describing the astonishing alteration taking place as we put off the old life and put on the new.
THE SOUL AND THE SPIRIT
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5::23).
The Hebrew word for soul translated means breath, Spirit, and life. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). The Greek word used in the New Testament translates into the soul, denoting the breath, the breath of life.
The natural life of the body, the immaterial, invisible part of man, is as follows:
When we are born again, God restores His original image in us. His Spirit breathes the breath of life in us, and we again become Spirit, soul, and body. God created man with a spirit that has a soul (a mind, will, and emotions) that exists within us.
As we grow in our new life in Christ, patience will serve us well. “In your patience possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19). Our soul becomes alive in Him as we develop the patience to wait on the Lord. The Word of God teaches that trials produce perseverance, and from patience, there comes a line of fruit. Therefore, the teachings in the book of James is especially crucial to our spiritual growth.
The purpose of James is to help the believer to correct faults, to show wavering, to help instill discipline into their lives, and to rebuke backsliding.
When we are physically born, we enter life as fallen creatures, inheriting Adam’s sinful nature. God tells us to become as little children and to be born again according to His Spirit and truth. Children are teachable; they do not have preconceived ideas or prejudice; they accept things at face value.
GOD IS TRIUNE (three in one) He is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is three individuals and one at the same time. Water is a fitting example; it is liquid, vapor, and solid ice, all separate in form but still one, depending on their function.
Similarly, the typical pattern of prayer and worship involves the unique roles of each member of the Trinity:
The fall reversed Adams’ triune nature, becoming the body, soul, and Spirit. His appetite and allegiance changed, seeking body appetites first, soulish things second, and spiritual things last, if at all. When you are within the proper trinity (triune nature), you are Spirit, soul, and body. Your soul (the conscience), guides your Spirit, and your body follows peacefully.
In your fallen state, (body, soul, and Spirit), the conscience, self-will, and inner man exist trapped between the body and the Spirit. They battle one another, the body dictating to the conscience, the Spirit crying out. The Spirit can only be confused, making for incomprehensible sins and actions.
God breathes spiritual life into our fallen nature, reversing our triune environment to its original state, and we become alive to God in Spirit and Truth. If we are to believe the Whole-Truth about Jesus’ work, we must believe in His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.
Jesus’ shed blood has obtained eternal forgiveness for us. But, as Adam and Eve had to put on their coats, we must put on Christ. “For through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God” (Hebrews 9:11-14).
“But as many, as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
Christians called according to His purpose will find the Cross a necessary path to maturity. We are opening the way to enter the fellowship of His suffering. Thus, living in the power of His resurrection. Also, resulting in a true reflection of His Image for all to behold. Remember, the resurrected life always follows the crucified life. When we take an area of our lives to the Cross and put it to death, God resurrects that area in newness for His glory.
Knowing that the truth will set us free, we must rely on the author and finisher of our faith (Jesus) for our daily instructions. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Nicodemus had an excellent question for Jesus, which prevails today in many minds. “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus was talking about spiritual rebirth. We were born of the flesh and born of water in our mother’s womb.
Jesus is distinguishing the INHERITED LIFE (Adam’s sin) of the flesh, which leads to death and separation, from the SPIRITUAL LIFE (in Christ) of the Spirit. Once again, Adam’s sin prevents us from living in the presence and will of God. Therefore, even though we are born of flesh and water, we must be spiritually reborn of the Spirit. Jesus made it plain that a man’s first birth does not assure him of the kingdom; only being born again gives this assurance. Unless one is born again – he CANNOT enter or be part of the Kingdom of God.
The Apostle Paul states, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
OUR FOUR-PART SOLUTION
PART ONE: Is believing Jesus is your Lord and Savior who DIED on the Cross for your sins.
PART TWO: Is believing in your heart that God RAISED Him from the dead after dying on the Cross to take care of our sins.
PART THREE: Is believing God raised Jesus from the dead so that we might live in the POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION.
PART FOUR: Is believing Jesus is in Heaven on the throne and will be COMING BACK FOR HIS CHURCH.
Scripture urges us to work out our Salvation because it’s between you and God. Christian books, commentaries, preachers, or sermons can’t save your soul. Eternal life is between you and God! There is no other way to come to the knowledge of God. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
It’s our responsibility to study to show ourselves approved and search the scriptures daily to know whether these things are right. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to answer every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
A Paraphrased Example of the Promise in John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Here are the two vital principles of God’s Word. 1) We must understand that “God’s past promises/workings meet our present response.” 2) “Faith is believing God’s Word and acting upon it.”
We have a Past Promise that if we, in faith, believe in Jesus Christ, and are born again, we will receive eternal life. We must apply this promise through the Principle of faith. Without these two Principles, transforming us into the Image of Christ will not take root to change our lives.
JESUS’ past workings (on the Cross) meet our believing God’s Word (confession of sins), producing (salvation and redemption) with our prompt response. Accepting and applying promises will save us, change us, heal us, conform us, and prepare us to exhort and comfort others.
THANK GOD, the Spirit of God is conforming us into the image of Christ as He works within us daily. The finished work of the Holy Spirit in my life will have me thoroughly conformed to the image of Jesus, “I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness” (Psalm 17:15). On that day, we will see him face to face, and again be what Adam was when God first created him. So, we diligently surrender to His Spirit working within us. Putting-off and putting-on.
FROM GLORY TO GLORY: The reflection of His glory will shine forth in us even in this life as we share His agony and bear His Cross. From glory to glory, to even closer conformity with the image of the Son of God. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Because we are destined to be like Him, He is the only “pattern” we must follow. And because He lives His life in us, we too can “walk even as he walked” (1 John 2:6), and “do as he done” (John 13:15), “love as he loved” (Ephesians 5:2; John 13:34, 15:12), “forgive as he forgave” (Colossians 3:13), “have this mind which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
Dear God, help me to live a committed life sanctified through your holy scripture. Give me a burning desire to increase my faith and lean not to my understanding. To acknowledge your path is the right road for me to travel. Give me wisdom in all decisions, and let me drink your living water. Help me bring my thoughts under control by putting on the mind of Christ. Utmost correct me and hear me when I cry out for forgiveness. In Jesus’s name-AMEN