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There are so many versions of the “Gospel” around today, it’s easy to get confused.
As I had one young man ask me not too long ago, “How do I know what’s the right thing to believe? I hear so many different “ways” to get saved. I don’t know what I’m supposed to believe!” I can relate.
I was caught in that trap myself for many years. I even wrote a book about my experience, “The Counterfeit”. BUT, we CAN KNOW that we have everlasting life, according to 1 John 5:13. So, what’s the answer?
Let me share with you the peace God has given to me on this issue.
The answer is to go BACK to the Bible as the Source of all our understanding of God, Jesus, death, Heaven, hell, everlasting life or eternal condemnation. The Bible’s statements are fairly clear without much interpretation needed.
God made man in His image.
In the very beginning, God made man and woman “in His image” it says. God made them perfect, sinless creatures in His likeness. He gave them one command to keep, telling them that at the moment that the command was broken, they would surely die. You know the story. Eve was deceived by the devil, she and Adam sinned and just as God said it would happen, they DIED. (Genesis Chapters 2 and 3).
Wait a minute, you say. They didn’t DIE! Yes, in actuality they did. Here’s how. Remember that God made them in His image, right? What was that image? Well, God is a Triune being, meaning a being with three aspects of nature to Him. He is FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT. “Then God said, ‘Let US make man in OUR image, in OUR likeness…..'” Gen. 1:26.
In like image then, God made man a Triune Being. Man’s nature is BODY, SOUL and SPIRIT. The Body is obvious to see. The Soul is a man’s mind, will and emotions, or his personality, that “personhood” that we relate to. His Spirit is that inner man portion of our existence where LIFE resides. Spiritual life. The place where GOD lives. When Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God, they DIED in the SPIRIT man. And since Like produces Like, Adam being the federal head of the human race and the first man, produced all others to turn out to be just like him: A spiritually dead man. BODY, SOUL, and Spiritually Dead Spirit. Paul says in Ephesians 2:1, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins….” And again in Colossians 2:13, “When you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.”
Since we are ALL born dead in our spirit-man, we all have the same problem: Not only do we need our sin forgiven, but, we need RESURRECTION! We need LIFE!
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.”…..”For the wages (what we’ve earned by being the sons of Adam) of sin is DEATH, but the gift of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord,”(Romans 3:23, 6:23).
We ALL are born Spirit-man dead, because of SIN. Daddy Adam sinned and by that one man’s sin, we are ALL born dead and are in need of LIFE.
But JESUS, God the SON, came to this earth as a man. Born to a virgin, he grew as a man and went to a cruel cross where he died for OUR sins, being sinless Himself (thus, paying the “wage” of our sins – death!). Then, He conquered the grave, rising three days later, solving the death problem by the guarantee of LIFE. In other words, Jesus, God in the Flesh, came and did for us all what we could not do on our own. As a man he paid for the sinfulness of MAN; as God in the Flesh, He paid the PERFECT sacrifice of an innocent Lamb of God. Dying he paid the PRICE/WAGE of our sin. Rising he conquered death and gave to us all the promise of everlasting life! “For Christ died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but was made alive in the Spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18.
So, how does one receive this as so for himself?
Again, let’s go the Bible for all of these answers. IF you and I could do anything to make ourselves right with God, then the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus would have been an awful waste of time and effort! It’s, “not of works, lest any man boast….” (Eph. 2:9). We have to simply RECEIVE. Isn’t that wonderful. All you CAN do is receive the GIFT of GOD. Eternal life, forgiveness of all our sins, and the rightness with God that we all long for, is a G I F T! (Romans 6:23). And that GIFT is in Jesus. “Yet to all who received HIM, to those who believed in HIS Name, He gave the RIGHT to become the children of God…” (John 1:12). “God has given us eternal life, and this life is IN His Son. he who has the Son HAS LIFE….” (1 John 5:11, 12).
You know John 3:16. Don’t let it’s familiar tones brush past you. “For God so loved the world that He GAVE His Only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER (that’s you) believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life!” Jesus said earlier in that chapter that we all need to be “born again”. He’s talking about that dead Spirit man part of us that died in the garden that day with Daddy Adam! It’s needs to be RE-born. Whenever we choose to receive, that is, trust in Jesus by our faith, believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus for MY sins, whenever we receive Christ in this way, HE gives us the GIFT of new life. He grants that our Spirit-man is reborn. All of our sins are forgiven forever! And he gives to us the RIGHT to be RIGHT with God, freely, undeserved, a gift of grace!
“But now, a RIGHTNESS with God, apart from the Law (doing obedient things) has been made known…..This RIGHTNESS from God comes through Faith in Jesus Christ to ALL who believe…..” (Romans 3:21, 22).
Jesus promises in John 3:16, that if you BELIEVE IN HIM you will NOT perish! That’s why it’s called the “GOSPEL” = Gospel means “Good News”. And that’s GOOD NEWS, to know that you can be RIGHT with God by simply receiving His Son by faith.
“He who believes In Me, has everlasting life…” (John 6:47)
“For it by grace that you have been saved (from sin and death) through faith, and this not from yourselves. It is a gift from God, not of works lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8. 9)
The GOOD NEWS is that you can be RIGHT WITH GOD, Forgiven of all your sins, and promised a home in Heaven forever with everlasting life, RIGHT NOW, simply by faith, receive Jesus and what He did for you on the Cross and by the empty tomb. Receive His love for you right now. Bow your head and tell Jesus that YOU accept His GIFT of forgiveness and everlasting life. Express your love to Him for offering you the freeness of everlasting life. Receive the Son and you WILL be “born again” in your Spirit-man. The Bible again says, “That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…..” (Romans 10:9)
Several things will happen the INSTANT you trust in Jesus for forgiveness and life:
1. You WILL BE Born again.
2. All of your sins, past, present and FUTURE will be 100% forgiven by the blood death of your Savior, Jesus.
3. You will become an instant Child of God.
4. God the Holy Spirit, will take up residence in your inner man. That’s how your Spirit-man comes alive again, by the Holy Spirit moving in and taking up residence IN you. “What, know ye not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit who is IN you?” (1 Cor. 6:19)
5. Your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. You will never perish. You have ETERNAL life!
6. You become an Eternal being. You have a home in heaven. Death for you now, is only a passage way to the eternal.
7. As a new child of God, you have become a member of the Forever Family of God, commonly called, THE CHURCH.
I hope this helps you understand how to be right with God.
Believe the Gospel. Turn to God and Trust in Jesus today and you WILL receive the GIFT of everlasting life!
Please Share this with a friend. Blessings. We love you in the Lord.
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I believe that when one is born again, or saved, that the Spirit of the Living God comes and takes up residence within your very body. “What, know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you…” 1 Cor. 6:19.
I also believe that there is another possible work of the Spirit within a person’s life that is separate and distinct from salvation. It is called my many names, but the one that I prefer is the one that JESUS USED. In Acts 1:4, 5, He said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
There are basically three relationships we can have with the Spirit of God. First, He is WITH us. As those coming to Christ, He woos us to Himself. He convicts us of our sin and our need for forgiveness in Jesus. He is WITH us.
Secondly, He is IN us. Again, whenever we trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit, who IS God, comes to live IN us. He takes up a literal residence within our lives.
Thirdly, and this is the experience that most Christians are trying to live without, He wants to come UPON us. This is represented by the Greek term “epi” in the New Testament. John the Baptist said that there was One coming after him that would Baptize us in/with the Holy Spirit. When we get saved, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). When we as new Christians are saved, the preacher then baptizes us in water. When we allow the Holy Spirit to “baptize” us or come UPON us, it’s Jesus baptizing us in/with the Holy Spirit. Do you see the difference.
The Baptism or coming UPON us of the Holy Spirit is, “The promise of the Father,” (Acts 1:4, 5) for several wonderful reasons:
First, for Power: “after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you, you shall receive power…” Acts 1:8
Then, for the gifts of the Holy Spirit’s power as we live out HIS life within us: (1 Cor. 12-14)
Then, that we might display the fruit of the Spirit: (Gal. 5:22, 23)
The sign or assurance that you have the Holy Spirit’s power is FAITH, demonstrated by love first, Then power secondly.
There are those among my camp who are unhappy about the term “baptism of the Spirit”. It is the same term that John the Baptist used in all four Gospels (Luke 3:16) and the term Jesus Himself used in Acts 1:4, 5. So, I choose to use it as well.
Actually, there are 4 baptisms (Hebrews 6:1, 2) spoken of in the New Testament.
1. The Positional Baptism. This is the baptism that happens when you trust in Jesus and are born again. 1 Cor. 12:13 speaks of the SPIRIT baptizing you INTO the body of Christ (which is what happens when you are saved). This puts you in the “position” of being born again.
2. The Pictorial Baptism. This is the PICTURE produced when we are water baptized. Jesus commanded us in the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and The Son and the Holy Spirit….Water Baptism is a picture of us getting IN Christ by faith as we identify with His death and burial when we go into the water; and the its a picture of our trust in His resurrection as we come up out of the water!
3. The POWER Baptism. This is the same as the Baptism of Acts 1:4, 5, 8, and 2:4. This is what Jesus was talking about when He told them to stay in Jerusalem until they were endued (or clothed) with power from on high. This is what John the Baptist talked about in all four Gospels when He said that One mightier than he would come and Baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire. This is different from salvation’s baptism as recorded in 1 Cor. 12:13. There, You are baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ. Here, in the power baptism, you are baptized by Jesus with or in the Holy Spirit. This is the “epi” experience we talked about earlier. (This is not incorrectly known also as being “filled with the Spirit” although I would use them differently).
4. The Persecution Baptism. This is what Jesus was talking about when He asked the disciples if they could be “baptized with the baptism I’m about to be baptized with….” This is a coming upon one of great grace to endure persecution and martyrdom. You see this exhibited in Stephen’s life in Acts 7 when he is stoned for his preaching. Great Grace! To endure, to serve unto death with a baptism of love, power and grace.
We are encouraged to “seek the Lord and His strength…” We are told that He WILL baptize those who hunger and thirst for His power with the Holy Spirit and power. This is part of what we are to seek for in Him.
Then we are encouraged to walk in the Spirit. To be “filled with the Spirit” every day in an ongoing, daily basis (Eph. 5:18).
Here’s the Biblical path for receiving and enjoying the power of the Holy Spirit’s filling & baptism:
1. Know that you are saved. This is an experience for saved people who have the Holy Spirit living within already.
2. Repent of sins (Acts 2:38). This means to have a change of mind about sin and to turn to God in preference over those sins in your life. He is, after all, the HOLY Spirit.
3. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s baptism. (Luke 11:11, 12). Did you not ask to be saved? Then ask to filled.
4. Receive the Holy Spirit’s filling by FAITH (just like you received your salvation by faith!) Gal. 3:2-5, 14. We believe the promises of GOD and thus receive their fulfillment as we ask for them in our lives by faith, JUST like you were able to receive your salvation by faith.
5. As a believing “receiver”, now open your mouth and praise the Lord, thanking Him for His glorious gifts to you. In EVERY single case in the New Testament, when someone was filled with the Spirit, they SPOKE something: The Word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31); new tongues (Acts 2:4); Songs, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in their heart unto the Lord (Eph. 5:18-21); and, Prophesying (Acts 19:6). SO, Open your mouth and praise the Lord who has now filled you with the fullness of HIMSELF (Eph. 3:14-19)! Why? Because the Lord said that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth will speak!
I hope you know Jesus and have been born again by His marvelous grace. His death, burial and resurrection from the dead paid for your sins and made the promise of Eternal life a reality for you. Turn to God and trust in Jesus and Him alone for your forgiveness and everlasting life. He has done all that needs to be done for you to receive this marvelous gift of salvation. It’s NOT about what you can do for Jesus, but all about what HE has ALREADY done for you.
Then, ask for and receive by faith the fullness of the Holy Spirit so that you can have power to be a witness unto Him, so that you can walk in the fruit of the Spirit, and so that you can praise Him worthily, walk in power in spiritual warfare, and live a holy life for His glory!
Bless you as you live for Jesus through the strength of HIS power as the Spirit works within you!