Salvation. When you hear that word what do you think? If you’re like I was you think about John 3:16 where God tells us we can be saved by believing in Jesus Christ or Romans 10:9 which says “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. And that’s it.
However, the Bible teaches us that there are three phases to salvation and believing in Jesus and accepting Him as your Savior is only the first phase (in church terms that’s justification- being saved from the penalty of sin). Unfortunately many people never understand there is a second phase and thus miss out on the abundant life Jesus said He came to give. For a long time I missed out, too.
So what is phase two? In church terms it is called sanctification (being saved from the power of sin). That’s a big word that means ‘to set apart for special use’ or ‘to be made holy’. In 1 Peter 1:15-16 we can read, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (Lev. 11:44).
To be made holy simply means we are in a relationship with God where we continually rely on Him to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6). This is why the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. He is our direct line to God. When we walk in the Spirit we are being saved from the power of sin in our daily lives. We are being made holy. This is a continual process. Each day we must make the decision to walk in the Spirit and not follow after worldly desires.
Even though we all receive the Holy Spirit when we ask Jesus into our hearts, many people do not realize the various roles he plays in our lives.
The Holy Spirit:
- Is our Promise from the Father (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4)
- Convicts us of sin (John 16:8)
- Bears witness that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16)
- Is our helper (John 16:7, Romans 8:26)
- Is Truth (1 John 5:6) and our guide to all truth (John 16:13)
- Is our intercessor (Romans 8:26)
- Is our power from God (Acts 1:8)
- Gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6)
- Grows fruit in us (Galatians 5:22)
- Is the vessel by which we receive spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
- Is part of our defense against Satan’s attacks (Ephesians 6:17)
- Is our unity (Ephesians 4:3)
As we learn to discern and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit we will begin to experience the abundant life Jesus talked about. However, in order to recognize the Spirit we must have a growing knowledge of God’s Word.
To grow in knowledge of God’s word we must read the Bible. Study it. Memorize it. Learn to trust it. Follow Jesus’ lead and use God’s word in daily life as your sword when you come up against Satan’s wiles. See Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:3-13.
James 4:7-8 says, “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” That’s what being sanctified is all about.
The third phase is glorification, a believer dies and is removed from the presence of sin for all eternity. We can read in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 and Philippians 3:20-21 that we will have a glorified body. We can’t really know what that body will be like until it happens, but I’m sure it will be the ultimate makeover!
So today if you haven’t asked Jesus to live in your heart, why not do that now? He loves you and wants to be with you always.
If Jesus lives in you already, have you given Him your whole self to occupy? Does the Holy Spirit lead you and guide you throughout your day? If not, give it a try. Ask God to lead you today, then listen for His guidance and says yes when He asks you to do something. You can have that abundance that Jesus wants you to have.
March forth today under the leading of the Holy Spirit and…..
Be a blessing to all you meet,