Rather than celebrating everything dead this Halloween the living really ought to find out how they can receive eternal life. God is not tricking us. The treat is that by grace God gives eternal life to all who believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. The risen Savior now gives everlasting life to all those that put their faith in Him. He is a free gift of God. Salvation is not something that people can earn themselves.
The gospel of salvation is really simple but there are many in religion that want to trick people. They tell you that you have to do something to earn salvation. The saved once were spiritually dead beggars standing at Gods door with their bag out. God filled it with His own Spirit of promise.
By Adam’s disobedience sin and death came into the world and by the last Adam’s obedience it is taken away. Those born of the first Adam became natural living souls. Those born of the last Adam take on His risen supernatural spiritual nature.
1 Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
“Quickening spirit” in this passage means “life-giving spirit”. The second Adam was made a life-giving Spirit. He gives eternal life to those born of Him. As we believers bear the body of the earthly we shall also bear the nature of the risen Jesus.
Jesus said you must be born again spiritually.
Joh 3:5 Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Now that it is established that you must be born of the spirit to receive eternal life, how do you receive this spiritual life? The scriptures say those that believe will receive eternal life. There are scores of passages in the Bible that indicate that salvation comes through belief in Jesus. Here is just one.
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Believing also can be expressed as trusting in or having faith in Jesus. It is not head knowledge about Jesus, it is faith that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Savior promised by God. Paul tells us those that trust in Jesus receive the spiritual birth required to inherit eternal life.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Notice that Paul says that those that trusted in Jesus were sealed with the Holy Spirit. Other passages tell us the same thing. So scripture establishes that after you hear the truth and trust in Jesus you are born from above.
Scripture tells us that faith in Jesus come from hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17). To hear the word of God that gives salvation you must have ears to hear it and it somehow has to be delivered to you. When you hear the good news you must believe it. Those that do not have lasting faith in what they have been told about Jesus are not believers. If there hope of salvation is dependent on anything more than Jesus, they are not saved.
Ephesians 1:13 tells us that those believing were sealed with the Holy Spirit promised. He is the same Holy Spirit that filled those waiting on the promise from Jesus on Pentecost. Other scriptures tell us that believers now have the Spirit of God in them. We who have the Holy Spirit are born from above. We are a new creation in Christ (2 Co 5:17). That is why we are told to live by the spirit and not by the flesh. Our bodies of sin died with Christ on the cross. We also rose with Him.
We were spiritually baptized into Christ. Baptism actually represents dying to self and taking on the spirit of the one that you’re following. We just temporary drag our bodies of flesh around to be salt and light to the world and to preach the gospel so that others will also hear and believe. The saved are left on earth to do works of the Spirit. Our bodies of flesh are zombies left here to do good works for Christ (don’t take my Halloween analogy too far).
I think the gospel is clear how people are saved, but many religious people want to make it difficult. They will claim all kinds of stuff that the New Testament does not teach about how you have to work for your salvation and how you can lose your salvation.
Many will say you have to keep the law to stay saved. That is nonsense. Creatures born of the spirit are not subject to laws delivered to natural people. The law was given to show natural descendants of Adam they needed to be redeemed by God’s Messiah. No one born of fallen flesh could keep the law and become acceptable to a Holy God. Jesus did it for us. The God/man kept the law, now if we are in Christ God see those in Him as He sees Jesus.
Those in Christ do not need to keep laws to stay saved. The spiritual live by a higher law called the law of faith (Ro 3:27). Nothing can separate those born into Christ from Christ. Those born from above do not spiritually die because they do things that are not pleasing.
This whole idea of falling out of grace and having to get saved again is contrary to apostolic teaching and common sense. There are many reasons why saved people sin and we all do. Many saved people have not yet learned to put on the mind of Christ. That does not mean these people are not saved.
When people are born they are not born mature. It is the same for those born of the spirit. They must grow into spiritual maturity. When you were born you became part of the family, but you did not at birth contribute anything more than your presence to the family. You did not become a mature leader in your family the day that you were born. Some never will grow up and become leaders. It is the same with spiritual birth. Being born into Christ is just the beginning. The real question is who will you grow up to become in Christ? You do play a serious role in that.
Some religious people will say that sin proves that someone is not saved, but they will sin themselves but think their own sin is not bad enough to disqualify them. What degree of sin means that you are no longer a Christian? Someone better not commit disqualifying sins just before they get hit by a streetcar. They would not be able to repent again like the living and in this thinking would be doomed to Hell. In the final analysis, the streetcar or whatever suddenly kills your body then determines your eternal fate but not the others with time to repent. It is not logical.
Do all believers carry the same baggage? Is someone brought up in a good environment more deserving of salvation than someone brought by in a bad environment? I ask because those brought up wrong will tend to sin more. What if the defective brain that you were born with does not see things the same way as the person born with a brilliant brain. Does the brain you were born with determine your eternal fate? You see where I am taking this. If salvation is dependent on anything of the flesh in this fallen world, it is not fair.
The truth is that salvation is all about what God did. It is a free gift. All we do is receive it or reject it. Scripture says that those destined to be saved were determined before the foundations of the earth (Eph chapter one). Those with ears to hear will receive what is offered.
Being saved by God’s grace is no license to sin either. If we become born again, sin becomes contrary to our spiritual nature. We either learn to reject sin or if it continues we might expect a loving Father to take us to the wood shed for our own good. God disciplines His children. He does not disinherit His children. Jesus said, He will lose none given to Him by the Father. Only God can righteously judge what we did with what we were given. All in Christ will be judged by Jesus at the Bema Judgment.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
This is a judgment of the saved. Those that built on the spiritual house of God with precious things will receive rewards but those that did not overcome the flesh nature will lose rewards they could have had. Even so, they all are already saved.
1 Cor 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
I think the last verse above says it all. Those that believe are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in them.
If you do not yet believe in Jesus, You might look into what I am saying. You have nothing to lose and eternal life to gain. Eternal life is not going to come through scientific breakthroughs like some think. Science cannot make man into a supernatural spirit. The best they can do is postpone the decay of our natural bodies. Or pretend that brain functions upload to a machine becomes you. It certainly will not.
Many smart people have set out to disprove the biblical claims about Jesus and while doing so found out that they not only could not disprove Jesus, instead they came to believe in Him. They changed their minds (repented), and they are now believing Christians. Some have written books about their experience. The evidence about Jesus is overwhelming for any with an open mind.
Believers should not let legalistic people confuse them. You really know if you believe what scriptures claim about Jesus or not. And if you do believe that Jesus is Lord, and confess that truth you are saved. You can take comfort in the knowledge of your salvation. Don’t allow legalistic religious people to take away your hope.
Most of the religious leaders in Israel rejected Jesus because He did not meet their expectations of the Messiah. The religious leaders thought the Messiah would be more like their father the devil. They thought Jesus should have told people that keeping the religious traditions and the religious interpretations of the law that they taught was necessary for salvation. Instead, Jesus made it clear that He is the way to salvation. Nothing else will get people there.
Many religious people of today also want to make salvation difficult. Having Jesus is not enough they say. You must also keep their religion. You must follow their way and not God’s Way. Don’t even come to their door. They have no treats to offer. What they give comes out of a Satanic or misguided bag of tricks.