Salvation, that is, being born again is the first work of the Spirit in our lives; you are born again by the Spirit. Rom. 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Some translations say, ‘he is not a Christian at all’.
Power for holy living and service is the Spirit’s second purpose for being in us. The Holy Spirit is holy, he is the spirit of sanctification, he is the spirit of holiness. A lot of errors are proceeding from the pulpit; all manner of theologies are coming out but the word of God is very clear – without holiness, no one can see God.
- The Holy Spirit brings us to salvation. And how does he do this? a. He brings conviction according to John 16:8-11, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sinful nature and our helplessness. On our knees, we are to repent and cry for mercy. Every repentant soul is qualified for the mercies of God. But there is an evil I see in the lives of believers today: those who call for mercy without true repentance or those who call for mercy with what I call, partial repentance. I know how I feel when any of my children misbehaves; it is a painful thing to me that there is a misbehavior in the first place and then I feel insulted when the child walks to me to say ‘I’m sorry’ mechanically without any sense of remorse and definitely not from the heart. That is how many people are in the Church today and it is wrong. True repentance must come with a heart of remorse, a heart of contrition. God desires a broken and a contrite heart. When you come to God in repentance, don’t just say ‘am sorry, forgive me for all the sins I committed knowingly and unknowingly’, be remorseful. There are two powerful Greek words here, ‘metamelomai’ and ‘metanoeo’. The first one is the feeling of remorse, pain and the other, turning away, a transformative change of heart. There cannot be true repentance without a decision to turn away from an evil past to a righteous path. That is the true meaning of repentance. Study the prayer of David in Psalm 51 and you will see true repentance. In the place of prayer, God looks at your heart; if your mouth is saying something that is not consistent with your heart condition, God calls it hypocrisy. The little prayer you pray when the heart is right is worth more than forty days of fasting without. I have seen God answer my prayer with dispatch. Why? When I stay in the presence of God, all I do is introspection; cleaning up. I hate defilement with passion. And that is one of the first things the Holy Spirit did for me; he made me to hate lying. Until your Christianity gets to the point where you are truthful one hundred percent in your dealings, your business dealings in particular, you have a long way to go.
TO BE CONTINUED.