Why do all people need salvation:
As was explained earlier, we all, having descended from Adam, are naturally inclined to sin, which means failing to obey God.
In our natural state we are set at odds against the Laws of God. There is no one born who is righteous, not deserving of spiritual death. We have all – early on – failed to in any way exhibit the righteous character of our Maker.
[John 1:8] … John the Baptist wasn’t that light but bore witness of that light.
[Psalm 14:3] … there is none that does good – no not one.
[Psalm 53:3] … every one of them is turned aside – there is none that does good.
[Romans 8:7] … the natural mind is at enmity against God’s Laws.
[Romans 3:10] … there is none righteous, no not one.
[Isaiah 55:8] … My thoughts and My ways are not your (natural) thoughts or ways.
Salvation and forgiveness is a Free Gift:
One thing that is understood correctly in the religious community is the fact that our calling to repentance and the remission of our sins is totally a free Gift. We are led to repentance. Even that is not wholly self-generated. But it is that Gift that causes an area of great misunderstanding as it does not cancel out our obligations to follow God, to obey God, and strive to overcome our ‘old man’, (our sinful natures), which remains in waiting, ready to reemerge as we let down our guard.
[Romans 2:4] … the goodness of God leads you to repentance …
[John 15:16] We are called as a result of God’s choice, it’s not entirely of our own choosing!
[Romans 5:18] … only Christ’s Sacrifice makes possible forgiveness and justification.
[John 1:29] … the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world …
[Isaiah 53:6] … the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
[Romans 3:24] … being justified freely by His grace …
Conversion involves a life-long process of overcoming:
We read in the messages to the seven Churches in Revelation’s chapters 2 and 3 that overcoming is required in order to receive future blessings. Those include access to the Tree of Life, being given a new name, power over the nations, white raiment, being set as pillars in God’s Temple, even to be enthroned beside Christ on His earthly Throne! The challenge of overcoming speaks to our condition. We commit sin but we are sinners. In other words, while we may have received forgiveness, there remains the tendency to recommit future offenses throughout our remaining lifetimes. That tendency must be overcome.
[1st Corinthians 9:24] … run that you might obtain the prize …
[Galatians 6:9] … let us not grow weary in well doing … we shall reap in due season
[1st Corinthians 9:27] … I discipline my body and bring it into subjection …
[2nd John 1:8] … be watchful that you don’t lose what we have worked for …
[Galatians 6:9] … in due season we will reap, if we don’t faint.
We are rewarded according to our works:
This is another area in which traditional religion fails to understand. Under the no-works belief system, it is concluded that there are no works appropriate to our calling. They allege everything is a free Gift, Christ did it all for us, we need to do nothing. The Word is clear on the other hand, that there is a Reward which will be provided to each Saint at the Second Coming that vary according to our works! Those of minimal accomplishment in the end, who have achieved little in their spiritual lives, will receive little. Some even may lose even that which they have on account of under-achievement! There is what is and can be a free Gift only, but there is another area which is dependent upon merit.
[Revelation 2:23] I will give to each one of you according to your works
[Revelation 22:12] I am coming . My reward is with Me to give . according to his work.
[1st Corinthians 3:14-15] … ones’ work … built upon foundation, if it endures … receives reward
[Matt. 25:14-30] Parable of the Talents shows us additional reward depends on achievement
[Luke 6:35] Loving / being kind to ones’ enemies has great rewards
Faith, repentance and baptism is required before receiving the Holy Spirit:
Most who hear the Gospel Message and who respond positively to it at first usually think their understanding of it and their desire to repent are entirely of their own choosing. As we grow in Faith and understanding, we come to the realization that God’s Gifts extend beyond our early awareness. We are called by the Father, we are led to repentance, we are given clarity of mind to see what is veiled to the masses. Our resulting early level faith in Him and His Word is gradually overtaken by the Faith OF Christ in us. We then must submit ourselves to the symbolic death of our old natures in the waters of baptism, and the receipt of His Holy Spirit by the laying-on-of-hands ceremony, performed by a faithful servant once we are appropriately baptized.
[Acts 2:38] . repentance and baptism makes possible forgiveness of sins.
[2nd Corinthians 7:10-11] … describing the seven aspects of True Godly repentance.
[Matthew 3:13] … baptism is necessary to fulfil all righteousness.
[Acts 2:38] … receipt of the Holy Spirit must be preceded by baptism.
[Luke 7:29] . baptism alone is only a first step . one must receive the Holy Spirit.
[Acts 8:16-17] … laying-on-of-hands is a prerequisite to receiving the Holy Spirit.
[2nd Timothy 1:6] . stir up the gift that is in you by laying-on-of-hands.
[Acts 19:4-6] … they had not yet been made aware of the laying-on-of-hands …
Without the Holy Spirit, a person is ‘none of His’:
The importance of this step in the conversion process cannot be overstated. In order to have the very Nature of Christ and the Father in us, we must have residing within ourselves a measure – small at first – of His very Life. It is that engendered Life – referred to as being “born again” – which must be nourished in growth. It is that power which makes it possible to develop the righteousness of Christ. Taking on His righteousness is not something we can achieve using only our own strengths. There are limits to ‘will power’ which in time proves inadequate to the task of overcoming. Without His Spirit within us, we are not accepted as a member of His Family. It is the failure to preserve the Gift of the Holy Spirit to the point of it dying out in us that is an unpardonable sin. None who despise that Gift, through neglect, can be re-engendered of the Holy Spirit!
[Hebrews 6:1-2] … describes the seven fundamental doctrines of God’s Church.
[John 3:3] Except a man is ‘born again’ he cannot see or inherit the Kingdom of God
[John 3:6-8] We must be “born of the Spirit” – raised / changed into the Spirit Kind.
[Romans 8:9] … if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
[Romans 8:14] …as many as are led by the spirit of God … are the sons of God
[Galatians 5:22-25] Those having the gift of the Holy Spirit exhibit the Fruits thereof!
This is an Excerpt from the book: The Message to God’s Called-Out Ones by the Christian Church of God Grand Junction Colorado. You can read the entire book at the link above.