C O M M U N I T Y     C h u r c h

New Christians: (this is lesson 1)

You have recently made a commitment to God that has not only changed your future, but it has significantly altered your present. When someone shared with you the wonderful news that God has provided a way for us to receive His forgiveness and become a part of His family, you made a pledge that Jesus would be your new master. (Romans 10:9-10) When you did that, your past and Jesus' past were joined so that the death He died for sin became your death to this sinful world. To help you understand this, I want to take this opportunity to teach you some things about you that you may not have been aware of and I wish that someone had taught me years ago.

Please refer to the “3-Fold Nature of Man” diagram made up of three circles within each other. It might be helpful to print the diagram for your reference or save the picture file to your hard drive or phone.  (I hope it prints well on your printer.) That is like a diagram or maybe a map of who you really are. God has created you as a living soul. As a living soul, you possess a spirit and your soul and spirit together 'live in' your body. Your body will someday die, just like the bodies of people you have known that have already died and just like everybody else you know who will die someday. Most people in the world tend to think of themselves as their body . . . the body is who they really are. But that is not true. Your body will die but you, the real person, will continue to exist and have an identity even without a body. Who you really are is a living soul.

Your soul is made up of your mind, your will and your emotions. Your mind is your thinker and rememberer (kind of like a computer's CPU and hard drive.) Your will is your chooser (your power to choose or make a decision.) Your emotions are your feelers (mad, glad, sad, etc.) These combined are your true identity. From your conception until your death, your soul is completely tangled up with your body. Only at death is your soul and spirit freed from the confinement of your body.

Your body is your soul and spirit's "earth suit." And through your body you receive and send communication and awareness with the world. We see, hear, smell, taste, touch and speak with the things in the world. Your spirit is your means of communication with God and beings in the spiritual realm which is unseen with physical eyes. When you were born, you were born with a defect in your spirit (like a birth defect). Your spirit was corrupted by a tendency to sin which you inherited from your parents. As long as your spirit was corrupted, it was not a suitable place for God's Holy Spirit to live. Only when you surrendered the right to rule your life to Jesus could God correct the defect in your spirit. God's Holy Spirit healed (made alive) your spirit and then cleansed it. Once clean, God's Spirit moved in and took up residence. He has sealed your spirit from all sin and corruption. From within your spirit God's Spirit will now begin to influence your soul (your mind, will & emotions) to encourage you to choose to be more like Jesus.

So by this diagram you can see that the first work of salvation that God accomplished was the purification and occupying of your spirit. That happened in an instant when you became a Born-again Christian and is a completed (finished) work. The second work of salvation is the life-long process of changing your mind and your emotions and strengthening your will so that you will live on earth being more like Jesus. The final work of salvation will occur after your death when in an instant God will resurrect your dead body from the grave and transform it into a new body that will never perish. The first work we call redemption (I have been saved/redeemed.) The second work we call sanctification (I am being saved/sanctified.) The last work we call glorification (I will be saved/glorified.) I hope this brief explanation will be of help to you as you study and continue to serve your new master who loves you so much.

Make a commitment to talk with God often every day in prayer. Read and study your Bible daily by yourself and with others. Worship God every day and make it a priority to worship God together with other Christians in your local church congregation. God will bless you and you will grow to be more like Jesus.

Pastor Eliot

If you have questions, e-mail Bro. Eliot Roberts, pastor

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