C O M M U N I T Y C h u r c h
New Christians: (this is lesson 4)
In the last lesson I wrote to you about your relationship with God through His church. We must practice depending upon God's revelation to us for our decision making authority. We are able to make this change in our 'deciding' only because there has already been a change completed in our spirit and He has placed us together with others who have also been so changed.
Remember the diagram that I included in an earlier letter? The 'Three-fold Nature of Man' diagram. It portrays you as being a living soul (made up of your mind, will and emotions) who possesses a spirit and dwells within a physical body. As a new Christian (or a Christian who is recently re-committed to Christ), let's consider what God has already accomplished with you and what He is currently doing and what is yet to come.
When you 'professed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised Him from the dead' then at that moment you were saved (Romans 10:9-10,13). This is what God through scripture promises us. But, is God's work completed with you? Were you instantly transformed into the likeness of Jesus? No, the work isn't completed, but certainly just begun.
What is completed is the work that needed to be done in your spirit (the inner-most circle). Upon your profession, God's Holy Spirit instantly purified your spirit, took up residence in (took possession of and laid permanent claim to) your spirit which had been 'unclean' and unacceptable before God. Now, with all the power of God, your spirit is sealed and kept for God by the Spirit of God. Your spirit has been made clean and will always be kept clean because the Holy Spirit of God cannot reside in any place of uncleanness. Remember that your spirit is where your soul interfaces with the spiritual realm. Upon your surrender, God has taken that beach-head and from there will accomplish His work to you and in you and through you by way of His possession of your spirit. So we can say we have been saved.
God has promised that He will complete the good work which He has begun in you (Phillipians 1:6). Now that you have placed your spirit in God's keeping, God will begin to transform your soul. By way of the Holy Spirit, God will cleanse your mind. Your inaccurate memories will be clarified and corrected. Your memories will be adjusted to a Godly perspective. Your thinker will be corrected, little by little, so that you will begin to understand about who God is and what His purposes are in creation. You will then begin to recognize His presence and direction and know His plans and promises. God will also strengthen your will (your decider) as He sets it free from captivity to the desires of the flesh and the world and the devil who is God's adversary (and now yours.) God will purify your emotions so that they become more and more like Jesus'. While the change in your spirit was instant, God will take the rest of your life time to change your soul. This is His way of inviting you to live with Him and in dependence upon Him. Day at a time, God wants you to present yourself to Him as He continues His work of shaping you into the likeness of His only begotten Son Jesus (Romans 12:1-2). So we can say that we are even now in the process of being saved.
What about your body? Does God care about your physical body? Why, yes! He desires that you be fed and clothed and sheltered and healed from injury and illness. But, God's higher priority is with your soul which is eternal and not with this body which is but temporary. Much of the difficulty that we endure in our bodies, God uses for the purpose of refining our soul. It is God's promise that we will receive a new body at the resurrection. The new body will not suffer decay or aging, or sickness or ever experience death. The new body will be sustained through eternity by God. The body we wear now is destined for the scrap pile. God surely protects. God provides for us daily in physical things. With God's help, we can live in eternal victory now even over the battles that may rage in our bodies. God heals these bodies as we allow Him. God will also help us know how to live in ways pleasing to Him so that He can pour out abundant blessings on us now, even as we live in this body in this age. (Much more for you to learn about this in days ahead!) But these things related to this body are all temporary . . . until death (or rapture) do we part. We can look forward to being clothed in a new and better body which we will wear in heaven. So we can look forward to the day when we will finally (and completely) be saved.
If you have questions, e-mail Bro. Eliot Roberts, pastor
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