Jesus said unto them, If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, We see; therefore your sin remains. (John 9:41) Paul declared: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His Blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:23-25) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
If the Biblical premise to repent and accept Jesus as Savior and Risen Lord is significant for salvation, the “Promise of God,” which Jesus proclaimed, should not be considered any less significant. Defining eternal life, born again, water baptism, Spirit baptism, Promise of God, and Kingdom of God, should be as clear as John 3:16 for Biblical Christians.
With this Biblical clarity, Christians can fulfill Christ’s call to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Biblical Christians do not rely on worldly glasses to see the Word of God clearly, for it is spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Paul put it this way: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
How “then shall I know?” At the least, by Scripturally defining the Biblical precepts outlined above.
As Christ told Nicodemus in John 3:3-7, salvation, or to be “born again,“ is required for “eternal life.” Jesus clarified the definition of “eternal life” in His prayer to the Father in John 17. “And this is life eternal, that they might know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)
If eternal life is to “know” the “only true God, and Jesus Christ,” how are we to “know?” In John, chapters 14 through John 16, Jesus revealed in order to “know” we need to depend and rely on the Holy Spirit. Even after being with His Disciples for three years He told them” “I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of self; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall he speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father has are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.” (John 16:12-15) Jesus had made clear in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4 that the “Spirit of Truth” is the “Promise of the Father.” On the Day of Pentecost Peter also highlighted the significance and importance of the “promise.” (Acts 2:33,39)
“And He (Jesus) said unto them, I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” (Luke 4:43) With the “Kingdom of God” being why Jesus was sent, what is the Scriptural definition? Paul was prompted to clarify the “Kingdom of God” in his teaching to followers in Rome: “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17)
The Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of Truth, which is the “Promise of God,” is paramount for the Biblical Christian as Jesus made clear: “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:31-32) And as Jesus also declared: “It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) Jesus challenged our worldly wisdom vs. spiritual wisdom: “He that has ears to hear, let him hear…” (See Matthew 11:15-30 for this discourse.)
The significance and importance of the “Promise of the Father,” becomes even more apparent as the Word of God declares “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:50) And: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7) As Scripture reveals, it is not our flesh and blood that is eternal, but our spirit. The emphasis Scriptures place on both God’s Spirit and our spirit reveals that it is our spirit, through the Holy Spirit, by which we come to “know” the Father and the Son (John 17:3). “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
As we are “created in His image” (Genesis 1:27), “spirit and soul and body,” does a comprehension of the Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit provide Biblical clarity? (For further Scriptural make-up of man see Job 10:11-13, 32:8-10, 38:36.) For this is how and why Jesus confirmed where the Holy Spirit would reside: “And when He (Jesus) was demanded of the Pharisees, when the Kingdom of God (Romans 14:17) should come, He answered them and said, The Kingdom of God comes not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21) “He that believes on Me, as the Scripture has said (Isaiah 58:11), out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:38-39)
The “Promise of the Father” prophesied by Joel 3:1-5, that Peter shared came to pass on the Day of Pentecost: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:16-17)
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:37-41)
Gary Kelly is author of “Lessons of the Holy Spirit: A Guide for Entering the Kingdom of God and Discover Why it Pleased God to Hide His Kingdom from the Wise” and Administrator of EarsToHear.net.
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