SCRIPTURES are found at the bottom of this letter under FOOTNOTES.
This letter was written to all mankind, all people of all race. Let me begin this letter by making this small but most important statement; all mankind was created by God (1) and for communion with Him (2). In this one statement, lies the VERY REASON of our existence. Our priority in life should be first and foremost, to keep our relationship with God and our communication open to God.
God has shown His love to us and all mankind, by sacrificing His Son Jesus on the cross and made a way for man to have communion with Him. There is ONLY ONE WAY to God and that is through Jesus Christ, the way of the cross; dying out to our own ways and following His plan for Salvation.
You might say, Jesus is the way to God but the Bible is God’s blueprint, given to man to follow for life, keeping our relationship open to God and walking with God.
Now that we have established that all mankind was created by God and for communion with Him; let’s look at why all mankind do not have a relationship with God. The relationship with God was broken when man sinned. All are born into sin (3).
God has made a way to once again have a relationship and be in communion with all mankind. It begins with the saving knowledge of the Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through the message of the cross. The Power of the Preached Gospel was and is to bring all mankind into the right relationship with our creator, God. The message of the Cross is the Power of God to us who are being saved for everyone who believes (4).
It is well worth noting that there is no other religious ritual or logical reasoning that can save mankind. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only power that God uses to bring men and women unto eternal salvation, into a relationship with Him.
This story of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is not merely a historical event. It’s a message of power. It transforms instantly, the most hateful offender who truly believes! As stated in the Gospels, “Christ is the power of God” for salvation. Apostle Peter calls the Gospel an imperishable seed. It is packed with life and power. This is the seed responsible for our rebirth (5).
You can say, Salvation is a deliverance that of being snatched away from the deceitful, conniving power of Satan into the everlasting arms of our creator for eternity. Yes, Salvation lifts the sinner from a life of despair (hopelessness) and seats him with Christ with an everlasting hope for eternity. The very Power of God unto Salvation will change the inner man to become Christ-like. Another way to look at your Salvation, would be at the point of accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior, your life will began to change for the good. As you continue in the saving knowledge of Christ, the seed grows, through reading His Word, the Bible, praying and fellow-shipping with other believers and there will become an understand of His Word.
There is a process called Sanctification and Consecration which is an ongoing process in the Christian life. This change in us, you can say is the process God uses called Sanctification; a state of separation unto God by the spirit and belief in the truth, this is Gods part in our salvation. (6). Just as important in the growth of Christian living, is that of Consecration, which is our part in righteous living and the separation from worldly things (7).
What God calls sin is sin and we as believers must be determined in our body; mind, soul and spirit, to stay clear of what can take us away from or new found relationship with God. As we can see, God uses both Sanctification and Consecration as the process of growth in Christian living. God uses His Spirit to change us from the inside (Sanctification) and outside (Consecration) which will result in noticeable changes, both inward and outward.
The (born –again) believer becomes a new creature as stated in:
- 2 Cor. 5:17 (KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old (state of) things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (a new state of things has come into existence). Our sins are washed away, and we can once again be in communion with God.
- God has made us fulfilled in Christ as stated in Colossians 2:10 (KJV) And ye are complete (made full – fulfilled – finished) in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
Through Christ the deity (divinity – divine being) of God has been fulfilled. Yes, our soul set free from the power of Satan and Salvation has been given to all believers for eternity.
Since God has made us complete in Christ we might say everything we need was fulfilled through Christ. According to scriptures there is but one and the same Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. As stated above we are made complete in Christ Jesus; this would include the Holy Spirit indwelling in us as a believer, and filling us as we desire and yield to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will teach and lead the believer into all truth. Yes, we lack nothing in Christ Jesus, but let’s not forget we are babes in Christ which implies a growth process to maturity in Christ.
As Apostle Paul states, there is a growing process that begins at this new beginning (with the born-again experience-conversion). There is no shortcuts to spiritual growth. We must have a strong foundation in Christ and the Word of God and continue to grow and build our relationship with God. This will come through reading and studying His Word and fellow-shipping with other like-minded believers. This will take time and effort and there are some skills that will help you grow (8).
There is ONE Spirit but many manifestations of the same Spirit, distributed by the Holy Spirit. There is what appears to be a second experience, that of being filled or baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. When we as believers become filled (baptized) in the Holy Spirit there becomes a reality of who we are in Christ Jesus.
The only requirement to receive the baptism (infilling) of the Holy Spirit after conversion is to desire all that God has for us. This will include a total yielding /surrendering of our body; mind/heart (our convictions, our emotions and our will), our spirit/ soul to the working of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, there will be an unction or an anointing, a power given from God, distributed by the Holy Spirit to become witnesses of the Power of God in Christ Jesus. Until you receive the baptism (or infilling) of the Holy Spirit you might say we as believers have not appropriated what God has done for us through Jesus Christ (9).
God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell in (fill) the believer so they can have and maintain a relationship with Him. As we grow (mature) in the knowledge of the Gospel there will become an understanding of the various manifestations of the Holy Spirit. As we realize the need and purpose of the various manifestations of the Holy Spirit; there will become a desire and willingness to be used by God in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, to strengthen, encourage and build up the body of Christ. Many Christians are familiar with the nine gifts of the Spirit that Paul describes in 1 Cor. 12:4-10.
These gifts are considered extraordinary in nature for they are not the natural abilities that we use in our everyday duties; for they are given directly from God through the Holy Spirit and not of our own abilities. These gifts are available to the believer and will help bring us into a closer relationship with God, for the purpose to build up the body of Christ, (the Christians) the church. The gifts flowing from the Holy Spirit, are not given to you to hoard for yourself but to be used to strengthen others in the faith.
- Are you ready, hungry and desiring to be filled, with this power from on high?
- Are you ready to open your will, to the will of God?
- Are you willing to say not my will, but yours God?
It is through a willing mind and heart through faith, that anyone can be saved; likewise, it is through a willing mind and heart through faith, that we receive anything from God. Are you willing to receive from God? If the answer is yes, open your heart, yield and surrender to God and the Holy Spirit. Desire to be filled, with all that God and the Holy Spirit has for you. As a believer these spiritual gifts are for you, today (10).
Let’s look at the possibility that maybe some Christian people aren’t ready, or at the point of understanding the things of God, spiritually. This got me thinking, and I bring you this question, why aren’t “Christian” people seeing the necessity, or the need of the spiritual things of God? We become so wrapped up in the cares of this life and we get involved in the things of this world. We have not spent time in reading the instructions (the Bible) and complying with His instructions that would maintain us in this life. As stated in the scriptures, we (the believer) are not of this world but are in this world(11).
Could it be new believers look at it in this manner; they now belong to a “club, or group” and they have paid their dues, that of coming to Jesus, and accepted Him as their Savior. They now go on expecting all the benefits that come with their “club” membership, that of the spiritual things of God. Just as they receive the benefits from their membership into a “club” through paid dues, they have to maintain their membership with obedience to the rules laid out.
When we received our Salvation, it was through the grace of God, believing by faith, the plan of salvation. As a “Christian” we are sealed, (an earnest pledge) secured by the Holy Spirit of our eternity with God forever.
You might say we have a membership into heaven. Just as, to continue to receive the benefits of the membership of a “club” there is a price to pay and that is to read the membership instructions and comply with the rules.
In like manner as followers of Christ, born-again believers, we must comply with God’s written instructions, the Bible. If we do not read the instructions for our life membership or hear the instructions of the Bible and comply with them we may lack the full benefits, spiritually and physically during our lifetime.
With that said, as we read and hear God’s Word, there will become an understanding of what it says and we will be guided and taught by the Holy Spirit and lead into all truth. As we comply (obey) with His instructions, we will began to conform (imitate) Christ like characters, the fruit of the Spirit.
These “fruit” are to help us understand some of the product of the Holy Spirit. In the Greek the word “fruit” refers to the natural product of a living thing. These “fruit” are not produced by the Christian but is produced by the Holy Spirit in the spirit filled believer. These characteristics are called the fruit of the Spirit (12).
As we maintain our relationship with God, through our times of praying in the spirit, reading His Word, and prayer (simply communicating) to Him, we will continue to receive the benefits listed through His Word.
As we begin to understand and see the necessity of these benefits, (Gifts) God has provided for us and has given to us; then we will begin to desire and become a willing vessel through which the Holy Spirit can flow distributing these benefits to the people/ the church.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, His love, mercy and grace is what we are accepting and that is what a “Christian” is to be. God is gracious to forgive us of our sins. As we hear the Word of God, we begin to see the need and necessity of Jesus in our lives and Gods plan of salvation for all mankind.
As we come into this realization of the need for salvation, a Savior in our lives; we ask Jesus to come into our lives, our hearts. We repent of our sins, turn from our wicked ways and begin a new life in Him, in Christ. Because of God’s love, mercy and grace, He is always ready to forgive us from our sins. As we turn to Him with a repentant heart; He is merciful and willing to forgive us of our unrighteousness, our sin.
God is faithful, ready and willing to accept all who turns to Him for help; for He desires to have a relationship with His creation. When our body; mind, heart and spirit is open to the ways of God; we cannot comprehend what God has in-store for the believer.
- As stated in 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. Another translation says it this way But—to use the words of Scripture—we speak of THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN NOR EAR HEARD, and which have never entered the heart of man: ALL THAT GOD HAS IN READINESS FOR THEM THAT LOVE HIM.
Let’s go forward in the faith believing God’s word and receiving all that he has today for us!
Love in Christ Jesus,
(1) God created mankind.
- Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV) And God said, Let us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make man [mankind] in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion [power] [authority] over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image [likeness] of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing [animals] that moveth upon the earth.
(2) God desires a relationship (communion) with man. Gen 3:8 (walk – closeness, intimacy, and communion) God wants to be in communion with His creation. Gen 3:9; John 6:46; Exodus 25:8; John 1:1, 14; John 3:16; 1 Cor. 1:9; God longs to have fellowship with His creation. God has made a way through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus. God has sent His Spirit, the Holy Spirit to reside in all those that believe and have received Jesus Christ as their Savior. In this way God will have communion with His creation.
(3) Sin broke the relationship between God and man. Psalm 51:1-19, 58:3, 119:73; Luke 6:45, 13:3,18:19; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23,5:13,18; 5:12-21, 6:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Ephesians 2:3, 7:29; 1 John 1:7-9, 3:4,6; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,15:22; Ezekiel 18:20,30; Job 14:4,15:14-16, 33:4; Genesis 6:5; Matthew 18:3; Hebrews 4:15; Acts 3:19-21, 17:28-29; James 1:13-15, 4:17; John 3:3,16; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 2 John 1:7; Malachi 2:10.
(4) The Power of the Gospel relates to being “a witness” of God to the end of the earth, to those being saved for all who believes. Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 1:18; Rom. 1:14, 16.
(5) The Gospel is packed with life and power. This is the seed responsible for our rebirth. 1 Cor. 1:24; 1 Peter 1:23; Luke 1:35-37; Matt. 19:25-26.
(6) Sanctification, God’s part in our Salvation-holiness. John 17:16-17; 1 Cor. 1:30; Hebrews 10:10, 14, 13:12; Acts 13:39; John 1:10, 10:36, 17:17-18; 2 Peter 3:18; Phi. 1:6; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 Thess. 5:23.
(7) Consecration, separation of oneself from things that are unclean, especially anything that would contaminate one’s relationship with a perfect God. Our lives are to be a living sacrifice unto God. Consecration is man’s part in continuing in Christianity (purity, holiness, right living). Sanctification and Consecration works together with that of holiness and purity. Joshua. 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:20, 7:1-6; Eph. 4:23-24; Ps. 51:2, 7; 2 Cor. 7:1, 17; Rom. 6:19, 12:1-2; 1 Peter 2:9-10.
(8) Growing process in the believer. 1 Tim. 4:7,11-15; Hebrews 5:12-14, 6:1; Luke 8:14-15,9:23, 14:27,17:5; 1 Peter 2:2-3; 2 Peter 1:5-8,3:18; Col. 1:9-10,2:6-7; Psalm 1:1-3,92:12-14;119:105; 1 Cor. 3:2-8.13:10-12; Eph. 4:11-16,20-24,6:17; Rom. 5:2-6; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; James 1:22-25; Matt. 4:2-4.
(9) At conversion we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and in Christ we are complete (fulfilled). When Jesus left He stated He and the Father would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit for us to receive. The filling of the Holy Spirit (baptism in the Holy Spirit) is another experience but of the same one and only Holy Spirit in which all believers must desire and receive. This experience will help guide, teach and lead believers into all truth. The Holy Spirit will take up permanent residence in the believer’s life, giving us power to become witnesses, to guide, teach and lead us into all truth. Eph. 1:3; Col. 2:9-10; 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Peter 1:4; 7:38-39; Acts 1:8,9,2:1-4,31,33,38-39,4:31, 5:32;10:44-47,19:1-6; Matt 3:11; Luke 11:13; John 3:8,7:37-39, 14:16-17, 26.16:3; Romans 8:9-11,26-27; 1 Cor. 3:16,6:19; 1 Jo. 2:27;4:4; Eph. 1:3,5:18; Col. 2:9-10; 2 Peter 1:3; John 7:38-39; Titus 3:5-6; Judges 15:14; 1 Chron. 12:18; Psalm 51:11; Ezek. 11:5.
(10) But the fruit of the Spirit is : Galatians 5:22-25; Rom 14:1-15; Phil. 2:1-3, 4:4-9; John 15:4-11; 14:27; 2 Peter 3:9; 2 Tim. 2:25; Titus 3:4; Eph. 2:7; 2 Thess. 1:4.
(11) The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit are for strengthening, encouraging and building up the body of Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (KJV) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal,(common good). For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit (in accordance with the will of the same Spirit); To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will (who bestows His gifts upon each of us in accordance with His own will).
(12) We are not of this world. John 8:23, 15:19, 17:14, 18:36; Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15; Colossians 3:2; James 4:4.