|Spirit and Salvation: The Holy Spirit and Our Salvation|
|Written by David Lawrence|
|Wednesday, September 03 2008 14:18|
God is triune: three in one. The three divine persons all participate in our salvation in different ways. Paul illustrates this fact clearly in the first chapter of his letter to the Ephesians as he describes how the Father chooses according to his purpose, the Son redeems on the cross, and the Holy Spirit seals us. The primary responsibility for the accomplishment of our salvation lay with our Lord Jesus Christ. It is He, according to the divine plan, who lived a perfect life in complete obedience to the law of His Father, died in payment for our sins on the tree of Calvary, and continually makes intercession for us. By his perfect work, he has accomplished our salvation. (See Heb. 9:11-10:14 for a discussion of the work of Christ.)
But it is the Holy Spirit who applies our salvation to us. Jesus taught his disciples that it was a good thing for Him to go away so that the Spirit could come as a paraklete, one who works on our behalf (John 16:7). Jesus taught Nicodemus that the Holy Spirit gives us a spiritual rebirth, without which we cannot see, or understand, the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Paul refers to this process as being "made alive," and John, James, and Peter speak of our being "begotten." We speak of "regeneration," or being re-created in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). It is the work of the Spirit to awaken our hearts to God, to call us from death to life, to bring us to faith, and to seal us with a guarantee of our eternal inheritance.
The Holy Spirit is involved in our calling and rebirth, in our baptism, in our sealing, in our daily Christian walk of increasing sanctification, in interceding for us, in testifying with our Spirit that we are the children of God, in enabling us to act righteously before God, and in every aspect of our Christian life. One has only to read Paul's writings to see that he attributes nearly everything to the Spirit, to being done by, through, or in the Spirit. (See 2 Thess. 2:13, Jn. 3:3, 1 Cor. 12:13, Mark 1:8, John 16:13, John 20:22, Acts 2:38, 1 Cor. 2:10, 14; Gal. 3:2, 1 John 3:14, Rom. 8:16 and related passages).
The presence and working of God's Holy Spirit in our lives is a precious and dear reality. God is present with us. The same Spirit who indwelt our Savior and brought him without sin through every conceivable temptation known to man, now resides within us. What a comfort indeed He is! The Holy Spirit, who graciously applies God's gift of salvation to our lives, is given only to God's beloved children. His presence in our lives becomes a sure proof of who we are, that we are genuinely Christians. His leading occurs through the revealed word of God, the Holy Scriptures, as he encourages us to turn to them and opens in our hearts their meaning. His presence is confirmed by the fruit He bears in our lives (Gal. 5:22). From our first contact with our salvation throughout eternity, the Holy Spirit takes this wonderful gift from the hand of God and confers it on our lives, working out God's plan for our lives and then applying the merits of Christ's life and death.
The working of the Holy Spirit is discussed in tapes we offer on "The Doctrines of Grace," and "Christ Our Comfort."