Salvation is an exclusive act of God, as was creation. He made us; we did not make ourselves. He saved us; we did not save ourselves. He sanctifies us; we do not sanctify ourselves.
In the process of delivering us from the domain of darkness, it is God’s Spirit who transfers us to our new abode in the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13). This new kingdom is spiritual (Rom 14:17), that is, in the Spirit. He that is spiritual (1 Cor 2:15) has received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9, 11; 1 Cor 3:16). Following this baptism of the Spirit (Mt 3:11), the transformation begins to bring the elect, regenerated soul into conformity to Christ Jesus the King (Phil 3:21).
Transformation brings renewal to the believer in Jesus (Rom 12:2). She is a new creature in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), with a new life to live in the power and will of the Holy Spirit. It is the indwelling Spirit who guides the Christian into all truth (Jn 16:13). It is the truth that sets her free (Jn 8:32), and the truth is in Christ Jesus, the incarnate Word (Jn 1:14), now glorified.
The Word of truth, taught to the adopted child of God, by the Spirit of truth, is the agent of transformation (Jn 14:17, 26; Rom 8:15, 23). Christians are renewed in mind and affection (Rom 12:2). We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:15), when we have the Word of Christ from the Spirit of Christ.
The mind set on the flesh is death (Rom 8:6). It is deluded by sin to do that which is unbecoming of eternal life (Rom 1:18–32). The mind of those dead in trespasses and sins is blinded by the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:1)).
The mind set to do evil will produce evil deeds (Gen 6:5; Jer 17:9; Jn 3:19). Workers of iniquity are the objects of God’s righteous judgment and wrath (Ps 5:5; 7:11; 11:5; Rom 1:18). If God did not have mercy on some people (Rom 9:15–16), all people would receive eternal punishment in the eternal fire of eternal hell (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
Unregenerate men love sin (Jn 3:19). Their minds and their deeds are focused on the pleasures of sin in this dark world of sin. Walking in darkness, men are alienated from the life of God (Eph 2:12). They do not know where they are going (Jn 12:35), but every thought, word, and action is sin leading to death (Gen 6:5; Rom 3:23; 6:23).
The call to repentance and faith by the prophets and preachers, sent from God, goes unheeded without the saving grace of the Holy Spirit (Is 53:1; Acts 17:30; Rom 8:9; Eph 2:8–9). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17). Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd, calls to His sheep, who hear His voice, and follow Him because they belong to Him (Jn 10; 1 Cor 3:23).
The Christian life is the loving chastening of God (Heb 12:6). He is bringing His sons to glory through the process of sanctification (1 Thess 4:3), without which no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14). Transformation is a process of suffering (Jn 16:33; Col 1:24); yet, there is joy in the Lord, who is at work to accomplish all His holy will in the child of God.
Purging sin’s power and influence, in His children, by the fire of the Spirit of holiness, requires great power. He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world (1 Jn 4:4). The washing of renewal by the Word cleanses the mind and the conscience (Titus 3:5). The Word surgically removes the heart of stone, being the double-edged sword of the Spirit (Ezek 36:26; Heb 4:12; Eph 6:17).
He who began this good work of transformation, following the good work of transfer, will surely bring it to completion (Phil 1:6). Christ’s nature progressively replaces sin’s nature; and Christ’s life becomes more and more evident, in the one on the course of spiritual maturation (Rom 8:29).
That we would be changed is why Christ Jesus came into the world. By delivering us through redemption, by His blood, His Spirit now works without fail, to manifest the righteousness of Christ in us who believe.
Christian, marvel at this good work in you, and trust that God’s will for your life must be done, according to His eternal decree, which includes your salvation from start to finish. The day of Christ Jesus will prove the truth of these matters, for we will be like him in glory, as we see Him as He is…exalted and glorious.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 22, 2021