The Bible teaches clearly that we are born sinners unable to understand spiritual things and unwilling to seek salvation. Therefore it takes God to intervene graciously in our lives and bring us to the only savior Jesus Christ. In this article, we will look at the steps God takes to bring a lost sinner to Himself.
The first thing God does when He saves a person is to shine light into his darkened understanding. “For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). In all cases, the Holy Spirit uses the word of God to bring this about (Ps. 119:130). At the same time, the Holy Spirit removes the veil on the heart (2 Cor. 3:15,16) and opens his heart to receive God’s word with faith (Acts 16:14). The result is that the person becomes aware of his own terrible condition because of his sins.
Before this conviction of sin, the person may have been baptized, a church member, or even a preacher. But now he discovers that he is unclean, his heart desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9), and that he is unfit for the presence of the thrice-holy God. A person in such a state of conviction realizes that all his best works are only as filthy rags (Is. 64:6) and that he justly deserves everlasting burning in hell. He is brought to a state where he no longer has
any confidence in himself because he has been brought to the end of himself.
By means of this enlightening, the renewed soul under the guidance of the Holy Spirit discovers how well suited Christ is to such a sinner as he feels himself to be. The Holy Spirit then leads him to apply to Christ for pardon, cleansing, peace, righteousness, and strength. Other acts besides turning to Christ such as repentance flow from this new birth.
Have you at a certain time or period of time felt something of what I have described above? If not, it may be that you are not saved. Ask God to show you your sins now.
The second thing God does when He saves a person is that he takes full control of the heart. By nature men are lovers of their own selves and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God (2 Tim. 3:2,4). The renewed person has his affections taken off his idols and fixed on God. The affections are thus refined and directed to love God above all others. The love of God therefore becomes the governing principle of his heart.
The saved person also finds his heart drawn out to all members of God’s family irrespective of their nationality, social position, or church affiliation. This becomes the real evidence that such a person has passed from darkness into life because he loves the brethren (1 Jn. 3:14). Do you have such a consuming love for God and for all true Christians everywhere? Test yourself by the choices you make: your career, your dwelling place,
school for your children or the friends you have.
The third thing God does when He saves a person is to set the will free. By nature, the will of the fallen man is enslaved by sin and in bondage to his evil nature. At the new birth, the will is set free from all this and begins to conform to the will of God. God graciously gives the saved person a new heart and a new spirit thus causing him to walk in obedience to His commands. This is the blessing of the new covenant God promised to
His people (Eze. 36:26-27). As a result, the will of such a person is so liberated from the power of indwelling sin that he finds it a delight to obey God’s commands. He freely and gladly chooses to walk in subjection to Christ and to obey Him in all things whatever it may cost him.
Do you find it a delight to obey God in all things at all times? For example, do you keep the Lord’s Day dedicated to the worship of God from morning to evening or do you use part of the day for your own amusements as if the day is your own?
Lastly, when God saves a person He changes the whole conduct of the person and makes him a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). As a tree is known by its fruits, saving faith is known by good actions. The principle of holiness the person receives at the new birth translates itself into a godly life in the believer. It is written, “If you know that God is righteous you know that everyone who does right has been born by Him” (1 Jn. 2:29). Surely the deepest longing of every child of God is to please his heavenly Father in all things even though this longing is never fully realized in this life.
Nevertheless, he continues to strain toward what is ahead and to press on toward the goal of winning the prize that God has for him in heaven in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:12,14).
Do you realise that I have been describing a true Christian for you? Are you such a person? If you are praise God for it, if not ask God to make you such a Christian right now.