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Dead or Alive: Which are You?

The impact of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. 

People ask, “How does a person know if he or she is really saved?” This often coincides with, “How can anyone believe what the Bible says as true?”

The Bible provides numerous passages to explain the saving relationship between Jesus Christ and the believer. It also explains how one person can believe the Bible and another does not. Both questions can be answered by evaluating the status of a person’s spirit.

The Bible teaches us that mankind was made or created in the image or likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), with a body, a soul, and a spirit (Genesis 2:7; Proverbs 20:27; I Thessalonians 5:23). The purpose of mankind having a spirit is for establishing a relationship and having communion with God (John 16:13; 14:16–18; Romans 8:14–17).

The Apostle Paul tells believers that it is the Holy Spirit of God who makes the believers’ spirit come alive (Ephesians 2:1; John 6:63) so the believer can attain eternal life in Heaven (Galatians 6:8; John 3:5). It is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a believer that gives the believer discernment or understanding (I Corinthians 2:12–14) of spiritual things, and the Holy Spirit who helps the believer live the Christian life (Colossians 1:9; John 14:26).

When man’s spirit is made alive by the Holy Spirit, the believer has understanding regarding the “mystery” of the Gospel (I Corinthians 2:10–12; Luke 8:10; Ephesians 3:5). This means that God illuminates the meaning of Scripture and provides understanding of His Word (I Corinthians 1:18) while leading the believer into a godly lifestyle that non-believers do not understand (John 16:8; John 14:26; I John 2:27).

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit also gives the believer direct access to God (Hebrews 4:16) and allows for direct communion with God through prayer (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:26–27; Ephesians 6:18) which a non-believer does not have (John 9:31; I Peter 3:12).

Once the believer is made alive in spirit (Colossians 2:13), he or she is also sealed by the Holy Spirit (II Corinthians 1:21–22; Ephesians 1:13–14), to be kept safe until the “Day of Redemption” (I Peter 1:5; Ephesians 1:13–14, 4:30). Believers are God’s adopted children (I John 3:1; John 1:12; Romans 8:14; Galatians 4:4–5) and through the Holy Spirit, being made into the likeness of Jesus (II Corinthians 3:18; II Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:29; I John 3:2) to prepare us for eternity.

What does all this mean? A non-believer has a void — a dead spirit — that can only be brought to life by the Holy Spirit of God. While dead in trespasses and sins, separated from God, a non-believer cannot understand the mystery of the Gospel, cannot have a relationship or communion with God, and cannot be a child of God.

A believer is able to glean truths from Scripture, be convicted of a sinful lifestyle for which he or she can ask forgiveness (I John 1:9), to live a life that is pleasing to God, can commune and pray directly to God, and is sealed by the Holy Spirit as God’s pledge to provide eternal salvation and security from His judgment (Romans 8:1).

The answers to the questions above are both, yes — a person can know through Scripture that he or she is saved and that he or she can, by faith, believe the Bible is true because of the active work of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. Understanding and learning from God’s Word, seeing God actively changing and transforming a person into the image of Jesus (Galatians 5:22–23) as a new creation of God, and knowing that, as a child of God and joint-heir with Jesus, God has sealed him or her with His Spirit until Jesus returns to take the believer home to Heaven at the start of eternity.

A non-believer has a dead spirit that is waiting for God to make it alive! That only happens when that person recognizes he or she cannot ever be good enough to attain Heaven or to appease a holy and righteous God on his or her own merits (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23). Because of God’s unconditional love for His created mankind (Romans 5:8), not wanting anyone to perish into eternal punishment (II Peter 3:9) but wanting everyone to be reconciled back to Him (II Corinthians 5:19–20; Romans 5:10–11), anyone is able to call upon the name of Jesus and be saved (Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21).

So, you can now answer this question: is your spirit dead or alive?


Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

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AuthorRandy DeVaul | BCWorldview.org 

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