God's Plan Of Salvation Tuesday, August 22, 2017
GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION: (KJV)
By James L. Thornton
In this study we would like to emphasize that man is a sinner, having inherited Adam’s sinful nature at birth. And that man does not have it in his power to save himself, bur God made provisions for the salvation of man through the shed blood of his son Jesus Christ.
INTRODUCTION, MAN'S NEED OF SALVATION:
“For All Have Sinned And Come Short Of The Glory Of God.” (Romans 3:23)
When God created Adam and Eve, they were created sinless, but they disobeyed God’s command, and judgment came upon them. They were cast out of the Garden, they had to toil for their living, pain and suffering became their lot, but worst of all was the guilt of sin brought about by their disobedience.
SIN IS HEREDITARY:
Romans 5:12. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Romans 5:10. “There Is None Righteous, No Not One.”
MAN CANNOT SAVE HIMSELF:
OUR WORKS CANNOT SAVE US:
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.”
OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS CANNOT SAVE US:
Isaiah 64:6. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags.”
WE CANNOT LIVE GOOD ENOUGH TO SAVE US:
Matthew 19:17. “There is none good but one, that is God.”
OUR RELIGION CANNOT SAVE US:
Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.”
Galatians 2:16. “Knowing that a man is not justified by…the law…but by faith of Jesus Christ
ONLY GOD SAVES US:
A. God’s Provision For Salvation
B. The Great Commission
C. Faith Towards God
G. Water Baptism
H. The Name In Baptism
I. The Keys To The Kingdom
J. Baptism Is Essential To Salvation
K. The Holy Spirit Baptism
L. The Benefits Of The Holy Spirit
M. The Fruit Of The Spirit
A. GOD’S PROVISION FOR SALVATION:
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
When God created Adam and Eve, they were created sinless, but they disobeyed
Beginning when God slew an animal to cover Adam and Eve, through Able, Noah, Abraham, the lamb in Egypt, the Hebrew sacrifices, and finally Jesus’ death on Calvary.
9:22. “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.”
Isaiah 53:5. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities,
6. And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Jesus Christ became the “Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
The only way our sins can be remitted is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN:
We have only one plan of salvation to teach in the church dispensation.
Ephesians 4:5. “One lord, one faith one baptism,..”
One baptism in two elements: water and spirit.
John 3:5. “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of the water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Because Adam by transgression fell (Genesis 3) all men are sinners, and must be spiritually born again.
Psalms 51:5. “Behold, i was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
B. THE GREAT COMMISSION:
Matthew 28:18. And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Mark 16:15. And he said unto them, go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16. he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Luke 24:45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
C. FAITH TOWARDS GOD;
The first step to salvation is faith.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (believe that God exists), and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
We must accept the Bible’s description of a God who made humans in his own image, who has all the attributes of personhood, such as thought, will, emotions, etc., that constitute our personhood.
Such a God has no needs, and yet has desires.
He had no need to create the universe, the earth, or us, in order to sustain His existence, but it pleased Him to do so.
God had a reason for creation.
From the Bible’s supernatural revelation we learn of how God Himself took on human flesh to die for us, demonstrating in the most extreme way possible, his will, his purpose, his love for us.
One of the most important doctrines in the Bible is “repentance” and yet we find it is many times little understood, and sometimes ignored completely.
It is impossible to obtain salvation without Bible repentance (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30)
The reason why thousands of professed Christians have no true change of heart and consequently know nothing of a Holy life in Christ is because they have never experienced true Bible repentance.
The word “repent” (metanoeo) literally means “to change the mind,” “to have second thoughts” or “to regret.”
The Christian era started when John the Baptist came preaching, saying, “Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) he added, “bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.” (Matthew 3:8) thus the change should be visible to others.
John’s preaching set the Bible standard of Repentance for the Christian era. (Luke 3:10-14)
Even the religious leaders who came out to hear John were warned they could not expect automatic participation in the kingdom just because they were descendants of Abraham.
It was not their bloodline that would prepare them for the day of the Lord, but a genuine repentance, a turning away from their sins to the paths of righteousness. (Matthew 3:7-10)
The sign and seal of this repentance was baptism, which John administered in the Jordan River. (Matthew 3:6)
Our Lord began his ministry with the same message as John preached: “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)
At Pentecost Peter opened the door to the Christian Church with a call to Israel to repent of crucifying the Lord and to express that change by being baptized in water. (Acts 2:38)
God’s desire is “that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
To have remorse (metamelomai) is similar in both Greek and English to repentance.
It is used only five times in the New Testament, once for God. (Hebrew 7:12) Jesus also used this verb twice in his parable of the two sons. (Matthew 21:29)
Judas is a clear example of the difference between repentance and remorse:
“Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself (metamelomai), and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. (Matthew 27:3, 4)
Judas was sorry for his sin, but he did not repent and seek forgiveness, as Peter did who went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:62)
Paul uses both concepts: “For Godly sorrow worketh repentance (metanoia) to salvation not to be repented of (ametameletos (2 Corinthians 7:10)
No one who truly repents will ever regret it.
Convert (strepho, epistrepho) means “to turn,” as when we say “she turned Protestant,” meaning she converted from some other belief.
People raised in Christian homes often find it hard to conceive of being “converted” to Christ since they learned to know him gradually.
However, whether one knows the time or not, there must be a point when one turns from self and sin to accept the Lord Jesus.
Jesus says, “except ye be converted (srepho), and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)
In his defense before Agrippa, Paul spoke of both repentance and conversion.
“They (Paul’s hearers) should repent (metanoeo) and turn to (epistrepho) God, and do works meet for repentance.” (Acts 26:20)
What Paul told his hearers to do, all should do when coming to faith in the Lord Jesus.
G. WATER BAPTISM:
Acts 2:37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Romans 6:3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
WHAT ABOUT MATTHEW 28:19?
Please notice that Matthew, Mark, and Luke each records The Great Commission in different words, but each compliments each other.
Jesus said, “go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)
NOTICE IT READS IN THE NAME, SINGULAR:
The Apostle Peter used the authority given to him by Jesus correctly on the day of Pentecost when he baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
THE WORDS FATHER, SON, AND THE HOLY GHOST ARE NOT NAMES BUT TITLES:
JESUS SAID, "I AM COME IN MY FATHER'S NAME" (John 4:43)
THE FATHER WILL SEND THE HOLY GHOST IN MY NAME. (John 14:26)
THE NAME OF ALL THREE IS JESUS:
H. THE NAME IN BAPTISM:
Matthew 28:19. “Baptizing them in the name…..”
Luke 24:47. “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Did the Apostle Peter exercise the authority that Jesus gave him in Matthew 16:18. and the command in Matthew 28:19?
The Name Of The Father Is Jesus:
John 5:43. “I am come in my father’s name and ye receive me not.”
THE NAME OF THE SON IS JESUS:
Matthew 1:21. “And she shall bring forth a son and thou shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
THE NAME OF THE HOLY GHOST IS JESUS:
John 14:26. “But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.”
JESUS IS THE NAME:
Therefore the name of the Father is Jesus, the name of the Son is Jesus, and the name of the Holy Ghost is Jesus.
When Peter and the Apostles baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they were properly obeying the baptismal command of Jesus?
Colossians 3:17. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 6:11. “And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Colossians 2:9. “For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
10. “And ye are complete in him, who is the Head of all principality and power.
12. (We are) “Buried with him in baptism.” read Acts 4:8, 10-12.
I. THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM:
Matthew 16:19. "and i will give unto thee the key to the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
THE APOSTLE PETER USED THE KEYS TO OPEN THE DOOR:
1. First used to the Jews at Pentecost: read (Acts 2:36-39)
2. Second it was used to the Samaritans:
Acts 8:14. “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent unto them Peter and John: who when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (for as yet he had fallen on none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
3. Third time it was used to the Gentiles. (Acts 10)
46. “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48. And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.”
BAPTISM BY IMMERSION:
Romans 6:4. “We are buried with him by baptism…” (immersion)
When Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River,
“He came straight way up out of the water.” (Mark 1:10) (immersion)
When Philip baptized the Eunuch, both went down into the water & then they both came up out of the water. (Acts 8:36-39) (immersion)
The word baptize is derived from the Greek word ‘baptizo’ which means to dip, immerse, plunge or sink. (Greek English Lexicon)
The early church always baptized by immersion of the entire body into water, and nowhere at any time by sprinkling or pouring.
FOR REFERENCE SEE:
World Book Encyclopedia, 1975 Edition, Vol. B, Pg. 70;
Encyclopedia Int., 1975 Edition, Vol. 2, Pg. 378;
New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967 Edition, Vol. 2, Pg. 56, Etc.
J. BAPTISM IS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION:
The Apostle Peter, Writing More Than Thirty Years After Jesus Ascended Back To Heaven, Tells Us That Baptism Is Part Of God’s Plan Of Salvation.
1 Peter 3:21. “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”
An-a-ni-as at the conversion of Paul tells him that baptism washes away sins.
Acts 22:16. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
Peter commanded Cornelius to be baptized even after he had received the Holy Ghost.
Acts 10:47. “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48. And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the lord.”
Paul rebaptized some of John the Baptist’s disciples in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:1-6)
H. WHY THE NAME OF JESUS IS IMPORTANT:
Matthew 1:21. “Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
The family name is “Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.”(Ephesians 3:14, 15
A name makes checks legal and business papers valid:
“Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus..” (Colossians 3:17)
The bride promises to assume her husband’s name:
“God did visit the gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.” (Acts 15:14)
REMISSION OF SINS IN HIS (JESUS’) NAME: (Acts 10:43.)
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved!” (Acts 4:12)
THE LORD HAS MANY TITLES,
BUT IN REDEMPTION ONLY ONE NAME:
“Wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
“In that day there shall be one Lord,
And his name one” (Zechariah 14:9)
“And the Lord said, I am Jesus…” (Acts 9:5)
Jesus-- "a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9)
A FACT OF HISTORY:
“The early church always baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Canney Ency., pg. 53)
“The original form of words “into the Name of Jesus Christ or Lord Jesus.” (Dict. Of the Bible by Scribners, pg. 241)
A FACT OF SCRIPTURE:
In every instance recorded in Scripture in which people were baptized by those in the early church all were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:38)
In the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 8:16)
In the name of the Lord. (Acts 10:48)
In the name of the Lord Jesus, (Acts 19:5)
Colossians 2:8. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily.
10. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
12. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
K. THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM:
Here are some scriptural foundation for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
John 4:24. “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
John 3:5. “Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of the water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.
7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.”
John the Baptist said to those who came to his baptism,
Matthew 3:11. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that comet after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”
PROPHECY OF THE HOLY GHOST:
Isaiah 28:11. For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12. To whom he said, this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
Acts 1:5. “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Act 1:8. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
The above scriptures have been quoted to confirm that New Testament Saints are baptized with the Holy Ghost.
THE DISPENSATION OF THE HOLY GHOST:
120 Believers were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost including the mother of Jesus. (Acts 1:14-15)
Just before Jesus ascended back into heaven He gave his followers one last message.
Luke 24:49. “And, behold, I send the promise of my father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high”
This was fulfilled ten days later on Pentecost.
Acts 2:1. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4. And they were all filled with the holy ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance.
THE INITIAL (FIRST) EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST:
Isaiah 28:11.”For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.”
Jesus told his disciples “but when the comforter (the Holy Ghost) is come, even the Spirit of Truth, He shall testify of me:”
The Holy Spirit did not come quietly and take up his abode in the lives of those in the early Church, but it came vocally, speaking for himself in an unusual way.
In every instance in the bible in which anyone received the baptism of the Holy Ghost it is recorded that they spoke in tongues.
120 Jews, including the 12 Apostles and marry, the mother of Jesus and his brothers, were assembled in an upper room on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost was first given. (Acts 1:14)
THE HOLY SPIRIT SPAKE THROUGH THEM:
Acts 2:3. “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
THE SAMARITANS (Acts 8: 15-19) spoke with tongues when they received the Holy Spirit, otherwise how could Simon the sorcerer have known that it was some special gift which he was willing to buy from Peter and John?
He could have seen nothing less than that which happened at Pentecost to have induced him to offer money that he, too, might perform such a miracle.
THE GENTILES (Acts 10:44-48) spake with tongues when they received the Holy Ghost while Peter was preaching to them.
Acts 10:44. “…, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
46. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God..”
Paul found certain disciples of John the Baptist, when he asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost they replied that they had not, so Paul explained it to them.
Acts 19:5. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST AND FIRE:
It has been said that there are thirty thousand promises in the Bible, yet this is the specific one that God has exalted above all others.
WITHOUT A DOUBT TO BE BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS THE HIGHEST EXPERIENCE ANYONE CAN RECEIVE IN THIS LIFE.
In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came to rest occasionally on some individuals, usually Priests, Prophets, Kings, or Judges, yet this anointing was always temporary.
God promised through the Prophets that the day was coming when he would give His Spirit to all men.
Joel 2:28. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:”
THE HOLY GHOST BAPTISM IS GOD HIMSELF COMING TO DWELL IN HIS PEOPLE, NOT WITH THEM, BUT “IN” THEM.
Since the fall of Adam men have had a struggle with the old sinful nature, and by his own strength the battle was never entirely won, so God comes into our lives through the Holy Ghost to help us live an overcoming life.
John the Baptist told his followers “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; …. but he (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11)
Water baptism is the type of “putting off” the sins of a person after he has repented, or turned toward God, that’s where remission, or washing away our sins, takes place. (Acts 2:38)
THE VALUE OF WATER BAPTISM CANNOT BE DISPUTED:
“It is the answer of a good conscience toward God,” the apostle Peter tells us (1 Peter 3:21), it washes off; it cleanses us of sins, but it cannot go beyond this and bring about the change of character John asked for.
They were to cease their wrong doing, to put away evil practices, to submit to baptism to wash away their particular sins from the record of their lives, this is the proper beginning of moral reformation; but it is only a beginning.
FIRE-BAPTISM is the type of burning out the soul of sin, the very love of sin, this comes through the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
FIRE IS A CLEANSER; it is, indeed, the supreme cleanser, because it searches into the very substance of a thing. So fire is applied to metals.
Malachi 3:2. “..? For he (The Holy Spirit) is like a refiner’s fire,”
The fire is to “try every man’s work, of what sort it is.” (1 Corinthians 3:13)
The fire of the Holy Ghost comes to deal with that spiritual condition out of which the acts of sin come.
Remember John said, --- “I baptize with water,….he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and Fire.” (Matthew 3:11)
JOHN BAPTIZED THE BODY ONLY, JESUS BAPTIZES THE SOUL:
The baptism of water is outward and ceremonial, that of the Holy Ghost is inward and spiritual.
Jesus Christ enters the soul with flames to burn the evil out of the hearts of men in the consuming power of the Holy Spirit and kindles the fire of a new life.
It is only through the power of the Holy Ghost that man has sufficient ability, or resources, to live free of the power of sin.
Before the infilling of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, man had to wage the battle against fleshly lust by his own will power, but now we have God’s Spirit within, helping us with all our struggles.
The Holy Ghost will be poured so abundantly upon you, that he will cleanse you from all sins and dross.
L. THE BENEFITS OF THE HOLY GHOST:
1. It is by the Baptism of the Holy Ghost that we become members of the Church Of God:
1 Corinthians 12:13. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body (the church), whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one spirit.
I think we can all agree that the church began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41) when the Holy Ghost came and filled all that were in the house.
If it took the Holy Ghost to form the church, it would surely take the same experience to add members to the church.
Paul makes some strong statements concerning the necessity of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost to the Church at Rome.
Romans 8:9. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.”
2. It Is By The Baptism Of The Holy Ghost That We Are Sealed:
Ephesians 1:13. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
The Sealing By The Holy Spirit Has A Twofold Purpose:
1. For Identification of Ownership
2. For Presevation
When a King or Monarch wanted to mark something which belonged to him, or to make his approval of something known, he stamped it with his Official Seal.
The Church was purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:19), IT BELONGS TO HIM. And he puts his mark of ownership on its members when they are sealed with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 6:19. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
2 Timothy 2:19. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Romans 8:9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
The Seal Of Preservation:
In Revelation we find that God puts his seal of preservation on his people to protect them from all the calamities of this life.
Revelation 7:3. Saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
I have already stated that under the Old Testament dispensation man fought his struggles by the strength of his own will and might.
In the days of Isaiah the prophet God was explaining that in the not too far distant future the Lord himself shall be a barrier against the foes that come against his people. (Isaiah 59:16-20)
Isaiah 59:19b. ... When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. (the ensign of the almighty)
The Holy Ghost working in a person’s life is one of the most powerful forces in the universe, as Paul described it in his letter to Corinth.
2 Corinthians 10:3. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (The spirit is an attacking force)
5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (the spirit is a conquering force)
There is no safer place anywhere than to put your whole trust in Jesus and stay filled with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, because, Paul says “your life is hid with Christ in God,” (Colossians 3:3b)
The Holy Ghost Is The Earnest Of Our Inheritance:
Ephesians 1:13. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
The word “Earnest” as Paul uses it here is, money which, in purchases, is given as a down payment or pledge that the full amount will subsequently be paid.
The Church Is The Only Thing That God Ever Purchased: (1 Peter 1:18-19)
And what a price he paid for it, the blood of His Son, and He gave it (the church) the Holy Ghost as the earnest, or partial payment until he comes to redeem his purchased possession.
Just think of all the joy, the blessings, and all the other benefits associated with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and then come to the realization that this is just a partial payment, a very small percentage of what is waiting for us in Heaven.
There is a very beautiful story in the Old Testament (Genesis 24) where Abraham’s servant went to find a bride for Isaac and when he found Rebekah he gave her gifts of gold and silver and jewels telling her “My master is rich”. In other words “ten camels could not begin to bring it all, this is only the dowry.”
The Holy Ghost Is The Oil For Our Lamps:
Matthew 25. Jesus gives the parable of the ten virgins in which five of them were called “foolish” because when the bridegroom came they had no oil in their lamps and could not enter the wedding feast.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the oil that gives us entrance into the Wedding Supper, don’t be without it.
The Holy Ghost Is Our Wedding Garment:
Revelation 19:7-8. We read of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and it describes the Brides Wedding Garment as “fine linen, clean and white, the righteousness of the saints.”
Matthew 22:2-14. Jesus gives us a parable of a man found at the marriage supper not having on a wedding garment. When questioned how he came to be there, he was speechless. He was bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness.
The Holy Ghost is that wedding garment, and since it is so important that every believer be baptized with the Holy Ghost, it is very necessary that we hold God’s standard up before men and urge them to be filled with the Holy Ghost.
M. The Fruit Of The Spirit:
After the Holy Ghost is received, there are things that take place in our lives which authenticate its presence, the Bible calls this the “Fruit Of The Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22. "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentlness, goodness, faith,
23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
Romans 14:17. "For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink: but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The receiving of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the most life changing experience that a person can receive in this life.
The total earthly purpose of the New Testament Church is summed up in these words, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel.” If we stop short in this path, we fail to justify our existence. Christ asks nothing more, but He accepts nothing less.
“Thou dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed Church of God
Are saved, to sin no more.”
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By, James L. Thornton