As we saw last week, salvation has an instant rewards program beyond compare! We are positionally justified in Christ, a new creation in Him, and sealed and indwelled by the Holy Spirit Who gives us at least one spiritual gift. We have instant and continual access to God the Father through prayer, and we are His adopted children and joint heirs with Christ.
But that is only the beginning! Throughout our Christian life, from the moment we are saved until the moment the Lord takes us home, we are progressively sanctified, meaning that we become more like Christ and progressively conformed or shaped into His image (Romans 8:29-30). He is the Potter, and we are the clay (Isaiah 29:16; 64:8; Jeremiah 18:6; Romans 9:21), continually molded and reshaped into a vessel of honor increasingly useful for His service (2 Timothy 2:20-21).
The process of progressive sanctification occurs through meditating on God’s Word, through prayer, through obedience, and even through trials causing suffering. God may allow trials into our life to increase our faith in and reliance on Him (2 Corinthians 12:9); to give us compassion and experience to be able to help others going through similar trials; and to help us identify with and understand Christ’s suffering on the cross (Philippians 3:10) as He paid our sin debt.
Beginning at the moment we are born again, the Holy Spirit is there to guide us (Romans 8:9;Galatians 5:25), to teach us from God’s Word, to let us know through our conscience when we are sinning, to comfort us in difficult times and to give us wisdom (John 14:16-26).
As our Guide, the Spirit teaches us to understand and know the Word, both the Scripture and Jesus Christ (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians1:18-31;2:9-15;13:9-12), Who is the express image of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3), Through the Spirit, we know that we belong to God evermore (Romans 8:16; 1 John 4:13-16). The Spirit keeps us in communication with Jesus Christ, and with the Father through Christ (John 14:17,20), allowing us to be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).
At the moment of salvation, our indwelling by the Holy Spirit gives believers the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5). As we die to our sin nature and yield to the Spirit, we gain more and more access to that perfect Mind, and we are more able to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25). We increasingly subject our body to His will, offering it to Him as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) and recognizing that it is the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
We receive God’s grace upon grace, in a never-ending stream (John 1:16). Not only did His grace save us (Ephesians 2:8) and justify us (Romans 3:24), but it allows us to serve Him and work to bear fruit for His kingdom (Hebrews 12:28; 1 Corinthians 15:10). His grace strengthens us in our weakness and allows us to endure trials (2 Corinthians 12:9). It is a limitless resource, flowing more abundantly as our need increases (James 4:6; 2 Corinthians 8:7) and as we grow closer to Him in our Christian walk (1 Corinthians 1:3-5; 2 Peter 3:18).
We become His ambassadors through the work of the Holy Spirit! (2 Corinthians 5:20). As the saying goes, we are the only Bible many lost people will ever read, and the only Jesus many lost people will ever see. God has placed every believer in a unique sphere of influence and equipped each of us in a unique way to represent Him and to spread His Word in that community as we fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 19-20).
We grow and have opportunities for service to the community of believers. Led by the Spirit, we support one another in love (1 Peter 1: 22) as a church family, bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). As we become more like Christ, we begin to love self-sacrificingly, as He did, showing that love not only toward God and toward fellow believers, but also toward the unsaved and even toward our enemies (Luke 10:27).
Just because we are saved does not mean that our problems will go away. Our health and financial condition may not improve, but our attitude will change toward our life circumstances. The Spirit helps us to realize that our earthly life is temporary and transient (James 4:14), and that we can look forward to eternity with our Lord and Savior! (1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 21:23)
Through the fruit of the Spirit, we will have peace that passes all understanding about whatever happens, because we will have faith that God is working it all out for our good and His glory (John 14:27, Romans 8:28). To unsaved people, that peace will be incomprehensible, because they rely on themselves alone to work out problems, and they cannot have peace when there is no apparent solution (Philippians 4: 6-7).
As part of the fruit of the Spirit, we will have joy in the Lord. The apostle Paul told us to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4), and he himself was able to do that despite being imprisoned, shipwrecked, beaten, and suffering from his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 11:24-30; 12:7-10).
Happiness is based on circumstances, but true joy comes from knowing that Christ died and rose again to give us the gift of eternal life (John 3:16). Nothing and no one can ever take that away from us (Romans 8:38-39.
Whatever sorrow we experience on earth will disappear once we are with Jesus in Heaven (Romans 8:18). Earthly sorrow lasts a very short time, but the joy of being in His presence will last forever.
That is our blessed hope (Titus 2:13), of spending eternity with Christ and with fellow believers (Romans 15:13). We hope, not in the sense of wishing for it to happen, but in the faith-filled anticipation that it will come to pass, for He has said it and it is so! Our hope is in all the eternal rewards of salvation, which we shall discuss next week!
© 2013 Laurie Collett
Blessings and love to you.
we go through many trials in which we can be strengthened, and by the testimony of which we can encourage others. Our walk is a lovely process of learning and growing. Lovely, encouraging post. God bless
Beautiful truth here, Laurie--thank you so much!
And to you, Denise!
Praise God that for believers, He works all things together for our good and His glory -- even trials. Thanks as always for your sweet encouragement. May you have a blessed week in Him!
Thank you, Dianne,for your lovely comment! God bless,
An excellent article about sanctification, a lifelong process following salvation.
Thanks for posting.
Thanks, Frank, for your kind words! God bless,
We can't be similar to the world, but we must become more and more similar in our mind, heart and character to Jesus Christ. There are communities, which teach, that every Christian should be perfect just after convertion. But I don't see Biblical basic of this teaching. It also teach me not judging people, who still make sins from their old live, but they fight with it in the Holy Spirit. Greetings and blessing for You dear Laurie - here in Poland spring is coming! :)
We just wanted to let you know that this post is being featured at this week at Wednesday's Adorned from Above Blog Hop. Thanks so much for sharing with everyone. We really appreciate it.
Have a great week.
Debi and Charly
Amen, Zim! We must grow in His grace by yielding to the Holy Spirit, but due to our sin nature, we won't be perfect until we are in our glorified bodies. Only God can judge the hearts.
Happy Spring to you! God bless,
Thanks so much!! You and your blog are a real blessing!!
May you have a blessed week in Him,
It always amazes me that no matter how much I feel I grow and learn, there is never any getting to the bottom of growing in Christ. Not here, anyway. It's so exciting to know that there is always more, more, more of Jesus!
Thank you so much for sharing this today! I am so happy that you linked up with the Oh HAPPY Day party.
LOVE this! So happy to have found you via the Linkin' With the Ladies thursday blog hop. I love to find new Sisters! Have a beautifully blessed day, Beloved!
Amen, Laura! The Word always has more to teach us -- through the Scripture and as the Spirit reveals Christ to us! How amazing it will be to see Him face to face!
Thanks, Holly, for your sweet comment and for hosting!
Blessings to you,
Welcome, Carrie! I love to find new Sisters, too, & I'm so glad you're here! Thanks so much for your sweet comment & for following!
May you have a blessed week in Him,
Thank you for partying with Linkin' with my Ladies Blog Hop. You are such an inspiration.
Followed you back via GFC. See you and have a blessed day!
Hopping here from Adorned from Above. There is such comfort in knowing I've been saved. I want to share it with everyone!
Thanks so much for linking up with us at the "Linkin with my ladies" Thursday hop! We still have new blog's linking up if you want to stop by and check them out.
hey there! thanks for linking up with us today and following :) I am happily following ya back.
have a super day laurie!
Thanks so much, Judy, for your kind words, for following, & for hosting!
Praise God that you are saved and that you want to share the Good News with others!
Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace!
Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it by email (although Word Press wouldn't let me comment), and I hope you'll consider following Saved by Grace also:
Love in Him,
Hi Katie! Thanks for your comment & for hosting!
Blessings to you,
Thanks so much, Kendra, for following & for hosting!
May you have a blessed weekend,
God Bless, Thank you for sharing at the hop xo
I love your post and am looking forward to the next installment.
Time to shine! Share your favorite post of the week at Friday Flash Blog Hop with The Jenny Evolution! Visit http://www.thejennyevolution.com.
Thanks, Katherine, for your comment & for hosting!
God bless you too!
Thanks so much, Rosey! I just posted the next installment, so I hope you'll check it out!
Have a blessed week in Him,
Thanks for the invite, Jennifer! I've linked up & am following you, & I hope you'll consider a follow-back.
Wow. Nice. Love knowing this. Linda
Thanks so much, Linda, for your encouraging comment! Blessings to you,
Thank you for sharing this. I saw you at the Aloha Friday blog hop and I am your newest follower in GFC from http://inhighheelsanddogtags.blogspot.jp/. I look forward to seeing you over at my blog next :)
Thanks so much, Ala, for your comment and for following! I'm following you back!
Hi, I would like to Thank you for joining the fun at Linkin' with my Ladies Blog Hop last week.
We are inviting you to join us again if you haven't linked up yet. It is now live.
All the best to your blog and hope to see you at the hop.
Blog Hop Link:
Thanks, Judy, for the invite! I just linked up!
Great post! It was a blessing to read. May our Lord and Savior continue to bless and guide you sister. :-)
Thanks Sateigdra! I appreciate your visit & kind words. May God bless you and your ministry richly!
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