In order to enter into the Kingdom of God, one must possess God's Holy Spirit. Man is mortal, subject to death. We are not born possessing eternal life, there is a process we must go through to receive God's Holy Spirit. We must repent of our sins, be convicted of our need for salvation and be baptized. This simple truth has remained a mystery to the masses and is the reason why Christianity has failed for so many (Colossians 1:26,27). The reason for this is that God's matters are discerned and understood with ďChrist in youĒ, that is, God's Holy Spirit within you. We cannot please God or change our life without His guiding Spirit. Only those who possess God's Holy Spirit are recognized by God as being true Christians (Romans 8:7, 9). Those who think all you have to do is say; ďI trust the LordĒ are misguided.
Letís review this process for receiving His Spirit. Recapping what we learned in lessons 1-3, we must first repent of our sins. It is a sin to break GodĎs commandments. (1 John 3:4). We must repent of rebelling against God. We must desire and actually begin to literally obey His Word, submitting to His authority over our lives by keeping His commandments. After belief and sincere, heartfelt, deep repentance of sin, the next step toward receiving Godís Spirit is Water Baptism. Baptism is an outward symbol of our repentance of our old sinful, disobedient life - turning away from our old sinful way of living and our willingness now to obey God in every way.
Once you have sincerely accomplished these steps, then you are unconditionally promised God's Holy Spirit, through the laying on of hands of one of Godís ministers (Acts 8:17). Christ came to reveal the way to receive Godís gift of eternal life. Jesus taught that unless we receive and retain the Holy Spirit, we can never hope to enter the Kingdom of God - to live forever (Romans 8:11). We are to guard this precious Spirit with our life. When we receive Godís Spirit we begin a new life of spiritual growth, of replacing our selfish human nature with Godís divine nature. This takes a miracle and can only be achieved with His Spirit (Romans 8:26). Godís Spirit helps us in our weakness, guiding us in prayer and understanding.
In the next lesson, we will cover the process of conversion.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
John 3:3-8 Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 7:38-39 They who believe on Jesus shall receive Godís Spirit.
Acts 2:38-41 Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and receive the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:1-17 There is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, but we shall be changed at the last trump.
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