Romans 8:14-15 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
The work of the Holy Spirit in us does not end at conversion, nor does our relationship with God end at being justified in Christ through His sacrifice for our sins. We gain treasures far beyond what we can even imagine, and none of it is earned or deserved. One of the greatest gifts of all is adoption into God’s family.
Whereas once we were enemies of God because of our sin, in Christ we not only receive reconciliation with the Father, but adoption as one of His own. It’s often said that everyone is a child of God, but biblically speaking only those who are in Christ are truly children of God because we have entered into the family through adoption. We get to become coheirs with Jesus and one day we will share in His glory (Romans 8:17).
God’s use of family terms in His Word to picture His work of redemption is beautiful and meaningful. We may not always grasp the most theological of word pictures, but we can understand what it means to be children with a daddy who loves us. Not just intellectually, but emotionally, as we grow in love for our Father in Christ and fellowship with Him (1 Corinthians 1:9).
Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Conversion is both an event and a process. It occurs, but it continues occurring throughout the life of a Christian. It had divine action as well as human response. Conversion is a sign of, but not the condition of, our justification. We have to be given grace in order to repent and be converted. We can’t obtain our own salvation just through choosing to believe. The power to believe is given through the grace of God and regeneration takes place before we can have faith.
Of all the aspects to the salvation process, this is the first that requires any action of the person; all work up to this point has been done (mostly in secret) by the Holy Spirit in the heart of the regenerate person. Now comes the time to respond to the call. Just to be clear, we must respond but we are not responsible for our own salvation or conversion. Only after we have had a work done in us by God can we even conceive of making the move to respond.
This is the part you may know as “accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior”. The important part here is the acceptance of Him as Lord. An acknowledgement of the need for a Savior is not the same as turning your life over to Christ. Responding to the call of God with repentance and surrender is the beginning of the life-long process of sanctification.
I Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Many and varied are the ways that man tries to get closer to God. New religions spring up all the time, each seeking to find the right way to become whole. Hundreds of self-help books are shelved at each book store, none quite adequately fulfilling our quest. None quite bringing us into that place where we stand in right relationship with our Creator.
It’s sad that we spend so much time searching when the answer our souls seek has already been given. We don’t attain enlightenment by searching within ourselves. We don’t achieve entrance into heaven through doing enough good deeds. There is one way to God and He is Christ Jesus. He is our Savior, our King, our friend. From Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Romans 11:36) and not one thing was created that was not created by Him (John 1:3). He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and only He qualifies to mediate between God and man (John 14:6).We can try to fix ourselves, try to gain knowledge, or try to work our way to righteousness, but in the end it’s all in vain. Only Christ can save us. Only He can set us free (John 8:32).