How to Receive the Gift of Eternal Life
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord – Romans 6:23

At this moment you are a questioning child. God has placed the desire to know Him within your being and He is drawing you to Him. He begins by washing you with His Word, for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God – Romans 10:17. You must first understand and believe the beautiful Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach; that if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation – Romans 10: 8-10.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him might be saved – John 3:16, 17.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord – Romans 6:23.
He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed – Isaiah 53:5.
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly – Romans 5:6.
Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, (The Atonement) to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say at this time His righteousness: that He might be just and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus – Romans 3:24-26.

Now that you have believed, you need to receive, that is repent. We must realize that we have sinned, confess our sins to the Lord and be willing to turn from them, and allow God to begin His sanctifying work to change you into the person He desires you to be. In this, God is no different than any good parent who wants the best for His children.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent - Acts 17:30.

There are several words in the Greek language in the New Testament that describe repentance. The first is Metamelomai which means a change of mind that produces remorse or regret for sin, but does not produce a change of heart. This word is used to describe Judas’ repentance. I think we can all do much better than that.

The word metanoeo is used to denote a change of mind and heart after knowledge. This verb is used with the cognate noun metanoia and is utilized to describe a true repentance of a changed life, desires and purpose. This is the repentance that appropriates the atonement through which grace and forgiveness of sins are imparted, and this is the kind of genuine repentance that God is seeking for in the hearts of those who come to Him. –

You seek the Lord while He may be found, you call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon – Isaiah 55:6, 7.
     You repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out – Acts 3:19.

Through faith and repentance you have begun a dialogue with God in prayer and through this prayer, you make a formal invitation to receive Jesus into your heart as you ask Him to forgive you of your sins and your relationship with God begins. Your sins are cleansed and the “Breath” of the Holy Spirit is received for the sanctification of your soul. At this point you are “saved” and are ready to begin your walk with God. – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life – Titus 3:5-7.
     But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth - II Thessalonians 2:13.

The Scriptures tell us that there are three dispensations of the Holy Spirit, the first is for sanctification – John 20:22. The second is the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” or “full immersion” of the Spirit, which is for equipping. Here God bestows upon the believer gifts of His Spirit to help you in your walk with Him and to minister to others – Acts 2:1-4. The Spirit can also be received in subsequent dispensations for renewal to refresh and renew us in our walk with God when we need reinforcement – Acts 4:31.
        Some believers receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit upon initial belief, with others the Baptism of the Spirit can arrive at a later time. I believe that God intends the believer to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with water baptism, but God’s Spirit can arrive upon the believer before water baptism as the Scriptures indicate – Acts 10:44-47.

It is God’s will and purpose for you to have His best and that includes all of His Spirit and subsequent giftings - Quench not the Spirit – I Thessalonians 5:19. Continue to ask Him for the Baptism of His Spirit. It is always there for you because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance – Romans 11:29, which means they cannot be recalled, they are always available, even if they are not appropriated. (If you have had any involvement in the occult, do not seek the Baptism of the Spirit until you have been walking with the Lord for a long time and have had counseling from a qualified deliverance minister).

Now that you have been washed by the Word, and you have asked Jesus into your heart, you are ready to make a covenant with Him by water baptism. This is the “betrothal ceremony,” the baptism into Christ, the commitment you make to walk with Jesus for the rest of your life as you await "The marriage supper of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:9).

We can be technically saved by faith without water baptism, but we cannot receive the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls, without remaining in the faith. This is the commitment that water baptism represents, and the commitment that God requires.

Water baptism is the fruit of a genuine repentance. When we are water baptized we are formally acknowledging our willingness to identify with Christ’s death and burial. When we rise up out of the water, we are symbolically leaving our old lives behind. We are making a commitment to God to become fully submerged in His Spirit and we cannot become the new creatures He desires us to be without this commitment. To the first century Christians and Apostles, water baptism was synonymous with receiving Christ. Just as a genuine faith will produce fruit and a changed life, a genuine repentance will submit to this divinely appointed ordinance. A true believer does not need to be convinced He needs this commitment of water baptism, the Spirit compels him into the waters of obedience - and everywhere else the Spirit leads him for the rest of his life.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me – John 10:27.

My children, know this - you are loved, you are not forsaken and though the road of this life is difficult and exacting, you have the promise of something that is so much better. Do not neglect the offering of God’s heart to yours.
        You are loved.

Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father, except through Me. - Jesus John 14:1-3, 6

Copyright 2011 by H.D. Shively

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