THE BIBLE TEACHES US THAT WE ARE SAVED BY THE SPIRIT:
We are not made sons and daughters of God by our choice, our ability to discern the spiritual goodness of God or believe the Gospel. This ability to receive the Gospel is “lead by the Spirit.”
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Ro 8:14)
The Gospel is “revealed” “unto us by the Spirit.”
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Cor 2:10-13)
“no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (1 Cor 12:3)
The Spirit “giveth life.”
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (2 Cor 3:6)
The Spirit releases us from bondage and gives us freedom.
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor 3:17-18)
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE SPIRIT GIVES US REGENERATION:
The Lord performs the act of giving a new heart and it’s not contingent on the free will of man.
And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. (Deut 30:6)
How did you get to where you are today, sitting in church on Sunday’s, reading your Bible, struggling to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength?
God brought you to where you are today. He gave you a knew heart. It was God that brought you to a place where you can believe on His dear son Jesus Christ.
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: (Eze 11:19)
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Eze 36)
I’ll include a handy graphic that explains the order of salvation as presented in scripture.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1)
You cannot control the operations of the Holy Spirit, not by your will or choice. God will do as He pleases and brings salvation to those He chooses.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:3-8)
The Spirit brings us to faith by raising the spiritually dead, giving them life…(pisst, that’s what Calvin believed)
For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. (Joh 5)
The Holy Spirit moves us from a state of spiritual death and decay to life.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (2 Cor 5;17-18)
It doesn’t matter what you do you cannot impress God. You can perform works, you may be a nice person, you could even claim to have faith but without the new birth performed by the Holy Spirit it means nothing. The Holy Spirit must move a “dead” sinner to life and belief.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Gal 6:15)
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Eph 2:5)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10)
The Bible teaches that due to sin fallen man cannot believe in the Gospel.
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (Col 2:13)
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Tit 3:15)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Pet 1:3)
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Pet 1:23)
In our fallen state the Holy Spirit regenerates our soul. This is a gracious act of God. Amen.
Yours in the Lord,