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The Making of a Saint
The word of God provides an avenue through which man can reach out spiritually and have an encounter with God. This overrides other methods employed by man in his attempt to get to God. The steps highlighted below systematically explain how we can achieve this goal, which ultimately makes us saints after we sincerely commit our lives to the Lord.
A Plea to mankind to search for higher knowledge and the fear of God
God urges mankind to reach out to him for higher knowledge through a passionate search similar to the one man uses when searching for money or precious things. Such a search leads us into understanding the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom. He implores man to turn away from evil towards a deeper understanding of God’s plan for mankind. We have to prove our urgent and sincere need to discover the truth if God is to let us know him. The knowledge of God readily comes to those who search for it. God likens the spirit inside man to a candle.
Proverbs 2: 1-6; 3: 7,13; 9: 10; 20: 27say “My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding, Yea, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, Then shall you understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly”.
Lighting up the candle (man’s spirit)
Man’s spirit remains unlit until he gets a visitation from God. God wants us to know that our spirits are lit by the entrance of his word. It is only then that we begin to understand who God is, what plans he has for us and where we stand in his plan. This is stated in Psalms 119: 130which says “The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple”
The first fourteen verses (John 1: 1-14) introduce the divine nature of Jesus from the beginning as recorded in Genesis. John affirms: That he who was afterwards manifest as the Christ existed before creation began; that he was present with God; that he was divine; that he was the Word; that by or through him were all things made that were made. God exhibits his creative power through the Word, and manifests his will through the Word. God creates and speaks to man through the Word. As we clothe our thoughts in words, God reveals his will by the Word, how the Word is clothed in flesh, as the Teacher of men, we recognize it as Jesus Christ.
We need faith to understand, hear and commune with God
Every person is given a measure of faith. But how does faith come to man? Romans 10: 17states “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. When Christ is preached, the by product to the listener is faith.
How to please God
Hebrews 11: 6 explains to how we can please God through the statement “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
A map of Israel
Under what conditions can we see or enter the kingdom of God?
Jesus explains to Nicodemus the circumstances under which we are able to see or enter into the kingdom of God in John 3: 1-7 as stated below;
“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.” In verse 5 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.
Nicodemus, like all Jews, supposed that all who were born as children of Abraham would, as Abraham's seed, be citizens of the kingdom, but Jesus shows him that no one can be a new creature in Christ Jesus unless he is born anew. We are born naturally into the kingdom of nature, to live the natural life; if we enter the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of grace, it must be by a new birth.
The birth of the Spirit refers to the inward or spiritual change that takes place, and all candid authorities agree that born of water refers to baptism. John the Baptist baptized both Jew and Gentile as a sign of purification by repentance from past sins. In verse 7, Jesus emphasized this aspect by saying “Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again”. Two things are highly emphasized: the spirit must be renewed; we must be baptized.
True worship to God must be in the spirit
John 4: 24 attests to this fact through the statement; “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." It is imperative to understand that spiritual worship can be offered in any land, wherever the soul can humble itself before God.
The role of Jesus in the new birth
Jesus himself proclaims the role he plays in our endeavor to reach out to God the father in John 14: 6 which states;
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me”. Not only can no one enter the Father's house without him, but no man can come to the Father on earth so as to enjoy his favor. "There is no other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Being born again or renewed
Romans 10: 8-10 explains the process of being born again by stating; “But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart, that is, the word of faith which we preach”.
The gospel is at hand. Faith in it, nourished in the heart and openly confessed, will secure salvation. If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The faith of the heart must be openly confessed. This is a test of the faith. Unless Christ had provided such tests as confession and obedience we could not know whether ours was really a belief of the heart. That our faith moves us to confession is to us an assurance of salvation. The whole Christian life is a confession.
Completing the spiritual birth by inviting Christ
Revelation 3: 20 explains how the believer must welcome Christ into their hearts in order to fellowship spiritually with him.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Jesus must literally walk into your spirit to commune with you if we are to see or enter into the kingdom of God. Nevertheless, men will always sincerely use religion to try to see, enter and even get to God despite his having given guidelines. We can only say “Best of luck” if there is anything like “luck” in spiritual terms, which I doubt.
Receive Christ by faith to light up the candle of your spirit, new Christians are advised to undergo a water baptism, a mark of the change they have experienced. The baptism of the Holy Spirit follows thereafter. Do not be surprised that I say “Ye must be born again to enter the kingdom of God”.