The sure sign of salvation is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Everything else is secondary.
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:12
You may be saying to yourself, “But that’s Jesus. Where does the Spirit fit into this picture?” To answer that question, we go to 2 Corinthians 3:17, which says,
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Freedom from what? From bondage, from sin, from deception, from self, from death, to name a few. Jesus made a bold claim in John 5:24,
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
- Jesus’ words hold life.
- Believing that God sent Jesus to us is necessary in believing Jesus’ words.
- The person who believes (trusts in, relies on) Jesus bypasses judgment.
- Passing from death to life is the ultimate “fix.” It includes setting the bound free, cutting the sin-entangled loose, clearing the mind of the deceived, turning the selfish outward, and of course, giving life to the dead.
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Gospel. His truth sets us free (John 8:32, 36). If we could live right here in this truth, we would do great, but that’s not the way of humanity. People add all kinds of things to the truth and weigh it down. They conjure up all kinds of beliefs and pass them off as absolute truth. Even sincere people interpret Scripture differently, differently enough to cause a breach in fellowship.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, let’s do as Paul commanded in Ephesians 4:2-3,
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
We all have the Holy Spirit, so we can trust Him to patiently, gently, slowly, and eventually make all things clear to us (Philippians 3:15-16). If we make it all about Jesus, we don’t have to worry about someone’s salvation when they believe differently about peripherals. Jesus will help us “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and help us to run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
We can do this. Are you ready?
Abba, You have called us to love one another as You have loved us. Help us to see each other as Your beloved children and as fellow siblings. May we stop looking for the things that separate us and start looking for the things that unite us, namely Christ. What a different world it would be if we started loving each other as You love us. Count me in, Lord. Amen.