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What is the role of Christ's resurrection and the Holy Spirit in salvation?
Before Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, he has promised his disciples, that they will live because he lives (John 14:19). Although his disciples did not understand what he was saying, he meant that he was about to die1. The death and resurrection of Christ is a demonstration of the great love that he holds for humanity. As noted in the gospel of John 15:13, there is no other greater love than that for which someone lays down his own life for the sake of his friends. The death and resurrection of Christ is very important in the salvation that God promised human kind after the fall at the garden of Eden2. The death and resurrection represent the foundational step in God’s plan for saving human kind. Jesus’ sacrifice provides an opportunity for every human being to have their sins washed away by the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. This way, a person can become friends with God the father and Jesus the son.
It is worth noting that God is holy. After creation of humankind, man sinned which created a distance between him and God3. God is kind and he promised that the will restore human kind to him. Restoration of human kind to God is salvation. God honoured his promise by sending his own son Jesus. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice that restored human kind to God. Through death and resurrection, any one who believes in him shall not perish. Instead, they will have the gift of eternal life. Before Jesus came to the world, people used to offer animal sacrifices for the atonement of their sins4. This was done through the priests. This meant that every time a person went against the law of Moses, they would have to offer some sacrifice as provided for in the law. The death and resurrection of Jesus brought this to an end. He became the final and ultimate sacrifice through which the sins of human kind are atoned. Through the blood that he shed on the cross, human beings can have their sins atoned and become friends with God. His resurrection is important to salvation as it is a testimony that we believe in a God who is able to overcome the power of death. In other words, it is a demonstration that through salvation, death has no power. After life on earth, we do not die completely. Rather, those who believe and are saved will live with God forever.
The holy spirit plays a great role in salvation of humankind. It is worth noting that the holy spirit plays a fundamental role in the salvation of an individual5. It is the spirit who convinces an individual to believe in God and his saving power. He causes the person to see the gospel in a clear way and understand the great power that God has. Those who are convinced by the holy spirit are rewarded. Their reward is as promised in the scriptures. They receive the gift of eternal life. In addition, they also attain a new nature. As apostle Paul notes in his letter to the Romans, he who is in Christ is a new being6. The former self goes and is replaced by a new nature, the nature of Christ. Therefore, the holy spirit plays a key role in convincing individuals to become believers.
The holy spirit also plays a significant role in uniting the believer and Christ. After ensuring this union, the holy spirit further places the believer in the body of Christ, that is, the church. It is worth noting that salvation is not a one-day process. It is a journey that a believer walks from the time of believing until they depart from this world. The holy spirit is very important in this walk. The holy spirit controls the believer who submits themselves to the word of God. The holy spirit is not a temporary dweller in the life of a believer. He stays with the believer permanently enabling him to successfully overcome sin. This does not mean that the believer cannot sin however. Sometimes, the believer may sin which grieves the holy spirit. Although, this may happen, the holy spirit will never leave a true believer. The relationship between the holy spirit and a true believer in analogous to that of protective father and a child. The holy spirit seals the life of a believer to ensure that they receive eternal life and other God’s promises. It follows that it is impossible for a person to be saved in the absence of the holy spirit. The mark of a believer is the presence of the holy spirit. Absence of the holy spirit in the life of an individual simply means that they are not saved.
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