Belief, the mechanism and timing of and meaning what?

Believing is a must-have for anyone to be saved. We have to believe in God and his promises. By believing, we recognize his sovereignty. Without believing, no one comes to the “kingdom of God”(1). It is a critical key that opens the door to salvation (2). This principle is based on:

Acts 16:31”They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Romans 10:14 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

Believing is indeed a sine-qua-non to salvation. We have to believe that God is who he says he is; that what he promised he has the power to fulfill and that his Son-Jesus is the only “way, the truth and the life”(John 14:6). And, this belief only comes after hearing of evidenced-based proof/faith(3). Moreover, it necessitates someone to preach the true “gospel” before one can hear it.

For emphasis, no one believes unless he first “hears”. And, no one hears unless God opens “spiritual ears” nor “see” unless God opens “spiritual eyes”(Job 42:5; Isaiah 35:5; Matt. 11:5). And the power that brings this about is through the Holy Spirit. Notice the special blessing that comes with believing without seeing with our material eyes:

John 20:29,

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me(visibly), thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen(except with spiritual eyes), and yet have believed.

Moreover, spiritual message is preached of and about God and his promises. Additionally, how can someone preach unless sent to preach? Notice:

Romans 10:15

And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!

Indeed, God has to send preachers or messengers of the gospel:

Hebrews 1:1-2

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe”

As in the Old Testament times with truth expressed in Isaiah 28:10

“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”

And, in these “last days” in the New Testament era, the Father had to send his Son, the “pioneer” (Hebrews 12:2), the YHVH-Creator of the universe, to testify for the finality of the “good news”.

Time for the gospel to be preached has come as in his start of Galilean ministry:

“…Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15

Luke 4:21

And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

All of these steps have to initiate in the “past and in diverse manners” but have to be finalized and completed when the incarnated YHVH Creator has been sent as man-Jesus, again at a particular time, after Spirit-baptism at river Jordan, not before. Then the Father will “draw to him” those who were predestined and called at each dispensation era(4).

John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

When did this mechanism start?

Altogether, the mechanism started even before the foundation of the world as in Ephesians 1:4

“ For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Romans 8:29 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Moreover, Romans 8:30

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified”(NIV).

Ephesians 1:4-5 “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,”

Ephesians 1:11 “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,”

Matt. 22:14

For many are called, but few are chosen.(Those with garment ready to attend the wedding).

From the context, truly “many are called” but “few are chosen” suggests that comparatively only few will have chosen to “attend the wedding with appropriate spirit-composed garment”.

Belief is not enough ?

One does not to have to do any personal “works”, which at best, are “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6-8; Philippians 3:8-9) to God. The Holy Spirit is given to those predestined to have their eyes and ears open spiritually at their own time, for them to “believe”, (accepting the “gospel”).

The mechanism of getting this gift of the Holy Spirit is different from what others have taught on the process of salvation, as in(5):

To use an analogy, if someone offered to send you a $100 bill if you would send him a self-addressed stamped envelope, he would be offering you a gift. Simply believing that he would send you the money would not actually get you the money. And if you failed to send the envelope, you likewise would not receive it. You might complain, but you still would not receive the gift because you had not met the conditions. On the other hand, if you sent the required envelope and received the $100 bill, you did not earn the gift. You simply met the necessary conditions. The fact that conditions are attached makes it no less a gift”.

The big difference from the preceding analogy is that there is no pre-condition attached to this gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a matter of “election “(Romans 8:29, 9:16; Acts 13:48; 2 Thes. 2:13; 2Tim. 1:9; I Peter 1:2), a predestination. Election is unconditional as it does not depend on anything outside of God, such as good works or faith. Whether the person likes it or not, the gift of the Holy Spirit for our “ears and eyes to open spiritually” has been planned and given to the predestined for a predetermined dispensation era and that decision was made “from the foundation of the world”. Notice that anytime the Holy Spirit was given, whether to do miracles or guide people, it always depended on no one else’s decision but God’s. This is sovereignty on display. Remember it was God who chose the time(Acts 2:1-47) to show his power in a most amazing way, on the day of Pentecost? This is how we should look at what “gift” means. What one does whether to accept or reject the in-dwelling of this gifted Holy Spirit is the person’s responsibility and of free will. Those who were not predestined to get this gift at this dispensation, will have their time in the future and after the Millenium rule of Jesus on earth.

Summary

For justice and fairness, “time and chance happen to all”(Eccl. 9:11) thereby foreknowing and predestinating all at their own time to “be called”; first the “firstfruits(Romans 8:23) then the “latterfruits”(Rev. 20:4-5). The prequel of this gospel was given through the prophets of old and in the “latter days” given directly by the Chosen One himself, Jesus. And, with the Father sending Jesus (the captain, pioneer, trailblazer), as predestined, to preach the gospel. Preachers, like disciples and apostles, of this “gospel of Jesus “ then have to be sent to those “called” (the predestined ones) during this era. The gift of the Holy Spirit will be given to those predestined to “hear and see” spiritual truths at their appointed time. With ears able to hear and eyes able to see by and through the Holy Spirit, we then believed voluntarily; others may reject to their peril. Belief is a “mental acceptance” that is the aftermath of giving this gift of the Holy Spirit that opens spiritual ears and eyes. No other action yet has been done by the “believer” when the Holy Spirit was given. No “works” yet, hence, a gift. But, with the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the predestined (at time appointed), called-out, justified person, then comes sanctification to be “one” with the Father through the end; persevere as overcomers with Jesus, the Elder Brother(Heb 2:11). Only those who persevere in “bearing fruits of the Holy Spirit” will be rewarded and glorified with the promised spirit-composed garment/clothing consistent with immortality and salvation from eternal death. Then, we say: 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 King James Version (KJV)

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God bless🙏😇

References

1. What is the Kingdom of God?Retrieved 7/29/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/07/20/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god/

2. Salvation Series-1, What? Retrieved 7/29/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/

3. Faith vs hope, wishful thinking, trust?Retrieved 8/2/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/27/faith-vs-hope-or-wishful-thinking/

4. Resurrection. Retrieved 8/3/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/05/18/resurrection/

(5) Is Belief All That’s Required for Salvation? Retrieved 8/4/18 at

https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/you-can-have-living-faith/is-belief-all-thats-required-for-salvation

Original post: August 5, 2018