Isaiah 59:20-21 "The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those
in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD. "As for me, this is my covenant with them,"
says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that
I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the
mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from
this time on and forever," says the LORD.
The Redeemer comes to those who repent. Repentance from sin is
characteristic of those who have been redeemed. Though He desires all
men to be saved, He saves them not on their terms but on His.
Recognizing sin and intending to eliminate it from one's life is a
prerequisite attitude for those who would be redeemed. Conviction of sin
is an essential part of the gospel. Though perfect behavior is not the
condition for salvation, else it would be of works, the attitude, the
intention, the desire for such is, as is pledging allegiance to Jesus as
LORD. One is reminded of Zacchaeus who stood up
and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my
possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I
will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today
salvation has come to this house" Luke 19:8,9a Zacchaeus
had announced his intention to repent. He had revealed his attitude with
regards to sin and the Lordship of Christ. Yet it was before he had
taken action on such intentions that he was declared saved.
Consequently, don't presume that because you call yourself
a "Christian" or that you have "prayed to receive Christ" or go to church
regularly that you are saved, if in fact you have sin habits in you life. For "no
one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains
in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God." 1John 3:9
Similarly it is characteristic of the redeemed to abide in the Word of the Lord.
Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are
really my disciples." John 8:31 Abiding in His Word results
in fruitfulness - evidence of redemption. "If you
remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it
will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:7,8 To Joshua
He said, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart
from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful
to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."Jos 1:8
So also the Spirit of God is given to the redeemed to remain forever.
Jesus promised, "If you love me, you will obey what
I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another
Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot
accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him,
for he lives with you and will be in you." John 14:15-17
On Pentecost Peter declared among other things, "Repent
and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the
forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off— for
all whom the Lord our God will call." Acts 2:38,39 The Spirit
sanctifies us through the Word, so these go hand in hand.