By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
STEP #1 – NEW BIRTH
When we come to God through Jesus Christ we are born anew:
“But to all who received [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13)”
“By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. And to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” (I Peter 1:3,4)
As obedient children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you, be holy yourselves in all your conduct, since it is written. “You shall be holy as I am holy.” (I Peter 1:14-16)
“Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” (I Peter 2:2,3)
New birth implies life, and life implies growth, and growth leads to maturity and responsibility. We should be eager to learn from God, to learn from the scriptures. Our thinking, our speaking, our acting should be formed from what God teaches us in his word. We should develop good spiritual habits: Daily reading of the Bible; regular participation in Sunday worship, being with God in our families, in our studies, in our work, in our recreation. We should learn from Christians whom we have admired.
Step #2 – SANCTIFICATION
Sanctification is the process of spiritual growth; very important to our continuing relationship with our Savior. It is good for us. It is good for our families and friends. It is good for the cause of Christ. It is good for the world in which we live. It is good for the future of our lives. This requires trust in God, and a heart for his purposes.
“But you were washed, you were sanctified you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our God.” (I Corinthians 6:11) “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, behold the old has passed away, behold the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (II Corinthians 5:17,18)
“…God chose you from the beginning to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel so you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Thessalonians 2:13,14)
Sanctification is God’s process to prepare us for Heaven.
Step #3 – GLORIFICATION
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (II Corinthians 3:18) “We have renounced disgraceful underhanded ways, we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (II Corinthians 4:2)
“Then he showed me the river of the water of the bright as crystal flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There shall no more be anything accursed, but the throne of Lord and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall worship him; they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads. And night shall be no more; they need no light or lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:1-5)
We believe the word of the Lord speaks for itself!