Salvation is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This new birth (sometimes called regeneration) is a work of God’s grace that literally makes us different people than we were before—new creatures in Christ Jesus.
As the Holy Spirit convinces us that we are sinful, and as we respond by turning away from our sins and turning to God, He performs a change of heart in us, and we accept Jesus Christ by faith and commit our whole selves to Him. In this transaction we are justified, our record wiped clean by God’s grace—with Christ’s righteousness being put in its place—giving us a pure relationship of peace and favor with God.
For the rest of our lives, then, we who have been redeemed are in the process of sanctification, being set apart for God’s purposes, progressing toward moral and spiritual perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. We’ll never quite get there on earth, but we look forward to the ultimate reward of our salvation—glorification—eternal life in heaven with God.
The Gift New Testament…© 2002 Holman Publishers