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In the understanding of the gospel about Jesus, it is basic that one comes into terms with the understanding of His teachings. Many people inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote about Jesus and this is evident in the many scriptures which talk about the coming, works, death and resurrection of Jesus.
In the Old Testament, we had Isaiah who prophesized the coming of the Son of God and in the New Testament we had John the Baptist who talked immensely about Jesus Christ and he was even the one who prepared Jesus coming by baptizing people. John the Baptist talked about several things in connection To Jesus by telling people to believe and know Jesus by receiving Him in their lives. Thus, for John the Baptist salvation and spirit are two inseparable features that define a true believer.
Spirit and salvation are two basic themes that define a believer according to the Gospel of John. In his writings, he defines the essence of the spirit in relation to what human beings term as knowing who Jesus is. According to the theology of John, Jesus was born purposely to the save the human kind from the wrath of God that would arise during judgment day.
John emphasized to people that speaking of Jesus and His great works was not a clear indication that they had accepted Him in their lives. The people were to believe in Jesus by ensuring they got baptized in water and spirit. In the same book of John, he uses the example of Lazarus whose sister cried out saying that if Jesus had been there, he would not have died.
In this case, we can say that this woman believes in Jesus but after Jesus arrives at the scene something different occurs. When Jesus orders for Lazarus to be taken into the Tomb then the stone taken away, Martha screams out “he stinks” this shows that however much she claimed to know Jesus as one from God, she did not really believe in Him. Thus, this raises a question of concern, do human beings who claim to be believers really believe in the salvation of Jesus Christ?
In the theology of john, many things have been explained by him in relation to the aspects of spirit and salvation. Let’s first of all look at the way John perceives salvation. Salvation is not a matter of claiming to speak about Jesus as many human beings term it. He is against the hypocrisy that individuals posses in relation to the knowing of Jesus.
In chapter, 2; 23-25, he said that “people believed in the signs that Jesus was doing but Jesus did not believe them” this is no doubt, a clear indication that even Jesus himself knew that many would talk about His great works but they had no commitment to Him.1 It is then clear that both John the Baptist and Jesus had the same views on salvation and that is why, Jesus put emphasis on people being reborn of water and spirit.
Salvation is not all about speaking loudly of what you know about Jesus but it is showing through actions that you believe in Him even without His physical presence. In the same view of having salvation, John reflects on the crucifixion of Jesus which was set from the word go and says that, it was through God’s love that Jesus suffered and was crucified by the people in order for salvation to come to the people of the earth. This explains the reason as to why; John cautions both the believers and non-believers by telling them that the consequence of choosing not to follow the ways of Christ is eternal death.
The aspect of spirit is also a matter of concern according to the views of John. In his book, he talks of Jesus as the main demonstrator of the spirit. Indeed, we are told that no person even holy enough can outdo the power of Christ. He is the physical symbol of the Holy Spirit and even on his death, He tells his disciples not to worry as He would send a protector, supporter and comforter. All these adjectives are used to refer to the Holy Spirit.
For human beings to claim to have the Holy Spirit, john says that, such a situation is defined by the close relationship that one has with God. Therefore, having the Holy Spirit is demonstrated by the ability of a person to obey the will of the lord Jesus and not just speaking about it. The spirit and salvation go hand in hand in the affirmation of true Christianity and individuals who would celebrate at the second coming of Jesus Christ are those who act like believers and not talk like believers.
For an individual to claim salvation, he must have been filled by the spirit which was sent by Jesus after He left to be with God. Since the spirit is not something visible, the believers of Christ are urged to show its presence through actions.
Enns, P, The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2008.
1 Enns, P, The Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2008), 135.