Faith and surrender
I’ll start with your second question. The Bible is called “the Word of God”, which means that this is the prime way through which God speaks to us. The more we study the Bible the more God speaks to us and informs us through His Word. Most people go through their entire lives not hearing God speak to them audibly, but God definitely also speaks to us through the “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit. Someone will say that his conscience is bothering him, but this is actually the voice of the Holy Spirit working in the life. Ask God to make you more aware of the Holy Spirit’s voice speaking to you. As you become aware of God impressing you, the more you respond the more you will hear God speak.
The Biblical view of the Christian life is a life totally surrendered to God, which means that the Holy Spirit lives in a person and God works in and through that individual. This effectively means that one’s will is given up to God, and God leads in every decision in the life. The more you surrender, the more God will transform you and the more your faith will grow. Look at the sequence given in the following passages of Scripture:
Galatians 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Romans 6: 3-6 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
John 3: 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Romans 12: 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Luke 9: 23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
1 Corinthians 15: 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Titus 3: 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
Ezekiel 36: 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Philippians 2: 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
According to the Bible, a Christian has to have a complete character transformation, a new birth, if he/she is to enter the heavenly kingdom. This means that the “old man”, the sinful human nature, must die, be crucified with Christ. God requires us to be transformed, a work which He wants to do for us and in us, but first He needs the will to be surrendered to Him. This requires a daily “dying” to self, a daily reconsecration to Him. Practically that means that we have to start out each day by speaking to God and handing our lives totally to Him. He promises to give us a new heart, and to pour His Holy Spirit into us, so that we can be led by Him in each and every decision in our lives. In this way we are no longer slaves to sin, but Christ lives and works in and through us. God knows that we can of ourselves not become any better, so He is willing to change us. All we have to do is accept the death of Jesus on our behalf, and then surrender the life totally to Him.
The more time you spend with God, praying and studying the Bible, the more you will get to know Him. This intimate relationship with Him is the main requirement for living with God forever.
John 17: 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
God bless as you turn over your life to Him on a daily basis, and allow Him to transform you more and more into His image, building your faith as you get to know Him in a special relationship!
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