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My formative years in the Christian faith were spent in Baptist churches. Faith wasn’t a private issue but something we had a responsibility to share. The altar call, the baptismal water, the gospel tract, and the Billy Graham Crusade all had the same goal. We wanted people to come to Jesus and be saved. The salvation offered through the sinner’s prayer or the Roman Road is the salvation of the spirit of man. It is the salvation that makes all others possible and is the one that cannot be lost. It is the salvation in view when we share one of the most familiar salvation quotes from the Master Himself.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. KJV

The spirit of man is the heart of man. This correlation of spirit and heart appears in multiple Scriptures through parallelism. David sang, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Ps. 34:18) God’s chosen king famously prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps. 51:10)

Israel’s shema’ when correlated to 1 Thessalonians 5:23 also shows the spirit/heart connection.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart [spirit], and with all thy soul [soul], and with all thy might [body]. KJV

The salvation of the spirit is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). Saving faith in Jesus springs from the heart.

Romans 10:9-10
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. KJV

Faith is a theologically charged word that in church-speak carries more mystical weight than “belief” even though both words mean the same thing. Man believes to righteousness with his heart. This is the righteousness of faith expounded on by Paul in his letter to the church in Rome.[1] As discussed in previous posts, prior to salvation our spirits were dead, separated from the life of God. When we believe in the Lamb of God and confess Him as Lord, our spirits are regenerated, brought to life, and the Son shines in our hearts.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. KJV

When we speak of being “born again,” we know we have not crawled back into the womb. It is in the spirit that we are brought to life, born.

John 3:6-7
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. KJV

Spirit gives birth to spirit. Our first birth was through corruptible seed. Absent the Rapture, we will all see death. But our rebirth in the spirit is incorruptible. It does not die or corrode. It is regenerated to eternal life. Living forever requires an animating force that does not dissipate and is not susceptible to corrosion.

1 Peter 1:23
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. KJV

One of the ways we preserve food is by sealing it off from oxygen and microbes. When our spirits were brought to life through salvation in Jesus, the Father sealed our hearts from corrosion through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit within us.

Ephesians 1:13
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, KJV

As spirit children of our Father in heaven, we have an inheritance through birthright.

1 Peter 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. KJV

The inheritance we have obtained from the Father is reserved in heaven for us and is incorruptible. Without the righteousness which is by grace through faith, the walk of sanctification and the ultimate redemption of our bodies would not be possible. The salvation of the spirit is the foundation of the salvations of man.

We have seen that we have an inheritance that will not fade away. God has it in the vaults of heaven for us where moths can’t eat it and rust can’t touch it. But there are other inheritances that stand to be gained or lost depending on our walk with the Lord in this life.

Colossians 3:23-25
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. KJV [Emphasis added.]

Gifts are given, rewards are earned. Our inheritance through reward is the subject of the salvation of the soul which, Lord willing, we shall take up in the next installment.

[1] Rom. 4.