God made us in His likeness.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;
We, therefore, are triune beings: SPIRIT, SOUL, and BODY. When we sinned, our spirits died. That is why we need to be “born-again” because we are spiritually “dead” until that point.
The spirit dies when we sin. Death, in the Hebrew, means “separation”. This is separation from God who is LIFE.
When one believes in the LORD Jesus Christ, one receives this new spirit. It is the Spirit that brings life because we are now ONE in Christ.
However, Christians have three stages of salvation, just as we are triune:
WE ARE SAVED
WE ARE SAVED at one-point being “born-again” of the SPIRIT. (John 3; Ephesians 1:13; Romans 8:9); This is the work of God.
WE ARE BEING SAVED
WE ARE BEING SAVED in our SOULS. (1Peter 1:8b-9; 2:2 BSB; James 1:21) This “soul” salvation requires study of His Word, prayer, singing psalms, faith, hope, agape love, etc. If one minimizes these aspects of the Christian life in this time on earth, one will be missing out on eternal rewards, NOT eternal life! (1 Cor 3:8-15) We should be “walking in the Spirit”, and then we will maximize these traits!
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
WE WILL BE SAVED
WE WILL BE SAVED at the last resurrection in our BODIES. (Romans 8:23; 1 Cor 15:20-23) This is the work of God. Glory HalleluYAH!
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
See my book “Joy is a Jewel” for further explanation.
Referenced Scriptures (NKJV unless noted):
John 3:3-8 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…. 8 The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
1 Peter 1:8 (BSB) Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 now that you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 2:2 (BSB) Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
1 John 3:9 (CEV) God’s children cannot keep on being sinful. His life-giving power lives in them and makes them his children, so they cannot keep on sinning.
1 Corinthians 3:8-15 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
“are being saved” also in 1 Corinthians 1:18 and 2 Corinthians 2:15
Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Romans 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
1 Corinthians 15:20-23 20But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.