Tag: Church of Christ

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 12

As a young preacher, the only thing that one ever heard when anointing was mentioned, came from   the Pentecostal denomination and the Holiness. The idea of anointing is throughout the entire Bible. The act of pouring fragrant oil over the head of the one to be anointed is often seen in the Old Testament. In Exodus 29:7 the Bible says: “then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and poor upon his head, and anoint him.” Then we read in Psalms 133:1-2, “it is like precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments as the dew from Mt. Herman, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing even life forevermore.” Aaron nor any of his sons were allowed to minister unto the Lord till they were anointed with this ointment. Our service is not acceptable to God without this holy effusion: which is described by the word, love. If we do not love, we are nothing. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-2, this is mentioned.  It is like dew, it brings abundance of blessings along with it, it cools the scorching heat of men’s passions like the evening breezes cool the air and refreshes the earth. We who live in love are given peace from the God of love and peace who dwells within us. We know we shall be with him shortly, forever, in a world of endless love and peace. How good then is it, and how “pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”!

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to make us holy. He changes us, if allowed, from something unusable to “vessels meet for the Master’s use.” As the Holy Spirit brooded over the face of the waters in the beginning, He hoovers, changes our hearts, makes the heart a place habitable for God the Father and Christ!  In John 14:23; Hebrews 3:6; and 1 Corinthians 6:19, the Holy Spirit tells us that when in our hearts, He makes the necessary changes within our hearts that allow Deity to stay, dwell within our hearts! If the spirit does not have his way in our hearts and we will not allow Him to make is holy, He will leave us!! Ephesians 4:30

There were three types of men mentioned in the Mosaic system that were anointed: prophets, priest, and Kings. This was not a private ceremony it was a public one.  Exodus 40:13 mentions the anointing of priest. In 1 Samuel 9:16, it tells us the kings were anointed, and 1 Kings 9:16 in tells us of the prophets. This anointing was the privilege of a selected few. Jesus was anointed by God the Father at His baptism, Matthew 3:16-17; Acts 10:38.  Symbolically the Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove and descended. This was the pre-arranged way John the Baptist could know for sure who was the chosen of God. Luke 3:21-22; John 1:31-32. This anointing was to show He who was anointed was given a special post and was endowed by God with authority to perform a special function.  It was a privilege of a select few. As the last bird sent from the Ark, Christ is the last messenger from God. Hebrews 1:1  The dove was the message of the Holy Spirit to bring peace. Ephesians 2:14. The title, Christ, is not a name, but a description which means God’s anointed one!

All Christians are anointed of God. 1 Corinthians 1:21-22. It is said we are anointed and sealed. Anointed, when we received the Holy Spirit, and sealed, by the establishment of a covenant between God and us. There is no literal oil poured on our heads, but what is given is the presence of the Holy Spirit immediately after the resurrection from baptism. Thereafter, we are said to reign as priest and kings. Revelation 5:10; Romans 8:37. All Christians, if they are a Christian, receive this anointing!

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 11

We have discussed before and will now enlarge upon the seal of the Holy Spirit. Three passages mention this function of the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 1:21-22 reads: “now He which establish us with you is Christ, and anointed us, is God; who also sealed us, and gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

Ephesians 1:13: “in whom (that is in Christ), having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”  And Ephesians 4:30 “and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed unto the day of redemption.” Sealing the Christian is not a work of the Spirit. Sealing is the work of the Father and He accomplishes this work by giving the Spirit to the Christian. The Father is the sealer and the Spirit is the seal. The word seal means “to set a mark upon by the impress of the seal, to stamp, to confirm, authenticate.” So, God has approved us as being His by giving us His Spirit!    ! John says: “hereby we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He had given us of His Spirit. 1 John 4:13  You may ask, “how do we know that we have the Spirit as our seal?” The answer is simple, we have God’s word on it, therefore, by knowledge of the Word and faith in Christ, we believe it is surely as true as we believe we have remission of sins, when we have been baptized into Christ. Acts 2:38

Again, the gift of the Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, this is the second thing that Paul says the Spirit is to the Christian. “Now He that hath wrought us for this very thing is God, who gave us the earnest of the Spirit… He is the earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God’s own possession, under the praise of His glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:14   The word earnest means “money given as a pledge that the final amount will subsequently be paid.” So, the Spirit is God’s pledge to us that one day we will be full recipients of all His glory! Romans 8:23; Philippians 3:20-21.  How wonderful, that He has given us His Spirit!   Notice again, this is what the Spirit is to us, not what he does for us. The Spirit, Himself, is the earnest that God has given us in our hearts.

Again, the gift of the Spirit is that motivation that, given to us, is the power that we possess to live godly in Christ Jesus! The faith that the Christian has of the presence of the Spirit within is one of the greatest incentives to godliness that we possess. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, the apostle Paul is pleading with the brethren not to return to a life of fornication, but to flee from it. He uses several wonderful arguments and then concludes by saying, “Or know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God? And you’re not your own; for you are bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.” Knowledge of the Spirit’s indwelling was the power that was to enable the Corinthians to flee fornication, adultery, homosexuality, or any decadent sin that they were  currently committing. Notice: they were instant changes, but a change in the direction the Spirit of God DEMANDS, to not improve, one is “trying the Spirit”!!   Often I am told by young Christians having just been baptized into Christ, that they cannot begin giving or living as Christ commands. The change has been too quick; they cannot alter their finances, they cannot change their plans, their mate is not signed on to this new agreement and they therefore have to change to make things happen for them.  Many feel as though they are a failure, they cannot bring about this change, instantly. We who are older in Christ, have the opportunity to teach them of faith, faith demands improvement, and continue to improve, until perfection. Don’t mock the Spirit until attained!! Christianity is a “work in progress,” but progress MUST describe that work!!

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 10

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for anointed is dashen. That word in its primitive sense meant to be made fat. Figuratively that meant to satisfy. This word is used in Psalms 23, in reference to Jesus Christ. This was an unusual description, because those of the Old Testament covenant were never satisfied, that is sustained an existence of fellowship with God– their sins were never forgiven. It is very unusual that the Spirit is mentioned in the Old Testament Scriptures. We do not wonder then why the disciples that Paul met of John the baptizer in Ephesus, had never heard of the Spirit. Acts 19:1-5.  He was NEVER PROMISED, them!!

The relationship that the individual Christian sustains to the Holy Spirit of God is not only one of the greatest themes of the New Testament, it is one of the most prominent. There are many passages that show a very personal relation between God’s children and God’s Spirit. Jesus had, during His personal ministry, prophesied a new era in which all the believers would be recipients of God’s Spirit. Here is the promise!! “Now on that last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scriptures have said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believed on Him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given: because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39. The words, “for the Spirit was not yet given,” cannot be understood in its absolute sense, many passages indicate that the Spirit had been given in the sense of being with them to empower, lead, influence in some way, but not in them! He had visited but never had residency!! The context of John “from within him shall flow” the original language reads “from out of his belly shall flow.” That is indwelling with a vengeance. So Jesus said that those who came to be covenanted believers in Him would receive the Spirit of God to indwell their bodies, but only after He had been glorified. Then, in His farewell discourse with His apostles, Jesus said, “and I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive; for it receiveth Him not, neither knoweth Him, ye know Him; for He abideth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you desolate: I come unto you.” John 14:16-18   Jesus said the apostle’s relationship to the Spirit of God was going to change-something new is going to occur. The Spirit had been with them, in the person of Jesus, but now He was going to be in them. So now we have it, in the book of John, there was promised two senses, ways, means, that the Spirit would be in those who would be obedient to the gospel of Christ. As the apostle Paul would write: “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:9

In the epistles of Paul particularly, we learn not only the fact of the indwelling but also the function or purpose of the indwelling Spirit of God. To the Galatian brethren the apostle Paul wrote: “and because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Holy Spirit to dwell in your hearts.” Galatians 4:6. To the Corinthians Paul would write: “know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…. which you have from God.” 1 Corinthians 6:19   Finally, Paul said:” therefore he that rejects, rejects not man, but God, who gives us His Holy Spirit.” The 1 Thessalonians 4:8 conclusion is this: “the Holy Spirit of God is God’s gift, given.”  In Acts 5:32; the apostle Peter states “to all them that obey Him.” This is the second time that Peter makes this statement in the book of Acts.  It was the Holy Spirit that was given to all “who repent and are baptized for the remission of sins.” Acts 2:38

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 9

Is the Holy Spirit being distributed here on the earth, at this time? In Luke 11:13 Jesus said: “if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” The question always comes, how do we ask God for the Holy Spirit? Answer-by obeying His word! The way that we obey His word is to follow His commands. His commands are given to quicken the obedient. On the day of Pentecost, when the Jews cried out to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “men and brethren what shall we do?” The answer that followed shows the plan of God had already been made accessible to man by the immediate response that the Holy Spirit gave the apostle Peter, as is recorded by Luke. The answer was “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” They who received the Holy Spirit on that day received what the apostle Paul stated later in Romans the eighth chapter as the “first fruits of the Spirit.” That outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the blessing that God has given to the obedient in the New Testament dispensation. There are many places in the New Testament that the seal of the Holy Spirit is mentioned. 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; Galatians 5:22-23; Revelation 7:3-9. As has already been mentioned, this shows that the Holy Spirit was a gift that God intended to use as the means to identify we that are His by our obedience to His commands.

In the book of Acts 5:32, the apostle Peter is on record as stating “the Holy Spirit is given to all them that obey Him.” The Holy Spirit is a gift from God, He is deity that is sent to reside in the heart of we who have been forgiven of sin, a place prepared because of obedience to the gospel because of the cleaning of our spiritual house by the blood of Christ, our heart, is a place now God has residency, through which  He can direct our lives. The Holy Spirit then truly sits on the throne room of our heart. Sitting here He is able to bless us in a way that only God could have made happen. He speaks to God on our behalf!! In the book of Romans the eighth chapter and the 27th verse, the apostle Paul writes: “likewise the Spirit also help with our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searches the heart, knows  what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the Saints according to the will of God.” If this were not too wonderful to be true it can only be construed to God from whom this came.  What a position that we find ourselves in, when the Holy Spirit has been invited into our hearts to abide. This is beyond our comprehension. Imagine being able to speak to God in God’s language. It is something that all of us have had concerns about when we pray. How can we address deity in a manner that would be acceptable? God the Father has answered the question, He has given us a member of deity as one of the basic ways our needs are expressed to Him. What a beautiful and glorious plan, what a comforting and helpful understanding, to know that we can literally and actually have One who could express on equal terms of communication our hearts to God the Father; but it even gets better than that. The Holy Spirit ask for things we do not know we have need. Asking in that fashion shows that our Christianity is based not only on our obedience to the gospel, which teaches us how to please God and live the Christian life, but also on a fellow-member of deity who expresses those needs in a language that God the Father speaks and prays for things the man in prayer our woman in prayer does not even have an understanding that they need!!

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 8

Countless churches and preachers baptize people. Does that somehow force God to give the Holy Spirit to those people?  Baptism for any reason is not what is commanded! If a person is just dipped in water and the purpose is not that which is determined by the instruction of the Holy Spirit in the written word of God by Christ apostles, is to BREAK the Word of God, and God’s Word CANNOT BE BROKEN!! There is never a connection between denominational baptism and the Holy Spirit! To take for granted that anyone who is baptize receives the Holy Spirit and not asked the question, why were you baptized? promotes this confusion to everyone involved. The only person who can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit is he or she who is baptized by direction, instruction, and command that the Holy Spirit has left us on the written page called the Word of God. But that’s not the question that these people are wanting answered. They want to know WHY they do not see a change in the way their life is lived??

When a person is baptize “into Christ” for the remission of sins and others know them and see no change in their lives, they fault the plan of obedience to the commandment of God, not the heart of the individual! There was nothing wrong with the seed sown, there was nothing wrong with the sower; the fault lies in the heart into which the seed was sown! The difference between the gospel of Christ and the charismatic movements of the day is that when God commands something, the blessings incurred always comes to fruition. The Pentecostals have problems with their religion because some of their people just never seem to get what they’re told that they can receive. They don’t get that bubbly feeling, they don’t get that speaking in tongues, they don’t get the financial blessings promised them. Many things they are promised, they never get, which also includes forgiveness of sin! That being the case, the outside world makes an unfair comparison!! God has “promised to all who obey Him,” the gift of the Holy Spirit!! Acts 5:32  Be it noted we do not get the Holy Spirit we RECEIVE Him as a welcomed guest into our hearts, we receive Him as a gift from God, the Son who has purchased us! We are commanded to “obey from the heart that form of doctrine which is delivered us,” if we do not obey that from the heart, then the heart is never involved in the transaction to begin with. “From the heart the Holy Spirit directs as He resides as a welcome guest, there is no way that He will begin to work on a heart into which He is not been invited TO REIGN! If the Holy Spirit is not there, then the fruits of the spirit can not be used as evidence of Him NOT being there! “Then they that gladly received His word.” speaks to the issue! Before baptism there is a command called repentance, disobey that command and God owes you NOTHING!!

To deny the Holy Spirit the throne room on the seat of our hearts, repentance becomes a word, not a command! For one to change his are her minds after they become Christians and have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and go back to the ways of that from which they came, does not deny that the plan of God did not work! The story of Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8 is a sad story of this truth. There are hundreds of examples that we could cite to show the pity we have in our hearts for they who decided not to remain “in Christ”! But again, that does not deny the fact that He was there! For a child to die after childbirth, does not deny that the child was there!!  To deny a man has become a child of God after he is been baptized into Christ because of the life that he lives afterward, does not deny that he has been born again!!

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 7

To achieve our goal, supplications, deprecation, intercessions and thanksgivings, are to be constantly made, watching with all perseverance, so that we and our fellow soldiers, who fight in the field of life, war a good warfare.

We, who have believed, repented, and been baptized for the remission of sins, God gives His good Spirit. We know this by the changed life we will live. What makes us change our lives but His presence in us.  Abiding in us, the fruits or difference in us can be seen by all. Instead of anger and insult we have love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness of character. This distinguishes the new man from the old and only comes about by our allowing the communication of that Holy Spirit to stay in the heart which He has entered!! The affected change, which can be seen by all, is real!! We literally are not the same person. What used to be natural with us, now no longer is there. Something else is taken it’s place; God has moved in; yes, God now reigns as supreme in our heart!! It is no longer my will, but God’s will that I seek. It is a strange feeling for someone else to direct my life! I no longer feel about things the way I used to feel, I no longer talk the way I used to talk, I no longer intend to live the same life; I am totally a total change!! What has allowed this complete turnaround, the Holy Spirit of God!!

He is this marvelous thing I now have. I am not led by a weak, inefficient, and confused master! I no longer have to be concerned about the decisions I make, for the decisions are made by a molded character that has removed my life from trial and error!!  “Is no longer I that live us, but Christ who lives within me!!”  My steps are ordered by a director who not only is tried and chosen, but is perfect in the prosecution of my life I can’t lose, because He who directs my affairs, is perfect in every aspect of His being!! I have been betrothed to God, seemingly as Abraham’s servant, who acted as an envoy of Abraham whom he sent to a far country to betroth a woman as a wife to his son Isaac. Genesis 24:1-61 The caption that resides over my life is simple, but sweet, I do all things “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” There has been given me what is described in words as the “earnest of the Spirit.” The archaic word earnest referred to something of value given by one person to another to bind the contract. In 2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13; and 2 Corinthians 1:22, we find what has wrought, made, fashioned, prepared for us. Other translations instead of using the word earnest uses the word guarantee, as Paul writes: “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” or, “in whom also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Christ, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” This guarantee is given by one person to another, to bind the contract or agreement. The Holy Spirit is given to the saints as an earnest or pledge, that is as a security or guarantee that they would receive all that had been promised to them. The Greek text, the word in question is arrabon.  It occurs only three times in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit then, is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession. When God the Father betrothed us to His son Jesus, He gave us the Holy Spirit. In the old days, a betrothal was a binding contract regarding marriage. The betrothed woman was given a pledge of high-value, as security of that betrothal. In a similar way, God gives us the Holy Spirit as a pledge, that is, as a guarantee that our betrothal to Jesus would not be broken!! We, who have been baptized into Christ have had our sins forgiven and God has covenanted with us as proof, giving us proof of our marriage to His son, the Holy Spirit!!

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 6

The called that enter the stadium are many, while the chosen who are approved are few; and “many”, says Jesus, ‘shall seek to enter into the eternal city, and shall not be able.’  “Let us labor therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief!”

When anointed with the Holy Spirit, the work of sanctification begins. It is unquestionably a progressive work. When Jesus created the heavens and earth on the first day of creation, it was the Holy Spirit whose job it was to take that which was created and make it a useful habitation for mankind. As impossible as it was to live on this planet until His work was begun, so impossible shall it be for us to live in peace in the after-life with our Lord, if we do not allow Him full reign in changing our hearts!!  Having been made over a new creature in Christ, the job assigned the Holy Spirit by Deity, in the Councils of eternity, was to make you and I habitable for an eternity with God! To sanctify is to set apart; this may be done in a moment, and so far as stating to be done, actuality continues over many years of diligent labor on our part!! It is as instantaneous as baptism, but there is the formation of a holy character to be developed, so we can live in a holy state. The formation of such a character is the work of means, and the Holy Spirit is that means!! “Holy Father”, said Jesus, “sanctify them (My disciples (who are present and they to come), by the truth, Thy word is truth.” Paul writes to the Thessalonican assembly, “and the very God of peace sanctify you, completely.”

Christians are to be different.   We are not to live like, talk like, and be like all men!!  Sanctification, “without which no man shall see the Lord” is the duty assigned our heavenly guest that we might become what we are called, “Christians”.  To “perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord,” requires aid!! The Spirit of God, under the administration of Christ, is the director of all holiness in us. He is called the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of holiness. While the phrase Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit is used many times in Christian scriptures, this description of the third member of Deity, is found only three times in all the Jewish writings. The Holy Spirit is, then, the author of all of our holiness; and in the struggle after victory over sin and temptation, He “helps our infirmities, and comforts us by seasonably bringing to our remembrance the promises of Christ, and strengthens us with all might, in the new or inner man.” And so God works in us “to will and to do of His own benevolence, while we’re working on our own salvation with fear and trembling.” Christians are unequivocably temples of the Holy Spirit; and we’re quickened, animated, and encouraged as we are being sanctified by the power and influence that He has over us, by His changing us through the truth.  If we don’t see a change, we are not “being led by the Spirit”!!

We literally ask for the Spirit of God, as we live according to His commands to do in us what we cannot do, to fill us with more information and drive to become what perfection demands. As He took over and made the earth habitable, He takes over and corrects, directs, and instills in us a love that will make us demand of ourselves obey His law. Without this gift, no one could be saved or ultimately triumph over our avowed enemy, Satan. We who know little of his kind of deceitfulness, and he whom we wrestle against (as he combines the allied forces of the world to bring us back into damnation) tries to take us back to damnaton, shows how much we must have an Aid that will allow constantly remind us we must “be like Christ”!! We are we are going somewhere, we are on a journey!!

Was Christ God?

Did Christ become human when he came to the earth?
Phil 2

Consider that Christ was composed of 2 entities: human spirit and God the Son in the role of Christ. Christ was not created, he existed from the foundations if the world.

Jesus did not empty his deity to take on humanity.

In reference to:

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The Adoption of Sons By Christ- Part 3

What is the adoption of sons discussed in Romans 8:16-23?

In reference to:

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Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 5

Having disowned the great apostate and him his ranks, and enlisted under the Messiah, and taken sides with the Lord’s anointed; Christ now proposes to put his Holy Spirit within us, to furnish us for the good fight of faith, and to anoint us as the sons and heirs of God!, so we can land on Mt. Ararat, safely!!

The purpose of this gift is to make as what we have become, not just in word, but in fact, Christians. It is truthfully said, that “no man can say Jesus is the Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” The spirit of God is a perfecter and finisher of all divine works. In the book of Genesis we have this statement: “the spirit of God moved upon the waters”; “the hand of the Lord has made me, the Spirit of the Almighty has given me life”; “by His Spirit He has garnished the heavens”, “His hand has formed the crooked serpent (the Milky Way)”; and again, “the Spirit descended upon Him; God bore himself witness by divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His will; then, the statement most acceptably known and understood, “holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” “When the Spirit of truth, the advocate, is come, He will convict the world of sin, because they believe not on Me, and of justification, because I go to My Father.” “God was manifest in the flesh and justified by the spirit.”

     The Spirit of God inspired all the spiritual ideas in the New Testament, and confirmed them by miracles. He is ever present with the word that He inspired!! He descended from heaven on the day of Pentecost, and has not formally asked ascended since. In the sense in which He descended He certainly has not ascended; for He is the inspiration that empowers the church.  We are “temple of the Lord.” “Know ye not, you Christians, that your bodies of the temples of the living God?” “The temple of God is holy, which temple you are; if the spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, God shall quicken your mortal bodies by His spirit to dwells within you.” The Spirit will cease His operation on the human heart when Christ ceases His reign!!

We cannot separate the Spirit and the Word of God. We cannot ascribe so much power to the one and so much to the other; this was not done by the apostles, so we have not that wisdom, today, if it exist, at all. Whatever the word does, the Spirit does; whatever the Spirit does in the work of converting men, the Word does. We neither believe nor teach the Spirit exist independent of the Word, but word and Spirit, Spirit and Word.

The Spirit is not promised to any persons out of Christ! He’s promised only to them that believe in and obey Christ through the communication given the apostles. These words actually and powerfully assist us in the mighty struggle for eternal life, if in us they have a resting place. Some think Christians need no more to gain eternal life than just to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. They think this is totally and wholly the work of conversion. Children are born, then be what they are taught.  Deity works the same.  The Holy Spirit in conversion and the work of the Holy Spirit in the sanctification are two subjects, but both works are from the same Deity!!  Which is the easiest to plant a crop, or to glean the field? Enlist in the Army, or be a good soldier, and fight the battles of the Lord; to start in the race, or reach the finish line, to enter the ship or cross the ocean? It is far harder to live what you have become, than to be baptized to become!!