Each person who responds to God’s grace (Titus 2:11) and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:8; 1 John 2:2) by confession of sin, remorse, repentance, faith and obedience instantly receives the great gift of salvation. This gift includes but is not limited to the following:
- Redemption (Rom 3:24; 8:23) - You are freed from the bondage of sin for the first time in your life.
- Forgiveness (Mat 6:9-15; 1 John 1:8-10) – You are forgiven your sins by God.
- Justification (Rom 3:21-26) – You are declared righteous by God; this legal declaration is valid because Christ died to pay the penalty for your sin and lived a life of perfect righteousness that can in turn be imputed to you.
- Adoption (Rom 3:23; Gal 3:26; 1 John 3:2) – You are a joint heir with Jesus to the Kingdom of God.
- Regeneration (John 3:1-21) - The Holy Spirit makes known to you the will of God and helps you discern truth from lie. He occupies and purifies all the rooms of your heart into which He is invited. For the first time in your life you are not a prisoner of sin. You are free to pursue the path of righteousness. This is the first day of your Christian life and you are a new creature in Christ. This is the mechanism of your redemption.
- Sanctification (Heb 6:1; 1 Pet 1:13-16) - You are led by the Holy Spirit along the path toward holiness; this is a lifetime journey.
- Reconciliation (Eph 2:11-22) - You are reconciled with all other believers.
- Unification (Eph 3:1-11) – You are united with all believers in the Church of Jesus Christ.
- Glorification (Rom 8:30) – You will complete the journey along the path of sanctification when your mission in this life is done.
As we are led by the Holy Spirit along the path of sanctification, God expects us to abandon ourselves for Him. But that abandonment should never have a commercial spirit. We should not expect to receive health, wealth, prosperity, power or recognition because we abandon ourselves for God. For example, we should not live lives of poverty and deprivation in Christian service with the expectation that, someday, we will be raised to a peerage above the just barely saved or the rank and file Christian. We should never give our wealth to a purported ministry of God because we seek even more wealth in return. Quid pro quo has no place in our spirit of abandonment.
The Holy Spirit does not merely seek to deliver us from the influence of sin or give us the experience of personal holiness. He seeks to deliver us out of ourselves and into a union with God. Our lives will be taken up by the One for Whom we abandon all things of self.
John 3:16 means that God gave Himself to us completely; in our abandonment we give ourselves to God completely.