Theology Corner

Addressing commonly asked questions about Christianity from the perspective of a non-theologian

87. CAN YOU REMEMBER THE EVIL IN YOUR PRE-SALVATION SOUL?

At salvation, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your will and intellect as an advisor.  He occupies and purifies all those rooms of your heart which you permit Him to enter.  You have been reborn as a Christian and this is the first day of your new life.  But don’t think the portion of the Holy Spirit received at salvation stays constant for the remainder of your life.  The Holy Spirit comes and goes in your soul as He finds response in your heart and disposition to obedience.  Your portion of the Holy Spirit may increase with time and you may be empowered to do the seemingly impossible as you move upward along the road to sanctification.  Or you may periodically ask the Holy Spirit to vacate particular rooms of your heart so that you might dabble in certain pleasures which are anathema to God.  No one should doubt that, within each of us, is a monster from the Id feeding on evil from deep within our sin nature.  This monster is constantly driving your soul toward concupiscence, bad judgement, inconsistent will and weariness engendered by the constant struggle against temptation.  If the monster from your Id, together with Satan and his allies, detect the slightest fissure in the armor of God protecting your soul (Eph 6:10-18), they will launch a full-throated assault to destroy your life.

You can often sense when a fissure is developing in the armor of God.  When it happens, your first impulse might be to get more religious.  You think the attack on your soul will go away if you just spend more time reading the Bible or reading devotionals or praying or listening to TV preachers or attending Bible studies.  But the problem is beyond the reach of attempting to get more religious.  You need the Holy Spirit to return to the corrupted rooms of your heart, will and intellect and clean them out.  If the Holy Spirit has given you a vision of what you are apart from the grace of God, then you can truly see yourself as the scum of the earth with a soul as black as a lump of coal.  But remember, God said, “My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them” (Ezek 37:12-13).

God is not impressed with your token religious rituals.  He wants to see a daily dying to sin and living to pursue righteousness that constitutes a life of repentance, faith and obedience continually reaffirmed and renewed.