Q. I know I am saved, but I don’t know how it happened. I am hoping you can help me understand. Paul tells us we were included in Christ when we heard the word of truth the Gospel of our salvation, and having believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit, the guarantee of our inheritance. I believe and have accepted this. However, in 1 Cor. 2:14 Paul also said “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” and in 1 Cor. 12:3 “… and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit.” Do we first need to seek the truth about Jesus? Does the Holy Spirit then come to us, work on us, and enable us to truly believe in Jesus? Is it only when we finally accept the whole truth that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit?
A. Ephesians 1:13-14 gives us the order. First, we heard the Gospel and believed it. Then the Lord sent the Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. Paul confirmed this in 1 Cor. 2:12 when he said we’ve been given the Spirit of God to help us understand the things that God has freely given us. In other words He gave us eternal life and then sent His Spirit to help us understand what he had given us.
When you were first saved you didn’t understand everything that meant, but you were still saved. Now that you are saved the Holy Spirit is helping you understand all that you’ve been given and as you do you experience a deeper level of belief.
In 1 Cor. 2:14 Paul was describing the difficulty of discussing religion with an unbeliever. Without the Holy Spirit he can’t understand it and thinks it’s foolishness. In 1 Cor. 12:3 he said that only a believer can truthfully say, “Jesus is Lord” because only a believer wants Jesus to be Lord.