What is the gospel that if responded to will cause an unbeliever to become saved and receive the indwelling Spirit?


  • Author James Rondinone
  • Published June 20, 2023
  • Word count 2,096


We’ve reached a conclusion to this study. Thanks for hanging in there right up to the end. I don’t believe that anything we accomplish in this life can truly be said that we did this or that on our own. In this case, I thank God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, unto each of whom I’ve gone to throughout this endeavor. I owe many thanks to all of the Bible teachers from Bible school and those who I currently read about and listen to on T.V. And finally, to my wife, who knows where I am most of the time during the day, and my daughter, Renée, who has helped me write the manuscript by providing information about one of the gospels, i.e., the gospel of repentance, belief, water baptism, and good works mentioned in this study that was derived from the church she was attending. I’ll send this over to her for further elaboration.

Thank you for reading and considering these different viewpoints. I recently left a “church” (this word is subjective) I had attended for fifteen years that taught salvation by means of baptism only after participating in approximately 8-10 Bible studies and adhering to several doctrines in conjunction with those studies. Throughout my time there, I’d learned to associate these many doctrines directly with Scripture, believing that one could not be a true Christian – and therefore saved – if these doctrines weren’t believed and adhered to. However, after many hours of thorough study, during which I attempted to separate my prior teaching and belief system to what I was reading in the Bible to reach an unbiased conclusion, I concluded that I could no longer support the viewpoints I shared with this “church.”

Among other topics, I studied the salvation process and discovered that nearly every instance of conversion boiled down to the same simple steps – hearing and believing the gospel, then baptism. This was a far cry from the countless requirements I’d been taught and continued to teach for fifteen years. Conversely, the lengthy doctrines I subscribed to in this “church” included but was not limited to attending all meetings of the church (2-3 meetings per week), “sharing your faith” daily, reading your Bible daily, dating only others within that church, having a set “discipler” with whom you’d meet weekly for additional teaching, getting “advice” (i.e. permission) regarding all life events including vacations and visiting family, giving weekly monetary contributions to that church according to a set sum of which the church leadership had view of and could hold you accountable to, as well as typically quarterly “special missions” contributions that were often 10-25x your weekly amount (again, not optional), living in a household of only members of that church with a designated household “leader” who would make overarching decisions regarding it, required participation in regular fundraises events, including “tagging” where church members would spend their Friday and Saturday nights walking city blocks asking for donations, and obeying and submitting to your leaders in all matters. If any of these doctrines weren’t agreed to prior to baptism, we wouldn’t baptize the prospective convert. And if a church member didn’t continue to adhere to these doctrines and anything else asked of them by leadership, they’d be disciplined and/or kicked out of the church.

Since baptism and remaining in their “church” is contingent on holding to these doctrines – and they believe you must be baptized in their church and consequently be part of their church to be saved (yes, you read that right) – it can be concluded then that for this church, these doctrines are part of the salvation process. To be clear, these are not all bad practices to adhere to; in fact, I believe some of these can have very positive effects on one’s spiritual walk. However, there’s a crucial difference between spurring one another on toward beneficial practices and requiring these practices as points of salvation where the Bible does not designate them as such. Once I recognized the vast separation of church doctrine from Scripture, I promptly left. I believe these Scriptures most accurately describe the core transgressions of the “church” I left:

Galatians 1:6-8 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

As I’m still newly separated from the doctrines I once followed within this “church,” where I go from here and what exactly I believe is still a learning process (and quite frankly, this will always be the case to some degree for all of us), but I think the most valuable lesson I learned from it all is the importance of not putting words in the Bible’s mouth. I believe likely every good-intentioned church-turned-cult eventually fell into this trap of ultimately creating a “different gospel” than what we have the privilege of referencing at any time. So, whatever your background, your current church, or your personal beliefs, as you explore this “spirituality puzzle,” I urge you to take a step back and take an honest look at the bare-bones-Scriptures in front of you. When you remove all the chatter, what do they say?

I’m back with you. That was quite a story. You, the reader, are very much aware of what this study was all about. It was trying to find out what constituted having a relationship with God and subsequent fellowship with Him throughout each of the dispensations, i.e., of the Gentiles, of Israel, of the Incarnation of Christ, and of the Church Age which is the one we’re currently living in. With that said, I’d like to present a brief summary of what was disclosed in Scripture concerning the protocol for an unbeliever entering into a personal relationship with God in this dispensation. And likewise, what would bring about the reality of having fellowship with Him. The information that will be provided is taken from the gospel of repentance and faith that we found out to be the only one supported by Scripture. Besides this, other doctrinal aspects that were associated and investigated with respect to this gospel will also be included. Are you ready to take a condensed look at what was uncovered? I am.


What causes an unbeliever to have a relationship with God?

In order for someone to have a relationship with God, they need to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as to who He is and what He has accomplished.

Acts 3:19; Acts 17:30; Acts 26:20; Acts 15:7-9; Acts 10:43; John 7:37-39

What transpires after an unbeliever responds to the gospel of Christ?

They receive the indwelling Spirit along with a bundle of permanent benefits. John 7:37-39; 1 John 3:24; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19

Some of the spiritual realities that have taken place can never be removed under any condition, such as:

Receiving eternal life. John 10:9-10

Being in a permanent and continual state of redemption and forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7

Being in a permanent and continual state of salvation. Hebrews 10:10

What causes a believer to have fellowship with God?

Confess known sin to God the Father. 1 John 1:9

Memorize, meditate upon, and apply the Word of God in respect to areas of human weakness. This is another way of saying having one’s mind renewed. Romans 12:2

Being filled or controlled by the Spirit. As we cultivate the fruit or elements of the character of the Spirit, He provides us with His power, guidance, promptings, etc. Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:5; Galatians 5:22-25

What else have we learned that corresponds with the gospel of repentance and belief?

The Baptism or indwelling of the Spirit

It was received by the apostles on the day of Pentecost in the upper room being indicated by the work filled. The indwelling and filling occurred at the same time. Acts 2:4

Baptizes (actually identifies), at salvation, the believer into Christ’s death (in them was understood death to sin, corresponding to His actual death103 having become separated from its power), burial, and resurrection (in them was understood they were given new life by means of the quickening of the Spirit). Romans 6:3-4; Acts 10:43

Baptizes each believer into the body of Christ, giving each of them at least one spiritual or leadership gift that produces harmony and usefulness for all. 1 Corinthians 12:13

Water baptism

It’s symbolic of the believer being baptized into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:10; Acts 22:16

It’s illustrative of being baptized in the name of Christ, the ground of which is justification by faith. Matthew 28:19; Romans 5:1

Illustrates that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one in essence, deity, have the same divine attributes. Matthew 28:19

It doesn’t forgive sin. Acts 2:38 All sin was forgiven at the cross. Luke 23:33-46; Colossians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Hebrews 9:24-26; Ephesians 1:6-7

It isn’t necessary for the salvation process but should be administered. John 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21

2 Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 10:9-11, Mark 16:16; 1 Corinthians 1:14-17

Good works

Aren’t the evidence of salvation but of godliness. They should characterize the fruit or graces of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:10, 1 John 2:3, Hebrews 5:8-9, Galatians 5:13-21, and James 1:22-25; 2:14-26

Obeying Christ in respect to inheriting eternal salvation has nothing to do with good works but putting one’s faith in Christ or responding to the gospel. Hebrews 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8

Other aspects

The two ingredients for salvation are the gospel and the Holy Spirit. The word water is figurative. John 3:5; 1 Peter 1:22-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:13

The baptism that saves us is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 3:21

The receiving of the Spirit follows repentance and faith. Acts 10:43-48

I think that covers it. Now we both have something to consider when any of these aspects of salvation are talked about from the pulpit.

Before we depart, I’d like you to consider this. Whether you are an unbeliever reading this or someone who believes in God, but the avenue taken to get to know Him was water baptism or good works or some other way, then I’d like you to consider an approach to God that isn’t earned in any way shape or form. If you’d like God to change you into an entirely new person, then here’s the opportunity for this to happen. Just repeat the following words either silently to yourself or out loud.

God the Father, I acknowledge that I’ve sinned in many areas, such as slandering; having sexual relations outside of marriage; being jealous; having participated in alcohol or drug abuse; having sex with others of the same gender; committing adultery; taking money from others in a deceitful manner; committed rape; engaged in pedophilia; etc. I don’t want to continue in these mental, verbal, and overt sins. I need a new nature.

I believe in your Son Jesus Christ as one of the members of the Trinity, who, as God preexisted time; came to the earth and took on the form of a man, being born of a virgin (no sin nature); lived a sinless life; listened to and obeyed the directives of his Father; went to the cross and paid for the penalty of and forgave the sins of the whole world; rose from the dead after three days, never to die again, walked the earth in His resurrection body for forty days witnessing to over five hundred people, and ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God the Father.

And according to your promise, send the Holy Spirit to come and indwell my body, thus imparting to me a new nature. Thank you, I’m now a new spiritual creature.

Now, begin to assist me in helping me to overcome whatever areas are in my life that has brought about misery so that I can learn how to be set free from them. Again, thank you.

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New Covenant Ministries - Ministerios NuevoPacto - Harbor Church, Block Island

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My name is James Rondinone. I am a husband, father, and spiritual leader.

I grew up in Massachusetts and began my own spiritual journey early on in life.

I attended Bible college, having completed a two-year Christian Leadership Course of Study and graduated as valedictorian (Summa Cum Laude).

Studying and teaching the Word of God has been a passion of mine for over 20 years.

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