I continually hear all kinds of people call themselves Christians, but their words and behaviors certainly don’t confirm that confession. How are we supposed to know? (More importantly, how are you supposed to know?) John explained it this way:
We are sure that we know Christ if we obey his commandments. The person who says, “I know him,” but doesn’t obey his commandments is a liar. The truth isn’t in that person. But whoever obeys what Christ says is the kind of person in whom God’s love is perfected. That’s how we know we are in Christ. Those who say that they live in him must live the same way he lived (I John 2:3-6)
Stating that we are “Christians,” should affect our behavior, our activities, our entertainment, our speech, in fact, every aspect of our lives:
Don’t let sexual sin, perversion of any kind, or greed even be mentioned among you. This is not appropriate behavior for God’s holy people. It’s not right that dirty stories, foolish talk, profanity or obscene jokes should be mentioned among you either. Instead, give thanks to God (Ephesians 5:3-4)
Christians continually ask that proverbial, “WWJD“? The word Christian means, “follower of Christ” or “belonging to the party of Christ.” So, what makes us members of this group called “Christians“?
The Bible says that good works have nothing to do with us being acceptable to God. What I am saying is that a person can live to a high moral standard, give money to feed abandoned animals, go to church, and serve homeless people PBJs, and yet still not be a Christ follower or “Christian.”
Titus 3:3-4 points out,
Indeed, we, too, were once stupid, disobedient, and misled. We were slaves to many kinds of lusts and pleasures. We were mean and jealous. We were hated, and we hated each other. However, when God our Savior made his kindness and love for humanity appear, he saved us.
Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence (II Corinthians 5:17)
Once you decide to follow Jesus, you are “born-again.” All of the old stuff falls away, and a new way of living has come! One translation declares that you become a new species of being that never existed before! Oh sure, there have been “Born-Again” followers of Christ from the day the Holy Spirit arrived. But not in your case. You have never been reborn, before!
However, once you are “born-again,” it means that a new life was breathed into your spirit. It is not some shallow emotional decision. As C.S. Lewis described his “coming to faith“:
“‘Emotional’ is perhaps the last word we can apply to some of the most important events. It was more like when a man, after a long sleep, still lying motionless in bed, becomes aware that he is now awake.
And it was, like that moment on top of the bus, ambiguous.
Freedom, or necessity? Or do they differ at their maximum? At that maximum a man is what he does; there is nothing of him left over or outside the act.
As for what we commonly call ‘Will,’ and what we commonly call ‘Emotion,’ I fancy these usually talk too loud, protest too much, to be quite believed, and we have a secret suspicion that the great passion or the iron resolution is partly a put-up job.
. . . They have spoiled Whipsnade since then.
Wallaby Wood, with the birds singing overhead and the blue-bells underfoot and the Wallabies hopping all round one, was almost Eden come again.”
No, all it requires is that you repent of your sins, be baptized in water, and then receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to guide you and teach you! From that moment on, your life will not be the same. Your values will change; who you hang with will change; how you talk and the music you desire will all be different. No, it won’t be a new set of rules that you will be following. Shucks, no! Your heart will change!
As a result, you will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Father and follow His righteous law. During this process, you will be changing into an immortal spirit being, and entering our Father’s Kingdom! This is what it means to be “born again.”
Paul stated that the purpose of his new life as a Christian was to grow and endure each challenge as they occurred. Being guided by the Spirit of God – and entering the Kingdom of God by a resurrection to glory — is the whole purpose of being a Christian (Philippians 3:8-14).
Jesus set the pattern. “He is the captain of our salvation” (Hebrews 2:10). In his spiritual, holy nature, Jesus was “declared the Son of God. This was shown in a powerful way when he came back to life” (Romans 1:4). Now, anyone who is faithful to the calling of God, and “are born again into that glorious Kingdom of God, will be “like” Him in the resurrection” (I John 3:2).
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I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.