Born Again

Born again is kind of an odd term.  What does that mean?  Why would one want it?  How do we accomplish it?  In my previous post, “I am Saved…Now what to do?” I listed some points in how to live a Christian life, what we should do as a church and how to overcome spiritual battles.  I think this list answers all three questions.  There may be more, but I think I got the meat of it.  Comments are welcome if I missed any.  I mentioned that I would go into more detail.  Today I will cover the first one.

  • First, you must be born again.  Believe in Jesus Christ and through that you will become a new creation.

Continue reading “Born Again”

I am Saved…Now what to do?

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We are saved by grace.  Not by works.  Does that mean once we are saved we don’t need to do anything?  As Paul would say, “Certainly Not!”  I think there is a reason that God doesn’t just take us up to heaven the moment we are saved.  We are sealed by the Holy Spirit, but we are also guided by Him to do good works.

Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

John 15:1-8

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Without Christ, we can do nothing.  With Him, we can endure all things and we can “bear fruit.”  Bearing fruit means living according to God’s will, doing good works according to His purpose, having strength in our weakness, ministering to others, lifting up our brothers and sisters in Christ, letting our light shine so that others can see Christ in us.

We as a church body and members of the body have many responsibilities, I think.  One thing we are lacking is discipling new believers.  I think many new-born Christians ask the question, “now that I am saved, what do I do next?”  Hopefully we don’t stop at just showing people how to be saved, but show them how to grow as a believer.  I have previously written posts about what it means to be saved and what it means to pick up our cross.  I think that is a good place to start.  The last post was about being a part of a church and why go to church?  This is where we can fellowship with others and learn how to grow.  As we read God’s word, pray daily and seek godly advice from others, we can become more mature followers of Christ. Continue reading “I am Saved…Now what to do?”

Why Go to Church?

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Why do we go to church?  I saw a post on Facebook about how people don’t need to go to church every Sunday to worship God as long as they believe in God, or something like that.  The statement is partially true.  It is not a sin to miss church, I don’t think, but if you are able, you should be there.  You need the church body and the church body needs you.  It is not a ticket to heaven, either.  We are saved by grace through faith, not going to church.  But, being part of a church is an act of worship and it brings you into a family that will encourage you, teach you, strengthen you, pray for you.  These are things to look for  when finding a home along with sound biblical teaching.  Also, though, we should not go there expecting to be fed all the time.  As we go, we need to look for ways that we can serve the church and do all those things for others.  The church is not a place.  It is a people.  It is you and me.  It is believers.  It is the body of Christ. Continue reading “Why Go to Church?”

We are God’s Watchmen

In following with the previous post, do we have enough love in us to share the gospel so that others know about the saving grace of Jesus Christ?  Of who He is? Are we worried about what they might think?  If we do not share the gospel with others, what does God think about that?  Sometimes I am ashamed for not having the boldness to be a witness to those around me…family, coworkers, friends, people at the store, etc…etc…  Often my actions are fair, but do others know that I am a child of God?  If not, shame on me! Continue reading “We are God’s Watchmen”

Love Speaks Truth

Sometimes love can be harsh.  As parents we don’t want our kids to run out in the street.  We don’t want them too close to the fire.  We don’t want them to make poor choices.  As we grow older, we still hope that our loved ones make right choices.  If we sit by and watch, and say “that’s ok” while they make bad life choices that can affect the rest of their life or even eternity, is that love?  We need to not only set the example, but tell them the truth, show them the right way.  Share our faith and share who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

Ephesians 4:15

…”but speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ”

(Feel free to read the complete paragraph or the chapter…it is always good to get the full context of any verse you may read)

Hebrews 3:13

…”but exhort one another daily, while it is still called ‘Today,’ lest any of you become hardened through deceitfulness of sin.”

Galatians 6:1-2

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

James 5:19-20

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

I have often been accused of being judgmental. Sometimes it is that people don’t want to hear the truth, but many times they are right. I forget to speak the truth IN LOVE and it comes across as I want to show them they are wrong and I am right. My intent is to build them up and steer them in the right direction but I don’t always say it in the right way. Please pray for me that I always speak the truth IN LOVE and in a way that will be bold but gentle.

Other times, as I have said, it is that people don’t want their sin exposed or don’t want to hear the truth. Matthew 7:1 is often quoted, without the rest of the passage or ignoring those above and others. It says,

“Judge not, that you not be judged. For what judgement you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “let me remove the speck in your eye”; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! FIRST remove the plank from you own eye, and THEN you will see clearly to remove the speck in your brother’s eye.”

So, when leading others and telling them the truth, be sure the truth is in you and you are following Christ in a way that honors Him. Realize your own flaws and sin. Pray, and speak in the Spirit. Above all else, LOVE. Remember, though, not only is love gentle, but sometimes love needs to be stern and up front. If you love someone, you want what is best for them, and the best for them is Jesus Christ.  More on this next time.