Becoming a believer

Discussion and debate not related to prophecy.

Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:47 pm

Most often I hear/read of a "system" necessary for becoming a believer. Some of those necessary components might include some or all of the following:

* Believe
* Confess with your mouth
* Public confession
* Baptism
* Faith
* Repent for forgiveness of sin
* Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior
* Becoming "Born Again"

Now, coming from generations of Catholics, I always "believed" in Jesus. We recited the Apostles Creed; went to confession on a regular basis; received communion, received the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation, etc. So, was I saved?

This isn't a trick question, by the way. :mrgreen:

I've just been thinking how complicated it might sound to non-believers when those "systems" are presented and whether or not following them actually makes someone a believer.

Thoughts?
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Jericho on Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:12 pm

I think Romans 10:9 sums it up:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.


God made it extremely easy to be saved, just confess and believe. We are the ones who make it more complicated than it needs to be.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:52 pm

Jericho wrote:I think Romans 10:9 sums it up:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.


God made it extremely easy to be saved, just confess and believe. We are the ones who make it more complicated than it needs to be.


Oh my...thank you, Jericho! I should have known that the one thing missing from that list is the most important one....the heart! You are so spot on that we make it so complicated. I know I wasn't saved all those years of performing rituals. They were just that...rituals that were taught to us and as obedient Catholics, we performed. I really did believe in Jesus, but it was a head knowledge.

I guess we were fulfilling a scripture that we didn't even know at that time. (caps NASB)

Mark 7:6  And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 
Mark 7:7  'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' 


So then, what's the best way to share the gospel? Appeal to the heart of the individual or tell them they have to repent or perform any of those things in the list? Because that's the way most churches do...and rarely mention the heart or the "good news."
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Mark F on Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:42 pm

Shouldn't we look at what it was that Paul was talking about preceding that verse?

Isn't he addressing the obtaining of righteousness? Israel kept on by works, talked big but their hearts were hard.

The gentiles who did not have the law of Moses agreed they were sinners and believed that Jesus died for them.

The heart of any gospel presentation has to be the acknowledgement that we are sinners and Jesus died to pay our debt to God, only by believing that do we have salvation.

You cannot simply believe "in" Jesus or that He died and rose again, you have to know there is a sin issue.....and put your existence in His hands.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Ready1 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:32 pm

Peter said to turn around. He called it "repent".
Just observing.

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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Mark F on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:44 pm

Ready1 wrote:Peter said to turn around. He called it "repent".

Yes, but does that happen as a result of true salvation or is it a prerequisite?

I see our salvation as agreeing with God that I am a sinner, Jesus paid my penalty, I believe that, I
continue on trusting what God said is true and He will do for me what He has promised.

I change my mind on the life I was living and turn around and live to please God because what He has done for me.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby JohnE on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:48 pm

[Abiding] Oh my...thank you, Jericho! I should have known that the one thing missing from that list is the most important one....the heart! You are so spot on that we make it so complicated. I know I wasn't saved all those years of performing rituals. They were just that...rituals that were taught to us and as obedient Catholics, we performed. I really did believe in Jesus, but it was a head knowledge.

I guess we were fulfilling a scripture that we didn't even know at that time. (caps NASB)

Mark 7:6  And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 
Mark 7:7  'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' 

So then, what's the best way to share the gospel? Appeal to the heart of the individual or tell them they have to repent or perform any of those things in the list? Because that's the way most churches do...and rarely mention the heart or the "good news."

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[Abiding]







Mark F wrote:Shouldn't we look at what it was that Paul was talking about preceding that verse?

Isn't he addressing the obtaining of righteousness? Israel kept on by works, talked big but their hearts were hard.

The gentiles who did not have the law of Moses agreed they were sinners and believed that Jesus died for them.

The heart of any gospel presentation has to be the acknowledgement that we are sinners and Jesus died to pay our debt to God, only by believing that do we have salvation.

You cannot simply believe "in" Jesus or that He died and rose again, you have to know there is a sin issue.....and put your existence in His hands.



Hi Abiding, I understand your plight. :lol: :a3: I've never been baptized other than the Catholic Church (of which I have many friends and family that completely believe in our KING) and it sometimes concerns me that I have not been fully submersed and dead to this life, and reborn in that manner. Of course the sprinkling is a public act, but I still desire/need? a full submission baptism. I do truly believe my Catholic brothers and sisters will be in heaven, but I'm personally hung up on this for some reason. I think I'm going to ask the Baptist neighbors if they'll help me lol.
I truly do believe that Catholics will be there, along with every other church that acknowledges Jesus as our Messiah, King of Kings, and LORD of LORDS, the only SON of GOD and most importantly, our Savior. Why do we still carry doubt?
For the record, I was raised pretty much as non denominational. I got baptized Catholic with my first born. I don't ever remember not believing in all Jesus Christ was and is. GOD's grace and goodness is so great :a3:
Love all y'all :grin: :a3:

Mark, you're so right. :a3:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:22 pm

Mark F wrote:Shouldn't we look at what it was that Paul was talking about preceding that verse?

Isn't he addressing the obtaining of righteousness? Israel kept on by works, talked big but their hearts were hard.


You make a good point, Mark. And yet the following verse indicates that righteousness comes with a heart belief.

Rom 10:10 .... for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 

The heart of any gospel presentation has to be the acknowledgement that we are sinners and Jesus died to pay our debt to God, only by believing that do we have salvation.


I never believed I was a sinner. I obeyed all the rules. It was only after being born again did I become aware of sin. And never past sins; only as I unintentionally sinned and was made spiritually aware of how they impacted others whether they were intentional or unintentional.

You cannot simply believe "in" Jesus or that He died and rose again, you have to know there is a sin issue.....and put your existence in His hands.


And yet Paul continues..."whoever will call upon the name of the Lord, will be saved." (Romans 10:13) He mentions nothing about sin there.

So while the word Gospel is mentioned 96 times in the NT, it seems the focus of the "Good News" is Jesus Christ....not me or my performance of rituals or proclamation of certain words. That's why I listed these things in the first post and how becoming a believer isn't as simple or straightforward as we often present it.

* Believe
* Confess with your mouth
* Public confession
* Baptism
* Faith
* Repent for forgiveness of sin
* Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior
* Becoming "Born Again"
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Mark F on Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:45 pm

You cannot just take that one verse, what was Paul talking about before he wrote that?

He says just before that in Rom 10:8 But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

So you need to know what was the word of faith they were preaching?

1Co_15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1Co_15:4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

Here is some of the message that Paul preached, yes this is from the letter to the Corinthian church, but I am sure he told everybody these things.



Abiding, you wrote:
And yet Paul continues..."whoever will call upon the name of the Lord, will be saved." (Romans 10:13) He mentions nothing about sin there.

You have to read the rest of the book, Paul hammers away at sin, then he preaches grace. Paul starts out the book to the Romans listing sins, sins, and more sins.

IMO you cannot simply call upon the name of the Lord without considering your predicament. You must have an understanding that you have a need of Him.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Ready1 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:37 pm

Mark F wrote:Yes, but does that happen as a result of true salvation or is it a prerequisite?

I see our salvation as agreeing with God that I am a sinner, Jesus paid my penalty, I believe that, I
continue on trusting what God said is true and He will do for me what He has promised.

I change my mind on the life I was living and turn around and live to please God because what He has done for me.


Mark, we're on the same page. Knowledge of who Jesus is and what he has done must come first. Then Peter's statement makes perfect sense.

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Just observing.

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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:21 am

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


OK. So these seem to be the "steps" necessary to become a believer (so far).Act 2:38  Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

1) believe
2) repent
3) be baptized

What about the context of Acts 2:38...i.e. receive the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues as Peter and the others just experienced when he spoke these words?

And Jesus words seem to confirm the same.

Mar 16:15  And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 
Mar 16:16  "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 
Mar 16:17  "These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues
Mar 16:18  they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Also Acts 2:38 seems to indicate that baptism is the means of receiving forgiveness for sin.

Act 2:38  Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Spreading Salt on Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:53 pm

I think the word 'belief' is misleading. Even Satan and his demons believe in Jesus.

Here are a few vs to ponder:
Revelation 14:6-7

6 Next I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven with everlasting Good News to proclaim to those living on the earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 In a loud voice he said,
“Fear God, give him glory,
for the hour has come when he will pass judgment!
Worship the One who made heaven and earth,
the sea and the springs of water!”

John 3:16-18
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18 Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son…………………….……. 35 the Father loves the Son and has put everything in his hands. 36 Whoever trusts in the Son has eternal life. But whoever disobeys the Son will not see that life but remains subject to God’s wrath.”

Luke 23
39 One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him. “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other one spoke up and rebuked the first, saying, “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same punishment as he is. 41 Ours is only fair; we’re getting what we deserve for what we did. But this man did nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Yeshua, remember me when you come as King.” 43 Yeshua said to him, “Yes! I promise that you will be with me today in Gan-‘Eden.”

Galations 2
16 even so, we have come to realize that a person is not declared righteous by God on the ground of his legalistic observance of Torah commands, but through the Messiah Yeshua’s trusting faithfulness. Therefore, we too have put our trust in Messiah Yeshua and become faithful to him, in order that we might be declared righteous on the ground of the Messiah’s trusting faithfulness and not on the ground of our legalistic observance of Torah commands. For on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, no one will be declared righteous.[a]


No where is a believer required to be baptized or repent. It is trusting Jesus is who He states He is and being faithful to that. A simple cry to God, an acknowledgment of Him (what He stands for and claims to be) is all it takes to receive the gift offered - eternal life and no judgment/wrath. With that cry from your soul to the Creator of your soul comes a changed outlook; a need to change your life to honor your Lord. To get to know Him and what He desires. Repentance comes once we realize how far we have fallen from where we should be. From the shame and regret of those weaknesses. We drink the milk and understand little by little how amazing the grace of salvation really is. Simple, baby faith. No deeds. No needed steps. A simple cry for His Lordship in your life. The rest comes as we grow and become sanctified. :a2:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:43 pm

My conclusion is that there really is no one-size-fits-all salvation methodology. As I mentioned earlier, there are enough examples; i.e. the woman at the well, the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears, Zacchaeus , the thief on the cross, etc. to conclude that Jesus reaches out to those whose heart is reaching out to Him and even those who aren't....like Paul's conversion.

Also as I mentioned before, I never looked at myself as a sinner. I had never heard the "good news" and/or that I needed to repent and/or be baptized. Those came much later but not out of guilt or pressure from anywhere. What followed my born again experience was a gradual change in understanding Jesus and a desire to purchase a Bible to read about Him and His love for sinners and the oppressed.

I do, however, understand the desire of "churches" to reduce salvation to a ritual or method of presenting the new birth, but think it would be far better to allow a person to ask Jesus into their lives using their own heartfelt words and trust God to take it from there. All brothers and sisters can make themselves available to answer any questions or suggest a home fellowship, etc. where that individual will grow in understanding and maturity.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Douggg on Sat May 13, 2017 8:18 am

Abiding in His Word wrote:Most often I hear/read of a "system" necessary for becoming a believer. Some of those necessary components might include some or all of the following:

* Believe
* Confess with your mouth
* Public confession
* Baptism
* Faith
* Repent for forgiveness of sin
* Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior
* Becoming "Born Again"

Now, coming from generations of Catholics, I always "believed" in Jesus. We recited the Apostles Creed; went to confession on a regular basis; received communion, received the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation, etc. So, was I saved?

This isn't a trick question, by the way. :mrgreen:

I've just been thinking how complicated it might sound to non-believers when those "systems" are presented and whether or not following them actually makes someone a believer.

Thoughts?
No you were not saved by observances. A person is saved by praying to God, one on One, acknowledging that Jesus is His Way and that you accept him. That's what they call a mustard seed of faith. And that's how a person becomes a Christian.

You are right about the over-complication. I became a Christian by simply praying that simplest of prayers - God, if Jesus is your way, then I accept him. Which is what I say for others - if they want to become a Christian - keeping it simple for them.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat May 13, 2017 9:34 am

Douggg wrote: I became a Christian by simply praying that simplest of prayers - God, if Jesus is your way, then I accept him. Which is what I say for others - if they want to become a Christian - keeping it simple for them.


I love that simple prayer, Doug! I believe in the "ask; seek; knock" simplicity as well. Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened for you." (paraphrased)

He is looking for a heart that is looking for Him and is not going to ignore us if we use the wrong words. :mrgreen:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby extravagantchristian on Sat May 13, 2017 11:50 am

I still don't have this one figured out.

These 2 verses seem to contradict each other:
Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

(Makes it sound like all you have to do is believe and confess. Pretty easy.)

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.

(This one makes it sound like you have to believe AND repent in order to be converted. This implies that you are deciding to obey the commands of Jesus which requires a total lifestyle change. Not near as easy as just Believe and confess!)


Like I said, I've been saved for 14 years and I still don't know what to tell people when they ask how to be saved. Do we have to keep His commands or not??? I still don't know. Is it optional? Are they the 10 commandments or the 10 suggestions for a good life?

And I don't like it when people say that we're not able to repent on our own. John the Baptist told everyone to "Repent, for the kingdom of God is near." They didnt have the holy spirit at that point. Jeremiah told the poeple to repent:
Jeremiah 25:5 They said, ‘Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers forever and ever.

Even David said:
Psalm 50:23 Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”


They didn't have the Holy Spirit back then either, but they were still held accountable for their actions.

Is it possible for a drunk to repent without being filled with the spirit? YES, it happens everyday. My grandpa did it and he wasn't a Christian. He stopped drinking after decades of being an alcoholic. But I will agree that it's a lot easier to repent with the help of the Holy Spirit.

SO can people be saved if they're not yet willing to follow the Commands of Jesus? I still don't know!
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby shorttribber on Sat May 13, 2017 12:49 pm

extravagantchristian wrote:SO can people be saved if they're not yet willing to follow the Commands of Jesus? I still don't know!

Yes. None of us are "Willing". Our Desires must become or Will, and our Will our Desires.....that's God's work in us, and He Will DO IT.

Until God Does Do it in Us, we All Remain Unwilling in Part.

:banana: He Will do it though......Before Christ Literally and Physically Comes. :banana:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby extravagantchristian on Sat May 13, 2017 1:02 pm

shorttribber wrote:
extravagantchristian wrote:SO can people be saved if they're not yet willing to follow the Commands of Jesus? I still don't know!

Yes. None of us are "Willing". Our Desires must become or Will, and our Will our Desires.....that's God's work in us, and He Will DO IT.

Until God Does Do it in Us, we All Remain Unwilling in Part.

:banana: He Will do it though......Before Christ Literally and Physically Comes. :banana:


So you're saying that the Commands of Jesus are optional for believers?

You know, there's a lot of verses that say the opposite......
1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 22:15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’


I don't think we're supposed to wait around for the feeling of wanting to obey God. Sometimes I don't feel like obeying God, but I try to do it anyways, because I fear Him.

If you wait to obey until you FEEL like it, or WANT to, then you'll probably never change.

You do know what a hypocrite is right? Someone who says they believe the Bible but don't even attempt to live their life according to what it says.

Maybe a good way to explain salvation is this, you are saved when make a serious commitment to God to obey Him. Like in a marriage, you're married when you make your vows, your commitment to your spouse. Obviously we can't be perfect in this life, I'm not talking about perfection, but like the Bible says, we still make it our aim to please Him. Like in Basketball, you're not going to make every shot, but you can still win the game if you try. Like a ring is a symbol of our commitment to our spouse, maybe baptism is a symbol of our commitment to God. Our commitment to do what? To be faithful to Him. Baptism it's self, is a picture of our DEATH TO SELF. Which means we deny ourselves. How would we deny ourselves if we're still living any way we feel like? That's not self denial. In the same way that adultery is unfaithfulness to our marriage, willful sin is unfaithfulness to God. And do you mean to say that we can dare ask God for forgiveness each day, with no intention of trying to change? WHat good is an apology if you plan to keep doing the same thing?
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat May 13, 2017 1:52 pm

extravagantchristian wrote:So you're saying that the Commands of Jesus are optional for believers?


When the Pharisees were asking Jesus about the law of Moses and which was the greatest for them to abide by. Jesus told them that the whole law was summed up in "Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor." (paraphrased)

They preferred the 613 laws in the OT, but we are under grace in the NT.

What commands of Jesus are your obeying out of fear, extravagantchristian?

Maybe a good way to explain salvation is this, you are saved when make a serious commitment to God to obey Him.


Again, what commands are you speaking of?

Like in a marriage, you're married when you make your vows, your commitment to your spouse. Obviously we can't be perfect in this life, I'm not talking about perfection, but like the Bible says, we still make it our aim to please Him. Like in Basketball, you're not going to make every shot, but you can still win the game if you try.


Our walk is a journey. Life is a learning experience. We grow in the fruit of the Spirit as we mature, but it shouldn't be a walk of stress, worry, and/or fear. All our sins were paid for and the certificate that listed our debt was nailed to the cross. That's a reason to shout Hallelujah, isn't it?! :cheer:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby extravagantchristian on Sat May 13, 2017 4:47 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:When the Pharisees were asking Jesus about the law of Moses and which was the greatest for them to abide by. Jesus told them that the whole law was summed up in "Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor." (paraphrased)


Yes, and Jesus went on to say... Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

So every command in the Bible fits under the category of these 2 important laws.

For Example:

LOVING GOD:
Have no other God's before me
Be holy as I am Holy
Do not take the Lord's name in vain
Do not commit sexual immorality (Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit)
Do not be drunk with wine but rather be filled with the Holy Spirit
Let no corrupt word proceed from your mouth
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Keep yourself from Idols
Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
These all relate to LOVING GOD. These are all quotes from the bible.

LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR:

Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy;
Shall not lie
Shall not Commit adultery
Shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor
Shall not murder
Love your enemies
Shall not steal
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel
But I tell you not to resist an evil person.
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return;

So you see, ALL of the commands we find in the New Testament fit under those 2 categories. They all have a purpose.

Matthew 5
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.


What commands of Jesus are your obeying out of fear, extravagantchristian?


All of them. Although love is a good motivation too. But let's face it, we aren't always filled with the Love of God. Sometimes, we just obey because we have to and not because we want to.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Psalm 2:11 Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

Ephesians 2 you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others."



All our sins were paid for and the certificate that listed our debt was nailed to the cross. That's a reason to shout Hallelujah, isn't it?! :cheer:


Yes, but grace is not a license to keep on sinning willingly. But rather a safety net for when we stumble.

Romans 6

6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

Ecclesiastes 12
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.


And what happens when we believers are living in rebellion to God?

The lord will chasten us...

1Corinthians 11
30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.


Jesus had a lot to say about Repentance in Revelation:

Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

Revelation 2:16Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.

Revelation 2:22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Revelation 9:20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.

Revelation 9:21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.


So if this is how the Lord expects us to behave, shouldn't we tell people that who are wanting to be saved? We would really have to hate them to not warn them of the dangers of walking in disobedience to God.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat May 13, 2017 6:08 pm

Extravagantchristian, I'm (almost) at a loss for words. I've seen Christians make the NT a list of laws like the OT, and it saddens me. The focus on sin, rules, laws, "shoulds/musts/have-to's/ and oughts" completely distort the message of the gospel imo. Some believers have never been freed from the fear that God is some kind of score-keeper who is constantly judging our performance. :(

Of course we should not live our lives carelessly. But when we love God and our neighbor, we will not commit offenses against them carelessly or intentionally.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

Love never fails...1Cor. 13


A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 13:34

When we come to an awareness of how much God loves us, that love overflows to others. Love of God and neighbor is the natural outcome of the Holy Spirit in us:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal. 5:16

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal 5:22-23  


I'm not directing this next observation to you personally, extravagantchristian, but if you think it might apply, I hope you will ask God to fill you will an understanding of His love so it will flow from Him to you and you to others.

We are the light of the world and the world recognizes us as His disciples by our love...not how we adhere to lists of rules, regulations and commands. We have no need for them because love does no wrong to a neighbor.

It's just a matter of perspective perhaps, but one seems to bring worry and fear and the other joy and gratitude.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby shorttribber on Sat May 13, 2017 6:11 pm

extravagantchristian wrote:So you're saying that the Commands of Jesus are optional for believers?

Did I say his commands are optional? They are not optional.
extravagantchristian wrote:I don't think we're supposed to wait around for the feeling of wanting to obey God.

You are correct, we are to Desire, and be Willing to Obey His every command at All Times.
extravagantchristian wrote:Sometimes I don't feel like obeying God, but I try to do it anyways, because I fear Him.

I agree, and you have made my point, Trying is Not Doing. I do not do his commandments out of fear though, I Do His Commands the Best I can Because I Love Him.
extravagantchristian wrote:You do know what a hypocrite is right? Someone who says they believe the Bible but don't even attempt to live their life according to what it says.

Did I suggest any such hypocrisy? I don't think I did.
The Wisest men have changed their Counsels and Resolves upon second thoughts, much more upon experience, and approaching evils not at first discovered. Rev. Herbert Croft, 1675

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Find seven years of tribulation plainly stated in the Bible.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby keithareilly on Sat May 13, 2017 7:01 pm

1 John 4:15-21
15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19We love, because He first loved us. 20If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

My favorite verse is verse 18. Why, because of who I was I feared God's punishment.

God has been very, very, patient with me through the years.
Teaching me He loves me even as I step out on faith and fall on my face. Sometimes, even testing Him to see if He really loves me and can still love me after I stop hiding and confess those things I hate about myself that I have never shared with another soul. I would say I know He loves me because once I got through sharing the things I knew about myself for which I thought He might reject me, He then showed me things about myself I could not acknowledge or accept about myself and yet He still did not reject me. I discovered He loves me more than I love me. Do I still fear? Yes, I have not yet been made perfect.

Keith
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby extravagantchristian on Sat May 13, 2017 7:06 pm

I'm sorry, ST. I must have misunderstood you. :dunno:

Abiding,

Yes, defiantly we should focus on God's love, not fear. I was just trying to provide the flip side of the debate. There is a balance to God's word. We don't pick and choose.
Romans 11:22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.


Love should always be our motive but I've gone through long dark periods of depression, I'm talking years on end. During those times, I couldn't feel the love of God for me, or my love for Him, or His presence at all. I didn't feel like doing the right thing much of the time, and I failed a lot, but I kept trying. I didn't give up. We're not always going to have lovely flowery feelings, that motivate us to love God and love others. It's in those times we have to lean on what we KNOW not what we FEEL and forge ahead.

I've also learned that no matter how many times we've failed we should never doubt God's love for us. We need our shield of faith. :armor:

90% of what I posted earlier was scripture. Surely you don't recommend that we ignore those verses?
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun May 14, 2017 4:50 am

extravagantchristian wrote: There is a balance to God's word. We don't pick and choose.

Romans 11:22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.


90% of what I posted earlier was scripture. Surely you don't recommend that we ignore those verses?


But you did pick and choose, extravagantchristian. You picked scripture that fit neatly into your "thou shalt not" theory of Christianity and arranged them under the most important focus in both the OT and the NT of "love." In other words, the scripture you picked and chose still reflect a focus on sin.

It's very important to view scripture in it's context; i.e. knowing what was written, to whom it was written, and why it was written. What conditions existed that warranted that verse, book, admonishment, warning, etc.

A simple, but relevant example is where Paul tells Timothy to " No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments." (1 Tim. 5:23) So do you set aside water when you are sick and turn to wine for healing your illness? Do we preach that from our pulpits?

Another simple example about context is Paul's "command?" to greet one another with a holy kiss. And he's quite emphatic about that as it's reinforced four different times; Rom. 16:16; 1Cor. 16:20; 2Cor. 13:12; 1Thess. 5:26. Is that practiced in the churches you have attended? If not; why not?

And a final example (although there are many more) is this "command."

"If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. "For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you." John 13:14-15 

When was the last time you washed someone's feet? Or is it helpful to understand the practice of foot washing in the Jewish culture in order to put the words of Jesus into perspective?

We are often guilty of what's called "selective literalism" in that we fail to see scripture in it's historical context. This is especially important when quoting from Paul's letters since much of what he writes is directed toward correcting the Jews, Jewish converts, cities where idolatry is prevalent, and immorality is wide-spread. God mightily used Paul because of his background, experience, and knowledge in Roman law, Pharisee laws (Talmud), Greek culture, and OT law.

All this is to say....there are over 300 prophecies about the coming of the long-awaited Messiah and the changes He makes in our lives. That's where the Royal Law of love becomes evident and the example to imitate. His harshest words were directed to those who insisted on and promoted laws rather than love.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby extravagantchristian on Sun May 14, 2017 8:05 am

But you asked me more than once to list what commands I was talking about, so I did. Then you said you were sad that I listed them.

Abiding in His Word wrote:
What commands of Jesus are your obeying out of fear, extravagantchristian?

Again, what commands are you speaking of?



Abiding in His Word wrote:Extravagantchristian, I'm (almost) at a loss for words. I've seen Christians make the NT a list of laws like the OT, and it saddens me.


I think that all scripture is worthy of being focused upon. Both the encouraging verses and the admonishing verses.

As for your wine example, the New Testement is very clear. We are allowed to drink a little, but not allowed to get drunk. Very straight forward and simple to understand.


A simple, but relevant example is where Paul tells Timothy to " No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments." (1 Tim. 5:23) So do you set aside water when you are sick and turn to wine for healing your illness? Do we preach that from our pulpits?

We are often guilty of what's called "selective literalism" in that we fail to see scripture in it's historical context.


I guess the point you're trying to make is that we shouldn't take God's commands literally, and that we shouldn't ever list them or focus on them because it might scare people or make them sad? Well I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

Yes, the Gospel should be about sharing the GOOD NEWS, along with the message of the cross. Jesus told us to pick up our cross and follow Him. He told us to DIE to ourselves. Baptism is a picture of that commitment. He told us to count the cost, because obedience will cost us something. Salvation requires a commitment to obey. A covenant between us and God. I'm sure of it. SO thank You for bringing this topic up. Discussing it helped remind me of the truth, even if people don't want to hear it. But The Bible says,

2 Timothy 4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Spreading Salt on Tue May 16, 2017 6:35 pm

Salvation requires a commitment to obey.


Sorry but I disagree. You are discussing the sanctification process EC, not salvation. Sanctification and changes in behavior come over time as we get to know Him and long to obey Him. We study and we grow. We change and it shows. We learn and we continue to sin in this life. We disobey! We repent and get back up again. Praise Yeshua every day is made new and we can try try again! :a2:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby GodsStudent on Tue May 23, 2017 6:19 pm

Spreading Salt wrote:
Salvation requires a commitment to obey.


Sorry but I disagree. You are discussing the sanctification process EC, not salvation. Sanctification and changes in behavior come over time as we get to know Him and long to obey Him. We study and we grow. We change and it shows. We learn and we continue to sin in this life. We disobey! We repent and get back up again. Praise Yeshua every day is made new and we can try try again! :a2:


I completely agree with you, Spreading Salt. Even scripture tells us that if we break one law, we've broken them all.....(James 2: 10)

Jesus actually was crucified behind "the law....." .....its true. He ticked everyone off when He broke the law of the Sabbath when He performed a miracle on the Sabbath day.....
I believe Jesus point was that PEOPLE are more important than the law.....

Fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of knowledge......and having experienced walking with the Lord, the fear we experience is more about separation from Him than condemnation by Him, IMO.....its an observation I am making here, not a scriptural admonition.

Corinthians 10 is a great place to start with respect to this issue.....and it does NOT say we lose salvation, but it does say we lose the blessing that comes in being able to daily walk with the Lord.....
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby GodsStudent on Tue May 23, 2017 6:42 pm

Salvation DOES NOT require our commitment to obey.....

What brings us to that place is wholly about experiencing the relationship with the Lord.....when we do that, we desire to obey....and it's a process.....sure......Christians LEARN over time that God's instructs are much wiser than man's best thinking and obedience to His Laws is advisable.....but NOT a prerequisite to actual salvation.....

Salvation is 100% a GIFT OF CHRIST.....HIS GRACE ONLY......nothing else....(so that no man may boast, which is also in scripture!!!!).

It's very important that we never preach or teach or LEAD with the law as a prerequisite of anything pertaining to salvation...for it is GRACE (and His Love) that draws us to Christ and then keeps us there and then causes us to be transformed.....its SO COMPELLING....God's Love for us.....and so beautiful.....

Yes, God made the Law, but He gave us Christ ....and Christ is sufficient so that we are FREE IN HIM.....The greatest of these is LOVE......HIS LOVE FOR US.....

Ya'll excuse me.....I am on a tear here....for I so love and appreciate the love of our Father.....and THAT experience of the LIVING GOD is what has compelled me to DESIRE to be sanctified (fall under His Laws).......not fear, not condemnation.....

ok, I'm gonna hush for now. :mrgreen:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue May 23, 2017 7:10 pm

GodsStudent wrote:It's very important that we never preach or teach or LEAD with the law as a prerequisite of anything pertaining to salvation...for it is GRACE (and His Love) that draws us to Christ and then keeps us there and then causes us to be transformed.....its SO COMPELLING....God's Love for us.....and so beautiful.....


:a3:

Preach it, GodsStudent!!
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Exit40 on Wed May 24, 2017 6:13 am

GodsStudent wrote:Jesus actually was crucified behind "the law....." .....its true. He ticked everyone off when He broke the law of the Sabbath when He performed a miracle on the Sabbath day.....
I believe Jesus point was that PEOPLE are more important than the law.....


Jesus broke no law, ever, lest He become a sinner like us. What He did was offend the Pharisees and their oppression of the people with their insane 'rules' for the Sabbath that were not in the Scriptures.

God Bless You

David
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Exit40 on Wed May 24, 2017 6:20 am

Abiding in His Word wrote:
GodsStudent wrote:It's very important that we never preach or teach or LEAD with the law as a prerequisite of anything pertaining to salvation...for it is GRACE (and His Love) that draws us to Christ and then keeps us there and then causes us to be transformed.....its SO COMPELLING....God's Love for us.....and so beautiful.....


:a3:

Preach it, GodsStudent!!


Amen Sister ! Of ourselves we can do nothing.

God Bless You

David
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed May 24, 2017 8:23 am

Exit40 wrote:Jesus broke no law, ever, lest He become a sinner like us. What He did was offend the Pharisees and their oppression of the people with their insane 'rules' for the Sabbath that were not in the Scriptures.


Amen, David. He did challenge many of their practices and their rigid applications that ignored the intent behind an action. For example, the Jews view spittle as a way of conveying insult and contempt. ( Deu. 25:9; Job. 30:10; Isa. 50:6; Matt. 26:67)

But Jesus used it, not only on the Sabbath, but for conveying a very different, compassionate use...healing a blind man. (Mark 8:23; John 9:5)

I have no doubt that because of His radical mannerisms, Jesus would not be allowed to become a member of many of our churches today and if He were, would soon be excommunicated and/or shunned. :(
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby GodsStudent on Wed May 24, 2017 9:58 am

Exit40 wrote:
GodsStudent wrote:Jesus actually was crucified behind "the law....." .....its true. He ticked everyone off when He broke the law of the Sabbath when He performed a miracle on the Sabbath day.....
I believe Jesus point was that PEOPLE are more important than the law.....


Jesus broke no law, ever, lest He become a sinner like us. What He did was offend the Pharisees and their oppression of the people with their insane 'rules' for the Sabbath that were not in the Scriptures.

God Bless You

David


Thank you David, YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT and I didn't say it right.....probably because I was trying to make a point about the fact that mankind gets caught up with laws and ordinances and forgets love altogether.....and Christ was emphasizing to the people that REGARDLESS, people are what's important......and yet, the nature of the men and women was such that their law of not doing anything on the Sabbath was so important and in their minds proved Christ was not the Lord and then crucified Him over the same......
Did I do better saying it this time? It's ok if I didn't....there are many here who will help me get it right!
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby GodsStudent on Wed May 24, 2017 9:59 am

I have no doubt that because of His radical mannerisms, Jesus would not be allowed to become a member of many of our churches today and if He were, would soon be excommunicated and/or shunned. :(


Oh, Abiding, some things just never change, do they? :(
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby extravagantchristian on Wed May 24, 2017 7:39 pm

GodsStudent wrote:
I have no doubt that because of His radical mannerisms, Jesus would not be allowed to become a member of many of our churches today and if He were, would soon be excommunicated and/or shunned. :(


Oh, Abiding, some things just never change, do they? :(



Yeah, because He said things like this...

41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. Matthew 13


What does it mean to practice lawlessness?
1 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’


What does lawlessness mean??
48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24


I could go on and on and on ........

Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.


Hebrews 4
11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.


What does disobedience mean???

NO I don't think obedience is optional

JESUS ALSO SAID........

Matthew 5:30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Matthew 18:8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.


Is this legalistic? Is this ridgid?

I'm not saying we have to be perfect. I'm saying we have to at least try.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Thu May 25, 2017 6:04 am

Believers are not referred to as sons of disobedience, lawless, wicked, or workers of iniquity.

They are called the light of the world, salt of the earth, ambassadors, disciples, saints, heirs, a royal priesthood, etc.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Exit40 on Thu May 25, 2017 6:07 am

GodsStudent wrote:Did I do better saying it this time? It's ok if I didn't....there are many here who will help me get it right!


Yup. The term we are looking for I think is legalistic, where the letter of the law has more importance than the spirit of the law. And the Lord frowns on that, and those who practice legalism to get control over others to establish themselves as better, and in charge in order to continue as being more righteous. You said this, wonderfully I might add ...

Salvation is 100% a GIFT OF CHRIST.....HIS GRACE ONLY......nothing else....(so that no man may boast, which is also in scripture!!!!).

It's very important that we never preach or teach or LEAD with the law as a prerequisite of anything pertaining to salvation...for it is GRACE (and His Love) that draws us to Christ and then keeps us there and then causes us to be transformed.....its SO COMPELLING....God's Love for us.....and so beautiful.....

Yes, God made the Law, but He gave us Christ ....and Christ is sufficient so that we are FREE IN HIM.....The greatest of these is LOVE......HIS LOVE FOR US.....


Yes, so beautiful. We become a new creature, compelled by Love so overwhelming, our desire for more of Him changes us into a creature more like Him. And one day we will be with Him fully, as it sometimes seems we are today. We cannot comprehend so great a Love as He has for us, but we take with gratitude what we are able, and share this with others as we are able. According to our Lord's laws, knowledge of Him does not make us great leaders and teachers to be admired and followed. Rather the greatest among us become servants, of the Lord and each other. That is what the Spirit of the Law points to.

God Bless You

David
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Spreading Salt on Thu May 25, 2017 7:07 am

Abiding :grin:

GS :a3:

David :a2:

All well said. Praise Yeshua!! :bowing: His grace is enough and His mercies are new every morning!

May we shine for Him today and be His hands and feet in the lives of others. Amen
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby extravagantchristian on Thu May 25, 2017 8:30 am

So, let me get this straight. You guys are saying that I can live any way I want to. I can go to the club every weekend, get drunk and sleep around. I can shoplift whenever I want a new outfit but can't afford it. And I can still be saved? I don't even have to try to give up this kind of lifestyle in order to please God?

(Not that I want to do that stuff, but that describes a lot of young people these days)

Can you all answer this question for me?
Spreading salt, exit 40, godsstudent, abiding.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Thu May 25, 2017 8:51 am

Rom_6:2    May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Rom_6:15   What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!

Gal 5:16  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 


As we grow in maturity and the fruit of the Spirit, we will have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Gal. 5:23
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Spreading Salt on Thu May 25, 2017 10:23 am

Hi EC,

Bear with me as I try to express to you my thoughts regarding your post.

You are not describing the Christian lifestyle. You are describing fleshly/worldly behaviors. No it’s not OK to live as the world lives. We are to live by the example of Christ because He is in us. Would He do those things? It is shameful what people do publicly and behind closed doors. Our lives are a gift from God. We should live our lives as a gift back to Him by following His truths and direction.

It really boils down to our relationship with Him. If I know Him, I love Him and follow Him. If I don’t know Him, why would I care about His wishes/desires/hopes/commands/truths/leading? I would continue to do what I want to do not what He wants me to do. This is why some will hear Him say to them that He never knew them.

I know I have said this before somewhere but as a repeat, saying you believe in Jesus does not make you saved. Satan believes in Him too. Perhaps the word belief is the stumbling block in our discussion. Let me rephrase something: Salvation is granted as a free gift from God to those who accept Christ as Lord over their lives. He is the one in charge of it all. Accepting Him as Lord changes your walk this side of eternity. It is no longer about you at all. It’s about Him. Living for self is not part of the agenda. Problem is, it is a hard thing to put down some days so we continue to struggle through and ask forgiveness when we screw it up (again). It also takes continued spiritual growth to make it easier to live for others and not our self. It is a long process that we will not complete until He finally calls us home. My flesh and spirit will always battle until He makes everything right again. Looking forward to that day my friend! :a2: :hugs2:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Spreading Salt on Thu May 25, 2017 10:39 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfRlzp5 ... E&index=27

Be blessed today! Full of praise for Our Lord of Lords and King of Kings! :bowing:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Sonbeam on Thu May 25, 2017 11:27 am

Spreading Salt wrote:No where is a believer required to be baptized or repent. It is trusting Jesus is who He states He is and being faithful to that. A simple cry to God, an acknowledgment of Him (what He stands for and claims to be) is all it takes to receive the gift offered - eternal life and no judgment/wrath. With that cry from your soul to the Creator of your soul comes a changed outlook; a need to change your life to honor your Lord. To get to know Him and what He desires. Repentance comes once we realize how far we have fallen from where we should be. From the shame and regret of those weaknesses. We drink the milk and understand little by little how amazing the grace of salvation really is. Simple, baby faith. No deeds. No needed steps. A simple cry for His Lordship in your life. The rest comes as we grow and become sanctified. :a2:


You got it Spreading Salt! :a3:

Now for the simplicity of the Gospel, we go to John 4 and take a look at how our Lord presented His Good News to the woman at the well.

John 4

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”



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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby extravagantchristian on Thu May 25, 2017 1:17 pm

So then Christians have to obey God, but don't have to make a decision to obey him?

Or...

Christians have to obey God, but not when they first get saved... Later on when they feel like it?

Which one is it?

What is the quickest and easiest way to explain it to the lost?
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Mark F on Thu May 25, 2017 2:53 pm

extravagantchristian wrote:So then Christians have to obey God, but don't have to make a decision to obey him?

Or...

Christians have to obey God, but not when they first get saved... Later on when they feel like it?

Which one is it?

What is the quickest and easiest way to explain it to the lost?


I think that this is what Jesus was explaining in Matthew 7, but what you ask is what we see when we look at a lot of professing Christians, I think there are a lot of unconverted churchgoers, we know the answer to this question if we are in Christ. (I am not implying you are not because you typed that post)

If Jesus said in Matthew 7:14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." does it sound simple? That tells me that maybe there aren't that many who are genuinely saved. Statistics show there are 2.2-2.3 billion Christians in the world.......I find that impossible to believe especially in light of Jesus words.

People love the simplicity of the gospel, but this shows us that it isn't simple. Obedience has to be a desire of our heart because we recognize the value of the gift and our own unworthiness. At first some will walk away from sin's grip in a miraculous way, others will struggle with sin the rest of their lives, the question then is if they live a life of sin without any signs of struggle, that tells us where their heart is.
Mark

All Scripture from NKJV

Find a seven year covenant Jesus makes with anybody plainly stated in Scripture.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Spreading Salt on Fri May 26, 2017 6:08 am

So then Christians have to obey God, but don't have to make a decision to obey him?

Or...

Christians have to obey God, but not when they first get saved... Later on when they feel like it?

Which one is it?

What is the quickest and easiest way to explain it to the lost?


Look at it from a parental perspective. As a parent, I expect my children to mind me. They aren't always obedient.

God/Yeshua is our Father. He expects His kids to be obedient. We aren't always. Do you stop loving your children when they don't mind you? For me, it gives me incentive to teach and correct their behavior. Our disobedience doesn't remove His love. He comes alongside us and helps us through the ups/downs. He's our biggest fan! Our #1 cheering us on! He's our Encourager/Wonderful Counselor/Eternal Advisor/Heavenly Holy Mighty Father/Creator and on and on and on!


If people were capable of being obedient to His laws, we wouldn't have needed Him to pay our penalty. Obedience/Law doesn't save a soul. It's impossible in our fallen world. The laws show us His standards of living and we fail to hit the mark (aka sin). Guidelines to follow and moral codes to aim for as best we can.

Intentional disobedience, fly in the face of danger, flat out rebellion will be handled quite appropriately by our Judge.

Praise Him for making a way for us to be saved, through Him - His atoning sacrifice for our sins. He is Our Lord and He picks us up when we fall and encourages us to keep pressing on. :blessyou:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby extravagantchristian on Fri May 26, 2017 6:30 am

I know we can't obey God perfectly, just like a child cannot obey perfectly. Does that mean we're not capable of counting the cost, dieing to self, and deciding to obey him?

Of course we can't be perfect. But we can try. That's what I keep saying. We make it our aim to be pleasing to him.

It doesn't make any sense to say that we Christians should obey God, but we shouldn't make a commitment to obey him or tell the lost they they should.

What did John mean when he said, "bear fruits worthy of repentance" ?

He's talking about works.

Why make it more complicated than it is? It's really simple, it shouldn't take 3 paragraphs to explain to a lost person that we have to repent to be born again (saved)
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Exit40 on Fri May 26, 2017 7:58 am

extravagantchristian wrote:So, let me get this straight. You guys are saying that I can live any way I want to. I can go to the club every weekend, get drunk and sleep around. I can shoplift whenever I want a new outfit but can't afford it. And I can still be saved? I don't even have to try to give up this kind of lifestyle in order to please God?

(Not that I want to do that stuff, but that describes a lot of young people these days)

Can you all answer this question for me?
Spreading salt, exit 40, godsstudent, abiding.


If you are really a believer and do that stuff, expect chastisement.

God Bless You

David
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Spreading Salt on Fri May 26, 2017 10:53 am

EC,

IMO, you have complicated the simple message by insisting on the stipulations of obedience and commitment. The multiple paragraphs penned by me are an attempt to explain my position on your persistent stipulations regarding the salvation requirements.

Simplest answer to your question:

Call on Jesus to be your Lord and He will respond.

All the other ‘stuff’ will come in time with spiritual growth and maturity. No one needs to do anything but cry out to Him with the sincerity of accepting Him as Lord over their lives. They don’t have to understand it all. They don’t have to get baptized. They might not even be sorry about or hold regrets about how they have lived.

Not sure how else to describe it for you. You just want to demand more of a person in order for them to get saved I guess.

Time for me to be done with this one. :a2: SS
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