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Starting a New Life in Christ

Discussion in 'For New Christians' started by smachen, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. smachen

    smachen Member

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    Starting a New Life in Christ
    I'd like to start a new life in Christ, but I'm unsure of where to start and what to do. Can you please offer me some advice and tips on how I can start a new life in Christ and build a relationship with Him.


     
  2. timf

    timf Regular Member

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    There is no end to the number of people who are willing tell you what to do. Some of them will lead you into the flesh of self worship. Some will lead you into the flesh of legalism.

    The best protection you can find is to immerse yourself in the Bible. Jesus tells his disciples, "If you abide (live) in my word, then you are my disciples indeed and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.

    Churches can be tricky business. They come in denominational "brands". Each one will say that they offer the right way to know Jesus. Often they end us substituting activities, events, classes, and programs, for a relational Christian life of growing in Christ-likeness.

    If you seek a church, I would suggest one that actually believes the Bible is literally true. I would suggest that you seek out an older and wiser Christian woman who clearly show the light and love of Jesus in her life and her to help you know Jesus like she does.

    In Ephesians chapter four we learn that the purpose of church leadership is to help us all grow into the full image of Jesus. All too often churches try to bring us into denominational compliance instead.

    Here is a link about trying to find the right church. You can see what a problem it is;

    Christian Pioneer - What is the right church
     
  3. OliverC

    OliverC happy

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    May I ask, timf, why do you recommend those who believe the bible is literally true?
     
  4. timf

    timf Regular Member

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    Truth is the key to everything. The Bible tells us that it is truth and Jesus is truth. Truth is the absolute upon which all else hangs.

    Once an allowance is made that the Bible is mistaken, faith is also undercut. If God cannot be trusted, in what then can we trust?

    One could make a case that the sate religion for most western countries is secularism. We are told that secularism is the absence of religion, however, I would contend that it is a religion based on the worship of man in general and self in particular.

    There are two choices in the universe. Trust in yourself (or human collectives such as government) or trust in God.

    The Bible describes this as "the world" and the kingdom of God. The Bible says that if we are a friend of the world, we are an enemy of God.

    Those churches who accommodate the world point their people away from God. This is what was starting to happen in Galatia. Many churches take away from the Bible. However, in Galatia they were adding to it. Either way elevates self and stops the work of the Holy Spirit trying to make us more like Jesus.

    Here is a link regarding asking if the Bible can be trusted;

    Christian Pioneer - Can the Bible really be true?

    Here is a link showing how these two views of the universe effect our understanding the purpose of life;

    Christian Pioneer - What is the purpose of life

    Even those who claim the Bible is true can still miss much of the richness of the Bible. Often those who tend to be legalistic claim the Bible is true only to still miss the mark. Some of these churches will rely heavily upon the verse;

    Hebrews 13:17a Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves:

    This is often cited to get people to "do what they are told". However, if you go to the Greek, you find a better English translation would be "Stop resisting and allow yourselves to be persuaded by those you have chosen to follow".

    By using Bible tools to get to the real meaning, you find that what could have been an oppressive mandate is really an engaging exhortation.
     
  5. OliverC

    OliverC happy

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    Thanks Timf, helpful reply.
    With a literal view of the bible should we worship God alone or Jesus and God?
    I hope my questions also add direction to Smachen's OP.
     
  6. timf

    timf Regular Member

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    There is much that the Bible says that we don't fully understand.

    The relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one such topic. Many denominations have made declarations about this relationship, however, I think we may never (in this life) understand fully. I think we have limitations both in capacity and frame of reference such that full understanding is going to be out of our reach.

    Jesus refers to the Father. John tells us that Jesus was the creator. Jesus says that if we have seen him, we have seen the Father. There is a unity that transcends our ability to fully understand.

    We can work with what we know. For example, Jesus says that He will answer our prayers and that the Father will answer our prayers.

    John 14:13-14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

    John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

    Praying or worshiping either or both the Father and Jesus would be appropriate. However, it should be noted that there is a conditional phrase (in my name). I see this as more than just a phrase that needs to be spoken, but as a template such that our requests need to be in alignment with all that is in the character of Jesus. For example, saying, "Dear Father in heaven, let me win the lottery, in Jesus name, Amen" is more along the lines of selfishness than consistent with the selfless love that is characteristic of Jesus.
     
  7. Alive_Again

    Alive_Again Resident Alien

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    I would find a church where the gifts of the Spirit are in manifestation. The anointing brings great liberty. It is the power of God in manifestation. It is where the Holy Spirit agrees with the Word of God and confirms it with signs following.

    If you are just starting, you are literally a "babe" in Christ (no matter who old you are in the natural). It's a wonderful place to be. As someone said, you'll want to get established in truth, because the enemy does NOT want you to find out who you are, and the ability that is in you, as a New Covenant believer.

    You'll want to become well established in the fundamental principles of the Word as described in Hebrews 6. Repentance from dead works to faith, baptism, the laying on of hands, etc. There's plenty of anointed teaching on the Internet. I've really been enjoying Gary Carpenter lately. He really hears God and He helps teach you how to do so yourself.

    For now, get established in truth and in particularly, the truth of God's love for you. If you make it your aim to return that love to Him, you'll start off nicely.
     
  8. Emmy

    Emmy Senior Veteran

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    Dear smachen. Jesus gives us good advice, in Mathew 22, verse 35-40:
    " The first and great Commandment is: Love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds. The second is like it: Love our neighbour as ourselves." Then Jesus gives us good advice again: " On these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." We start by treating all we know and all we meet, (whether friend or not friend) we treat them as we would love to be treated, with kindness and consideration. God will see our sincere efforts, and God will bless us, and God will also know that we love God, because we are following God`s Commandments to love and care.
    Jesus will give us His Love and Joy, and the Holy Spirit will empower us with
    His Love, also. "Ask and ye will receive," ( Matthew 7, verse 7-8) then we thank God and share all Love and Joy, with all around us, our neighbour.
    We might stumble and forget, but then we ask God to forgive us, and carry on loving and caring, loving and caring. We are also following the Bible telling us to" Repent," to change from being selfish and unloving to becoming loving and caring and loving and caring. Love is very catching, and Love is a Christian`s great weapon, Love will overcome all and Love will change all for the better. We will become loving and caring, and the men and women which God loves. Jesus will help and guide us all the way, in fact
    Jesus is the Way. Slowly and surly we will turn into the children/sons and daughters, which God our Heavenly Father wants: To Love and Obey, is what God wants from us. All we say or do,should be with Love and Compassion,
    becoming loving as God is loving. God is Love, and God made us in His image. We know what is Love as God wants us to Love, and God will see our sincerety flourishing: With hearts, and souls, and minds for God, and loving
    others as we love ourselves. I say this with love, smachen.
    Greetings from Emmy, your sister in Christ.
     
  9. 1watchman

    1watchman Overseer

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    TimF has given you sound advice, Aum. Read the Word of God, for it is the Word of God; and pray much trusting the Lord Jesus as Savior of your soul, and Lord of your life. Christianity is not about a story or just a relgion, but the new Life God wants all mankind to embrace. The blessings come from a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus --not just trying to follow His teachings.
     
  10. OliverC

    OliverC happy

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    Yes, thanks. I am looking into liberal Quakers now.
     
  11. Harry3142

    Harry3142 Regular Member

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    smachen-

    The foundation of Christianity is not any set of laws; it's Jesus Christ himself. We accept that through him God accomplished what we could never accomplish, namely, our obtaining the righteousness necessary for salvation:

    Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

    But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:19-26,NIV)

    The righteousness we need for salvation is a righteousness which we cannot earn as a salary or purchase as an item. Instead, we must adopt the same attitude as the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14, who implored God to be merciful to him, a sinner. And those of us who accept what God himself has already done on our behalf through Jesus Christ's sacrifice are assured that we will receive that mercy. God, who could have simply 'written us off', chose instead to do what he deemed necessary in order to save us from the consequences of our own shortcomings and enable us to have eternal life with him.

    And how do we repay God for what he's done? We don't. Instead, we permit God to subdue our original, sinful nature himself, as well as implanting within us a new nature. This new nature is necessary for us to have if we are to truly have our actions conform to what God wants of us:

    So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

    The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:16-26,NIV)

    Note how many of the acts listed as 'the acts of the sinful nature' aren't really actions in-and-of themselves. Instead, they are the motivations which culminate in the commission of sinful acts. They are also at the core of our original nature, and so are as much a part of us as our eye color. If we attempt to subdue them ourselves we find that we are using one act of the sinful nature to offset another act of the sinful nature. We need the help of God himself, just as a patient in need of a transplant needs for a skilled surgeon to perform that transplant.

    Just as we can say that 'the acts of the sinful nature' are the cause of all sinful acts, we can say that 'the fruit of the Spirit' is the cause of all righteous acts. And in order for our actions to be truly righteous, the impetus for those actions must itself also be righteous. One cannot pick good fruit from a poisoned tree, and likewise one cannot have a righteous act be the result of a sinful motivation. In order for our actions to be righteous, the motivations which led to their being performed must also be righteous, and that only occurs if the motivations are those found in 'the fruit of the Spirit'. That's why the words immediately following their listing are, "Against such things there is no law."
     
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