Being saved vs being a Christian.

Ceallaigh

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There are pastors/teachers who say when you become a Christian, you'll start living like one. You'll develop an interest in God/Jesus. You'll develop an interest in prayer. You'll develop an interest in reading scripture. You'll start being interested in things, and start living a certain way that you didn't before you became a Christian.

And some people become furious over that and call it works salvation. But is salvation the limit to being a Christian? Can being a Christian be summed up in when you die you're going to heaven, period end of story, nothing else?

The way I look at it is, okay you're saved. Now how about being a Christian?

To me being a Christian is like being a musician. You can dress like a musician and walk around with a musical instrument and call yourself a musician. But if you don't have any interest in learning how to play an instrument. Don't have any interest in learning anything about playing music. Or practicing. Or actually ever playing music. What good is it? The point of being a musician is to be devoted to actually being a musician.

So what's the point of being a Christian if you aren't devoted to being a Christian?
 

InChristAlone525

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I agree with you. And I think the sinner's prayer is the worst thing to happen to the Church. Why do we go to heaven? It’s not because our sins are forgiven. Jesus told Nicodemus your spirit must be born of the Spirit, you must be born again. Here is the true sinner's prayer:
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:17-23

This is the higher truth I learned from Pastor John Fenn:

"Many a ‘believer’ who raised their hand does so out of mental agreement that they need to ‘accept’ Jesus, or change their life, or find an answer to life – before they ever experience personal enlightenment/revelation from the Father, drawing them to Him. Thus they continue to live as they did before.

Studies have shown that only 6% of those who come forward at an evangelistic crusade to ‘accept the Lord’ are still following Him 1 year later. Is this in part because they make the decision for Christ more on head knowledge than on personal revelation from the Father?

Peter did not proclaim ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ until after, Jesus told him, the Father had first revealed that to him. First comes the revelation, then comes the proclamation.

It is that revelation from the Father, being taught of Him, that causes us to leave our natural thinking of Jesus as the carpenter from Nazareth, to entertain the possibility His claims of being God’s Son might be true. But people will fight you for their right to stay in the lower truths of the earth. They will vehemently reject higher truth. "
 
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d taylor

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A person can be a christian and never believe in Jesus for God's free gift of Eternal Life. And the other way around a person has believe in Jesus for God's free gift of Eternal Life, but is not following Jesus in their lives. They may have at the very start of their life as a born again child of God but they have fallen away.

The parable of the soils gives an example of 4 soils. The 1st soil never becomes a believer, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th soils are examples of the types of born again believers that exist in life.
 
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Laodicean60

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God says to believe and that is a hard step for many. I think salvation comes once you believe. For me, a true Christian follows the greatest commandment by loving humankind in thoughts and actions and this shows they love God. Now step back and ask yourself how many brothers and sisters are devoted Christians.
 
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HTacianas

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There are pastors/teachers who say when you become a Christian, you'll start living like one. You'll develop an interest in God/Jesus. You'll develop an interest in prayer. You'll develop an interest in reading scripture. You'll start being interested in things, and start living a certain way that you didn't before you became a Christian.

And some people become furious over that and call it works salvation. But is salvation the limit to being a Christian? Can being a Christian be summed up in when you die you're going to heaven, period end of story, nothing else?

The way I look at it is, okay you're saved. Now how about being a Christian?

To me being a Christian is like being a musician. You can dress like a musician and walk around with a musical instrument and call yourself a musician. But if you don't have any interest in learning how to play an instrument. Don't have any interest in learning anything about playing music. Or practicing. Or actually ever playing music. What good is it? The point of being a musician is to be devoted to actually being a musician.

So what's the point of being a Christian if you aren't devoted to being a Christian?
Read Matthew 25:31-46. That will answer your question.
 
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Ceallaigh

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God says to believe and that is a hard step for many. I think salvation comes once you believe. For me, a true Christian follows the greatest commandment by loving humankind in thoughts and actions and this shows they love God. Now step back and ask yourself how many brothers and sisters are devoted Christians.
I think in a lot of cases that could be due to them being told that doing anything beyond believing in Jesus is bad.
 
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Ceallaigh

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Read Matthew 25:31-46. That will answer your question.
How about leaving out salvation and judgment day, and it just about being devoted to being a Christian? See for me, I'd want to be a Christian even if there was no mention whatsoever about judgment, hell and heaven in scripture.
 
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HTacianas

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How about leaving out salvation and judgment day, and it just about being devoted to being a Christian? See for me, I'd want to be a Christian even if there was no mention whatsoever about judgment, hell and heaven in scripture.
Well your question was along the lines of what do you do when you're a Christian. I pointed out what a Christian would be judged based on. There is your answer. A Christian should be doing all of those things. And it spells out what happens to a Christian if they don't do those things. Knowing that, what do you think a Christian should be doing?
 
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bling

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There are pastors/teachers who say when you become a Christian, you'll start living like one. You'll develop an interest in God/Jesus. You'll develop an interest in prayer. You'll develop an interest in reading scripture. You'll start being interested in things, and start living a certain way that you didn't before you became a Christian.

And some people become furious over that and call it works salvation. But is salvation the limit to being a Christian? Can being a Christian be summed up in when you die you're going to heaven, period end of story, nothing else?

The way I look at it is, okay you're saved. Now how about being a Christian?

To me being a Christian is like being a musician. You can dress like a musician and walk around with a musical instrument and call yourself a musician. But if you don't have any interest in learning how to play an instrument. Don't have any interest in learning anything about playing music. Or practicing. Or actually ever playing music. What good is it? The point of being a musician is to be devoted to actually being a musician.

So what's the point of being a Christian if you aren't devoted to being a Christian?
Christian was never supposed to be a title, it is a descriptive term meaning "Christ like". If you're not Christ like you, you are not a Christian. Salvation is not my call.
 
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Ceallaigh

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Well your question was along the lines of what do you do when you're a Christian. I pointed out what a Christian would be judged based on. There is your answer. A Christian should be doing all of those things. And it spells out what happens to a Christian if they don't do those things. Knowing that, what do you think a Christian should be doing?
I see the sheep and the goats pointed out a lot. But it's practically impossible to not fulfil. Because Christ says, "inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these". Now how many manage to go through life without providing charity towards one person?
 
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HTacianas

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I see the sheep and the goats pointed out a lot. But it's practically impossible to not fulfil. Because Christ says, "inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these". Now how many manage to go through life without providing charity towards one person?
It doesn't really specify how many. Just that some did not do it for anyone. But there is the answer to your original question. What should a Christian be doing.
 
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Ceallaigh

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It doesn't really specify how many. Just that some did not do it for anyone. But there is the answer to your original question. What should a Christian be doing.
Actually Jesus does say how many ie "one of the lest". But anyways, is that all there is then to being a Christian?
 
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ViaCrucis

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There are pastors/teachers who say when you become a Christian, you'll start living like one. You'll develop an interest in God/Jesus. You'll develop an interest in prayer. You'll develop an interest in reading scripture. You'll start being interested in things, and start living a certain way that you didn't before you became a Christian.

And some people become furious over that and call it works salvation. But is salvation the limit to being a Christian? Can being a Christian be summed up in when you die you're going to heaven, period end of story, nothing else?

The way I look at it is, okay you're saved. Now how about being a Christian?

To me being a Christian is like being a musician. You can dress like a musician and walk around with a musical instrument and call yourself a musician. But if you don't have any interest in learning how to play an instrument. Don't have any interest in learning anything about playing music. Or practicing. Or actually ever playing music. What good is it? The point of being a musician is to be devoted to actually being a musician.

So what's the point of being a Christian if you aren't devoted to being a Christian?

Dr. Luther put it this way, the Christian is a Christian because he/she abides in Christ through faith, and in their neighbor through love. This is part of the larger Lutheran idea known as the Law-Gospel Dichotomy. This dichotomy between Law and Gospel runs through Lutheran theology and practice. The Law says "do this" and the Gospel says "believe this"--the Law has no power to save, in fact not only can it not save, it actually condemns and kills us; salvation is through the Gospel only which works faith to trust Christ, thus we are justified (reckoned righteous) before God by His grace alone, through faith alone, on Christ's account alone. So, then, do we ignore the Law? Absolutely not, the Law still says "do" and it must be done. But for what reason? To be justified before God? Absolutely not! But rather because the Law tells us to go and love our neighbor, because our neighbor is still hungry, still thirsty, still needs clothing. The Law therefore guides our conduct, not to make us righteous before God, but righteous toward our neighbors.

Therefore Lutherans talk about "two kinds of righteousness", there is Righteousness before God (Coram Deo), which is called a "passive righteousness" because this is the righteousness received as pure gift, it is in fact the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ which is received through faith in Christ. And there is Righteousness before the world or our fellow man (Coram Mundo or Coram Hominibus) which is called an "active righteousness" because it is the righteousness we are to exhibit in our lives here in the world as followers of Jesus toward and in regard to others.

Therefore the Christian exists in two dimensions we might say, the vertical (ourselves in relation to God) and the horizontal (ourselves in relation to others). It's not either-or, it is always both-and.

This is why we can see what St. James says in his epistle, "faith without works is dead" and understand it not in contradiction to what St. Paul said throughout his epistles, that we are justified before God through faith apart from works.

The role of works is not our justification before God, but justice (righteousness) toward others. To live rightly in relation to other people, here in the world, as members of our communities: as children of our parents, as parents of our children, as brothers and sisters to our siblings, as brothers and sisters in Christ toward each other as Christians, as citizens of where we were born, as doctors, as ditch-diggers, as journalists, as shoe-makers, as bakers, as chefs, as lawyers, in all vocations and every vocation we have.

This social dimension of our Christian life means we bear Christ in how we live toward others--in the things we do, in the things we say, in the things we think. In what we do and what we don't do.

If I say "I have faith" and live utterly lawlessly, I am living in sin, and fundamentally denying the very faith I claim to have. And without repentance, that can very well shipwreck my faith and leave me stranded.

Not because what we do justifies us; not because we can "lose our salvation" if we make a misstep--for we sin a thousand times daily. But because faith drives us to Christ, and faith hears His word, believes it, and also desires to obey. It is not the obedience that saves us, it is God's grace that saves us; but obedience comes from faith, like heat and light come from fire. The heat and the light are not the fire, but fire quite naturally produces heat and light.

So Law and Gospel means that we see ourselves in relation to God through the Gospel only: What Christ has done for us is done already, and God gives us this good freely apart from our works, received through faith (which even faith is God's good work in us and for us).

And in relation to our fellow human beings we see ourselves through the Law which calls us to daily be Christ's disciple, to love others, to be kind, gentle, to have self-control, to bless and not curse, to pray for those who oppress us and hate us, and to in all things exhibit the love of Christ which is for all people. That our neighbor should be blessed, that we should be servants and stewards and followers of Jesus here in the midst of this world.

Law and Gospel.
Gospel: What God does and promises and gives freely.
Law: What God commands we do (and not do).

Understood rightly, properly, and never confusing the two, never blending the two, never treating one like the other. But always regarding the Law as the Law and the Gospel as the Gospel. Abiding in Christ through faith; and in our neighbor through love, in all ways being a Christian.

-CryptoLutheran
 
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