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How does being a Christian affect your life?

Discussion in 'Discipleship: Following Jesus' started by mcarans, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. mcarans

    mcarans Active Member

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    We are called to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus. How does this calling affect your life? One way to answer this question is to approach it from other angles. The questions we can ask and which I encourage you to think about are:

    1. What would be substantively different in your life if you were not a Christian (other than basic things like not going to church and having fewer Christian friends)?
    2. How does being a Christian affect your interactions with other people compared with if you weren't a Christian?
     
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  2. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

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    If I was not a Christian, then I would be focusing my efforts on trying to make others change so I would find them acceptable, or judging them if they didn't live up to the mark.

    But it is God who brings about the change in others, in His own way and in His own time.

    Christianity to me is about receiving Christ, experiencing His love and forgiveness and allowing His Holy Spirit to work through us so we can love and serve others. It is about loving God and loving our neighbour as ourselves. Caring for others expecting nothing in return, treating others how we would wish to be treated, that they may know something of the tremendous care that God has for them.
     
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  3. mcarans

    mcarans Active Member

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    Thanks, that's a great answer. From what you have said, you may be interested in a subreddit I run called r/cruciformity where we discuss topics around the idea that Jesus reveals the nature and character of God, one of self sacrificial love and of power shown in weakness on the cross. You are welcome to join if you would like.
     
  4. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

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    I will certainly take a look at that site. Thank you for sharing!
     
  5. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

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    Looking at both the questions you posted, I am mindful that I could always do better. Making friends and going to Church is the easy part. Serving others is the difficult part.

    I think the most important thing to remember is that as Christians, we are called to love and serve the 'least of these'. Loving and serving others is never straightforward. Caring for others often involves putting aside our own prejudices and seeing things from another's point of view. As Christians, we are very good when it comes to putting our own views across and proclaiming the truth as we see it.

    We have a lot to learn when it comes to listening to others. A lot to learn about true empathy and identifying with the real needs of others. We are good at giving the answers, but very often we have never really understood the questions.

    I am just as guilty when it comes to forming biased views about other's circumstances. As a Christian, I feel I should be more caring and more understanding.

    The Lord we serve was never afraid to reach out to people on the fringes, to have friendship with those who were treated by others as outcasts, to touch those who were unclean: to care, to love, to heal and give hope to people who had nothing to give in return.

    As a non-Christian, I would not care about any of these things. But as a Christian, I seek to become more like Christ.
     
  6. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance AS OUR WAY OF LIFE.

    Eph 4:1-3 As a prisoner in the Lord, then, I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you have received: with all humility & gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love & with diligence to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

    Eph 4:11-17,20-32 And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists & some to be pastors & teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith & in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.

    14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed about by the waves & carried around by every wind of teaching & by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head.

    16From Him the whole body is fitted & held together by every supporting ligament & as each part does its work, the body grows & builds itself up in love.

    New Life in Christ

    17So I tell you this & insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking...this is not the way you came to know Christ.

    Surely you heard of Him & were taught in Him, in keeping with the truth that is in Jesus, to put off your former way of life, your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be renewed in the spirit of your minds & to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness & holiness.

    25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood & speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one another. “Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set upon your anger & do not give the devil a foothold.

    28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one in need.

    29Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need & bringing grace to those who listen.

    30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    31Get rid of all bitterness, rage & anger, outcry & slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind & tender-hearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.

    Eph 5:1-6 Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children & WALK IN LOVE, just as Christ loved us & gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.

    3But among you, as is proper among the saints, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or crude joking, which are out of character, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.

    Eph 5:8-20 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT, for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness & truth. Test & prove what pleases the Lord.

    11Have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that is illuminated becomes a light itself.

    Walk in wisdom & in the Spirit

    15Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to reckless indiscretion. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

    19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns & spiritual songs. Sing & make music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    These are some of the effective differences, in the book of Ephesians, of a person repenting & believing the gospel & following Christ & obeying His word as His disciple & member of the Body of Christ.
     
  7. mcarans

    mcarans Active Member

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    Yes, but how specifically are you affected? What do you think would change in your life if you were not a Christian and how does being a Christian alter how you interact with other people?
     
  8. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I do not dwell on that because the Scriptures say not to for the following reasons.

    2 Cor 5:16,17 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; THE OLD THINGS PASSED AWAY; behold, new things have come.

    vs 6 Therefore, being always of GOOD COURAGE & knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight.

    I seek each day to walk by faith not by sight & by the power of the Holy Spirit have an attitude of good courage.

    This leads me to rejoice & be glad I have another day on this earth to be the Lord's servant & in faith anticipate the good works He has called me to & will present themselves throughout the day. (Psalm118:24,25; Eph 2:10)

    My nephew & his children are coming over this morning, so it will be a good time of fellowship with them & enjoyment.


    2 cor 5:9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

    In my interactions with others, my aim is to encourage & build them up & love & serve them whether Christian or not. I was able to help a neighbor yesterday as she had ran out of gas & had only 5 dollars. I gave her some gas and told her to keep the five for gas. I got a chance to share more of the gospel with here & we talked about the discipline of children as she has two little twins.

    I need to go as my nephew arrived, so may add more as time goes on.
     
  9. Johan_1988

    Johan_1988 New Member

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    I would be completely the opposite. I would care mostly about myself and not others or God. Love less hopeless and just completely condemned. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for saving me!!!
     
  10. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla Well-Known Member

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    I came to faith in a synagogue. I would continue to grow my relationship with God and the deeper fellowship I’d found. I’d have the support of the community in my calling and mentorship if needed. I would have greater proficiency in Hebrew and Jewish living.

    The big things would remain the same. I learned how to listen to the Holy Spirit while there. I would be more attentive to my daily routines than I am at present.

    I’m more communicative and offer words of encouragement and support. I smile a lot too.
     
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  11. Lilly54

    Lilly54 Well-Known Member

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    Hugely. It affects my life profoundly. Every thought word and deed. I know i must answer to Christ so i act accordingly. I pray about all things. I am accountable. I know i am helpless on my own abilities so i need Jesus.
    I choose to spend my time with different people now i am Christian. Choosing close friends wisely. Why waste time with ungodly people and ignorant fools? My choices overall in how i spend time, money and energy are affected. My choices of reading and TV viewing are deliberately different. Every moment counts and for me should be spent profitably in the service of our Lord and in bringing souls towards him.

    This sounds lofty. Let me say i try. I fail a lot. I aim always towards humility. I need Christ to direct me. Without Him i am nothing at all. Only dust with His breath granted to me.

    This way of speaking is so different from the secular world. But as Christians we are different. We see the world through a different lens.
     
  12. Lost4words

    Lost4words Like a puppy, i need guidance. Supporter

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    It makes me aware of my weaknesses!
     
  13. mcarans

    mcarans Active Member

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    If you shut yourself off from the ungodly as you put it, how can you draw them to Christ?
     
  14. Lilly54

    Lilly54 Well-Known Member

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    That is a fair question. I am talking about when faced with the truly ignorant of persons. Why waste your breath and time? Plant a seed and move onwards.
     
  15. mcarans

    mcarans Active Member

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    I think that even for the most ignorant we should not give up.
     
  16. LoreneDD

    LoreneDD ~Cassia~ Supporter

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    Planting a seed is all that anyone can do anyway. Most times we have no idea where that leads, which is probably good lest any should boast. Others water, but whatever the growth it can come only from God.
     
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