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What does being a christian mean and entail of one?

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by layne, Sep 12, 2002.

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  1. layne

    layne ByKr ChYk

    420
    +9
    Pentecostal
    I decided quite awhile ago that I wanted to become a christian. I haven't found a church I like, or feel I have given up all things that are morally wrong yet.

    So, I am curious about what kind of things I should do to make myself a better chrisian.

    Another thing I wonder about is the kind of music I listen to...how can I tell whether it not fit for a christian to listen to? (I tend to listen to heavier stuff)

    I feel guilty every time I do something I know is wrong. Will God keep forgiving me, or is there a point where he won't?

    BTW, I am not baptized yet.

    I appreciate any advice given to me!!
     
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  2. MizDoulos

    MizDoulos <font color=6c2dc7><b>Justified by grace through f

    +3
    Non-Denom
    Married
    This thread fits more appropirately here; has been moved from Questions About Christianity.
     
  3. Soul_Searcher

    Soul_Searcher Contributor

    +249
    Other Religion
    Hi Layne,

    You pose some very cool questions, and I'm sure you'll get some very different answers; some will quote scripture, some will try to direct you, some may even get mad that you're listening to heavy metal and still doing things you deem 'morally wrong.' Me? I'll just ask you questions back and let you think about it.

    How do you define "Christian"?

    What kinds of things are you saying are morally wrong?

    Why do you want to 'become a Christian'? What is it that draws you, even as you don't behave morally?

    You asked, "So, I am curious about what kind of things I should do to make myself a better Christian?"

    Simple, read these passage in your Bible: Matthew 22:37-39, Luke 10:27:28, Mark 12:30-31. This is where it all starts.

    I look forward to your answers.
     
  4. camaro540

    camaro540 Regular Member

    318
    +0
    Messianic


    It takes time. I wouldn't be worried about a church so much as I would read Gods word. We are told in:

    1John 2:27
    But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not
    that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth,
    and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
    Again, read Gods word. Trust in Him to show you the way. Ask Him when you pray to teach you what He loves, what will show Him that you love Him. Listen to Gods voice.

    How about starting here: Matthew Chapter 5
    Again, please listen to God. He will direct you in your ways (if) you let Him.

    Psa 23:3
    He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.


    Psalms 23 would be good for you to read.

    You feel guilty because its Gods Spirit that lives in you. Its His Laws on your heart letting you know that something is not right. Will He keep forgiving you for doing the same thing over and over? I think in your heart of hearts you already know the answer to this.
    It is good to be baptized.

    Patrick
     
  5. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

    +412
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Hi layne! :wave: Welcome to the boards!

    On to your questions:

    Well, generally speaking, the answers to your questions can all be found in your&nbsp;Bible.&nbsp;&nbsp;So, I suggest you start studying.&nbsp; Don't worry.&nbsp; It's not like school work.&nbsp; God will increase your hunger for&nbsp;His Word.&nbsp; To start with I suggest studying the atonement and forgiveness.&nbsp; If you desire to have a loving relationship with God,&nbsp; don't worry, you're already saved.&nbsp; God is already working in your life, changing you so that you will desire to be conformed to the image of Christ.

    Some of my personal favorite books in the Bible are Matthew, Luke, Acts, Romans*, Ephesians*, 1 Corinthians*, and James.

    (The * notates my favorites of favorites :D)

    Being a "good" Christian means being obedient to God.&nbsp; To be obedient to God you must learn what God commands of you.&nbsp; The Bible is one of the best sources for that instruction.&nbsp; Another good source is church elders, or people who have studied the Bible in depth for a while.&nbsp; Remember, though, they are people and as such are able to make mistakes.&nbsp; Test everything you hear against the immutable Word of God.&nbsp; Another thing you can do is to pray.&nbsp; I know it might seem uncomfortable at first.&nbsp; It will be the same as having a conversation with someone you don't yet really know.&nbsp; However, just like with your fellow human, talking to God is one of the best ways to gain knowledge about His Will.&nbsp; Thank Him for His gift and pray that He gives you a hunger for His Word (I admit, some parts are difficult to get through).&nbsp; Study your Bible daily, and pray regularly and just watch the amazing changes God will bring about in your life.

    Different people will give you different advice about this.&nbsp; My advice is to ask yourself if the music you listen to is glorifying to God.&nbsp; If not, put it off and put on more godly righteous music.

    Don't worry.&nbsp; It's good that you feel bad.&nbsp; Feeling guilt or conviction or remorse is something that get painted as bad in our society.&nbsp; But the Bible says differently:

    Hebrews 12:5,6
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;&nbsp;
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<SUP> </SUP>For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And scourges every son whom He receives."

    God doesn't "keep forgiving" you.&nbsp; He forgave you for your transgressions, past, present, and future.&nbsp; You&nbsp;now live in a "state of forgiveness."&nbsp; We are constantly in need of being forgiven because we continue to sin according to our old nature.&nbsp; Therefore, God, by the death of Jesus, made atonement for those sins you have, are, and will commit.&nbsp; Just remember, though you may sin, you should always ask for your Father's forgiveness.&nbsp; It shows that you acknowledge your wrongdoing and wish to repent of it, that is, turn away from your sin&nbsp;and turn towards God in obedience.&nbsp; To ask for forgiveness and then continue to do that which you know is sinful is of no benefit to you.&nbsp; And, as to the second part of your question, no.&nbsp; He has forgiven you when you were unresponsive to Him and fallen.

    We have His promise as a consolation to our fallenness:

    Philippians 1:6
    being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

    Out of obedience you should be baptized.&nbsp; However, this is not a salvitic issue.&nbsp; We are saved by God's grace and not through any works of our own.&nbsp; Baptism&nbsp;is the outward manifestation of&nbsp;inward regeneration.

    God bless.
     
  6. layne

    layne ByKr ChYk

    420
    +9
    Pentecostal
    One of the things I really need to try to abstain from is....*sex*.
    Yes, that is the thing that plagues me the most. My Bf and I are both trying to be better christians, and every now and then we falter.
    We decided at the end of last year or so, to not do it anymore in respect to God's will.
    What do you guys suggest I do? We both agree the marriage is not the way to correct this. We will both just have to try to be stonger I guess...
     
  7. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

    +412
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    This is one of the most difficult things for most people who are not married but are in a serious relationship.&nbsp; It's very good that you realize that having sex outside the bonds of marriage is sinful.&nbsp; My most practical advice would be to not put yourselves in a position where that can occur.&nbsp; Do not be alone together in a private place where you can engage in intercourse.&nbsp; Remember, though you are a child of God and, as such, righteous with regard to your salvation, you are still bound by His Word though your flesh is weak.&nbsp; As far as marriage correcting the issue of fornication you're actually wrong there.&nbsp; I will say that the desire to have sex is no foundation for a God centered marriage.&nbsp; But, a desire to be obedient to your Creator, and therefore abstaining from sex until you get married, is a good start on making God the most important thing in your relationship with your boyfriend.&nbsp; Have you ever heard the story about the pink elephant.&nbsp; It's just a little representation of how our mind works.&nbsp; If I say, "Don't think about the pink elephant" what is the first thing you think of?&nbsp; Of course, the pink elephant.&nbsp; If you put all your efforts into "not having sex" then all you're going to think about is "having sex."&nbsp; What would be better is to concentrate on the things of God and let Him guide your paths.&nbsp; Try praying when you feel weak.&nbsp; Try filling your mind with the Words of God at the beginning of each day.&nbsp; The main thing to remember is "putting off" your old habits is not easy.&nbsp; It's a struggle you will face for the rest of your life.&nbsp; If it's not the sex issue it will be something else.&nbsp; We all have to pick up our cross daily and follow our Lord.&nbsp; It's not easy but, despite what anyone might tell you, no one, certainly not Jesus, ever said being an obedient Christian was easy.

    I hope this helps,

    God bless.
     
  8. layne

    layne ByKr ChYk

    420
    +9
    Pentecostal
    Yes, I know that him and I need to work more together trying to come closer to God. I don't really know how. I was thinking we could find some books about living for God's will, and study them together and look up the bible scriptures as we read... but the only books I have like that are put out by Jehovah's Witnesses. I have read them before and the topics make sense and have scriptural backup, but my BF doesn't want to read anything by JW's. So, I guess I will have to check out a christian book store maybe?
    I know that JW's also have weekly bible studies, I've been to a few myself. I've asked my BF if he'd go with me to one, but he wouldn't. So, I don't know where else to go to. The churches I've been to mostly go on about the same thing every time we go, so I don't find them very interesting. And they don't have any bible study groups. I will have to talk to some christians here where I live and find out if there are any groups to join..
     
  9. camaro540

    camaro540 Regular Member

    318
    +0
    Messianic
    Hello again Layne

    I say this with all love in my heart towards you. Please let God be your guide. Books in stores are nothing more then one man/womans opinion. Everyone (including myself at times) believes their way is the right way to salvation. You have the greatest love letter ever written the earth has every known, its called the Word of God (Bible).

    Let God guide you, and you'll never go wrong. Yes, its a learning process, and we all stumble at times, but thats all apart of growth.

    (NOTE) This is my opinion.&nbsp; :)

    Patrick
     
  10. sbbqb7n16

    sbbqb7n16 Veteran - Blue Bible Dude

    +155
    Christian
    Single
    Start your own Bible Study group then :D Post up a notice in your church and find some people that want to join you in it. It doesn't have to be big, just a couple of people. Who knows? You may start a chain-reaction of Bible Study groups out there and revival breaks out in your town because of you. You never know what God can do when you take a step of faith. There's nothing stopping you! Remember if you doubt yourself... Moses didn't think he could do it either, but look what God did through him... My advice would be to take some initiative and try and change things for the better. Then sit back and watch God work!
     
  11. SnuP

    SnuP A son of the Most High

    +9
    Non-Denom
    Develope a relationship. God is a relationship orientated God, He wants to be a father, a friend, and a comfort to you. Start by reading the Bible and asking God what He is saying (I mean really ask Him). Don't be afraid to ask out loud even when you friends are studing with you (God may give them the answer). God will always give you the answer that you ask for, its promised in His word. Ask Him what is He trying to say in the scripture, and what is He trying to say to you. God will talk to you, I promise.
     
  12. SnuP

    SnuP A son of the Most High

    +9
    Non-Denom
    Hey, don't worry about all of the do and don't. Your relationship with God will take care of all of that. When He ready for you to stop doing something He'll tell you, and He'll make it easy to stop too. If you try to do it on your own your just get bogged down and become discouraged. Just develope a relationship and the rest will come. Just start a dialog, you'll be amazed at how much He'll show you.
     
  13. layne

    layne ByKr ChYk

    420
    +9
    Pentecostal
    Wow, that's a very good idea SBB. If I find a church, perhaps that is exactly what I will do.
     
  14. layne

    layne ByKr ChYk

    420
    +9
    Pentecostal
    I have never thought about it like that SnuP. If God doesn't want me to do something, he'll make it easier for me not to. I've already stopped with the bar scene. (Except for karaoke) and that was one thing I loved doing before, going out and dancing and drinking, and now I don't care for either. And I've changed where that is concerned in the past few months. And I didn't even have to force myself not to. I guess you maybe right about this point.


    So, then another thing I wonder about is, if the man is the head of the household and family, then if something I know he's doing is wrong, is it my place to point that out? And shouldn't he be respecting my opinions about things?
     
  15. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

    +412
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    layne, first, your boyfriend has not been put in a position of authority over you.&nbsp; It's not the "man" that is the head of the household.&nbsp; It's the husband.&nbsp; You should respect what he says and treat him with godliness because that's what you're commanded to do to everyone.&nbsp; If your boyfriend is doing something wrong the first thing you want to do is analyze your motiviation for confronting him with his sinful behavior.&nbsp; If your desire for confrontation is truly your love for him and your desire to see him restored to obedience to God's Word then that will look like something specific.&nbsp; It will look like compassion, patience, edifying, soft and kind words.&nbsp; Make sure your behavior is representative of your motive.&nbsp; If it comes out looking belligerant and aggressive that should tell you that maybe your motive isn't right and unless you can make sure you're addressing his actions for the right reasons you will want to find someone who is spiritual (someone who is responding in a spirit of love and who will not get caught up in sin) to deal with your boyfriend's problems.&nbsp; As to your last question, yes, he should be respecting your opinions.&nbsp; That does not mean that he has to agree with them.&nbsp; However, when the two of you are in disagreement about an issue (and I hope you're not talking about which movie to go see) look to the Bible for what has been commanded of you.&nbsp; As far as the inconsequential matters like where to eat, or what to do, love for others will dictate that we desire that their wishes be given before our own.&nbsp; Mutual respect is key.&nbsp; However, we don't need to go to the extent of putting our significant other on a pedestal.&nbsp; We just need to esteem ourselves lower.&nbsp; This is really an issue of how love can, and should, make us less self-centered.&nbsp; Remember, true love is doing that which is best for the object of your love with no regard for yourself.&nbsp; Take note that I said, "that which is best for the object of your love."&nbsp; This doesn't necessarily mean "give them what they want."&nbsp; When my children are rebellious the best thing for them with no regard for my own feelings of frustration, need for solitude, self-centeredness, etc, is to spank them.&nbsp; Believe me, a spanking isn't what they think is best for them.&nbsp; However, at times, it is.&nbsp; And, it is a sign of my love for them that I would take the time to instruct them in a proper biblical way.

    God bless.
     
  16. layne

    layne ByKr ChYk

    420
    +9
    Pentecostal
    Sometimes he has this attitude like "I am the man, my way goes" and I don't agree with that at all. I don't think that was what God was trying to imply for us. That the husbands word is the last word...
    I guess that what I was trying to ask, is what exactly is meant by that. Thanks!
     
  17. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
    +1
    Theres' some excellent advice coming from all in this thread; I'm not sure there's a lot I can add, except to say that, from the questions you are asking, Layne, it's obvious you are on the right track!
    Christianity is not a matter of pursuing legalistic perfection; we are saved entirely by the grace of God - nothing we can do can make him love us any more or less than he already does. And yet, the process of conversion does entail a radical change of direction, priorities and lifestyle; we are no longer living to please ourselves (or our family, friends, peer group etc.) but to love, honour and obey our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus the message comes across loud and clear that we must turn away from sin (in ALL its many forms, not just the obvious moral/sexual ones) and live pure and holy lives. Not that this necessarily happens overnight, as if by magic (tho' just occasionally God does do some miracle and sets folk totally free from besetting sins); most of us undergo a gradual process of refining, as He points out different areas that need change - and most of us stumble and fall short from time to time: God understands and forgives; the important thing is not that we fall down, but that we don't stay down, but get up and keep running for the finish line! What he does desire is our committment to growing closer and more submissive to his will.
    think someone already suggested that it is usually healthier and more producitve to concentrate not on 'what I must give up', but on the posiitives of what I can actively do to please God more. Thus things like joining a local Church and being committed to loving and serving the brethren; studying God's Word and spending time in prayer; using my practical and financial gifts to benefit others, especially those in real need; questioning and combatting negative, unjust attitudes and practices in society with the positive values of God's Kingdom are all signs of a life committed to following the way of Jesus Christ, and in whom the fruits of the Spirit are active. Above all, at the start of one's Christian life, it is important to be obedient to what God is telling you to do: established Christians will all have good advice - do this / don't do that; don't go 'over the top' / don't be complacent - which it's good to take into account; but first and foremost you must obey what the voice of God speaks into your heart. He'll never ask of you more than, with the grace he supplies, you are able, even if some human counsellors might! Tho' sometimes, he may just be a harder task master than they are!

    Anthony
     
  18. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

    +412
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Well, the only thing I can urge you to do is help your boyfriend see the error of his ways by being the godly woman you seem to want to be.&nbsp; Your boyfriend is definitely wrong about the way he is handling that situation.&nbsp; It is just&nbsp;one of the consequences&nbsp;of the Fall.&nbsp; We (men) are cursed with the desire to "lord over" our wife/woman, just as woman are cursed with the desire to rebel and be the "lord over their husbands."&nbsp; It is not justifiable because just as God has commanded women to submit (this doesn't mean be a doormat) to their husbands He has commanded men to love their wives as Christ loved the Church.&nbsp; It is really a man and a woman submitting their will to God's Will and thereby considering the needs of those in our care, or those placed in authority over us, before our own.&nbsp; Remember, this is a difficult thing for many men to get over.&nbsp; If you deal with it out of a loving desire for him to not be "caught up" in this sin the Lord will reward your obedience.&nbsp; Just let love be the motivation for everything you do.

    God bless
     
  19. SnuP

    SnuP A son of the Most High

    +9
    Non-Denom
    Paul also has instructed husbands and wives to submit one to another. And he tells husbands to love their wives as christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. Remember that Christ bore our sins and the consiquences of those sins. Is your boyfriend willing to do that?

    My father is a pastor, and he once told me that women have intuition and men have logic. These are the strengths of a marrige. I should listen to my wife because it will be easier for her to hear God and be sensitive to others and her surroundings. But then I should make a mutual discision based on a logical thought process. I should include my wife in the discision making process and in the discision, making sure I have a good grasp on what she understand intuatively.

    Another pastor of mine says that because a man is the priest of his household his job in not to be king of the house, but rather make sacrifices to God on behalf of his priesthood (his household) and then give gifts from God to his household.
     
  20. layne

    layne ByKr ChYk

    420
    +9
    Pentecostal
    I see now!
     
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