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What is a good Christian?

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by Oceanmoon, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. Oceanmoon

    Oceanmoon New Member

    I have some few questions, what is baptism do you need to be in a church for being baptized?What is a good Christian, what can they do to always improve? What does the bible say about Heaven, I assume it is also meaning Kingdom of Heaven?

    Is it necessery to visit a church, also Sunday I know is the Christian day for worship, is it compulsory to worship in the church?

    Thank you
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  2. TzephanYahu

    TzephanYahu Member

    United Kingdom
    Shalom Oceanmoon

    I'm not sure what you mean...

    Here are some great places to start from the Apostle Paul:
    Romans 12:1-15:13
    1 Timothy 3:14-17

    Heaven isn't described as much as New Jerusalem, which is where we go after the Messiah returns. That will be the 1000 year reign of the Messiah. New Jerusalem will be incredible. Read Revelation 21:9-27. Inside the walls will be a land like the Garden of Eden in all it's glory. It will be filled with glorious fruits and vegetables that have no comparison to what has gone before. We can live with Yahweh and His Son there in peace, prosperity and safety from all things. We will have amazing homes there which has been prepared by the Messiah.

    As for the life after that, the New Heavens and the New Earth, such things are a mystery or well hidden within Scripture. Exciting though!

    No, not really. Especially not these days, as it's not like "Church = truth"

    Whilst Sunday is the traditional day of worship for Christians, this is actually a decision by men alone. Man decided to move the original day of rest, Sabbath (Saturday), to Sunday instead. This is easy to find out about on the net if you weren't aware.

    So whilst Sunday attendance of the church is a mainstream tradition, it is neither a commandment or necessary to be a fruitful worker for Him. That said, it can bring benefits of fellowship and support which cannot be ignored. But, if you seek to have a day devoted to Yahweh in your week, the Sabbath would be the Biblical way. You could still go to church on Sunday as well. But having Sunday instead of Sabbath is right, according to the Scriptures.

    Now, many will say "what this Scripture and that scripture" - but will only be quoting Paul or Hebrews (debatable authorship). If you take the whole Bible message, the Sabbath still stands. If Paul seems to say different to what Yahweh and the Messiah has said - then you've probably misunderstood Paul! The Apostle Peter says that this is very easy to do with Paul's letters in 2 Peter 3:14-17

    But at the end of the day, if you choose Sabbath or Sunday, it is not compulsory to worship at church, but the everyday Christian will advise you that it's good to do so.

    Love & Shalom
  3. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    Are you currently in danger of harm if your internet messages and sites are intercepted by the religious /government in your area ?
  4. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

    Christian Seeker
    A good Christian is someone who is bad to the world.

    Luke 6:22
    Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.

    John 15:19
    If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

    Hebrews 11:38-40
    the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

    39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
  5. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

    United States
    A good Christian is one who is growing in the faith.
  6. Mountainmanbob

    Mountainmanbob Goat Whisperer Supporter

    United States
    One who is Born Again and practices.

    Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
    of the Spirit is love
    and self-control
    Against such things there is no law.
  7. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    It is the initiation rite by which one becomes a member of Christ's church. It is believed also to impart God's forgiveness of the person's sins and grant grace/blessing for spiritual growth.

    Technically, no. But that is the usual because the ceremony (called a sacrament) has to be done correctly (according to Bible standards).

    People use that term to describe all sorts of things that they think important. Generally speaking, however, it means to live as Christ taught his listeners to live--charitably, humbly, respectful of God, obedient to God's commandments, and so on.

    Usually the two terms mean the same thing. Heaven is the spiritual, eternal abode of the saved, a "place" in which one is in the presence of God.

    Worship is conducted in church but it is not necessary to be in a church in order to pray, praise God, and generally do what most people would call "worship." However, there is a strong admonition in Christianity that believers should fellowship together and also, if one has no connection to a church, he customarily misses out on the Lord's Supper, the principle ceremony of Christian worship as well as the instruction in the faith that takes place in church..

    All of this assumes that the person is ABLE to attend a church for group worship, etc. This may be impossible in your case, and Christianity recognizes that this can happen.
  8. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

    United States
    You'll get different answers to some of these questions. The Christian world is unfortunately not in perfect agreement on everything (just as the Muslim world is not in complete agreement with itself). That's why it is so important to prayerfully read, study, and meditate on the Word of God, the Bible yourself. If you do so, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to know at the right time.

    My favorite baptism story is of two young Chinese men decades ago in China. They found a New Testament and began reading it, and came to faith in Christ. They wanted to take it to the next level and get baptized, but Christianity was severely repressed then, and they couldn't find anyone to do it. So finally, in desperation, they went down to the river and baptized each other. They went on to found a network of dozens of house churches.

    If you remember the excerpt I posted from John 4, Jesus told the woman at the well, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father." Church is important. Fellowship is important, as the Lord has given us each of us to build each other up in love. But those times when church is not possible, our relationship with the Lord still is valid and still can grow. It depends on our heart for the Lord, because He is always an open door (see Revelation 3:20). The same lack of legalism applies to when we worship as well.

    You can get a pretty good, and very, very beautiful, glimpse of heaven at the end of the Book of Revelation, at the very end of the Bible. There, in chapter 21 John describes the Holy City descending from heaven and apparently becoming a kind of portal between heaven and the new Earth. Amazing stuff.
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  9. Josheb

    Josheb Christian Supporter

    United States
    lol! A dead one :D.

    It is not until we see the other side of the grave in resurrection that we will be raised incorruptible and immortal. At all points prior to that we bear the effects of sin and simply have them covered by the shed blood of Christ, indwelt by the Word and the Holy Spirit by which we are sanctified, matured, and perfected.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  10. Josheb

    Josheb Christian Supporter

    United States
    According to 1 Peter 3:21 baptism is "not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." Doctrinally, it is a public display of acknowledgement of and commitment to God through the work of His Son, Jesus the Messiah, who has saved you from sin and the commensurate wrath of God.
    Yes. However, the word "church" must be correctly understood because Biblically speaking the church is not a building, nor is it a denomination. The church is simply the body of Christ and there is thereby only one. The word "church" comes from the Greek word, "ekklesia," and it literally means "those called out." So what you're asking is "Can I join those who are called out of the world in service to God our Creator and Christ our salvation without public acknowledgement or the pledge of a clear conscience?" and the answer to that question is, "No."
    That list is too long to post in a discussion board but it begins with loving God with all heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving your nighbor as yourself and being obedient to God.
    Read the Bible and find out. Even were we to answer every single internet discussion board posted you'd still have to go find the experience for yourself.
    Can you be an engineer and not hang out with other engineers? Yes, possibly, but why would anyone want to do so?

    Can a carpenter be a carpenter without hanging out with other carpenters? Yes, but why....? What sort of house might a single carpenter build by himself in comparison to the houses built by many carpenters working together in unison for common purpose and mutual benefit?

    A church is just people. Christianity is about people. It is possible to have an intellectual understanding of Christianity apart from others but it is not possible to be a Christian without others.
  11. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

    United States
    Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered
    into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But
    Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?
    bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not
    be taken away from her.

    (Luk 10:38-42)
  12. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

    In baptism we pour or sprinkle water on people, or immerse people in water (there are different methods). We say the words "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," which come from what Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20. It can be in a church, or in a special building for doing baptisms, or in the open air.


    A good Christian believes in God and trusts in God. We can always do that more deeply. As the man in Mark 9:24 says, "I believe; help my unbelief!"

    A good Christian lives as God would want us to. We can always do this better. James 1:27 says "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

    A great deal. See all these verses.

    Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
  13. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    United States
    In Relationship
    Baptism is a Christian rite which involves the application of water upon a person, along with invoking the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Different churches do things sometimes a bit differently. In antiquity the usual method of baptism was to immerse a person three times in water, this is still how it is done in the Eastern Churches today. In the middle ages it became common in the Western Church to baptize by pouring water upon the head three times, this is how it is ordinarily done in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches. Other kinds of Protestants prefer that baptism be done by single immersion, and some tend to be very adamant that this is the only valid way to do it.

    Most Christians, however, don't care how a baptism is done--three-fold immersion, pouring, single immersion, etc--because the form a baptism takes isn't as important as the baptism itself.

    As for the meaning and significance of baptism, this is one of the bigger issues that gets debated among different Christian denominations. The traditional view, the one still held by Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, and others, is that baptism is a Holy Sacrament, an act and work of Divine Grace and a means through which God acts upon an individual to accomplish a particular purpose. In the case of Holy Baptism what God accomplishes through it for us is that He adopts us as His children, grants us the Holy Spirit, gives us faith, unites us to Jesus and Jesus' crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection--and thus through baptism our sins are forgiven, and we are made Christians.

    Now, not all Christians believe this, many Christians take different perspectives. A common one today is that baptism is a symbolic rite through which one who is already a Christian makes a public profession of faith and marks their identity as members of the Christian community. This is the view of most Evangelicals, Baptists, and some other Protestant denominations.

    Because of these very significant differences, the topic of baptism is a very frequent topic of debate among Christians of different backgrounds.

    It is most common, but it is not necessary. Virtually all churches are designed with having a baptismal font--a place to conduct a baptism--in mind. And this is where baptisms are generally done. But this is largely a matter of convenience and custom. Throughout the history of Christianity baptisms have been done in rivers, springs, wells, any place where there is water.

    This is a difficult question to answer, as in the Christian faith we are typically discouraged from making any kind of estimation about ourselves based on our works. We remember that Jesus said, "There is no one good except God". So from the perspective of many, perhaps most Christians it may be fair to say there is no such thing as a "good Christian", there are only Christians, and we are all very much works in progress, unfinished lumps of clay.

    Depends on what one means on "improve" and what kind of Christian you ask. I'm a Lutheran, and from the Lutheran perspective we tend to shy away from the idea that the Christian life is one in which there is some kind of linear moral progress. That, through trying really hard, we get better over time. That doesn't mean we aren't growing, changing, and--hopefully--for the better. Only that we reject the notion that there's a kind of moral ladder which we are climbing. From a Lutheran perspective it might be better to say that we are are learning, growing, failing, and dying. In a sense, the Christian life is a life in which we are learning how to die. God's commandments point us both toward what we should do, and reveal how we aren't doing it. That's why we can't trust in ourselves and our actions as a metric by which to understand our relationship to God, but must instead look exclusively to Jesus Christ, who alone is our righteousness before God. That we are as our Scriptures say, "in Christ", and therefore we belong to God and have God as our Father.

    Now, Christians from other traditions and denominations will have different answers to the one I've provided. But on this, in part because it's such a big and open topic, I've provided the specifically Lutheran answer to the question, other Christians from other backgrounds will offer their own views on the subject.

    This might be surprising, but the Bible says very little about life after death at all. The Bible, instead, is far more interested in talking about life after life after death. So what happens between death and resurrection is barely discussed at all. However, the basic idea that we can glean from the Bible is this:

    That between death and resurrection the wicked experience a foretaste of future judgment, the New Testament calls this "Gehenna", though in older English translations it is called "Hell". And that between death and resurrection those who belong to Christ will experience a foretaste of the future life in His presence, that we will be with Jesus between death and resurrection--the Bible never calls this "going to heaven", but that is what it is often called in modern times.

    More importantly, however, is that the day will come when Jesus returns, and when He returns the dead are raised, bodily, and all are judged. The blessed are raised to eternal life in the Age to Come, when God renews and restores all creation, both the heavens and the earth; and the wicked--well, not that.

    That's a common misunderstanding. The phrase "kingdom of heaven" is generally (but not exclusively) found in Matthew's Gospel, and where in Matthew the phrase "kingdom of heaven" is used, in Mark and Luke we find the phrase "kingdom of God". So here "heaven" is a substitute for God.

    Also, the kingdom Jesus speaks of isn't a place, either "up there" or "over there". The Greek word that gets translated into English as "kingdom" (basileia) is better understood to mean something like "kingly reign", it's a reference to God-as-King, what it means for God to be king. And so the kingdom of heaven/God refers to God's royal power and authority. Which, we understand, to have been exercised through Jesus, the Christ, the King-Messiah. In the Gospel of John when Jesus is brought before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, Jesus has been charged with proclaiming that He is a king, and so Pilate interrogates Jesus, "Is it true that you say you are a king?" Jesus' response is important, He says both that yes, it is true that He is a king, but also that His kingdom is not of this world. Jesus is king, but not a king in the way that earthly rulers are kings. Jesus is not like a Roman emperor, or a president, or a monarch of a nation--Jesus is king in a very different way, because His kingdom is a very different kind of kingdom.

    In the Gospels, two of Jesus' disciples come to Jesus and ask if, when Jesus becomes the king, if they can sit on His right and left sides. Now, they were still thinking that Jesus, as the Messiah, was going to overthrow the Roman government and take His throne as an earthly king over Israel--a common view that Jesus is constantly trying to explain to His followers that this isn't the case. Anyway, Jesus' response to His two disciples is that greatness in God's kingdom is not like greatness here on earth, Jesus says that in the kingdom the greatest person is the slave. It is the lowliest people in this world that are greatest in God's kingdom. In God's kingdom the first are last and the last are first. In God's kingdom, it is the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, and the oppressed who are called blessed.

    Because the way God is king isn't the way people here on earth are kings. God's way of being king, ultimately, looks like a poor carpenter from Nazareth being crowned with a crown of thorns, nailed to a Roman cross between two thieves, being spit upon and beaten, and then saying to His murderers, "Forgive them, Father, they do not know what they are doing."

    God's way of being king does not look like a palace, or a mansion. It is a kingdom in which servants are greatest, in which the poor are the most rich, and in which mercy, love, justice, compassion, and peace rule.

    This kingdom has come, in part, through Jesus, and it is through the mission of His Church in the world, preaching the good news of Jesus to the world, that the kingdom is present, here, and in part. But, the day will come when Jesus returns, the dead are raised, and God makes all things new--and on that Day the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, there shall be no more death, nor suffering, no war, or adversity. Peace and justice shall flow like a river. And God will be all in all.

    Christian corporate worship occurs, by definition, by gathering together. And church buildings exist as meeting places in which this worship can be done. It is where the people gather to hear the Scriptures read, pray together, sing hymns of praise, recieve encouragement and instruction, and celebrate Christ's Supper (also called Holy Communion and the Eucharist).

    We are told not to refrain from meeting together. And since church buildings exist to facilitate a meeting place, that is where these things happen--as mentioned in my paragraph above.

    It's less about "compulsion" so much as, from the traditional Christian perspective, God has promised to act and be present in certain ways in our gatherings together, through His Word and Sacraments. And so meeting together shouldn't be seen as something that we have to do just because; but rather something we get to do, joyfully.

    Of course Christian worship can take many different forms, but our meeting and assembling together for Word and Sacrament is the most important and central way in which that worship occurs. This is why, for a long time, churches were often known as "the Lord's house", in fact the English word "church" actually comes from this Greek expression, kyriake oikos, which was shortened to kyriake, and then in the Germanic languages (which English is one of) we get German kirche, Dutch kerk, Old English circe, and Modern English "church".

    The term "church" has also become used in English to refer to the Greek word ekklesia, meaning "assembly" or "a gathering". In the Bible Jesus says, "I will build My ekklesia" that is "My Church", and so the term "Church" is used to refer to Christians in our communion together in Christ, within the greater Christian community around the world, as well as locally. Hence you will often see "the Church" used, which doesn't refer to a building. It can be confusing in English since "church" refers to both concepts.

  14. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

    United States
    There is nothing about supernatural about the water. What baptism symbolizes is death and rebirth, in the same metaphor as the flood (1 Peter 3:20-21). Like Noah, you are stepping out of the flood into a new world. That is what it symbolizes, but what it is is a ritual declaring your loyalty to Christ and His kingdom before all, both men, and angel. When God made the covenant with Israel the angels came to witness it. It is a declaration that you a citizen of God's kingdom, and not the worlds kingdom.

    It not necessary to salvation to go to church, but that is where God is waiting for you, and it is where you will grow in the Spirit and knowledge. We have each been given gifts, and we each have a relationship with God which when we share increases the relationship others have. Very importantly, it is where you worship God together. At the church I got to we have been worshiping and the spirit shows up and the pastor, who prepared the service, withholds it for the next Sunday and we continue worshiping. I think it is particularly important for you to go to church because of where you live. The pastor there will be able to teach the laws of Qatar, and how speak to your family, and let you know what the dangers are. I think it is really important to get that kind of counsel before you talk to your family.
  15. Oceanmoon

    Oceanmoon New Member

    Really inspirational and informative read. Thank you all :)
  16. coffee4u

    coffee4u Well-Known Member

    Answering your title question of
    Mark 12:30-31
    30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

    Those verses sum it up really.

    Baptism is a topic of some division. My church believes in full emersion of believers. Other churches hold to different beliefs.

    You can worship anywhere at any time, but going to church is helpful and keeps you connected to other believers.
  17. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    Baptism is symbolic of the Christian's union with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. (Romans 6:1-8) Baptism signifies the believer's death to their old life lived in rebellion to God and their being "raised up" to new spiritual life in Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Baptism connects faith with action. In the New Testament, it was the first thing a new convert would do upon being converted.

    A church building is not required for baptism. Jesus was baptized outdoors in a river.

    A good Christian is one who obeys the First and Great Commandment which is to love God with all of one's being. A Christian who fulfills this commandment fulfills the will of God. (Matthew 22:36-38) The love God desires from us we can only obtain from Him, however. (Romans 5:5; Philippians 2:13)

    A Christian improves by dying to himself and living unto God. (Matthew 16:24-25; Romans 6:11; Galatians 2:20) No Christian can do this properly on their own. They need God to enable them to live this way.

    The Bible says quite a bit about heaven. The main thing to remember is that heaven is heaven because God is there. To desire heaven is to desire God. One who desires heaven but does not desire God is not ready for heaven.

    No, worship of God in a church is not compulsory. God is worshiped as you delight in Him in the midst of everyday living. He is worshiped as you obey Him in loving others as you love yourself. He is worshiped as you live a life of integrity, and holiness, and faith. None of this worship requires a church building.