How To Become A Christian
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The experts say that the first step in treating an alcoholic is for that person to recognize that he is one.
|Father, forgive me for all my sins. I surrender my life to you. Teach me your ways. Create a new person in me and hold on to me forever. Thank you.|
You have recognized that you need God. This is the first step.
Since only God can read your thoughts, and since the enemy constantly makes a claim for your life, the second step is to openly confess that you need God and that you are asking for His forgiveness and that you are placing your future in His hands. Let the universe hear your decision. This can be done right where you are. No one else needs to be present.
That is all that is truly needed. God does the rest through the Holy Spirit. You must cooperate with Him as He guides you to truth and as you fall in love with God.
However, there are three more things that will help you. The great struggle now begins. The enemy will try at all costs to get you back through temptation from the old life, through disillusionment and discouragement.
Emulate Christ in your daily life. Pray. Study.
You should publicly declare your allegiance to God through baptism.
To help you in the future and to assist in the great commission, it is good to assemble with other believers. Find a house of worship. One thing that comes either on acceptance or at baptism is the gift of the Holy spirit. Watch for these gifts and use them for God.
Alone, you can be broken. Together, we are a tower of strength.
Christ Our Role Model
Christ is the visible image of God in the world. As our role model, Christ demolished all our ways of perceiving the world. Everyone is important. Judge no one. Power is not an asset to be gained. Power is something you give to the powerless.
Therefore, Christ came and acted in the role of a servant. He demonstrated that leadership is through service. Wealth is through giving. Power is the act of raising the least of society. And love is more than an emotion, it is a principle.
When Christ ended the sacrificial system - the only remaining communication with God was in prayer. Sacrifices were temporary. Prayer will be with us eternally. Talk to God every morning. Talk to Him throughout the day. If you find yourself too busy, then set aside time to talk to Him. Otherwise, call on Him on the spur of the moment.
Talk about your day. Thank Him. Ask for His guidance and protection. Pray for all people around the world. Pray for your enemies. Dedicate your life to Him every day. Sympathize with God about the rotten day that He is experiencing.
With prayer you will become best friends and remain best friends.
Fruit of the Spirit
Gifts of the Spirit
The only remaining ceremonies are baptism and communion. They are not necessary for salvation. However, you should participate if you have the opportunity. But they remind you of what this salvation brings and what it cost. They are also God's chosen way for us to celebrate these events.
|The Power of Symbolism|
Some people have insisted that I should say that you must be baptized. Why? Just because Jesus said so. A very good reason.
Eventually you will get to this point in your Faith. But some people need a good reason. After all, cults use this kind of reasoning to suspend rational thinking.
My problem is that there is no way of saying this in the imperative without making it seem that it is a requirement for salvation. That is, "if you are not baptized, you will be lost". When the truth is closer to the statement, "when you are saved, you will be baptized".
So I will demonstrate why these ceremonies are important with an example in the old testament.
We know that the blood of lambs and bulls and goats could not save. God even said that He had no pleasure in them. Yet Israel had to do them or they would be cut off. Why?
We are not a church of individuals. The consequence of the disobedience of Adam and E
So hamburgers and beer, or pizza and Pepsi cannot be used for communion. Beer or flowers cannot be used for baptism. They teach nothing about the death of Christ.
Baptism and communion have a powerful meaning for the present and the future. Do them!
He comes to reconcile you with God, bringing fruits and gifts.
Fruits. Now that you have chosen God, the Holy Spirit comes to you to start a life of change. This is what causes behavior to change. This is why you will begin to hate certain things. This is why a certain sadness will overcome you every time you see or hear some things. This is the beginning of the promise in the covenant. He is writing the law of God in our hearts.
Just knowing the ten commandments is not good enough. By using all your own energy and courage you cannot obey them with joy. God teaches you His law by giving you a love for what is good and a natural hatred for what is evil - what is false. This recognition of what is good is called the fruits.
God expects all Christians to work for His cause.
To tell others about His plan of salvation.
He helps us by sending us the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This is not given to every human being.
But every Christian receives this gift either at baptism or when the commitment to God is made.
The gifts are used to help the church at that moment. They are temporary abilities needed while we have to battle evil.
Just For You - A Love Letter From God
|A Father's Love Letter|
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139: 3
Even the very hair on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17: 28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17: 28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1: 4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1: 11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139: 15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17: 26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139: 14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139: 13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71: 6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8: 41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. I John 4: 16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. I John 3: 1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. I John 3: 1
I offer you more than any earthly father ever could. Matthew 7: 11
For I am the perfect Father. Matthew 5: 48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1: 17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6: 31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29: 11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31: 3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139: 17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3: 17
I will never stop doing good for you. Jeremiah 33:3
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19: 5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32: 41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33: 3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4: 29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37: 4
For it is I who gives those desires. Philippians 2: 13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3: 20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
When you are broken hearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34: 18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40: 11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21: 3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21: 3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17: 23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17: 26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1: 3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8: 31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5: 18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5: 18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. I John 4: 10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8: 31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. I John 2: 23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8: 38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15: 7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3: 14-15
My question is - Will you be my child? John 1: 12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15: 11-32
Love, your Dad,
If there is one practice that Christian's engage in, it is to treat God like Santa Claus, by using His promises as a weapon.
This is what makes prosperity ministers thrive. You must love God because you accept His way of doing things - not because you might benefit. The book of Hebrews clearly states that God considers the greatest humans to be those who died without receiving His promise. Those who gave their lives still believing. They loved God. They were not simply on the side of a winner. Their actions demonstrated that they would have stayed with God even if He could not deliver golden streets and mansions. Just as Christ died for them, they were willing to count this life for nothing and die with Him.
So, study God's promises, look at how He answered in the past. Also realize that sometimes His answer came years or generations later. And sometimes these answers will come in the new world.
Love Him because He is loving.
Do not ask what God can do for you, ask what you can do for God.
Your Body - The Temple
God promises to make you perfect by writing His law in your heart. In effect, your body is now the temple where God lives. As such the Holy Spirit will be leading you away from certain behavior to a better way.
Do the best that you can for your body.
Do not drink, smoke or take drugs.
Do not involve yourself in adultery or illicit sexual behavior before marriage. I am surprised at the change in morality today. "Christian" couples and leaders openly live together and expect to continue doing so and act as if there is nothing wrong.
Decide that these are not acceptable goals. God will change your body to comply with your will.
Always remember that the church is a hospital for sinners. Always remember that you have an enemy.
With this in mind, expect to be disappointed by your fellow church members. Expect to be happy with some of them. But none of them are your example. Christ is. So always expect to give - not to receive and you will find church life very rewarding.
|God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. Romans 8:28||Time: 15 minutes
Print: 4 pages
Updated : February 19, 2005
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Pastor Peterson
(1) - Presents of God Ministry