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Posts Tagged ‘believers’

I can remember growing up in the organized church being told all the things I needed to do to be a good Christian.

I think most of us who were part of the church were taught we needed to do certainly things to be pleasing to God.

We were all told that we are saved by grace, but after that we have to do, do, do to be good Christians.

What are We to Do

Usually the first thing we are told after coming to Christ is to find a Bible believing church, read your Bible, and witness to your friends. As we got involved in church we were again told to be at church whenever the doors are open, tithe your ten percent, get involved in a small group, do visitation, go on a mission trip, and on and on it went.

To be a good Christian, you can forget about grace because it all depends on how much you can do for God, at least that is the way it seems if you listen to others.

Always being told how to be a good Christian also brings up the thought that if you do not do all the things you are told you should do, then maybe you will be considered a bad Christian, and none of us want to be known as a bad Christian.

So what do we do? We try even harder to do all the things we were told to do to be a good Christian.

I think there are so many people who love God, yet feel so guilty because they just cannot measure up to being a good Christian, at least in the way that we have been told.

Grace

It is time we reprogram our minds from what the church told us and focus again on what God has told us. We are saved by grace, NOT OF WORKS. Ephesians 2:8-9 reads .. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

No More Guilt

We can stop feeling guilty about not doing enough. We need to stop listening to the do, do, do message and realize God has already done it all. God has done all that is needed to have a relationship and fellowship with Him. It is a gift from Him to us.

Good works will naturally flow from us through the love and power of the Spirit, not by our own effort trying to measure up and do things to earn God’s acceptance.

In Christ, we can relax and rest in Him. We do not have to worry about being a good Christian or a bad Christian. We can know that we are loved and accepted by our Father just as we are.

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What would it be like to sit down and have a one-on-one talk with your favorite pastor or evangelist? How would you feel having some time of personal fellowship with Billy Graham or any one of thousands of leaders you could think of who you feel is really on fire and in touch with God.

First off, this is never going to happen. These big name pastors and teachers are so unapproachable that most people will never even speak to them. The thought of having true fellowship is basically an impossibility. By true fellowship, I’m not talking about sitting in their service for an hour looking at the back of someone’s head and listening to what this person is telling you they think God is saying. No, I mean actually spending time together, talking together, discussing, and getting to know one another.

I guess the main point is why do we Christians think like this? Why do we think it would be so great if we could talk to these religious superstars.

Jesus is building His Church out of living stones, namely us, who are saved by His grace. We are His Church, and we are told we are all kings and priests. There is no one who should be over us other than Christ, who is the Head of the body, His Church.

Why is it we think so much about talking with people who are really no different than us, no higher in the Kingdom, no better in God’s eyes, when we can talk directly to our Father Himself. Anytime, anywhere, we can speak to and have fellowship with our Father.

Why is it we are more impressed talking with another human being when we can talk with Him?

Obviously, we need fellowship with one another, and fellowship is talking and spending time getting to know one another, caring for one another and encouraging one another. But we need to get past this idea of looking up to fellow believers. We need to look to Christ, who is our head. Don’t look so much to people when we can go directly to our Father.

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A good friend of mine wrote the following paragraph. There is an old hymn that says “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand” As important as the church is in our lives, we have to be careful not to put our hope in it. I have received a lot of help thru the church and a lot of good basic teachings. I was also saved in church but my hope is not in the church. My hope is in “Christ the solid rock”. There are times when we are alone with no Christian fellowship and maybe we can’t make it to church for some reason. We have to be able to stand as mature Christians and rely on our relationship with Christ. The church is no substitute for Christ. It is only where we learn about Him. I guess what I am saying is that we have a relationship with Christ and not the church, and He is our source of strength if we call upon Him in truth. I personally am going thru the desert in life and I have to depend on Him. He has proved His love and care for me and in reality, He is the “Son of the Living God”. Bottom line, let’s be careful to put our dependence on Him. All other ground is sinking sand….

This goes along with some of my posts about modern-day church. The organized church today is a place for believers to get together, but it is not the goal. Going to church does not make us Christians, it does not make us better people or more dedicated believers. It is a place to get ideas and interpretations from others of the Bible, a place to meet other believers, a place to reach out and help others. Basically it is a Christian social organization.

We need to stop putting the focus and emphasis on church, stop putting our eyes on pastors and realize that they are not the answer. We need to put all focus and attention on Christ. He is who we follow and worship. He is the Shepherd, the rest of us are the sheep. There are no co-shepherds, no intermediates between Christ and us. We are to follow Christ and Him alone. We are to learn from Him and love others equally.

There is nothing wrong with going to church, but don’t put your eyes on it and the leaders therein. Keep your focus on Christ. Whether you go to church or don’t go to church, Christ is the one we look to and serve. Don’t worry so much about going to church, but rather be the Church. It is not a building we go to, but a people who love and follow Christ.

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Romans 12:18 – If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

This almost sounds like an impossibility in our world today. To be at peace with all men, including non-believers and especially believers.

With all the different thoughts and ideas, the different denominations, interpretations and beliefs, different religions, how could it be possible to be at peace with everyone?

The dictionary says of peace: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations.

I think this is what God is saying, that we are to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters in Christ, not allowing any oppressive thoughts or emotions to take control of our feelings towards others. In other words, we live in love. Just because someone doesn’t interpret the Bible the same way we do, or go to the same church we do, or doesn’t go to church at all, we need to realize that in regard to other believers, we are all wanting to please our Father and do what He wants us to do. We need to accept one another in love, and respect the fact that God is working different ways in people and just because it isn’t what we are used to, doesn’t mean it isn’t of God.

In regard to non-believers, we don’t need to condemn them, or force our beliefs on them. We need to let them see the love of God. They don’t need someone beating them down or twisting their arms to get them to believe like us. We are to love them and let the Holy Spirit do the work that needs to be done in their lives.

If we believers could just understand that we are responsible for ourselves in the way we live for God. We aren’t responsible to live the way others do or think we should. We are to allow our Father to work in our lives the way He wants and follow Him on the path He has for us. Our responsibility is to love God and love everyone we come in contact with, accept them for who they are, and pray that the Holy Spirit will work in their lives. Living in this manner would accomplish much more in showing the love of Christ.

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