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Posts Tagged ‘follower’

Colossians 3:5, 9-11 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry…Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him, a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all…

As followers of Christ, our old nature has been killed and buried. We are new creatures in Christ. We no longer have to serve sin because Christ has set us free.

Our old sinful nature was crucified with Christ. It was dead and buried and now a new, holy and righteous creature has risen and is alive in Christ.

We have Christ living in us and we can rely on His power to overcome temptation by His strength. Because of Him we can live a life free from the guilt and punishment of sin. The sinful nature is still in the ground and a new person now lives as one with God. He put His Spirit within us and made us His dwelling place.

When God looks at us, He sees His child that has been changed by the grace of Christ. We are now holy and righteous in His sight. Not because of anything we have done, but because of the work Christ did. We no longer have to work to earn salvation. After accepting the grace of God, we no longer have to strive to keep the law. The law was good in that it was a tutor to lead us to Christ. The law was fulfilled by Christ and now that we are His, we live by faith in the grace He provided.

In Christ, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. There is no upper level or lower level child of God. The is no Jew or Greek, male or female, clergy or laity. Each one of us make up an equally important and functioning part of the body. We are all saved by grace and living under the headship of Christ. Christ is our all in all.

May we continue to grow in Grace and let Him have the preeminence.

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One with God

A ​reader​ ​recently ​posted a reply to one of my articles, and it got me to thinking. We are taught from an early age in the christian religion that God is up there in heaven somewhere, looking down on us who live here on earth.

I can remember hearing so many times the pastor saying during a special service, God is going to show up and the spirit ​will fall, and we will have a special time of fellowship together.

So why is it we are told that God is up there and we are down here and he may show up now and then when the conditions are right? It just didn’t make sense.​

After some time ​of thinking about this​, it just didn’t feel right to think that God is going to show up only at certain buildings where people meet at set times, with set programs. God sent his Spirit to live within us all the time​.

Jesus prayed in John 17 that we are to be one as he and the father are one. The Spirit lives within us, which to me says God lives within us. We are merged together with Him. We are one with God as Jesus is one with God.

​W​hen​ a man and woman marry​, God says they become one. So it is with God and us. When we put our faith in him and accept his free gift of grace, we become one. We are no longer separate individuals, we are one with God. We aren’t God, but we are merged together as one. We are the temple,​ or house of God.

I wanted a better way of saying what I felt, so I started saying I was a Christ follower. But as it ​was pointed out​ to me​, this still ​suggested​ a separation between God and us​.

​We have to get the religious thinking out of us and begin living the truth, that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God is within us. There is no separation, no waiting on God to come down. We don’t have to follow and keep up with Christ. He is within us.​

We don’t have to wait until Sunday to go to a building for God to show up, that isn’t his house. We are the body of Christ, each of us are equally important parts. We are his dwelling place, each and every day.​

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Jesus wasn’t a Christian? How can you say such a thing?

Especially here in the USA, when we think of Jesus we think of Christianity. Actually Christianity is just another religion. Jesus didn’t come to start a religion. Men started calling those who followed Christ as Christians, but in our modern era, Christianity is thought of as a religion more than it is a lifestyle of following Jesus.

Jesus doesn’t belong to any particular religion. He loves and accepts people no matter what they believe. He came to show the love of the Father to the human race, not start a new religion for people to fall in line and follow.

If we mean Christian as being a follower of Christ, then there is nothing wrong with using this word to describe our fellowship with Him. If we use Christian as a sense of belonging to a particular church, following a particular doctrine and set of rules, then I would rather not have anything to do with that term.

Jesus is the Son of God, and He loves all people. He doesn’t see Muslims, Jews, Christians or any religion. He loves people. He sees people who need the love and acceptance of God. The only way people are going to come to true fellowship with God is through Christ…not Christianity.

It’s time we stop looking to the organized world of religion as our way of becoming acceptable and pleasing to God. We need to look to Christ and allow Him to live through us and let Him love all those we meet each day. Stop demanding that people come to follow your doctrine, your rules, your beliefs and accept people as they are. Show the love of Christ to them and let God work in them the way He sees fit.

We are never going to completely agree with each other on doctrine and religion. Only through Christ and the love He gives will we be able to love and accept others. Let us be known by the true sense of the meaning of Christian, being someone who is doing the works of Jesus, and letting Him reign as Lord of lords and King of kings.

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After being in the organized church for well over 50 years, and seeing all the different denominations, beliefs, interpretations etc., one thing makes me sad. That one major thing is to see so many followers of Christ fight and argue over the different paths we take in our christian walk.

Now that isn’t saying the all roads lead to God, but while trusting in God and following Christ, we are going to take many different paths during our life here on earth. They are going to be different from other followers of Christ, but we are following the same Christ.

Those of us outside the institutional church should not divide and separate ourselves into the ‘in church’ and ‘out of church’ groups. In the same manner, those who are part of the modern day church should not look down on and separate from those outside the institution. We need to accept that we both love God and are following Christ along the path he has for us.

I think this is what working out our salvation means. Not that we have to work to earn our salvation, but we continually learn as we follow Christ in our salvation. We, as Christ followers, will take different paths in our walk with God. We shouldn’t expect everyone to walk the same path.

And I hear those of you who even want to argue over the phrase ‘Christ follower’. I’ve had people correct me for using that phrase. By using it I mean Christ is living within each of us, and we walk with him and let him live through us. We are following along with him and not out doing our own thing.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to love one another, encourage and build up one another. We aren’t to be continually expecting everyone to act like us and walk in the same way we do.

We are to be accepting, loving and kind to all we have contact with each day, and especially to those who are fellow believers. It seems we are more concerned about acting and believing the exact same things, and when we don’t, we want to fight, argue and separate ourselves rather than accept that God works in each of us in different ways. He made each of us differently, and he leads us along different paths as we walk toward a common destination.

Rather than expect everyone to be just like us, let’s start loving one another the way Christ loved people while he walked the earth. Let’s not let different interpretations and ways of walking with God be a stumbling block to a loving fellowship with one another.

Besides, we aren’t going to lead anyone to a relationship with Christ when all they see is arguing and disagreements among brothers. We aren’t going to draw people insisting they conform to our way of thinking and following our rules and interpretations. The only way people will know we have something worth checking out, is when they see brothers and sisters in Christ loving one another, caring for one another and building each other up.

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I recently saw a news article about one group of christians picketing another church group. Supposedly they were picketing because they felt the church group, who allowed gays and women who had abortions into their assembly, was being soft on sin.

I can only assume that the picketers thought the gays and the abortion people were to big of sinners to be in with the religious folk.

Seems the church assembly was being more Christ-like to me, but the whole situation made me feel a little ashamed to be called a christian. In fact, I think it is a good idea to give up being called a christian. It is just another man-made religion, and I feel that I am done with religion. Rather than being called a christian, I think it makes more sense to say I am a follower of Christ. Jesus didn’t start christianity and he didn’t come to start any kind of religion.

Being a Christ follower is a daily, 24/7 lifestyle, not something to be done once a week in a building. It isn’t following a doctrine, or set of rules and regulations.

As a Christ follower, we accept all people and we love all people, like Jesus did when he walked this earth.

This doesn’t mean we agree with everyone. It doesn’t mean people can live anyway they want and have fellowship with the Father. But once they come to God, the spirit comes to live within them and he will guide them in their daily lives and actions. It is not our job to condemn others. Jesus’ command under the New Covenant is for us to love God and love others.

Like the picketers and church group mentioned above, a lot of christians today spend more time fighting and arguing amongst themselves while the world watches and laughs.

As followers of Christ, we need to keep in mind that we, the Church, are the body of Christ in our world. We may be the only “Jesus” many people see. We should keep our focus on Christ as our all in all, and forsake our personal feelings. In our lives, Christ should increase and we should decrease.

 

This post was a Guest Post at New Covenant Grace
You can view it at http://www.newcovenantgrace.com/christian-or-christ-follower/

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My Journey

Welcome. My blog is a place where readers will find writings of personal experiences, thoughts, and the peace that the Lord provides throughout my walk. I intend to bring inspiration and insight, as well as providing a very personal and transparent view into my life, in order to help others see their own lives in a different perspective. I strongly believe that we all need a different view at times, in order for our own personal growth to take place.

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