Tag Archives: justification/sanctification

Marks of a Christian

Okay,

In my last post I talked about the transformation of the outside when you become a Christian. I want to explain it more here. I am referring to the process of sanctification. Now that is a big, confusing word. Though the idea is really simple, it means to become like Christ. Some people believe that to get forgiven you have to do good things (sanctification) and then you will get forgiveness of your sins (justification). That is not true. Only the cross and Jesus dying on it can get us forgiveness, not anything we do. If we could get to heaven by ourselves Jesus would never have came.

 So what does a true Christian look like? Well to state it plainly, like Christ. Christian actually means, “little Christ”, so let’s please try to live up to our namesake (though we can never truly succeed at that). So what does that look like? Well this is Romans 12’s “Marks of a Christian”.

9Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal [lazy in passion], be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints [Christians] and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it  to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Now that is a pretty hefty list. I think that I am going to be hanging it on my wall to remind me how to act. We all know hypocrites! We all know how annoying it is when they start preaching at you and you are sitting there thinking, “Yeah, sure say that. Look at your life!”. Now my life is far from perfect (hard to believe right?). These are things that I am working on, but as I grow in my faith, as I become holy, more like Christ, through the holy spirit’s work in me.

Another good list to work on is the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. (I did that from memory, thanks to the song (the fruit of the spirit’s not a coconut! *knocking on my head and clicking my tongue*))

 We as Christians are called to be “holy as I am holy” (God is saying this to us). That is beyond human capabilities, but that doesn’t give us an excuse for not pursuing it(Outdo one another in showing honor)! We are commanded to strive for more than we can reach. As a friend of mine pointed out while studying Do Hard Things, “When we set a higher goal and higher bars, we might not reach that, but we will sure do a whole lot better than having a lower standard and not even reaching that.”. I hope this helped you all. If you have any questions leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Soli Deo Gloria!

In Christ Alone,

Nobody <><

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Message to My New Bros and Sisses (What’s Next?)

 Ok, so you have just became a Christian. Congrats! Now what. What do you do? This is a hard question for most people. There are so many books, so many resources, so much of the Bible, so many questions, where do you even start? How do you go about making your life different, making it an offering to the one who gave you eternal life? Well I hope that I can answer some questions. I would also love for you to send me some questions, either via comments or by email. So here are some things I would advise both new and even older(if they are not doing so already) Christians to do.

  1.  Find a good church. Churches are truly a place where you can learn and grow and worship together with other Christians. The Church (big “C” church) is really just any and all believers. So find a place to fellowship with others. See if what they believe is Biblical. (This may be a hard thing for you new believers but ask someone, anyone who you know (even me) who is a firm Christian to help you find out if what the church is saying matches up to the scriptures.) 
  2.  Start reading the Bible. There is so much to learn. I have grown up in a Christian home and my dad is actually a pastor (only for about 3 1/2 years though) and I still find that there is ALWAYS more to learn. Now the Bible seems sort of scary, it is REALLY long for crying out loud! Where do you even start? Well a great place to start is probably the gospel of John. It tells the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and since that is the bases for our faith, it is a great place to start. After that I would advise reading Romans. It is filled with amazing insight about our salvation and life in Christ.
  3.  Find some strong Christian friends. Having fellowship with other believers, (like going to church) is very important. Also, when it comes to you old friends that do not know the Lord, I don’t encourage you to totally ditch them, but in the Bible it says that believers and not to be yoked with non-believers. So the people you are closest too, the people that effect the way you live, the people you share your hopes and dreams with, need to be Christians. I can not tell you how much of a blessing my Christian friends have been to me! Having people that will encourage you and come along side you when you fall and most importantly PRAY for you, is awesome!
  4. Share your faith. My dad often says that new Christians are great for sharing their faith with their friends, 1) they still have close connections to the non Christians, 2) the reality of Christ saving them is still fresh. This isn’t an easy thing, not at all. But you should let people know the change that has gone on inside of you. Matthew 10:33 says that Jesus will deny any one who denies him. Don’t be ashamed of Christ, or he will be ashamed of you. Like the Newsboys song goes, “I’m not ashamed to let you know, I want this light in me to show, I’m not ashamed to speak the name, of Jesus Christ”.
  5. Start the outward transformation. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of you mind, that you may by testing you might be able to discern the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” I want to make it perfectly clear that your heart is changed when you become a Christian, you are given the spirit of Christ in you, you are a new person. But the outward transformation isn’t as easy. As Gregg Harris (the dad of Alex and Brett from the Rebelution ) said in his session at the Do Hard Things conference, “We may have the heart of a lamb, but we have the body of a wolf. And we are constantly fighting our old ‘wolf’ ways.”. I am going to put another post (since this is getting long) of what we are to aspire to as Christians.

 

Okay, I hope this benefited you. I will be posting another part to this article soon (though I don’t know when because I am REALLY busy, speaking of which I need to practice violin…). If you have any questions or comments, please contact me. Also, if you are a new Christian, I would love to find out who you are and talk to you. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Also. If any of you regulars (or even people who stumbled on here) have any topics that you would like to hear about let me know. I have an idea for some, but it is always good to have more. The series I am going to start will have videos (Trey, you might get some emails from me if I can’t figure it out on my own!) and they should be really cool! I am so excited!

In Christ,

Nobody <><

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A Message To My New Brothers and Sisters (Gospel)

 Greetings! Welcome. I had a friend that was wondering about a post for you new believers out there to pass on to her friend so here I am. (Despite how often I tease you… you are still one of my close friends, even if you are short!!!)

 Well first I want to address what it means to be a Christian.

Being a Christian has nothing to do with you, or me. It has everything to do with the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. We are all horrid (I love that word and I don’t know why) sinners that have done something wrong. We have all committed high treason against a holy and perfect God so therefore we all deserve to die. That may seem harsh, but it’s the truth. I deserve to die and rot in hell, as do you.

 That leaves us pretty depressed right? I know it leaves me feeling empty and scarred and yicky. But there is good news, it’s called the gospel. The gospel is just what I said: good news. This good news is that someone paid your debt for you. Someone died your death for you, and his name is Jesus. 2,000 years ago Jesus died a horrible death and bared all your sins, just so that YOU could live. And or course, he didn’t just stay dead, he came back to life, then went into heaven.

 Now I want to be clear. You are not saved by ANYTHING you did. Not even praying a prayer saved you. ONLY the death of Jesus on the cross is what saved you and him choosing you to receive eternal life. ONLY! I can not stress this enough! I know plenty of people that have taken out “fire insurance” (get it, hell, fire, lol) yet they have not been impacted by the holy spirit. It is the holy spirit’s work in us (for those of you who don’t know, the holy spirit is the helper that Christ has sent to Christians. Part of the trinity, it is truly the spirit of God in us.) that allows us to accept Christ. If someone has been truly saved, if they truly understand that they needed to be forgiven and they were forgiven, a life can not stay the same.

 A Christian is no longer “Part of this world” (2 Corinthians 5:17). They now have Christ living inside them. I want to clarify something. The second you become a Christian, the second Christ lives in you, you are 100% saved and forgiven. (I talk about this on my post “Out of Goats”) There is nothing more you can do to make him love you more. NOTHING. That is truly amazing. We are loved totally by Christ. I know my love doesn’t work that way. I love my sister more when she actually closes the door after barging into my room without asking. Or when she leaves me alone. So thankfully I am not God. His love is FAR beyond human capabilities.

 I assume that most of you know what has been said. If not, please contact me! I would love to talk to you more about this! I am ALWAYS available!!! If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and would like to know more about Jesus’ death and about being a Christian, please talk to me. The next post will have some advice to new Christians. I’ll start that soon. And just to let you all know, I don’t know how much time I will have to post. I am working on writing a script and have some other story ideas waiting to get out. Also my grandma is coming for my baptism this weekend (I am going to be the first person my dad EVER baptises!!!). Also I am going to camp and so I will be posting, I just don’t know how frequently. Soli Deo Gloria

In Christ Alone,

Nobody <><

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My Dog Eats Strange Things

 Some of you who know me well have probably heard plenty of stories of my dog. His name is Kermit the Dog, he is a year and a half and is just about the cutest thing EVER! (He is a cacapoo and when he goes without a hair cut, he looks like a miniature English sheep dog!) He has a really cute personality and loves people and his ball (he comes running when we say the word “ball”). The one bad part is the presents he leaves (once inbetween my brother’s sheets!). Oh ya; He also eats some very strange things!

Here is a list of some of the things he has eaten.

  • Plastic bags (ALL the Time!)
  • Bags with fabric in them. (Why he would do that I have no clue!)
  • Kleenex (not too strange I guess.)
  • Shoes (another common one)
  • Candles (why he likes wax who knows!)
  • wicker (Yes, wicker, and more than once!)and my favorite,
  • Fiber glass (how he survived I do not know. My dad was pretty ticked though!)

So far all my posts have been posts with lessons, so you may be wondering why I would put something as random as the strange things that my dog eats. Well this does have a purpose to it. See Kermie likes to eat these thing, even though they are NOT good for him what so ever. He just enjoys the taste of wicker in his mouth, yet it can hurt him.

We as humans do the same thing. We like to have what can hurt us. We desire what devours us. It is part of the lies that the devil throws at us. So many things seem so good to our flesh, yet they really will just hurt us. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of flesh, it is our sinful nature.

Just Like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, sin looks SO tempting, even when we know that it will hurt us. We say to ourselves, “Just one little bite wont hurt me.” when in reality, that one little bite is what will kill us. Sadly, until we get to heaven (assuming you are a Christian) we will always have to fight off sin. Paul talks about in Romans how he wants to do right, but the flesh is so strong, the poison apples so enticing, and he is so imperfect. Jesus tells his disciples many times the night before his crucifiction, “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

We can not win the fight against sin by ourselves. That is the plain truth. I know that sounds very depressing and pessimistic, but it is true. We can not win, But Christ can. God promises not to tempt us beyond our ability. He can bear every temptation that we are given, if we let him. He tells us to pray so that we don’t enter into temptation. When we become Christians, we are given the desire to do right, we don’t always do it. I know that I have the desire to do right, I just don’t always choose to do so.

Let’s face it. The right thing is usually the hard thing. And we usually run away from hard things. They don’t sound “fun” or “exciting”, but they are often necessary. Whenever I use the phrase “hard things” or :”do hard things” I think of the rebelution and Alex and Brett Harris. They know full well that running from temptation is a hard thing, but they also realize that all effort, even failed effort, builds muscles. The more we strive to fight sin, the better we become at it.

Just to clarify something, when we become Christians we are saved right away. We are Justified immediately. What I am talking about is the process of sanctification. Which is the process of becoming more like Christ. Becoming holy. We can’t do it on our own but Christ in us can.

I hope you all learned something from my very strange dog. If he was able to understand, I am sure he would be honored. May God bless you all.

~~~Soli Deo Gloria~~~

Nobody <><

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Out of Goats

Hi all! This is my first post and I hope you enjoy. This is an article (and now it’s a blog) that I wrote a while back. Soli Deo Gloria

One day I was reading in my bible about the laws for peace (or sin) offerings in Leviticus and when they got through the laws of what the leaders of Israel and other important figures had to do they got to the everyday people. The “common” people as my Bible put it. And it said that they must give a goat or lamb spotless, without a speck of blemish. And this was for every time they did anything against the ten commandments unintentionally. It got me thinking, “I would be out of goats so fast!”

I am considered a “good girl” I defiantly don’t go around killing people and I don’t steal. I don’t go around trying to break the ten commandments or anything, but I know that I fall so short. At the end of the day I have regrets, things I wished I wouldn’t of done, things I wished I would have done, and stinky attitudes.

Every day I worship my idols, I put other thing before God. I tell God no and tell myself that other things are more important than spending time with him. I don’t always honor my parents either (I don’t know any teenager who always kept that one). And there are others I struggle with too. On a daily basis I break so many of the ten commandments, but we as Christians are so blessed.

Instead of giving a goat or a lamb EVERY time we do anything wrong we can come to Jesus. He has been our sacrifice and through the cross we are forgiven. It is truly amazing! We are free from our sins, and we are free from the guilt that comes along with sin too. We are 100% forgiven. And as it says in Psalms 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Now the east and the west never meet. They are as far apart as can be, they’re parallel.

Now we will still have to face consequences for our stupid actions but God has forgiven us. Think of our parents. When we were little(and even now) and did naughty things our parents forgave us, but they still disciplined us. If they never disciplined us we would turn out as spoiled brats. It’s the same way with God. He loves us and forgives us but he also disciplines us but not because he hates us or wants us to be miserable but because he loves us and wants us to learn from our mistakes.

If he never disciplined us we would take advantage of God and become brats. We would also never learn from our mistakes. Doesn’t it feel so good to think that God will always forgive us? He has done it once and for all, and all we have to do is ask. All we have to do is repent. Or course we need to do a 180 too. We need to turn from our sins (that is a big part of repenting).

None of us will ever be perfect but with God’s help we can become more and more like Christ. Which is something we are commanded to do(1 Thessalonians 4:1). If Christ has redeemed us we will want to serve him and become more like him. One of my favorite quotes is “God only asks one thing from us, everything. The reason God can ask everything of us is because he gave everything.”

The point of all of this is be thankful. We don’t realize how amazing it is that we are forgiven. Take time just to thank God for His grace and mercy. It’s an amazing thing. Also, be thankful that we don’t have to sacrifice goats and lambs. We all know we would be out of them before we could blink.

Nobody <><  <><  <><

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