What Do You Know About Jesus Christ?

[By Lantz Manomano]

Matthew 16:13-17
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT JESUS CHRIST?
What one knows about Jesus Christ is very important and is what also determines how one goes through life here on earth. Victory and disappointment is redefined by the relationship and knowledge we have of Jesus Christ. Knowing Christ does not remove us from life challenges but we are strengthened and equipped to implement what we know during such times. Let’s get to know Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is 100% God and 100% Man
This is one of the most important fact of the bible which has caused so many religious divisions and has partly led to the creation so many false churches. Jesus is not a creation but He himself is a creator, and to bring this point to light we have to understand that angels and the human race are the creations of God and can’t create.

Understanding Christ is 100% God:

Creator: as we mentioned above Christ is not a creation. Man invents and God creates, the difference being that an invention comes from an idea of bringing together resources that are in existence in order to improve the standards of living whereas creation is bringing something to life from nothing.
John 1:1-5 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 1:2 says that Christ was in the beginning with God. Not only was He with God, but He was God. When it all started Christ was there and then verse 3 goes on to say all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. Verse 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. He is the light of the world. Also read Colossians 1:16-17.

Foreknowledge: only God knows all things and Jesus Christ knows all things. John 13:11 says: For He knew who should betray him; therefore sad he ,Ye are not all clean.

Search the heart: the Bible says only God can search and know what’s in a human heart (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Jesus knew their thoughts and what was in their hearts (Matthew 9:4-5)

Forgive sins: only God can forgive sins Christ forgave sins. The scribes knew this and said among themselves that He is a blasphemous because they knew that only God forgives sins. So is it that Christ functioned outside God’s will or He is God.

Point to note: There is only one God who exists in 3 Persons. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one or united. They operate harmoniously. The Father glorifies the Son, the Son glorifies the Father and the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son as they execute the plan from the beginning. (Read: What Is The Trinity? Do Christians Worship 3 Gods?)

 

Understanding Christ is 100% Man:

• Christ was born: Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law
• Jesus got hungry Luke 4:2
• Jesus slept Luke 8:23
• Jesus had a natural growth Luke 2:40

It’s very important to understand Christ’s conception is miraculous which means He was not born of fleshly man otherwise he would also need saving. We also have to understand the reason why He had to leave His place at the throne to serve and save a people He created. These are just points to stir up our spirit so that we grow a hunger and thirst for the Word of God.

 

Why did Jesus come to die for us?

When sin corrupted mankind, death also came into existence because God surely said if you eat of this tree you will die, Genesis 2:17. This death was both physically and spiritually because we were then separated from God. We became enemies with God and no longer had peace with God. Let’s see some of the reasons why Jesus came:
1. To restore life in us and save us from eternal death (John 3:16). Also Ephesians2:1 which states that He quickened those who have believed on Him because we were dead in our trespasses.
2. Reconciliation: this is the amending of a broken relationship (2 Corinthians 5:18,19)
3. To adopt us as sons and to be able to come to the Father. (Romans 8:14,15 John 1:12)
4. There was an exchange where Jesus took our place of death as the wages of sin is death and we deserved to die, but Christ who knew no sin became sin for us so that we could receive His righteousness (Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:21)
5. To restore the lost peace (Romans 5:1)
6. To give us access to His grace (Romans 5:2, Hebrews 4:16)
7. To take away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 1 John 2:2)
These are just a few reasons of why Christ came. It was all from a place of love. With the way we act one would think that Christ did not come or that He came but did not accomplish what He came to do, which brings us to our next question below.

Did Jesus complete His mission on earth?
This is an interesting question and it has different answers as people at times answer based on how they are feeling leaving out the Word of God. Christ completed his mission; He left no stone attended. Below are a few points of how we know Christ has completed his mission:
• He died for our sins and announced the completion, (John 19:30) It is finished.
• He rose from death (John 20:14-17)
• He is seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:1-3)
• We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit which he promised us, John 16:7-16

If Jesus accomplished satisfying God’s wrath and being the ultimate sacrifice, what does it mean for us who have believed?

• We are saved from God’s wrath, (1 Thessalonians 5:9,10)
• We are forgiven and should also forgive (Colossians 3:13)
• Put off the old man and put on the new man after Christ, (Ephesians 4:22-32)
• We are new creations, (2 Corinthians 5:17)
• We are complete in Him, (Colossians 2:10)
• We are dead to sin, (Romans 6:1-10).
• We now set our affection for the things of above and not on the things on the earth, (Colossians 3:2)
• Our life is hid in Christ with God, (Colossians 3:3)
• Christ is our life, (Colossians 3:4)

These are just but a few snippets just to spark one’s desire to hunger and thirst for the word of God. To conclude here are some of the names Jesus Christ was known by:

1. The Son of Man, (Mathew 8:20; 9:6, John 5:27)
2. Son of David (Mathew 1:1, 12:23, 2 Timothy 2:8)
3. King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15, Revelations 17:14, 19:16)
4. A Corner-stone (Psalms 118:22, Mathew 21:42, Acts 4:11)
5. Morning Star (Numbers 24:17, 2 Peter 1:19)
6. Messiah (Matthew 11:3)
7. The Word (John 1:1, 14, 1 John 1:1, 5:7)
8. Master (Luke 5:5, 8:24)
9. The True Vine (John 15)
10. Prophet (Luke 7:16, John 4:19)

Jesus Christ is indeed Lord and there is no other name that can save under heaven (Acts 4:12) and also His name is above every other name and at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under earth, (Philippians 2:9-10). We can never know the Father’s heart if we don’t know about Christ because Him and the Father are One in nature and likeness and no one can come to the Father except through Christ.

 

Life Objectives
• To stir up a hunger and thirst for the Word of God
• To find out how much we know about Christ
• To assess whether we believe in Christ or not
• To discover whether Christ is active in our lives today

Life Questions
1. How much do you know about Jesus Christ?
2. Which name shall every knee bow to?
3. If Jesus’s name saves, it saves us from what?
4. Did Jesus complete the will of the Father?
5. According to the answer provided on question 4, how does it make you feel?

 

What Are The Christian’s Weapons of Warfare?

The Bible tells us that every Christian is consistently engaged in spiritual warfare. In 2 Timothy 2:3-4 the Christian is described as a “soldier of Christ” who is engaged in a war.
In Ephesians 6:12, Christians are reminded that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but instead we fight against spiritual forces of darkness.
The devil together with his demons is described as the enemy of God whose primary objective is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10).

 

WHAT ARE THE DEVIL’S WEAPONS OF WARFARE?
The devil’s weapons of warfare include such tactics and techniques as:
a) Deception and temptation (Matthew 4:1-11; Genesis 3:1-13)
b) Encouraging the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21)
c) Causing fear, doubt and confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33; 1 Peter 5:8)
d) Idolatry, paganism and all forms of occultism (2 Chronicles 33:6)
e) Creating worldly philosophies & systems (Colossians 2:8; 2 Corinthians 4:4)
f) Creating false teachings and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

The devil is known as “the god of this world” who uses his own weapons of warfare to blind the world and to fight against Christian believers. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says: In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Therefore devil’s weapons of warfare are ultimately aimed at fighting against God and blinding people from having a relationship with Him through the knowledge and experience of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

THE CHRISTIAN’S WEAPONS OF WARFARE
However, God has also given the Christian believer some weapons of warfare so that he/she may be equipped against the attacks of the enemy.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NIV) says: For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

According to 2 Corinthians 10:3, even though we live in the world, we do not war or fight our battles according to the principles of the world or according to our fleshly desires.
In other words, the Christian believer does not use the same deceptive or worldly tactics or techniques as the devil. Instead the Christian believer responds differently because according to verse 4, the Christians weapons of warfare have “divine power”.

So What Are The Christian’s Weapons of Warfare?

Ephesians 6:11-18Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Ephesians 6:11-18 gives us an insight in relation to what our weapons of warfare consist of.
We are to wear the armour of God that we may be able to withstand the schemes and tactics of the devil.

The armour of God consists of the following virtues or principles that are necessary when engaged in spiritual warfare:
1) Speaking the truth and standing for the truth (verse 14)
2) Righteous living and standing for what is morally and spiritually right (verse 14)
3) Proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ (verse 15)
4) Living by faith and not by sight (verse 16)
5) Being reminded of who you are in Christ because of the salvation you received because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (verse 17)
6) Knowledge of the word of God and living according to the Scriptures (verse 17)
7) Praying according to the will of God (verse 18)

Therefore whenever we are engaged in warfare and in our daily walk with God, we wear the armour of God by applying and living according to the 7 principles or virtues mentioned above.
Wearing the armour of God and using this armour is only possible through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
In Galatians 5:16-25 we are told not to walk or live according to the desires of the flesh but we are to live according to the Holy Spirit who enables us to bear good fruit and overcome satanic deception.
Therefore whilst the devil may use carnal, deceitful and corrupt means to wage war, on the contrary the Holy Spirit will enable Christians to use Biblical principles to withstand the enemy.

 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF GOD’S WEAPONS OF WARFARE?
According to 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 the weapons of the Christian’s warfare are useful for the following purpose:

1) For pulling down strongholds / destroying strongholds (verse 4)
2) For destroying arguments (verse 5)
3) For destroying every high thing or opinion that is raised against the knowledge and principles of God (verse 5)
4) For capturing every thought or idea so that it obeys Jesus Christ (verse 5)
5) For encouraging obedience to the things of God (verse 6)

Therefore whilst the devil’s weapons of warfare are meant to kill, steal, destroy and blind people from seeking a relationship with God through Jesus Christ – the weapons of warfare that the Christian has been given are meant to destroy the very tactics and schemes of the devil and instead promote obedience and a right relationship with God.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

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When False Teachers Have A Seared Conscience

Have you ever wondered why many false teachers/ prophets are capable of hypocrisy, manipulating, cheating and even abusing many of their followers and yet not feel a single ounce of guilt, shame or remorse for their actions?

Have you ever wondered if false teachers actually comprehend or care about the kind of spiritual damage that they cause to people when they spread false doctrines & teachings in order to brainwash and manipulate people for their own personal or financial gain?

Do you wonder why false prophets are capable of performing false or staged miracles & healings in order to deceive their followers that they are men of God who have been given healing powers?

Why do these false prophets speak false prophecies or hire people to give false testimonies in their churches and not feel any shame or guilt?

Why do false teachers deliberately twist and misinterpret God’s word in order serve their own appetites or for monetary gain?

Why do such false prophets / teachers seem to lack an authentic fear of God when they consistently manipulate, control or brainwash followers to satisfy their own ego and pride?

Where is their moral compass and do they actually comprehend the wrong that they are doing?

The answer to all of the above questions is found in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NKJV) which says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron

The ESV version of 1 Timothy 4:1-2 says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared

Therefore a seared conscience is the reason for why false prophets / teachers can behave badly without feeling any shame, guilt or remorse.

What Is A Conscience?
A conscience is defined as a person’s moral sense of right and wrong. Our conscience is our internal moral compass that enables us to know and feel when we have behaved badly or correctly in life.
The Greek term for conscience in the Bible is [suneidesis] which means “moral consciousness”.
Therefore our conscience helps us to distinguish between what is morally good or morally bad and our conscience is supposed to illicit the appropriate feelings depending on our moral behavior.
God has placed in every individual whether religious or not, a basic understanding of what is fundamentally right or wrong.
For example, you don’t have to tell an 8 year old child when he/she has done something wrong. Children already have an inbuilt moral compass that gives them knowledge of sin.

However a seared conscience is when a person has a conscience that is so damaged and deceived because of rebellion and pride to the extent that the person no longer feels shame, guilt, remorse or any appropriate feelings whenever he/she has committed sin.
A seared conscience no longer distinguishes between right and wrong because the conscience has become uncaring and insensitive due to consistent disobedience and pride.
Therefore when people have a seared conscience they have become insensitive to basic human morality and they no longer care about what is morally or spiritually right or wrong.

False Teachers With A Seared Conscience
According to 1 Timothy 4:1-2 there are many people who are going to be deceived by false teachers and therefore depart from orthodox Christian faith (vs 1).
Why will many people depart from the faith? It is because people will be coerced into believing and following deceitful spirits and the doctrines of demons (vs 1).
Any doctrines or teachings that contradict the word of God and attacks the gospel of Christ is either inspired by the sinful nature of man or such doctrines are sourced from deceitful demonic spirits (vs 2).
However, for any demonic doctrine to spread, both the teachings and the deceitful spirits who create the doctrines require a host in order to spread or propagate the false doctrines.
Hence in verse 2, Paul explains that men with a seared conscience are the hosts through which doctrines of demons are spread “through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared”

So in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 we learn the following about why false teachers can deceive without guilt, shame or remorse:

  1. False teachers have the characteristics of insincere or hypocritical liars whose consciences are seared. They have no moral compass and they no longer distinguish between right and wrong when they deceive their followers.
  2. The seared state of their conscience makes false teachers to be eligible mouthpieces for evil deceitful spirits. Hence in 1 John 4:1 Christian believers are encouraged and warned “not to believe every spirit but to test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone into the world”
    Therefore by comparing 1 Timothy 4:1-2 and 1 John 4:1, it is revealed through these scriptures that there is always a spiritual or demonic link & influence between false prophets / teachers and the demonic doctrines they teach. According to these scriptures, evil spirits influence the behaviours of false teachers / prophets.
  3. Thirdly we learn from 1 Timothy 4:1-2 that many people will depart from the faith due to the influence of false teachers who propagate the doctrines of demons.
    This reveals in the broader context that the battle between good and evil in not physical, but it is a spiritual battle between God and satan with his demons (Ephesians 6:12)
    Evil spirits are at work to influence men whose consciences are seared so that they may spread false doctrines and lead people astray from God’s word and truth.

A seared conscience enables a person to perform acts of wickedness and deception without the desire to repent or the comprehension that his/her actions are wrong.
False teachers with a seared conscience are easy instruments for the devil and for performing the works of the devil.

In Matthew 23:13-33 Jesus describes the Pharisees as being hypocritical and deceitful and lacking basic moral conscience.

In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 we are warned of false apostles who are described as “deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”

In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus warned us to beware of false prophets who will come disguised in sheep’s clothing but yet they are wolves. Jesus said they will be recognized by their fruits.

In Matthew 24:24-25 Jesus further warned about false prophets who will perform signs and wonders in order to lead people astray.

It is therefore clear that such actions by false teachers reflect the characteristics of people who have a seared conscience because they do not have any genuine fear of God.
False teachers will use the Bible and deliberately misinterpret it in order to manipulate and deceive others. They will stage false signs and wonders, speak false prophesies and spread false doctrines for personal and monetary gain without any moral compass or shame for deceiving others.

Men with seared consciences are consistently open to demonic influences because the truth of God’s word does not truly reside in their hearts. False teachers lack the true conviction of sin of righteousness and of judgment that comes from the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11).

Therefore the only way to prevent having a seared conscience is by having a genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In the life of the Christian it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin. It the work of the Holy Spirit to lead us to all truth regarding the word and will of God for our life.
So as we yield more to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will have the conscience and the mind of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

How Can I Become More Like Jesus Christ?

The word Christian was originally a nickname for people who were followers or disciples of Jesus Christ or the Christian faith.
The word Christian means to be Christ-like or an imitator of Christ and therefore that is the aim of every Christian or born again believer: Christians are supposed to conform to the image or character and nature of Jesus (Romans 8:29).

When we give our life to Jesus Christ so that He becomes our Lord & Saviour, our life no longer belongs to us but instead our life now belongs to Jesus and it is Christ who is at the throne of our life.
Galatians 2:20 says: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

 

So how do we become more like Jesus Christ?

1. We Need To Give Our Life To Christ
We cannot conform to the image or nature of Christ unless we are born again (John 3:3). To be born again means that we recognize our sinfulness and depravity to the extent that we realize our need for Christ as Lord & Saviour.
In other words, you cannot become more like Jesus unless you become a Christian.
Being a Christian means that we have a one-on-one relationship with God through Jesus Christ because it is only through Christ that we are able to please God.

2. We Must Be Motivated By Love
We do not simply follow Christ out of a sense of religious duty or ritual. Instead we follow Him because we are motivated by love.
The more we love God and His word, the more we will express God’s nature and character.
1 John 4:7-8 says: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Therefore as Christians we must be moved and motivated by the love of God and the love of people.
In John 3:16 God was motivated by love when He sent Christ to pay for our sins on the cross. The nature of God is that whilst we were sinners, Christ loved us and died for us (Romans 5:8).
Furthermore, to become more like Jesus, we must love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates (Romans 12:9).

3. We Must Meditate & Obey God’s Word
How can we know who God is? How can we know the nature & character of Jesus Christ? How can we know what God loves and hates?
We can know all these things through the studying and meditation of God’s word. The Bible expresses the mind and heart of God because God Himself is the Author of the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
It’s in the Bible that we know the difference between good and evil. It is also through His word that we receive encouragement, counsel and instruction on how we can become more like Jesus Christ.
Also our obedience to God’s word enables us to experience the nature and character of Christ who was able to obey God’s laws perfectly whilst He was on earth.
Therefore imitating Christ comes with the knowledge and of God’s word and the understanding that all we need to know about Jesus Christ is found in the Bible.

4. We Must Spend Time With God In Prayer
Communication with God is an integral part of every Christian’s life. The Bible tells us that Jesus Himself would spend time to be alone with the Father to pray (Luke 5:16).
Prayer draws us near to God and enables us to intimately fellowship with Him. It is also through prayer that we realize our utmost dependence on God because without God we are nothing.
Just like Christ it is important for us to spend time alone with God to pray and pour our hearts on God.
The disciples admired Christ’s prayer life and they witnessed Christ’s intimacy with the Father.
Because they witnessed Christ’s prayerful life, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray because they wanted the kind of prayer life that Jesus had (Luke 11:1-2).

 

Conclusion
Ephesians 5:1-2 says: Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
So as Christians we are called to imitate the character and nature of Jesus Christ. Our Christian walk must reflect to the world the love and nature of God so that God may be glorified and by His grace many who are lost can be saved.
Ultimately the Christian life is not a religion – but it is a relationship with God. The more we love God and the more we want to know Him and spend time with Him – the more we will desire to imitate Christ.
Therefore to become more like Jesus Christ we must delight in Him and cultivate a desire to know Him intimately.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article and would like to know more about what to do next? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

What is The Christian View of Xenophobia?

One of the interesting facts of life is that before a person is born into the world, that person does not choose which country he/she wants to be born into.
Nobody chooses their nationality nor do they choose which family they would like to be born into. At birth, such choices belong to God alone.
However this simple truth is missed by many racial or xenophobic individuals.

Xenophobia is the fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. It is also defined as a deep-rooted fear towards foreigners or strangers.

For years we have witnessed xenophobia expressed in its most horrific and extreme forms. For example, in various countries foreigners have been beaten to death, burned to death or even stoned to death.
Whilst perpetrators and supporters of xenophobia have given economic & social reasons as justification for their behavior, such violent xenophobic attacks clearly indicate that there is something terribly wrong with the fabric of society and in or world today. Society is increasingly becoming morally lawless and desensitized.
In Matthew 24:12, Jesus speaks about the condition of mankind in the last days by saying “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”

Therefore while the definition of xenophobia relates to fear of that which is different or unfamiliar, it has been clear for centuries that xenophobia eventually leads to hatred and intolerance.
Hatred ultimately leads to anger, violence and even murder as witnessed in such countries like South Africa.
So xenophobia is not only an expression of fear, but it is also an expression of hatred and anger.

In Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus says that anyone who is capable of anger in his heart is just as guilty of the same judgment as one who commits murder.
Proverbs 10:12 says “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”

Hatred towards people of different skin colours, nationalities and cultures stirs up division and strife. This kind of hatred is not only rooted in fear, but it is ultimately because mankind is sinful and he is losing his ability to express true love. As Jesus said – the love of man will grow cold in the last days.

One of the greatest commandments that Jesus gave us in addition to loving God is that we learn to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matthew 22:30; Luke 10:27).

In Luke 10:27-37 when Jesus was asked “And who is my neighbor”, Christ specifically chose a Samaritan who was a foreigner and despised by the Jews to emphasize in His parable that love must be extended to foreigners and people whom we may despise.

In Exodus 22:21 the people of Israel were instructed to treat foreigners with kindness and respect because the Israelites themselves were once foreigners in Egypt.
Exodus 22:21 says: You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Since the Israelites were once mistreated themselves whilst in Egypt and yet God helped them escape, God did not want the Israelites with the same hatred and bigotry that they experienced at the hands of the Egyptians.
Instead God expected love to be the motivation of how they must treat foreigners

Therefore xenophobia is wrong for a Christian. The mandate of all Christians is to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:37-40).
We are to see all of mankind as created equal and as being created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).

Numbers 15:15-16 says: The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the Lord: 16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.

There is no nationality or race or individual who is better than another. We are not to judge others according to their nationality or outward appearance but we should see people through the eyes of God.

A nation whose society cannot express genuine tolerance and love for each other nor for foreigners and immigrants, is a nation whose basic sense of morality is on the decline.
Love is the therefore the ultimate Biblical solution to such issues as xenophobia.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

Why Should I Not Kill Myself?

Life is a precious gift from God. However there can be times when we do not view our life as being precious, nor do we perceive our life as being a gift.

When you have problems and issues that seem unsolvable and problems that bring enormous guilt and shame, you may be tempted to believe that life is not worth living.

When problems lead to anxiety and depression, one can be forced to believe that suicide is an option.
However when we focus on our problems & circumstances, we do not always see the clear picture.
When we focus on our problems & challenges we may not always discover the solutions or answers that may be available to us.

Therefore the times when you are depressed or feeling guilt and shame, or faced with a seemingly unsolvable situation, it is not the time that you should make any detrimental decisions.
Instead it is the time that you should seek help and support. It is the time to seek help from your family, your friends, your church or anyone who is loving and compassionate enough to help you and comfort you during your time of distress.
Most importantly you must also seek help from God who is your Creator.

God created you for a reason. God created you for a purpose. It is never God’s will or purpose that we commit suicide.
Even during the most tragic of situations, God can give us guidance and peace.
There is also no sin in your life which God cannot forgive.
God says in Isaiah 43:25: “I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

Your life is a gift from God and you are truly loved by God. However you must understand that the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy all that God loves and has created.
Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

In 1 Peter 5:7-9 God’s word says that we must cast all our issues and anxieties on God because He cares for us. It also says that we must resist the devil knowing that the kind of problems we experience are similar to what many people face throughout the world.

1 Peter 5:7-9 says: Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world

You are of value to God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14).
God knows you more than you know yourself. He knows you so well that He knows how many hairs you have on your head (Luke 12:7).

There is nothing too difficult for God to handle. God is able to give you peace that surpasses all understanding. God is also able to use people to support you in a difficult situation.
God is able to turn a bad situation and use it for His good purposes and glory (Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20).

God does not have plans to harm you. Instead He has plans to give you a future and a hope.
God says the following in Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you.”

God loves you with steadfast love. He loves us even when we are in our worst and shameful state.
Romans 5:8 says: But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God is always ready and willing to forgive us of our sins. God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness is possible because of the penalty that Jesus paid for mankind on the cross.
1 John 1:9 says: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The truth is, we are all sinners who have sinned against God (Romans 3:23). We live in an imperfect world that is filled with problems and tragedies because of the sin that exists in all of us as mankind.
Thankfully Jesus Christ paid the debt for our sin so that through Him alone, we can receive eternal life and be able to overcome the challenges and issues of life in this world.

Jesus Christ alone is able to give you spiritual and inner peace that is better and different from the kind of peace that the world offers.
Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
In John 16:33, Jesus also says the following: “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

God says that He does not desire that any man should perish but that we should all repent so that we may receive His peace and eternally be reconciled to Him (2 Peter 3:9).

If you’ve had thoughts about committing suicide, speak to someone. Urgently seek help; seek support and seek counselling.
You still have people who love you and who want you to stay alive. There are still people in the world who are compassionate enough to love and support you.
Proverbs 15:22 says “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Proverbs 11:14 says “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”

Most importantly, no matter the condition or state of your life right now, remember that God is with you and He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Therefore seek God and allow Him to give you His peace and guidance.

 

The Importance of Premarital Counseling

The rising increase in the divorce rate not only within the secular world but also within the church is a clear indication that many people are entering into marriage without understanding and also without the mental, social and spiritual preparation.

A marriage can often begin well, but then end up in disaster.
Therefore one of the purposes of premarital counseling is to educate and address any misconceptions or preconceived ideas about the marriage covenant.
Another purpose of premarital counseling is to help the couple to understand and be prepared for the realities regarding the kind of challenges and issues that occur within a marriage relationship.
In any marriage relationship it is inevitable that there will be disagreements, annoyances and all sorts of challenges and problems.
Marriage can be hard work in which both spouses must participate and contribute to its success.

The marriage relationship is so unique and so intimate above any other human relationship in that both the husband and wife will become one flesh (Genesis 2:21-24). Marriage is a relationship between 2 people who will intimately know each other more than they will ever know any other person.

Premarital counseling also helps a couple to understand God’s role within a marriage.
True Biblical marriage will always consist of God, the husband and the wife.
Therefore because God is the Creator of marriage since the beginning of creation, it is therefore necessary for a husband and wife to have God to be the centre and ultimate leader of every marriage.
A strong marriage must be governed by Biblical principles and guidelines if it is to overcome various relationship challenges and trials.
Therefore premarital counseling will also reveal the value of a couple remaining unified through both the good and difficult times in life.

Premarital counseling also helps a couple to set realistic and practical goals and objectives for their marriage relationship. There are many factors and circumstances in life that can cause confusion and disunity within the relationship.
When a couple sets agreeable goals and objectives before marrying, it may help set the direction of the overall relationship and help a couple to overly remain unified during the marriage.

Therefore specific areas such as the roles of the husband and wife must be discussed and understood (Ephesians 5:22-33).
The caring of children and issues related to finances and career plans are essential issues to discuss and plan.

 

Sources for Premarital Counseling
The most important kind of premarital counselling must have Biblical principles and guidelines.
Biblical premarital counseling enables a couple to differentiate between God’s view of marriage and the secular world’s view of marriage.
God’s word is the best source for providing us with how we should conduct our relationships with one another including marriage.
Marriage is a covenant created by God and therefore the principles and foundations of how a marriage ought to function should come directly from the word of God.
God’s word clearly outlines such things as the role of the husband and wife (Colossians 3:18-20); God’s view of divorce (Matthew 19:1-9); God’s view of sexual immorality or adultery and the like (Hebrews 13:4).
God’s word also commands us to be motivated by love in how we conduct all our relationships.
Therefore in all situations and relationships the Bible is God inspired and necessary to teach, reproof and correct us in all areas of life including marriage (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Proverbs 15:22 says “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Proverbs 11:14 says “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”

Within Christianity premarital counseling can be done by a multitude of counselors from a pastor, an elder, parents of the couple or any elderly and mature Christian person who can be trusted to give sound Biblical counsel (Titus 2:1-6).
However, one of the main criteria is that anyone who counsels, is that his/her own family and household must be in good order before he/she can counsel or advise anyone else according to 1 Timothy 3:4-5 and Titus 1:7.

In Titus 2:1-6 says that older women are to “train the younger women to love their husbands and children… and to be submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled”

Parents of the couple must also play a major role as they have a duty to counsel their children as they grow up.
Therefore from childhood to adulthood, Christian parents always have a constant opportunity to train up a child concerning all areas of life including marriage (Proverbs 22:6).

Therefore premarital counseling provides the basis for Biblical understanding; for preparation and for the creation of Biblically sound foundations in order to make the marriage relationship work and function for the glory of God.

 

 

What is God’s Plan of Salvation?

The Bible teaches us that God has a plan of salvation. This salvation is available for all of mankind.
Whether we are religious or not, many people will realize that there is something morally and spiritually wrong with humanity. One does not have to be religious to understand that there is evil that exists in the world. Furthermore, we do not have to be religious to realize that all people are capable of wrongdoing. We as mankind are not perfect and we are capable of making mistakes, errors and disobedience.

Romans 3:10 says – as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.”

Romans 3:23 says: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Therefore there is clear evidence from Scripture that man is sinful; man is not perfect; he is flawed and he falls short of God’s glory and standards. Sin is rebellion or disobedience against God and His word.

 

Why Do We Need Salvation?
Why do we need to be saved? It is because we are sinners and therefore we do not meet God’s standard of righteousness (Romans 3:10).
We inherited our sinful nature from Adam who disobeyed God in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-24).
Romans 5:12 says: Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

Therefore all of mankind needs salvation because we all need to be saved from the power and consequence of sin in our lives.
The Bible tells us that sin has consequences. For example, sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) so that we live at enmity with God. Sin also creates enmity or relationship problems amongst us as people (Genesis 4:6-8).
Ultimately sin also leads to eternal punishment if we do not choose God’s plan for salvation (Revelation 20:11-15 and Romans 6:23).

Therefore we need salvation because we need to be eternally reconciled with God. Without God we are spiritually lost and cannot relate with Him.
When we become saved, we eternally become children of God (John 1:12) and we are saved from the power and consequence of sin.

We also need salvation because we ultimately cannot pay for our own sins. Our own goodness or righteousness are like “filthy rags” before a perfect God (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot save ourselves by our own righteousness or effort.

 

Where Do We Find Salvation?
What is God’s plan for salvation? God’s plan for salvation is found in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Therefore God Himself is the only one who can provide for our deliverance and salvation.
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is God who came in the flesh (John 1:1-3,14).

John 3:16-17 says: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

So we understand from John 3:16-17 that salvation is found through Jesus Christ and that Jesus Christ came so that we may have eternal life and not perish.

Jesus Christ came to save us from the power and consequence of sin. Jesus Christ did not come for the righteous people – because there are NO perfect people and all are sinners.
Instead Jesus Christ came for the sinners and to save sinners from eternal punishment.
Luke 5:31-32 says: And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin which we could not pay. Jesus lived a sinless life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sin through the shedding of His blood for our sins on the cross (Ephesians 1:7).
2 Corinthians 5:21 says: For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus Christ paid for our sins on the cross once and for all (Romans 6:10-11; 1 Peter 3:18).

 

How Can We Be Saved?
How can we receive God’s salvation? The answer is found in such verses as John 1:12, John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9.
We become saved by believing or trusting in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Saviour.
John 1:12 says the following about Jesus Christ: But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God
Believing means that we change our mind or repent by making the decision to reject sin and we choose to embrace God and allow God and His word to have influence in our life through the power and presence of Jesus Christ in our life.
Believing means that we fully trust in the grace and sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the perfect and only payment for our sins on the cross. Therefore our salvation is found in no one else but Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
Believing means that we understand that we cannot save ourselves by our own personal merit or effort to be good. Instead we faith in the grace of God and the sufficiency of Christ’s death on the cross as being the complete payment for our sins.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 

The Most Important Decision
The most important decision we can ever make is to believe and by faith receive Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour.
Acts 4:12 says the following about Jesus Christ: And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

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What is a Wilderness Experience?

A wilderness experience can be described as a period of time when a Christian experiences testing, trials, spiritual warfare or persecution. It is a period where one may experience different kinds of problems at various levels of one’s life from health & financial issues to social & spiritual issues.

During a wilderness experience a Christian may also experience confusion or doubt about one’s purpose and direction in life. Sometimes a Christian may even question God due to the confusion, doubt and painful trials and experiences that one may be facing.

For the Christian, a wilderness experience can either be positive or negative because it all depends on how the Christian responds to his/her particular situation.
Therefore a believer may either backslide or experience a setback in one’s spiritual growth or maturity.
Alternatively a wilderness experience is an opportunity which God uses to build our character and to help us to mature and grow in our Christian life and relationship with Him.

Romans 5:3-5 says: More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

James 1:2-4 says: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Therefore a wilderness experience is common in the life of all Christians and is necessary for molding us into the person that God wants us to be and to equip us to endure and have victory over future battles in life.

A few examples of people in Scripture who had wilderness experiences are Moses (Exodus 2:11-22 & Exodus 3:1-12), Job, Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-9), John the Baptist (Matthew 11:2-3), and Paul (Galatians 1:17-18).

The nation of Israel also had a wilderness experience after God rescued them from slavery in Egypt.

Jesus Christ Himself was also tested in the wilderness where He consistently used the Scriptures to overcome the temptations of the devil (Matthew 4:1-11).

 

HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND DURING A WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE?
1. Learn to trust in the Lord with all your heart. Learn to totally depend on Him in your daily living and to trust in His perfect character and steadfast love towards you (Psalm 33:22-24).
2. Do not stop praying. Do not give up praying to God. Instead learn to pray without ceasing despite your situation (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Luke 18:1).
3. Do not give up studying and meditating on God’s word. When Christ was tempted as He fasted, Jesus consistently used the Scriptures to defeat the tests of the devil. The word of God is therefore a weapon during a period of spiritual warfare and it is important that we meditate on God’s word and live obediently according to His scriptures (Ephesians 5:17; Hebrews 4:12).
4. Be thankful in all circumstances. We must have an attitude of gratitude not only when things are good – but also when we are experiencing a wilderness experience. A thankful heart allows us to focus on the goodness of God (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
5. Remember that God is always in control and that He uses every experience in our life for your benefit and for His glory (Romans 8:28).

 

Ultimately a wilderness experience cannot be avoided. Therefore the most important thing during such a period is how we choose to respond during this particular time.
We must be reminded and be encouraged that in all circumstances in life, the Lord is with us and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

 

Why Do I Keep Sinning As A Christian?

When many people become born again Christians, there are some who wonder why they can’t stop sinning as Christians.
Why do Christians continue to sin if they have genuinely received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour? Will Christians ever stop sinning?
We find that even the apostle Paul struggled with sin as a Christian. At times he would find himself doing the very things that he hated to do simply because internally there was a struggle between himself and his sinful nature.

Paul says the following in Romans 7:15-20 (NLT)
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

In Romans 7:15-20 Paul is speaking about the battle that occurs inside of us between our spiritual mind and our carnal mind. This is why scriptures such as Romans 12:1-2 and Ephesians 4:22-23 encourage us to renew our mind in Christ.

Ephesians 4:22-23 (ESV)to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds

The Christian does not become perfect the moment he/she is born again. The Christian’s mind must be renewed daily through the word of God and through fellowship with God.
However, in order to answer the question of why Christians continue to sin after becoming born again, it’s important to understand the process of what happens to the Christian from the time he is saved to the time he enters Heaven.
It’s therefore important for the Christian to understand the meaning of justification, sanctification and glorification.

 

From Salvation to Glorification
From the time a person gets saved there are 3 things that will happen in the life of the genuine Christian. The Christian becomes justified, sanctified and glorified.
Remember, salvation is not as a result of our own good deeds or personal ability (Titus 3:5).
Our salvation does not depend on how much or how little we sin. It does not depend on how much or how little we do good deeds. Our salvation is entirely the result of God’s grace and it is received freely through faith in Christ.
It’s also important to realize that our salvation is immediate. The moment you made a decision become a born again Christian through faith is the moment your eternal life in Christ began.

 

Justification, Sanctification & Glorification
Every genuine Christian who has been saved through Christ will experience the following: Justification, Sanctification and Glorification.
Romans 8:29-30 (ESV) “For those whom he foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.”

 

Justification
From the moment we are saved – we become justified in Christ. To be justified means to be declared righteous and innocent in God’s eyes.
Justification is God’s eternal declaration of those who receive Christ to be righteous, based on Christ’s righteousness being imputed to the accounts of those who receive Christ as Lord and Saviour.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Our righteousness comes from placing our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. The sacrifice of Christ for our sins on the Cross covers our sin which then allows God to see us as righteous and unblemished on account of Christ’s finished work.
Therefore, because we are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3) – God no longer sees our sin but instead He sees Christ and His righteous work which He completed on the Cross.
We have been justified and become the “righteousness of God” in Christ not because of our own deeds but because of the deeds of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 (ESV): Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
Romans 3:28 (NKJV): Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

 

Sanctification
While justification (which occurs upon salvation) is immediate, sanctification is a process.
Sanctification is the process by which those who are in Christ are gradually transformed by the Holy Spirit into the image of Jesus Christ. This means that from the moment you become saved, the Holy Spirit begins the work of changing your character; your thoughts; your desires; your values; your purpose; your deeds and your motives so that you become more like Jesus Christ.
The genuine Christian is a person who is transforming into the image of Christ. Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit implements this transformation and renewal.
2 Corinthians 4:16 (NKJV): Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day
Philippians 1:6 (NIV): Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:29 (NKJV): For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Therefore sanctification is a spiritual and progressive process where God is renewing us and conforming us into the image and nature of Jesus Christ.
However as this renewal or sanctification is taking place we will make mistakes along the way. This means that as long as we are in this fallen world, as Christians we will continue to battle with sin, opposition and temptation. The major difference between the Christian and the non-Christian is that the Christian can defeat temptation and sin through the power of Christ. The Christian is constantly equipped in Christ to defeat sin as long as he submits to Christ during temptation.
Our physical bodies are also still subject to sickness, disease, pain and the like.
Therefore sanctification happens progressively throughout our lifetime and we are not immune to temptation or sickness or problems.
However, in comparison to the time before he became a Christian, it is certain that the genuine Christian will sin less the more he matures in Christ, and he will be more aware and conscientious of sin.

 

Glorification
Romans 8:30 speaks of the Christian becoming glorified. Glorification speaks of the moment when every Christian believer will be physically and spiritually changed to the extent that sin is removed from the presence of all the saints. Through glorification, the Christian will have a new body; the Christian will no longer be capable of sinning; the Christian will no longer become sick or old. Through glorification, the Christian will be just like Christ. We become immortal and without the hindrance and presence of sin.
Glorification will occur when we die and are with Christ or when the rapture occurs.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV): And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:53 (ESV): For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV): For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison

 

This article has been excerpted from The Genuine Christian which is available on Amazon and through this website.