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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Basic Truths Every Christian Should Know and Remember
Starting our Christian life may seem easy, full of fire for the Lord. Having all the basics intact but as we continually grow deeper in doctrine and other facets of Christian livings, we often leave behind the basics and forget the simplest and most important truths that we should be doing faithfully and consistently as a Christian.
“Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD.”-Jeremiah 9:23-24
As we gather years of being a Christian, we should never forget who we are in Christ and most importantly, who God is. No matter if we have long been a Christian or just got saved, we must hold onto who God is as revealed to us in the Bible. We must not let our circumstances, or even our emotions, dictate who God is.
We also cannot afford to misidentify God nor to stop or make no effort to continually know Him. It is both a sin and fatal blow to our Christian life. We must take knowing God seriously.
God becomes our life after we have been born again into His kingdom. An inadequate and corrupt knowledge of who He is will simply not suffice.
Consequently, our God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience, and good, holy, faithful; loving, infinite, all mighty and so much more! A day or a month or two will not be enough to know Him nor will a halfhearted, disobedient heart. Even though it is given that we can never know Him in His entirety for we are simply incapable of doing so; because it is purely by His grace that He allows us and invites us to know all that we need to know about Him as He has willed and revealed.
It’s wonderful that we have our ministries, enjoying our fellowship and are diligent in sharing the gospel, but we must not think that all these things will be enough for us to grow in our Christian life. We must not forget to whom we are doing all these things for. It’s sad that we are so active in every other aspects of the Christian life and forget about God Himself. It will all just be in vain. Some of us may think or feel that knowing God takes up too much time and can get so complicated that we just leave it for the preachers and scholars to handle. Knowing God is for EVERY believer. If we excuse ourselves in reading and studying the word of God and know Him, then we will start making hallucinations and fantasies of who He is. We will end up making our own concept of His faithfulness, we will be the one setting the gravity of His holiness, and we can even delude ourselves into making theories about how He loves and rules over His people. If His word is not our foundation and final authority then what is? Our selves? Other people? Other books? Movies? Scientists? Psychologists? Atheists? It will simply be chaotic. If we stop knowing God then we will start inventing a different god.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”-2 Peter 3:18
..”And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”-Hebrews 11:6
Living by Faith
As Christians, we are people with God-given faith. We were saved by His grace, (see Eph 2:8-9) we live by faith and not by sight, don’t we? In the New Testament we can see Jesus rebuking the apostles with their lack of Faith. He did not just gave them a nudge and said, “Hey, bring that faith of yours a bit up, okay?” What Jesus did was “rebuked” their lack of faith. Jesus is never pleased with lack of faith, not back then, not now, not never. And if we allow ourselves to forget living by faith then we will surely remember to do the opposite.
“Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”-Matthew 17:19-20
“He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.”-Matthew 8:26
We often misconstrue or undermine the Truth, and thus find ourselves sitting comfortably in anxiety and doubts. Sometimes, it is because we expect way beyond we should from God; imposing what we want, how we want it and when we want it. We must remember that God is God and we are not. His will be done, remember?
Other times, we tend to question God. We question “if” He can, “if” He hears, “If” He will answer, etc. We put doubts where faith should be. When the Bible said that we ought to live by FAITH, it simply and clearly means we are to live by FAITH. We are not to live by sight, by our emotions, by our circumstances or any other things except by faith.
The kind of faith that should be seen in every child of God is a working faith. Genuine faith in our God is not an idle faith. If we say we have faith then that faith should be loud and clear in our lives, by God’s grace and for His glory.
“Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."- James 2:17-18
Let’s not put our faith on top of a shelf for it to gather dust and webs. Let the world stand in awe of how our faith in God works and makes a difference for His glory.
- What should we learn from the life of Abraham?
What should we learn from the life of Abraham? Why did God choose Abraham? How is understanding the life of Abraham valuable to our spiritual growth?
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”-Luke 1:38
We sometimes complicate obedience. And when it’s all complicated we tend to just forget about it. There are numerous accounts of obedience to God in the Bible but my personal favorite was Abraham’s obedience. Starting in Genesis chapter twelve, we begin to see of Abraham’s faith that produced obedience to God. It was just plain obedience and complete trust. Abraham did not came from a “faithful” family nor was he so close to God prior of his calling. It was his God-given faith that made him obey God. It was really not that complicated. God told Abraham to leave his home, and go to a place to where He was going to lead him. Abraham, as far as the Bible revealed, just completely obeyed God. Abraham could have argued with God and say, “Where will I go? will there be food? Can I just stay here and serve you here? It’s much more comfortable to serve you at home.” But Abraham did not. He packed up his things, his family and obeyed God.
“Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.-1 Samuel 15:19-23
We are no different than Abraham and all the other men and women of the Bible that were faithful and obedient to God. We are all sinners saved by God’s grace.
We may remember the concept of obedience at the beginning of the race but we must be aware not to leave it behind. Not just obedience, but cheerful obedience that is in line with God’s word. Obedience also has no substitute. Remember how Saul lost his kingship because he taught that his sacrifice will appease God for his disobedience?
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us”-Romans 8:37
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”-Joshua 1:8
We must not complicate things when all we need to do is obey God. Do not offer a sacrifice in place of obedience, do not make excuses in place of obedience, and do not forget that obedience to God is our way of life. Where God has commanded, we must trust and obey.
We sometimes feel so defeated by our sins and other things we say, “Lord I just can’t.” When all along it’s just simply because of our disobedience that we “feel” defeated. There is nothing greater than the power of God that is at work in us that can ever “defeat” us. Therefore, it’s not defeat, my friend, it’s just plain disobedience and with it comes serious consequences.
So if we forget our responsibility to obey then we will end up disobeying. There’s no neutral ground. Forget obedience and you’re going to remember disobedience. It’s as simple as that. Yes, we’re bound to disobey God from time to time, but we must not just agree with it and continue in disobedience. What I’m pointing out is that our focus should not be on our disobedience but in our daily goal to obey God no matter what the cost may be.
Charles Stanley always says,” Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.” And the Jesus Himself told us that if we truly love Him then we will obey Him. And that those who obey Him are the ones who truly love Him.(John 14:15, 21) Come to think of it, it’s really not a question of obedience but a question of love and reverence for our Holy God.
Pursuing a life of Holiness
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.-1 Thessalonians 4:7
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.-1 Peter 1:15-16
“The whole purpose of our salvation is to be holy and blameless in His sight.
The Holiness of God is an exceedingly high standard, a perfect standard. But it is nevertheless one that He holds us to. He cannot do less. While it is true that He accepts us solely through the merits of Christ, God’s standard for our character, attitudes, affections, and actions is, “BE HOLY, because I AM HOLY.” We must take this seriously if we are to grow in holiness.”
“We need to brace ourselves up and to realize that we are responsible for our thoughts attitudes, and actions. We need to reckon the fact that we died to sin’s reign, that it no longer has dominion over us, that God has united us with the risen Christ in all His power, and has given us the Holy Spirit to work in us. Only as we accept our responsibility and appropriate God’s provisions will we make any progress in our pursuit of Holiness.” -Jerry Bridges, “The Pursuit of Holiness.”
“Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills. Neither does holiness mean, as is so often thought, adhering to a list of “do’s and don’ts,” mostly don’ts. When Christ came into the world, He said, “I have come to do your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7). This is the example we are to follow. In all our thoughts, all of our actions, in every part of our character, the ruling principle that motivates and guides us should be the desire to follow Christ in doing the will of the Father. This is the high road we must follow in the pursuit of holiness.”- John Brown, nineteenth century Scottish theologian.
“It is true that this desire for holiness may be only a spark at the beginning. But that spark should grow till it becomes a flame—a desire to live a holy life wholly pleasing to God. True salvation brings with it a desire to be made holy. When God saves us through Christ, He not only saves us from the penalty of sin, but also from its dominion. Bishop Ryle said, “I doubt, indeed, whether we have any warrant for saying that a man can possibly be converted without being consecrated to God. More consecrated he doubtless can be, and will be as His grace increases; but if he was not consecrated to God in the very day that he was converted and born again, I do not know what conversion means.”
“The only safe evidence that we are in Christ is a holy life.Joh said everyone who has within him the hope of eternal life purifies himself just as Christ is pure (1 John 3:3) Paul said, “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). If we know nothing of holiness, we may flatter ourselves that we are Christians but we do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.” – J.B, “The Pursuit of Holiness.”
“Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.”-2 Corinthians 3:2
I think this is one of the most forgotten aspect of the Christian life. If not, the least taken of importance. I can personally say that most of my days as a new believer did not consist of the proper and biblical understanding of holiness. (I thank the Lord for He is now making it clear to me, slow but surely.)
Holiness is not an unreachable standard, on our own it is but we are not on our own. It is a joint venture with God, all by His grace and it is the only standard God holds us in how we live our lives. Many converts today live lives that is of no or has little difference from their lives when they were not yet saved. That is why the world is finding Jesus not convincing at all. For we are the Bible the unbelieving world is reading. And if they can’t see the God that we say we believe in, that we say that has saved and “changed” us, then how will we expect them to believe our claims?
Our salvation is just the beginning of our life in Christ, it doesn’t end there. We should not go like, “Oh okay, I’m going to heaven now, might as well do anything I want!” We cannot hold onto our old behaviors, we have now been given robes of righteousness so we better not “act” like we’re still wearing rags of sin.
If this is the first time you’ve heard of our responsibility given by God to live holy as He is holy then this might be God’s way of telling you, if you’ve already heard of this, then this might also be God’s way of telling you to take it seriously. If you know about this already but have “forgotten” or have taken it lightly then this might be God’s way of reminding you that it’s never too late to follow in obedience.
The pursuit of holiness is not easy but it is possible.
“….this is where holiness begins—not with ourselves, but with God. It is only as we see His holiness, His absolute purity and moral hatred of sin, that we will be gripped by the awfulness of sin against the Holy God. To be gripped by that fact is the first step in our pursuit of Holiness.”-J.B, “The Pursuit of Holiness”
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”-Romans 6:1-2, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”-Romans 6:11, KJV
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. .By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.-John 13:35
Loving God, loving people
It’s quite sad when Christians that has been loved unconditionally by Love Himself, fails to show that very same love through their lives. We ought to keep in mind that our love should be first be given to the One who loved us first; to love Him with all our heart, with all our mind and with all our soul. (Matthew 22:37) Then, we ought to love one another as He has loved us. It’s definitely one of the most well-known command of our Lord, always present in our mouth and mind, but sometimes absent in our lives.
Love should be a trademark of Christians. We can never have a desire nor find joy in sharing the gospel if we don’t love God the way we ought to, and we can also never be consistent and dedicated in sharing the gospel if we fail to have the same love and compassion God has for lost souls. This applies to every other areas of our Christian life. Love motivates us and keeps us going. Our obedience, our ministries, our relationships; if there is no love then it will eventually be crippled.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment."-Matthew 22:37-38
When we fail to love as God has loved us, then everything goes wrong. We cannot say we love God and yet fail to love our brethren. Insecurity is not loving and back biting is not either. We also cannot love our brethren or our neighbor if we do not love God as we should. We have to love God first, our brethren, our neighbor then ourselves. No one must be left out. We cannot use the excuse, “but she is just so difficult to love Lord,” or “he is really not lovable.” God will not allow any excuses, remember how He loved difficult and unlovable souls?—yup that’s each and every one of us. And that love is within us, so it is really not mission impossible.
I may have left out some of the things we tend to “forget”, and I pray that God will also remind us of it. Nonetheless, I hope that we all continue in our faith, from the basics to the more advance knowledge in our walk with God. I pray that every believer may live and pursue a life that continually seek to know Him and a life that is simply lived by faith. An obedient and holy life; and a life marked with love----All by His grace (total responsibility and total dependence)
Soli Deo Gloria