Monday, September 8, 2014

Being a true follower of Jesus Christ

Being a "Christian" means being "a follower of Christ."

How do we follow Him?

In order to be a follower of Christ we must do just that: we must follow in His footsteps. It was in Antioch [during the year that Paul and Barnabas were preaching the Good News there] that "Christ-followers" were first called "Christians" (Acts 11:26). As Christians we set our sights on the Life of Jesus and use Him as the example of how we should live (1 Corinthians 11:1, John 13:15). Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, so He shows us the Way we should live. Living like Him, having faith in Him, and trusting in Him is the only Way to the Father (John 14:6). In order to start living life like Christ, we need to repent, which means seeking forgiveness from God for our previous sins and making a conscious effort to turn our hearts back to God (Mark 1:14-15, Revelation 3:19, Matthew 12:33-37). The One who knows everything can see what is in your mind and in your heart, so He knows if you are really trying to change or not (Luke 16:15). We show our Father that we have truly changed when we start living lives that produce good fruit (Matthew 3:8).

Also, we should be baptized. We receive the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ (Acts 2:38), and baptism is an act of faith which was made by Jesus immediately before the Spirit descended upon Him (Luke 3:22). Being baptized is a great way to start our walk with Jesus, and by doing first what He did first, we are physically and mentally following in His footsteps. He was baptized because it was what God wanted (Matthew 3:15). Jesus says people who are baptized and believe will be saved (Mark 16:16).

Don't be fooled, you know the evil things we should not do; people who do those things are not welcome in God's Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Matt 7:15-20, Matt 18:6, Matt 24:48-51, Galatians 6:7-8, Jude 1:4-25, Psalms 7:12-17, 1 Timothy 6:3-10).


Luke 9:23 NLT↓
Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow Me."

Mark 1:14-15 NKJV↓
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

I John 2:6 NKJV↓ He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Mark 6:12 AMP↓
So they went out and preached that men should repent [that they should change their minds for the better and heartily amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins].

Revelation 3:19 NKJV↓
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Revelation 3:19 ERV↓
I correct and punish the people I love. So show that nothing is more important to you than living right. Change your hearts and lives.

John 13:34-35 NKJV↓
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Psalm 7:12 NLT↓
If a person does not repent, God will sharpen His sword; He will bend and string His bow.

Luke 8:21 NKJV↓
But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

Matthew 16:24 NKJV↓
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."

Acts 2:38-39 ERV↓
Peter said to them, “Change your hearts and lives ("repent" -NKJV,KJV) and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Then God will forgive your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you. It is also for your children and for the people who are far away. It is for everyone the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Mark 8:34-38 ERV↓
Then Jesus called the crowd and His followers to Him. He said, “Any of you who want to be My follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following Me. Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for Me and for the Good News will save it. It is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are lost. You could never pay enough to buy back your life. People today are so sinful. They have not been faithful to God. As you live among them, don’t be ashamed of Me and My Teaching. If that happens, I will be ashamed of you when I come with the glory of My Father and the holy angels."

Matthew 3:8 ERV↓
Change your hearts! And show by the way you live that you have changed.

John 14:21-24 NKJV↓
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me."

John 3:3-7 NKJV↓
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Mark 16:16 NKJV↓
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Acts 22:16 NKJV↓
And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’

Acts 8:14-17 ERV↓
The apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted the word of God. So they sent Peter and John to the people in Samaria. When Peter and John arrived, they prayed for the Samaritan believers to receive the Holy Spirit. These people had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, but the Holy Spirit had not yet come down on any of them. This is why Peter and John prayed. When the two apostles laid their hands on the people, they received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:35-38 NKJV↓
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.


To call on the name of the Lord is to worship Him and pray to Him for help, guidance, and understanding. Followers of Jesus can trust in Him to save their souls. That is why it is important to know what it means to be a follower of the Lord, so we can truly adhere to Him in the way God wants us to, not just in the way that fits our own selfish agendas! I will pray for all of you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Please pray for me!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

We are one church

The church is the body, Christ is the Head!

The church is the body and Christ is the Head (Ephesians 5:23). There is no mention of denominations in the Bible: not Lutheranism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Mormonism, Puritanism, Episcopalian, Baptist...not any "reform churches," not Progressive Christianity, Messianic Judaism, Orthodox Christianity or anything of that sort. What is mentioned, however, is all being one body of which Christ is the one and only Head. What Jesus wants is for us to all love each other and be in complete agreement (Romans 15:5)! The Word of the Lord teaches us that we should NOT be divided into groups, sects, sections, factions, dissensions, or divisions (1 Corinthians 1:10). In fact, people who cause such divisions are not welcome in the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:20)! We should all be in agreement with each other, as Master Jesus wants! We know that there is nothing more important than the Lord. He is more important and comes above all things (Colossians 1:17-18). So it should not matter what denomination you think you belong to, because you actually just belong to God, and it is not important what things your own pastor or priest or minister has made up. The only thing that matters is the teaching of Jesus Christ, so we should stay devoted to Him, to the Gospel, and to prayer at all times. The Lord God said we only have ONE Teacher, so don't try to replace Jesus with a pastor or a preacher (Matthew 23:8-10). The church of Christ is not a building or a place we go to, it is the family of believers who follow Christ. We all belong to the same church in the eyes of the Lord, and Jesus is the Head of that church (Romans 12:5). No man or woman who is here on earth is the head of the church; there is no one who holds that position except for Jesus (Hebrews 5: 4-9). Jesus is permanently the Head of the church, no person can take His place (Ephesians 1:21-23). Your pastor is not the head of the church, Jesus is. So in everything He should be sought out and followed. Do not be deceived by what comes from the lips of man, seek counsel and guidance from the Lord Himself (Romans 16:17-18, 1 Timothy 6:3-9, 2 Peter 2). Jesus Christ said that once we all come together as one, then the people who are of this earth will see that He was sent by God, and that He is God's Son (John 17:21-23).


1 Corinthians 1:10 AMP↓
But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments.

Matthew 23:8-10 NKJV↓
But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.  And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.

Romans 15:5 ERV↓
All patience and encouragement come from God. And I pray that God will help you all agree with each other, as Christ Jesus wants.

Hebrews 5:4-9 ERV↓
To be a high priest is an honor. But no one chooses himself for this work. That person must be chosen by God just as Aaron was. It is the same with Christ. He did not choose Himself to have the honor of becoming a high priest. But God chose Him. God said to Him, “You are my Son. Today I have become Your Father.” Psalm 2:7    And in another part of the Scriptures God says, “You are a priest forever— the kind of priest Melchizedek was.” Psalm 110:4    While Jesus lived on earth He prayed to God, asking for help from the One who could save Him from death. He prayed to God with loud cries and tears. And His prayers were answered because of His great respect for God. Jesus was the Son of God, but He still suffered, and through His sufferings He learned to obey whatever God says. This made Him the perfect High Priest, who provides the way for everyone who obeys Him to be saved forever.

John 17:21-23 NKJV↓
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Romans 16:17-18 NLT↓
And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.

1 Peter 3:8 ERV↓
So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind and humble.

Romans 12:5 ERV↓
In the same way, we are many people, but in Christ we are all one body. We are the parts of that body, and each part belongs to all the others.

Ephesians 5:23 ERV↓
A husband is the head of his wife, just as Christ is the Head of the church. Christ is the Savior of the church, which is His body.

Romans 15:6-7 ERV↓
Then you will all be joined together. And all together you will give glory to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other. This will bring honor to God.

Galatians 5:19-21 ERV↓
The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: committing sexual sin, being morally bad, doing all kinds of shameful things, worshiping false gods, taking part in witchcraft, hating people, causing trouble, being jealous, angry or selfish, causing people to argue and divide into separate groups, being filled with envy, getting drunk, having wild parties, and doing other things like this. I warn you now as I warned you before: The people who do these things will not have a part in God’s kingdom.

Colossians 1:17-18 ERV↓
The Son was there before anything was made. And all things continue because of Him. He is the Head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning of everything else. And He is the first among all who will be raised from death.  So in everything He is most important.

Romans 10:11-12 ERV↓
Yes, the Scriptures say, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disappointed.”  It says this because there is no difference between those who are Jews and those who are not. The same Lord is the Lord of all people. And He richly blesses everyone who looks to Him for help.

Galatians 1:6-9 NKJV↓
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.


Brothers and sisters, I hope we can join together in prayer and worship. The Lord Jesus very clearly and plainly says to us that people of the world (aka nonbelievers) will realize that He is Lord and that God loves us all if/when we all come together as one. I am not saying one denomination is right and another is wrong, I am saying it is altogether wrong to believe in the doctrine of a denomination without seeking the Lord Christ Himself first. Let's not identify ourselves with types of Christianity, but instead define ourselves as followers, friends, and servants of Christ! Thanks be to the Lord, and God bless you!

About Me

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A servant of the Lord, believer in Jesus Christ, and His loving student. I stand by the Word of God to read, pray, and obey. iLearnFromJesus! All thanks and praise belong to our Father, who rules with wisdom, power, and love!! May the peace and grace of Lord Jesus be with you!------------------------------------------Ecclesiastes 12:14 NKJV----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.