HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN Disciple of Jesus Christ - Chapter 3 GOD'S LOVE and TRUTH DRAWS US To fully learn How to become a Christian... Read and follow this entire chapter It is God's love and truth which causes us to be drawn to God. Absolutely, no one can come to know God unless God chooses to draw a person to Himself. God wants every person in the world to change and to come to know Him and live a life of true righteousness through Jesus Christ. However God also has infinite insight and knows the intents of every person's heart and only draws and gives understanding to those who sincerely desire to learn and follow His truth. Jesus Christ reveals and teaches all truth, because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If any person chooses to continue to follow their own opinions and other false doctrines of man, and reject Jesus, they then will not be drawn by God. God spiritually works around each person and gives us every opportunity to come to know Him in a personal way. Yet if God spiritually discerns that any particular person has no initial genuine intention wanting to understand and follow the will of God, then God will not yet draw that person to Himself as long as they still have self pride or a hardened heart. God also blesses those who have a hardened heart with the hope that they can change, but He will not force Himself and His truth on anyone; God will continue to offer each man the opportunity to come to Him willingly. He will not always strive with any man, so if any man is set just to follow his own evil and shallow beliefs, then God will allow him to do so, and God will not draw that person to Himself. If and when a person humbles themselves and begins to admit their past wrongs and truly seeks to know God, then God will begin to reveal Himself and His ways to that individual. Everywhere that I turned before I was a Christian, God's love was drawing me to Himself. I didn't even realize just how much He was working on my behalf. Now as I reflect back I can see just how much He has loved Me. Has someone in the past invited you to a truly Biblical Christian church ? Well that was God's love reaching out to you to draw you to Himself. Has a Christian given you a Christian tract or shared some scriptures with you or demonstrate God's love towards you in word or deed in some way ? Well, that was God's love drawing you to Himself. KEY SCRIPTURE JOHN 6:44 No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. JOHN 6:45 .... Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me ( Jesus ). JOHN 6:46 Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by my Father. JESUS OUR ONLY SAVIOR Jesus Christ is the only Savior of mankind, who is able to save us from our sinful nature and from the penalty of our sins. Jesus Christ was the only one who was truly sent by God the Father to save mankind from evil. There are many people who falsely claim to be Christ or the Messiah, who are deceptive impersonators and have no spiritual ability to truly cleanse any other person's spirit from evil. Jesus, was the only one without sin, because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit by the power of God within a woman who was a virgin; Thereby Jesus was the only one born into the world without the sinful nature which was passed on from Adam to all other men and women at birth. Jesus was God manifested in the flesh, and was pure in heart and full of the power of God's Holy Spirit. Buddha, sinned; Mohammed, sinned; Joseph Smith, sinned; All the gurus of Hinduism and the new age, have sinned; None of these men have any power, nor truth, nor authority from God, to save or deliver any man from sin and evil. The sinless life of Jesus Christ was witnessed by thousands of people and they testify to that effect in the Bible; Jesus Christ, who being without sin, became the perfect recompense or sacrifice for our sins in the sight of God the Father, by what He alone accomplished at the cross. When Jesus Christ laid down His life in Love for mankind, He thereby had victory over the power of sin and spiritual death. Jesus Christ was the only one who truly rose again from the dead and ascended into Heaven. We can now be made free and saved from the bondage and penalty of sin and overcome evil through a sincere personal relationship with Jesus Christ alone. Jesus Christ Himself claimed and the Bible declares that there is no other way we can be saved, nor is there any other person who can save us. Jesus Christ is the only mediator or spiritual bridge for man to cross over back to God. If we believe in Jesus by faith and through His provision of Grace, and by the washing of God's Word, then our minds and hearts are made pure by God. Moreover, if we keep His commandments, Jesus and God the Father will dwell in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. JESUS OUR ONLY SAVIOR KEY SCRIPTURES JOHN 14:6 Jesus said, " I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." JOHN 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me ( Jesus ) he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. ACTS 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." HEBREWS 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. 1 TIMOTHY 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 JOHN 3:5 And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; And in Him (Jesus) there is no sin. 2 CORIN 6:21 He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (Jesus) ROMANS 5:8,9 But God demonstrates His own Love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. LUKE 2:10-14 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” JOHN 3:16-21 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. Question: "Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?" Answer: "I'm basically a good person, so I'll go to heaven." "OK, so I do some bad things, but I do more good things, so I'll go to heaven." "God won't send me to hell just because I don't live by the Bible. Times have changed!" "Only really bad people like child molesters and murderers go to hell." These are all common rationalizations, but the truth is that they are all lies. Satan, the ruler of the world, plants these thoughts in our heads. He, and anyone who follows his ways, is an enemy of God (1Peter 5:8). Satan is a deceiver and often disguises himself as someone good (2 Corinthians 11:14), but he has control over all the minds that do not belong to God. "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4). It is a lie to believe that God doesn't care about small sins or that hell is reserved for "bad people." All sin separates us from God, even a “little white lie.” Everyone has sinned, and no one is good enough to get to heaven on their own (Romans 3:23). Getting into heaven is not based on whether our good outweighs our bad; we will all lose out if that is the case. "And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace" (Romans 11:6). We can do nothing good to earn our way to heaven (Titus 3:5). "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it" (Matthew 7:13). Even if everyone else is living a life of sin in a culture where trusting in God is not popular, God will not excuse it. "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient" (Ephesians 2:1-2). When God created the world, it was perfect and good. Then he made Adam and Eve and gave them their own free will, so they would have a choice whether to follow and obey God. But they were tempted by Satan to disobey God, and they sinned. This separated them (and everyone that came after them, including us) from being able to have a close relationship with God. He is perfect and holy and must judge sin. As sinners, we couldn't reconcile ourselves to God on our own. So God made a way that we could be united with Him in heaven. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Jesus was born to die for our sins so that we would not have to. Three days after His death, He rose from the grave (Romans 4:25), proving Himself victorious over death. He bridged the gap between God and man so that we may have a personal relationship with Him if we only believe. "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3). Most people believe in God, even Satan does. But to receive salvation, we must turn to God, form a personal relationship, turn away from our sins, and follow Him. We must trust in Jesus with everything we have and everything we do. "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference" (Romans 3:22). The Bible teaches that there is no other way to salvation than through Christ. Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus is the only way of salvation because He is the only One who can pay our sin penalty (Romans 6:23). No other religion teaches the depth or seriousness of sin and its consequences. No other religion offers the infinite payment of sin that only Jesus Christ could provide. No other “religious founder” was God become man (John 1:1,14) – the only way an infinite debt could be paid. Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ! “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). GotQuestions.org THE DEITY OF JESUS CHRIST It is very important that we recognize Jesus Christ as truly Divine, in order that we can be assured that He has the spiritual power to completely cleanse and forgive us of all sin and to reconcile us back to God. " With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible; " Therefore any problem that we face that seems impossible, Jesus Christ can supernaturally bring a perfect solution because He has the authority from God the Father and only Jesus has the power as God the Son. Jesus is not God the Father, however He is the Son of God, and shares the Godhead with the Father and the Holy Spirit, sits at the right side of God the Father and rules and reigns with Him. God the Father has given all authority unto His Son, therefore Jesus is to be worshipped and obeyed as God. KEY SCRIPTURES EPHES 1:19-23 And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might, 1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. 1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 1:23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. JOHN 1:1 In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2 He was in the beginning with God. 1:3 All things came into being by Him and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. MATTHEW 1:23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, " God with us." THE DEITY OF JESUS KEY SCRIPTURES COLOSSIANS 2:9,10 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete and He is the head over all rule and authority. COL 1:15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created by Him and for Him. 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church and He is the beginning, the first- born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. 1:19 For it is the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him. THE DEITY OF JESUS God, manifested in the flesh - 1 TIM 3:16 Emmanuel " God with us - MAT 1:23, ISA 7:14 Jesus above the angels - HEBREWS 1:4,5 He is the image of the invisible God - COL 1:15 I and My Father are one - JOHN 10:30 Form of God - Equal with God - PHIL 2:6 God our Savior - TITUS 3:4 Jesus Christ our Savior - TITUS 3:6 Only Jesus was without sin - 2 CORIN 5:21 All power is given unto Jesus - MATTHEW 28:18 My Lord and My God - JOHN 20:28 For unto us a Child is born...Mighty God ISAIAH 9:6; 40:3,9,10; MAT 3:3 Lord of the Sabbath - MAT 12:8, GEN 2:3 Jesus was omnipresent JOHN 3:13;14:20; MAT 18:20; 28:20 For unto us a Child is born...Mighty God - ISA 9:6, ISA 40:3,9,10, MAT 3:3 Jesus was called God by Paul - TITUS 2:13; COL 1:15-19; COL 2:9,10 " For there are Three Who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit and these Three are One. " 1 JOHN 5:7 (Jesus ) Not of this world - JOHN 8:23 WORSHIPPING JESUS Every knee to bow - PHIL 2:9-11 Let all the angels of God worship Him - HEBREWS 1:6 The four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down and worshipped Him (Jesus) - REV 5:8-14 Hosanna - JOHN 12:13-16; ZECH 9:9, MAT 21:1-9 Worshipped by the shepherds - LUKE 2:15 Worshipped by the wise men - MAT 2:11 Jesus' disciples worshipped Him - MAT 14:33 A canaanite woman worshipped Jesus - MAT 15:25 The sons of Zebedee worshipped Jesus - MAT 20:20 Those in Jerusalem worshipped Jesus - MAT 21:9,16 MATTHEW 2:1-2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” MATTHEW 28:9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. MATTTHEW 28:16,17 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. MARK 5:6,7 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” MARK 3:11, MARK 11:9, LUKE 4:41, LUKE 5:8, LUKE 23:42, LUKE 24:52, JOHN 5:23, JOHN 9:38, 2 PETER 3:18, REV 1:6, JOHN 17:1-5 Question: "Is the deity of Christ biblical?" Answer: In addition to Jesus’ specific claims about Himself, His disciples also acknowledged the deity of Christ. They claimed that Jesus had the right to forgive sins—something only God can do—as it is God who is offended by sin (Acts 5:31;Colossians 3:13; Psalm 130:4; Jeremiah 31:34). In close connection with this last claim, Jesus is also said to be the one who will “judge the living and the dead” (2 Timothy 4:1). Thomas cried out to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Paul calls Jesus “great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13) and points out that prior to His incarnation Jesus existed in the “form of God” (Philippians 2:58). God the Father says regarding Jesus: “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8). John states that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word [Jesus] was God” (John 1:1). Examples of Scriptures that teach the deity of Christ are many (see Revelation 1:17, 2:8, 22:13; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:6-8; Psalm 18:2, 95:1; 1 Peter 5:4; Hebrews 13:20), but even one of these is enough to show that Christ was considered to be God by His followers. Jesus is also given titles that are unique to YHWH (the formal name of God) in the Old Testament. The Old Testament title “redeemer” (Psalm 130:7; Hosea 13:14) is used of Jesus in the New Testament (Titus 2:13; Revelation 5:9). Jesus is called Immanuel—“God with us”—in Matthew 1. In Zechariah 12:10, it is YHWH who says, “They will look on me, the one they have pierced.” But the New Testament applies this to Jesus’ crucifixion (John 19:37; Revelation 1:7). If it is YHWH who is pierced and looked upon, and Jesus was the one pierced and looked upon, then Jesus is YHWH. Paul interprets Isaiah 45:22-23 as applying to Jesus in Philippians 2:10-11. Further, Jesus’ name is used alongside God’s in prayer “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2). This would be blasphemy if Christ were not deity. The name of Jesus appears with God's in Jesus' commanded to baptize “in the name [singular] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19; see also 2 Corinthians 13:14). Actions that can be accomplished only by God are credited to Jesus. Jesus not only raised the dead (John 5:21, 11:38-44) and forgave sins (Acts 5:31, 13:38), He created and sustains the universe (John 1:2; Colossians 1:16-17). This becomes even clearer when one considers YHWH said He was alone during creation (Isaiah 44:24). Further, Christ possesses attributes that only deity can have: eternality (John 8:58), omnipresence (Matthew 18:20, 28:20), omniscience (Matthew 16:21), and omnipotence (John 11:38-44). Now, it is one thing to claim to be God or to fool someone into believing it is true, and something else entirely to prove it to be so. Christ offered many miracles as proof of His claim to deity. Just a few of Jesus' miracles include turning water to wine (John 2:7), walking on water (Matthew 14:25), multiplying physical objects (John 6:11), healing the blind (John 9:7), the lame (Mark 2:3), and the sick (Matthew 9:35; Mark 1:40-42), and even raising people from the dead (John 11:43-44; Luke 7:11-15; Mark 5:35). Moreover, Christ Himself rose from the dead. Far from the so-called dying and rising gods of pagan mythology, nothing like the resurrection is seriously claimed by other religions, and no other claim has as much extra-scriptural confirmation. There are at least twelve historical facts about Jesus that even non-Christian critical scholars will admit: 1. Jesus died by crucifixion. 2. He was buried. 3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope. 4. Jesus' tomb was discovered (or was claimed to be discovered) to be empty a few days later. 5. The disciples believed they experienced appearances of the risen Jesus. 6. After this, the disciples were transformed from doubters into bold believers. 7. This message was the center of preaching in the early Church. 8. This message was preached in Jerusalem. 9. As a result of this preaching, the Church was born and it grew. 10. Resurrection day, Sunday, replaced the Sabbath (Saturday) as the primary day of worship. 11. James, a skeptic, was converted when he also believed that he saw the resurrected Jesus. 12. Paul, an enemy of Christianity, was converted by an experience which he believed to be an appearance of the risen Jesus. Even if someone were to object to this specific list, only a few are needed to prove the resurrection and establish the gospel: Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, and appearances (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). While there may be some theories to explain one or two of the above facts, only the resurrection explains and accounts for them all. Critics admit that the disciples claimed they saw the risen Jesus. Neither lies nor hallucinations can transform people the way the resurrection did. First, what would they have had to gain? Christianity was not popular and it certainly did not make them any money. Second, liars do not make good martyrs. There is no better explanation than the resurrection for the disciples’ willingness to die horrible deaths for their faith. Yes, many people die for lies that they think are true, but people do not die for what they know is untrue. In conclusion, Christ claimed He was YHWH, that He was deity (not just “a god” but the one true God); His followers (Jews who would have been terrified of idolatry) believed Him and referred to Him as God. Christ proved His claims to deity through miracles, including the world-altering resurrection. No other hypothesis can explain these facts. Yes, the deity of Christ is biblical. Question: "Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?" Answer: Jesus is never recorded in the Bible as saying the precise words, “I am God.” That does not mean, however, that He did not proclaim that He is God. Take for example Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” We need only to look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement to know He was claiming to be God. They tried to stone Him for this very reason. “… you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming—deity. Notice that Jesus does not deny His claim to be God. When Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), He was saying that He and the Father are of one nature and essence. John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” The response of the Jews who heard this statement was to take up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, as the Mosaic Law commanded them to do (Leviticus 24:15). John reiterates the concept of Jesus’ deity: “the Word was God” and “the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). These verses clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28 tells us, “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Who bought the church—the church of God—with His own blood? Jesus Christ. Acts 20:28 declares that God purchased His church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God! Thomas the disciple declared concerning Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (see also 2 Peter 1:1). In Hebrews 1:8, the Father declares of Jesus, “But about the Son He says, ’Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” The Father refers to Jesus as “O God” indicating that Jesus is indeed God. In Revelation, an angel instructed the apostle John to only worship God (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11, 14:33, 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38). He never rebukes people for worshiping Him. If Jesus were not God, He would have told people to not worship Him, just as the angel in Revelation did. There are many other verses and passages of Scripture that argue for Jesus’ deity. The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). A created being, which Jesus would be if He were not God, could not pay the infinite penalty required for sin against an infinite God. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21), die, and be resurrected, proving His victory over sin and death. GotQuestions.org Only One True God Where does God's Word Instruct that Idols and gods are useless, without life, and are not truly gods ? And moreover where does God's Word instruct that there is ONLY ONE TRUE GOD and ONLY ONE GOD that we should serve ? JOHN 17:3 - Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. DEUT 32:39 " Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no god besides Me. " ISA 46:9 Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, there is none like Me. ISA 45:5,6 I am the Lord, and there is no there; THERE IS NO GOD BESIDES ME. I will strengthen you though you have not known Me. ISA 45:14 They will make supplication to you saying, " Surely God is in you, and there is no other. There is no other god. ISA 44:8 You are My witnesses. Is there a god besides Me ? Indeed there is NO OTHER ROCK, I know not one. ISA 44:6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts; I am the First and I am the Last; BESIDES ME THERE IS NO GOD. ISA 43:10,11 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.Before Me NO GOD FORMED, nor will there be one after Me. ISA 45:18-21 For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. 19 I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain. I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right. 20 “Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. 21 Declare what is to be, present it—let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. ZEC 14:9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth, In that day it shall be; " The Lord is ONE, and His Name is ONE. 1 TIM 2:5 For there is ONE God, and ONE Mediator between God and men, the Man, Jesus Christ. MAT 4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and ONLY serve Him.’ACTS 19:26 ...This Paul has persuaded and turned away many people saying that, THEY ARE NOT GODS which are made by hands. 1 CORIN 8:4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but ONE.” GAL 4:8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are NOT GODS. 1 TIM 6:15,16 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and ONLY Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who ALONE is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen. ACTS 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. JER 16:19,20 ...Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness, and unprofitable things. Will a man make for himself, which are not gods ? PSLAM 96:5 ALL the gods of the peoples are idols... JER 10:2-5 2 This is what the Lord says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them. 3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. 5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.” 2 KINGS 5:15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.” RIGHTEOUSNESS ONLY THROUGH JESUS No one can be made righteous by just following the Old law because the law is completely inadequate to establish righteousness within a person, even though it was useful by showing man the difference between right and wrong. Nor one has the spiritual strength to fulfill all of the law apart from Jesus Christ; Therefore if any person even breaks one law or commandment of God they are unrighteous and unholy. Neither can anyone become righteous by only their own good works. True spiritual righteousness can only be obtained through a living relationship with Jesus Christ, who was the only perfect righteous one sent from God. Having a sincere faith in Jesus Christ, we are made righteous, by the sacrificial act which He alone made at the cross, through His cleansing grace and words of truth which comes to us who believe, by the Holy Spirit. KEY SCRIPTURES ROMANS 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in the life through the One, Jesus Christ. ROMANS 4:3-5 For what does the Scripture say? And Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness." Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him (Jesus) who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness. PHILIPPIANS 3:9 And may I be found in Him, ( Jesus ) not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. TITUS 3:5 He (Jesus) saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. Question: "Why does Christ's righteousness need to be imputed to us?" Answer: In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uttered these words: “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). This comes at the end of the section of the sermon where Jesus corrects His listeners’ misunderstanding of the law. In Matthew 5:20, Jesus says that if His hearers want to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, their righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees who were the experts in the law. Then in Matthew 5:21-48, He proceeds to radically redefine the law from mere outward conformity which characterized the ‘righteousness’ of the Pharisees, to an obedience of both outward and inward conformity. He uses the phrase, “You have heard it said, but I say unto you…” to differentiate between the way people heard the law taught from how Jesus is reinterpreting it. Obeying the law is more than simply abstaining from killing, committing adultery and breaking oaths. It’s also not getting angry with your brother, not lusting in your heart, and not making insincere oaths. At the end of all this, we learn that we must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees, and that comes from being perfect. At this point, the natural response is: “But I can’t be perfect” which is absolutely true. In another place in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus summarizes the law of God down to two commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). This is certainly an admirable goal, but has anyone ever loved the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and their neighbor as themselves? Everything we do, say and think has to be done, said and thought from love for God and love for neighbor. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we have never achieved this level of spirituality. The truth of the matter is that on our own and by our own efforts, we can’t possibly be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. We don’t love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We don’t love our neighbors as ourselves. We have a problem, and it’s called sin. We are born with it and we cannot overcome the effects of it on our own. Sin radically affects us to our core. Sin affects what we do, say and think. In other words, it taints everything about us. Therefore, no matter how good we try to be, we will never meet God’s standard of perfection. The Bible says that all of our righteous deeds are like a “polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6). Our own righteousness is simply not good enough and never will be, no matter how hard we try. That’s why Jesus lived a perfect life in full obedience to the law of God in thought, word and deed. Jesus’ mission wasn’t simply to die on the cross for our sins, but also to live a life of perfect righteousness. Theologians refer to this as the “active and passive obedience of Christ.” Active obedience refers to Christ’s life of sinless perfection. Everything He did was perfect. Passive obedience refers to Christ’s submission to the crucifixion. He went willingly to the cross and allowed Himself to be crucified without resisting (Isaiah 53:7). His passive obedience pays our sin debt before God, but it is the active obedience that really saves us and gives us the perfection God requires. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22). Through our faith in Christ, the righteousness of God is given to us. This is called “imputed” righteousness. To impute something is to ascribe or attribute something to someone. When we place our faith in Christ, God ascribes the perfect righteousness of Christ to our account so that we become perfect in His sight. “For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Not only is Christ’s righteousness imputed to us through faith, but our sin is imputed to Christ. That is how Christ paid our sin debt to God. He had no sin in Himself, but our sin is imputed to him, so as He suffers on the cross, He is suffering the just penalty that our sin deserves. That is why Paul can say, “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” (Galatians 2:20). By having the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, we can be perfect, as God is perfect. It is not, therefore, our perfection, but His. When God looks at the Christian, He sees the holiness, perfection, and righteousness of Christ. Therefore, we can say with confidence “I am perfect, as God is perfect.” GotQuestions.org PRAYER OF SALVATION If you are not sure that you are saved and have eternal life....? ROMANS 10:13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." By sincerely praying the following prayer or similar prayer, Jesus Christ will spiritually come into your life and become your Lord and Savior and will give you a totally new life now and the gift of eternal life in His Kingdom of Heaven. He is not waiting for you to become perfect first, before you would accept Him and become a Disciple of Christ. He wants to come into your life when you need Him the most. As His word says, " While we were yet sinners Christ died for us " Today is the day of salvation; if you want all your sins to be forgiven and have peace with God, then pray this prayer and mean it in your heart.... Pray the following prayer in your own words; " Father God, forgive me for all of my sins, I'm sorry for what I have done against your will, Thank you for sending Jesus to pay the price for my sin, by laying down His life at the cross in Love for me. I forgive all who have done me wrong. Thank you for forgiving me. I desire to turn away from all evil. Jesus, come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to follow Your way. Thank You Father God. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen " Your past is now behind you; You may or may not feel anything different, but rest assure you are a new spiritual creation; If you sincerely prayed a prayer like this to God, and you were to die shortly after, you would be saved by the the Grace of Jesus Christ. However, merely praying a prayer of salvation, in itself does not guarantee one's salvation nor eternal life, if they continue after to deliberately to lead a life contrary to the commandments of Jesus Christ, and abuse the provision of God's Grace. Just praying a " Prayer of Salvation " was never taught by Jesus Christ, nor the early church, as a sole requirement of Salvation. However those whom truly follow and obey Jesus Christ, continue in prayer, continue to repent for sin, abide in his Grace, and will be saved and receive eternal life. May the Lord bless you and keep you, May He make His Face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you and give you peace... ASSURANCE OF SALVATION Anyone can have the assurance of their salvation, if they believe God's Word and His promise to us. Moreover, if they trust God's faithfulness and ask for God's Holy Spirit to come into their life. Many Born Again Christians live in doubt, and cannot find satisfying peace about their personal salvation. Often they look back at their ' salvation experience ' for signs of assurance. They look for feelings and emotions that may have taken place at the time of receiving the Lord Jesus into their lives, and this is always a mistake. Living by " experiences " whether past or present - does not only cause frustration, but is completely out of line with what the Bible teaches. Christians are to live by faith in what God has said and done in our lives, regardless if we feel anything. The full assurance of salvation is essential for every Christian to understand and know without any doubt whatsoever; Then we may be used effectively as disciples of Jesus Christ. A Christ centered person who is assured of their salvation gives their fill attention to Jesus Christ, never wavering from fulfilling God's will, and never in doubt of the Lord's unfailing Love. WHO SAVES US AND GIVES US ETERNAL LIFE ? Only God the Father and Jesus Christ can save us ; KEY SCRIPTURES 1 JOHN 5:11 And this is the testimony; that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. JOHN 11:25,26 Jesus said to her, " I am the resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. JOHN 14:6 I ( Jesus ) am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. JOHN 10:28 I ( Jesus ) give them eternal Life, and they shall never perish. HEB 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. HEB 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. WHO SAVES US AND GIVES US ETERNAL LIFE ? Only God the Father and Jesus Christ can save us ; KEY SCRIPTURES 1 THES 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 TIM 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 2 TIM 1:9 ( God ) Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began;.... JAMES 4:12 There is one Lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another ? 2 CORIN 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ. COL 1:12 The Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. PSALM 62:2 He only is my rock, my salvation and my stronghold... ISAIAH 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid, For YAH, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation. JOHN 10:9 I ( Jesus ) am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. JOHN 10:10 ....I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. Can we save ourselves without God the Father and Jesus Christ or Can anyone else save us ? No one can save their own self apart from God nor can anyone else save us, except for Jesus Christ ... JOHN 14:6 I ( Jesus ) am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. ACTS 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. How are we saved by God, and enter the Kingdom of God ? • By God's Grace through Jesus Christ... TITUS 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,... 2 TIM 1:9 ( God ) Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began;... 2 TIM 1:10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. • We are saved, sanctified and redeemed by what Jesus Christ did at the cross, by His Grace, and thereby He made it possible for us to receive eternal life; ROMANS 5:8 But God demonstrates His Love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ROM 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. ROM 5:10 For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His Life. ROM 5:11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. • We are saved, sanctified and redeemed by what Jesus Christ did at the cross, by His Grace, and thereby He made it possible for us to receive eternal life; HEB 9:14,15 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God ? And for this reason He is the mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. HEB 9:28 So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. HEB 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. EPHES 1:6,7 To the praise of the glory of His Grace, by which He has made us accepted in the beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace. COL 1:14 ( Jesus ) in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 1 THES 5:9,10 To obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. TITUS 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed, and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. • Saved by God's Love and Grace EPHES 2:4 But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,... EPHES 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ ( By grace you have been saved ), EPHES 2:6 and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. EPHES 2:7 That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. EPHES 2:8 For by Grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. • Saved by God's Mercy and His Holy Spirit TITUS 3:5 But according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, TITUS 3:6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. TITUS 3:7 that having been justified by His Grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 2 THES 2:13 Because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit. • Saved by the Power of God through faith 1 PET 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. • Saved by the washing of God's Word and Holy Spirit EPHES 5:25-27 ...Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be Holy and without blemish. • Saved by the Words and Grace of Jesus filling our lives JOHN 6:57 He who feeds on Me will live because of Me. • Saved through God's promises 2 PET 1:4 By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. • We must be born again of the Spirit JOHN 3:3 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. JOHN 3:5,6 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 flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. 1 PET 3:2 There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism ( not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God ) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. • We are drawn to God and Jesus will raise us up on the last day. JOHN 6:44-46 No one can come to Me, unless the Father, who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. JOHN 6:45 .... Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me ( Jesus ). JOHN 6:46 Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by my Father. WHO CAN BE SAVED ? All men and women have the opportunity to be saved but many will reject the truth and many will fall away and not be saved. ROM 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. ROM 11:11 ....But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the gentiles. ROM 11:25,26 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved..... What must we do to be saved by God's grace and to receive eternal life ? • We need to Believe that Jesus is the Christ 1 JOHN 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot, also loves him who is begotten of Him. 1 JOHN 5:10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; 1 JOHN 5:11 ....And this is the testimony; that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 1 JOHN 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 JOHN 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. • We need to pray to God, confess our sins, receive His forgiveness and ask God to deliver us from doing evil. ROM 10:13 For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 1 JOHN 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. • We need to boldly come to Jesus Christ to obtain His Grace and Mercy, and not doubt that God desires to forgive us. HEB 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. • We need to have faith for salvation from God. EPHESIAN 2:8 For by Grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not as a result of works, that no one can boast. ( We are saved by the Grace of Jesus Christ, and that grace is not by our works, however, we must have faith in God's Grace in order to be saved. ) 1 PET 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. What must we do to be saved by God's grace and to receive eternal life ? • We need to purpose to obey God HEB 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. • We need to fear God in respect for who He is, and for all that He has given us in Love and hate all evil ways. PHIL 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your our salvation with fear and trembling. HEBREWS 4:1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. • We need to hear the word of truth, trust in Christ, believe and receive God's Holy Spirit. EPHES 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, EPHES 1:14 Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. • We need to confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe that God raised Him from the dead. ROMANS 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. ROM 10:10 For with the heart one believes to righteousness and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. MAT 10:32 Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. • We need to believe in the truth and be sanctified by God's Holy Spirit. 2 THES 2:13 ... Because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. What do we need to do to enter the Kingdom of God and to receive eternal life ? • We need to come to Jesus by faith so that we can be born again of water and of the spirit; JOHN 3:3 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. JOHN 3:5,6 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 flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. • We need to obey God's commandments and sincerely repent when we fail; MATTHEW 19:16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, " Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life ? " MAT 19:17 So He said to him, " Why do you call Me good ? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. MAT 19:18 He said to Him, " Which ones ? " Jesus said, You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. • We Need to deny ourselves, and take up cross and follow Jesus and lose our old self life... MAT 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, " If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, follow Me, MAT 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life, will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. MAT 10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. MAT 10:39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. • We need to be converted and humble ourselves; MAT 18:3 Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. MAT 18:4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. What do we need to do to enter the Kingdom of God and to receive eternal life ? • We need to put to death the deeds of the body, ( Our old evil ways ) By God's Spirit. ROM 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. • We need to do the will of God... MAT 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. No Salvation for Non-Christians and Idolaters Where in God's Word does it mention that there is No Salvation for persons who choose to follow after idolatry and believe in false doctrines, without repenting, even though they may even attend christian churches ? EPHES 5:5,6 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. JOHN 3:16-2116 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. MARK 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. ROMANS 2:12 For as many as have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law. MAT 7:21 NOT EVERYONE who says to Me, " Lord, Lord " shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven... ISA 45:20 They have no knowledge, who carry the word of their carved image, and pray to a god that cannot save. 1 CORIN 6:9,10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, Neither fornicators, NOR IDOLATERS, nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. NOTE: If anyone chooses to repent, turn away from Idolatry etc., and accept the Grace of Jesus Christ, they will be saved. REV 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” GAL 5:19-21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 JOHN 3:14,15 He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. ROMANS 1:24-32 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. MAT 12:30-32 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. 1 JOHN 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God, does NOT have life. NOTE: God is very just and forgiving and merciful if we choose to no longer follow our own desires. Do Non-Christians have an excuse not to believe in God ? ROMANS 1:18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. IS EVERYONE SAVED BY WHAT JESUS CHRIST ACCOMPLISHED AT THE CROSS ? By Let us Reason Ministries *Universalism- Doesn’t the Bible teach all will be saved because of Jesus’ death on the cross? The salvation offered by Jesus Christ is NOT Inclusive. In John 10:9-14 Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Jesus himself said “if you enter ANY OTHER WAY you are a thief and a robber” The danger of universalism is that it gives someone a false sense of security about their afterlife. The Bible consistently teaches that we are saved by grace THROUGH faith, not just grace, not everyone is an automatic recipient of salvation by Jesus Christ’s work on the cross (Eph.2:8-10). We must do something, and that something is to believe, after God draws an individual and they have a revelation of the truth, their sinful condition they must by and act of their will place faith in Christs work. One must believe to be saved. John the apostle writes in his gospel 1:11-12 “but as many as receive him, to them he gave the right (power) to become children of God, to those who believe on his name.” If one does not receive him they are not children of God. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” Galatians 3:26-28) 2 Cor. 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” The only way in to Christ is by Spirit baptism, it was Jesus who said, “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus said Mt. 7:13-15: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Jesus is not saying all will make it, not even many but few find it. We know not everyone will be saved because In Matthew 13:49 Jesus said, “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.” Again, two classes are mentioned - unbelievers and believers spoken of as the wicked and the righteous, the godly and ungodly. IS CHRIST IN EVERYONE ? NO - Only the individuals, who believe in Jesus Christ, who continues to repent from sin, accepts His Grace, continues in God's Word, who obeys the commandments of Jesus Christ, and walks by faith, receives the Holy Spirit of God, obtains Mercy when they sin, Loves and forgives one another in the way Jesus Christ taught, and bears good spiritual fruit; Only these True disciples of Jesus Christ has both God the Father and Jesus Christ in them. 1 JOHN 2:23 Whoever denies the Son, does not have the Father ( God ) either. ROMANS 8:9,10 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[a] because of righteousness. JOHN 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 1 JOHN 4:12-16 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 JOHN 3:10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest; Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. JOHN 14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teachings. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 1 JOHN 5:12 He who has the Son has life; He who does not have the Son of God does not have life. JOHN 11:10 But if one walks in the night he stumbles, because the Light is not in him. 1 JOHN 2:15 Do not love the world, or the things in the world, if anyone loves the world, the Love of the Father is not in him. 2 JOHN 1:9 Whoever transgresses...Whoever does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. 1 JOHN 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and His Word is not in us. 1 JOHN 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us. SHOULD WE ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE NOT CHRISTIANS YET OR FROM OTHER RELIGIONS TO COME AND FELLOWSHIP WITH US ? YES - If they are sincere and are truly seeking the Truth of Jesus Christ. We all have sinned and fall short of God. The difference remains in who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ, Repent, and follow in obedience to His teachings. Don't be quick to judge; Allow them to grow in God's Word, if that’s their desire. And further if they would be will to lay-aside any and all false beliefs, that they might have, as God would show them, through hearing of the Word of Truth of Jesus Christ. However, if eventually, it becomes obvious that an individual has no intention of repenting away from their perverted false beliefs, then that individual must not be allowed to remain in the fellowship, because they may have ulterior motives, or choose to believe in myths, and false doctrines, rather than the Truth of Jesus Christ. " A little leaven will leavens the whole bunch " A little sin will ruin the rest of the body of believers. 1 CORIN 5:13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you Should we allow individuals from other religions to share or teach other doctrines contrary to what Jesus taught, within our Christian Churches or Bible Studies ? ABSOLUTELY NOT, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES However if a person manages to share a false doctrine, without approval of the elders, within the church, it is essential for the pastor or teacher or any mature believer to bring correction to the church, to those who might of heard the false doctrine, as the Holy Spirit would lead. CONFESSION Confession is used in two primary ways in scripture. Both are essential to learn and to continually apply in our every day lives. 1. Confession of our sins - To God 2. Confession of our faith in Jesus Christ to others CONFESSION OF OUR SINS - To God 1 JOHN 1:9 If we confess our sins to God, He will be faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. PSALM 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden, I said, " I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Confession of our known sins to God in prayer throughout our lives as Christians is imperative for us to be forgiven. However if we forget to confess certain sins we still are forgiven. Confession is an open sincere admittance to God of our wrong doings. God already knows what we have done wrong. However, God still desires us to openly confess our sins to Him. When we attempt to hide our sins or harbor our sins in our heart, this just reveals to God that we are trying to be deceitful, and that we really don't want to change, or that we really don't believe or trust Him for forgiveness. Confession is the first step which shows to God a our sincerity to repent, or to change. Confession also helps a person to consciencily understand and remember that which he was doing was evil and wrong. This is so that he won't try to justify himself and keep repeating that sin again. If we bring our dark deeds into the light of God by confession, then the spiritual darkness can no longer remain. CONFESSION OF OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST TO OTHERS LUKE 12:8,9 Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me ( Jesus ) before men, him the Son of Man ( Jesus ) also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men, will be denied before the angels of God. ROMANS 10:9 If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;10:10 For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. GODLY SORROW and REMORSE Are you truly sorrowful for any sin that you've committed ?; sincerely sorry that you offended God and hurt another person ? Then true Godly sorrow will produce a genuine repentance within your heart or have a life changing result in your life, concerning a particular sin; Worldly sorrow is just sorrow which comes from the repercussions and sufferings that we might experience caused by our own sin; Worldly sorrow does not produce lasting repentance. We should not allow ourselves to feel condemnation for our sins, because Jesus did not come to condemn the world , but rather to save the world, therefore, we should allow the conviction of the Holy Spirit to produce Godly sorrow in our lives so that we can effectually turn from evil. God will come and comfort us, when we are confronted by various tribulations and suffer various trials, and when we have sorrow and sadness. We are then able and equipped to comfort others who are in any trouble, with the same comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corin 1:3-5 Godly sorrow = Produces repentance Worldly sorrow = Death 2 Corin 7:10 For godly sorrow produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly sorrow produces death SORROW Jer 31:10-14 Isaiah 60:19-22 Isaiah 51:11 Ps 30:5 John 16:19-24 WARNING Sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god Ps 16:4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their libations of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips. KEY SCRIPTURES 2 CORN 7:9-10 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted, but the sorrow of the world produces death. PSALM 51:1-4 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of your tender mercies, take away my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against You, and You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight. PSALM 51:9-11 Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew within me a right spirit. PSALM 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Question: "What is godly sorrow?" Answer: The phrase “godly sorrow” appears only once in Scripture, in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done . . .”. Godly sorrow, also translated “godly grief” is an acute sense of sadness we experience as a result of the sins we have committed. Paul’s reference to godly sorrow in 2 Corinthians 7 was brought about by the reaction of the Corinthian believers to a previous letter in which Paul rebuked them for the dissentions that were present in the church. Although he was sorry to have to hurt them, he rejoiced that his letter brought them to godly sorrow “as God intended.” Godly sorrow is that which brings the repentance that leads to salvation (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). Godly sorrow is a kind of wretchedness that can bring the repentant sinner to tears of grief. A good example of this is Peter at the time of Jesus’ arrest and trials. When accused as being one of Jesus’ followers, Peter disowned Jesus by cursing and swearing to his accusers that he did not know the Man. Upon hearing the rooster crow three times, he remembered the words of Jesus, who had prophesied Peter’s very actions, and went out and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:74-75). James wrote: “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom” (James 4:8-9). James is referencing this kind of deep sorrow with his command to “grieve, mourn and wail.” Such words are reminiscent of the Old Testament prophets who called the people to repentance, having them grieve over their sins, and to sit in sackcloth and ashes. Another illustration of godly sorrow was shown by David, “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). He revealed his own godly sorrow for his sins in many of his psalms. In one, he pleads for God's mercy and cries out: “I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears” ( Psalm 6:6). The apostle Paul described his own battles with sin: “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Then he gives the answer: “Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:2425). Godly sorrow results from a heart-felt conviction that we have offended God by our sin. Such a burning conviction produces in our hearts a godly sorrow. As we look upon Him who was pierced for our sins, we are deeply grieved in spirit. As such, we resolve within our hearts that we will, with the help of God, “cease to do evil, and learn to do good” (Isaiah 1:16). GotQuestions.org REPENTANCE , REPENT – ( Metanoeo ) Greek Metanoia The Word " REPENT " means " To change one's mind, " To regret and change direction, to turn away from evil towards good. MATTHEW 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, " Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. ' LUKE 13:3 ...Unless you repent, you too will all perish. A man or woman after God's own heart, is a person who admits their wrong deeds, and chooses to repent by turning away from all evil and seeks to do God's will. Indeed, God's love is merciful towards all those who have sinned and who also sincerely constantly repent and desire to deny themselves and take up their cross daily to overcome their sinful ways, through Jesus. Yet true Godly love does not condone any evil to remain within ourselves; The provision of grace is given not so we can sin, but rather so we can progressively overcome our sinful nature through a true communion with Jesus Christ and thereby as we confess our sin, and turn away, He is faithful and just to forgive us. God's Grace, Spirit, Truth and Love are never given to encourage evil nor to permit us the carnal freedom to sin; Grace is not a license to commit sin; But instead God's Spirit and truth are given to convict our hearts of sin and of the judgment to come, in order to set us free from sin so that we will truly be at liberty in His spirit and have new life. Any individual is in error who assumes that they can remain in any particular sin and still be forgiven without turning away from doing that evil; For unless they eventually repent, they will not be forgiven, neither are they walking in Love. If we desire to demonstrate God's Love, we must not purpose to deliberately sin nor to continue in any evil way. Let us first always examine ourselves within and not harden our heart against the voice of God, who will reveal our sin, so that we can lay it aside, and walk in the light of love. Love also does not perpetually accept evil to continue within the lives of the body of Christ. REPENTANCE Love calls for a repentance that fully transforms a person's inner nature, from their carnal ways of death into the new nature of Christ. Love instructs, corrects, reproofs, rebukes and warns others according to the truth, but only by the Spirit in a Christlike manner with the hope and sincere efforts of reconciliation, through patience, encouragement, and lovingkindness. The truth of God's love and the wisdom to hate evil, should be proclaimed, not with the intent of judgment or condemnation, but should be preached in hope of edification and salvation to the hearers. For Christ came not to judge, but to save, so we must do also, now, doing everything to maintain the unity within the Body of Christ. The judgment of Christ will come in it's proper time. Sincere repentance brings the righteousness of Jesus Christ by faith into our lives. Our obligation to God is not to eliminate evil from the whole world now nor to destroy evil persons; Christ at His coming will do this; Rather our obligation to God and our commission in Christ, is for each one of us to personally repent first and always, then to declare the Gospel of love, truth, repentance, and salvation through grace, so that those who would choose to believe, would then be able to turn from sin and destruction and obtain eternal life. All those who choose not to believe because they love their evil ways, consequently, have the vengeance and wrath of God upon them. Again if we want to earnestly love others and most of all to love God with all of our heart, mind and strength as He commanded, then we will not allow sin like leaven to grow within us or our brethren; Rather we must persevere to lay aside all evil as God enables us. And then after we have taken the log of pride and sin from our own eye, then we can see more clearly to encourage and to instruct others in the church and beyond to do the same. Love is intended to be pure and holy without hypocrisy. Any deed that we hope to do in love must at that time be without evil and sinless or else it cannot be true love. As we die to our selfish life and turn away from sin, then the fullness of Christ and the Father's love can coincidentally grow up, unhindered within us, as we partake of His Word and of His Grace. Love is what signifies a true follower of Christ. God's love will be established within us , if we humble ourselves and receive the truth and Spirit of Jesus Christ in our life. Further as we constantly repent from evil and deny our self and abide in grace, then through us, true Godly love and spiritual fruit will come forth, by God. REPENTANCE Anyone can repent and turn away from any sin with the power of God working on their behalf, and if you sincerely want to change, God will certainly be with you now and forevermore. KEY SCRIPTURES LUKE 15:4-7 " What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep, and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? 15:5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 15:6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, " Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost." 15:7 I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven, over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. PSALM 34:14 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. MATTHEW 9:13 But go and learn what this means; ' I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance. THE LOST COIN LUKE 15:8-10 Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it ? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ' Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin. ' In the same way, I tell you, there is a rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." REPENTANCE THE PRODIGAL SON LUKE 15:11-32 And he said, "There was a man who had two sons; 12 and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. 15 So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants."' 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22 But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; 23 and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; 24 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry. 25 "Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. 27 And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.' 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, 'Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!' 31 And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'" REPENTANCE LUKE 24:46-49 And He said to them, " Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day; and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.' ISAIAH 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. And let him return to the Lord. 2 PETER 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. GRACE GRACE - Undeserving or Unmerited favor from God GRACE - ( Charis ) Grace is God's unmerited favor and clemency for the evil deeds which we each have done. Grace is God's divine lovingkindness and compassion for the offenses of mankind. The perfect grace is made available to us by what Jesus Christ accomplished at the cross, by giving His sinless life to be sacrificed for the penalty of our sins. " While we were yet sinners Christ died for us " Romans 5:8 God's amazing grace releases us from His wrathful judgment. Grace from God is made available to anyone who accepts, and believes in Jesus Christ. The provision of God's Grace, while intended for anyone in the world, still needs to be appropriated on a individual basis. This precious grace from God allows the believer of Jesus Christ not to be held accountable for his past, present, or future sins, if he continually sincerely confesses and turns away from every sin. Anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ's payment of their sins, will be held accountable for their own sins and will be judged by God. As Christians, God wants us to come boldly to His throne of grace any time we sin so we can be forgiven, but God also does not want us to abuse His grace either. We abuse God's Grace when we keep on sinning and do not desire to overcome a sin through Jesus Christ. If we continue deliberately committing a particular sin or sins without repenting, then this is abusing God's grace or favor. God's Grace is a free gift from God to the humble in heart and is completely undeserved by any one of us. When any Christian experiences the grace of God, we are overwhelmed by God's lovingkindness, and set free; then we are able to serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear. GRACE KEY SCRIPTURES EPHESIANS 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. ISAIAH 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, And our God will have compassion on him; For He will abundantly pardon. HEBREWS 4:16 Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in a time of need. WHO CAN RECEIVE GRACE FROM GOD ? For all, who believe in Jesus Christ; Rom 3:22-24 ...even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.; for there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Ephes 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. Rom 1:6,7 Among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ to all who are in Rome be loved of God called to be saints, Grace to you... Rom 4:16 To all descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham Ephes 2:5 Even when we were dead in trespasses, ... James 4:6 God gives Grace to the humble Prov 3:34 1 Peter 5:5 Rom 3:24 Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Rom 3:25 Whom God set forth to be a propitiation (mercy seat) by His blood, through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God, He passed over the sins previously committed, Gal 1:3,4 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age. How do we receive God’s Grace ? Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. Ephes 3:7 According to the gift of the Grace of God given to me, by the effective working of His power. Ephes 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Rom 5:1,2 ...(Our Lord Jesus Christ) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Rom 5:15 The gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 1 Corin 1:4 ...for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus Col 1:5,6 Because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, ...since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth 1 Tim 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Acts 14:3 Who was bearing, witness to the word of His grace... Rom 1:4,5 And declared to be the son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead through whom we have received grace... Rom 1:7 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom 4:16 Therefore, it is of faith that it might be according to grace... Rom 15:5 Because of the grace given to me by God. 2 Corin 9:8 God is able to make all grace abound toward you... Ephes 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works, lest anyone boast. How is grace not received ? Rom 4:4 (Through works of the old law) now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. What good happens when we receive God's Grace ? Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Rom 5:1,2 Justified...in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Rom 5:16 Justification Rom 5:17 Gift of righteousness Rom 5:18 Justification of life Rom 5:21 Grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Rom 12:6-8 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us... Do we receive God's Grace by the works we do or is God's Grace a free gift ? Rom 5:15-18 Free gift Rom 11:5,6 No longer of works Ephes 2:8,9 For by Grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast. Ephes 4:7 Christ's gift 1 Corin 15:10 By the Grace of God I am what I am and His Grace toward me was not in vain but I labored more abundantly that they all, yet not I, but the Grace of God which was with me. Why do we need God’s Grace ? • SALVATION Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved... Heb 12:28 Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken let us have Grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear. Heb 13:9 For it is good that the heart be established by Grace. Acts 20:32 ...to the word of His Grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. • FORGIVENESS God's Forgiveness Towards Man's Sin Condition: If you confess your sin ( 1 John 1:9 ) God's forgiveness is His divine pardon for the sins that we have committed; God's word says, if we confess our sins to God in prayer with sincere Godly sorrow, He will be faithful and just to forgive us. God desires for us to believe and to have the faith for His forgiveness, regardless what evil we've done. We can have the full assurance that most definitely, God has forgiven us if we simply ask for forgiveness, and turn away from the sin that we've committed. He doesn't want us to doubt His kindness or the greatest of His Love nor does He want us to carry the guilt of condemnation. KEY SCRIPTURES MAT 6:12, 14,15 ...And forgive us our depts., as we also have forgiven our debtors,... For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. PSALM 32:5 I acknowledge my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ' I will confess my transgressions to the Lord;' And You did forgive the guilt of my sin.' FORGIVENESS MICAH 7:18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity, and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession ? ACTS 26:18 To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. COL 1:13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 1:14 In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. God's forgiveness is the dismissal or divine release of the bondage and penalties of sin. We should express our thankfulness to God for the forgiveness of all our sins. Man Needs To Have Forgiveness Towards All Men It is God's will and essential for every Christian to have forgiveness in their minds and hearts towards everyone, regardless the wrong or injustice that someone has done to you. As God has forgiven you, so you must also forgive others or neither are you forgiven by God. You must not choose to have anger or hate towards anyone. Now this does not mean that we condone the evil done to us or others. However God does not want us to hold on to any resentment, bitterness, or revenge towards anyone. In fact God asks that we pray a blessing upon our enemies so that they might overcome the evil of their lives and be established in God's Righteousness. Man Needs To Have Forgiveness Towards All Men KEY SCRIPTURES MAT 6:12 And forgive us our debts., as we also have forgiven our debtors. 6:14 For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 6:15 But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. LUKE 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 6:37 And do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; Forgive, and you will be forgiven. MAT 5:43-48 You have heard that it was said, " You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy." 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you ? Do not even the tax- gatherers do the same ? MARK 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions. 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven, forgive your transgressions. MAT 18:21,22 Then Peter came and said to Him, " Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him ? Up to seven times ? 18:22 Jesus said to him, " I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." ROMANS 12:14,17-21 Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not; 12:17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. LUKE 17:3 Be on your guard ! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 17:4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, " I repent, " forgive him. FORGIVING OTHERS Do you hold a grudge against someone, or have bitterness and unforgiveness towards someone ? If you do, you must forgive them in your heart, according to what God has told us to do; This does not mean that you condone the wrong that they have done, but rather you just forgive their actions so that God can change their life. Jesus has commanded us to forgive everyone. Unless we forgive all of those who have said or done something wrong against us then neither are we forgiven by God; We should continue to forgive a person for their wrong actions, even countless times, just as God continues to forgive us countless times even for the same sins that we may commit, to this very day. KEY SCRIPTURES MATTHEW 6:14,15 For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. MATTHEW 18:21 Then Peter came and said to Him, " Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him ? Up to seven times ? 18:22 Jesus said to him, " I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." MERCY How and by Whom do we receive mercy ? Ephes 2:4 But God, who is rich in Mercy Titus 3:5-7 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, who He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, ... Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:16 ... Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need James 5:11 The Lord is very compassionate and merciful. 1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Who will not obtain mercy ? James 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy... What good comes from mercy ? • Salvation Titus 3:5 According to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corin 4:1 Therefore since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. James 2:13 Mercy triumphs over judgment. Question: "What is the difference between mercy and grace?" Answer: Mercy and grace are often confused. While the terms have similar meanings, grace and mercy are not the same. To summarize the difference: mercy is God not punishing us as our sins deserve, and grace is God blessing us despite the fact that we do not deserve it. Mercy is deliverance from judgment. Grace is extending kindness to the unworthy. According to the Bible, we have all sinned (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). As a result of that sin, we all deserve death (Romans 6:23) and eternal judgment in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15). With that in mind, every day we live is an act of God's mercy. If God gave us all what we deserve, we would all be, right now, condemned for eternity. In Psalm 51:1-2, David cries out, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." A plea to God for mercy is asking Him to withhold the judgment we deserve and instead grant to us the forgiveness we in no way have earned. We deserve nothing from God. God does not owe us anything. Anything good that we experience is a result of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:5). Grace is simply defined as unmerited favor. God favors, or gives us good things that we do not deserve and could never earn. Rescued from judgment by God's mercy, grace is anything and everything we receive beyond that mercy (Romans 3:24). Common grace refers to the sovereign grace which God bestows on all of mankind regardless of their spiritual standing before Him, while saving grace is that special dispensation of grace whereby God sovereignly bestows unmerited divine assistance upon His elect for their regeneration and sanctification. Mercy and grace are best illustrated in the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. We deserve judgment, but if we receive Jesus Christ as Savior, we receive mercy from God and we are delivered from judgment. Instead of judgment, we receive by grace salvation, forgiveness of sins, abundant life (John 10:10), and an eternity in Heaven, the most wonderful place imaginable (Revelation 21-22). Because of the mercy and grace of God, our response should be to fall on our knees in worship and thanksgiving. Hebrews 4:16 declares, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." GotQuestions.org REDEMPTION REDEEM, REDEMPTION- EXAGORAZO ( VERB ) It is used metaphorically, as the purchasing of a slave to give freedom; LUTROO ( VERB ) To release a person by paying a ransom price We were held spiritually captive under the bondage of our own sin till Jesus Christ figuratively purchased us with His own blood; His Love for us was so great, He paid the highest price for us by laying down His own life for the penalty that each of us deserved for our own sins. Jesus becomes our ' Redeemer ' when we individually ask God in prayer to forgive us and further ask Jesus Christ to come into our heart by the Holy Spirit, and become our Savior. We get the use of the word " Redeemer " as a name for Christ in the Bible, from the ancient Jewish custom by which kinsman redeemed the property of one of his family who happened to be in destitute circumstances. As we were likewise once destitute of spiritual things, then If we accept Jesus as our Lord , we are then redeemed and are adopted back into God's family. KEY SCRIPTURES 1 PETER 1:18 Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 1:19 But with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. GAL 4:4, But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 4:5 in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. EPHES 1:5-7 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He ( God the Father ) freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. ( Jesus ) In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood , the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. TITUS 2:13,14 Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works. ISAIAH 35:8-10 And a highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. 35:9 No lion will be there, Nor will any vicious beast go up on it; These will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, 35:10 And the ransomed of the Lord will return, And come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads, They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Question: "What is the meaning of Christian redemption?" Answer: Everyone is in need of redemption. Our natural condition was characterized by guilt: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Christ’s redemption has freed us from guilt, being “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). The benefits of redemption include eternal life (Revelation 5:9-10), forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), righteousness (Romans 5:17), freedom from the law’s curse (Galatians 3:13), adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5), deliverance from sin’s bondage (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-18), peace with God (Colossians 1:18-20), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). To be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, holy, justified, free, adopted, and reconciled. See also Psalm 130:7-8; Luke 2:38; and Acts 20:28. The word redeem means “to buy out.” The term was used specifically in reference to the purchase of a slave’s freedom. The application of this term to Christ’s death on the cross is quite telling. If we are “redeemed,” then our prior condition was one of slavery. God has purchased our freedom, and we are no longer in bondage to sin or to the Old Testament law. This metaphorical use of “redemption” is the teaching of Galatians 3:13 and 4:5. Related to the Christian concept of redemption is the word ransom. Jesus paid the price for our release from sin and its consequences (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:6). His death was in exchange for our life. In fact, Scripture is quite clear that redemption is only possible “through His blood,” that is, by His death (Colossians 1:14). The streets of heaven will be filled with former captives who, through no merit of their own, find themselves redeemed, forgiven, and free. Slaves to sin have become saints. No wonder we will sing a new song—a song of praise to the Redeemer who was slain (Revelation 5:9). We were slaves to sin, condemned to eternal separation from God. Jesus paid the price to redeem us, resulting in our freedom from slavery to sin and our rescue from the eternal consequences of that sin. GotQuestions.org RECONCILIATION TO GOD RECONCILIATION - To settle any difference or restore fellowship between... Our sinful nature brought division between God and man, yet the precious grace of Jesus Christ divinely resolves the spiritual differences so that God can dwell in a person's heart by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the only way anyone can be reconciled back to God. Jesus Christ restored the friendship and harmony between God and man. His steadfast Love and reconciliation is available to anyone who chooses to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Reconciliation allows us to spiritually enter the presence of God, and entitles us to receive many eternal spiritual blessings. We are brought into God's family through the reconciliation work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We are accepted before God the Father, through the spiritual reconciliation power of Christ's grace, and thereby spiritually obtain His righteousness and further be granted full and eternal reconciliation to God. KEY SCRIPTURES ROMANS 5:10,11 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. RECONCILIATION TO GOD KEY SCRIPTURES COLOSSIANS 1:20 And through Him (Jesus) reconciled all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 1:21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 1:22 Yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. 2 CORIN 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. BORN AGAIN Everyone is born into this world with a corrupted spiritual nature caused by the original sin of Adam and Eve. It is for this reason, every person needs to be spiritually " born again " in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Any person can be spiritually born again, if they humble themselves, and ask God in prayer to forgive them of their sins and sincerely ask for Jesus Christ to come into their life. The very moment you pray for Jesus Christ to come into your life, this is the moment that you are truly " born again ", even if you didn't feel anything still you are spiritually born again. When you are Born Again, God fully cleanses and forgives you of all your past sins and evil ways; you receive a fresh new beginning, a totally new life. You are no longer the same person. When you pray a prayer for salvation, God is faithful, you become a new creation; old things have passed away and behold He makes all things new in your life. You are re-born into the family of God. You become as a babe in Christ Jesus learning How to walk in the spirit and live according to the will of God. As a babe in Christ, you will have difficulty understanding and conveying the spiritual truths of God; but as you continue growing in Jesus Christ, God will give you wisdom and perception to understand His ways. After being Born Again God desires for a person to grow up into the fullness of Jesus Christ. As we daily let go of each of our old selfish and sinful ways, then the living attributes of God or spiritual fruit will be produced in our minds and hearts. As we grow up into the very nature of Jesus Christ, we may fail many times, however only be strong and of good courage because you are now under God's grace to help you to overcome all your weaknesses and spiritual immaturity. When you are Born Again you become a Christian and a child of God; Therefore God will care for you and love you as His very own. When you become spiritually born again you can only feed on the milk of the word of God, which are the basic righteous principles of God. BORN AGAIN - KEY SCRIPTURES JOHN 3:3-6 Jesus answered and said to him, " Truly, truly, 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? He cannot enter a second time into his mothers womb and be born, can he?" Jesus answered, " Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and of 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. 1 PETER 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. JOHN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 1 JOHN 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. 1 PETER 1:23 For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable, but rather, through the living and abiding word of God. 1 PETER 2:2 Like newborn babes long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation. Question: "What does it mean to be a born again Christian?" Answer: What does it mean to be a born again Christian? The classic passage from the Bible that answers this question is John 3:1-21. The Lord Jesus Christ is talking to Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin (a ruler of the Jews). Nicodemus had come to Jesus at night. Nicodemus had questions to ask Jesus. As Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He said, “’I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:3-7). The phrase "born again" literally means "born from above." Nicodemus had a real need. He needed a change of his heart—a spiritual transformation. New birth, being born again, is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1-4, 18). John 1:12,13 indicates that "born again" also carries the idea "to become children of God" through trust in the name of Jesus Christ. The question logically comes, "Why does a person need to be born again?" The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1 says, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins..." (NKJV). To the Romans in Romans 3:23, the Apostle wrote, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." So, a person needs to be born again in order to have their sins forgiven and have a relationship with God. How does that come to be? Ephesians 2:8-9 states, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." When one is "saved," he/she has been born again, spiritually renewed, and is now a child of God by right of new birth. Trusting in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the penalty of sin when He died on the cross, is what it means to be "born again" spiritually. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). If you have never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, will you consider the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to your heart? You need to be born again. Will you pray the prayer of repentance and become a new creation in Christ today? "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God" (John 1:12-13). If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and be born again, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ that can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. "God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness—the gift of eternal life! Amen!" GotQuestions.org CHRIST IN YOU As a Christian, you have become the temple of God's Holy Spirit and you have the honor to also have God the Father and Jesus Christ dwell spiritually in your heart. It is Jesus Christ in you that is your hope to receive a glorified eternal body. Only individuals who have sincerely confessed their sins and asked for Jesus Christ to come into their life, actually do have Christ within. This is contrary to false New Age beliefs, that imply everyone has Christ within them. God wants us to know Jesus Christ more than just intellectually. We all need Jesus Christ to rule and reign in our heart spiritually in order to overcome sin and to be filled with His Love. What a privileged and a blessing that God who created the universe and Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, would want to dwell in your heart. When Jesus, Who is God, enters your heart this is the greatest miracle of all and then His light can shine through you to others. As we decrease, Jesus can increase His very nature within our lives. KEY SCRIPTURES COL 1:27 To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. GAL 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. JOHN 15:4 Abide in Me ( Jesus ), and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. ROMANS 8:9,10 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. CHRIST IN YOU KEY SCRIPTURES JOHN 17:20 I do not ask in behalf of those alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 17:21 that they all may be one; even as You, Father are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You did send Me. 17:22 And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; 17:23 I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that You did send Me, and did love them, even as You did love Me. 17:24 " Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; for You did love Me before the foundation of the world. 17:25 O righteous Father, although the world has not You; Yet I have known You; and these have known that You did send Me. 17:26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith You did love Me may be in them, and I in them. " WATER BAPTISM Water Baptism is an outward proclamation of the inner working of God in a Christian's life, by a person who has already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. When a Christian is baptized in water that individual is declaring that he wants his old sinful life to be buried and as he rises from the water, that he would likewise want to rise spiritually to the newness of life in Jesus Christ, totally washed clean of his past sinful nature and refreshed. Even though a person may have been baptized as a baby, still that person as a adult should be baptized again, by their own choice or decision. Whether Water Baptism is biblical part for one's salvation is a controversial among Christian Churches. It is essential for each believer to rightly divide God's Word in Spirit and Truth, and interpret God's Word for themselves concerning the importance of being Water Baptized, and Baptized in the Holy Spirit. God instructs us to do so, as a spiritual reminder, a declaration of dying to one's old sinful nature, a turning point, and rising again in the newness of Jesus Christ. Water Baptism is a divine ordinance presented by Jesus in the great Commission. KEY SCRIPTURES MATTHEW 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, " All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' ACTS 2:38 And Peter said to them, ' Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself.' And with many other words He solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation!' So the, those who had received his word were baptized and there were added that day about three thousand. ROMANS 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in the newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. WATER BAPTISM COLOSSIANS 2:12 Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 1 PETER 3:21 And corresponding to that baptism now saves you- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good consciencethrough the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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