KEEPING IT SIMPLE

(Please note, links are used in place of footnotes for references and citations.  Please review each link in order to get the full teaching on these matters.  Also, you can pause the Audio podcast to follow a link and resume the audio when ready.)

John 21:25 tells us that,   “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”

There are millions and millions of books, articles, commentaries and opinions describing and defining “What is a Christian”, and, how a Christian should think, behave and what they should do.  It can be a bit daunting and confusing, but, it need not be.

The Bible, if read in context of itself and read at face-value (except for the obvious metaphors, idioms and similes) the Truth clearly emerges.

Here is an example of KEEPING IT SIMPLE when asking…

1. What is a Christian?

2. How does a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, think?

3. How does a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, behave?

4. What is a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, to do?

Here are some, out of numerous scripture verses, that may help answer this important, but basic, questions – all without opinions.

1. WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?

Acts 11:21-26 ” And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.  The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. Then, when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with a resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul;  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they [ac]met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”

John 13:34  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Acts 1:8  “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

John 15:5  “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

 

 2. HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST, THINK?

Philippians 2: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [h]on a cross.

 Philippians 2:1  “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any [a]affection and compassion, make my joy complete [b]by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

 

3. HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST, BEHAVE?

 John 5:19  “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever [e]the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

 John 5:30  “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 12:49-50  For I did not speak [s]on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”

 

4. WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST, TO DO?

 John14:10  “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

 MY CONFESSION

(memorize and repeat as your confession, and be strengthened)

 Think.

 Philippians 2: “I will have the attitude in me which is also in Christ Jesus, Who, although existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:1  “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, I will make His joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose as Jesus. I will do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind I will regard others as more important than myself; I will not merely look out for my own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

 Behave.

 John 5:19  “Therefore as a follower of Jesus, is say, “As the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing, I will do the same; for whatever the Father does, these things the I will also do, in like manner.

 John 5:30  “I can do nothing on my own initiative. As I hear the Holy Spirit, I judge; and my judgment will be just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of God through the One He sent, that is Jesus.

 John 12:49  “For I will not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Jesus has given me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Jesus has told me.”

 Do.

 John14:10  “I believe that Jesus is in the Father, and the Father is in Him, and He is in me.  The words that I say to you, I will not speak on my own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works through me. Believe it when Jesus says that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, and He is in me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Jesus, the works that He does, He will also do through me; and greater works than these I will do; because Jesus has gone to the Father. Whatever you ask in Jesus name, that will He do, so that the Father may be glorified.  If you ask Jesus anything in His name, He will do it.

Let’s pray for one another and hold one another up, until that day – may God find us faultless when He comes.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

More valuable resources at these links:

Knowing and Doing the Will of God.  Do you ever wonder about “The Will of God for your life” or for your life’s circumstances?  It is recognizing and continually doing God’s Will in the course of my life that determines the outcome of His Will for my life

Experiencing God’s Will.  Have you heard this ‘funny definition’ of Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.”  I guess it is sort of funny, but because it bears so much practical truth, it’s really not that funny, especially if you are struggling with an issue. Sometimes it seems, the harder we try, the worse it gets. We might have success for a while, but then we slip back into the same old patterns. We try to lose weight, or we try to stop a habit, over and over and over, we keep using the same old methods, and nothing changes, permanently.   The Bible says to “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

What We Believe.  Our saving faith in Christ Jesus and our Biblical Christian World View determine how we approach all ares of life. We express our Christian World View through politics, theology, art, sociology, philosophy, ethics, anthropology, the humanities, science, history, law and government. But, in the end, this music video (creed and confession) captures the essence of what we believe.

 

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