Thursday, August 13, 2009

AM I REALLY A CHRISTIAN ? - Principles of Victory In The Christian Life - Part II


= Real Christians

Today it is quite fashionable in our modern American society for many to profess Christianity. This has contributed to a wide variety of opinions about what it means to be a Christian as well as significant confusion for the sincere hearted searcher for truth. Even people who pretend to kill other people in movies claim to be Christian.

This is not really the way Jesus Christ intended to be remembered. Many have never really been converted. Much of what claims association with Christianity is a misrepresentation of the character of Christ and God. The Lord Himself said that we would be able to recognize a Christian by the "fruit" or character traits manifest in the person's life. That includes each one of us. Let's continue examining the beginning of a true Christian experience.

When true conversion takes place in the heart, it is made manifest in a transformation of character, for those who are converted become Christlike. (Matthew 18:3/ John 15:5/ Galatians 5:24)

Pride no longer lives in the heart, sin seems abominable. The converted soul hates the thing that depraves his moral sensibilities. He hates that which crucified the Lord of life and glory. (Romans 6:6/ Matthew 5:5,18:4,16:24/ Ezekiel 36:31)

Those who are truly converted grow in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and as knowledge of Christ increases, they see more clearly where their own weakness lies; they realize the deep depravity of their natures. (Job 42:6/ John 5:31/ Matthew 13:3/ Psalms 92:12)

They understand the strength of sin, and know the power of their old habits. No deep‑seated love for Jesus can dwell in the heart that does not see and realize its own sinfulness. (Romans 7:14-20/ Galatians 5:17/ Ezekiel 20:43)

The Spirit of God does not create new faculties in the converted man but works a decided change in the employment of those faculties. When mind and heart and soul are changed, man is not given a new conscience, but his will is submitted to a conscience renewed, a conscience whose dormant sensibilities are aroused by the working of the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 9:14)

Repentance for sin is the first step in conversion. Repentance is an intense hatred of sin in all its forms. Repentance includes sorrow for sin, and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life. (Ezekiel 14:6/ Jeremiah 18:30)

It is one of the saddest evidences of the blinding influence of sin that months and years roll on and there is no awaking to repentance.

True repentance will lead a man to bear his guilt himself and acknowledge it without deception or hypocrisy. Repentance is genuine when reformation takes place. (Psalms 38:18)

He who is truly repentant, he who is regenerated, hates sin. All manner of selfishness is distressing to him. Indifference to God on the part of those around him grieves him.

Without true repentance, there can be no true conversion. Many are deceived here, and too often their entire experience proves to be a deception. This is why so many who are joined to the church have never been joined to Christ. Baptism may be repeated over and over again, but of itself it has no power to change the human heart.

All who profess the truth are not converted, although they may think they are. Some mistake transient emotions, ideas, and fancies, or resolutions formed in their own strength, for conversion. But faith is a living, abiding principle. Its object is truth,‑‑divine, eternal, changeless truth. Genuine, saving faith is inseparable from repentance and conversion, and will manifest the fruits of the Spirit. It is a continual, conscious trust in Jesus. (Matthew 7:20-23)

Many are received into the church who are not converted. All who are baptized are to give evidence that they have been converted.

While the Lord brings into the church those who are truly converted, Satan at the same time brings persons who are not converted into its fellowship. While Christ is sowing the good seed, Satan is sowing the tares. There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God. (Matthew 13:24-30, 25:1-13, 26:21)

To be continued...

It is not the will of our heavenly Father that so many would be deceived concerning salvation and eternal life in these last days. While GOD loves everyone and will forgive anyone HE does not change our character against our will or without our cooperation.

A Christ-like character is the only kind of character that could enjoy heaven and a Christ-like character is the only kind of character that could be trusted in heaven.

We are given a life-time, (be it long or short) to cooperate with God in developing a Christ-like character for eternal life in heaven. It begins with the new birth experience.

Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life today and to begin the work of changing you for heaven. Confess your sins and acknowledge your need of Him. He loves you and wants the privilege of enjoying friendship with you forever.