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 gave Himself up for me. Gal.2:20 nas
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal.2:20 kjb
New believer, if I met you on the street and I only had 10 minutes to give you guidance before we had to part, what would I tell you? What can I leave you with today? I’d need all day to share all I would like to say to you. But here are a few quick things to begin with:
1. Follow Jesus, not the Christian Leaders. Follow Jesus, not the organized institutional “Church”. Listen to Jesus, not the Institutional Church men. Jesus will tell you the truth; the popular Christian leaders lie about many things. They lead astray. Their teachings and practices are not faithful to Christ, although they appear so successful and impressive. Many in Christianity will invite you to participate in practicing manmade “religion and traditions”. But He has invited you to relationship with Himself. And with the others that He has called out. Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him. Where does Jesus lead us to as we follow? His narrow path leads to denying our self; it leads to His Life. A sublime journey awaits you.
2. Understand your salvation is in Christ Jesus. It is not in the Church System. Jesus Christ is your mediator (your way to God), not The Church. HE is your salvation, not organized, man-led religious systems of Christianity.
3. The hard truth is, the Church System is completely corrupt. There is no cure, it can’t be fixed. There are many false teachings, many which go directly against what Jesus Christ has said in the scriptures to the disciples. Realize you ARE the ‘church’, that is, you are the called out people of God — you who are now in Christ’s flock, redeemed by Him. It’s not about “going” to a physical place to meet with God. Christ is in you wherever you are, it is about “being”– His life is now being lived through you, 24/7. He will lead you to gather with other brothers and sisters in different places. You are not alone, you are part of His called out people, His kingdom. You are part of the ONE flock that He has, the other believers are all over the world. You will find His people in various places and you will find that He has special work for everyone to do, to serve one another in love. In other words we all have different functions. He guides everyone by His Spirit as to what He wants them to do to serve and help the others. Sometimes you will have fellowship (togetherness,communication, sharing life) with others. Sometimes you will feel lonely. But He Himself will always provide for your spiritual needs.
4. Focus on your relationship with our Lord Jesus. Develop and grow a relationship with the living Christ, your Savior and Lord. He has planned, a love relationship. Spend time with Him, talk to Him and listen. He will speak to you also by the Spirit. Listen to Him. Do what He says.
5. Watch out for cults. Even outside the corrupt Church System there are many cults. Pray for discernment, that you will be able to spiritually see and know the truth about what someone does or says or promotes. One cult says that we must become devoted to the Old Testament Law and rituals and we must call God by Hebrew names, or “sacred names”, observing special days, rituals and such. This is not true. He is your Father, you can call Him your Father. You can call Him Jesus. He leads you by His Spirit, you need not a list of religious rules and rituals. He will lead you from within you by His Spirit and power. Let no one put you under bondage to religion. Another cult is what is called “shepherding”, this is when the leaders tell you they require a leader (shepherd or “father”) over you to rule your life, to whom you are accountable in everything. This is a multi-level hierarchy system of external control. They will control your life! With this, you must submit to and obey your leader over you. It’s all about submitting to the leader. Again, this system is a cult; you need no external control system of men over you, Christ Jesus is your Shepherd and head, your shepherd, priest and leader. We do not we submit our will to a man. These authoritarian systems and men seek to make themselves substitutes for Jesus Christ. Accept no substitute for Christ. Jesus Christ alone shall rule in your heart and guide you by His Spirit.
6. Ask Him to teach you; He will teach you Himself. If you love the truth, He will show you the truth. Truth is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit of God.
7. What He wants you to do will be revealed to you by Him. He will let you know. He will teach you and show you. He will make you into what He wants you to be. Remember it is about “being” in Him, and living out your identity in Him. One thing we all are is, we are His witnesses. You are a witness of Jesus Christ. You are His witness by His power, to do and speak what He has planned for you to do and speak. Your witness, by the power of His Spirit, will give glory to Jesus Christ. Your witness (your words, actions, your witness, your living a holy life devoted to Him) will earn you scorn, mocking, ridicule, abuse, hate and rejection by the world. It will also bring you great joy and blessing in Him.
8. Know that you are now a part of His Kingdom. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” You are no longer a part of the kingdoms of this world, you are in the Kingdom of God. Though you physically reside on the earth, spiritually you are no longer a dweller of the earth. Spiritually you have been transferred to the Kingdom of God through repentance and faith, through the blood of Christ, through the power of God, and you are no longer a member of the kingdoms of this world. The kingdom of God is within you; Christ is within you. Jesus Christ is our kingdom and He is our King. Understanding your citizenship in the kingdom of God is so important; it helps you understand that your loyalty and allegiance lies with Christ. You belong to God! It helps you understand that your identity is in Him. You are a child of God! Having firm conviction of this will help you make many decisions as you are faced with choices in this world. You have been bought with a price, the price of the precious blood of Christ. You are now a member of His kingdom. Jesus is now your King!
There is so much more I hope to share with you, next time we meet.