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What do you do now?

Discussion in 'Evangelism' started by eric m williams, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. You have recognized your sin and what the cost of that sin is. You have repented and are trusting in Jesus alone for your salvation.

    What do you do now?

    That is a question most of us have when we start our walk with Jesus or at some point in our walk. Ideally we will have a brother or sister in the faith there to help us with those first steps. Someone to help us understand the basics of our faith and help us focus more on listening to the Holy Spirit rather than just trying to quench our burning desire for more knowledge.

    That may seem like an odd thing to say when hunger to know more of the things of God is a really good thing, but if you’ll bear with me for a bit I’ll show you my reason for saying it.

    In anything that we do there are ways of doing it that work, ways that do not work, and ways that are later made to work after having to deal with the problems created by the using the ways that do not work.

    The basics matter. Without a firm understanding of the basics of something and the knowledge of how to apply those basics it is extremely difficult to get anything done.

    There are far more ways that do not work or that work poorly than I have time to go over. I will focus on the right way to grow as a Christian. Once you’ve learned that and have begun putting those simple disciplines into action you will be far more able to discern the “right way”.

    The first and most important thing you have to do is pray. I cannot stress this enough. Every single thing we do as a believer hinges on understanding God’s will for us and knowing when He is speaking to us. We must be able to distinguish between the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the guidance of an unholy spirit, and our own selfish desires. We have to know God’s voice and we learn to recognize his voice through prayer.
    At this point it would probably be wise to define what prayer is. Prayer is an earnest request made of God. It is a plea to the Creator and Savior of our souls. It is us desperately reaching out to our Father like the children we are. It is also a conversation with God, and like any conversation “listening” is required.
    Our relationship with Jesus starts with prayer (calling on Jesus to save us). Prayer can never be taken from you. It requires no tools or memorization. It does not even require a physical voice. The reason prayer is so important is simple. It is the first and greatest method for learning and knowing the “voice” of God.
    If the “voice” talking to us is different we will know IF we have learned to know the “voice” of God through prayer (listening to Him in particular).

    The second primary method is scripture.
    I won’t argue semantics about the errancy or inerrancy of the bible. That is not relevant at the moment. I will say this.
    The scriptures are a record of what God’s people have learned (usually the hard way) through the ages and of what God has shown them. It’s worth and power to change us for the better has been proven in countless lives and in my own. It is God speaking to us (part of prayer) and it is fellowship (learning from) believers that have since gone home.
    It also shows us a standard. God does not change. If what we “hear” God saying runs contrary to scriptural teaching then it is not of God.

    The third primary method is fellowship with other believers (not just with the “leaders”).
    We all get stuck on stupid at times, or there may be something that we have simply not yet learned, or that we are currently just unwilling to accept.
    By talking with other believers we share what we have learned and what they have experienced. They may have spent more time in prayer than us and be better able to recognize the “tone” of what we feel God is telling us. Someone else in the fellowship may have already been through what we are currently dealing with. Their knowledge of scripture may be greater than our own or their way of looking at things may open up an aspect of scripture that we have just not seen yet. Also, sharing what we have been shown helps to keep us in check if we start to go off the deep end.

    None of these methods is foolproof either separately or together. Since we tend to be fools and we have this terminal condition known as being human we want to be right and tend to stop listening (which precludes all three of the above methods) when we hear or see something we like.

    Place your focus on Jesus. Seek Him and His will above all else. He will take care of His children.
     
    Waggles and clark thompson say Amen and like this.
  2. This part - the relevancy - I would disagree with. Are there believers that would argue that with you though? I mean, the Bible is either inerrant or it is not. If you don't believe it's the complete truth, why bother to call yourself a Christian?
    Amen to that!
     
    Cturtle and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  3. Thank you, JohnP, for not attacking me when you noted that statement. That is the normal response to such a statement and one I tend to expect.

    In my experience it is too easy for someone who wants to avoid the truth to bog any discussion of its inerrancy down with simple statements (which translation, what about all the corrections, etc...), in order to avoid any discussion of why they need Jesus. It is by far my preference to do what I can to point them to Jesus and His word and let the Holy Spirit convince them of its truth.
    • So I ask you... On a practical level does the bible being being inerrant really make a difference to a person who is not bothering to read it?
    For many professing christians the bible is God rather than something that shows us God. It may seem like a fine line or minor deviation, but fine lines and minor deviations make huge differences. If you've ever walked a tight rope or railroad rail its pretty easy to keep your balance as long as you keep your eyes on yout goal, but if you look to left or right of your goal you are inevitably going to step further and further to the left or right of your goal.
    • So I ask you...Are we saved through grace by faith in the bible or by through grace by faith in Jesus?
     
  4. I agree with you on this.
    By faith in Jesus, of course. However, I know that because the Bible tells me so (ok, does that make a song pop into your head?). If I believe that some of the Bible may be true, some of it maybe not, then how do I know what are the true parts and what are the myths or lies? If some of it may not be true, how do I know that the part that tells me that I am saved only through faith in Jesus is one of the true parts? How do I know that the part that tells me I have eternal salvation is one of the true parts?

    I completely agree with you that Jesus, and not the Bible, should be the focus of evangelizing to someone. However, if you tell them that faith in Jesus Christ brings you salvation and eternal life in Heaven, and they ask you "how do you know that?", what are you going to say? Probably, "because that is what the Bible tells us." They'll accuse you of using circular reasoning, that "you can't use the Bible to prove the Bible is true." I've seen this many times. Do I have an answer to this? Nope. But again, I completely agree with you that "Do you believe in Jesus?" is far more important than "Do you believe in the Bible?" I do have faith that the Bible is true, however, that is not the source of my salvation.

    Sorry, I know you kind of didn't want the inerrant part to be the focus of your message, and I didn't mean to derail it. Carry on! :cool::LOL:
     
  5. Believe me, Borther. I don't mind at all. I'm pretty much always happy to talk about Jesus and the things of God. Questions about those things lead us to think about them more often and more deeply and that is something that we are supposed to do (Jos 1:8, Psa1:2, Mal 3:16, Phi 4:8, 1 Tim 4:15).

    We never know how much time we have with someone, so I prefer to get to the heart of the matter as soon as possible.
    Even after I've done what I can to make sure someone knows the gospel, biblical inerrancy is a subject I tend to avoid getting into for just the reasons you've pointed out.

    That said, I am always happy to point out that I have seen its words played out time and again in my own life and the lives of those I know. I have seen lives changed in simple and amazing ways. His words have carried me through some very hard times and will likely do so again.
    I can also lead them to archeological references and various studies if they really want to get unto it, but in my mind 'the proof is in the pudding'. If a person wants to know whether it is truly God's word, I don't want them to take my word for it. I want them to prayerfully get into and learn the truth themselves. God has a way of cracking the hardest of hearts (and heads) with His word that I could never acomplish.
     
    popsthebuilder likes this.
  6. I know I'm bumping an old thread, but I couldn't resist. This thread really resonated with me as a new Christian. I never had any intention to become Christian, but a very powerful experience changed me in a fundamental way that led me to blowing the dust off my Bible and giving it a read. It was reading the Bible that finally led me to becoming a Christian. Nobody witnessed to me. Nobody came and talked to me. I read the Bible and found Jesus.

    I still consider myself just past step 1 in "being a Christian". I have a whole lot of work to do yet before I can openly declare myself a Christian to the entire world (no, the Internet does not count). It's one day at a time. One challenge at a time. One moment of prayer at a time. One resisting temptation at a time.
     
    popsthebuilder likes this.
  7. I put forward that one is saved by faith in the Bible - for the scriptures clearly outline the gospel of salvation as preached by Jesus and the Apostles.
    It is by believing what is written in scripture unto obedience that leads a person to faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour (and to come under grace by walking in the Spirit). Without strict adherence to the scriptures then people may have faith in Jesus, but by means of a false gospel.
    Galatians 1:
    6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you,
    and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;
    to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
    1Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers:
    for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
     
  8. Faith in the bible? Let's not muck up the simple gospel message.

    No, we are saved by Gods grace through faith in the Son, the living Christ---Jesus!

    John 3:16-18
    16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

    18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.


    .
     
  9. I think a lot of younger enthusiastic Christians can get confused that Jesus wants them to be missionarys or evangelist or something,
    when in fact the apostles were disciples first for a couple of years then when it came time they were filled with the Holy Spirit and went out.
    However today I think a modern Christian can go to church for 30 years and not get anywhere near the teaching/experience of the disciples?
    I think, without being any kind of expert, over half of all Christians don't have much of a clue about the trinity or prophecy or whatever,
    their just go along to church, raise nice Christian kids and give a little money on sunday and whatever?
    say a prayer over dinner and hear the bible only on sunday.
    am I right?
     
    Cturtle and crownoflife say Amen and like this.
  10. Probably close to the mark if not right.
    However I do disagree with you...or at least with the idea that modern Christians are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
    I believe that comes with the package.
    But certainly, there are a lot,......... too many 'bumps on pews'.
    I think that either preachers are not preaching, or many people are not listening or both.
    It would be great if there was a revival within the Churches.......it could possibly start with me(y)
     
  11. "bumps in pews" is a great way to describe the modern church. I've grown very dissatisfied with church in general because of what I have seen in my search for a place to worship. It's a really sad state of affairs, at least where I am - people show up out of habit, say "amen", then go eat at the all you can eat buffet restaurant. About the only difference I see between Sundays and any other day of the week, is on Sundays some of the older folks dress a little nicer.
     
    crownoflife likes this.
  12. No matter what you see or feel, you have no reason to disregard the command of God to NOT forsake the regular assembling yourself with the local Body of Christ. His commands are always right and good. They are for OUR benefit.
     
  13. The disciples assembled themselves together in houses to pray and worship. And we still do today. And I believe truer worship happens there than in a house made with hands, painted faces and wearing cloaks for status selecting.
    Go in to those guys, follow the footsteps of Jesus and grow up in Him. Be willing to suffer for His name sake, because you will. Go stir up those high minded, stiff necked spirits; See how the wolf pack respond to you.
    Glory be to God. Amen
     
  14. The problem is they haven't been anointed of God to preach, they are a hireling and anointed of man to preach.
     
  15. We are saved by "grace", through "faith"!!. Nobody is saved by faith. It was only by God's mercy and grace we are saved, but if we want to "access" this salvation that was given to us by "grace", that requires "faith".

    Rom 5:1.. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
    Rom 5:2.. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Going to a Church is not just to learn, and grow in the Lord, but is also so the Church goer can use his ministry skills in to minister to others. The pastor / Teacher can not possibly do all the work of the ministry, and that is not their job. All the Saints are to do the work of the ministry, which is the building up the body of Christ.
     
  16. Without the Bible we would not know how to walk in righteousness. All scripture was given by God to instruct it's son's and daughters in righteousness.

    2Tim 3:16.. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    2Tim 3:17.. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
     
  17. Until one has has faith that is not "dead works", one can't even imagine God's grace. And then how it feels to fall from grace; sin would not have been made known except first there be a falling away.
    Only because of Christ, does God consider us, having mercy and compassion on us. Only because God loves His Son, and He put all things in His hands, do we live. We live, hidden away in His cross; our penalty for sin paid in full; in his humilation his judgment taken away.
    He saved us by grace through faith in Him.
    He has not cleared us from judgment. This entire world will be judged. Do you suffer humiliation for His name sake? Do you know Him?
     
    Abdicate likes this.
  18. Amen!!

    The Law says:
    Exo 20:14 (KJV) Thou shalt not commit adultery. ​
    Grace says:
    Matt 5:28 (KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. ​

    The Law demands perfection and gives nothing. Grace demands more perfection than the Law, but gives it to you to use, if you obey.
     
  19. The Law DEMANDS, but Grace SUPPLIES.
     
  20. Amen and i would add that it does not matter what the church may seem like for if we truly trust God then we shall seek Him and find out where He wants us and then that is where we shall be planted until He moves us. Far to many people attend or leave a church based on what they see or feel or think and therefore stepping out on their own providing God lead them there in the first place.
    Blessings
    James
     
    Cturtle and Euphemia say Amen and like this.

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