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Who is a Christian?

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by Cosmicwaffle, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. First, it is my sincere and honest belief that "Salvation is of The Lord". I believe that God elected his people and the body of Christ before he set his eternal plan into motion.

    My conversion and faith in the gospel was given to me by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who has been with me since birth because Christ had atoned and paid for my sin debt before I was born, and before then even in the mind and purpose of our God. Because of the Spirit I have my faith in Christ: Who he is, what he did, and what he will do. I believe in Christ when he said in John 6:47 "Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.". Although I did not properly believe until but two years ago, I still had eternal life because here I now stand, believing fully. I also believe that all men without distinction who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he saved them from their sins is a born-again believer.

    That is not to say that they believed the first time they heard the gospel, or that after their belief they had a perfect understanding of theology and lived righteous Spirit-led lives. No, but only that they now believe. Make no mistake, that belief and that faith is a supernatural gift from God, and since "Salvation is of The Lord", only HE determines when they will come to faith, how, and what they will do after they receive it. Let us be clear, they were saved before their faith, for The Father elected them, the Son died for them, and the Spirit was with and is most certainly in them. All I know is that our belief in Jesus and our faith in him is a gift, not a working of human will or effort, but of God's Spirit on those Christ died for.

    Although the Church separates itself from other "believers" who hold to different theology, it should be unified in the belief that what Christ said rings true, "... The one who believes has eternal life.". Not the one with a perfect knowledge of the divine, not the one who lives a life completely free from the sinful nature within his Adamic body, no, but the one who simply believes! Get this straight, we believe in Christ because we have the Holy Spirit, we have the Holy Spirit because Christ cleansed us from our sin, and he died for us because The Father elected us. Now, the evidence of our election and childhood of God IS our belief. That is who the Church is made of, that is the body of Christ!

    We must understand that despite that God has ordained that we all be confused and hold to different theologies. Make no mistake, he did this for a reason we do not yet understand, but we know it is true. Why also do many "believers" live unrighteous lives? Is it not because God ordained it to be so? Yes, he did, but he could have also ordained that this be remedied by the correct teaching of the Gospel. These unrighteous believers probably are waiting for a pastor to tell them they have God living inside them! This would ease the burden of trying to be righteous and please God through our flesh.

    The Gospel is that Christ died so we wouldn't have to pay the punishment for our sins, but that we could instead be reconciled to God and be made the objects of his Love and Mercy (A side note, but because "God is Love", does that mean he Loves everything? Even Sin? No, of course not, he Loves what and whom he will. Why did he choose Abram? Why Issac and not Ishmael? Jacob and not Esau? You and not your unbelieving friend? God is not obligated to save any sinner, but he has in order to display his Mercy and Grace.). No works of man could ever satisfy the eternal punishment required for the smallest of sins against an eternal God, that is why the eternal son suffered punishment in our place. Now, when Jesus satisfied the Justice of God, we were considered Holy in his sight, being given the righteousness of Christ himself! That is why the Spirit could indwell you and give you the faith you now have.

    As children of God living in fallen bodies we must remember it is God who saves, and only he determines how and when a person will be saved. Before time God ordained you would be what you are: Calvinist, Arminian, Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic, Universalist. God uses you through what he made you to be, and it is always possible he can yet change you. But we must Love one another as he commanded, for it is our belief in Christ and the Holy Spirit that makes us Children of God, not anything else. Do you believe in Christ? Rest assured you have eternal life with God, whether you know it or not. Do you not believe? It is then uncertain to say if God has elected you, and if you will ever receive the faith.

    It is my belief God has hidden these things for his purposes, and if he wishes to now reveal them to whom he will, he may. He is God, the author of Life. Or perhaps I am a heretic leading others and myself to hell, but how are you to discern this? Has God himself spoken from the heavens directly into your ears? Has he granted you an infallible understanding? If not, please consider the words I have written.

    With Love to all who hear,
  2. You are correct.

    Ephesians 1:4-6.......
    "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
  3. #3 KingJ, Jan 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
    This is a bit confusing.

    1. Are you saying that He hated Esau from birth?

    2. Are you saying that sin gets us into hell / eternal punishment? If Jesus never died we would all be in hell?

    3. Are you saying that God chooses who will die with sin and who without?

    There are many points in your OP that I agree with but it seems confusing at times. I wanted to like the OP, but after a second read it seemed to blurry / vague. Maybe its just me :barefoot:.
  4. calvinism?
    I don't agree with..or it doesn't agree with me.
    But those who do believe in it seem happy that they are elect and like to believe that ppl who don't believe (in calvinism) are not. Did God in the vast infinite time before He created the world just decide..oh I'm gonna confuse people and make up all these different denominations, and they won't get along, but anyone who believes in them IS going to be saved just cos they believe in SOMETHING. As long as it's some christian based one. Yeah. Going to church is good, can be any church. Just as long as you playing along with someone else's belief. You don't hear from God at all. You need someone to tell you, who already thinks he knows. Someone who isn't God and you just can't read the Bible for yourself as it's waaay to confusing for an ordinary non-layman.
  5. Predestination is NOT Calvinism my dear sister.

    God did not create denominations.......man did that.

    God's Purpose of Grace through Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
    Chopper likes this.
  6. He commanded us to love one another and believe in him. Salvation is based off of what Christ did on the cross, and if you believe in him you are chosen by God and have his Spirit inside of you. Our obedience does not save us, Christ's obedience and death on the cross does.
    Major, Fish Catcher Jim, Nanon and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  7. BINGO!
    Major likes this.
  8. Those in Abraham's bosom never needed saving from Hades. They needed Jesus to reconcile them with God. That is salvation. They did not say ''they believe in Jesus''. By hating what God hates they were drawing close to God James 4:8. God then judged their sincerity Jer 17:10 and put them in paradise. The only exception to us living today is that when we pass God's judgment we get a revelation of Jesus as Lord 1 Cor 12:3. Now we can ''truly'' believe that a man who walked the earth 2000 years ago is God.

    So those who teach we need to obey His commandments are not wrong. ''Do not steal'' = how in the universe does this even affect God? Well it has to be purely because He hates what goes on in the heart of a thief by choice. Ie Do not steal = God hates evil. So obeying His commandments is us choosing to hate what He hates...which is us choosing to be after His heart / drawing closer to Him / worthy of landing up in paradise (not heaven).
  9. Who is a Christian?

    Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Wonder not that I said to thee: You must be born again.
    The Spirit breatheth where he will and thou hearest his voice: but thou knowest not whence he cometh and whither he goeth. So is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:5-8 DRB

    And he that keepeth his commandments abideth in him, and he in him. And in this we know that he abideth in us by the Spirit which he hath given us.
    1John 3:24

    Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:37-39

    To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
    While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. Acts 10:43-48

    And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
    And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
    Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
    And all the men were about twelve. Acts 19: 1-7

    Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4
    But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
    And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Romans 8:9-10

    And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
    So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
    And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.
    Mark 16:15-20

    In whom you also, after you had heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation), in whom also believing, you were signed with the holy Spirit of promise. Who is the pledge of our inheritance, unto the redemption of acquisition, unto the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 DRB

    Who told you that in the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodlinesses.
    These are they who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit.
    But you, my beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
    Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting. Jude 1:18-21 DRB
    KingJ and Leemg say Amen and like this.
  10. As regarding obedience:

    Hebrews 5:9
    And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    That mean obedience. It means walking in His Word and submitting to it. God has spoken to mankind through His Word. His Word is the final authority.
  11. A lot of good scriptures here. :)
    Yes, the Lord said we must be 'born again' in order to see and enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Flesh cannot please God. The Father also commanded us to become a living sacrifice, suffer in the flesh so that we can glorify Him and manifest Him to a dying world. We are to repent' and turn from our sins and obey the Father.
    KingJ and Waggles say Amen and like this.
  12. Anybody can believe in God. Devils believe in Jesus but will never obey it and walk in it. Many people believe in Christ but will never obey it and will go to hell.

    “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him” Psalm 128:1
    James 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. . . .

    When you truly believe the Word of God you will obey it and walk in God's ways.
    KingJ and Waggles say Amen and like this.
  13. #14 KingJ, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
    I did a study on Rev 3 recently. It was very interesting.

    I like Rev 3:3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. What is interesting here is that '''waking up / being alert and ready = active repentance / holding on to the gospel of repentance and standing for / holding onto Jesus as our Lord. Jesus is Lord = we deny ourselves / submit our will to His. Ie WE actively make Him our Lord and are not ashamed of it when brought before others. We don't say ''well I can deny Jesus and not repent....because I am born again I am automatically victorius''. Granted there are two types of OSAS believers. I can agree with those that would say that a true born again believer would never deny Jesus and not repent / hate sin.

    Reading on.... vs 5 ''the one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life...'' Now taking verse 3 above into account plus these verses below in the letter to the next church leave absolutely no doubt in my mind as to what 'victorius' is.

    8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

    The biggest argument I have with OSAS is that many fail to see that it implies God is partial (favoritism) with us NT. God is NOT partial to anyone. If Jews could be blotted out and go to hell (ex 32)....and us not...the Jews have a valid complaint against God one day in hell don't you think?

    MANY want to believe in OSAS because it implies ''live as you want, as long as you are in the right religion, attend the right church and believe in the right God, Jesus over father christmas you will go to heaven''. Many ignore Jer 17:10. Be that as it may, God is great. We can't grasp Him. OSAS can very well be true from God's vantage point, but never ours. Wisdom is grasping we can't grasp Him. Wisdom is listening closely to Paul's teaching. Paul taught of 'righteous / work related / good reputation' qualifications needed for elders and deacons. Paul taught us to continue to work out our salvation / self judgment before God 1 Cor 11:31 in fear and trembling Phil 2:12. Paul never taught complacency ''I have made it'', type Christianity 1 Cor 10:12.
    Waggles likes this.
  14. OSAS : being Australian I was wondering what on Earth is this; at first I thought Outdoor Salvation Army Sisters. Then after reading what you are on about the penny dropped (along way) and I think I got it - Once Saved Always Saved.
    I think this is a particularly American disease or malady. I only hear it preached from U.S. evangelical broadcasters and on sites where Americans post heavily. We don't really have this nonsense much here in Australia. We acknowledge more readily backsliders, reprobates, quitters, those that return to the world: as it is written: As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. Proverbs 26:11 And again: But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 2Peter 2:22

    And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:61-62

    Jesus is returning for overcomers, the victorious over the flesh and sin by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is not coming back to collect the slothful, the indolent, the wine bibbers, the unprofitable servant, nor the unfaithful steward.
    Leemg and KingJ say Amen and like this.
  15. :LOL:

    Amen. Overcomer / victorious speaks of actually loving God not 'works based salvation' red herring.
  16. I don't think you can anymore say you believe in Christ without obeying Him than you can say you love someone without evidence you care for them. Love and belief are action words and not just declarations. Satan and his legion of demons know all about God. Satan knows the bible better than any man. So whats the big difference in behavior between Satan and a christian toward God? Obeience.
    There are many stages of the journey toward God. First we hear His voice calling us. Next we acknowledge Him. Then we learn and get to know Him through acceptance. Finally comes obedience.
    So many stop along the way and resist obedience. Where does obedience start? Baptism is where it starts. It is the first step in a life-long process of letting God write His law on our hearts. Instead of reading law and dying by it, God has chosen to reveal His law through our relationship with Him. As He reveals Himself and we obey, He is in turn writing His law in our heart. THAT is our relationship. We will spend the rest of our lives journeying toward Him.
    The Americanization of christianity seems devoted to distracting the believer from obedience thereby trapping him/her in an immature state.
    Prosperity teachings
    Replacement Theology
    I believe these teachings and others promote a sense of priviledge and entitlement. I think the government usurps these false teachings for their own purposes. The American christian is basically being told..."Accumulate wealth. Work hard. Keep your blinders on. Despise the non-working. Remain unaccountable before God. Don't worry you won't be caught in the trap you are walking into. You'll be raptured before we tag you with the mark."
    Americans are being marched toward fascism and American christians are along for the ride thinking they're getting off before the train reaches the concentration camp with the ovens.
    The scariest conversation I ever had with a pre-tribber. We argued about the timing of the rapture and I asked him if he would take the mark of the beast if there was no rapture. He insisted he would be raptured first. I persisted. He finally said he would take any tattoo or any other means of identification and welcome its convenience because it just COULDN'T be the mark because he would have been raptured otherwise.
    This is very dangerous and Pre-trib is reinforced by the teaching that if they don't believe in Pre-trib then they won't be raptured. This is an attempt to scare them away from any thought of abandoning this teaching. This keeps them in lockstep toward the trap that awaits them.
  17. I see the choosing us in Christ as not really the amount of people and who to be saved but if we are to recieve salvation its because we have been placed in Christ
  18. Living in America, it's hard to see outside of this bubble, which contains the things you mentioned. We export a lot of it though. So it's spreading.

    It's refreshing to see someone state that these teachings are distracting, and not to defend them valiantly.
  19. I Believe in once saved always saved, but quite a few people are entirely SELF DECIEVED as to their Christianity and salvation.
    Many think that a verbal announcement on a sunday then a quick bath and that's it, your in, but if you are the seed that fell on stony ground or the others you quickly fall
    away because you had no understanding that Christianity is a change of all you are. Its not a lifestyle accessory and then a free ticket.
    If you don't go to church how can you love your brother, well I love all mankind! whats that? Your kidding right.
    Love is a practice.
    How can you be led by the Holy Spirit, He says I am the vine you are the branch you can do nothing apart from me. HUH, how can u self exist as a Christian? as an island.
    U cant, your going to hell and a deeper hell because u knew the truth and totally ignored it.
    Why does Jesus say in Revelation I have a book and an eraser? Who is he talking to? the trees?
    Christian, in the next few years your whole world is going to turn upside down,
    will you stand firm like those Christians who recently were beheaded in Libya and Iraq, they didn't even use a guillotine just some rusty old knife.
    Do you think when the central Government calls on all Christians to get a mark of compliance with the antichrist dictator who threatens to take the whole world into
    a nuclear inferno will you conform, will you rebel, will you accept, or will you stand in a time of testing.
    Not everyone is going to be raptured you know, not everyone who calls him Lord will enter heaven..
    Do you think the german Christians living under Hitler were holding their breath for a rapture,
    do you think you won't live through rough days ahead?

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