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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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WHO IS A CHRISTIAN?

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9 ESV)

salvation jesusA Christian is someone who has been born again in Christ to eternal life and salvation. His sins have been pardoned and he is in a state of grace. He now desires to obey God in order to please Him and glorify Him. He has the Holy Spirit to strengthen his desire and ability to live out his obligation to Jesus Christ. The Christian seeks to live life sincerely before God and to walk worthy of Christ.

Authenticity is the path of Christian sanctification. A Christian is not perfect. A Christian’s good works are the result of God’s saving grace. Good works do not save anyone; they are the consequence of having been saved. Even faith is the gift of God. Christians still err, but they are grieved when they do. The Christian’s grief leads to repentance. Sincere repentance leads to God’s forgiveness. God is faithful and just to forgive sins and to cleanse the Christian from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)

Followers of Christ cease being conformed by the desires of this world. Their thinking is transformed by the Scriptures, prayer, and the Holy Spirit. (Romans 12:2 ESV) The Apostle John wrote:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV)

Just as those who love God also love to keep His commandments; (1 John 5:3 ESV) those who do not love do not know God – because God is love. (1 John 4:8 ESV) The Christian walks in love as Christ loved us and sacrificed Himself for us. (Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV)

God, the Father, has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If you confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God will abide in you, and you in God. (1 John 4:13-15 ESV) Therefore, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you are a Christian. (Romans 10:9 ESV)

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