7 Steps in Christian Life :: Step 3 – Abide


Christian life begins with Christ and continues with Christ, but as we live for Christ, what are some of the steps one has to take.

Upon taking the step of confessing our sins and acknowledging that Jesus is Lord, the word of reconciliation is committed unto us and we are ordained to be ambassadors for him (2 Corinthians 5:20). But in order for us to be effective ambassadors of Christ Jesus the King, we need to first ‘abide’ (submit and be grafted) in him.

Step 3 in Christian life is to Abide in Jesus. Jesus said, that he came into the world so that whoever believes in him should no longer abide (remain) in darkness (John 12:46) and prayed that God’s Holy Spirit may abide with us forever (John 14:16). He cautioned that unless we abide in him, we will be ineffective (fruitless) in our commission as his ambassadors (John 15:5). In order for us to abide in him, we need to allow Jesus to abide in us, so that the Spirit who is willing overcomes over the flesh that is weak and contrary to the Spirit.

When we do not abide in Jesus, we are only fit to be cast out (John 15:6). We need to keep our fleshly lusts and desires under subjugation, lest by any means, when we have shared God’s words with others, as his ambassadors, we ourselves should be a castaway (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Points to ponder:
Do you and I abide in Jesus? In other words, do we have Jesus abiding in you? Step 3 is to Abide in Jesus Christ, lest we be a castaway!

Romans 10:2-11 (KJV)
For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession [acknowledgment] is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1 John 1:8-10 (KJV)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess [acknowledge] our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 Corinthians 9:27 (KJV)
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

7 Steps in Christian Life :: Step 2 – Acknowledge


Christian life begins with Christ and continues with Christ, but as we live for Christ, what are some of the steps one has to take.

While Step 1 in Christian life is to accept (receive) the Lord Jesus Christ, Step 2 in Christian life is “to confess” or to “Acknowledge.” For with the heart, man believeth (accepts) unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession (acknowledgment) is made unto salvation.

Acknowledging has two parts to it.  One is to acknowledge one’s fallen state in sin, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:9). The second is to acknowledge one’s personal need for the Savior Jesus Christ. We need to acknowledge our sins and acknowledge our Savior.

Points to ponder:
Have you believed (accepted) in your heart, that the Jesus Christ is Lord and an equally important question is have you acknowledged (confessed) your need of him or are you going about trying to establish your own righteousness, not submitting to the righteousness of God that is imputed on us when we believe in Jesus? Acknowledge today! For if we confess [acknowledge] with our mouths, that Jesus is Lord, we will be saved (Romans 10:9-10) and if we confess [acknowledge] our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

And to fellow Christians, let us continue to keep the faith and be strong in the Lord, fixing our eyes on Jesus, not wavering in his purpose, acknowledging our perpetual need of him and for him, as he sanctifies us, until his coming to reign as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Romans 10:2-11 (KJV)
For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession [acknowledgment] is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1 John 1:8-10 (KJV)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess [acknowledge] our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

7 Steps in Christian Life :: Step 1 – Accept


Christian life begins with Christ and continues with Christ, but as we live for Christ what are some of the steps one has to take.

The first time the word “Christian” was used in Antioch, it was used to mean “Christ Ones” (Acts 11:26). In other words, it was meant to designate those who belonged to Christ Jesus. Step 1 in Christian life is “to belong” or to “Accept” (receive) the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible affirms that to as many as those who received (accepted) him (Jesus Christ), even to them that believe on his name, he gave them the power to become the sons of God (belong to God’s family).

Points to ponder:
Step 1 in Christian life is to Accept Jesus Christ by receiving the gift of God (John 3:16).

The prodigal son who was first with the Father, chose to be in control and go his own way. After wasting his substance, he was in want and was sent to feed swine, only to find himself groveling with the pigs. He realizes his folly amidst the famine and recognizes that his only sensible option was to return to the Father, and seek to be hired as a servant (not a slave). The Father who was waiting for him eagerly, accepts him with open arms, despite his rebellion, not as a servant but as his son.

You can choose to receive Jesus Christ or reject Jesus Christ but to them that received him, he gave them power to become the sons of God. The choice is yours – but remember, even if you reject him, he is willing to receive (accept) you. I took the first step to belong to Jesus Christ over two decades ago and am unashamed to be called a Christian. Have you taken YOUR first step?

John 1:12 (KJV)
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Luke 15:11-32 (KJV)
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Signs


Today we were blessed in taking the first step toward one of my life long dreams, which is to see all of the seven wonders of the world with my family. With a trip to one of the seven wonders, the Chichen Itza, in the Yucatan peninsula, there are six more to go. The ingenuity and resourcefulness of man in building such a pyramid, the thousand columns and the ball court is incredibly fascinating.

We drove from Cancun for nearly three hours, with the majority of the trip on autopista (toll road 180D). While the drive itself was uneventful, there were many signs on the toll road that caught my attention.There were several signs that had to do with the drive. Some of the noticeable ones were:
Respete limited des velocidad (Respect/Obey the speed limit),
Obedezca las senales (Obey the sign),
Dismuniya su velocidad (Slow down),
Maneja con precaucion (Drive with caution),
Topes (or) Reductor de velocidad (Speed bumps),
Radar en operacion (Radar in operation) and
Un solo carril (Single lane)

Quickly it dawned on me that the signs on the road are very applicable in our Christian journey as well. Our Christian walk should be one in which we respect/obey the signs (God’s commandments in the Bible). Though we often view speed limit signs to be a limitation of our need for speed, it in reality is for our own protection. Likewise, in Christian life, people tend to view the Bible (God signs to us) as a one that limits our freedom, while in reality, it is given to us for our own protection, for in keeping its ways saves us from the chambers of death. We must slow down when necessary and drive with caution, especially behind enemy lines. Our experiences in life sometimes can be akin to spiritual speed bumps and the law, synonymous to the radar in operation, but what is most important, is that there is only one lane, a single lane by which we can access the throne of God and that is believing in Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: