It’s not easy to live a God-honoring life and still live our daily lives in the world. Still, that’s exactly what we are supposed to do. Christians are to be in the world but not of the world. It’s difficult for a person who has been a Christian for many years, but even more difficult for a babe in Christ who needs to learn and grow in the faith.
Jesus had many verbal confrontations with the Pharisees, and in one such battle of words, Jesus told them, “And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23).
One of the descriptions of Satan is that he is the god of this world, and Christians need to turn from serving him and only serve Jesus. Christianity is faith, not religion, so there isn’t a list of rules you must follow. You don’t have to knock on doors or empty your mind through meditation. Jesus is our example, and Scripture is our guide. Placing faith in Jesus is what makes the difference between eternal life and eternal death. It isn’t a complicated thing to do. The Apostle Paul says how simple it is. “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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
Of course, each denomination has a list of rules they feel must be followed, but that’s religion and has nothing to do with faith or being saved.
When a person truly understands they are a sinner and that sin separates them from God, that’s when they need to confess Christ as their Lord and Savior. That’s called justification. A change should be evident in the way they speak, dress, and live. That change may happen immediately, or it may take time. That’s called sanctification and will continue throughout our life on earth. That change is a choice each one of us makes daily. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
Being a living sacrifice means that we live our life to honor God. Jesus lived His life on earth as an example of how we should live for Him. He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Works don’t save us, but doing good for others glorifies God.
The change from a worldly attitude to a God-honoring attitude may take time. If that change doesn’t happen, does that mean the person isn’t saved? Only God truly knows if the confession of faith was true. We face many temptations in the world, and a person who has been living a life that reflects worldly thoughts and actions may make a true, honest, and heartfelt profession of faith, but the pull of the world is strong. Satan is the god of this world and isn’t happy when someone turns to Jesus. Old ways of life may pull that person back into the ways of the world.
Where are the Christian mentors who can lead the babe in Christ to live for Him?
Jesus told us how to combat temptation. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Prayer is important in the life of a Christian. It isn’t a magic incantation but a heartfelt conversation with God. He listens, but so must we listen for His answer.
One of the biggest failures among Christians today is a lack of mentoring. The Gospel is shared, but if the person hearing the message receives Christ, there’s little or no follow-up. In truth, that’s when the struggle begins. Satan doesn’t like to lose a follower, so he and his minions target new believers with temptation and place thoughts in their minds to discourage them. Unfortunately, there is very little support and encouragement from older Christians to help the new babes in Christ to grow and become strong in their faith, and too many pastors only feed the flock milk, but no meat of Scripture is taught.
Peter was told directly from Jesus to feed the lambs and to feed the sheep. “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs” (John 21:15). The lambs are young in their faith and need to be gently fed the truth in order to grow. Quite often, the new ones are children, but they are also adults who have professed faith and need to learn Scripture. We usually don’t seem to have a problem sending our children to school and college to be taught and mentored by secular humanists who contradict Scripture. Shame on us for neglecting to mentor children and adults in God’s truth.
Many new believers feel that the pews are filled with hypocrites and are uncomfortable in a church setting. All Christians are sinners saved by grace, and we all stumble at times. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:10-11).
It’s true that there are many people sitting in pews who think they are “holier than thou.” That’s a wrong attitude. A babe in Christ must be mentored and guided by a person with a heart to serve Christ. They need encouragement and human forgiveness when they fail. God forgives; so must we.
The truth is, we all need encouragement from fellow believers. We also need to be encouragers and help our brethren to walk close to God. When a person first realizes they are a sinner and bound to spend eternity in Hell, that’s when they understand that faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only way to find forgiveness.
At the moment we first believe, all our sin is forgiven. Not just the sins of the past but also future sin. That’s something that’s hard to come to grips with. We all fail in our walk with Christ, but He knew that we will fail and loves us anyway. As Christ hung on the cross, all of your sins were in the future. He willingly spilled His blood for you long before you were even born. As the Son of God hung on the cross, looking at those who had pounded the nails into his hands and feet and at those who had cried out for His death, He felt love and compassion. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots” (Luke 23:34). Jesus asked God the Father to forgive those sinners as they kept on sinning. His love for us hasn’t changed.
When we first come to Jesus, there’s usually excitement, and the new life in you is very real. Then, after a short time, the pressures of life close in, and you’re back to your job, and co-workers annoy you. The office gossip is still tempting you to share the latest scoop with others. After work, your friends want you to join them at the bar and possibly find a “one night stand” who is willing to tempt you to sin. This is when you need a mentor to help you see that Jesus still loves you but that you are in a spiritual battle and need Christ to give you strength in the fight.
Sadly, most churches drop the ball in helping new Christians. Instead of helping the babe in Christ to understand that failures are forgiven, many older Christians shake their heads and shun anybody who fails. Too many pastors care more about not offending anyone than they care about calling sin what it is… sin. Remember, Jesus cared about sinners but never accepted the sin. Jesus changed sinners; the sinners didn’t change Christ. No matter how much sinners want to change God’s word to condone their sin, God’s word hasn’t changed.
When Jesus called the men who would follow them, they left their old lives behind and followed. “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him” (Matthew 4:19-20). Jesus didn’t call the religious elites but called fishermen, tax collectors, and other sinners. Then He spent the next three years helping them to change.
How long are you willing to mentor and teach a man like Peter, or even Judas?
Many people have a bad feeling about stepping into a church building, so why not open your home to a Bible study? Or possibly go to a park and let others hear and be drawn to the teaching.
When I was a teenager, my youth group went on an outing. We stopped at a hamburger stand to eat, and while we ate, we began asking our pastor questions. Then someone who wasn’t a teenager asked a question. I looked around, and a large number of people gathered and were very interested. That was amazing and taught me never to be afraid to talk about Jesus.
Before a person has placed their faith in Christ, they cannot understand anything about Scripture. They may pick and choose verses that seem to contradict other verses, or they just don’t understand why Jesus being crucified and rising from death is the greatest event in history. Why are they so blind and deaf to God’s truth? “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). It’s the Holy Spirit that makes understanding and discernment possible. When a person first truly believes, the Holy Spirit is sealed within them. God wants us to know Him better and learn.
The Holy Spirit is given to all Christians in order for us to understand more. “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:12-14). That seal is unbreakable. The Holy Spirit lives in you and will help you to understand Scripture.
As with all things, you have a choice whether to let Him guide you or to ignore Him. There are many, many excellent Bible teachers, but there are also some who twist God’s truth. The Holy Spirit doesn’t want you to fall victim to false teachers. Ask God to help you discern truth from lies.
If you are a new believer, ask God to guide you to a Christ-centered, Bible-believing place of worship. Ask Him to lead you to a mentor who will help you to grow. Babes in Christ need to grow into full-grown sheep and be able to reach others.
God bless you all,
Recommended prophecy sites:
All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.
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