Absolute Belief Creates action . . .
What True Christianity is NOT:
- A self-centered culture focused on pleasing the senses through music, dress, and ear-tickling self-help messages.
- Founded on blind faith.
- A belief system without action.
- Appealing to most humans in its truest form because of its narrow and difficult way shaped by discipline, self-control, and benevolence.
- A gateway to the giant Jinni, slot machine, one-way gift-giver, or however most people look at God these days.
- Entitlement for sinful ‘do-overs’.
- Promises of an illness-free materially-prosperous life where we will never suffer consequences of our actions or the actions of others while we wait to go to Heaven.
What True Christianity IS:
- Action out of faith.
- Born of faith that comes from confidence.
- Ever-increasing confidence gained from prayer, fellowship, discipleship, and study.
- A system of ‘paying it forward’ whereby those who are mentored and discipled do the same while also proclaiming what God and our Christ Jesus have done for us.
- Representative of those who have entered into a two-way marriage-like relationship with God through Jesus.
- Potential hardship and death on earth; Reward and life later.
~ Getting There from Here ~
Belief is the first step to obtaining salvation, which is available to everyone – not just a chosen few (Mark 16:15-16 and John 3:16-18). If we believe with all our heart, then a change of heart that results in a change of behavior – repentance – must follow.
- Repentance is absolutely necessary for being rescued from coming judgment (Acts 17:30-31)!
- Sinful behavior keeps us from God; repentance allows us to draw near to Him (Acts 3:19).
- True belief and repentance lead to good fruit that comes out of obedience (Acts 26:20).
We’re also told in the Gospel to be baptized by water.
- A person is born initially of water (through the womb) but must be spiritually born as well to enter God’s kingdom (John 3:5-6).
- Baptism has become the symbolic of the washing away of sin that Christ offered through His death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4).
Because true faith comes from the heart, a person must believe completely that Jesus died for them and then confess this belief. Faith – belief – is obtained and strengthened from experiencing the testimonies and fulfilled prophecies contained in the Word of God. They serve to ‘convince’ men of the truth and build faith (Romans 10:17 and 1 Peter 2:1-2).
To obtain and keep salvation (which, by the way, is a ‘rescuing’ from God’s wrath to come):
- Believe in the gospel – the good news of salvation through Jesus. True belief will bring a new heart.
- Repent by using that new heart to change sinful behavior.
- Be baptized as an outward sign of your new faith.
- Increase faith through continual exposure to teachings contained in the Bible.
- Don’t practice sinful behavior – those things that are counter to God’s ways!!
While the gift of salvation is given by faith and not because of anything we can do to earn it, faith must lead to obedience and therefore production of ‘fruit’. In fact, James tells us that faith – or belief – without obedience (works) is useless (James 2:14-20). So, learn, grow, care for others, and follow God’s ways . . . and live!
Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!
And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!