It is, of course, impossible to deal with all of them in depth in a single article, but let me list them for you, it’s very impressive...
A new birth - John 3: 5 * A growth - 2 Peter 3: 18 * A new dress - Isaiah - 61: 10 * A radiant life - Matthew 5: 16 * A character building - Matthew 7: 24 * A fellowship - Luke 24: 32 *
A son-ship - John 1: 12 * An education - John 8: 31&32 * A service - 1 Timothy 6: 18 * A sacrifice - Romans 12: 1 * A walk - Colossians 2: 6 * A warfare - 1 Timothy 6: 12 * A race - Hebrews 12: 1 * And a victory - 1 John 5: 4.
Quoted from the Chain Reference Bible. Firstly: and perhaps above all, Christianity consists of is a new birth, or regeneration.
Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again"- John 3: 3
We are ‘born again’, says the apostle Peter, through believing the Word of God -For you have been born gain not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God - 1 Peter 1: 23
It is such a fundamental and radical change, that as the apostle Paul says - If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come - 2 Corinthians 5: 17
This radical change, in practical terms, is progressive, but because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, Almighty God accepts it as complete and absolute from day one. The apostle John makes this clear saying...
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure - 1 John 3: 2 & 3.
And, of course, ‘the beloved’ is Jesus himself.
The second characteristic of true Christians is that they are seen to be different - in the world, but not of it.
A true Christian experience brings a brilliance into your life that cannot be hid. Jesus first speaks of the church as a community that cannot be hidden; it is not a secret society. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden" - then he goes on to speak of the individual believer saying - "In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven"- Matthew 5: 14 to 16
Although the light and brilliance that the Christian life brings, it doesn’t always bring praise, but rather irritation and even anger, and the apostle John gives us the reason - This is the verdict: light has come into the world, but men, loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been through God - John 3: 19 to 21
In professor Tolkien’s "The Lord of the Rings" the Orcs who were bred in darkness and could not stand light, while the Elves, although not perfect beings, had a radiance about them and a light in their eyes. Christians are not yet perfect, but they are slowly and surely being perfected, and when they walk close to God there is radiance about them. Have you come to the light dear friend? If not: come now!
The light cleanses and transforms - Jesus said "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life - John 8: 12
It will result in a radically different style of life and a different eternal destiny - If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another- says the apostle John - and the blood of Jesus, his Son purifies us from all sin - 1 John 1: 7
Many years ago a missionary visited a village in a remote part of Africa, and the local people did not seem very friendly. But then a woman came out of one of the huts with meat, milk and fruit, and so the missionary asked her for the reason for her kindness. She took out of her bosom an old and well worn Bible in Dutch; and exclaimed: "This is the fountain where I drink. This is the oil that makes my lamp burn." Those churches that are not welcoming and have little or no fellowship, whose members come and go with scarcely a "good morning" or a "good evening" between them and have no intention of ever being any different, and, what’s more, would not want to be, are dead; even if they have the appearance of life. Are you part of this world-wide fellowship that is the true church-the Church of Jesus Christ?
He died on the Cross of Calvary so that God could forgive your sins; receive you as an adopted son or daughter in his church. Make your peace with God now through Christ while you may. Christ promised to come again to rapture his church, and the signs, political, social, and cosmic make it clear that the time is short, ask him now to forgive your transgressions, come into your heart and save your soul.
God Bless You All!!!
Pastor Gordon Guillermo Burgess
Alicante Church Of The Good Shepherd
Alicante Church Of The Good Shepherd