Christianity Explained, 9 - A Changing Christian
Here is the Ninth part of the Christianity Explained study in a question-verse-answer format as described in the introduction.
Someone asks the question, and someone then reads the bible verse, ideally aloud, to then discuss the answer between them - the written answer is only read afterwards to tie together.
When you have become a Christian, you have been born again into God’s kingdom. Although this is invisible, this is something that is perceived with peace and is in opposition to the world's system.
Question - Where Do Christians Have Peace & Tribulation?
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
This also means that you will actually suffer more for being a Christian as you stand up for Christ and truth and justice, but the more you depend upon Jesus, the more this becomes perfectly okay.
Question - Why Does God Want us to be Lights in the World?
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” - Matthew 5:14-16
The good news as well is that now that God has changed us, He wants us to be healthy, happy, blessed people here on earth to stand out as light in the earth for people to see His goodness and glory and turn to Him.
My favourite story is where Jesus describes Himself as a vine, ourselves as the branches from Him, with fruit at the end of what we do through Christ, and our Heavenly Father, the good gardener. Our vitality always comes from that connection in Christ, and God allows if we let Him, any bad fruit to come away and be pruned back even when good fruit already exists to see even better fruit.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” - John 15:1-4
Question - What Should Christians be Doing Now on Earth?
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”- Matthew 28:19-20
He has given us the Great Commission to tell the good news of Jesus to the whole world, and then baptise and disciple, or rather guide, new believers.
We may therefore be involved in other forms of evangelism or ministries that help do this, which should always look to the local church where everyone is part of and grown locally;
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” - 1 Peter 3:15
Question - What Are the Two Greatest Commandment Summaries From God?
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” - Matthew 22:37-40
Being practical, this even means looking after ourselves and being healthy, not from a selfish perspective, as this enables us to be fresh and stronger to put God and others first literally.
We also need to love, protect, grow, and lead in our own families in whatever capacity, whether spouses, children and parents, or through extended facilities. The family unit is key, and God sees our current behaviour and life at home and family as essential above other things.
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” - 1 Timothy 5:8
Question - How Should We Do Everything?
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” - Colossians 3:23
Our work is also important, not being overworked or lazy and doing nothing, but working honourably as worship to God and through respecting bosses, colleagues, and customers.
Question - What Attitude Should We Have When Giving?
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” - 2 Corinthians 9:7
Managing our money also counts, giving rightly to God and others unselfishly, which is a pivotal issue that’s always affected everyone’s lives throughout the ages.
Question - Why Was the Sabbath Made?
“And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:” - Mark 2:27
We also need to test and enjoy life, knowing that all good things come from Him, including the blessing of keeping one day of the week as a Sabbath rest.