For thirty years, I thought I knew what Biblical Christianity was. I thought “coming to Jesus” was “praying a prayer” and “meaning it with all my heart.” I thought baptism was an “outward symbol of an inward change,” and that it should hopefully take place at “some point” after praying the “sinner’s prayer.” I thought the Christian life was knowing I needed God in my life, being thankful for what Jesus did on the cross, and striving not to sin. I thought it was “normal” to “fall into sin” willfully at times, as long as I “repented.” I thought repentance was simply praying, telling God sincerely that I was sorry. I thought it was normal and acceptable to repeat this pattern over and over and over again. Now I know that NONE of these things I believed are correct or Biblical.
In contrast to the “accept Jesus” heresy, GOD says the actual path to following Him is NARROW, and that there are only FEW who truly find it.
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Thankfully, God never stops pursuing and drawing His people deeper and deeper to learn more of Him and more of His truth. I know now that we must take every single thing back to the Bible and make sure everything we believe lines up with Scripture! It’s also important not to have any preconceived notions, but to enter into God’s Word asking Him to reveal His truth to us through His Holy Spirit.
God is alive. Jesus Christ is alive. The Bible is alive. The Holy Spirit is alive, and we are called to have a LIVING FAITH that not only seeks and finds God’s will, but also DOES it.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with ALL your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
“Therefore let all…. know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both LORD and Christ.” Now when they heard, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the LORD our God will call.” And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. (Acts 2:36-41)
But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked. (I John 2:3-6)
Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” (Matthew 7:17-23)
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (I John 1:6-7)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (I John 2:15-17)
If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. (I John 2:29)
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (I John 3:3-10)
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?” But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the LORD, and He will lift you up. (James 4:4-10)