Posts Tagged ‘converts’

jesus-at-the-temple-by-brian-jekel

Jesus at the Temple by Brian Jekel

 

Today, counsel on accepting baptism is shared with a teen whose parents are atheists.  Baptism does not make a child an adult.  Baptism is a beginning or “first step,” and is not the completion or finish of the full journey that is salvation.  Youth often are centered in self-discovery, personal growth and risk-taking that make them less effective as workers within a sacred body.  Because young people often are drawn to Christ having fervor, passion and zeal, they also are to be cautioned and exhorted to acknowledge their continuing need for spiritual growth.  In addition to practicing patience and longsuffering, developing believers must learn to prefer the tested and tried principles, actions, and decisions that have been effective for the survival of the church; and, as much as possible, youth are to prepare themselves and focus on the coming of Christ in place of popular culture, politics, or current world events.  Children are to behave with humility and meekness in the family and shared home; they are to avoid presumption, and always value sharing with their parents.  A young writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

How to tell my parents I want to be baptized?

Hello, I am 16 years old and I have been going to church on my own for awhile. I’ve accepted Christ many years ago, and I’ve gotten to where I feel the need to be baptized and show it. The thing is, my parents are atheists. They allow me to go to church, they’ve bought me a bible, and they know about when I got saved. Since this is public though, I don’t know there reactions and honestly, I don’t even want to tell them (I’m not ashamed of who I am and what I believe, it just feels very awkward and they’re always surprised I chose this) Honestly, this is probably something I should tell them though, so how would I go about it?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit:  for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.  (2nd Corinthians 3:  5-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); Caution! Work In Progress (10/19/2017); The Water, The Fire (10/10/2017); Christ Now or Later? (10/08/2017); Rebirth, Growth and Transformation (09/29/2017)

 

“Anonymous”, before making your decision, you first may want to consider what commitment you are asking your parents to make; what challenges or changes you should alert them to; and the demands for sacrifice that they will have to face.  Young people also are cautioned to keep in mind that genuine and mature love always entail accountability, commitment, putting aside ones own desire and will in obedience and sacrifice along with restraint.  Water baptism depicts the death and burial of ones inborn spirit, and their resurrection from the dead by receiving a fresh endowment of divine life essence (we say, breath, spirit, Word) from the makeup of GOD.  Those who are “born again” are to “grow up again” meeting life challenges and “growing pains,” displaying divine spirit content, acknowledging sacred law, serving unselfishly without complaint, and even enduring suffering, here, on the earth. 

Believers are to become mature/ripe for harvest (we also say, his appearing, the Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).   Sinners who come to Christ begin their eternal life by undergoing permanent changes in their character and makeup through operations of the Holy Spirit, a transformation that will be completed (we say, they will be perfected) as they meet the Lord in the air at his return.  For developing believers, therefore, salvation unfolds through discovery, edification, gradual growth, praise, prayer, other  sacred practices, and worship.  Because salvation is part of a full revelation of GOD as well as a transformation for mankind to exist as life companions to immortal, incorruptible divinity, believers are encouraged to understand that they themselves are to be offspring of GOD and a new creation.  Believers are to maintain a consciousness that they are the members of the body of Christ (the church) and saints within the kingdom of GOD.  They are to continually display the inseparable aspects of imparted Spirit that include balance, completeness, gratitude, faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

While teens remain in the home of their parents as dependent children, it is more correct that they delay making life decisions that are divisive of the family as a unit.  Through their pleasant attitudes and conduct, the young may be vessels of ministry who “silently” bestow and demonstrate the benefits from Christ without also creating conflict, pressure, and hostility against others.  Consider again the example of the Lord, and the following counsel from the holy writings:

(1.)  Luke 2:  42-52, King James Version (KJV):  42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.  43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.  44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.  45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.  46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.  47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.  48 And when they saw him, they were amazed:  and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.  49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?  50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.  51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them:  but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.  52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

(2.)  Romans 6:  3-6, KJV:  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (3.)  Acts 20:  32, KJV:  32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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Today, reply is shared with a believer who wants to stand on faith without having to respond to preachers and holy writings.  GOD in the heart and in the understanding should appear as unselfish service within the church and the larger community.  A sinner may come under conviction following experiences of consolation during bereavement, deliverance or healing, yet, their “faith” may be characterized as “dead”, because it does not bear divine fruit seen with such “works” as church attendance, being baptized, mentoring as “godparents”, regular prayer, and repentance.  While any number of simple encounters may begin ones new life with Jesus Christ, the salvation of GOD through the Son is not “loaded with options,” or offered like buffet items that one may pick, choose and fit together in accordance with their own appetite, desires and lusts.  For Christians, faith is never “blind”, “undefined”, or according to an individual’s private opinion.  The meaning, process and substance of faith are defined by GOD in keeping with sacred law, divine order and godly practices (we say, sacraments).  Thus, for developing believers, there are specific eternal points of sacred knowledge to be received along with predetermined gifts and operations of the Holy Spirit as well as a broad range of challenges, sacred expectations, permanent changes, and even sufferings that identify the children of GOD upon the earth.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” with the user ID “jay” (Level 1 with 90 points, a member since November 08, 2017) posted the following:

 

Ok I have god in my heart not from any book not from any preacher but from an event that happened. So my question is what’s wrong with that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works:  shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  (James 2:  18-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  GOD Is Imparting Truth (10/30/2017); Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); Actual Utterance From GOD? (08/11/2017); Separate Yet Not Alone (06/28/2017); The Cross and Creation (03/24/2016); About Deluding Yourself? (09/22/2014); Family and Beliefs of Children? (08/29/2014); Stories Repeated in the Bible? (08/30/2014)

 

“jay”, in the same way young ones learn to recite the ABCs, yet, still are unable to read and write without further instruction and practice, converts and sinners who have an experience that turn them to GOD also need further nourishment and structure.  Believing in Jesus Christ may begin as an independent and personal commitment that, on surface, does not involve anyone else.  It is their individual choice and decision; and how, when, and where they display or express their belief is up to themselves, and no one else.  However, “exclusive devotion” that shuts others out is not according to the plan of GOD for mankind’s redemption and salvation through the Lord.

Just as infants are dependent and must be born into families who will nourish, protect, and support them until they become capable of maintaining themselves, sinners who become “born again” believers are to be embraced within the family of GOD.  Along with other developing believers, those who will be known as disciples of Christ are to be provided with such blessings as comfort from GOD through fellow-believers; “sacred” instead of secular knowledge; correction, explanations, and guidance in agreement with godly standards; opportunities for unselfish service to GOD as well as experiences of shared praise, study, and worship.

In the same way  young love is distinguished from teen-aged infatuation by accountability, commitment, and restraint, mature members within the body of Christ (the church) and those who are true saints within the kingdom of GOD will be distinguished by the display of their own divine spirit content (the image of GOD).  Included will be faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  It is only out of love and because of their correct understanding that believers fully embrace “organized religion.”  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  2nd Timothy 3:  14-17, King James Version (KJV):  14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;  15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

(2.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 12:  12-18, KJV:  12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:  so also is Christ.  13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  14 For the body is not one member, but many.  15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (4.)  Ecclesiastes 12:  10-14, KJV:  10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words:  and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.  11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.  12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished:  of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.  13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.  14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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