Relationships – work to develop a personal relationship with God that is based on love (Joh 14:21); love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself (Mar 12:30, 21), and do to others as you would want them to do to you (Luk 6:31); maintain a healthy fear of displeasing God (Mat 10:28); as you do unto others you are doing unto Christ (Mat 25:40).
Faith – you build faith by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17) and by praying in the Holy Spirit (Jud 1:20); it is by faith that you stand (2Cor 1:24; Rom 11:20), by faith that you have victory over the world (1Joh 5:4), by faith that you quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one(Eph 6:16), and you are kept by the power of God from sin through faith (1Pet 1:5); by faith through prayer you have boldness and access with confidence (Eph 3:12) to the throne of God where you will find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16); the more time you spend in scriptures and prayer, the more your faith will be built up and the more spiritual victory you will have.
Devotions – retire early and rise early (Luk 22:46); pray then read (1Tim 4:13), study (2Tim 2:15) and memorize scriptures; have a time of meditation, praise, singing of hymns, read from a devotional book, and review meeting notes for the past week; start with 30 minutes daily and advance to 1 or 2 hours; practice this day after day and you will be renewed and not faint (2Cor 4:16); the main spiritual lack most have is their devotional life. If you don’t fix this lack you will never go anywhere but up and down in your spiritual experience. If you find yourself short of time for devotions in the morning, then start retiring earlier and getting up earlier; to become more Christ like you must start your day with proper devotions; reading the scriptures and praying will increase your faith (Rom 10:17, Jud 1:20); renew your spiritual life day by day (2Cor 4:16); redeem the time by finding times throughout your day to pray and read (Eph 5:16).
Prayer – pray first thing in the morning (Luk 22:46); as soon as you awake in the morning go to prayer and don’t let the flesh, mind, or the devil get you distracted doing other things; fast and pray to gain victory in strong trials and temptations (Mat 17:21); pray for understanding on how to gain victory in the areas you are battling (Jam 1:5); the devil will be happy if you spend lots of time reading the Bible as long as he can keep you off your knees in prayer; pray in the Spirit (Eph 6:18); when possible pray out loud so your mind will not wander; pray as you go through your day (1The 5:17); prayer will empower you to resist temptation (Mar 14:28); pray for a holy hatred of all sin; when in prayer give time to listen to the voice of God; at the end of each day pray asking the Lord to examine your walk that day and give time to listen to Him and make any lacks He reveals a matter of prayer; prayer will increase your faith (Jud 1:20); set your alarm clock to remind yourself to get away with God for pray during your busy day; members of the Methodist club committed to pray from 4am to 5am and 5pm to 6pm daily; we need the power of God to meet the trials and temptations of the day and it is a good practice to start your day with a session of fervent prayer; get a copy of “Power Through Prayer” by E.M. Bounds and read it through — implementing his suggestions will be life changing.
Word of God – is able to build you up (Act 20:32); you are to meditate upon the Word of God (1Tim 4:15); the Word of God is a revealer (Heb 4:12); the Word of God is a spiritual sword (Eph 6:17); faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17).
Watching – watch and pray that you don’t enter into temptation (Mat 26:41); be careful with your interaction with those of the opposite gender (2Tim 2:22); watch daily for Christ’s coming (1Joh 3:3); resist seeing, hearing, reading things, being in places, or being with people that lead you into temptation; examine your walk at the end of each day and make any lacks revealed a matter of prayer.
Witnessing – sharing the good news of Christ is part of your spiritual armor that you must have on to be able to stand (Eph 6:13, 15); point people to Christ not to yourself (2Cor 4:5); keep a supply of tracts and booklets for both unsaved and saved and have your Bible with you wherever you go; for the most part brothers should work with men and sisters should deal with women thus avoiding any traps the devil may try to set; take the name and address of those that you have profitable discussions with and follow up with literature, visits if they are open to having you visit, and put them on your prayer list.
Speech – don’t speak corrupt words, but words that will edify (Eph 4:29); be careful to never use God’s name in vain (Deu 5:11); don’t use trashy or cool talk like the world does; don’t kid or joke by telling someone something that is not true and then say you didn’t mean it; you will give account of every idle word you speak on the day of judgment (Mat 12:36); by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned (Mat 12:37); those that are over talkative need to say less and those that are shy need to say more; be careful not to talk too much (Pro 17:28); put away all evil speaking (Eph 4:31); try not to be the center of all conversations, but encourage others to be part of the conversation; realize that there are always two sides to every story you are told (Pro 18:13, 17); don’t believe or repeat all that you are told (Pro 14:15); refuse to listen to or repeat gossip; don’t discuss the failings and faults of others; try to steer conversations toward spiritual things; walk away from sinful conversations (Mat 12:37).
Meditation – meditate daily on the following. On the Word of God (1Tim 4:15); in the morning reflect that this may be your last day; in the evening you may not awake up to a new day; that Christ may come today and call the world into judgment; that the unsaved you have been sharing Christ with may die today; that others will be watching your conduct today; on your need to live a life worthy of professing the name of Christ; on the areas in your life where you need the most spiritual help; on the love of God for your soul; on the price Christ paid to redeem you; on the sufferings of Christ on the cross; of the debt you owe God for saving your soul; of your love for the Savior; that all material blessings will be left here when you die; on the stewardship that you must give on that last day; on how to please the Savior; on where you would be without Christ; on all the victories God has given you; on the pains of hell; that you have an enemy that is trying to draw you back into the world.
Spiritual Fruit – memorize the following scriptures that list the fruit of the Spirit and meditate on them (Mat 5:3-9, 1Cor 13:4-7, 2Cor 7:11, Gal 5:22-23, Eph 4:2-3, Eph 5:9, Phil 4:8, Col 3:12-15, 1Tim 6:11-12, 2Tim 2:22, 2Pet 1:5-7); God has ordained that you bring forth fruit and that your fruit would remain (Jon 15:6); you cannot bear fruit by yourself but only by abiding in Christ (Joh 15:4, 5); you are given a measure of each spiritual fruit at conversion (Rom 12:3); you must be diligent to increase in the Fruits of the Spirit (1Pet 1:5); list the fruits you lack the most and make a prayerful effort daily to increase by the grace of God; bringing forth good fruit will take spiritual work and patience (Luk 8:15); you must die to self and the flesh to bring forth fruit (Joh 12:24); God is glorified when you bring forth much fruit (Joh 15:8); if you are not increasing in fruit you have become spiritually blind (1Pet 1:9).
Revelation – God has enlightened every person that has ever lived (Joh 1:9; Tit 2:11); Jesus promised that after the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, that He would guide the disciples into all truth (Joh 16:13); God reveals His truth through God-called, God-equipped, holy living ministers that have the fruit of the Spirit in their lives (Eph 4:11-13, 2Tim 2:6); the grace of God has appeared to all mankind and has taught them they must deny ungodliness and live righteously and godly by His grace while here in this world (Joh 1:9 Tit 2:11,12); the Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance the Word of God to believers (Joh 14:26).
Trials – don’t think it strange that you will have trials (1Pet 4:12); trials will work patience in you (Jam 1:3); the day of trial and testing will reveal what your spiritual building is made of,; when your spiritual building still abides after the trial or test you will be rewarded; when trials show you were building wrong, rejoice and start building right (1Cor 3:12); trials don’t bring out the worst in you, they show what was there all along.
Temperance – in eating, sleeping, working, talking, and things you enjoy (Phil 4:5); mind the things of the Spirit – not the pleasures of this world and your flesh (Rom 8:5); your spirit must rule over the flesh; they that live after self and the flesh will die spiritually (Rom 8:13).
Humility – have a proper attitude toward the weaknesses and failings you see in others and discuss them with God only; don’t be proud about any abilities or understanding you have (Jam 4:6); if discussing your spiritual victories with others, temper them with your needs and a request for prayer; shun the praise of men; love to be unknown, unseen, and seek God’s favor not man’s (Joh 5:44); love to be instructed (Pro 12:1); don’t dress to be noticed; remember God will judge you the way you judge others (Mat 7:2); don’t think more highly of yourself than you should (Rom 12:3); you should profess you are an unprofitable servant and you have only done that which was your duty (Luk 17:10); the more spiritual you become the less spiritual you will realize you are; the wisest people are those that know they know very little; when you realize you are weak, then you are strong (2Cor 12:10); you are not capable of doing anything, any capacity you have comes from God (2Cor 3:5).
Stewardship – be a good steward of your body, time, money, material goods, desires, and thoughts (Rom 12:1); you are not your own and all you have is God’s and is to be used for His glory (1Cor 6:19, 20).
Meetings – pray before meeting; read your Bible or a spiritual book or meditate on a hymn prayerfully while you are waiting for the meeting to start; don’t let your mind wander in meeting; record the scriptures and thoughts brought out in testimonies, exhortations, and preaching; review these scriptures daily in the following week; seek out those that are spiritual after the meeting and have spiritual conversations.
Self Examination – list personality and spiritual weaknesses or lacks and seek grace to become strong in those areas (Mat 5:6; 2Cor 7:1; Phil 2:12); pray for understanding on which areas you should be working on and how to increase in those areas; you should know what your greatest need is and the top five areas that you need help in; routinely put your daily devotions to the top of your spiritual needs list and focus on getting up earlier, spending more time and using your devotional time more productively — an increase in your devotional life will empower you to deal more efficiently with your other spiritual needs; you should examine your spiritual progress in prayer at the end of each day (2Cor 13:5).
Good works – be careful to maintain works (Tit 3:8); works are to be motivated by the love of God (1Cor 13:3); don’t seek the praise or approval of man; do works as to the Lord and not to man (Eph 6:7).
Heart Experience – you must be careful that your practical living or heart experience is much further ahead than your knowledge or head experience. If you have more in your head than in your heart, the head knowledge will tend to puff you up. If you are to be accused of forwarding or making any teaching a hobby, then it must be heart holiness — loving God with all your heart, and a soul burden for others — loving your neighbor as yourself. The scriptures you memorize, the books you read, and the experience you testify of must be primarily one of heart holiness and a soul burden for others.
Fasting – the disciples of John fasted often and Christ’s disciples are instructed to fast also (Mat 9:15); the primary reason to fast is self-denial (Mar 8:34); fast and pray when in strong trials or temptations (Mat17:21).
Pride – all that commit sin have a proud and haughty spirit (Pro 16:18); those that are proud are an abomination to God (Pro 16:5); those that are proud in heart will cause strife (Pro 28:25); the proud love the praise and recognition of men (Joh 12:43); where there is contention there is pride (Pro 13:10); God resists the proud but to the humble gives grace to help live holy lives (1Pet 5:5, Heb 4:16); you are commanded to humble yourself (Jam 4:10); the beginning of wisdom is to hate pride (Pro 8:13); it is not enough to hate pride in others, but you must hate any pride you see in yourself.
Judging – you are to judge false preachers (Mat 7:15-17) and false professors by their fruit (Mar 4:7,18,19); the spiritual person judges all things by the Word (1Cor 2:15); hypocrites with a beam in their eye are not to judge those with a mote in their eye (Mat 7:5); God will judge you with the same measure as you judge others (Mat 7:2); as you do unto others, you are doing unto Christ (Mat 25:40); when you see errors and faults in others and are inclined to judge them, examine yourself to see if you have this same or similar error in your life and put the judgment on yourself; keep a mental list of your greatest spiritual blunders and mistakes and when you see errors in others, consider how much worse your errors have been; remember it is easier to see errors in others than it is to see errors in yourself; there is little profit in judging others, but great profit in judging yourself (1Cor 11:31); keep a mental list of the greatest sins you have committed and when you are tempted to judge the sins of others with contempt consider how wicked you were yourself before conversion (Tit 3:3); realize that things are not always as they seem and don’t judge things before you know both sides of what happened (Pro 18:13, 17); don’t believe every report you hear and make wrong judgments (Pro 14:15); don’t judge according to appearance (Joh 7:24); don’t judge the motives of others as only God can see their heart; don’t judge others by the light you have, but by the light they have (Pro 17:15).
Spiritual Marks – victory over all sinning (1Joh 5:18); pure in heart (Mat 5:8, Act 15:8,9); loving God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself (Mar 12:30,21); doing to others as you would have them do to you (Luk 6:31); strong prayer life and devotional life (Luk 18:1); carefulness in conduct (2Cor 7:11); humble in mind (Act 20:19), meek in spirit (1Cor 4:21); lowly in attitude (Eph 4:2); kind one to another (Eph 4:32); having sound speech (Tit 2:8); holy hatred of sin (Rom 12:9); not braggarts or boasters (2Tim 3:2); patient with the faults of others (1Cor 13:7); submissive one to another (1Pet 5:5); meek when correcting others (2Tim 2:25); spiritually minded (Rom 8:5,6); hungering and thirsting after more of God (Mat 5:6); increasing in the fruit of the Spirit (2Pet 1:8); not conformed to this world (Rom 12:2); victory over unlawful desires of the flesh, eyes, and mind (1Joh 2:16); prayerful throughout the day (Eph 6:18); forgiving towards one another (Eph 4:32); true love towards fellow believers (1Pet 1:22); serving others (Gal 6:10); doing all things with love (1Cor 16:14); study the scriptures (2Tim 2:15); carry a burden for the lost; modesty in dress (1Tim 2:9); not critical, but search for the good in others; watching for and earnestly desiring the return of Christ (2Pet 3:11); redeeming the time (Eph 5:16); always looking for places you may further please the Lord; mindful that you are only a breath away from eternity.
Conduct – you must stamp holiness unto God on all actions, attitudes, words spoken, thoughts, desires, clothing, and things you possess (Col 3:17).
Return of Christ – if you have this hope in your heart, you will purify yourself (1Joh 3:3); your heart’s desire must be even so, “Come Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20); you are to look for the coming of Christ (2Pet 3:11-14).
Disputes – as a child of God you are called to be a peacemaker (Mat 5:9); the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle and patient towards all people (2Tim 2:24); do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luk 6:31); as you do unto others, you are doing unto Christ (Mat 25:40); if you have a quarrel against any, forgive them without requiring an apology and don’t hold a grudge (Eph 4:32, Col 3:13); if you don’t forgive others, neither will God forgive you (Mar 11:26); be ready to forgive your brother seven times seventy (Mat 18:21,22); never render railing for railing (1Pet 3:9); follow after the things that make for peace (Rom 14:19); Christian love bears, believes, hopes and endures all things (1Cor 4:7); you are to endeavor to keep unity and peace (Eph 4:3); never make an accusation based on what someone else has told you, but tell the other person what you heard and ask them if it is true (Pro 18:13,17); try to defuse a dispute before it starts; never feel like you have to win a dispute; when in a dispute don’t use the authority you may have over the other person (husband, parent, teacher, employer, minister) to win the dispute, but deal with the person as an equal; pray and remain calm and never raise your voice; give room for eachother to talk, don’t be interruptive, and make sure you understand the other person’s position; when trying to solve a dispute, take as much blame as you honestly can; don’t make personal attacks or inflammatory or exaggerated statements; if you find yourself short on grace when in a dispute, confess and excuse yourself and go and pray until you have victory; be willing to be misunderstood; if the other’s conduct is below the Bible standard, tell them that with love and if your conduct was below the Bible standard admit it and apologize; apologize that the dispute has happened – even if you feel like you did nothing wrong; if the other person is unreasonable and gets upset ask for a break so you can go and pray; if your feelings were hurt go and pray, Jesus will give you help; some disputes will not be able to be resolved and all you can do is your best and leave the rest to Jesus; those that are proud in heart will cause strife (Pro 28:25); whenever there is strife and contentious disputes there is carnality and pride with at least one of the people (Pro 13:10, 1Cor 3:3); fools and sinners enjoy strife and quarrels and love to argue (Pro 17:19, Pro 20:3).
Thoughts – the mind is the battle ground (2Cor 10:3); Jesus knows your thoughts – so be careful what you think (Luk 6:8); fix your thoughts on the things of God and not on earthly things (Phi 3:19); don’t think of yourself highly (Rom 12:3); be careful to not speak whatever thoughts come to your mind (Pro 29:11); love God with all your mind (Mat 22:37); be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2); don’t give your mind room to think about the pleasure of the flesh (Rom 8:5); think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and worthy of praise and don’t think on things that are untrue, dishonest, unjust, impure, unlovely, of bad report, unvirtuous, and not worthy of praise (Phi 4:8); you can through the power of God, cast down imaginations and bring every thought into control (2Cor 10:4-5); memorize scriptures and meditate on them when you are presented with evil thoughts; (Heb 4:15); quote the Word of God to fight temptation of the mind (Mat 4:4); memorize Phil 4:8 and 2Cor 10:4-5 and when wrong thoughts are presented to your mind quote those scritures; sin always starts in the mind (Jam 1:14);
Temptation – temptations are not sin as Christ was tempted but without sin (Heb 4:15); let him that thinks he stands take heed least he fall (1Cor 10:12); God has promised to keep you from evil (2The 3:3); to make a way of escape from every temptation (1Cor 10:13); keep you from falling into sin (Jud 1:24); if you are spiritually diligent you will never fall back into sin (2Pet 1:10); if you keep His Word He will keep you in the hour of temptation (Rev 3:10); you must resist seeing, hearing, reading things, being in places, or being with people that lead you into temptation.
Turning Away From Christ – let those that think they stand take heed lest they fall (1Cor 10:12); many that have felt they were strong and would never fall away have turned back (Mat 26:33); if you turn back from Jesus you will no longer be happy and blessed (Rom 4:7); you will be miserable (Rom 3:16); you will be in distress and agony (Rom 7:24); you will be deceived (Rom 7:11); you will be against Christ (Luk 11:23); you will regret denying Christ (Matt 27:5); you will go back to the things that you were once ashamed of (Rom 6:21); you may become possessed with devils (Act 8:7); you may lose your mind (Matt 4:24); you will find yourself at the trough of the pigs eating their food (Luk 15:16); you will be like a dog eating his vomit and a pig wallowing in the mire of excrement (2Pet 2:22); you will be good for nothing but to be cast out (Mat 5:13); you will no longer do the good you want to and will do the evil you don’t want to do (Rom 7:19); you will quickly find that the pleasures in sin are only for a very short time (Heb 11:25); you will be overcome by many hurtful lusts (1Tim 6:9); you will soon lose all the benefits and blessing you received from the Father (Luk 15:14); you will be responsible in causing others to turn back or to not make a start (Mat 12:30); you will no longer love Christ but will hate Him (Joh 14:24); you will be in bondage to sin (Joh 8:34); if you do come to your senses you will weep bitterly (Mat 26:75); your last state will be worse than your first state (Matt 12:45); you will be cast into outer darkness and shall weep (Mat 8:12); you will be cut down and cast into the fire (Mat 3:10); if you die in that state it would be better if you were never born (Mat 26:24).
Grace – pledge daily to be spiritually violent (Mat 11:12); pray for power to resist temptations of the flesh, eyes and mind (1Cor 10:13, 2Pet 1:10); go often to prayer for grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16).
Wisdom – wisdom is the ability to discern and exercise good judgment and is usually developed by experience; wisdom is the main thing (Pro 4:7); the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Pro 9:10); a person of understanding has wisdom (Pro 10:23); it takes wisdom to win people to Christ (Pro 11:30); with the humble is wisdom (Pro 11:2); wisdom is better than gold (Pro 16:16); reproof gives wisdom (Pro 29:15); the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God (1Cor 3:19); in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom (Col 2:3); if any person lack wisdom let him ask God in faith and it will be given to him (Jam 1:5,6); the wisdom that is from God is pure, peaceful, gentle, easy to be entreated, merciful, full of good fruits, impartial and not phony (Jam 3:17).
Family – love your wife as yourself (Eph 5:28); love your wife as Christ loves the church and gave Himself for it (Eph 5:25); be subject to your husband in everything, just as the church is subject unto Christ (Eph 5:24); submit to your husband as is fit in the Lord (Col 3:18), obey your parents in the Lord (Eph 6:1), nurturing your children (Eph 6:4); submit one to another (1Pet 5:50); be a servant one toward another (Gal 5:13); do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luk 6:31); as you do unto others you are doing unto Christ (Mat 25:40); rejoice with eachother in victories and console those that are going through difficulties (Rom 12:15); bring your children up in the way they should go (Pro 22:6); be patient with each other’s weaknesses and faults in the same way you want others to be patient with yours; don’t make a habit of pointing out each other’s faults over and over but have love one toward another that will cover a multitude of faults; have family devotions in the morning and at the beginning of each evening; the best way to get your family devotions in order is to get your own personal devotions in order first; the family unit will only work well as long as each member is working in love to see what they can give, not to see what they can get; in your requests one of another don’t be demanding but ask with love like you would ask someone outside the family unit; pray daily for each family member; husbands don’t be overbearing and wives don’t be nagging; deal with each other in respect.
Holy in Your Body – You are a spirit in a body (Jam 2:26); if you are a child of God your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God (1Cor 6:19); you are to be hard on our body and bring it into subjection by the grace of God lest you be a castaway (1Cor 9:27); having the body in subjection profits nothing if you don’t have love for others (1Cor 13:3); the Word of God calls our body the ‘body of humiliation’ (Phi 3:21); you are not to adorn you body with gold, pearls and expensive clothing but with modest clothing (1Tim 2:9); your standard of clothing is to be based on modesty and not on distinction or attracting attention to yourself, as the humble desired to be unnoticed and to point people to Christ not to themselves where the proud Pharisees made broad their phylacteries and enlarged the borders of their garments that they might be seem of man (Mat 23:5); a man is not to have long hair, a woman is to have long hair as it is a glory to her and is given to her for a covering (1Cor 11:14,15); you are not to defile you body (1Cor 3:17) you are to glorify God in your body by the way you live (1Cor 6:20); your body is for the Lord and the Lord is for your body (1Cor 6:13); you are not to give your body over to indulgence in sinful sensuality, your body is a member of Christ (1Cor 6:15); young people are instructed to flee youthful lusts as a commandment from the Lord (2Tim 2:22); fornication is a sin against the body and the Bible instructions your to flee this sin (1Cor 6:18); smoking is harmful to your body, a poor steward of your money, a terrible example, and harms those around you with your second hand smoke; drinking alcohol is harmful to your body, a poor steward of your money, a terrible example, and puts you in risk of having an alcohol problem (Pro 20:1); using recreational drugs is harmful to your body, a poor steward of your money, a terrible example, and puts you in risk of having a drug problem. If you know God doesn’t want you to smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs you are committing sin and you can’t willfully commit sin and be a Christian (1Joh 2:3,4); you should take proper care of your teeth and go regularly to the dentist; you need to wear clean and neat clothes; you need to be careful to have good body odor and that you don’t have bad breath; if you are overweight you need to practice temperance in food and start loosing weight by regular exercise (Gal 5:22,23); even if you are not overweight that doesn’t give you the liberty to over eat, learn temperance early in life so when you get older and your metabolism slows down, you will not have a weight problem; you need to exercise regularly; you can start by brisk walking 30 minutes building to an hour a day; whatever you eat or drink, you are to do it to the glory of God (1Cor 10:31); you should eat natural unprocessed foods and have a balanced diet; sweets, pop, and candy are not good for your health; you should drink 8 cups of water a day; you are to present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God (Rom 12:1,2); you are to be holy in both body and spirit (1Cor 7:34).
Honesty – all unrepentant liars will be cast in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8); those that intentionally withhold facts and purposely leave others with an untrue impressions are liars; those that say they know God and don’t keep His commandments are liars (1Joh 1:6, 2:4); those that claim to be free from sin any other way than through Christ are liars (1Jon 1:3,8); those that say they have never sinned are liars (1Joh 1:10); those that say Jesus was not the Christ are liars (1Joh 2:22); those that say they love God when they hate others are liars (1Joh 4:20); there are no small or white lies, a lie is a lie (Jam 2:10); those that are not faithful in little things are not faithful in larger things (Luk 16:10); no one that lies is part of the holy Jerusalem (Rev 21:9,10,27).
Hate Sin – you are to hate the lives spotted with fleshly living (Jud 1:23); your love can wax cold if you don’t keep a holy hatred for the sin that is abounding in the world (Mat 24:12).
Devotional Books – those that don’t read devotional books on practical Christian living are at a disadvantage. Here is a list of quality books you should obtain and read regularly. Food for Lambs, The More Abundant Life, Heavenly Life for Earthly Living, How to Live a Holy Life, Helps to Holy Living, by Charles E Orr; The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis; A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law; Dying Testimonies of Saved and Unsaved by S.B. Shaw; Maxims of the Saints, Christian Counsel, Spiritual Letters by Bishop Fenelon, Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds.
True Conversion – to become Christ like, you first must be truly converted. If you’re living in willful disobedience to God (Eph 5:6), you are still in the kingdom of darkness and need to be translated into God’s kingdom (Col 1:13). There is no place for disobedience (Joh 14:24; 1Joh 2:3-4) in the believer’s experience at all.
By God’s unmerited favor (grace) toward mankind he has promised to draw every person to Christ (Joh 6:44, Joh 1:9, Tit 2:11, 12). This may happen through you reading the Bible, through listening to someones testimony of how they found God, through attending a church meeting, through a dream, through God speaking directly to your heart, or through reading a track or booklet on how to find God.
As God draws you to Christ, by awakening your conscience, you will feel convicted of your sins and reproved for your sinning (Joh 8:9, 16:8). As you consider what your awakened conscience is telling you, you will either defend your sins and make excuses for yourself, or you will agree with your conscience and accept the conviction and reprove.
When you agree with your conscience the grace (unmerrited favor) of God will begin to work a godly sorrow in your heart for the sinfulness of your life (2Cor 7:10). This godly sorrow will work a hatred in your heart for your sins and a desire to be free from them (Rom 7:15).
In this state of conviction and godly sorrow you will find yourself not able to do the good that you would and the evil that you don’t want to do you will find yourself committing (Rom 7:19). This conviction and godly sorrow, brought on by the grace of God, will lead you to a crisis decision where you will either reject God and his dealings or you will repent (Luk 13:3) and be converted.
Repentance is a complete change in attitude toward your past sinful life and a commitment to completely change and reform your life by the power of God. Your repentance toward God must be with the fruit (Mat 3:8) of a willingness to depart from all sin (2Tim 2:19) and no longer walk in the darkness of sin (Joh 8:12).
By repentance and through faith believing in your heart (Rom 10:9) on the merits of the death and resurrection of Jesus brings remission of your past sins (Luk 24:47) when you ask God for forgiveness of sins and believe by faith God has forgiven you (1Joh 1:9; Act 4:12 1Pet 1:9).
After conversion you are then to go in the power of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 10:13; 2Pet 1:10; Jud 1:24) and sin no more (1Joh 5:18).
You will need to beware of those that tell you all you need to do is just believe to be saved. While the Bible clearly says if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Act 6:31) the Bible also says that except you repent you will perish (Luk 13:3), that it is godly sorrow that works repentance (2Cor 7:10), and that you must bring forth fruit of repentance (Mat 3:8). You need to take all that the New Testament says on salvation not just one verse.
You will need to also beware of those professing Christians that have a form of godliness but deny the power of Christ to deliver from committing sin (2Tim 3:5). They hold that the blood is powerless and can not saved your from sinning. You are instructed to turn away from such.
Old Covenant Law vs New Covenant Law Experience – the Old Covenant (the first 5 books of the Bible) is done away (2Cor 3:7,11), commanded to be cast out (Gal 4:24,30), has been fulfilled and passed (Mat 5:17,18, Luk 24:44, Act 13:29), was and still is faulty (Heb 8:7,8), has decayed and waxed old back in the first century (Heb 8:13), was added until Christ (Gal 3:19), we are no longer under (Gal 3:24,25,5:18; Rom 6:14), has been taken away (Heb 9:1,18,10:9), has ended (Rom 10:4), and was only until John (Luk 16:16); the Old Covenant was replaced with a better covenant (Heb 7:22) that has better promises (Heb 8:6), that has a better priesthood (Heb 7:12) with a better hope (Heb 7:19) we are now under the perfect law of liberty (Jas 1:25), the law of Christ (Gal 6:2) as is found in the New Testament scriptures; the Old Covenant scriptures are still profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and instructions (2Tim 3:16) and offers us patience and comfort so we may have hope (Rom 15:4); the Old Covenant experience left the people in bondage to the law of sin and death (Rom 7:23) but the Spirit of life in Christ set the converted free from the law of sin (Rom 8:2) as the law was weak and couldn’t deliver (Rom 8:3) and you now that are converted are freed from all the things which you couldn’t be freed from under the law (Act 13:39).
What is Sin – faults, lacks in social deportment that may be offensive, and mistakes in opinion, judgment, and actions are not sins unless they include a voluntary act of disobedience against a known commandment of God (1Joh 3:4; 5:17). What may be sin for one person may not be sin for another due to difference in light and understanding of what God requires (Rom 14:22,23; Joh 9:41; Jam 4:17; Rom 3:20; 5:13). The position that mistakes are sin and therefore all believers are sinners will tend to lead people to the conclusion that willful acts of disobedience are compatible with salvation. As the scriptures are very clear that whoever is born of God doesn’t sin (1John 2:3,4; 5:18) this view is not only unscriptural, but harmful – as it will weaken the believer’s resolve to resist all willful acts of disobedience.
Sin-you-must Scriptures Explained – provided here is a brief explanation of a number of scriptures that seem to imply that believers are not delivered from all sinning and that as long as they live they must sin. Rom 7:13-15 Paul is describing the experience under the law when he was bondage to the law of sin and he did the evil he didn’t want to do. In chapter eight he explains that Christ set him free from the law of sin as the law could not do this. 1Jon 1:8 Here John is referring to those in verse three that don’t have fellowship with the Father and explains that those who claim they have no sin any other way than having fellowship with the Father and Son are liars. He goes on to clearly state in chapter two, three, and five that whoever is born of God doesn’t sin. 1Tim 1:15 Paul here is stating that because of his actions as a blasphemer, persecutor, and injurious toward the believers before his conversation, that he felt he was a chief sinner. This clearly was not his current experience, but he was discussing his past experience. 1Kin 8:46; 2Chr 6:36; Pro 20:9; Pro 24:16 under the Old Covenant the blood of bulls and goats couldn’t deliver from the power of sin. It is only by the merits of the blood of Christ that believers can live a life free from sinning.
Unbiblical Teachings — Here is a list of unbiblical teachings that are accepted in some church groups.
Sin-you-must — teaches you will continue to sin after being saved and that a believer sins in word, thought, and deed daily. This teaching makes people easy prey to temptations and leaves them thinking that sin in a believer’s life is normal.
Easy-Believism — teaches that godly sorrow, repentance, and obedience to Christ are not necessary but all you must do is believe. This teaching can have people that are only under conviction thinking they are saved.
Eternal Security — teaches once saved if you go back to your old life and live and die in sin you will still go to heaven. This teaching gives a false sense of security and can work a carelessness in how you deal with temptations.
Sinning Christians — teaches that a Christian will not experience spiritually death if they commit one sin and that it takes either practicing sin or ‘big’ sins like murder or adultery before you are spiritually separated from God and no longer a child of God. This teaching takes away the seriousness of what happens when a Christian sins and leaves a person thinking they are a Christian when they are not.
Unconditional Election — teaches God preordained before the world who would be saved and that those who are not preordained have no chance to be saved. This teaching will leave the saved with a false sense of security and the unsaved with no hope that they can do anything about their unsaved state.
Pentecostalism — teaches that a prayer language called ‘tongues’ is the evidence of having experienced a higher spiritual experience after conversation called the ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit’. This teaching will leave a person trusting in an external manifestation that is experienced in unorthodoxed groups like the Mormons as evidence of conversion and a higher spiritual experience.
Baptismal Regeneration — teaches you are saved when you are baptized and you can’t be saved without water baptism. This teaching can cause people to trust in baptism as proof of salvation and can leave those that have been converted but not baptized doubting their conversion.
Mistakes-are-sin — teaches that mistakes in opinion, judgments, and actions; and faults, errors, and any conduct that comes short of complete angelic perfection is unwillful sin and that there is no difference between what some are calling unwillful sins and willful sins. This teaching makes no differentiation between mistakes and sins; this leads the Christian to confess they are a sinner and opens them up to the unbiblical teaching of sin-you-must with the excuse we are all human and can’t help but sin.
One True Visible Church (OTVC) — groups that hold this doctrine teach that their group is the one true visible church, that all honest people will come to them, that God is not working with any other group but them, and any that leave them are no longer saved. Example of groups that hold this teaching are Watchtower Society, 2 x 2, Church of God in Christ Mennonite (Holdeman), and Church of God (Restoration). This teaching is used to build an union in conduct, dress, and doctrine by the groups ministers which claim they have the authority to casting disagreeing members out of the body of Christ and to take away their right standing with God.
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