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Thought I was a Christian?

Discussion in 'Introduction' started by MsMree, May 29, 2011.

  1. Hi, here I am.

    As my profile says I am a girl, a wife and a mum to two sons (one born in '07 and one in '09).

    I started believing, going to church, praying to God and reading and studying my bible in May 2003 then was baptized in August that year. I thought I became Christian then and born again and saved or whatever label you like.

    But I have three questions (actually I have heaps of questions but only three for now):

    -What is the difference between being a Christian, born again, saved etc, IS there a difference at all?
    I think they are all the same
    -What determines whether you are one or all of those labels (Christian, born again, saved)?
    I believe that just like hate is murder in your heart and lust is adultery in your heart, being saved happens when you believe in your heart.
    -Can you lose your salvation?
    I don't know, but I don't think so

    I ask because I have a lot of questions about even some of the most basic parts of the Christian faith and someone I spoke to today suggested maybe I was not saved. This made my husband frustrated cause the last 3 days have been a bit of a case of "some steps forward, some steps back". Friday I was having trouble believing the teachings (I'm happy to elaborate if anyone needs further information) of a parachurch organisation that I have been heavily involved in since 2009 and one of the leaders told me "I do not feel like I need to defend any of [the organisation's] teachings to you". I felt like the in the context of our discussion she was saying they (the teachings, the organisation) were infallible. I went home upset and physically trembling. That was a "steps back" day. Saturday was a "steps forward" day when another leader said there was no way she viewed the organisation as infallible which was good to hear. Then today was a "steps back" day when I was told I might not be saved. I'm very confused. Not just about what I've said but about so many other things too. Please help! Thank you.
     
  2. -What is the difference between being a Christian, born again, saved etc, IS there a difference at all?
    I think they are all the same

    I agree. Just 3 ways of saying the same thing.

    -What determines whether you are one or all of those labels (Christian, born again, saved)?
    I believe that just like hate is murder in your heart and lust is adultery in your heart, being saved happens when you believe in your heart.

    I can agree with that also.

    -Can you lose your salvation?
    I don't know, but I don't think so

    My answer to that remains the same. A person is saved, as long as they stay saved.

    I ask because I have a lot of questions about even some of the most basic parts of the Christian faith and someone I spoke to today suggested maybe I was not saved.

    Do not believe these words to you, they are a lie.....if you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour

    This made my husband frustrated cause the last 3 days have been a bit of a case of "some steps forward, some steps back".

    Such can happen when you are following Jesus and proudful words are addressed toward your person.

    Friday I was having trouble believing the teachings (I'm happy to elaborate if anyone needs further information) of a parachurch organisation that I have been heavily involved in since 2009 and one of the leaders told me "I do not feel like I need to defend any of [the organisation's] teachings to you". I felt like the in the context of our discussion she was saying they (the teachings, the organisation) were infallible.

    The only infallable teaching, and soul saving grace, is found when reading in the bible alone.

    That was a "steps back" day. Saturday was a "steps forward" day when another leader said there was no way she viewed the organisation as infallible which was good to hear.

    The word organisation worries me. Nowhere in the bible is the church called an organisation.

    Then today was a "steps back" day when I was told I might not be saved. I'm very confused. Not just about what I've said but about so many other things too. Please help! Thank you

    "Salvation is of the Lord" so sayeth the 'word of God'. It is a God thing.
     
  3. I don't think the person was intentionally lying to me when they said I wasn't saved. They had only just met me so maybe they were confused too. I was asking a lot of questions about all sorts of things I don't understand or know if I can agree with about the Christian faith.

    It's not a church, it's a parachurch organisation. I guess imagine maybe something like Salvation Army? But not them, I am not sure exactly what Salvation Army do but parachurch is like ... well... TJ is a parachurch forum. It's made up of people from many different churches and it does work in all the churches. It's definitely a business, not a church.

    Sorry to confuse.

    Can you elaborate on that, please?
     
  4. hi missm'ree . questions are good.
     
  5. Everyone says that but I don't feel like they have as many as I do. It makes me sad how much I can't understand or "lay hold of". I have SO MANY. It was when I was asking some of my piles and piles of questions that someone wondered if I was actually saved and that is not a nice feeling either. I'm not in complete despair, but it's pretty intensely frustrating not understanding so many things, and not knowing what I believe about so many things.
     
  6. #6 james g, May 29, 2011
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
    Grace, once bestowed, is not withdrawn: for God knew all the human exigencies beforehand:His action was independent of them, not dependent upon them.The failure of devotion does not cause the withdrawal of bestowed grace (as it would under law).You have been accepted in Christ, who is your standing!Historic Christianity - Sin, in its essence, is rebellion against God and disobedience to His laws (Acts 17:30,31).It has brought about the ruin of the world (Rom. 3:9-20), and has permeated every part of society and every phase of the individual's personality (Rom. 1:28; Eph. 2:1-3);rendering man incapable in himself of knowing God or of fulfilling His will (John 14:6; Eph.2:12) .Historic Christianity - Salvation can be obtained, not as the result of human efforts, but solely through divine grace (Eph. 2:8,9; Gal. 2:16). God has provided a way (Eph. 2:6-10) by which man can be saved from the penalty (Rom. 6:23; Col. 2:14,15), the power (Col.1:13; Gal. 2:20), and finally, from the presence of sin (I John 3:2; Phil. 3:21). This way is through faith in Jesus Christ and His redeeming work (Eph. 1:7; Rev. 1:5).Historic Christianity - The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was part of God's predetermined plan (Gal. 4:3-5; Eph. 1:4,5), whereby His Son became a propitiation for sin (I John 2:2; Rom. 3:24), and paid with His own life the penalty which the justice of God demands from all sinners-death (II Cor.5:18-21; I Pet. 2:24). Only as this is recognized and accepted can man receive pardon from all his sins and be reconciled to God (Acts 4:12).Historic Christianity - Jesus Christ was the eternal Son of God, pre-existent and only-begotten (John 1:1,2; 8:58); He entered the world through a supernatural event, the Virgin Birth (Matt. 1:20), and dwelt as God among men. He revealed, not only God's holiness and love (John 14:9) and the possibilities of a life wholly yielded to God (John 4:34), but He died as God, in order to make it possible for men to be made over into His own glorious image (II Cor. 5:17,21).Historic Christianity - The act of believing on Christ is a definite personal transaction between the sinner and the Lord Jesus (Rom. 5: 1), whereby the sinner, acknowledging his own helplessness, in humble gratitude accepts (I John 5:12,13) the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in his place and thereby receives the divine life of God into his own soul (John 3:5,6; Rom. 6:4,14) ; he begins to live a new life (Rom. 8:2,5,9,11) in the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16,25; I John 3:24), in which Jesus Christ is recognized and honored as the Lord of his life (Gal. 2:20).Historic Christianity - The body of Scripture contained in the Old and New Testaments is the infallible and authoritative revelation from God to man (II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21), in which God reveals Himself (John 14:9,10; Rom. 1:17), His requirements from all men (Mic. 6: 8; Rom. 1:16,17; I Pet. 1:15,16), and the only way in which these requirements can be met, namely through faith in Jesus Christ as the sole way of salvation (John 14:6).Historic Christianity - The hope of the world lies in the coming again of Jesus Christ as Lord of the universe, to bring to a consummation His redeeming work (I Cor. 15: 51-54) in the complete salvation of all His people (Phil. 3:20,21; I Thess. 4:15-17) and the final destruction of all sin (Rev. 20:10-14). At that day every man shall be judged before God and pass to his eternal destiny (Rev. 20:11-15; 22:4,5,12).








     
  7. Hi MissM'ree,

    You ask some pretty good questions and with the Lord as my guide am going to do the best to answer them.

    The first question you ask is "what is the difference between being christian, born again and saved. Many will call themselves christians or saved but many who do may not be.. the way we know we are born again or saved is by knowing Jesus Christ and taking Him as Lord and Savior of our Lives and having a relationship with Him. Knowing that without a doubt Jesus shed His blood and died so that we could have remission of sin and then if that weren't enough He rose again defeating death so we could have eternal life with Him in Heaven. Its by repenting, knowing and believing this and having Jesus in our lives as Lord and Savior that makes us truely saved.

    This is what Jesus had to say to Nicodemus when asked about being born again.
    John3:3-6 Jesus answered and said to him,"Most assuredly, I say to you, , unless one is
    born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?
    Jesus answered "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    John20:21-22 So Jesus said to them again,"Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them,"Recieve the Holy Spirit".

    I put this verse in here too because water baptism is a symbol of our love and acceptance of Jesus into our lives as Lord and Savior..it is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit, but we see here that Jesus Himself breathes on His disciples and the Holy Spirit enters in...so it is with us once we repent, and recieve Him into our lives as Lord and Savior we also recieve the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus Himself breathes new life into us we are born again and made a new creation in Him.

    Another question you asked is " can we lose salvation"
    1Thessaloninas5:9-10 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

    Once we are saved we turn from the old person and unto the new and in doing that strive our best to do as Jesus would have us do and live as He would want us to live but He knows we aren't perfect and will stumble and even fall at times...when we do the Holy
    Spirit within us helps us to know we did wrong and to repent and humbly tell the Lord we
    are sorry and Then our Lord forgives all over again.

    Now lets talk about someone who says they are saved but refuses to change their ways and keep on doing the same thing over and over while saying " its ok im saved ill still get into heaven" if this person does this willingly and does not repent then it is by their own doing they are distancing themselves from our Lord and in doing this could be in danger of losing their salvation...however this is between that person and the Lord and only God
    knows what the outcome will be.

    There is only one unforgiveable sin and that is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
    Matthew12:31-32 Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit wll not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word
    against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven Him,either in this age or in the age to come.

    As long as we Have Jesus in our lives and know that it is by His shedding of blood, dieing on the cross and rising again that we have not only forgiveness but eternal life and then once we know this and recieve Him as Lord and Savior we can then put our faith into works and pratice obeying the laws He has set before us. and always with a repentent heart come before Him when we stumble or fall knowing He will forgive us. We have salvation through Jesus and I believe it will never be lost.

    I hope this helps some..if you have any more questions feel free to pm me here on the Talk Jesus site anytime. May God's blessings multiply more abundantly upon you than you could ever imagine and May He keep you now and always!
     
  8. Who are you referring to what you say "they"? And what are you referring to when you say "right ones"?

    And thank you AbbysAunt, I will PM you now.

    I should have said: thank you also stephen and james g for your responses.
     
  9. These are some of the questions I have about AbbysAunt's reply

    What exactly does this mean practically?

    Is believing the same as knowing. Sometimes I start to question everything I know. At that point it can be very hard for me to say "I know without a doubt Jesus bled and died". But for the main part I still believe he did. Is that good enough?

    I do recognise constantly things in my life that are sin and work at getting them out through prayer and discipline. I know there are some areas which I feel like are mostly under control in me and others which are still needing attention. I think I have an attitude of repentance. I accept that I am a sinner. Is that good enough?

    How do I know if I have Jesus in my life? Practically. I am having a bout of frustration with Christian terms and phrases. I need you to tell me what these terms mean on the most basic, practical level.

    I was baptised in water. So I'm confident that that is the "born of water part" but again, what is the: born of Spirit, part? How are we "born of the spirit"? How do we "receive the Spirit"? How does Jesus "breathe on us"? What is the Holy Spirit practically? I know it is part of the trinity, but what is it practically? Is it a spirit as in a being or a spirit as in attitude or disposition. My NIV study bible says in the notes on Judges 9:23 "The Hebrew for "spirit" is often used to describe an attitude or disposition." So is Holy Spirit the same as a holy attitude or disposition?

    I have heard this spoken about plenty of times before but I still don't understand it. Blasphemy is defined by some as 1- irreverence towards God, 2- cursing God, or 3- "taking God's name in vain". As you may guess by my quotations marks, I don't understand what "taking God's name in vain" means; what does it mean practically. And which of the 3 is it. And how do we do it against the Holy Spirit?

    Thank you again to AbbysAunt and everyone else helping me out here.
     
  10. #10 james g, May 29, 2011
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
     
  11. Thank you, I will.
     
  12. "I started believing, going to church, praying to God and reading and studying my bible in May 2003 then was baptized in August that year. I thought I became Christian then and born again and saved or whatever label you like."

    Just curious--Have you been persistent in reading, studying, seeking the Lord since 2003, ( 8 Years ),??

    Happy
     
  13. I have had all sorts of times since 2003. Pesistent? Not if you mean keeping the same intensity I had when I was first saved. But there have been times that I have been more persistent / higher intensity than when I was first saved. There have been times when I have been less so. Right now it's been 6 months and I've only been to Sunday church maybe twice? But I've been to every bible study (every Thursday except for holidays) in that time. Earlier this year for 3 months I was reading the bible every day. That dropped away a little recently but I try to do it whenever I remember. Persistent in "seeking"? I'm not sure exactly what that means.
     
  14. -What is the difference between being a Christian, born again, saved etc, IS there a difference at all?
    A person who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is a Christian. Born again is the initial conversion to Christianity, I believe. A person is not saved until Jesus comes back to rapture the Saints. Until that happens, they are not saved YET, but they are Christians.

    -What determines whether you are one or all of those labels (Christian, born again, saved)? When you believe and have evidence of the Holy Spirit in you, convicting you of sin, teaching you, changing your heart. You will have assurance of salvation when the Holy Spirit is in your heart. You will know you belong to Jesus and you will not fear Judgment.

    -Can you lose your salvation?
    Yes, without a doubt. There are many verses in the Bible that say a person can fall away, be blotted from the Book of Life, cast away, sin unto death, etc. Jesus says that those who "endure till the end" will be saved. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That does not mean we can just keep on sinning and asking Him to forgive us and then go out and sin again though-if a person continues in sin, without the Holy Spirit convicting them, or keeping them from temptation, then one has to wonder if they were truly saved to begin with.
     
  15. Migdala: Thanks for your time to respond to me.
     
  16. Sometimes the enemy (satan) plants thoughts in the believer's head that he or she is not saved. I have heard of this happening a lot. If you love the Lord and you are serving Him, have the willingness to serve Him, want to please Him, then "you be His"!

    Was there a time that, upon believing upon Him, you turned to Him to forgive you of all your sins and turned to Him in prayer and asked Him to be the Lord of your life? If so, you are saved! Salvation is in the Lord! Praise GOD.

    If you never had that time of salvation, then...there's always right now!
     
  17. #17 Shutterbug, Jun 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
    Good morning Miss Mree;

    Faith, Hope, Trust, Confidence. Many disciples of different religions insist that they are right, and all others are wrong. Can I prove that there is a God? No. Can I prove that Jesus is my Redeemer? No. Can I prove there is a Paradise or Hell? No. If I have lived my life honourably trusting God to be my guide and I am wrong, I have nothing to lose. If I am not wrong, I let others dwell on what they think is best.

    Can we lose our salvation? I believe we can distance ourselves from God as Lucifer did. I really don't know Luv, but my only suggestion is if you really believe that God wants you as his child and you're happy with the consequences which go with that responsibility, go for it. Either way, you have nothing to lose and can at least be a good example while doing so. Phil 4:8.

    This may not address your concerns, but I want to get you thinking along the lines of "God does exist because I have the fruit to show for my faith in him". There is a saying that states we rise to the levels of our own incompetence. Christianity is no different. Do whatever you think is best.
     
  18. Hello.

    The problem with any group of Christians is that they are all on their own journey too and nobody's perfect yet. Unfortunately this means they don't have all the answers and may say things that are confusing or hurtful, without even meaning to.
    This is unfortunate.

    When I was first saved I also had a whole heap of questions and always have, as I've gone along in my walk with God. I got myself a bible and a concordance and looked up the things I didn't know. Most importantly I would always ask more than one person because the more wise people you ask the better chance you have of finding the right answer.

    Write your questions down and go through them one at a time. Look at it as a learning experience, to get better aquainted with the bible. It's an adventure. Take them to God and pray for wisdom, James 1:5, and you will find the answers.

    PS: There are still some questions I don't feel %100 percent sure of even though I've researched them a lot. Like predestination, for example... so I leave it up to God - knowing that in the end he'll work it out anyway.

    All the best,
    late4dinner
     
  19. I am still reading this thread and appreciative of your responses. Thanks. I'm also a little sick with a sore throat and super tired so I'm not thinking very deeply right now but I wanted to make sure you knew that you time in replying was not wasted.

    All the best :)
     
  20. There's a huge difference between legalistic Christianity and true Christianity. As the early twentieth century evangelist Billy Sunday said, "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car."

    Salvation is both an event and a process. It begins with an event - the decision to receive Jesus. but, as Paul points out in Php 2:12-13, there is also a development process involved. Your salvation can't be taken from you, but it is possible for one to let go of it if he/she is not anchored in Jesus.

    Spirit Led Ed (SLE)
     

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