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4 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2010 - 3:26AM #1
Ripper
Posts: 7

Dear All,


 


I have been attracted to Christianity for many  years now. The issue is that I am of a sceptical nature and only really  travel down that path when my life is not so crash hot. Please tell me  how I can develop faith and really take this whole thing seriously? What  is a good first point to practice in order to see if I can be a  Christian?


 


H

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2010 - 4:10PM #2
Kodiacman
Posts: 2,541

Apr 1, 2010 -- 3:26AM, Ripper wrote:


Dear All,


 


I have been attracted to Christianity for many years now. The issue is that I am of a sceptical nature and only really travel down that path when my life is not so crash hot. Please tell me how I can develop faith and really take this whole thing seriously? What is a good first point to practice in order to see if I can be a Christian?


 


H





Ripper,


I admire your pursuit in wanting to know more about faith particularily Christianity. I read you opening post and pulled up your profile. I like you am a middle aged male who is skeptical by nature as well. The best way I can describe my life is that I was aiming for the ground and I was not going to miss and as a result I left a smoking hole in the ground where my life used to be, I was an addict, depressed, divorced, chronic back pain ect. I found Jesus in a real way. That was 8+ years ago an my life has not been the same since.


A bit more of my history and how I ended up here in Christianity- I went to church as a young man and I always had a high regard for Christianity and yet I had no connection to a personal God. As a result I wandered away/ left the church and tried eastern mysticism. This was a more abject failure than my weak childhood Christianity. I found that although I did not have a personal connection to God as a young man I still was much better off when I practiced Christianity as opposed to the practices of eastern mysticism. It was this practical usefulness that drew me back to God.


I will tell you this that as a skeptic I have to sometimes 'shut my brain off' so that I can listen to my heart. The Bible is soothing to my heart but my head cannot understand it. This is normal and to be expected. Let us read what the Bible tells us in Corinthians


When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.


1 Cor 2:13-15 (NLT)


God speaks to me in my heart. It is the same closeness you feel with a loved one when you can communicate to them without words. It is as if you are talking heart to heart. This is how God speaks to us in our Spirit or in our hearts and this is the means of how we can know Him personally.


So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.


Romans 8:15-17 (NLT)



the personalness of God is Jesus Christ. Jesus promises to come into our lives and be with us, He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. He promised that we can know God in a real and personal intimate way. He wants to redeem us from the power of sin and death. We can know that we are His children. You can know that right now if you desire. It is a simple prayer to admit you are not able to run your life well and that you need His help. It is a prayer of humility that states I have made a mess of my life and I need Jesus's help to make it through. I get out of the drivers seat and I give Jesus the keys to my life to drive me wherever He desires. this is frightening and liberating. By getting out of the drivers seat I am not in control and this is a bit panicky and at the same time I am at rest knowing I do not have to do it all.There is a peace and a love that is evident in my heart as I surrender to Jesus and let Him drive. This is the action of faith that I had mentioned earlier in my post. You can know today that you are saved. God promises to reveal Himself. This may not be evident at first but we will see it as we continually pursue Him. Wow this is longer than I had anticipated. God even now is speaking to your heart and calling out to you.....I am encouraged by your willingness to come here and ask questions, you are in a good place...


I know this is a lot of information and that this will generate more questions so feel free to come back. this is a great place as we have great wisdom here and a lot of genuine people who care. We are all on a journey like you, we may be in different seasons and this helps us all as we are a community to help one another.


blessings


mark


If someone wants to doubt the existence of Jesus, my experience is that no evidence or argument will change his mind. Such is the nature of skepticism.~Editor fourth R
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 02, 2010 - 11:47AM #3
Eliascomes
Posts: 916

Apr 1, 2010 -- 3:26AM, Ripper wrote:


Dear All,


 


I have been attracted to Christianity for many years now. The issue is that I am of a sceptical nature and only really travel down that path when my life is not so crash hot. Please tell me how I can develop faith and really take this whole thing seriously? What is a good first point to practice in order to see if I can be a Christian?


 


H




 First you must forgive all whom had done wrong to you, I mean all, past, present, and future. And you must understand them from their parents point of view why have they done wrong to you. And you must believe in all what is written in the scriptures, without any doubt. Try your best to follow the O.T. Laws. Don't be part takers to any type of gossip or lies, even though you haven't started it, but you had help passed it on down. These are some of the sacrifices that can help your journey. Once you've shown yourself how serious that you wanted to be with God, you'll start hearing and seeing him in all different types of places.  

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 02, 2010 - 11:28PM #4
birwin4
Posts: 570

I appreciate your honesty. I would suggest that you say something to God even though you are not sure he exists and ask him, if he exists, to come to you through another person or some happening.


You might also start reading John's gospel in the Bible.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2010 - 7:42PM #5
sincerly
Posts: 4,049

Apr 1, 2010 -- 3:26AM, Ripper wrote:

  Dear All,  I have been attracted to Christianity for many years now. The issue is that I am of a sceptical nature and only really travel down that path when my life is not so crash hot. Please tell me how I can develop faith and really take this whole thing seriously? What is a good first point to practice in order to see if I can be a Christian?  H  



Dear "H"/Ripper,  Christianity is a love relationship with the Creator God of all one sees and don't see.  That God will not remove all doubt from you. But, HE will draw all to Himself in order for the one to understand that all one sees is vanity without that proper relationship to GOD.


One will not "take this whole thing seriously" until one is seeking to know the Creator God with all the heart, being, and life. Why? Because there is another being who will continually press the things which please one as the one is presently situated in this world. "The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" are powerful obstacles to block one's attainment of that needed Relationship with the LORD OF ALL.


Faith and skepticism/doubt are opposites.  The suggestions concerning the scriptures are well and good. Without some hearing and seeing about the Creator GOD, One has no foundation to persue the search to "FIND HIM". Therefore One needs to  determine if it is fisable for something to come from nothing----ALL that is seen, and then focus on the Why. Rom.1:17-20 will get you started. Genesis 1 and John 1 will help you along your path to a proper relationship with the AWESOME GOD

Peace,   Sincerly.      As long as sin is practiced, one will search for a means to validate the continuing therein. ANON

The greatest want of the world is the want of men--men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.---- ANON  (Ellen G. White. 1882)
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4 years ago  ::  May 04, 2010 - 8:15PM #6
Rgurley4
Posts: 8,653

 


The "ABC"'s of Becoming a Christian ??


A = ADMIT that there is a Tri-Une God, and that you are not in a good relationship with Him.
You fall short in pleasing Him, and you need some spiritual help...( a Sinner in need of a Savior)


B = BELIEVE that God the Father unconditionally loved you so much that He lowered himself to become God the Man, Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, who became a substitute for and savior fromYOUR shortcomings. You may have tried to be perfect. You could not. Jesus was. He paid the price.
He and you were placed next to God the Father who was satisfied. Your spirit was awakened. You were indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. You were forgiven. You were "saved". Jesus saves.


C = CHANGE spiritually by being allowed to be a believing Christ Follower / Disciple. Read a good STUDY Bible. Seek out and fellowsip in a Bible teaching church. Grow in your faith and practice under the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit (given at the time of your "salvation") and fellow believers.


-------------------------------------------


A = ADMIT:...Read the Good News in John's Gospel, and take a walk with Paul...Read Romans...the road


John 1:18 (NIV)...The Tri-Une God revealed to man by the historical appearance of Jesus of Nazareth, The Messiah
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (Jesus),
who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He (Jesus the Son) was with God (the Father and God the Holy Spirit) in the beginning.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,(Jesus)
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.


 Romans 3: 20-26 (NIV).......for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law;
rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
There is no difference...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...,
24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.
He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance
____he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
26 (and) he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time,
so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.


--------------------------------------------


B= BELIEVE...allow God the Holy Spirit to draw your spirit to a spiritual and saving FAITH


Romans 10...Saved by FAITH
...the word of FAITH we are proclaiming:
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
and BELIEVE in your heart (spirit/soul) that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified,
and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved....
for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."...
FAITH comes from hearing the message (good news = gospel) , and the message is heard through the word of Christ.


FAITH / BELIEF is used over 200 times in the Bible as the sole requirement to finding and following God.


Acts 16: 30-31 (NIV)
Paul and Silas...He then brought them out and asked,
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved
—you and your household."


1 Peter 3:18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous(Jesus) for the unrighteous (us),
to bring you to God.
He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,


Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith
—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.


John 3:16 (NIV)...John 3
For God so (UNCONDITIONALLY) loved the world that He gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.


'You must be born again (spiritually).'
The wind blows wherever it pleases.
You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
So it is with everyone born of the Spirit....
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert,
so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.


The Tri-Une God doesn't MAKE us LOVE (agape) Him. ("free will though God is all")
But through the gift of GRACE, He ASKS that we BELIEVE in Him = ~"saving FAITH"
which will then lead to LOVING / LEARNING about  Him = ~"growing FAITH"
which will then lead to OBEYING Him = ~"mature FAITH to return LOVE"


------------------------------------------


C = CHANGE ...as a spiritually alive BELIEVER, you will have guidance, forgiveness, fruits, growth, etc...etc.


Romans 8....Life Through the Spirit
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.
And by him we cry, "Abba, (Daddy) Father."
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,
 if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
38 For I am convinced that
neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


2 Corinthians 5 (NIV)
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.
Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.


John 14: 25-27 (NIV) Jesus: to his 11 Disciples at the last Supper...
25 "All this I have spoken while still with you.
26 But the Counselor (comforter), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


1 John 1: 8-9 (NIV)...Forgiveness for Believers
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


Galatians 5:13 (NIV) Freedom and Life in Christ
13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature;
rather, serve one another in love.
14 The entire law (among Believers) is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
23 Against such things there is no law.
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.


1 Peter 2:2-3 (KJV)
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.


Hebrews 5: 11-12 (NIV)
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.
12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers,
you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again.
You need milk, not solid food!
13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.


 

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