All eyes are directed towards you; it appears as if all Christians you know have the innate ability to recognize and differentiate between new members and old and lapsed members by their very words.
Of course you know one’s spiritual maturity is nothing to be embarrassed nor boasted about, but still there is something about being the person asking the question that no one else is.
But how could you not ask when it is impossible to quench the desire within you to know more about God? So, here are seven questions asked and answered.
1) I know God forgives, but could He even forgive what I have done?
Don’t believe the lies of the enemy who would love nothing more than to see you stay lost. Accepting God and living for Him sets you free from your past, no matter how awful or painful it was.
According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, when you are in Christ you are “a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Stop thinking about and rehashing the past!
Once you have confessed, God is faithful to forgive. Simply remember Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgression from us”.
2) How do I know I’m saved?
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8-9.
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16.
“…unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9.
Salvation comes by faith, repentance and confession. Once you have accepted the gift of God, turned away from sins, and confessed Jesus Christ and believe that He was resurrected (our victor over condemnation and death), you are saved. How do we know we are saved? Matt 3:8 Do those things that prove you have turned to God and have changed the way you think and act.
3) Three persons, one God? I don’t get it.
In 1 Corinthians 12:12, Paul speaks about the body of Christ (the Church), explaining that it has many members, one body; one body, one function.
God is a title (think surname) for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who have existed long before the war in heaven, the creation of the Earth and the first human sin, and the birth of God incarnate. Each has their own name and distinct characteristics and purpose pertaining to their relationship with humanity, but together they are God having one function and the same mission.
Another way I have heard the Trinity explained is through the usage of Neapolitan ice cream. Three different ice cream flavours–chocolate, vanilla and strawberry–all independent on their own, having distinct characteristics and names, but put together they only have one name–Neapolitan. Three ice-cream flavours, one name. Three persons (many members), One God (one body).
4) Habakkuk? Is that a real person?
Please open your Bibles to… Not knowing where to find a book or story in the Bible does not mean your salvation will be revoked. The fact is, some books (particularly amidst the Minor Prophets) are difficult to find and further, the knowledge of the Bible cannot be conquered in a lifetime.
Turn to the first few pages of your Bible and look at the chapter listing to discover if a particular book is in the Old or New Testament and/or ask someone nearby, no shame. Take your time and learn by letting the Spirit lead.
5) Do I really have to give that up? Isn’t God all about love, forgiveness and grace?
Yes, God is all about love, forgiveness and grace. He will even meet you where you are, even in the darkest crevices of the earth. However, when He comes to you with an outstretched hand, He beckons with the expectation that you will follow and leave the place where He found you.
If what you are clinging to impedes your relationship with Christ, hindering you from developing a stronger relationship with Him, whatever it is, it is better to pray for help and the strength to eliminate it from your life than to lose out on the ultimate gift of eternal life; A life with Him who loves in a way that human language cannot express; A life that was only granted to us through Christ paying the ultimate price. Your Father loves you to much to leave you in the bondage He found you in.
6) Christians and fun, do those two words even go together?
Yes! Considering we serve Him who created laughter, it would be impossible for Christians not to have fun. We must simply rediscover fun through the eyes of God.
The fact is, your definition of fun will change when you become a Christian—fun will no longer be about seeking pleasure that separates us or has the potential to separate us from God; it will result from being in the presence of our Heavenly Father who alone grants us true joy. You can thoroughly enjoy yourself without having to leave your faith, beliefs and Saviour at the door.
7) I don’t understand why that person was so mean to me at church, aren’t they supposed to be Christian?
Many of us have been hurt, disappointed or shocked by the actions of those professed members of our churches. However, believer or non-believer, the truth is we all have bad days.
It is often difficult to understand the hurtful actions of others, but our response, although it may not come easy at first, should always be one filled with love.
On the other side of the coin, Romans 9:6 reads that, “they are not all Israel who are Israel” or, to put it slightly differently, not everyone who says they are a Christian are Christian. This is why it is important that we only look to Christ for our example lest by the actions of others we leave the church or we neglect to pray for each other and show grace, love and compassion to others.
While every Christian should live such lives that we are good examples and are able to say like Paul in 1Co 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. There will be Christians who never seem to get it right when it comes to treating others. Notice that Paul said imitate me as I imitate Christ, in other words follow those actions which reflect Christ.
It is okay to say “I don’t know”. Sure, you may come across scoffers, eye rollers or those who may pass judgment on your spiritual and biblical knowledge, but the fact is God is infinite and seeking Him will involve never-ending questions—kind of like a child who keeps asking ‘why’ after every answer their parent gives them.
As a Christian, whether you have been in the Church for one month or forty years, you never stop learning and growing.
~ By Delnita McDavid