HOW DO CHRISTIANS HANDLE CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES AFTER BEING SAVED

     “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.”

Deuteronomy 7:9-11 KJV

In Christianity, born again refers to a, spiritual rebirth, regeneration of the human soul, contrasted with the physical birth everyone experiences. The origin of the term “born again” is the New Testament, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 KJV  It is a term associated with salvation in Christianity. When a person accepts Jesus as the Messiah and receives the Holy Spirit, a radical change of heart occurs. The Bible says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 KJV  This change is marked by the fruits of an intense aversion to sin and passion for obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ, as outlined in the Christian scriptures. In the Bible it says, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:16-20 KJV  Many associate the term, “born again” with the revelation of a new concept, or an experience of conversion, defined as mental assent to the acceptance of Jesus Christ as one’s personal Saviour, though this experience or mental assent is not alone sufficient to merit Christian salvation but rather repentance, the aforementioned “new birth” of the Holy Spirit, and faith in Jesus Christ’s propitiation for sins. Becoming a Christian requires change. We must remove old habits and develop new ones. Using Bible principles to help us improve ourselves: faith, love, repentance, Bible study, prayer, avoiding temptation, and patience. God’s word is the best source of guidance for self-help and motivation for self-improvement. Have you ever had difficulty trying to change a habit? Human beings are creatures of habit. We tend to continue acting as we have acted in the past. Like a river flowing through a canyon, the longer a habit continues, the more deeply it becomes ingrained, and the harder it is to change. This is true of all habits, good or bad. The Bible says, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 KJV  Old practices and attitudes must be replaced by new ones. Christians must learn good habits like Bible study, prayer, love, faith, patience, attending church meetings, giving, teaching others, etc. We must also eliminate bad habits like foul language, uncontrolled temper, gambling, drugs, drinking, gossip, lying, pornography, sexual promiscuity, etc. Knowing what changes to make is not enough. We also need to know how to make them. Change does not come easily. Since the Scriptures provide us to all good works, they give all the guidance we need. The Bible says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV  God’s word is the best source of guidance for self-help and motivation for self-improvement. Anther question arises, to what extent are Christians free not to sin? When we get “Born Again,” do we just sin a little less than unbelieving sinners? Do we still, sin in word, thought, and deed, every moment of every day? Is this the best we can hope for in Christ? God’s judgment of sin is transparent and emphatic. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). We see where the wages of sin will lead us, and we see that sin can still be a peril to those that wish to spurn the grace of God. This fact implies that Christians can keep from sinning, but what else does the Bible say about sin and the Christian? One of the plainest statements to whether we can choose to sin or not is the promise in the Bible, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV  We are promised that God will not allow a temptation to be so strong that we cannot resist it. Temptation is a test of character where we show forth where our hearts really are. It will show whether we are in Christ or not. In this promise of God’s help, we are without excuse if we fail. We have God’s word, His promise, that never, ever, will anything come along that we cannot overcome by His grace!  Changing our conduct becomes much easier when we are totally dedicated to God’s service. As we face each decision in life, we should ask, “What would Jesus do?” This will give us strong motivation to change our lives. Lack of motivation is a major reason people do not change to please God. They do not have sufficient desire to change. Instead they want to please themselves or their friends and family. Often they are too concerned with the things of this life. But when we are determined that serving God is our most important purpose in life, then we will find the means to make the necessary changes. When we lack the motivation to change, let us think about why we should love God, think about the importance of being like Christ, and think about our eternal destiny. People sometimes convince themselves, “I just can’t change. It’s too late. Besides, I’m only human.” They are not just belittling themselves; they are denying God’s word. They will fail simply because they will give up instead of persisting to use God’s power. If you commit yourself to the Lord and trust Him, He will accomplish His will for you. No matter how strong a temptation you face, no matter how long you have practiced a sin, if God says to change, you can change. The Bible says, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalms 37:5 KJV   To succeed in God’s work, meditate on God’s word. List the pertinent Bible passages about each habit you need to change. List reasons why you should change. Meditate on these verses daily, filling your mind with them. Sin requires repentance. Repentance is a change of mind, a determined commitment to cease sin and obey God. Before one can change his conduct, he must change his mind. We must devise to do good, not evil. God’s example demonstrates the importance of planning. He purposed man’s redemption, the church, the temple, etc. Likewise, God’s servants need to have a plan to succeed in His service. Prayer is essential in two ways. A child of God should pray for forgiveness. If you are not yet a child of God, you need to believe in Jesus, repent of sins, confess Christ, and be baptized to be forgiven of sins. When you have done those things, you become a child of God. If you sin afterward, you need to pray for forgiveness. Then pray for God’s help. Ask God to “deliver us from evil.” Tell God exactly what your problem is. Pray often and regularly. Pray especially at the moment when you face temptation. God has promised that, if you ask His help, He will hear and answer. The Bible says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 KJV   Christians should confess their faults to one another so they can pray for one another. We should bear one another’s burdens. Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work. Abundant, steadfast work is needed. Do not just put off the old man. Put on the new man. Speak truth instead of falsehood, work and give to others instead of stealing, speak good instead of evil, show kindness and forgiveness instead of anger and bitterness. We should pray, “lead us not into temptation.” If we pray this, surely we obligate ourselves to avoid people, places, and situations that tempt us. Do not worry about tomorrow. Today’s temptations will be enough to handle today. Handle tomorrow’s temptations tomorrow, if tomorrow comes. We receive eternal life if we continue patiently in well-doing. We must be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work. By using the means God provides, you can change to be what He wants. He gives motivation, guidance, and encouragement. All that is left is for you to determine to follow His will and then diligently act on that decision. He provides the tools. You must use them. What choice will you make? When problems arise, our first duty is to bring them to Him in prayer. He may show us that we’ve created our own difficulty, and may show that we must make changes to resolve it. He’ll grant forgiveness and give the strength to change. Only God has enough energy and wisdom to handle everything well. Worry will gradually lose its hold on our lives if we learn to stop playing God. So why not open up your heart today to Jesus Christ, because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood to pay the penalty for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger


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One Response to HOW DO CHRISTIANS HANDLE CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES AFTER BEING SAVED

  1. Marsha says:

    Stay at The Cross. God made it so simple, a child can live it. Faith anchored in what Jesus Christ accomplished at Calvary. Salvation- being the Most Important and Everything for your life and living. Everything. From Genesis to Revelation– the whole Book of the Bible is pointing towards and back to the Cross. Paul said, we Preach, Christ and Christ Crucified. Jesus laid down his life, He said, ‘No one takes it from me, I lay it down, freely.’

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