By Raymond Butler, East Ridge church of Christ
The Moore American
MOORE — Greetings Moore American readers. Thank you for joining us today as we study from the Word of God. We will study the scriptures for our pattern today. How does an individual become a Christian?
The greatest blessing we have ever been allotted by God is the opportunity to become one of His children — not just a child of creation, but a “spiritual” child.
Romans 8:14-17 acknowledges this: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
These scriptures also tells us what kind of relationship we have with God as He is our “Abba” and our “Father.” Abba is an Aramaic word of which is followed in each case (Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6) by its Greek equivalent, which is translated “Father.”
The word Father, and our relationship toward God in this expression, designate the necessity of respect and honor. It was Christ who required this of us by stating in His exemplary prayer in Matthew 6:9, 13 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
It was Christ who emphasized and taught us to show proper respect and honor to God as the Father. If Christ did so in his life, should we not also do the same? God has earned our respect by creating us and bringing to us salvation through His Son (Ephesians 1:3).
To respect and honor God as our Father is to obey Him. In 1 Chronicles 28:9, David, Solomon’s earthly father, encouraged Solomon to recognize his heavenly Father in this manner, “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”
Can we say we know the Father? Those who truly know Him, obey Him. This is true respect and honor to God as our Father. Every waking moment of our life, each Christian stands before our Father. Romans 12:1 tell us we must be a “living sacrifice” before Him. That requires us to show proper respect and reverence to our heavenly Father all the time — in prayer, in worship and in life (Colossians 3:16-17).
If someone questions the importance of little things, all they have to do is quit doing the simple thing of putting oil in their vehicle. I find the same application whenever it comes to spiritual life as well. People want to be respected, but some do not want to put effort into the little things that will gain everyone’s respect. People want to be saved and go to heaven, but some do not want to follow the steps the Bible teaches (1 Peter 2:21).
Jesus had an interesting discussion with a rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-26) who was assertive. Mathew 19:16-22 “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”
Whenever you consider what Jesus asked the young man to do, the effort in the task was very small, but the resistance to doing so in the young man’s heart was very great. The same effect seems to play out whenever people are told how to be saved.
The Bible is very clear and plain about how we can receive salvation. We need to believe that Christ is the Son of God (John 3:16; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36-38; Romans 10:9-10).
We need to repent of our sins (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38). We need to be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 9:18, 10:48, 16:15, 16:31-33; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-12; 1 Peter 3:21). Some try to take shortcuts to these steps because they do not want to do the little things that God requires for their salvation.
But, you, dear American readers, now have the scriptural knowledge you need to be saved, so what will you do? Please don’t let Satan cause you to hesitate in your obedience today.
God bless you and we love you.
Join us this Lord’s Day Worship is at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and mid-week on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at 728 S.E. 12th Street Moore.