Understanding the Christian Life

  • June 15, 2017
Thursday 15

Galatians 1:11-17

Have you ever wondered why some new Christians seem to soar in their new-found relationship with the Lord while others nosedive within a few weeks? Let’s consider what makes the difference.

Those of us who have been Christians for a long time might forget that salvation involves a change not only in lifestyle but also in thinking and understanding. Shortly after encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul pulled away to Arabia for a time. Before the apostle could start his ministry, his mind had to be reprogrammed, so he needed to learn from the Lord (Rom. 12:2). Similarly, new believers coming into faith with old misconceptions need to understand what salvation really means.

Let’s look at some terms that help explain what is meant by “being saved”:

Born again (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17). New birth means new life. It implies starting over; the old life isn’t simply renovated but is actually replaced by a new one.

Converted (1 Thess. 1:9). Converting something means changing it, like money that’s exchanged from one currency to another, or energy that’s changed from one form to another. The Christian life must involve change.

Receiving Christ (John 1:12). We often think of salvation as something God gives us, but it is more than that. When someone trusts in Christ, that person welcomes the Lord to live within his or her heart.

Think about how you thought and lived before you knew the Savior, as compared with now. In what ways do you see genuine change? Ask God to reveal areas in which the life of Christ needs to become more evident.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 23-28

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11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it;

14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.

15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased

16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,

17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

3 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

1 The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.

2 For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the rivers.

3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place?

4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully.

5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6 This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face-- even Jacob. Selah.

7 Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!

8 Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.

9 Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!

10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.

1 To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

2 O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me.

3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

4 Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.

5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.

6 Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old.

7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.

8 Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.

9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.

10 All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

11 For Your name's sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

12 Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

13 His soul will abide in prosperity, And his descendants will inherit the land.

14 The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant.

15 My eyes are continually toward the LORD, For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted.

17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses.

18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins.

19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many, And they hate me with violent hatred.

20 Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.

21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.

22 Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all his troubles.

1 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, And I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.

2 Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.

3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.

4 I do not sit with deceitful men, Nor will I go with pretenders.

5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, And I will not sit with the wicked.

6 I shall wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Your altar, O LORD,

7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders.

8 O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells.

9 Do not take my soul away along with sinners, Nor my life with men of bloodshed,

10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; Redeem me, and be gracious to me.

12 My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD.

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?

2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.

3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.

4 One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.

5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.

6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me.

8 When You said, Seek My face," my heart said to You, Your face, O LORD, I shall seek."

9 Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!

10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the LORD will take me up.

11 Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes.

12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.

13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.

14 Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.

1 To You, O LORD, I call; My rock, do not be deaf to me, For if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit.

2 Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help, When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

3 Do not drag me away with the wicked And with those who work iniquity, Who speak peace with their neighbors, While evil is in their hearts.

4 Requite them according to their work and according to the evil of their practices; Requite them according to the deeds of their hands; Repay them their recompense.

5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD Nor the deeds of His hands, He will tear them down and not build them up.

6 Blessed be the LORD, Because He has heard the voice of my supplication.

7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

8 The LORD is their strength, And He is a saving defense to His anointed.

9 Save Your people and bless Your inheritance; Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.

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Publish Date December 15, 2017
Receiving Answers to Our Prayers

We can trust God to answer our prayers if we desire His will and believe He is faithful.

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