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I'm a new believer and have a lot of questions

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    Originally posted by sink View Post
    I have always honestly tried my hardest to be a good person. I have just never done it for the purpose of God or religion.
    Sink, you need to be clear about one thing. Without a genuine relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Lord and Savior, all your efforts at being good will result in nothing. The fact remains that you have sinned and God sees you as a sinner who needs salvation.

    Originally posted by sink View Post
    But I guess it seems like it's important to be a Godly person to be thankful and obedient to God.
    No one can be a Godly person without God being within that person. And the only way that this can happen is:

    1. You honestly admit to God that you are a sinner and you will cannot save yourself or be good enough for Heaven,
    2. You believe with all your heart that Christ is God, who suffered and died for all your personal sins on the cross.
    3. You believe with all your heart that Christ rose again for your justification (so that God could forgive all your sins and declare you to be righteous with the righteousness of Christ).
    4. You genuinely and sincerely turn away from ALL your sins and your sinning.
    5. You receive (invite) the Lord Jesus by asking Him to save you and to become your own Lord and Savior (which means giving your life over to Him completely).
    6. It is only after you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ that you are saved, and receive the Holy Spirit (when you receive Christ), who will give you the New Birth.
    7. It is only after you have been born again that you must be baptized as a believer.

      After #3 -- turn To God

      Ephesians 2: 8 & 9

      After thanking God for His gift of salvation, we'll want to share this decision with others -- getting involved in a Bible teaching church will be a good thing. Share with the pastor your decision for salvation. At some point, you'll probably feel led to learn about believers' baptism and joining a church. But these decisions are Not part of salvation.

      Having your own Bible -- maybe a NKJV -- that you can read every day will be good. Get involved with a Sunday School class -- one that is studying God's Word.

        I want to remind you of a couple of things. "for the first time ever felt God's presence in my life." Is a great statement. Just make sure feeling God's presence is not all you do. He requires a couple of things of us, and the greatest is love. Love for him, and his son. Next is repentance, which comes from confession, and apology, as well as a will to do God's will. Take time to actually love God, to silence yourself and love him. As you learn to love, and listen to God, you should see a growing will to become better.

        There is no good sin, it is by sin that we are condemned. God hates all sin, and all make us worthy of hell. He does, however, forgive sin, with sincere apology, and according to his will. Scriptures tell us we're born in sin, and no one is righteous. Believing you are a good person is a lie. God is the truth, so he alone is good. All truth done through us is literally the work of God.

        Take time to love God, and he will love you back. Grow, and he'll help you out. Also, don't think that you will have to stop sinning for salvation. This can't happen, since we are born in it. This makes us perpetual sinners. The result is our need for daily repentance.

          Well -- we get our love From God. We love God because He first loved us.

          A person needs to believe that God exists -- and that His Son, Jesus Christ, died for our sins and rose again after 3 days. Be still and know that He is God.

          As a result of salvation, we will Want to obey God. It will come naturally. And the Holy Spirit will indwell the new believer and be our conscience, teacher, guide, the giver of inner peace.

          Reading your Bible and praying / talking with God will promote spiritual growth as will taking time to meet with other believers on a regular basis. Like attending a Bible-teaching church every week. Get to know other believers and fellowship with them. Encouraging each other.

            Originally posted by David Lee View Post
            Hi Sink, our salvation is actually from "sin", and in particular, from our sinful selves. God's intention from the beginning was that we be should be like Him as His sons/daughters, which is why He made us in His image (an image that He is, in fact, laboring to return us to :)). The fact that we are saved from His wrath, and thereby saved from Hell, is certainly an added benefit, but that's not the reason or purpose that God has in saving us.

            Ephesians 1
            4 He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
            5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will
            6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

            God changed you when He made you into a Christian .. e.g. Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10, and the HS now indwells and empowers you .. e.g. Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16, which is why the continuation of some of your old, sinful ways is bothering you, and even scaring you (even though you say that you don't believe those particular sins to be "harmful or disruptive"). God has a FAR higher standard, intention, and expectation for those of us who are His (as you just read above), so you need to repent/turn away from those old sins which remain*, once and for all.

            *You know that this sinful behavior is wrong, behavior that you're trying to justify because you've allowed your old self/old nature to rule your life instead of the Holy Spirit. So, when you are tempted by pornography and/or the desire to get drunk, you need to resist the urge to do so by immediately taking those sinful thoughts captive to Christ (and let Him deal with them for you .. 2 Corinthians 10:5 .. again and again, if necessary)! You need to "delight" yourself in Him instead .. Psalm 37:4, and begin to "treasure" His word in your heart to help you keep your way pure before Him .. Psalm 119:9-11.

            Sadly, we will continue to sin at times for the rest of our lives (until we finally shed our old nature in death), but continuing in sin as a "lifestyle" choice is something that we Christians simply must not do. Rather, our 24/7 concern should always be about how we can please and obey God, and in how we can bring Him glory, honor and praise in all that we do, say and think .. e.g Matthew 5:16.

            In Christ,
            p.s. - if you've ever wondered what the will of God is, well, here you go:

            1 Thessalonians 4
            3 This is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;
            4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
            5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God.
            Nice job on this post David Lee.
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