...they are blood-washed saints, they were justified when they came directly to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith.
Christians bare Christian fruit during the sanctification process, as they grow in knowledge and obedience to Him.
Repentance is one of those fruits, so is discernment of evil, as well as putting off childish things.
Christians fellowship with Christ through the study and personal application of the scriptures, they also enjoy fellowship with fellow believers; where their spirit bears witness with His Spirit.
Few enter the narrow gate alone, forsaking their worldly baggage and selfish lusts for temporary pleasures and possessions; and even few stay on the narrow path where the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are rejected and diffused by the Word of God springing up from within the transformed believer who loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Satan is the master counterfeiter, and he has successfully blinded and distracted a great many who heard the Gospel message; the parable of the seed and the sower explains that the seed falls on 4 types of soil, but only ONE takes.
The soil must be broken up, turned up, and prepared to receive the good seed; that means offenses WILL come when truth is preached! Christ came not to bring peace, but a sword; and a man MUST be born again, of the Spirit of God, if he is to be deemed a TRUE child of God....a Christian!
Christians are instructed...addressed as "beloved" below...to indeed be suspect, testing, cautious of others professing Christians...it's not for unbelievers to judge, those "outside the camp" must FIRST render a response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ...Did Jesus Christ come to Earth from Heaven, born of a virgin, and live a perfect sinless life? Did he fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament with a 1000% batting average? Did He die, bearing the wrath of God upon Himself alone for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD, and did He rise from the dead victorious over death to PROVE His deity?
If you believe this is TRUTH, if you understand that all mankind has violated God's laws and are deserved of eternal separation from our Holy Creator as just punishment; then you need your sins forgiven, and your sin debt paid by a SUBSTITUTE who died in your place! Turn from your sins in repentance and faith to Christ TODAY, and ask that His shed blood be applied to your account for the remission of your sins...then...begin studying the Scriptures so that you can joyfully fellowship with Him and receive His divine guidance and protection as you begin a journey to "know all things", rather than wander and be bounced about by every wind of doctrine that spreads doubt and confusion in order to keep you from being used mightily of Him to advance the Kingdom by increasing its numbers.
But again, back to the overarching point: "who are the Christians":...only the God who saves them knows, and only TRUE believers can discern...1 John 4:1-3 addresses this quite handily...it reads, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.(2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:(3) and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
That's my sermon for today...
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