Shabbat Shalom my dear brothers and sisters in Yeshua Messiah,
So many Christians, are baptized but there is little to no evidence of a changed life through repentance. No evidence of true conversion either. You cannot see any difference between the old man and the new man. They walk and talk just like the world; you don’t recognize a difference between the non-believer and the believer itself. This is supposed to be very concerning to the Church of Christ because it does not imitate what the bible teaches.
The meaning of baptism is the end of the old life and the beginning of the new life; The death of a sinner and the birth of a saint. The burial of the old man and the resurrection of a new man.
Without true repentance, life will remain the same, and not much will change;
Your life should be evidence of being a new creation and born-again as scripture illustrate in (2Cor5:17). Baptism is a step of obedience after one has repented and believed; after one is truly converted and not the opposite way around. Baptism in these days is encouraged in modern churches as a social event where no true repentance or requirement of baptism is explained to them. It's supposed to represent a new life and physical declaration of the burial of the old life and proof of a repented life and faith in Christ. A repented life will bear much fruit, where baptism without repentance will not show any Godly fruit.
I have seen this in my own life, due to the lack of wisdom and knowledge of scripture, I have followed in the footsteps other Christians and not in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.
I followed what the Christian crowd did and said. That led me into a difficult and troublesome Christian birth and conversion. It came with lots of hiccups and difficulty I did not understand. Bearing no fruit at all, feeling the same way as before, sinning as I always did, I did not see the change happening as scripture says that we are a new creation and the old has passed away. I still had my old desired of lawlessness. But I kept on seeking the face of the Lord until He delivered me and led me to repentance.
'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ' 2 Corinthians 5:17
I see this everywhere in most churches today, where they are focused on self-improvement, self-help, wealth creating, prosperity living(name and claim it) and nothing more than a motivational speech from most pulpits to make everyone only feel good, stirring and manipulating their emotions with the lights, lasers, music, and entertainment in many forms. None of it is biblical per se, no wonder the Glory of God is not manifested but a counterfeit glory which does not display the character of God, Godly order, and the manifestation of His Holiness. As Dick Ruben once said “if the pattern is right, the Glory will fall” - if the pattern is not followed according to scripture the true Glory of God will not be manifested.
'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. ' - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
The evidence of this above scripture is evident in most churches today. This is happening due to NOT preaching the Word of GOD, to correct and convict them, to warn and admonish them, to teach and instruct them biblically according to the scriptures. It is easier for people to swallow what they want to hear then what they need to hear. It’s easier to drink milk then eating meat for our stomach. The same it’s easier to eat things(junk) our heart desire than what our body requires (healthy foods).
'Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. ' - 2 Timothy 4:2
The fruit of not following this above instruction is selfishness, pride, lawlessness and unfruitfulness. People are so fixated on what they can get from God then what they can give to God. People became so self-centered, caring for nothing except about them self, they became unteachable because they are so offended when the truth is shared with them.
' He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. ' - Matthew 10:37-39
This above scripture illustration how Jesus renounce and reject any form of selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-interest, that we cannot serve our own will and His will at the same time. His will is to deny yourself and follow Him.
'Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. ' - Matthew 16:24-27
By denying our own will, we pick up our cross to crucify our desires of the flesh. Our obedience to this command will never return void to us but Jesus’ said He shall reward every man according to His works. We will receive rewards for our obedience to Him. He has so many things in store for us if we will only harken unto His voice, listen and obey Him.
According to scripture (John 14:15,21,23) we demonstrate our love to GOD by our obedience, 'if ye love me, keep my commandments', 'he that has my commandments and keep it, he loves me', 'If a man loves me, he will keep my Words'. If we are not obedient to His Word how else do we demonstrate our love to Him? Jesus never said he that believe loves me BUT Jesus did say, If a man loves Him, he will keep His Words(commands and Instructions) meaning if we Love Jesus, we will obey His instructions, His commands and His Word. Obedience is what God desires.
There is a pattern portrait in scripture to a Christian birth that will lead to fruitfulness if followed according to scripture, remember if the pattern is followed the Glory of God will be manifested.
I have always battled with the impression why are some Christians conversion grounded with such firm foundation showing forth good Godly fruit and others battled for years on shakable ground and foundation where no fruit is evidence of their conversion until they slowly build up their faith to stand firmly in faith to bear good Godly fruit. The key what opened the door to deliverance and completion of my Christian rebirth was repentance, to turn from my sin because sin kept me in bondage although Jesus’s blood has redeemed us from the curse of the law which is eternal death (Gal 3:13). Why would we still ponder around serving sin, our own will and not the will of God? Haven't we been bought with the highest price, but we keep on serving the wrong master (satan the prince of the world) by not repenting? If we keep on sinning, we become a servant of sin, bondage, and death. Our life has been purchased with the highest price our mind still cannot comprehend, that is with the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, the One that never deserved death and lived His whole life to Abba Fathers will.
My desire for everyone is to come to the true knowledge of the Word, to be completely reborn for Christ, delivered, repented and bear Godly fruit so that the Glory of God can be manifested in our life’s where we can be true ambassadors of Christ on earth to touch the lives of those which need it most. Whatever is holding you back: Surrender all to Christ, lay down your life for the new life in Him where His Glory and power can be manifested for His will and Kingdom on Earth. We are called to be Kings and Priest for Him
Please find the link to the process of normal Christian birth for more understanding and scripture references. https://www.brideforyeshua.com/knowing-god
May our Father bless thee, sanctify thee, uphold thee, deliver thee and guide thee in all Truth.
May He reveal the secrets of scripture to you by His grace.
May He bless thee with wisdom, knowledge, understanding and lovingkindness.
Mercy, peace, and love be
multiplied to you,