Friday, July 15, 2011

Welcome to Growing Christian Resources

A quick note about the author of this blogsite
         Welcome to Christian growth resources. My name is Mahlon Smith and I am Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Idabel, Oklahoma.  I have been happily married for 15 years and have four children, ages 14, 11, 5 and 2.  I was called and convicted to trust in Christ by faith at age ten and baptized at age 12.  At 17 I was called into ministry, and by God's grace graduated both Bible College and Seminary. 

         For the first several years of my Christian life, I simply didn't understand what it meant to be a Christian beyond the fact that I didn't have to worry about going to hell.  Even after God had dealt with me about where I was with him in my Christianity, through the scriptures I began to realize there is more to being a Christian than just "getting saved to go to heaven".  Conversion, whereby a person becomes a Christian through faith alone, in Christ alone, is the starting point.  In conversion a person, by God's grace, acknowledges their inability to please God through their own efforts.  (Romans 3:23; Titus 3:5)  The Bible teaches that through faith salvation is received by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for them by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. (John 3:16;1 Corinthians 15:1-4)  Heaven's joy, Jesus Christ, comes down into the believer to live out His life through their daily walk (Galatians 2:20).  The term "walk" is another way of describing what it means to live for Jesus Christ.  The Christian life is three things all at the same time: it is practical, supernatural and theological.


         It is theological in the sense that when I become a Christian, that doesn't mean I click off my mind nor abandon reason.  Theology is a word that simply means "the study of God".  2 Timothy 2:15 states: "Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  Another Bible passage, Romans 12:1-2, tells us that we are "to be transformed by the renewing of our minds".  Jesus Himself, in Matthew 22:37, states that as a Christian, I am to "love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength".  Thus a Christian, by nature, should want to study scripture, and pursue the things of God that build them in the area of their thoughtlife. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Philippians 4:8-9)


         The Christian life is not only theological, but supernatural.  I discover as a Christian that from the moment of saving faith I have the God-given ability to hear God.  In fact, no one can get saved unless the Lord calls and convicts them to forsake reliance upon their sin and to start following Jesus Christ by faith (John 5:24-25; John 10:1-11).  Hearing God on a daily basis improves in proportion to how much one takes in the scriptures, obeys the Lord's will and spends the time prayer (2 Timothy 3:15-17; Philippians 4:6-7; John 14:21).  Christians have an entire angelic host whom God uses to give protection and aid at various times. (Psalm 91 and Hebrews 1:14).  The Holy Spirit, God Himself, comes inside to live, guide and encourage (John 14:21-23).  The body of Christ, the church, is gifted by the Spirit of God in various ways to communicate and validate the living reality and person of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 6:1-11; Romans 8). Truly the Christian walk is supernatural. 


         So then, the Christian walk is supernatural, it is theological, but notice finally, it is practical.  When you read all of the Bible books in the New Testament, you discover they speak on theological matters and supernatural matters, which spell out practical principles to live by.  Jesus tells me I need to love my enemies. (Matthew 5:44)  I'm told to not worry or be anxious. (Philippians 4:6-7)  When I see someone struggling in an area, I need to check on them, encourage them, or if need be, lovingly challenge them to grow in their faith. (Galatians 6; Jude 20-25)  The book of James tells me that faith without accompanying practice is dead. (James 2:17)  Indeed there needs to be practice in the Christian life if I am to have proof that I have been saved supernaturally and am thinking theologically.

        That in a nutshell, is what this site is all about.  I pray that you will find it helpful as you strive to grow in your Christian walk.


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