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Full Disclosure.

When we follow Jesus we sometimes follow Him blindly, and our faith might have some blind spots in it, but we must disclose everything fully for the born-again believer to grow in that faith. A man named Nicodemus came to Jesus in the night and the following discourse happened. John 3:1 "There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.

So the words born-again are not some "old gospel" words that are not applicable today, but they are the truth about what happens when we become a believer by faith. So strong are the words born-again that Jesus says you will not see heaven without it happening. This is the spiritual experience that sets everything into motion for those who come to Jesus by faith. When we are born-again the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life and that is the life we must live by as believers. The Spirit-filled life is our "power" to gain heaven, live the abundant life, and continue sharing our testimony of faith to a lost and dying world. The Holy Spirit is God and when we have God in our life, everything changes immediately. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

This new life is not meant to be stagnant or static, but growing and moving forward. This process after salvation is called sanctification. Keep in mind sanctification cannot and will not happen without first being born-again in the Spirit!! You cannot cheapen the process by human reasoning and add a little extra truth into this spiritual process that God has set before us. This great truth of conversion cannot be ignored and Jesus Himself said this in John 8: 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

A result of this life change is remaining faithful to the teachings of Jesus, which makes us realize the importance of training a new believer in the ways of the Word of God, the Bible. No shortcuts here. Just teach the new convert the Word and God will take care of the rest!!

If you are a result-oriented person and a person of reason, you will quickly see there can be no shortcuts in following Jesus. Here it is BORN-AGAIN, BAPTISM, SCRIPTURE TEACHING AND MEMORY, SANCTIFICATION, WITNESS FOR JESUS, ABUNDANT LIFE.

You will hear many versions of what I just wrote above, but in reality, all of it is boiled down to what I listed above. We cannot cheat on any of it. or the seed will get in the weeds and that is what the devil wants. The end result of that will be a confused believer and disobedience will become the norm in their life. By the way, there are a lot of confused believers living in our world and this should not be. Every born-again believer who has been through the above process should commit to disciplining a new convert and taking them totally through this whole process. If this would happen we would once again be about following The Great Commission. The Bible says it this way in Matthew 28:18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Full Disclosure is we pass on what we know, but if we don't know it we cannot pass it on. Do you see the problem here? We have a shared faith that ties us all together, but if it is not shared, we are scattered and it is not a good scattering. We get a little queasy about mentioning being baptized in the Holy Spirit, so we leave that out. WRONG! That is part of The Great Commission, so we need to quit rewriting scripture to fit our beliefs and adjust our beliefs to follow the whole Bible. To disciple a new convert in the faith is not something that you have to think of as a chore because the one who is doing the discipling gets blessed and grows in their faith as much as the one they are discipling.

The challenge for all of us is to take the time to get into God's Word and then share that Word with a new believer and the growth, or sanctification begins from there. We cannot minimize the "faith of a child" aspect of the salvation experience. We must maximize the "where to go from here" aspect of the salvation experience and thus see the new believer become mature in their faith. The writer of Hebrews gives this challenge to all believers who have been believers for any length of time and have not grown in their faith. Hebrews 5:11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen.12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

By the way. If you were in the Word and growing you would see that scripture long before I put it in this blog. I am growing myself while on this pilgrimage of faith, and the pilgrimage continues. This pilgrimage is my life....

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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