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(c) Copyright 1971-2016 by Walter R. Dolen


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"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth" [1Cor 13:4-7].


NM 1: What is a Christian?



Christian Doctrine

Physical v. Spiritual Meaning

What is a Christian?

How does one know he is a Christian?

What can one expect as a Christian?

Other names for Christians?



NM1 Abstract

In this book we put forth the doctrines of the Bible as we found them, taking into consideration the type and antitype found throughout scripture. What we are doing is attempting to simplify various doctrines of Christianity. In this paper we give short renditions as to what is a Christian, how one becomes one, what one can expect as a Christian, and so forth, thus setting the stage for the rest of this work.

Christian Doctrine

nm1 >> In the New Testament of the Bible you can read about many important subjects. Significant subjects such as heaven, hell, sin, law, freedom, miracles, death, resurrection, immortality, predestination, the kingdom of God, and so forth are spoken about throughout the New Testament of the Bible. These subjects and others have to do with our very life, our souls, and our future. These subjects are very important and we cannot permit tradition to dictate to us concerning these subjects. We must test and analyze our views to see if they are correct. If they are not we must correct them. We must take charge of our storehouse of beliefs; we must correct our false beliefs; we must become sound in our knowledge.  

Many Opinions

nm2 >> But there are many opinions on all of these subjects, and it is difficult to find the truth. There are so many who claim to hold the truth. There are so many traditions, so many teachers, so many differing beliefs. There is confusion on how one is baptized, on the soul, and on the other doctrines of Christianity. There are the liberal Christians, the conservative Christians, and many other classifications.

Doctrines as Found in the Bible

nm3 >> In this book we will put forth the real doctrines of the Bible as we found them. It is up to you the reader to prove or disprove what is presented in these papers. Only you can make the decision for yourself. That is, only you should make the decision for yourself. Do not let tradition or the authorities of your church or your science prevent you from making your own decision.

Physical Meaning versus Spiritual Meaning

nm4 >> The mistakes in Christian doctrine were made because of the lack of knowledge of the pattern manifested in the Bible and the inability to see these patterns. In the "Duality Paper" we have spoken briefly about this Biblical pattern. Those making mistakes are only looking at the physical meaning or typical meaning of scripture instead of the higher meaning or Spiritual meaning. We are to worship God in Spirit (John 4:24). We are to look away from the physical to the Spiritual for the true meaning of God's word (see the "Duality Paper"). If we take or understand Jesus Christ's words only in a typical or physical manner we will not understand what he was trying to tell us. Not only this, but we will dramatically misunderstand him. When Jesus spoke about eating his body (John 6:53-56) he was speaking in a Spiritual way (see John 6:63). But if we only take Jesus' words in their literal, or simple, or physical meaning, we will drastically misunderstand him like many of his disciples did at that time (John 6:60-61). When some of Christ's disciples heard him, they mistakenly thought he was advocating cannibalism, a hideous crime against mankind, instead of encouraging the spiritual eating of his body. To eat or drink Jesus Christ in a Spiritual way is to Spiritually eat and drink his Spiritual body, or that is, "eat" his Spirit or "drink" his Spirit. Being baptized with God's Spirit, or eating Christ's Spirit, or drinking Christ's Spirit, and so forth are all signifying one thing - having God's Spirit or the New Mind. To have God's Spirit is to have the power to do good works. But if we only take the physical or typical meaning of scripture we will not understand the Spiritual words. We must look to the higher or Spiritual meaning of scripture or we will not understand.

What is a Christian?

nm5 >> There is a direct relationship between Christianity and the New Mind. We call the Spirit of God the New Mind. You are a Christian when and only when you have the New Mind. Christianity is not Christianity without the New Mind. If you have the New Mind you are a Christian. But what is a Christian? Is a Christian someone who only goes to a Christian church? Can a real Christian not go to church? Are all Christian churches in reality, Christian? Are all who call themselves Christians in reality Christians?

nm6 >> A Christian is a believer in Jesus Christ. Yet not only is he a believer, he is also a doer of what Christ did (James 1:22). Christians follow in Christ's way (1Peter 2:21). When Christians follow Christ, they are following God because God was manifested in Christ (1Tim. 3:16). God cannot sin (1John 3:9). Christ didn't sin (2Cor. 5:21). God's behavior was manifested in Christ. God and Christ the man behaved the same. Therefore God was manifested in Christ the man's behavior. God is love (1John 4:8). And Paul said: "love does not work any ill to its neighbor, so love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10). To follow Christ is to follow God. Since God is love, then to follow God is to follow love. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1Cor. 13:4-8, NIV).

New Man versus Old Man

nm7 >> The main difference between a real Christian and others is that Christians follow after love to the degree of power they were given to follow after love. All Christians in the old age never get close to the level of Jesus Christ's love because Christ was given the full power. Love is a system of behavior that is quite different than the system of behavior we observe around us today. Real Christians belong to the New Age with its New Mind. Today, Christians are New Age People who live in the old age. The old age is the present age with its confusion and hate. The New Age is the Kingdom of God with its system of love.

How Does One Become a Christian?

nm8 >> To become a real Christian you must have the Spirit or Mind of God, that is, the New Mind. To receive this New Mind, you must be Spiritually baptized into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (NM 4).

How Does One Know He Is a Christian?

nm9 >> You know you are a Christian if you have the New Mind. There is another mind, the old mind, that works in the old age (see NM 21). We can see the power of the old mind working in the old age every day. The confusion of this world comes from the old mind. But when we receive the New Mind we begin to see the difference in our thinking. Instead of getting flash-thoughts concerning evil things, we begin to get flash-thoughts concerning the beautiful and good things. With the New Mind we get flash-thoughts that help us to begin to be patient, kind, truthful, hopeful, trustful, etc. You know you are a real Christian when you have the New Mind. And you can prove you have the New Mind by your new behavior. If you have a new behavior that is more in keeping with the way of love, then you can be sure you have been given the New Mind (see "Proof Paper" [NM 10]).

What Can One Expect As a Christian?

nm10 >> When you are a Christian you have the Spirit of God, the New Mind. You see matters from a different viewpoint. You have put on the New Mind which is being renewed in knowledge, and thus you are a new person in God (Col 3:10; Rom 12:2). You begin to understand that no one thing is bad in itself (Rom 14:14; 1Tim 4:4), but only wrong activity is bad (Prov 8:13). As a Christian you begin to do to others as you would like them to do to you (Rom 13:8-10). A new Christian begins to change and to do things differently, for he has a New Mind with a new attitude.

nm11 >> But because Christians are changed, others around them will notice this transformation (1Peter 4:4). Because mankind as a whole feels threatened when others do not believe as they do, a Christian can expect to be disliked by people, even those of his own family (John 15:18-19; Mat  10:34-37). But a real Christian is to be peaceful and try as much as possible to keep the peace. But at times because true Christians do not run after twisted things as much as others, the people belonging to this age will not like real Christians.

nm12 >> Besides receiving the New Mind (Spirit) a Christian will also receive the life in and throughout the first 1000 years of the coming kingdom of God. Read the paper entitled, "Reward for Christians" [NM 11] for more details.

What Are Other Names For Christians?

nm13 >> In the Bible Christians are called:

Simplify Doctrine

nm14 >> What we will be doing in the rest of this book is to simplify doctrines by examining in detail the scriptures on the doctrines. The main aspect of what we will be doing is showing you about Jesus Christ's Spirit, the New Mind, and the fruits or effects of the New Mind. The Bible speaks on many different subjects such as repentance, baptism, grace, and so forth. We will see what these subjects have to do with the Spirit of God and the effects of having this Spirit.

BeComingOne

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(c) Copyright 1971-2016 by Walter R. Dolen


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