I cannot think of any starting point other than surrendering our life to the Lord Jesus Christ. We ask Him into our heart, we believe He died for our sins washed us clean and was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Then what? Then we live in obedience to His Word. We do the things that please Him.
Okay, and what things please Him. That answer must be found by sitting down with the Word and reading what He said to us. We must learn the mind of our Lord and the only way we will do that is by spending time with Him in His Word.
If we love Him we will obey Him:
|... Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love|
him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him
He equates love with obedience, a real shocker for those who preach a Babylonian gospel to this world. Many teach that you can do whatever you want and still enter the narrow gate that leads to life but there is a reason only a few make it through:
Matt 7:13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Does it surprise people that we actually have to do what our Lord told us to do?
I can hear the objections already "yes brother D but are you saying that "works" will save us? No, we are saved by grace through faith but let me ask you if you believe we can live a life of disobedience and enter the narrow gate? Can we do whatever we want, a license to sin, and still think we can enter the narrow gate that leads to life?
"So tell me brother D, which sin is it I commit that will send us to hell either Jesus died for all of our sins or He didn't right?" Another argument that will lead many to destruction. Let us answer a question with a question, which sin is it that will get us cut off from the vine that is, cut us off from being in Christ?
John 15:1I am the TRUE vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: andevery [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the wordwhich I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him,the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.
The Lord does not give us a specific number of sins or acts of disobedience that will get us "cast forth as a branch" and is withered and burned up but He warns us it is possible to be in the vine (in Christ) then cutoff from the vine (cutoff from being in Christ). We must abide in Him and we must figure out what that means.
7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bearmuch fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in hislove. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.
Notice the repeated words "if" here. IF you abide in me, IF you keep His commandments. IF is a conditional word. It means we have to "do" something. The "we aren't saved by works" argument is a pathway to hell. Would you call abiding in Him a "work?" Would you call obeying His commandments a "work?" Would we call having faith a "work?"
|And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him|
must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
If we want to enter the narrow gate we should strive to please God. It should be self evident but many are those who argue according to their Babylonian gospel that we can do whatever we want and enter the narrow gate.
The Lord must be our guide in all these things. What does the whole counsel of God teach us? We cannot pick and choose which scriptures apply to us. People love the grace part of the gospel but throw the judgement and warnings into the trash can, is that wise? WHY will few enter the narrow gate? Why will the Lord tell many this:
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thyname have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I neverknew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Who gets to enter the kingdom of heaven? he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven
Is doing the will of the Father a "work?" I hope you can see what a clever trap the enemy has set for those who argue day and night against the clear teaching of scripture. We are saved by grace through faith and not through works but we must be very careful to define what a work really is. Those who believe we can not do the will of the Father and enter the kingdom are in for a rude awakening.
Does this mean we have to be perfect to enter the kingdom? No, but we strive for perfection in all things that we may please our master:
Matt 5:48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
|There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to|
do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Those of us who strive for perfection in Christ must be led by the Spirit into the truth. How do we really know what pleases the Lord? The Lord/the Spirit lets you know.
|For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God|
The Lord certainly knows how to jerk my chain and get my attention. He has told me that He will get my attention one way or another. We can choose the hard way or the easy way but if we are His children He will get our attention. I like to choose the easy way wherever possible.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying we need to accept Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior and do what pleases Him. We can know what please Him by reading the Word and prayer.
Add to these ^^ things a health dose of perseverance and you have a recipe for success. When you are impressed in your spirit by the Spirit of the Lord that you should do something or stop doing something then you need to obey.
grace and peace