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Basic Elements of Christianity: Primary Loyalty

The Supreme Loyalty Of Every Christian Must Be Firmly To God

Basic Elements of Christianity: Primary Loyalty
Image Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2018 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).
Every Christian needs to make sure their supreme loyalty is to God in Christ. Let us look at passages in the Holy Bible to help us to do so.

Every year a number of people commit to Jesus Christ as their Savior and, hopefully when they do so, as Lord -- the One that is to be King over them. However, far too many just pray a prayer and hardly look at the Holy Scriptures to know what it means to follow Christ. Each Christian ought to be aware of the following points and out of love for God, positively act upon them.

I. Always Remain Completely And Primarily Loyal To God

“You shall love YHVH (The Existing One) your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” -- Deuteronomy 6:5

Christ pointed to Deuteronomy 6:5 as the greatest command. We find Him quoting it in Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27. Deuteronomy was written in Hebrew which was more expressive than Greek.

And, when it comes to English, some of the meaning of the Hebrew words for “heart” and “soul” is not understood unless the Old Testament verse is presented like it is in Mark 12:30 where “with all your mind” appears. To put it very simply, we are commanded to love God with our entire being and strength.

Truly loving God can only be done by being in Christ. We can only be in Christ by repenting of our sins along with our manner of life and surrender to Christ, making Him King in our life. He is also then our Savior bringing us salvation from many things including, but not limited to, self, sin, God’s wrath, hell, and eternal damnation. A Christian should desire and endeavor to remain in Him (John 15:1-6).

Eternal salvation needs to be the most important thing in every Christian's life. Concern for others is commendable, but it is almost impossible to bring others we come in contact with to Eternal Life unless we ourselves remain true and loyal to the One Who saved us.

If we truly have been redeemed, it is important to definitely fix in our minds and hearts that only God through Jesus Christ saved us -- NOT our church, denomination, fellowship, clergy, family, friends or any other agency. People and organizations change, but God never changes. HE remains Faithful and True. In loving response to Him, we ought to remain faithful and true. Because humans change, and many times they change for the worse, we must fasten our primary loyalty onto God and Him alone. Our primary loyalty must be above anyone and anything else.

II. Above All Family Relationships

In no way am I saying that you should neglect the Biblical care of your family for the sake of God (consider 1 Timothy 5:8). Seek God’s direction in all such matters. Consider Jesus’ care for His mother when dying for our sins (John 19:26-27). But in all cases, the will of God must come first (John 2:4). Admittedly, the exact will of God may be difficult to ascertain at times for specific situations, but suffice it to say for now we are to be predominately guided by the Word of God.

Understand, as mentioned above, that our personal salvation must come first. You will not win your family to Christ and they might remain destined for hell unless you firmly stand upon the Word of God and express that stand as directed by the Holy Spirit of God. Taking such a stand and following the will of God regardless of what your family says may cause a lot of friction, so much so that it may appear to your family and others that you hate them (Luke 14:26). In the passage just mentioned you will learn at another level of training that this is comparative hatred, not direct hatred.

In coming to Christ, you become a new creation in Him. You have a new standard, Jesus Christ, Who unfolds His standards within you as He lives through you. As a new creation in Christ, you have the opportunity to spiritually do better than what your parents and family did if any are not saved or spiritually weak. Habits of sin are often passed down from one generation to another. By coming to Christ, this deadly pattern is broken!

Accept from what you were taught in your family only those things that truly match up to the Holy Bible. Remember that God's Word is above your parents’ / family's word. If you are saved you are to do the will of God, and Jesus said (Mark 3:35), “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” As you see, a true Christian has a relationship with Jesus Christ that is greater than their relationship with their earthly family.

III. Above All Philosophies

The way we think is crucial. We must, with God's help, control our thought patterns. We must not think in many of the ways we used to think and we must not think like the world. Our thinking must be centered upon God and His will, not ourself nor our own will. Our mind is the battleground for the devil for therein resides our ability to make decisions. Our conscience is located in our mind. Consider the following passages:

Philippians 2:5-8 (AV) -- “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Romans12:1-2 -- “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Corinthians 10:5 -- “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Here is a brief list of some worldly thoughts and philosophies opposed to the mind of God. Research what God's Word says about them. Some are "look out for number one", "if it feels good, do it", "I speak my mind", "the New Age movement", "all roads lead to God", "everybody is doing it", "what someone else does in their privacy is none of my business", "do not tattletale", "prostitution was the first profession", "he / she is in a better place now that he / she is dead", "it is better to put your seed in the belly of a whore than on the ground." All of these, and many more, are contrary to the Word of God.

IV. Above The World

By the term "world" is meant, at this point, that portion of society which is not of the true Body of Christ (true believers in Christ). Anyone who behaves contrary to the Word of God, whether they claim to be Christian or not, is behaving like the world and might not even be a true Christian. By all means, read 1 John 2:15-17. Let us not act like the rest of the world, but act as Jesus would in this world. Determine what Jesus would, or would not, do by what the Word of God actually says about Him and not by what others say about Him or what they might say about the Word of God. For example, a worldly thought is "Jesus was tolerant". This is a worldly thought because it ignores the fact that Jesus Christ did not tolerate sin {A}.

V. Above All Human Authority -- Acts 5:29

No, I am not saying run red lights and speed or do not pay your taxes! We are to obey the law. However, whenever man's law contradicts God's law we must follow God's law. Case in point, Daniel broke the law and kept on praying (Daniel 6). In the New Testament (NT), the apostle John was banished to the Island of Patmos because he taught the Word of God, apparently to the displeasure of Rome.

Concerning Christian activism, such as pro-life demonstration activities where arrest might be imminent or passing out tracts where warned not to do so, always seek the face of God in these cases, but understand that if you violate the human law or human desire you might face consequences. For an  example of a "Pro-One-God Protest" see Judges 6. There are many cases in the Word of God, both Old and New Testaments, where man's law was broken for the sake of following God's law. However, it is good for the disciple to know that there are at times different directives for the people of God for each of the seven time periods determined for this world. Note what the Lord said to His disciples (Luke 9:51-56 AKJV):

“And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of. 56  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”

VI. Above All Spiritual Teachers And Leaders -- 1 John 2:26-29

Each real Christian has a direct link to God. If you are truly saved, you have the Holy Spirit within you and the Holy Bible to study. Listen to both. Always examine what anyone teaches, preaches, prophesies, or whatever, with the Holy Bible and the direction of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 7:15-20, 24:4-11, 1 John 4:1). I have heard of Christians being told exactly who to marry or exactly where to go to serve God by other humans. Get it from God first! Use your direct link.

In Pentecostal and Charismatic realms you will come across those claiming to have the gift of prophecy. Some do and some just think they do! Let the written Word and the Holy Spirit directly to you guide you. If a personal prophecy is from God and directed at you most times it is merely a confirmation of what you already knew.

Put Jesus first. There are many great Holy Bible teachers today but in no way do not "hang on one" in such a way you take his / her interpretation of the Word of God as always on target! Jesus should be your primary teacher. 1 John 2:26-29 states that you need no man to teach you. "Need " is an important word in that paragraph. God has placed teachers in the Body of Christ, but each and every Christian has a need to sit at the feet of Jesus everyday!

VII. Above All Denominations / Fellowships

If you are saved, Christ saved you -- not your church, denomination, fellowship, or anything else, or anyone else. Your church, denomination, fellowship might change doctrines (teachings) and practice, but Christ does not. No human agency saved you, and no human agency will keep you saved.

There is only one true body of Christians. No one denomination or fellowship is the Truth. Only Christ is the Truth. Any truly born again Christian is automatically in the Body of Christ regardless of denominational or fellowship tag. In some cases, the true Christian may refuse to do certain things that their church does. Sometimes they may have to leave that denomination or fellowship and migrate to one with more accurate teaching, or be independent of any denominational or fellowship affiliation. There might very well come a time when there is no place to go. This has already happened in some countries. If that ever happens, be directed by the Holy Spirit for the possibility of joining other true Christians just in Spirit.

The only true Church is the collective group of real, true born-again Christians throughout the world. Until Christ Himself returns, it cannot be pin-pointed by a group name or locality (Luke 17:21). Keep in mind Christ Himself said (Matthew 18:20), "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." The gathering does not have to be in a church building, for the building does not make the church -- the truly born-again comprise the true Church.

CAUTION! Currently there is a move throughout the Body of Christ towards unity. Though that sounds nice it often involves compromise on doctrines and / or morals. You will hear terms such as "tear the walls down." No friend, do a Holy Bible study on walls. Walls are good. Just as you need walls in the physical realm to protect you from various things, spiritual walls protect you from the elements of the world system. I feel it is a great waste of time and outright spiritually dangerous to pursue unity without adhering to Holy Bible values.

Here is an example. In the 1980s I was in Christian radio and had the wonderful privilege of airing the program "Choice" by the Mennonites. Every brief broadcast ended with a loving attempt to bring the listener to Christ. However, after a while there was some type of merger with two other denominations which were not that savvy of soul winning. The broadcasts changed and the call to salvation in Christ was generally ignored, all for the sake of "unity".

True unity will be discussed in the lesson on Sonship in this course. The Word of God is very clear that unity must come from God, not man. A parallel to this is that real revival comes from God, not man. An evangelist cannot bring revival. It can only come from God. There are now over seven billion people in this world and most are headed for hell. We need to concentrate on evangelism, not "unity". Keeping these things in mind will spare you from the ultimate dangers of ecumenicism for which see Revelation 13 and 19.

RESPECT

Let us understand that until Christ returns, different Christians will have different views on points that are not cardinal truths that define true Christianity. For example, I know many fine Christians that are Baptists and believe "once truly saved always saved" (the doctrine of the perseverance of Christ in the saints, otherwise known as eternal security). I never did believe in that type of eternal security and never will, but that does not stop me from loving those Christians that think that way nor working with them for the Kingdom of God when possible. Use denominational tags as tools to understand your fellow Christian and sometimes avoid controversy.

VIII. Above Our Emotions And Feelings

(What I Did When The Devil Pestered Me)

Around the second year of my salvation in Christ the devil was trying to make me doubt my salvation. One way I could tell it was the devil was due to the fact that no merciful correction was being offered. So, what I did was to take a sheet of paper and begin to write down all the things I could think of that indicated Christ had made a change in my life. Some of those things included that my ungodly fear of death was gone, I still had a tremendous peace of God, and I was doing a number of things Christ would be doing. Of course, there were many things I had to correct, but writing down the positive changes helped to assure me that Christ was inside of me. I also noted that I desired to move on to perfection in Christ. 

If we are saved, there will be times that the devil will try to tell us that we are not saved. He will play upon our emotions, bringing our failures before our face. The Christian walk is one of faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). However, this faith is not a mere belief, but a true and full commitment to Christ. All the works we need to be saved are in Him (Colossians 2:10). We must let Him live through us.

A Christian can backslide, fall from grace, lose their salvation (Galatians 5:1-4, 1 Timothy 1:19, Revelation 3:5). However, the instructions of 1 John indicate that committing one sin does not do it. We are never saved by what we do, but what we do indicates if we are saved. "Do" here is used in the continuous sense just as the term "sins" / "sinneth" are used in 1 John. The actual point of backsliding is an unknown, and rightfully so. Willfully continuing in sin after salvation can be an indication you are not saved, or not saved anymore.

If you ever feel that you have slipped away from God, remember these three Scriptures:

Psalm 150:6 -- Let everything that has breath praise YHVH (The Existing One).

John 1:9  (KJV) -- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 4:7-8 -- Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Maybe you did backslide and maybe you did not. First, force yourself to praise God. Even if you feel you are not saved, praise God anyway. You are supposed to do so. "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord!" Got breath? Give praise to God! Go ahead and confess your sins. You do nor feel sorry? Ask God to make you feel sorry. That was part of the work of Christ on the cross. Confess and mean it. Ask God to forgive and cleanse you. Affirm you shall live for Christ. Draw nigh to God by continuing with praise and worship. Worship God for who He is. Read the Word.

IX. And Our Supreme Loyalty Is Expressed In . . .

A. LOVE - Mark 12:30 - Salvation is Christ -- not a religion. We love Christ. This is a foundation of our salvation. Love Christ. He is all that we need.

B. FAITH, FAITHFULNESS - Hebrews 11:6

C. TRUST - Proverbs 3:5-6, noting "...in ALL thy ways..."

D. OBEDIENCE - 1 Samuel 15:22. Obedience is the outward expression for our love of God.

X. Our Loyalty Is Maintained {B} By . . .

A. WORSHIP - Tell God you love Him. Praise Him for His love, forgiveness, and faithfulness. In the next lesson you will learn more attributes of God.

B. PRAYER - Pray for yourself, your family, friends, neighbors, enemies, Jerusalem, rulers -- wow! Whatever the Holy Spirit brings to mind, pray for it. Think of what God would want for that situation and pray in that manner. Pray for others that are saved, for a closer walk with God, more of a sensitivity to His Spirit, willingness to obey, boldness to witness and face persecution. Pray for your pastor and your pastor's spouse if your pastor is married. For the lost, pray that they soften their hearts to the Gospel. There is much more too! If I understand the story correctly, Martin Luther once indicated that he could not get anything done unless he spent a few hours in prayer! Prayer also includes listening to God.

C. READ AND STUDY THE HOLY BIBLE - Ask God to help you understand it. Ask God to help you enjoy it. Start in the NT. I highly recommend 1 John and the Gospel of John. That is what someone told me when I was first saved and I found that these Scriptures laid a great foundation for my Christian life. After that, read the whole NT. This will prepare you to better understand the Old Testament (OT), but read the NT a number of times before you go to the OT.

After a while, get to the OT, but bounce back and forth between the OT and NT. I remember when I knew I should start reading the OT. It was rough. I thought it was boring. I asked God to help me enjoy the OT. He did! I forced myself to read it and God helped me to love it. Also, we had a teacher in Holy Bible institute named Walter Beuttler. Most of his notes were from the OT. It helped to open my mind to those great books. Another was a book by Henrietta C. Mears, "A Look At The Old Testament", and the copy I have was published by Regal Books Division, Gospel Light Publications, Glendale, California, USA copyright 1967.

As to what version, I prefer you use the New King James (NKJV) or at least the King James (KJV). I have found that the KJV adheres more closely to the actual Greek than the New International Version (NIV). The NKJV is even better. If you need to use the KJV, you will find the some of the wording might be old, but God will help you to understand as you ask His guidance. I also recommend any work by the late Jay Green, such as the King James III (KJ3).

D. GO TO CHURCH AND PARTICIPATE (Hebrews 10:25) - By church, we do not mean a building, but a gathering of believers. Christ indicated the number can be as low as two (Matthew 18:20). Participate by worshiping, reading the Word, praying, listening, asking, giving testimony unto God, giving in the offering and being a part of a other activities sanctioned by the Word of God.

The essential doctrines that a church should teach are . . . 

  •  God is One being as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  •  The Holy Bible (comprised of 39 OT books and 27 NT books) is the Word of God and the all sufficient rule for faith and living.
  • Christ died, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven to free us from sin and its punishment so that we may serve the One True Living God.
  • Christ is the only Way for Eternal salvation.
  • We are saved by the grace of God and not by our works. However, this grace produces godly works and each believer must pursue holiness.

I would prefer you attend a Holy Bible believing Pentecostal church, but we will touch on that later.

E. SERVE OTHERS - Jesus did that and if He lives in you, you will be doing that.

F. WITNESS - Tell others what happened to you. Share Jesus. Keep in mind that the word "witness" is the same as "martyr" in the Greek. Expect persecution in any form, especially as you see the return of Christ approaching.

G. LEARN TO OBEY - One thing to think about is being baptized in water as soon as possible. See Mark 16:16. You are not saved by this act and you should be saved BEFORE you are baptized in water. I deal with water baptism in another lesson. Of course, we are to obey all the commands of God.

Click here to take a quiz or for other options in the free online course of Basic Elements Of Christianity (BEC). We plan to have this link available at the time of the publication of this article or by May 20, 2018. We hope to populate that page with more active links over the coming months.

Notes:

{A} For examples of how Jesus Christ did not tolerate sin please read Is It Wrong For A Christian To Shame Someone?

{B} One is not saved, and does not remain saved, by works, but only by Christ within Who produces those works (Philippians 2:12-13, Ephesians 2:10).

This article is part of a series of lessons on Basic Elements Of Christianity (BEC). Unless otherwise noted, printed passages of Holy Scripture are from the 1769 Authorized Version (AV). The AV and all other versions will be modified when God’s sacred Name appears in an Old Testament (OT) passage, and in a New Testament passage quoting the OT, by changing “LORD” to “YHVH (The Existing One)”.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.


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Indeed being a true Christian/Believer in Christ means to ways in his ways. His actions and love should radiate through us and enlighten and motivate others to be and do the same.

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I liked it very much. I am a Hindu and have respect for all religion. Religion has so many underlying philosophy to realize a human life in great depth

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