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How Shall We Now Live?

If I were to be a vegetarian, then this means that cows and chickens are off my diet. If I'm going to be a vegan, no dairy either and usually no leather products.

So, what about being a Christian? The Bible describes some pretty significant changes that happen when we become a Christian. It is not a minor adjustment, nor is it like adding an accessory to our life. There's a lot of good change ahead!

1. Blinded by Science

There is an overwhelming amount of technology that surrounds us - every year it is more and more, with a pace that now seems to be doubling every few years. And, whenever some new tech or innovation is introduced, doesn't it seem that we just blindly adopt it, without considering if it could have a negative impact on our life? Just because we can add new tech and surround ourselves with so much of it ... should we?


   
Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   April 11, 2021   |   1 Corinthians 10:23-31

2. Singleness versus Marriage

Marriage has been a part of societies since prehistoric times - it isn't unique to any particular religion or culture. And, generally speaking, marriage is viewed by most every one of these societies as a superior status in life over singleness.

This attitude can also be felt in the churches. People who are single can be made to feel as if they aren't quite measuring up, or that there's something deficient. That shouldn't be, because Jesus specifically told us that the Kingdom of God has a special kind of relationship in it, and it isn't marriage. Everyone is a brother or a sister. That's it.


   
Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   April 18, 2021   |   Ephesians 2:19-21

3. Friends, Co-workers, and Spouses

Where are you headed in life? Do you want to have a big family, or be famous, or more loving, or a better follower of Jesus? For most dreams to be successful, you will need to surround yourself with like-minded people who share a similar vision, and wish to support one another toward those goals. So, what changes when we become a Christian?


   
Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   May 9, 2021   |   2 Corinthians 6:14-16

4. The Three Wealths

The word "wealth" is often understood to be an abundance of money and possessions - the storehouses of resources we idle for the future. Typically, the wealthier a person, the more stingy they become. So, what happens when one becomes a Christian? As we love more, our stinginess changes to generosity. But this generosity of wealth goes beyond just money, for love also unlocks two other treasures: our time and our mercy.


 
Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   May 16, 2021   |   2 Corinthians 9:6-15

5. Exercising Freedom

A big benefit of being a Christian is that God frees us from the bondage of sin. Put another way, if we have a destructive behavior - even as destructive as an addiction - the power of God frees us. That's what God does. God frees us from the sin, but we have to flee from the sin. We have to want to walk away from those cancers.


   
Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   May 23, 2021   |   Romans 6:12-14

6. A New Hope

We hope for lots of stuff, everything from our favorite team getting a win, to a job promotion, to the perfect tan.

When God describes hope to us, he tells us that it is one of the three main elements of Christian character. And, it isn't something that we just simply "do" or "feel". Just as God gives us the ability to have powerful love ... and God gives us faith ... well, God gives us hope as well. It is a gift that keeps us moving and aspiring!


Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   May 30, 2021   |   Romans 5:3-5

7. A Different Ambition

Everyone wants affirmation, and everyone wants approval. And so, we lure affirmation and approval by the things we own, what we wear, our adventures, our career, our beauty, etc. Things such as these get us recognized by others, and it creates a sense of value. Its what we do.

Of course, God wants us to seek his approval and his affirmation ... not being so focused on getting that from other people. But, some get confused, and they might start using their religious behavior and participation as a new way to get people to admire them. That's wrong (and pretty deceptive).

When I do anything in the name of God, then he must be seen through me. This means that I have to make sure that I get out of the way.


Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   June 6, 2021   |   Acts 8:9-24

8. A New Profession

We all agree that knowledge of God's will is important, and that's probably why we spend so much time trying to seek it and learn about it. As we accumulate that knowledge, it can take two paths. If we put it into practice, then we begin to love, serve, live differently, etc. But if we only become educated, then we often become prideful.

Putting knowledge into practice involves both a confession and a profession. You probably know about confession (and you may even do it), but when you hear the word "profession" you probably think of a job or a career. That's not its original intent, and embracing a profession (in the Christian sense) is vital to spiritual growth.


Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   June 13, 2021   |   John 5:16-21

9. Our Religion also Changes

So, do you know something else that changes when we become a Christian? Our religion changes. I'm not simply suggesting that one merely begins participating in religion when they become a Christian, but that a Christian has discernment to know how to separate religious activity that leads to God and religious activity that is pointless.

Whenever Christians are deeply connected with the Spirit of God, they are able to see this difference, and the activity of the church community will change. What about us? How does our religion need to change?


Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   June 20, 2021   |   James 1:27

10. The Afterlife

The most obvious, perhaps the most prominent thing, that we think of as changing when we become a Christian is that our eternal destination is heaven rather than hell. Our understanding of this is based not on personal experience (obviously), but on the words that have been communicated to us through Scripture or by others in the church.

Did you know that many others in the world have different views of the afterlife? Some believe in reincarnation, some oblivion, or other worlds, or universal bliss, etc. Billions of people have also have had these alternate ideas and philosophies communicated to them. Who is right?

In this message, you'll discover how the words of the afterlife that come from Jesus Christ have a "special sauce" that elevates them from "another idea" to "truth".


Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   June 27, 2021   |   1 Corinthians 15:12-19


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