Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Shrine

Український Католицький Собор Святого Івана Хрестителя

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Being a Christian

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1. New Creation: Being a Christian means being a New Creation.

– John 3/3-5: Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” …. (5) Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

– 2Corinthians 5/17-18: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself….

– Galatians 6/14-15: But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

– Colossians 3/9-10: Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.

– 2 Peter 1/3-4: His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

2. Spiritual: Being a Christian means being a spiritual person.

God’s Spirit is the Divine power of God by which He bestows supernatural life on those who believe in Him and acts as a sanctifying power and as the principle of eternal life.

– Matthew 3/11, Mark 1/7-8, Luke 3/16, John 1/33-34: (John said) “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

– Matthew 26/40-41, Mark 14/38: And He (Jesus) came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

– John 3/5: Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

– Acts 1/4 -5: And while staying with them He (Jesus) ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

– Acts 11/15-16: As I (Peter) began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

– Romans 8/3-11: …. He (God) condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness

– Romans 8/14-15: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

– 1Corinthians 2/14-16: The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

– 1Corinthians 3/1-3: But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

– Galatians 5/16-25: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is not law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

– Galatians 6/8: For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

God’s Spirit is a supernatural power whereby, in special cases, God intervenes in human life to achieve a special purpose; e.g.: prophets, apostles, bishops, priests, members of religious orders, people involved in works of Christian charity, etc.

– Matthew 3/16-17, Mark 1/9-11, Luke3/21-22: And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

– Acts 1/8: (Jesus said): “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

– Acts 2/1-4: When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it fill the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

– Acts 7/55-56: But he (Stephen), full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

– Acts 10/37-38: (Peter said) …. “you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

3. Children of God: Being a Christian means being a child of God.

– John 1/12-13: But to all who did receive Him, who believed in his name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

– Romans 8/15-17: For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.

– Galatians 3/25: But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.

– Galatians 4/4-7: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman born under the law to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son and if a son then an heir through God.

– Ephesians 1/4-6: …. He (God) chose us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.

– 2Peter 1/4: …. by which He (God) has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, ….

– 1John 3/1: See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

4. Temple of God: Being a Christian means being a temple of God.

– 1 Corinthians 3/16-17: Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

– 2Corinthians 6/16: What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Leviticus 26/12)

– Ephesians2/21-22: …. in whom (Christ) the whole structure, being joined together grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

5. Mystical Body: Being a Christian means being a member of the Mystical Body of Christ.

– Romans 12/4-6: For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

– 1Corinthians 10/16-17: The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

– 1Corinthians 12/12-13: For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body….

– 1Corinthians 12/14, 27: For the body does not consist of one member but of many. …. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

– Ephesians 1/22-23: And He (God) put all things under His (Christ’s) feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

– Ephesians 4/4-6: There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

6. Faith: Being a Christian means having a strong faith.

– Matthew 9/27-29: And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened.

– Matthew 13/53-58, Mark 6/6: And when Jesus had finished these parables, He went away from there, and coming to his hometown He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, …. And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

– Matthew 17/20-21: For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.

– Luke. 7/2-10: Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him …. When He (Jesus) was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; …. But say the word and let my servant be healed.” …. When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed Him said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

– Luke 12/28: “But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith!”

– 1John 5/4-5: For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

– John 14/12: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”

7. Faith and Works: Being a Christian means expressing one’s faith through works of charity.

– James 2/14-17, 24: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. …. (24) You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

8. Confessing: Being a Christian means confessing one’s faith in Jesus.

– Matthew 10/32-33: So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

– Luke. 12/8-12: And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

– Romans 10/9-11: …. because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.”

9. Co-operation: Being a Christian mean co-operating with God’s revelation.

– Mark 4/3-20, Luke 8/4-15: Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. …. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.
(14)The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. ….
(20)But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold, and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.

– Luke 6/45: The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

– John 15/16: You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give it to you.

– Romans 7/4: Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

10. God’s Love: Being a Christian means being a continuation of the revelation of God’s love for us through Jesus.

– John. 13/34-35: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.(Lev. 19/18).

11. Love – The Great Commandment

– Matthew. 22/34-40, Mark. 12/29-34: Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Deut. 6/5)(Lc. 10/27) This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Lev. 19/18)(1 Jn. 4/21) On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

– Romans 13/9-10, Galatians 5/14: For the commandments, …. are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

– 1Corinthians 13/1-7: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

– 1Peter 4/8: Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

– 1John 2/10: Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.

-1John 3/17-18: But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but indeed and in truth.

-1John 4/7-8: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

12. Example: Being a Christian means being an example of a Christian way of life.

– Matthew 5/13-16: You are the light of the world. …. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

– Philippians 2/14-15: Do all things without grumbling or disputing that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the words of life….

– 1Peter 2/12: Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

-1 Peter 2/15: For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

13. In Secret: Being a Christian means performing charitable deeds and pious acts in secret.

– Matthew 6/3-4: But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

– Matthew 6/6: But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

– Matthew 6/17-18: But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

14. Perfection: Being a Christian means striving towards the ideal of perfection.

– Matthew 5/8: You therefore must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.

15. Perfection lies in:

Seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven

Luke 12/31: Instead, seek His (God’s) kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.

Luke 12/32-34: Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, and with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

How we respond to adversity:

Matthew 5/11-12: Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

– 1 Peter 4/12-14: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. but rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

How we deal with others:

– Matthew 5/21-22: But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

– Matthew 6/14-15: For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

– Matthew 7/1-2, Luke 6/37: Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

– Matthew7/12: So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

– Matthew 10/40-41: Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives Him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.

– Matthew18/21-22: Then Peter came up and said to Him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

– Luke 17/3-4: Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

– Romans 12/14-21: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

– Romans 15/1-2: We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

– Galatians 6/1-2: Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

– Colossians 3/12-13: Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

– 1Peter 5/5: Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

How we respond to the needs of others:

– Matthew 10/42, Mark 9/41: And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

– John 13/2-17: During the supper, …. Jesus …. rose from the supper. He laid aside his outer garment and, taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. …. When He had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done to you. …. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

– Matthew 25/31-46: When the son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on his glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, who are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, II was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. …. And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

– 1Peter4/9-10: Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.

How we deal with material possessions:

– Matthew 6/19-21: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

– Matthew 6/31-33, Luke12/22-31: Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

– Matthew19/16-22, Mark 10/-22, Luke 18/18-25: And behold, a man came up to Him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And He said to him, …. “If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” …. The young man said to Him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

– 1Timothy 6/17-19: As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

How we deal with events:

– Philippians 4/4-7: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

16: Praising God: Being a Christian means praising God not only by words (prayer) but also, and mainly, by good deeds and a virtuous Christian life.

– Matthew 5/23-24: So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

– Matthew 5/44-45: But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

– Matthew 7/21: Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father Who is in heaven.

17. Loving God: Love of God is expressed by keeping the commandments.

– John 14/15: If you love me you will keep my commandments.

– Jn. 14/21: Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him an manifest myself to him.

18. Prayer:

– Matthew 6/7-13: And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’

– Matthew 7/7-11, Luke 11/9-12: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

– Matthew 18/19: Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

19. Preparation: Being a Christian means understanding and accepting that the present life is a preparation for eternal life – that our deeds in the present life will determine our fate in eternal life.

– Matthew 6/19-21: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

20. Vigilance: Being a Christian means being prepared for the end of our earthly existence.

– Matthew 24/42-44, Mark 32-37: Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

– 1Thessalonians 5/2-4: For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.

21. Self-denial: Being a Christian means exercising self-control in order to live in accordance with the Christian ideals.

– Matthew 16/24: Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

– Matthew 26/40-41: And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, …. “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

– Colossians 3/5-8: Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. …. (8) But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

22. Sacrifice: Being a Christian means being willing to sacrifice.

– Matthew 10/37-39, Luke 14/26: Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worth of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

– Matthew 16/24-26, Mark 8/34-38, Luke 9/23-24, Luke 14/27: If anyone would came after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

23. Suffering: Being a Christian means accepting suffering as the means of showing our faithfulness to God.

– Matthew 5/39-42: But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you

– Matthew 10/17-18, 22: Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. …. and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

– Romans 8/16 – 18: The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

– Romans 8/35-39: Who shall separate us from the life of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or danger, or sword? …. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

– James 1/2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

– James 1/12: Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.

– 1Peter 4/12-13: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

24. Greatness: Greatness before God comes from humility and service to others.

– Luke. 18/9-14: “…. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

– Matthew 18/1-4, Mark 9/33-37, Mark 10/13, Luke 9/46-48, Luke 18/16-17: At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them. and said, ‘Truly I say to you unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself as little like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

– Matthew 20/26-27, 23/11-12, Mark. 10/42, Luke. 22/24-27: But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to and to give his life as a ransom for many.

25. False Prophets: Being a Christian means being on guard against false prophets.

-Matthew 7/15-20:  (And Jesus said) Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will recognize them by their fruits.  Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.  A healthy tree tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

– Matthew 24/4-5:  And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.  For many will come in my name saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.

-Matthew 24/23-26, Mark 13/21-23, Luke 21/8: Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.

– Romans 16/17-18: I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

– 2Corinthians: 11/12-15: And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

– Galatians 1/6-8: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

– Colossians 2/8-10: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

– Colossians 2/18-19, 23: Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. …. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

– 1Timothy, 6/3-4: If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.

– 2Peter 2/1-3: But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.

– Jude 1/4, 8: For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. …. Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.

26. Other Teachers:

– Luke 9/49-50: John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”