What we believe determines how we will act. To behave in a godly manner, we must embrace biblical truth. So let's take a look at some basics of the faith:
• Man's relationship with God is broken, apart from Jesus Christ. When Adam and Eve rebelled, their nature became corrupt and alienated them from God. That "flesh" nature was then passed down to all subsequent generations, separating man from the Father (Rom. 5:12). On our own, we can neither make amends for our sin nor change our nature.
• Salvation comes through Jesus alone (Acts 4:12). God's justice required a penalty for sin, but only a sacrifice without defect would suffice. Jesus, who lived a perfect life on earth, was uniquely qualified. He bore our sins and died in our place so we might be forgiven and adopted into God's family. When we receive Him as Savior, we're given a new nature, and Christ's righteousness is counted as ours (Phil. 3:9; 2 Cor. 5:17).
• The church—Christ's body—is made up of born-again believers throughout the world (1 Cor. 12:13). All Christians are commanded to worship the Lord, care for one another, and share in the work of spreading the gospel. God's followers are also given spiritual gifts to use in building up other believers.
If these truths are the basis for our view of life, we will find ourselves growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Forgiving others will become a possibility—and dying to self a more common occurrence. Ungodly traits will fade away and be replaced by the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
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