Often the fruit of the Spirit can be seen is a person's face--the love, joy and peace, the kind and gentle manner. There is a steady gaze that searches the faces of others with compassion, and those with sin often avert their eyes. Their faces are creased with concerns, fears, guilt. Or they are lifted up with pride and are arrogant. So it is easy to pick out true Christians, especially in a heathen land. Here we have plastic smiles and people are good at faking it, especially in hollywood.
At one time the Catholic church admitted that salvation was by faith and that there was salvation among protestants, and there were overtures toward friendliness. Many people started to leave the Catholic church which is not the desired result. They wanted all the churches to recognize the pope as their leader and to become Roman Catholic. So they went back to claiming that salvation is only through their church. Due to fear, a lot of those who left have returned. Knowing all the good Billy Graham has done and the untold number of people who have been saved through the ministry, as well as the Gift of evangelism God has blessed him with, I cannot accept this attack on him for any reason. Even unbelievers respected him. Satan is the accuser of the brethern.
How old are you? Do you have your own place? Does he have a good paying job and can he support your? If you still live at home you need to obey and honor your parents according to the 10 commandments. Do both of you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you read your Bibles daily and pray to Jesus and the Father?. Do you repeat prayers (Catholic) or do you talk to God from your heart as genuine Christians do? I know many genuine Christians in the Catholic church who have a relationship with the Living God, and don't pray to saints but to God. They confess their sins to God and believe they are forgiven based on the scriptures in 1 John 1. They believe thay are saved based on Ephesians 2:8 and the book of Romans 10:9-10. Your boyfriend needs to be doing these things as well; when God is the center of a marriage, it can last because God is changing both of you to be more like Him and you are conforming your lives by surrendering them to the authority of the Scriptures.
Your are welcome here, religion seeker. When a person becomes a true Christian, the things that are produced in his life are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, gentleness or long-suffering, and self control. The love is an unselfish, giving love which comes from God Himself. The God we serve has all those qualities as well as righteousness, power and holiness; Our God is often likened to a shepherd caring for his sheep. We belong to Him and He cares for us. It is a personal relationship. His objective is to conform us to be more like Him, so that we also care for others. Jesus our Messiah loves us so much that He gave His own lìfe to suffer and die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins, so that we may come into the presence of our Father God.
My hubby was drawn by God to read a Gideon's Bible in a motel room in the 70s. He started at the first--Genesis. That was fine but he got bogged down trying to pronouce the names of the generations and the boundaries of the promised land. Yet he could not put it down! He read all night. Not long after that he started to attend church. After 6 months he knelt in a wheat field and asked God into his life. I praise God for the ministry of the Gideons and the power of God to work through His Word.
If you are doing a bible study and trying to discern doctrine, I would use one of the versions BoPeep suggeted. I use the NKJV because the archaic language of KJV impedes my understanding of the Scriptures, and words have changed in meaning since the 1600s. I also like the Amplified, which defines words as you go, but it can get wordy. It is based largely on the ASV of 1901?. ASV was considered very accurate but still contains the thees and thous, if those don't bother you. The NASV mostly bases its translation on the manuscript from Alexandria Egypt which contained changes made by a Gnostic cult. The ASV uses manuscripts the Catholic church had used while KJV used manuscripts from the Greek Orthodox church as well. The latter was the most accepted in the first centuries AD but their early ones had been destroyed by the Roman Emporers. If you want one for devotionals, NIV may be OK. I often have compared bibles for better understanding. That is easy to do online. Bible Study Tools (free) has a parallel bible option in which you can read most any two you choose, side by side. That may also help you choose one to buy. Another great Bible study tool can be downloaded for free, but you must pay for copywrited bibles and books. It is E-Sword. The KJV contains Strongs numbering over a word so that if you place your cursor on it, a brief definition in Greek with be shown. ASV and many other good but older versions are free as well as some good commentaries and Greek lexicons (dictionaries).
It was a slow process for me. I started by hearing God, 1957, being convicted of sin, repenting and turning to Jesus for forgiveness, confession to friends and making restitution, 1958, and starting to read the Bible 1959. All of this was led of the Spirit as God put these things on my heart. Then I received some bad teaching and started looking for a church that fed me. I was baptized but was still looking for teaching and I understood very little of the Bible because I had surrendered very little of my life to God. After I got better teaching and accepted the Trinity, the Bible started making more sense. I learned that salvation was by faith, and that Jesus did not just give me a second chance to try to be good enough to get into heaven. He purchased my salvation with His blood and it is a free gift! 1961. Then I learned about walking or being led by the Holy Spirit. and started surrendering problem areas of my life to God by seaking solutions in the Bible. He did such a good job with those that I surrendered it all. 1970. That is when the Bible became God's love letter to me. I could understand it. When was I saved? I believe that it was when I first repented and started obeying the things the Holy Spirit put upon my heart. But my personal belief is that I could have been lost any time up until I fully surrendered to Him and worshipped Him with a heart full of thanksgiving and praise. He was no longer a God Who was somewhere listing. He became closer than breath itself, living in me and working through me. Blessings, Willa
As a wife, I was directed to 1 Peter 3:1-12. Substitute husbands for wives in the first part, in " if some do not obey the word, they may without a word may be won by the conduct of their (husbands)". ''Then skip to v.7 through 12. Dwell with them with understanding. Women want to be held, reassured, and treated with affection and honor. Appreciate her. Help with the kids as much as possible and be a good dad. Kids wear out a woman and they need some quiet time as much as you do when you come home from work. And ask her what you can do to help. --having compassion, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing--. Most of all, ask God to fill you with His love for her 1 Cor. 134-7 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails-- Ephesians 5:25 Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, v 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes it and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. (Read passage) As you put God first in your life, He redirects you to your wife and family. You do need to absorb His Word and the things of God to become established in Him. But try to give time to her and kids as well. When hubby was saved he followed me around like a puppy and was almost annoying. It was the answer to my years of prayers, but I realized that God was using the time to prepare my heart to receive my new hubby, a changed man. He was also changing me to be more submissive and to honor him as I should, even before he was saved. So give it all some time and be very patient and kind with her. We have been married 52 years now, and God has slowly made him into the man of my dreams. He is so good and faithful. Blessings, Willa
I can easily see this subject creating paranoia. The answer is to keep our eyes on Jesus and our thoughts in the Word. We are told to think on things that are true, noble, just, pure lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. If we do this, those things that are not will stand out like a sore thumb. It is easy to recognize what is false when we immerse ourselves in truth..
TV commersials. Buying the latest and best. Gossip, fault finding, and most of the things teens and women of the world chat about. Latest diets, latest trends and all the fads. I don't know what men consider worldly and empty chatter.
When you wholly surrender your life to God, the Bible will start to make more sesnse. But at first the verses you need to apply to your life the most will be the ones that you are drawn to. For me it was 1 Corinthians 13, about God's love.