core studies : newness of life
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15
Newness of Life
The word "Christian" means "like Christ." Before we were saved, we were not like Christ (1 Peter 4:2-4). Since we have been baptized in Jesus' name, we are saved from the wrath of God and walk in newness of life (Mark 16:16-18, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Our "newness" comes from walking as Christ would have us to walk (Roman 6:1-4, Mark 14:35-36).
God desires us to live in holiness and do good works (Hebrews 12:14, Ephesians 2:10). Holiness and good works are called good fruits unto God. A person can tell if he is walking in the Spirit of God by the evidence of the "fruit of the spirit" that he does/does not bear (Galatians 5:22-25, Ephesians 4:20-30, Matthew 7:16-20). Christianity is more than a belief of mind: it is a way of life (Galatians 2:20, Mark 12:30-31, Matthew 6:33, Colossians 3:17).
Just like the bridge from the Old to New Testament was Jesus Christ, the bridge from the old man to the new man is also Jesus Christ. From the point that a person is baptized in Jesus' name, he is changed by the power of God into a new person (Romans 6:6-8, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:4-10, Ephesians 2:11-17). This new man has new ways and habits to develop: new prayer, new fasting, new communication, new relationships (Luke 5:36-39, 1 Corinthians 5:6-9, Colossians 3:9-10)
As Christ daily sought out the will of the Father, even so should we as Christians (John 8:29). Because Christianity is a way of life, we must continu ally seek to draw closer to God in Christ's ways (Philippians 3:8-15). In order to draw near to God, we must resist the Devil and all of his temptations (James 4:7-8). When we draw closer to God, we can see our shortcomings more clearly. This is why we must maintain a repentant heart before him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 5:1-7).
A religious person that has not been baptized in Jesus' name is not a new creature in Christ, but is still an old creature, still full of sin, just with some new ways. God's promises are for those who obey him (John 14:15, Acts 5:32, Hebrews 5:9). When the Lord comes back, he is coming for those who are walking as he walked: in spirit and truth (Romans 8:1-15, John 4:23-24).