What does it mean to "forgive"?

To forgive means to release yourself from remaining in the self built prison of pride, hurt, pain and shame. People have many different reasons to not forgive and hold hatred, resentment and bitterness in their hearts but it doesn't hurt anyone but themselves. You may have every reason in the world to not forgive but as a believer, you don't have the right to not forgive. Because God has forgiven us so greatly, we have to choose to forgive. ​

When you forgive, you aren't saying that what was done against you is okay. You aren't letting that person off the hook, but you are letting yourself off the hook. The hook of pride. You are releasing yourself from the internal bondage that unforgiveness brings. Unforgiveness will always try and justify itself because it is fed by pride. Pride always separates us from God, healing, help, hope, etc. You can forgive by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ask God for the power to forgive. You don't have to feel it but you can faith it. Pray, God, as an act of my will and in obedience to your Word, I choose to forgive. In Jesus Name, amen. Now let the Spirit of God free you. He can deal with the other people much better than you can. 

What does it mean to be “Born Again"?

Every person born in the bloodline of Adam and Eve, were born only in the flesh (sin nature) and separated from God. Once Jesus was resurrected, we could now be born-again of the Spirit of God. All those who have experienced this new birth are God's children. All those who have not, are still under the sway of the devil and can only produce his will and life for eternity. If Jesus is your Lord, then you will spend eternity with Him. If the devil is your lord, you will spend eternity with him. Jesus is the Way, Truth and the Life and no one can get to God except through the Jesus. (John14:6) People may find several different paths in life to Jesus but only one path leads to God. This is why religion or good works can never cause a person to be born-again. It isn't about an action that you do but a reaction in you by the Holy Spirit giving you this new life. Jesus came to deliver all those that would believe and bring them freedom and abundant life.  When we hear and believe the message that Jesus died for our sins and was raised to life again to save us from eternal death, all our sins are forgiven and we are “re-created” as children of God … we are “saved” or “born again.” Because “sin” had separated us from God, this “new birth” brings us back into God’s original intention, and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us.



What does it mean to be “Spirit filled"?

When we are “born again” the Holy Spirit dwells within us. When we are “Spirit-filled” or “Baptized in the Spirit” God’s power comes upon us. Jesus promised that those who believed in Him would “…receive power to be witnesses.” We need this enabling power of the Holy Spirit to serve God fully, and to minister effectively to others.



What does it me to “Speak in Tongues"?

“Speaking in Tongues” is a unique and supernatural experience of those who are “Spirit-filled.” In the Book of Acts, it was the initial response when they were filled with the Spirit. It is a manner of direct communication with God that is not the product of our minds. Scripture speaks of “the tongues of men” which are the languages of the earth, and the “tongues of Angels,” which would be the language of Heaven. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians, says that it is the way we speak directly to God and “edify” ourselves.
“Speaking in Tongues” differs from the “Gift of Tongues” in that the “Gift” is a message from God through a person which then must be “interpreted” for the encouragement of the congregation. Although they may sound similar, the “Gift” must always be followed by someone exercising the “Gift of Interpretation.” When people are “speaking in tongues” in prayer or praise to God, no interpretation is necessary…they are speaking directly to God.



What does it mean to be “Water Baptized"?

Water Baptism is a tradition of the Church since it began in the Book of Acts. When people “believed” and were “born again” they submitted to being “baptized” - immersed in water. Because this always followed their “salvation experience” it is clear that it was NOT water baptism that saved them. It was a “statement” that showed in “picture-form” what God had done for them.
Just as Jesus had died for them and was buried, they were lowered into water – a figure of death. Then, just as Jesus was raised to life again, they are raised out of the water as a figure of obtaining “new life.”



Why does it mean to "join a church or become a member"?

The Church is the Body of Christ, whether in Heaven or on Earth. It exists as both a “Universal” Body (every believer who has ever been “born again”), and as Local Bodies (individual gatherings of believers throughout the Earth). From the beginning of the Book of Acts, these “Local Churches” began to develop wherever the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached. The pattern of the very first Church furnishes us with the elements of the purpose of the Local Church:​

​They continued to study the Scriptures under the teaching of the Apostles.

They continued to study the Scriptures under the teaching of the Apostles.
They participated in a community of serving and sharing with each other.
They continued in celebration and remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
They continually gathered to pray, both personally and in agreement with others.

It is the “Local Church” which became the center for the growth of individuals, and of the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.



What is "tithing"?

The word “tithe” means “a tenth.” The first Biblical mention was in the Book of Genesis when Abraham returned from a battle and realized it was God who had given him all he had. Abraham’s response was to give the “Priest of God” a “tenth” of all he had gained. This pattern of giving a tenth is carried through the Bible to the time of the Church. Our “giving” is not a payment of debt, nor a response to a demand of God. It is to come from a heart of gratitude realizing ALL that God has given us.



Why should I "give an offering"?

We give our offerings first off as worship to God: “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” (Proverbs 3:9 – NLT) God receives the “honor / worship / reverence / gratitude” out of which we give.

We give to support the work of the Local Church and the ministries which the outreach of the Church: providing for the needs of those called to be His ministers; building places for God’s people to gather; reaching out to our communities; financing the work of mission projects carrying the Gospel to those who have not heard. ​

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We give to “bless” the poor and those who are in need. The Local Church is the organization God has established for this purpose…and the Churches of the New Testament followed this practice. We give to declare that our “trust” is not in the wealth of this world, but in God’s promised provision for us. ​

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Giving to the work of the Gospel through the Local Church is the responsibility of every believer, but is totally in the power of the giver. We are to give joyfully, not by coercion or guilt, and in an attitude of gratefulness.

 

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1550 S. Keeler Ave. Bartlesville, OK 74003  918.977.0741 victory@openyourfaith.com

 

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