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Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit who makes you sons. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Romans 8:9-11, 14-16 NIV)

When you are born again, you are a babe in Christ at first. And just as toddlers tend to fall while learning to walk, so it is with learning to walk in the Spirit. But the Father will help you grow as His child. You will form a longing for the Word, and the Holy Spirit will teach you as you read. You will see more and more clearly that Jesus could not be merely the first angelic creation, as some cults teach, but that He is, as doubting Thomas finally came to believe, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28 KJV)

Besides learning more about God and growing in love for Him, you will also come to see yourself as part of the body of Christ. This is "the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven." (Heb. 12:23 NIV) The true church, Christ's body, crosses denominational lines and includes individuals both in and out of the various religious organizations that men have set up. It is composed of all those who look to Christ as Head, who have been "baptized by one Spirit into one body." "Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. ...The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I don't need you!'" (1 Cor. 12:12-21 NIV) So, we need our brothers and sisters in Christ, even if we see ourselves as quite different from them.

It may be difficult at first to adopt this scriptural view of our brothers in Christ: "If a person's faith is not strong enough, welcome him all the same without starting an argument. People range from those who believe they may eat any sort of meat to those whose faith is so weak they dare not eat anything except vegetables. Meat eaters must not despise the scrupulous. On the other hand, the scrupulous must not condemn those who feel free to eat anything they choose, since God has welcomed them. It is not for you to condemn someone else's servant. ...If one man keeps certain days as holier than others, and another

considers all days to be equally holy, each must be left free to hold his own opinion." (Rom. 14:1-5 Jerusalem Bible) If you accept this view of the brotherhood, then you will find it easier to fellowship with Christians from other backgrounds.

Ask the Lord to guide you into the fellowship He wants you to be in. He will answer your prayer. Of course, He may put you into a local congregation like the one in Corinth, where the gifts of the Spirit were being misused and where the Lord's Supper was not being celebrated properly. (1 Cor. 14:23, 11:20) Or, He may send you into a church like the one in Pergamum, where corrupt practices and false teachings prevailed among some members. (Rev. 2:14, 15) Or, you may find yourself in a congregation like the one in Sardis that had "a reputation of being alive" but was actually "dead." (Rev. 3:1 NIV) Such experiences can help you to grow and to deepen your personal relationship with Jesus as Lord. "Bear what you have to bear as 'chastening'—as God's dealing with you as sons," part of your training from the Father. (Heb. 12:7 J.B. Phillips)

We all should admit, as Paul the Apostle did, that "we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face to face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now." (1 Cor. 13:12 Living Bible) So, while 'accurate knowledge' of every detail is not yet available, it is the Christian's privilege to "know" God through a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have not yet done so, tell God right now that you need Jesus as your Savior, and receive Him as your Lord. He invites you: "Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28 Today's English Version) "I will never turn away anyone who comes to me." (John 6:37 TEV)

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