I’M A BRAND NEW CHRISTIAN! NOW WHAT?

stages-300x300This was the question I asked myself thirty years ago when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. You see, I was not raised in a church and did not own a Bible until I was 27 years old. There was no one around to disciple me and, honestly, I felt completely lost because there was so much I did not understand. Although I was excited about my brand new life as a Christian, I knew nothing about the things of God. My first few years as a Christian, I made so many mistakes. I realized years later that my transition could have been much easier if I had been discipled which is why I am sharing this message.

Allow me to be completely honest with you. Following Jesus Christ will be the most difficult and the most rewarding experience you will ever encounter in your life. The sad fact of the matter is that not everyone will be able to see it through to the end for many people come to Christ for many reasons. However, only those who are called by God will be able to contend to the end. The Bible tells us “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The Highway to Hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life (Heaven) is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Relationship is the key. To successfully live the life of a Believer, you must have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Two-way communication is mandatory for this journey.

So, what do you do now that you are a brand new Christian? If you haven’t already, first be sure that you get baptized…

GET BAPTIZED
Jesus tells us: “Most assuredly, I say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) Baptism represents the partaking of the burial and raising of Jesus Christ so that we, too, may walk in the newness of life. It is for this reason, we are told to repent AND be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of our sins. The Bible also tells us that the baptism allows us to “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit(Acts 2:38) who is our Helper though out this walk.

The first thing Jesus did before He began His ministry was to be baptized, (Luke 3:21-22). Where do you go to get baptized? Any true follower of Jesus Christ (Believer) is authorized, according to Jesus Christ, to baptize. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. (Matthew 28: 19-20)

Baptism can be done in a true, Jesus-following church and even in a bathtub within the home of a true believer. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to follow His example. So regardless of where you get baptized, get baptized as soon as you can!

READ YOUR BIBLE
You cannot truly follow Jesus Christ if you do not understand who He is or know His word. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

There is no substitute for reading your bible. Begin immediately and do it every day. There are many translations available. Find one that is most faithful to the original text. I recommend beginning with the King James Version or the New King James Version. If you are sincere in seeking Him, God will unlock the mysteries of His word to you and give you understanding. Set aside time when and where you can meditate on Him without being interrupted. Quality and quantity go hand-in-hand when it comes to reading your Word. The Bible telIs us that we are to “study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word unto truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). Remember this: God pursues those who pursue Him.

PRAY OFTEN
Jesus tells His followers to pray always without ceasing. Prayer, very simply, is talking to God just as you would talk to your very best friend for He is just that. In fact, you will find that He is the very best friend you will ever have. Talk to Him about everything. He cares about everything that concerns you. There is nothing too small or seemingly too insignificant that you can’t share with Him. Through prayer, you will be developing a very REAL and very intimate relationship with the true and living almighty, miraculous God. There’s nothing in the world like it.

My suggestion would be that you begin by praying every morning before you start your day and every evening before you go to bed. Also pray often throughout the day. Pray about everything. Pray for direction and guidance concerning every decision you make. Thank Him for all He has done, all He is doing and all He will do for you. Pray for others as well as yourself. If you find it difficult to find the words to pray, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and He will. “When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly you.” (Matthew 6:6)

BUILD FRIENDSHIPS WITH OTHER TRUE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS
The Christian life is not an easy life. As a true follower of Jesus Christ, you will be under constant attack and scrutiny from this world by way of Satan and his demons. As hard as it may be to understand this, know that this may even include your family members. It is good to fellowship with like-minded Christians. Jesus told His disciples that “A prophet is without honor only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own household.” Mark 6:4

You will need to be around those you trust for encouragement as well as correction. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but encouraging one another and so much the more as you see the Day (of Jesus’ return) approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Also be mindful that we, as Christians, are warned to not be unequally yoked with non-believers. “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

OFFER YOUR GIFTS & SERVICES FOR GOD’S PURPOSE
As a new Christian, the Lord will begin a miraculous new work in you. You will go through a process that will transform you from the old you into the fabulous new you that God created you to be. Now, this transformation doesn’t usually happen over night. The process of molding and re-shaping you into the spiritual image of Jesus Christ takes a lifetime. A brand new Spirit has come alive in you for God has an amazing work for you to do. How exciting! “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

ALWAYS LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE YOUR FAITH & YOUR TESTIMONY WITH OTHERS
Through Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, you have received salvation. You can now stand alongside of Him and claim your inheritance to the Kingdom of God. Through Him, you now have the authority and the power that delivers healing and deliverance. You have access to the throne of the one and only living God. There is much God is going to tell you, do with you and show you so keep a journal and share your excitement whenever you have the opportunity.

It is through your testimony, and the testimony of others, that Jesus Christ will be shared throughout the world. It is also through your testimony that You share in the victory of overcoming Satan and the evil that is temporarily in this world. “And they (Christians) overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

As you continue in your faith and your walk, remember that there is nothing you have done that was deserving of this wonderful blessing that you have received through Jesus Christ. You have been saved by grace alone. Even still, God has started a work in you and His promise is to finish it. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” (Philippians 1:6)

PRAY FOR GOD TO LEAD YOU INTO YOUR DESTINY
Only God knows the plans He has for you. Only God knows of your special call. Pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit to know it and then receive it by faith. Pray for spiritual sensitivity to hear Him so that you can obey His every word. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

Now, welcome to the family and remember that in all things to God be all the glory!

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