The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10
“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. – Romans 4:7
If you are a new believer, you experience the beginning of your new, eternal life. Your sins have been forgiven and you have been given a fresh start.
You have now been given inexpressible, glorious joy. In addition to the wonderful blessings of knowing Christ, you are probably thinking, “Now what? What is the next step?” The Bible offers some important principles for those who have begun a relationship with God.
Steps for A New Christian
- First, as a new Christian, begin reading the Bible. There are many translations and numerous places to start. While there is no perfect translation, we recommend you choose a Bible that is easy for you to understand and is faithful to the original text of the Bible. The Bible teaches, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
- Second, as a new Christian, begin praying. Prayer is simply talking with God. Many believe prayer must include a formal set of words that can only take place during a church service. However, the Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We are instructed to praise God day and night. If we desire to know God more deeply, we must communicate with Him regularly. Throughout each day, you can give thanks to God, ask Him to answer your daily needs, and pray on behalf of others. It’s also important to pray together with others who follow Christ, encouraging each other, praising God, and seeking answers to everyone’s requests. For ideas on how to pray, you can begin with the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).
- Third, as a new Christian, be baptized. Baptism symbolizes your new life in Christ and proclaims that you are now committed to Jesus. Even Jesus was baptized (Luke 3:1-22), and He calls His followers to also be baptized. A local church pastor or church leader should be glad to speak with you about baptism if you express your interest.
- Fourth, as a new Christian, build friendships with others Christians. The Christian life is designed to be enjoyed with others. Jesus invested much of His ministry with 12 disciples as His closest friends. He likewise calls us to live in community with one another. The New Testament has over 50 “one another” verses that refer to loving one another, serving one another, encouraging one another, and praying for one another. Each of these commands requires relationships with other Christians. Fellowship with other believers is one of the purposes of a local church. If there’s a Bible-teaching church in your area, it’s a great place to get involved. If you live in a community without a church, you will need to pray for God to open opportunities for you to meet other Christians in your area.
- 5. Fifth, as a new Christian, help others. As you begin your new life as a Christian, you will find a new love inside you giving you a desire to help others. The Holy Spirit will lead you in ways to help. You might serve the poor in your community, assist a neighbor with yard work, or visit a sick friend in the hospital. The Spirit will clearly call you to show God’s love (1 John 3:17-18).
- Sixth, as a new Christian, tell someone about your faith. Becoming a Christian is not a secret; it’s a celebration! Tell all who will listen about Christ’s work in your life. In some cases, other people will come to faith in Jesus through the example you share. Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, He commanded His disciples to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Today, Christians are still called to share the hope within us with others (1 Peter 3:15-16).
- Finally, these are simply helpful tips on how to grow in your new faith; they are not a list of requirements to become a Christian or to stay a Christian. You have been saved by grace through faith, apart from any works of your own (Ephesians 2:8-9). God started the work in you, and He promises to finish it (Philippians 1:6). God bless you as you continue to mature in your faith!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1. Unfortunately, legalisms is eroding the Grace the Lord Jesus has given us. We have forgotten that the Lord Jesus is the foundation for knowing God – John 14:16. We don’t get to God through a religion or a denomination but only through Christ.
Rely on God
Whatever else you do… Trust in God Almighty with everything you’ve got. Don’t even try and figure out what’s going on in your life. In everything you do, simply stay in intimate relationship with God through His Spirit. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
God has promised, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled”. (Matt 5:6) So feast on His infallible Word. “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Pet 2:2).
Do not trust your own thinking “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.”. Prov 3:5-8. 2 Tim 3:16-17 “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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”.
Keep the lines of communication open with your Savior, (1 Thes 5:17) He wants to hear from you throughout each day. Beware of the enemy! 1 Pet 5:8 says “Be sober, be vigilant; because in adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Finally, remember you are complete in Jesus Christ. There are no rituals, rites, ceremonies or ordinances you need to keep to be right with Him or to maintain your salvation. He has already done it ALL for you. We read in Micah 6:8 that “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God”
A brief response to the question “what is the next step for a new Christian?” is found in the epistle the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus. Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. KJV. In other words, when you have converted to Christianity, i.e. have denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, live soberly (treat yourself right), live righteously (treat others right) and live godly (treat God right), in this present world. Be encouraged to study the Word of God. Commit to making Jesus Lord of your life. He said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46. Study the Bible and live the lifestyle He taught. Be holy. Be righteous. Be godly.
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