First Steps for a New Believer
... God has called us to a divine relationship with His Son as the supreme relation- ship of our entire life. To establish this supremacy, He wants you to quickly look beyond every other human (including other Christians,) and directly to Himself as your lord. In particular, He wants to follow-up on the gospel message you’ve just heard in order to seal it’s power in your heart. You will have a part in this, and He will have a part: .
... God’s part is that He intends to show Himself mighty on your behalf (Mark 16:15-20; 1 Corinthians 2:5). For example, you’ve just heard that Jesus was scourged during His sufferings, and that "By His stripes we are healed." (1 Peter 2:24). So then, do you need a physical healing in you life? Call out to Him and ask for this, and allow Him to show you the power behind the gospel message. Or, He may answer you in other ways for your benefit, as He chooses. Beyond the blessing itself, this powerful initiative will settle your heart in the assurance He cares for you personally, and that is is always safe to trust in Him. .
... Your part in sealing this covenant is in the ceremony of Water Baptism, which is performed in His name. It is the outward sign of your new faith as you are momentarily lowered into water, as into a grave, then quickly raised again -- in likeness of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is your open testimony to the world that you believe the gospel and you’ve decided to follow Jesus. New Christians in the Bible were baptized immediately, and you should follow this example. .
... After this initial response, a lifetime of growth in Christ will follow. In it's most practical form this will depend on communication, which will take place in three essential ways: .
... First, you should continue talking with God, like the prayer you offered when you were saved. But now you should spend quality time discussing the things He shows you, and how to apply them in your everyday life. And in this, He will constantly show you Jesus as a living example. .
... You may also discuss your other needs during this time. But when you do, remember to be thankful for the things He has already done for you – especially the most recent things. This will quickly graduate into a joyous sense of praise and worship as you come to appreciate Him and His care for you. .
... Second, you should begin reading the Bible daily to insure that you are learning and growing properly. This is a way to show God that you love what you are discovering about Him, and that you desire to learn more – and He has promised to satisfy this desire when He sees it in you. Since Jesus is our primary example in life, we suggest that you start by reading about His own life in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). In fact, it would be good to read them twice apiece. Soon, your Bible study will begin to enrich your prayer times as well, as you gain experience in discerning His voice and in seeing the character traits of Jesus as you listen to Him. .
... Finally, you should cultivate friendships with other sincere Christians by discussing the Lord and seeking to encourage each other daily. When two or more Christians come together in this way, Church spontaneously appears between them (Matthew 18:20). This, in fact, will be your most meaningful sense of Christian fellowship.
.... In the Bible, Christians met in small groups, in a house of peace, and moved from one such house to another. But on Sundays they also came together in a larger setting where worship was offered, sermons were given, needs were met, problems were addressed, and further training was available. Here, they found a broader sense of community as well. Often, they shared a meal during this time. .
... Church, in this larger sense, is a place where you may benefit from the wisdom and experience of those who have been Christians longer. The leaders in this church have a special calling to care for you and to help you grow in a way that will always points to Jesus. Soon, you will find a meaningful place among them as your own gifts and abilities begin to play a part. Every Christian benefits when they keep their eyes on Jesus and work together in this way. And when your family and other friends see this love, they will be encouraged to hear what you have to say.
If you decide to begin a relationship with the Lord, additional daily lessons are available by clicking here. These lessons will walk you through the basics in an orderly, comprehensive way.