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How to thrive in family life

Now that I’m a Christian: Six Steps to Joy for New Believers

Congratulations on receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior!
If you’re wondering “NOW WHAT?” as a new believer…please keep reading!

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{This post is a follow-up to “You Must Be Born Again: Why we desperately need Jesus Christ” in which the need for salvation through Jesus Christ is explained.}

(For help on how to look up a Bible verse, click here.)

When you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ you inherited eternal life (John 3:3). You were re-created into a brand new person on the inside – you were given a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17).

You may hear people say that now you are “saved.”  That’s because now that you are born again you are saved from the wrath of God (John 3:36).  Essentially, this term is a distinction between our past (unsaved) and our present (saved) position before God.

Receiving Christ, however, is only the beginning.  There are several steps that will help you to grow in Him.  The degree to which you grow in Christ hinges completely upon your dependence of Him (John 15:5).  You cannot experience the “abundant life” Christ spoke of if your energy and passion is given to following your own self-directed choices and desires (John 10:10).

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The following steps are guaranteed by the Bible to bring joy and abundant life in your Christian walk. 

Step 1 – Baptism

After salvation God gives us the wonderful command to follow Christ in Baptism (Matthew 28:18-20). Baptism is the first step of obedience for the new believer in Christ.  It is a picture of your death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Romans 6:3-5).  Baptism is the immersion of the body under water.  The word baptism literally means “to dip, to plunge, to submerge, or to immerse.”  Baptism produces joy: read the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch’s salvation and baptism in Acts 8:28-40. If you love the Lord, you will want to do what He commands! (John 14:15)

Step 2 – Church Attendance

Church is an amazing place!  At church, you will receive instruction and encouragement on how to live the joy-filled Christian life.  As you attend, you will get to know other Christians as well as learn essential Bible truths through the preaching and teaching (Acts 2:41-47).  God has given pastors to the church who will feed you in “knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15).  God commands us not to forsake assembling ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25).   Your local church offers Sunday school classes or small groups to help you grow in Christ.  Church is not a perfect place.  If it were, it would cease being perfect the minute you walked in!  Some people are sheep; some people are goats (Matthew 25:31-46).  Keep your focus on Jesus and be faithful to attend every week.

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1).

Step 3 – Prayer

Prayer fellowship with the Father is a crucial part of the believer’s life.  Prayer is simply talking to God and asking Him for things we need.  God is never busy and is always available to us!  When you pray, ask God boldly (Hebrews 4:16) for the things you need in Jesus’ name (John 14:14), believe that He will answer your prayer (if It’s according to His will – 1 John 5:14) and thank Him for the answer before it even comes (Mark 11:24).  Pray for yourself and others continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6) in private (Matthew 6:6) because your spiritual life depends on it (Ephesians 6:11-18).  Pray every day alone with God, but pray with other Christians at church, too.  The Father loves hearing from you!

Step 4 – Bible Study

Spiritual growth can only come as you read and study the Bible so make a habit to read God’s word every day.  It’s one of the single most important things you can do a Christian.  Newborn Christians should desire the “milk” of God’s word (1 Peter 2:2).  All Scripture is inspired by God (God breathed) and is good for teaching, correcting and training in righteousness; as such, it equips us for every good work in Christ (2 Timothy 3:16 & 17).  We study to show ourselves approved unto God so that we are not ashamed and can accurately handle God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15).  Start with the Gospel of John, then you could start at the beginning of the New Testament and read it through.  If you read four chapters a day, you would finish the Bible in one year!    

Step 5 – Giving

God has designed a wonderful plan to finance the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is God’s will that all people should hear the truth of the gospel.  In order for that to happen, churches must be built, missionaries must be sent to other countries, and many other ministries must be financed to get the gospel to a lost and dying world.  The way these needs are met is by God’s people giving generously.  Jesus made it clear that we are obligated to be generous to those in need (Matthew 25:31-46).  Giving is to be done cheerfully, rather than as an obligation (2 Corinthians 9:6-7), and not for the purpose of public recognition (Matthew 6:1-4).  God wants to bless us greatly, He does this according to our generosity (Luke 6:38, 2 Corinthians 9:6).

Step 6 – Discipleship Making

Sharing Christ with others brings profound joy in the believer’s life.  The very last command Christ gave to Christians before He went into heaven was to share His message with others (Matthew 28:19-20). In every single gospel – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – we are told that we have a responsibility to bring others to Christ.  In Acts 1:8 Christ promised that we would have the power of the Holy Spirit living within us to perform this important task.  If you like, use the outline from this post to explain God’s salvation plan.  By sharing the Gospel, not only are you leading others to eternal life, you’re helping them to escape the reality of hell.  Share Christ’s love with your unsaved friends and loved ones today!

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Life in Christ is amazing! But please keep in mind that your new life in Christ is a lifelong process of change.  Yes, you are given a new nature, but you are still in a constant battle with your old one.  Yes, you are an entirely new spiritual being in Christ, with a new standing before God and freedom from the tyranny of sin, but you will still battle the old nature that you inherited from Adam (Galatians 5:17).

The Apostle Paul challenges us to be renewed day by day (Romans 12:22).  This implies a daily, conscious effort to strengthen your walk with God.  So start making these six steps a priority today.  Abundant life is waiting for you!

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{The material in this post is in part excerpted from Seven Steps to Joy and The Discipleship Challenge by Partners in MinistryI HIGHLY recommend both of these resources for Christian discipleship.}

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Comments

  1. You’ve made some great points here, and I was most happy to see that you said it’s a lifelong process of change. So many people – new Christians, non-Christians, think that these instantaneous things happen and life is peachy. Not hardly – not even when you’ve been a Christian for a long time. I think that’s a major hurdle that so many struggle to overcome. Thank you for sharing with us at Grace & Truth – this post was a tremendous blessing to me!

    • Hi Rebekah,

      Yes, sanctification is a life long process. I’m so glad the Lord is ever patient with us. So glad you stopped by and please come again.

      Tiffiney

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