Your decision to accept the free gift of salvation and become a Christian is the most important decision you will ever make. There is no greater joy in all the world than to know God personally, to know your sins are forgiven, and to have peace in your soul. If you have made this decision, a miracle has taken place in your life; you are a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17)! God, the Creator of the universe, has become your Father. Now, for the first time, you are considered a child of God and Heaven is your eternal home. (If you want to know more about making this decision, click here).
Congratulations, you have now taken your first step and have begun your new life in Christ! When you became a Christian, you were what the Bible refers to as an “infant in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1). As a new Christian, God desires for you to grow. He knows that this life will bring trials and troubles; and in those times, He wants you to know that He loves you and will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). But in order for you to know all of this, you have to grow in your knowledge of Him by reading your Bible, attending a Bible-based church, praying, and living your life in obedience to Him.
Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). We pray that as your relationship grows, you will love the Lord more and more; and furthermore, obey His commands and live a life that is blessed because of your obedience. Here are a few action steps to start with as you continue on your new life in Christ.
Baptism is the first step of obedience for a new Christian. The first public act in the ministry of Jesus was His baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17). The New Testament teaches that baptism is an outward sign of an inward change (Romans 6:4). It is a public confession and testimony of what has already taken place in your heart. Baptism represents being buried with Christ (immersed in water) in the likeness of His death, and raised with Christ in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:4). Not only does baptism picture the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, it also pictures the burial of the old sinful life and the resurrection of a new life in Christ. As a believer, you should be baptized as a witness of your faith in Christ. Not in order to be saved, but because you are saved (Acts 8:35-40).
Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). Just as you need physical food in order to sustain physical life, you need spiritual food (the Bible) to maintain spiritual life. We suggest you begin with the New Testament by reading the Gospel of John or Mark. Follow this with the book of Acts. Next, read Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. The entire New Testament can be read in three months by reading three chapters a day. By reading three chapters of the Old Testament and one chapter of the New Testament each day, the whole Bible can be read in one year. Set aside a few moments at the beginning of each day for Bible study. Look for promises to claim, commandments to obey, examples to follow and sins to avoid. Memorize key verses such as John 3:16. Your growth as a Christian will be directly related to your personal application of the Word of God.
Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray.” (Luke 18:1). In another place we read, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). You should form the habit of praying daily for definite people and specific things. A prayer list may prove helpful in making your prayers more meaningful. There is nothing too great and nothing too small to take to the Lord in prayer. Thank God for all He has done for you. Ask Him for the strength and help you need to live for Jesus Christ.
The greatest work in the world is sharing your faith; and every Christian can and should tell others about Jesus. Jesus said, “Ye shall be a witness unto Me” (Acts 1:8). You don’t have to have the whole Bible memorized and know the answers to theological questions to share your faith; it can be as simple as sharing your story of how Jesus changed your life. Try to talk to someone each day about Jesus and how He can change their life like He changed yours. Remember that how you act as a Christian will also be a testimony of your faith, so share God’s love by how you act as well as by what you say. Whether you are at home, work, or school, there should be something that’s different about you. By living a life that is set apart, you will be able to tell people the reason why your life is so different.
As Christians, we recognize that everything we own is already Gods; and we show Him this by tithing ten percent of our income. Tithing is the Biblical method of supporting God’s work. The Bible tells us, “Upon the first day of the week (Sunday) let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him” (1 Corinthians 16:2). God says to bring the tithe into the “storehouse,” meaning the local church. Your church is your storehouse of spiritual food, blessing, and service, so this is the proper place to give your tithe. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows” (Malachi 3:10). The right use of money is a test of character; and if you are dishonest to God in money matters, you cannot grow spiritually.
Jesus didn’t intend for us to live this life alone. He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our Helper, but He also gave us the local church as a way to encourage, fellowship, and worship with other believers. All Christians should be a part of a local, Bible believing church. If Jesus loved the church enough to die for it (Ephesians 5:25), this is sufficient reason for us to love and support it. Make regular church attendance as much a habit as eating. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25) is a clear command of the word of God. During church services, you will hear God’s word read, explained, and applied to your everyday problems. Every Christian, young and old, can benefit from the inspiration and information given in a church worship service.
Our adult fellowship classes meet every Sunday morning at 10am and serve as a small group for you to get connected with a community of like-minded people. In these classes, you will be challenged and encouraged in your faith and prayed for. For a list of our adult fellowship classes, click here.
There is far more to the Christian life than what is included here, but if you follow these initial steps, you will find yourself growing in your knowledge of God and see your relationship with Him grow.
If you do not have a church home yet, I would like to personally invite you to one of our services at the Anchorage Baptist Temple. We meet Sunday mornings at 10am, 11am, and 6pm, as well as Wednesdays at 7:30pm. For more information about our service times, click here.
Pastor Jerry Prevo