O.K.! NEW CHRISTIAN....
by Elmer G. Magnussen
If you are a new Christian, there are some very important things you need to
know. First, you need to know exactly what has happened to you. Second,
you need to know God's provisions for your future growth and service to Him.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
Your acknowledging Jesus Christ as the Son of God and coming to Him is the
work of the Holy Spirit. Whatever words you used or however you prayed, if
you somehow confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and committed your life to Him,
you were responding to the urging of the Spirit of God. For "no one can
say, 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:3).
Jesus said that "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws
him; and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:44).
So, in all things may God be glorified! This is an occasion to praise Him
for patiently wooing you, drawing you, planting seeds of thought over the
years and shaping circumstances that you might come to recognize and know
Him, the Source of life. He has made you the recipient of His grace, or
"unmerited favor" (Ephesians 2:8,9). As you realize what He has done for
you, just stop listening to me for a few moments and thank and praise our
When by faith you received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, many wonderful
and exciting things happened to you. All your sins were forgiven by Jesus'
taking all your punishment upon Himself. You are accepted by God because of
what Jesus did. You now have peace with God and are saved from His wrath
against the rebellion and sinfulness of humanity.
"Therefor having been justified by faith, we have peach with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ...the love of God has been poured out
within our hearts...have now been justified by His blood, we shall be
saved from the wrath of God through Him" (Romans 5:1,5,9)>
You have experienced a new birth, a spiritual birth. You have been "born
again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead" (1 Peter 1:3). You have been born into God's family and are a child
of God (John 1:12). And as His child, you are an heir of God and fellow-
heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). Jesus told us, "Do not be afraid, little
flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom" (Luke
12:32). What a wonderful, loving Father we have! And what a wonderful
Savior, who gave Himself as a ransom for you and now shares His Father's
kingdom with you as a fellow-heir and calls you "friend" (John 15:15).
You have become a temple or dwelling place of God's Spirit. You see,
through the act of salvation God not only assures us of a future dwelling in
a wonderful place called heaven, but for the present He makes His dwelling
place in us. We become His vessels of expression on the earth. Yes, a
mystery, called by the Apostle Paul "... the mystery which has been hidden
from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His
saints, ... which is Christ in
you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:26,27). As we yield to God's Spirit
and allow Him to live His life through us, we can even say with Paul, "it is
no longer 1 who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
FAITH VERSES FEELING
God's grace is free, and you receive it by faith (Ephesians 2:8,9) -- an
ingenious method that only God's wisdom could devise. Thus, it does not
depend on intelligence, sex, age, social status, or good deeds; otherwise,
people's abilities to be saved might vary. Everyone has the same ability to
Neither does grace depend on feelings. We live in a physical body, and
feelings are affected by fatigue, diet, and other factors. Also, our
emotional makeup varies. Salvation is by faith, an act of our will,
entrusting our life to Him. Feelings will follow as we learn to experience
God's love, joy, and peace; but do not let your varying fleshly feelings
affect your assurance of God's unswerving grace: "... the life which I now
live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and
delivered Himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20).
WE HAVE AN ADVOCATE
In spite of our sin, we are recipients of God's amazing grace. "What shall
we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it
never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" (Romans 6:1,2).
The Bible makes it clear that we should no longer sin. Yet, it recognizes
the imperfection of our present state and tells us of God's provision. The
Apostle John wrote in his first epistle that we might not sin, but,
paradoxically, he recognized that "if we say we have no sin, we are
deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). God's
provision is that if anyone does sin, "... we have an Advocate with the
Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1), and "If we confess our
sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
New Christian, it's as simple as this: do not sin, because sin grieves
God's spirit, breaks your fellowship with Him, and hurts yourself and
others. But if you should, quickly confess it to God and receive
forgiveness and cleansing. Then determine, with God's help, to avoid such
sin in the future.
Equally important -- once you have confessed your sin, press forward and
never look back on what God has forgiven and forgotten. Satan, who is
called the "accuser" and a "thief," will try to rob you of your confidence
in God's forgiveness. But God says that "There is therefore now no
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). Believe God.
Rest in Him!
God knows you and loves you as a unique person. He has a unique plan and
purpose for your life, and He will lead and guide you in a special way that
will apply to no other person. He will unfold much to you in the weeks and
months ahead. But to begin with, there are a few basic things you should
Prayer is talking to God, and listening to Him. Even though He is invisible
to the natural eye, He is still a real Person. Knowing someone and
fellowshipping with someone requires two-way communication. So praying to,
or communicating with God is quite natural for a Christian. Yet, it is an
act of faith because we cannot see Him, and faith pleases God.
Prayer can be praise, worship, thanksgiving, and petition for yourself and
others. He wants to hear from your heart. He wants you to just be honest,
open, and unpretending. How awesome to talk to Someone who knows you
through and through! Yet, how relaxing. No need for pretending. All masks
are removed. And He still loves us!
Pray throughout the day as situations arise and as the Spirit prompts. A
quiet time without distractions in a private location is also advisable.
If you are burdened with a matter and do not know how to pray with your
mind, let God's Spirit intercede for you. "The Spirit also helps our
weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit
Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; ... He
intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:26,27).
2. Read and meditate upon God's Word.
God has given us His Word, the Bible. "All Scripture is inspired by God and
profitable for teaching, for reproof, for corrections, for training in
righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
God speaks to us through the Bible. He reveals Himself, His ways, and His
purposes for mankind and for us individually. Sometimes He will emphasize
one passage of Scripture directly to your heart to meet a specific need.
The Bible does not necessarily have to be read in order, straight from front
to back. Some suggest starting with the Gospel of John in the New Testament
for insight into the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is like getting to
know the author before reading the book!
You may prefer the King James Version, but to aid understanding and study, a
modern translation is also recommended, such as the New American Standard
Pray before you read God's Word. Meditate on it. Reread and memorize as
Remember, this is not just an exercise. Jesus said that His words are
spirit and life (John 6:63). God's words are actually "living and active
and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of
soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow ..." (Hebrews 4:12). God also
says that "they are life to those who find them, and health to all their
whole body" (Proverbs 4:22).
3. Become a part of a local church.
All Christians are part of God's overall church, the Body of Christ, in the
broad sense. In addition, God wants you to be a part of a specific group of
believers in what is sometimes called the local church. God says that we
should not forsake "our own assembling together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing
near" (Hebrews 10:25).
God has ordained the church with people with special callings and talents,
such as pastors and teachers. It is a place where you can hear the Word of
God taught and find pastoral guidance and help. Together, believers
encourage and build up one another. The gifts of the Spirit are manifested
in the corporate Body. We can be a blessing to others as we are blessed.
This is God's family in action and is His desire and purpose.
Ask God to lead you to the church of His choice for you, and He will. The
true test of His church is whether Jesus Christ is honored as Lord and the
Bible is honored as God's Word.
Beware of false cults. Typical characteristics of a cult may include:
placing Jesus Christ as less than or not equal to God the Father; a revered
book other than or in addition to the Bible; an undue emphasis on one
person, leader, or founder; and emphasis on salvation by works rather than
by grace through faith; and being controlled by and forcing service to the
organization or leader rather than voluntary service to the Lord Jesus
4. Live for Him.
"He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for
themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf"
(2 Corinthians 5:15). This means that as you have confessed
Jesus Christ as Lord, then let Him be Lord of your life, your
time, your family, your talents, and your finances. In doing
so, you will not only please the Lord, but you will be allowing
Him to bless you and use you as He desires.
(Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible or the King
Rev. Elmer Magnussen is Pastor of Evangelism and Discipleship at the McLean
Bible Church, McLean, Virginia.
HELP FOR NEW CHRISTIANS
OK! New Christian...What Now? | Bible verse for every letter of the alphabet.| Church History Summary.| The Christian Message.| Election. | Is Hebrews 6 a warning? | Seven Incontestable Questions. | Ironside: Agnosticism. | Issues Of The Heart - J. MacArthur. | Natural Laws and God's Laws. | Possession: The Devil Made Me Do It! | The Preisthood Of All Believers. | Why Jesus? | Knowing Why You Believe - Evidence - Bible. | Discussions With Unbelievers. | Inerrancy. | What Does It Mean To Be A Christian? | First Adam; Then Eve; then what? | What Will People Think? | Perfect For All Time. | Jesus Is Lord. | Spiritual Strength And Power. | The Biblical Calendar Of History. | Studying Your Bible. | Computer Analysis Of The Books Of The Bible. | Early Christianity - Is The Record Sound? | The Bible - The Most Popular Book. | Credentials Of The Bible. | Doomed - to Hell. | Faith And Works In The Plan Of God. | Others Can But You Can't. | Impositions - giving to God and by God. | Why Did Christ Die? | The Successful Christian - #1. | The Successful Christian - #2. | Is It What We Say Or What We Are? | Forty-day Bible Study. | Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation? | How To Overcome Sin - Charles Finney. Death. | Why We Reject This Version. | How Does God Keep His Promises? | Radical Genesis Evangelicals.
This article is from www.BelieversCafe.com