I have put my faith in Jesus…now what?
First and foremost, if you are a new Christian, this is the best thing you have ever done in your whole life, as you have just found the most precious pearl, being washed of your sins and receiving eternal life with the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God. But many ask the question, How do I begin my Journey with God? What are the next steps I should take? We will go through a few steps to give you direction from the Bible.
Christian living is about changing your focus as a result of your salvation – rather than living for the world, using all your energies to achieve the things you want to achieve, but you live for God having your mind and focus changed day by day so that you use all your energy to achieve the things God wants to achieve through your life. This is a process of the “renewal of your mind”, so what God wants slowly becomes what you want as well. So becoming a Christian means that we no longer use the control we can exert to promote our own agenda, but we now promote God’s agenda; praising Him, sharing His gospel and loving both our brother and neighbor. We can refer to the following verses in the Bible:
Hebrew 13:15 “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”
Mark 12:29-31 “Jesus answered him, “The first of all commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment . And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
1. Make sure you understand salvation
Firstly God wants us to understand salvation. God wants us to be confident of knowing for sure that we are saved by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. 1 John 5:13 says “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
Again, a brief overview of salvation is:
- We have all sinned and have done things that are displeasing to God (Romans 3:23)
- Because of our sin, we deserve to be punished with eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23)
- Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:8 and Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died in our place , taking the punishment that we deserved. Jesus’ resurrection proved that His death was sufficient to pay for our sins.
- God grants forgiveness and salvation to all those who place their faith in Jesus, trusting His death as the payment for our sins (John 3:16, Romans 5:1, Romans 8:1)
- The Holy Spirit comes to reside permanently within at the moment of faith. He assures us of everlasting life. He teaches us God’s Word and empowers us to live according to it.
2. Set aside time each day to focus on God
As a Christian it is very important to set aside time every day focusing on God and spending time in His presence. This is your personal time with God. Remember that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with the Almighty God. In a relationship you will spend time with one another and this is God’s desire as well, to spend time with you. You can set aside a certain time of each day, for example, in the mornings, or evenings etc. It does not really matter when or where, what matters is that you regularly spend time with God. This time you spend with God can be through:
a. Prayer: Praying is talking to God, and having a conversation with the Almighty. You can talk about anything you want and be thankful for all that He has done for you. This can be a time where you worship Him for all of His goodness and kindness towards you, even in the time of trouble. You can ask God to give you wisdom and guidance, you can talk about your concerns and problems. This is what prayer is all about.
b. Reading your Bible: Bible reading is very important for your Christian journey. The Bible contains everything you need to know in order to live a successful Christian life. It helps us and guides us in making wise decisions, how to know God’s will, how to spread the Gospel to others and help others, and how to grow spiritually. The Bible is God’s word to us. It teaches us the way we should live, so that it is pleasing to God and satisfying for us.
3. Develop relationships with people who can help you spiritually
The Bible is full of warnings about the influences of “bad” people and the effect they can have on us. The more time we spend with those people who indulge in sinful activities, the more it causes us to be tempted by them. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”” This is why it is very important for us to surround ourselves with people who have a positive effect on us and those people who love the Lord and are committed to Him. This will also enable us to build our spiritual lives and uphold on another in prayer and support, being pleasing to the Lord in all that we do.
Hebrews 3:13 says “but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin”. Also in Hebrews 10:24 it says “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,”
So this does not mean that you have to give up all of your friends who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but instead let them know that Jesus has changed your life and you cannot do all the same things you used to do. Most of all seek the Lord Jesus Christ, to open doors and opportunities for you to share the same God to your friends so that they may also receive salvation through Christ.
4. Find a good Church that teaches the Bible
The Bible is very clear in showing us that the Church is not a structure or a building, but rather a body for believers. Hebrews 10:25 says “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” This scripture emphasizes the fact that the followers of Jesus must regularly meet together. So the church is the body of believers, and meeting together regularly is very important in the life of a Christian. You church in many ways helps to shape who you are and your relationship with God. Many of the things that you learn about the Bible will come through your church. The choice of which church you go to is very important, as the options are many.
Below are some pointers in helping you look for a right church. However, keep in mind the ultimate decision is to be made by consulting God himself and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
a. The authority and the inerrancy of the Bible
This means that all the words in Scriptures are God’s words and if we are to disobey them we are disobeying God. As the following questions:
- Is the Bible the main resource for preaching and teaching in church?
- Does the church believe that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God and is the final authority on every church matter?
b. A place that encourages you in worship
Every church must encourage you to worship God, and may sometimes seem too obvious to even list down. The church is about worshiping God and that is what we exist for. He created us to worship Him. Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-39 “Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”
Worship isn’t just about sitting through a worship service or singing songs. At the core of worship is an intimate communication with God. The church must help you in this connection with God, not just for the weekly Sunday service but also throughout your life.
c. A place that encourages and equips you to grow in discipleship
A disciple is one who is learning to live like Christ. The scripture stresses the importance of growth (discipleship). Hebrews 5:12-13 says “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who only partakes of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” These are strong words addressing the fact that this group of believers was not growing but remained as spiritual “infants”.
God is glorified by growing churches, but that growth does not just mean numerically but through people growing as evidenced in serving, or by getting involved in missions, by sharing the gospel, giving financially etc and much much more.
d. A place with sound doctrine
We need to be very careful on what is taught about salvation. There are many doctrines out there. According to the infallible scriptures, there is just one faith. Ephesians 4:4-6 says “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Most churches will have a doctrinal statement posted on their website. Carefully look over this and see if it agrees with Scripture and hopefully what you believe too. A good doctrinal statement will explain their positions on at-least these topics; The Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), salvation, sin, human destiny, the Bible, and the church.
e. A place where you can experience Christian fellowship
Hebrews 10:24 says “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,” and also in 1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
While Jesus was walking on this planet He also showed the importance of fellowship. He invested His life into the twelve disciples and when He sent them out, He sent them out in two’s. This shows us that we need encouragement, support, correction, and guidance from other believers for us to grow the way God wants us to grow.
Finally, remember that there is no perfect church, but the above points are very important in helping you find the right one for you based on the Word of God.
5. Be baptized
Many people misunderstand what baptism is? The word “baptize” means to immerse in water. Biblically, baptism is the way of publicly proclaiming of your new faith in Jesus Christ and your commitment in following Him. The symbolism and action of being immersed in the water illustrates being buried with Christ. The action of coming out of the water pictures the resurrection of Jesus Christ. By being baptized your are identifying yourself with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior.
It is important to understand that baptism is not what saves you nor does is wash away your sins. Baptism is a simple step of obedience, a public proclamation of your faith in Christ alone for your salvation.
Baptism is important because it is a step of obedience, a public proclamation of your faith in Christ and your commitment to Him. If you are ready to be baptized you must speak with your local pastor.
Please contact us if you have any questions, or require any guidance in your Christian walk.
Bible Reading: New King James Version (NKJV)
Sources: Christianity.net.au, gotquestions.org, whatchristianswanttoknow.com,