Taking First Steps

First Steps For New Believers

To accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. It is also the greatest miracle you will ever recieve fro God. It is the beginning of a brand new life in Christ, and as a new-born child of God, there are many important things you need to know and understand.

You are saved by Faith -- Your salvation is based upon your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Salvation is not something that can be "earned by your good works"  or by religious outward piety. Salvation is a free gift from God, and came to you as you simply put your faith in Jesus, His death and resurrection, and trusted him to forgive your sins and become your savior and Lord.
The scripture says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).


Dont rely on feelings -  Feelings are nice to have, but feelings do not prove whether you're saved or not. There will be times when you "feel" that God is close to you and you can feel goose bumps, and other times you will "feel" that He's not. Dont panic and start thinking that God has left you.  But remember that He has promised to always be with you and never leave you, regardless of feelings (Hebrews 13:5). Always remember that the Christian lives by faith, not by sight or the feelings of our natural senses. The Bible says “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Do not doubt God - One of most common things that happens to you as a new believer is that the Devil tries to whisper doubts in your mind: "You're not really saved," or "nothing really happened to you." Don't let Satan's lies dominate your thoughst. He is deceptive and will try to question the validity of your faith based on weakness upon your expereince. If you placed your faith in Jesus Christ, then you are saved, regardless of whether you feel it or not. God's Word promises, “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Your sins are forgiven and forgoten  - The Bible teaches that we were all born with a sinful nature that keeps us separated from God's presence and if not redeemed will result in eternal death. But Jesus came to suffer the consequences of that sin as our substitute, so that we could be forgiven of sin and have access to God's presence. When you repent or (turn away) from your sins, and ask Jesus to forgive you and become your savior, that's exactly what he does. He forgives you of every sin you've ever committed, regardless of how awful or evil they may be.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”
(1 John 1:9).

You're not perfect, you are being perfected - Being a Christian doesn't mean that you won't make mistakes,  it means that you are forgiven of sin and that your goal and focus is to live like Christ and to emulate him being guided by his word. You must strive to live in away that is pleasing to him everyday and shun  living in the old sinful ways anymore. Don't ever let the Devil condemn you if you stumble or make a mistake! God loves you and wants you to ask Him to forgive you immediately when you become aware that you have stumbled (1 John 1:9), then He wants you to get back on your feet and keep walking for Him! Don't  let condemnation rule upon you! God loves you and will correct you, but He will not condemn you if you are walking in the spirit and not the flesh. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...” Who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1-2). Don't walk in the flesh and you wont be condemned.

A new creation - At the moment you accepted Jesus, He came into your heart by His Spirit, and now His presence and nature lives and dwells in your  spirit and he wants his presence within you to master and influence all aspects of your life (1 Corinthians 6:19). You did not merely become a better or moral person, you were "born again" spiritually you are a brand new person. Now He wants you to learn to live your life according to that  new nature of His Spirit inside you. The Bible says “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

You have been promised of eternal life - God's Word says that when you place your faith in Christ, you are given eternal life. That is, someday when your physical body wears out and dies, your soul will leave your earthly tent or body and  go to be in the Lord's presence to spend eternity with Him! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Keep living for Christ - God has  promised to keep you saved, as long as you keep believing and living for Him. As a new Christian, you need to grow in your relationship with God and deepen your faith, so that discouragements, temptations, or trials will never cause you to drift away from God. Remember, if you depart from the Lord, you also depart from his covenant promise that gives you the promise of salvation. The Bible says that Christ will one day present you before God, holy and unblemished “...If you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the Gospel” (Colossians 1:23).

Find Church, go to Church - You should find a local church that teaches and believes in the full bible. Regularly attend that church so that your faith can be strengthened by the preaching of God's Word, and so you can grow spiritually and be encouraged by the fellowship of other Christians. Church is where you can go to express your love, faithfulness, and worship to God. Church is where we can learn how to be a Christian, and where the Pastor, elders, spiritual leaders can help you and encourage your faith. There is no perfect church, you will not find one.The Bible warns us not to absent ourselves from church attendance, because we need the strength and encouragement it brings. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another...” (Hebrews 10:25). 

Pray every day - Prayer is vital to your spiritual growth. God is your Heavenly Father, and He wants to hear from you and have daily fellowship with you. Not only does He promise to answer your prayers, but as you pray He will also provide guidance and spiritual strength. The Bible tells us to "Pray continually," that is to pray faithfully every day (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Read the bible daily - The Bible is God's Word, also your spiritual food . And as you read from it every day, it will cause you to grow spiritually (2 Timothy 2:15). (start with the Gospel of John), He will strengthen your faith, speak to your heart, and give you guidance and direction for every need and decision in your life. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalms 119:105).

Be baptized in water - At your first opportunity, you should obey the Lord's command to be baptized in water as a confession of your repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19). Water baptism  does not save you or wash away your sins, but is an outward act of your inward obedience to God's Word. It symbolically shows that you have died to the old sinful life, and have risen in the newness of the Life of Christ. The scriptures say “...Repent and be baptized, every one of you..." (Acts 2:38).
You need to live a holy life -  Christians are not perfect. However, God wants you to "aim" toward perfection. That is, your goal must be to grow in submitting yourself to the new nature of His Spirit in your heart, follow the example of Jesus, and live a godly and wholesome life (Hebrews 12:14). You repented and asked Him to forgive your sins, and now you need to grow closer to Him each day, which will take you farther away from sinful thoughts and behavior which are displeasing to God. Your faith in God will cause a desire to obey Him and do those things pleasing in His sight (Colossians 1:10).
You need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit - We already said that the Holy Spirit was born in your heart when you received Christ and now resides in you. But the Bible also says that the Holy Spirit can also "immerse" you with special power for service, to enable you to live a powerful Christian life, and to be bold in your Christian witness and testimony. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you: and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).The baptism of the Spirit is an “immersion of the Spirit.” When you are baptized with the Holy Spirit, you will receive strength, power and boldness from God to accomplish your work and overcome sin in your own life.
You need to tell others -  Once you have accepted Jesus Christ, tell someone. Don't keep it a secret. The Bible says that “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). Others need to hear about what Jesus has done in your life, so they too can receive Him too... but when you openly declare your faith in Christ, you will also sense the witness of His presence in your heart, a deep assurance that He is with you.

Should you continue to live in an unrestrained, sinful lifestyle, this would lead you away from God and back toward the old ways which lead to death. But as you grow in your relationship with God, His strength in your life will increase to overcome sinful behavior and habits. “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1)