Essentials for New Believers Part-2
Philippians 4: 6-7 tells us… “to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, and with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.”
With Salvation, comes a new beginning and a different relationship with God. A casual approach we had is now replaced, with a God that begins to speak to us through His Word, by prayer, and through the power of His Holy Spirit. Through this process, a new believer will begin to gain confidence in this relationship and eventually lose their feelings of intimidation of the Creator of the universe.
Yet, a new believer needs some time to get used to this exciting new relationship. They will need to be taught and encouraged by mature Christians, who will guide them in how to seek God’s will for their lives. They will learn to worship and respect God for who He is; the most powerful entity in the universe.
Prayer is both a privilege and a responsibility for all believers and is essential if one is to experience spiritual growth. Our goal is to eventually live a ‘Spirit-filled life’. Ephesians 1: 13, tells us… ‘In Him, you also, after listening to the message of God’s Truth and the Gospel of our Salvation, will realize that we have been sealed in Him by the Holy Spirit, who has been given as a pledge of our eternal inheritance, to the praise and Glory of God-the-Father and His Son, Jesus Christ’.
A new believer must learn that the power to walk in faith and obedience comes not from their own efforts, but from letting Christ live His life in us and through us. As we learn to walk in the Spirit, we recognize that our unredeemed flesh continues to endure the annoyance by Satan and the world. With this, we find ourselves depending more and more on God’s Holy Spirit to contain worldly desires. It is only with the assistance of Christ and the Spirit of God, that we can marshal the power to overtake any sinful choices that may be tempting us.
Hebrews 10: 23-25, says… ‘So, let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised us is always faithful’.
We would never think of leaving a newborn alone for very long. In the same way, new believers need to spend ample time with their local body of believers, to accelerate their spiritual growth. This can only occur when we become intimately connected with other ‘true believers’; a strong local body of Christ, (an Ecclesia) will provide us the framework needed to become effective for the cause of Christ.
Everyone has a ‘personal testimony’… new believers need to learn how to share their testimony with others, to express their commitment to God and Christ. There is a simple technique to do so; a mature brother or sister in Christ should be able to easily teach this to a new believer.
Salvation begins a process called Sanctification; whereby God is continually transforming us from our ‘old man to the new man’. Over a period, others will begin to notice the changes in your life, as God continues to conform you into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. As a new believer, you will have a tendency to feel a bit inadequate when trying to explain the Gospel message to others; you are still learning what it means in your own life. You should rely on a mentor to teach you how to share the spiritual changes in your life. And as you do, your confidence will continue to increase; providing you with the opportunity to share the Gospel with friends, family members, and co-workers. Remember, true disciples, look forward to encouraging others to be disciples. This is how we equip one another in the faith.
Temptation can be overwhelming at times. John 14: 21, says that ‘No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able; He will provide a way for us escape, and you will be able to endure it’.
A new believer will typically not realize the struggles they are about to face, regarding existing and future sin in their lives. Scripture and my own experience, tell me that THIS IS TRUE. They need help in understanding and defeating the daily temptations that arise. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that and the supernatural impact of God’s Word in our lives that can address this issue. Remember, God always provides a way out of temptation; our job is to learn from mature Christians to use the resources that God has provided.
Are you a new believer? Make a commitment to grow in your understanding and practical application of each of these areas, and you will put roots down deep that will sustain your Christian faith in the trials of life.
Are you a mature believer? Has God brought someone in your life that needs to be disciplined as a follower of Christ? Make a commitment to intentionally and prayerfully come alongside them and help them grow. Be a disciple who makes disciples.