TAKING YOUR FIRST STEP AS A NEW CHRISTIAN

By: Gary L. Rodgers

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First we would like to say congratulations on a very wise decision, and we welcome you into the family of God. We are so very excited for you and rejoice with the angels over your decision to follow Christ.                                                           Luke 15:10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

As a new Born Again Believer in Christ there are many new steps that you will experience in your Christian walk, steps that we have all gone through and it is our responsibility to help you to get started on the right foot. Just like an infant you will first begin to crawl and then later you will begin to take steps that will seem a little shaky at first but as you mature you will learn to balance yourself with confidence. The most important thing when starting out is to keep at it. Your determination and effort will pay off in time.

FEED ON GOD’S WORD TO GROW STRONG

Just like a new infant you need to feed upon God’s Word as your spiritual food.                                                                          1 Peter 2:2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  All of us begin feeding on (learning) the soft and easy things of God’s Word. This is known as the milk of God’s Word. You wouldn’t take an infant and start feeding it steak and potatoes, because they are not ready for it yet. They would choke on it. So you start them off with milk, and eventually as they begin to grow you start feeding them soft foods, and later as they grow more and more they will get into the coarse foods of meats and vegetables of God’s Word. Our Heavenly Father being the good parent that He is will do the same with us. He knows what we are able to take in and He will not give us anything that we are not able to handle. He wants us to develop into a strong Christian. God will feed us what we need when we are ready for it.

 In Hebrews 5:12-14 we find these words:

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

13 For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers who were wavering in their faith because of severe persecutions and public ridicule that they were going through. They were in danger of becoming apostate in their faith and reverting back to Judaism. They were lacking in leadership of those with the spiritual strength and fortitude to carry the church through those rough times. That is why they were told that they were as those that have need of milk, as a babe. We all need to study and grow into becoming strong leaders in the faith. God gives us all that we need to stand strong and fight the battle against principalities and wickedness in high places. We need to put on the “Armour of God.”

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And after having done all that we can to stand we too will be able to say that we have fought a good fight and have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:

As Christians you will find that there are those hard times that we too will go through that will shake us to the very foundation of our faith. But be strong in the Word and God will get you through it. And the way to get strong is to study the word, have an active prayer life, and be obedient to the Word. We will face temptations in our lives, but God will not allow anything to come into our lives that we cannot handle.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

  

LEARNING AT DIFFERENT STAGES

Everyone learns at different paces and at different stages in their life. The unsaved person will pick up a Bible and as they begin to read they learn certain things. First they will learn that they are a hopelessly lost sinner needing a Savior. They will learn that Christ is that Savior and that He paid a very special price for their souls at Calvary. They will learn just as you did that they need to confess to Christ that they are a sinner and seek His forgiveness. Their reading and learning from scripture is limited to all things pointing to their need for salvation. The deep spiritual things of God are for His children.

GOD TRAINS US IN THE SAME WAY THAT WE TRAIN OUR CHILDREN

When a person first gets saved something very important happens at that moment. They are adopted into the family of God as one of His own.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

The Lord stands ready as any good father to begin teaching and training His child. He holds up our hands so that we can hang onto His strength to support us as we begin to walk. He is there to correct us and sometimes that involves a spanking to train us. He doesn’t do this out of pleasure He does it because He loves us and wants us to grow up into the kind of man or woman that we should be. All spankings (chastening) seem grievous at the time, but it brings about a correction in our lives that is beneficial to us in that it helps us to mature into a fine upright child of God. A correction from God is also a sign that we belong to Him. We as parents correct our children because they belong to us. It’s not up to us to go around and correct children that we are not the parents or guardians to.

Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10 For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness.

11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

 

THE BLESSING OF OBEDIENCE AND WITNESS OF THE BLOOD

One of the greatest blessings as a parent is to see the obedience and honor that our children bestow upon us. In the same way this is a great blessing to our God when we obey Him. Our obedience will inch our way up into the various stages of maturity. If we were to take the time to stop and see that God deals with us in the same way that we deal with our children, we could easily learn a great deal about Him, and it would eliminate much confusion and heresy. For instance, when we disobey God are we or are we not His child when that happens?  Yes! We are His Child. What if it is some terrible crime like murder, stealing, adultery, hatred, disrespect etc.? Are we still His child or do we lose our salvation? We are still His Child! Well what if these things were done to us by our children? Are we still their parents or not? Of course we are! What if one of our children were found dead, what could the authorities examine and compare to show that we are their parents? The Blood!!!! The blood will always stand as a witness that these are our children. The blood of Christ will always stand as a witness that we are a child of God. The blood stands firm and never changes.

Well if we never lose our salvation (our relationship as a child of God) then wouldn’t that give us a license to sin? No it does not! And I will give you an easy way to prove that. Go tell your parents that because you are their child forever that you no longer need to obey them, and that you can do whatever you want when you want, and that you don’t need to listen to anything that they say because they can’t erase your relationship to them. When you get up off of the floor let me know how you made out! Well guess what? It works the same way with God. You tell Him that, and I can assure you that you will face some severe correction in righteousness. You never lose your relationship to your parents. Good, bad or indifferent you will always be their child. AND YOU NEVER LOSE YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD. To further illustrate:

 

RELATIONSHIP VERSUS FELLOWSHIP

Far too often people confuse relationship with fellowship. We have a relationship to our children that will never cease; it always remains constant. Our fellowship with our children changes from time to time. Sometimes we will get downright disappointed or angry with them. The peaceful love and fellowship that we have with each other does change from time to time through disobedience and disrespect. Relationship never changes. It is no different with our relationship and/or fellowship with God. God does not throw us out of the family because we do something wrong. That is not possible. Why, because that would mean that our salvation was dependent upon us, and not Christ. When we fail God we break fellowship. How do we restore that? The same way that we restore fellowship with each other, we admit our wrong and ask for forgiveness with a truly repentant heart, they forgive us and all is restored.

 

BAPTISM

One of your first steps of obedience as a child of God is to follow the Lord in Believers Baptism. Baptism does not wash away sin, if it could then what was the point of Christ going to the cross? He wouldn’t have needed to die, we could have simply gotten baptized and we would then have been a candidate for Heaven. When a person stands in the waters of Baptism and they are lowered into the water in full submersion and brought up out of the waters, this is done as a sign to the world that like as Christ we too have been buried together with Him in death (submerged in the waters), and like Him we shall also raise from the dead (brought up out of the water) into a new life.  If you were Baptized before it is important that you get it done again now that you are a new believer in Christ.

 

CONTINUE IN THE WORD AND CHURCH ATTENDANCE

I encourage you to read your Bible daily. Pray daily and keep short sin accounts. Get into a Bible believing church where you can learn and grow. A place where you can make new friends that will love you and lift you up. Not just any church will do. If the church does not teach that salvation comes through the shed blood of Christ and Him only. And if the Church does not teach that Christ is coequal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, then you don’t belong there. If you have written to us that you have gotten saved and we sent this booklet to you based upon that; then we have listed a church or churches in your area that we encourage you to take time to visit to confirm their stand on these issues before becoming a permanent fixture.

God is a God of order and is not a God of confusion. If you have questions about a church in your area that you are considering and not sure of, then we will do our best to help you with your questions.

My prayer for you is to be strong in the faith, and that you share the gospel of Christ with your family and friends. Fight the battle for their souls. They are counting on you!

May the peace of God and the joy of the Spirit be with you. Amen!

 

 

Church in Your Area ___________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________

Phone: ______________________________

Pastor: _______________________________

 

Church in Your Area ___________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________

Phone: ______________________________

Pastor: _______________________________

 

Church in Your Area ___________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________

Phone: ______________________________

Pastor: _______________________________

 

THE INVITATION

If you have picked this booklet up somewhere or received it from someone then we would like to encourage you to become a part of God’s family and make Heaven your home if you have never done that. You can do this by bowing your head in prayer and following along with these words. Dear Lord, I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me for all of my sin and wash them away with your blood. I believe and trust you with my eternal life. I know that you died on the cross for me personally. I know that you were buried in a tomb and I believe that you resurrected from the dead and are now seated at the right hand of God the Father. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. May the Holy Spirit teach me and instruct me in the way that I should go. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

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