Are you a New Believer in Christ?

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A guide and resource for new believers.

Welcome and congratulations on deciding to place your trust in Jesus and accept the gift of salvation. You probably have some questions and want to know what to do next. Hopefully, I can help. 

 

       There are things you can do to help grow and nourish your new spiritual life. 
 

  1. Read your Bible. 

  2. Memorize Scripture

  3. Pray.

  4. Attend a church and fellowship with other Christians.

Reading Your Bible

       Reading your bible is important for any Christian. But for a new Christian, some books will be more helpful than others. Some will be confusing and cause more questions than answers without context. So we will focus on the books that will help you get a fuller picture of Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. The first three books I would encourage a new Christian to read are Mark, Acts, and Romans. 

       When you are first reading, or listening, to a book of the Bible, read it with a highlighter. On your first read-through, don't stop reading if something doesn't make sense, just highlight it and keep going. It may make sense after you have read the entire book. Once you have read the entire book, go back to the parts you had questions about and look them up and ask a friend to help you understand. 

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Memorize Scripture

      These days we can have a bible with us all the time on our phones. I use the Bible Study by Olive Tree app because it has all the different translations and commentaries I enjoy and rely on. You can also listen to the Bible on audiobooks or podcasts. We have so many ways to always have the bible with us, it can be easy to think we don't need to memorize it. 

       It's important to memorize scripture just like it's important to chew your food or to drink water. We want to get it inside us. Sometimes when you are having moments of doubt a verse that you have memorized will come to mind and help you respond with confidence. 

        I like to use a different color highlighter than the one I use for questions. I will write a verse over and over, or I may separate the verse into single thoughts and print them out like they are below. There are some verses that have stuck with me more than others and are famous for their simplicity and what they say.

John 3:16: 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.

  • 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.

1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

  • If we confess our sins,

  • he is faithful and just

  • and will forgive us our sins 

  • and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

  • No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity.

  • And God is faithful;

  • he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

  • But when you are tempted, 

  • he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

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Prayer

       Prayer can seem weird to a new believer. People close their eyes and bow their heads and think and God hears them? But yes, that is how it works. God can hear you even if you don't bow your head or close your eyes.

 

      However, Jesus loves us and wants to hear from us. He wants to know how we feel and what is bothering us.

       When you first start to pray, it may feel like you aren't doing it right. You may not understand why we are supposed to pray or what prayer really is and how it works. All of those feelings are valid and to be expected. Right now I don't want you to worry about why we pray too much or how it all works. Simply put, when you are in a relationship with someone, you talk to them. We talk to Jesus through prayer, and he takes to us through scripture, through other people, and eventually through the Holy Spirit.  

 

       However, even if you struggle with prayer and sometimes don't know how or what to pray, you are still a Christian. You just need a little practice and guidance. To help you practice, say the Lord's prayer every night before you go to bed and throughout the day when you want to. 

 

Practice The Lord's Prayer

       When Jesus was teaching about prayer, he said in Matthew 6:9-13;

"This, then, is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."

How to Pray on Your Own

       There are two different ways to pray on your own. One is the small prayers throughout the day that is more like text messages to God. The other kind is when you want to pray with intention and purpose. Some will write down their thoughts and requests on cards and share them with others.  A common acronym to remember how to pray is the ACTS method of Christian prayer: 

  • Adoration: We praise God and his Son Jesus for who they are. Sometimes this may help to remind us whom we are talking to, and it can help us take time in our day to praise God one on one. 

  • Confession: Confessing your sins to God bring the relationship back to balance. All your sins have already been forgiven, but there is still tension or distance in any relationship with unconfessed wrong. This is called being in right standing with God, also known as righteousness. 

  • Thanksgiving: Take some time to thank God for what he has done in your life recently. Be as specific or as general as you want.

  • Supplication: This is a time for you to ask God for what is on your heart. For you to ask him for help or to help others. Do not pray out of selfishness or anger. If you pray with a heart of love for others and for what you think would glorify God, you are on the right track. 

 

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Church

Following Jesus doesn't work in a vacuum. 

       A church is not just a building, it is the people who fill the building. The bible says that just as your body is made of different parts working together, the church is also the body of the church, with many different people working together. We all have different talents and skills, and when we use those together, we are working as God made us to. 

 

       Finding a church is a personal and important decision. Many churches believe most of the same things but worship differently in the style of music and how formal the Pastor and clergy dress and act. If you have a family, it will be important to find one everyone is comfortable going to. However, there is nothing wrong with going to a few churches close to where you live and seeing what they are like.

       Many churches these days have their sermons or their entire Sunday service posted on their website. So once a day or every few days as you have time, watch the service and see if you think you may like it. Next is to consider what the church believes and preaches. 

 

What All Christians Believe.

  1. The Bible is true without error and the inspired word of God.

  2. Everyone has sinned.

  3. Sin earns death and separation from God, which is called hell. 

  4. Jesus was born of a virgin. 

  5. Jesus lived a sinless life.

  6. Jesus is the son of God. 

  7. Jesus was fully God and fully man, not half and half.

  8. Jesus was crucified on a cross to pay for the sins of all humankind.

  9. After three days, Jesus rose from the dead, went to Heaven, and will return. 

  10. We are saved by believing that Jesus' death paid the debt for our sins.

  11. We are saved by God's grace through faith, and not through our own works.

  12. Jesus Christ is the Only Way To Eternal Salvation With God the Father.

  13. When we are saved and baptized, we receive the Holy Spirit.

  14. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the Trinity, three persons in one.

Things Christians Do Not believe

  1. God wants me to be happy more than anything else. 

  2. Obeying what the Bible says is easy.

  3. God wants me to be rich and never worry about money. 

  4. Christians will never fight or have arguments. 

  5. I will never have to sacrifice what I want.

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       There is a lot of information online about Christianity and what to believe. My trusted online resource is Bible.org. Below are some links to great information. 

 

 

  1. Beginning Your New Life in Christ

  2. Graceful Beginnings: New Believers Guide

  3. Basics of Christian Faith