So now you believe with a heart of conviction that Jesus Christ is your Lord, God, and Savior, that He died on the cross for your sins, and He resurrected on the third day and lives forever. You have now turned your trust from yourself to be saved and have turned it over to Jesus Christ. You might be thinking, “What do I do next?” So now we will turn to the Bible to tell us exactly what to do. Expect lifestyle changes that will challenge you, sanctify you, and edify you as you are obedient to God.
Until now, most of us have lived a secular life, doing what we think and know might be right. Guessing or using the ever changing and declining morals of society to live out our lives and deal with others. We live by the traditions of our family, nation, and culture. There is a lot of good in that, but there is also a lot of bad that we picked up that we need to filter through God’s Word and make changes. You will begin a lifestyle change with Jesus Christ that will make you more like Him. In other words, you are a beautiful diamond that is covered in this muck of life, and God is the Diamond Cutter who will shape you so that His light will radiate through you in brilliance.
One of the first things the Lord teaches us to do after we are saved is to get baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is not to be saved, but as an act of obedience. Baptism doesn't save you. It’s something saved people do.
“Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
What is the meaning of Baptism? It is a public declaration of our faith, meaning that we are turning away from our old sinful self (dying to it), and we now rise, born again in Jesus Christ. We are made clean by the shed blood Jesus Christ as a ransom for our sin. So when you submerge underwater, that is a symbol of your old self dying. And when you rise, you rise as a new man or woman in Jesus Christ. The Bible says this about it in the next two verses:
“and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 3:21
“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4
Get a Bible – Read your Bible
The next important thing we start applying in our walk with Jesus Christ is that we need to read God’s Word daily. The Bible gives us a wealth of information that helps us get to know the heart of God, to know what is right and what is wrong under God’s pure and holy standards. The Bible helps us to learn from other faithful and unfaithful people mentioned in the Bible who went through the same struggles or worse struggles that you and I may be going through and how to overcome them. The Bible teaches us why we are here, who made us, and what is going to happen in the end. The Bible answers a lot of questions about why we are living in such rough times, what happened to ancient civilizations, and where our nation could be heading. The Bible is God’s Living Word in which it will speak life into your heart, and is one of the many methods in which God will speak directly to you. It is a historical book and scientific book that is advanced in its time. There is a huge wealth of knowledge for those who dive deep and study it. It is still very applicable to everyday life, today. The Bible covers many subjects, from yourself, family, marriages, work etiquette, healing, mental health, emotions, government, prophecy, the spiritual, decision making, purpose, and many more.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
We are not in a religion of simply 1-2-3 steps and then we are good. We are in a committed, loving relationship with our Living God. We have all been adopted by our Lord and have been called to be His children through our faith in Jesus Christ. God does not want to treat you like a simple worker, where you just do tasks. Neither does He want a distant relationship where you are gone Monday through Saturday, and He sees you on Sunday for just one hour. God wants to hear you and He wants to be heard. He wants you to seek Him and talk to Him. He wants to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly things in your life. Prayer isn't just a once in a while thing you do when you feel like it. It's a life devoted to prayer. When we pray to God, we are talking directly to Him. Even though we cannot see Him, His presence is always there with us. We can talk to God like we would talk to a beloved parent. We can use Jesus’ example of prayer from Matthew 6:9-13 to teach us how to pray. We acknowledge Him as Lord, we praise Him, we thank Him for everything He has given us, we confess our sins, and we ask Him for help and guidance in our lives. He also delights when you ask Him to bless and help others turn from their evil ways or intercede for those in need. Prayer is also spiritual warfare. We need to call upon the name of the Lord to fight our battles and to empower us. Otherwise we are fighting a spiritual battle with our flesh and not the Spirit of God. Prayer is our main weapon against the enemy. So use it!
“Rejoice always,17 pray without ceasing,18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
Walk in Obedience
God is not legalistic, but He does ask us to follow His teachings so that we can bear fruit and stay far from sin. God delights more in our obedience than in any charity, donations, or big things we can do in His name.
“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22
Walking in obedience is a free will act of love on our part. The reason we want to obey God is because His teachings keep us in the right path. Just like we follow and obey the road signs. Why do we obey the red lights, speed limits, merging lanes, hazard signs, and many other road laws? It’s to help us and others reach our destination without any incidents. The same goes with the teachings of Jesus Christ. His teachings, if obeyed, help you stay on the right path and not go astray. God’s commandments are not without logic. You might not know why He asks, but if you ask others who have experienced the path of disobedience, they can tell you how much it has hurt them and set them back in detail. We want to be humble, obedient, and wise children before God.
“Take courage and be a man.3 Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go.” 1 Kings 2:2b-3
God did not create us to be alone. Every single believer in this world is our family, regardless of denominations. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, who has put their faith in Him, and believes that the Bible is the Word of God, is our brother and sister in Christ. Therefore, God wants us all to walk in unity, loving one another. Having the same mindset as of Christ and working together to advance God’s Kingdom.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25
God’s desire is to unite all His children of all nations under His Holy name, and we do so through His love. God often speaks to you through a Godly Pastor at church. God builds you up through the many brothers and sisters in Christ who pour out wisdom and encouragement. You need brothers and sisters who can pray over you and help you push forward through the hard times. God calls us as one body, so we are to care for one another. So join a church! Get involved, join a small group, and serve the House of God. God’s church is alive and active!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
In all the things you do, make sure you show grace and love. Follow God out of your love for Him, not as if He was a religious duty. Do not envy, gossip, lie, or compare yourself to others. Forgive your brothers and sisters who fall short, just as God has forgiven you. Do as the Word of God says. Do not let pride or fear grow in you. Church is not about how good we look as Christians. Church is all about Jesus Christ. We are a community of believers who repent daily and follow our Lord’s teaching everywhere we go. As imperfect as we are, God uses us to proclaim His name and goodness around the world. The more you devote yourself to God, the more amazing things you will see Him do in your life and in the lives of others. May the Lord bless you, encourage you, and guide you. May you be filled with His joy, love, and peace always.
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