On Being a New Christian
Philippians 2:12-13New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
If you are a new Christian, the first thing I want you to do is relax. There are so many ways to serve Christ, and right now, you may be confused about finding your way.
The act of being a Christian is faith in practice.
That does not mean the “name it and claim it” type of faith- God is not an ATM.
It does not mean having a certain outward appearance. The Pharisees thought that was important. Christ had to school them on that.
It does not mean focusing on trying to be in full-time ministry. I have news for you. Once you become a Christian, you are in full-time ministry.
In addition, it certainly does not mean that you are going to be perfect from now on.
What faith in practice means is that every single moment of every single day you do your best to serve Christ as honorably as you are able.
1. Pray as much as you can about whatever it is in your life in which you have questions.
Prayer is simply a conversation between you and God. It is not complicated. Start out telling Him how much you love Him Tell Him what is on your heart. End telling Him thank you.
The Lord’s Prayer is the guideline we use, so start with that (Matthew 6: 9-13). As you get comfortable, prayer will come more naturally to you. Moreover, please pray for others. Praying for others teaches you mercy.
2. Read the Scripture.
There are many versions of the Scripture. Find one you like and understand, and read it. You can start with the Old Testament, or the New Testament. Alternatively, you can look up relevant passages according to your needs. There are many Bible apps available to make reading easier and more convenient.
3. Ask questions.
Find a Christian fellowship of people that you trust. It may be a prayer group, a group of Christian friends, or a church. When you have questions, you should be in a place with people that are willing to give you the answer or find out if they do not know. It is truly fun and interesting to discover God in the Scriptures. If you find yourselves amongst people that discourage questions, find another group.
4. Worship and be joyful.
You are allowed to be happy as a Christian. You were saved by grace and the heavens rejoice! You have the favor of the Heavenly Father and count Christ Himself as your brother. You have a right to be happy.
Look at the Scripture at the top of this post. Being a Christian takes a lifetime of active faith. None of us does it perfectly. Run from people who try to make you think they do. We all will continue to make mistakes, but the best part is that we have access to the One who forgives all.
For more information, check out my book: Beautiful Salvation: Straightforward Advice for New Christians and Undecided Seekers