THE STARTING LINE
Your Security Is in Jesus (John 1:11)
Now that your name is written in the Book of Life, you are ready to begin your walk with Jesus. John 10:28-29 states that you are in the Father’s hand and in the hand of Jesus. As you abide in Jesus—which means to continually learn of Him and talk to Him—your sense of security and confidence in your relationship with Him will grow.
You Are a New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
You now have a new nature alive in you with new thoughts and urges that were not there before—such as a growing love and compassion for others. This is God putting His character in you and living out His nature in your life. It is important that you respond to these new thoughts and desires, because as you do, they will become more and more a part of you, making you more like Jesus.
You Have His Righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)
When you put your faith in Jesus, He gave you His righteousness. Now when God the Father looks at you, He sees that perfect righteousness of Jesus.
Sometimes, though, you’re going to feel that you are being scrutinized by God, and you are, but it is with a deep love for you. Psalm 139 says His thoughts of you are more than the sands of the seashore. This means that He’s constantly watching you, not as a tyrant, but as a loving, adoring Father wanting to help you grow in your walk. No matter what your failures are, you will never be able to damage your standing with Him. He is your loving Father and you are now His child, accepted by Him just as you are through the righteousness of Jesus.
Now the Battle Begins (Galatians 5:17)
A battle has now begun that you’ve never fought before. It’s a battle between the old nature and your new nature. Before you put your faith in Christ, the old nature was the only thing you knew. It resisted God and His ways. Now God has put a new nature in you that has dethroned the old nature’s power over you.
Though the old nature has been rendered powerless, it will tempt you to go back to your old ways. As long as you have this body and remain here on earth, you will face this battle daily. Remember, God has given you victory over the old nature through the new nature. You can, and should, follow the new nature because it desires God and His ways. The battle between the old and new nature will always start in your mind.
The mind is where the battle is either won or lost. Each time you face a temptation, call on Jesus to head it off for you rather than toying with it. Once you begin to toy with the temptation, you will begin to lose the battle.
Seek to Be Discipled (Matthew 28:19)
It is very important at this point in your walk for you to seek out discipleship. Being discipled by others simply means being with Christians who have walked with the Lord for some time, and who can teach and pass on God’s principles to you (2 Timothy 2:2). Mature Christians are able to help you see what it takes to live God’s Word out in your daily life. They can teach you how to trust in God and live in faith (1 Corinthians 11:1). The apostle Paul said he was an example to people because he followed Jesus. You’ll want someone who can be an example to you. There are several ways to come into a discipling relationship:
- A small group or Bible study that meets regularly. Call the church office and we’ll give you more information.
- A Home Group is a natural setting for growing together with others.
- A correspondence course on basic Bible doctrines is available through the church.
Again, discipleship is a crucial step in helping you establish the foundation of your walk with the Lord.
You Are Not Alone (Hebrews 13:5-6)
God has not left you to grow as a Christian on your own. In fact, He has given Himself to us in three expressions of His being: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells us that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all equally God, yet separate in themselves. They are absolutely one in purpose and nature. They never contradict each other, nor do they compete or become jealous of each other. They are absolutely one. This is perhaps the most marvelous and yet difficult fact to understand about God.
The Father, because He loves us and wants to be with us forever, sent Jesus, His Son, to die on the cross so our sins could be completely forgiven. Jesus showed us who God was. He was the only one who could because He was God in the form of a man.
When Jesus departed this earth, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to give us the power to live as He did. When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit entered you. He now works within you to help you become more like Jesus. He will teach you how to walk and live in your faith. When going through difficult times, He will give you strength and comfort. Ephesians 1 says He has been deposited as a guarantee of your redemption. So you can see that no matter what you’re going through, you will never be alone. God will always be with you.
Read the Bible (1 Peter 2:2)
No other spiritual writing has withstood the test of time as the Bible has. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that the scriptures are God’s own words and not just good ideas written by men.
God gave us the scriptures to tell us about who He is and how to live the life He wants us to live. As a believer, your Bible is the most important piece of equipment you can have. Reading and studying God’s word will:
- help you grow in your faith (Romans 10:17)
- help you grow as a Christian (1 Peter 2:2)
- cleanse the inner man just as taking a shower cleanses the outer man (Ephesians 5:26)
- instruct you in God’s ways (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Get into a habit of reading your Bible daily. Each time, as you begin to read your Bible, ask God to help you understand what you are reading. He will gladly do so, because it is His desire that you study His Word. Sometimes, while you are reading, a particular verse will stand out to you. Take the time to pray about it. Often that is God’s way of showing you an area that needs to be corrected in your life, or giving you encouragement.
Prayer Is Essential (Philippians 4:6-7)
Prayer is nothing more than having a conversation with God. You can talk with God just as you would talk to a good friend—asking questions, sharing emotions, discussing what is going on in your life, and sharing concerns about others. He wants to talk to you. That doesn’t mean a voice booming out of the clouds, but often a response through events, other people, a particular verse in the Bible, or impressions on your mind. As you grow in prayer, you will learn to hear and know the voice of God.
A great way to pray is to use the scriptures. Pray back to God promises in His Word over certain situations that you or others are going through. By doing this, you will have a greater confidence in your prayers.
You Will Have Trials (John 16:33)
Trials are important because they teach us to trust in God and help to bring out the character of Jesus in our lives (Romans 5:3-5). The most important fact to remember when going through a trial is that God will go through them with you and give you the power to endure. Like walking through a mine field, God is the radar to help guide you. He is also the medic who will pick up the pieces if you should step on one of those mines.
The Importance of Fellowship (Acts 2:42)
To function as a complete Christian, you need the rest of the body—the family of believers. 1 Corinthians 12 says that all who believe in Christ make up His body. God established this network of believers as a way to help us grow (Proverbs 18:1). Being with the body of Christ is important because it will help shape you, teach you, and hold you accountable in your faith. If you try to walk alone, you become an easy target for Satan to deceive.
As a believer, and an individual designed by God, your presence in the body is also important. As you render yourself to God, He will use your particular talents to bless others and make a difference in their lives.
Baptism (Matthew 28:19)
Baptism is a public confirmation of the surrendering of your life to Jesus. It is an important act of obedience that serves as a witness to others of your faith and commitment. In Luke 12 Jesus said, “If you confess me before men then I will confess you before the Father, but if you deny me before men, then I will deny you before my Father.”
If you would like to be baptized, talk to anyone in the leadership, and we will set up a time and a place for you to be baptized.
We are glad you took the time to read this. Please feel free to call us at the church office if you have any needs or questions (360) 352-4214. We are here to serve you in any way we can. May you grow in the joyous fullness of Jesus Christ, our Lord.