Now That I'm A Christian
You did the right thing in becoming a Christian. It was not God's will that you or anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3: 9). Still, man is accountable to God for his actions, and has been since the time of the creation and the first man in Genesis 1-3. Even when man says he is not accountable to God, he still is.
Your actions in hearing God's word, believing it, repenting of past sins, confessing Jesus as Lord, and putting Jesus on in baptism were all right. Respectively, you can read the Bible commands for those things in Romans 10: 17, Hebrews 11: 6, Acts 2: 38 and Acts 3: 19, confession in Acts 8: 37 and Matthew 10: 32, 33, and baptism for the remission of sins in a host of passages including but not limited to Acts 2: 38, Acts 8: 26-39, Acts 16: 30-34, Acts 22: 16, Romans 6: 1-6, and Galatians 3: 27.
So, what now? Now that I am a Christian, what do I do?
The scripture is emphatic in many places that once the person is saved, there is still much for him to do. His eventual goal in this life is to lead others to Christ. He may do that directly by teaching or indirectly by living a life that would influence others to Christ. But to say that the new Christian has nothing more to do in this life but to go back to his ways of sinning and wait for a stupid Christ to come again and "reward" him with everlasting life is to far underestimate the Christ who redeems man, and to ignore many passages in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which talk about the importance of being watchful. Read the 25th chapter of Matthew and see if you do not feel a sense of urgency to be about the Father's business while upon this earth.
Here are some things that the new Christian should cultivate habits of doing. II Timothy 2: 15 tells us to "study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Make reading the Bible a daily habit. In this way, God speaks to you. He speaks to you in a way that is not filtered through any preacher or priest. Every Christian is his own scholar before God. Ignorance of God's word will be no excuse at the judgement (Acts 17: 30).
Go to church. Hebrews 10: 24, 25 admonishes us to assemble with other Christians. Worship services on Sunday are a "given", following the New Testament pattern of the church to assemble for the Lord's Supper (Acts 20: 7) and for giving (I Corinthians 16: 1, 2). During that time, instruction (preaching), prayer, and singing are common and are authorized by scripture. We also get to know fellow Christians better through this. There will be some Christians who have many years of experience in the ways of the Lord who can help and advise you. And, as time goes on, you will meet some who will need your help and encouragement as well. Be sure to attend the mid-week services that have been organized for your benefit as well. There typically will be a mid-week service on either Wednesday night or Thursday nights to give you a spiritual "shot in the arm" between Sundays-attend those also. The first century church met every day (see Acts 2: 42-47).Pray. The Bible says to "Pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5: 17). This is not necessarily a command to be on one's knees all of the time, but it is indicative that the Christian should be of a frame of mind all of the time that he could go to God in prayer. Jesus prayed often. The early church prayed when facing threats (Acts 5) and when making significant decisions (Acts 15).
Put your minds on spiritual things (Philippians 4: 6-9). Your mind only knows what you feed it. Think on wholesome things. Think about how to lead a neighbor to Christ. Seek a way to do a charitable deed. Titus 3: 14 says "And let our brethren learn to maintain good works for necessary purposes, that they be not unfruitful."
As you do these things, you will become more aware of how Christians live, and what they are preparing for. Eventually you will become someone's teacher, fulfilling what has been called The Great Commission of Matthew 28: 19, also told of in Mark 16: 16. Far from being dormant creatures who are waiting for Christ to come, Christians are active people who are helping others to get ready for that time as well.
Sid Womack, webmaster
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