|How to Begin the Christian Life|
|By: ATRI Staff; ©2010|
|If you have just received Christ into your life what do you do next? This article provides some simple guidelines for beginning a life of faith.|
If you are reading this, you have probably just received Christ into your life or are seeking more information on living a life devoted to Him. While the Christian life is based on God’ grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9), the Bible clearly calls us to live a life worthy of this new calling we have received (Ephesians 4:1-3). The following applications will help you pursue a daily, life-changing relationship with God.
Pray Regularly (Prayer is talking with God)
Many believe prayer must be a formal set of words that can only take place during a church service. However, the Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We are instructed to praise God day and night. If we desire to know God more deeply, we must communicate with Him regularly.
There are two basic ways to pray: by yourself or with others. Throughout each day, you can give thanks to God, ask Him to answer your daily needs, and pray on behalf of others. Together with other people who follow Christ, you can pray in a way that encourages those involved and provides additional praise to God and requests help for the needs of other people.
The 66-books of the Holy Bible are the revealed words of God that instruct us to better live the Christian life. We are told to meditate on God’s words day and night (Psalm 1). This can include listening to others teach the Bible, studying the Bible with a group of friends, reading the Bible and Bible-learning resources on your own, listening to the Bible in an audio format, memorizing verses of Scripture, or simply focusing your thoughts on God’s Word throughout the day.
Some have called the Bible God’s love letter. In other words, he expresses His love to us through the words of Scripture, including instructions on how to live our lives to their fullest potential. If you have not read the Bible much in the past, the Gospel of John in the New Testament is a great place to start. Other reading plans for the New Testament and the entire Bible are available as well.
Build Friendships with Other Christians
The Christian life was not intended to be lived alone. Just as Jesus lived most of His life with 12 disciples as His closest friends, He calls us to live in community with one another. The New Testament mentions over 50 “one another” verses that refer to loving one another, serving one another, encouraging one another, and praying for one another. Each of these commands requires relationships with other Christians.
Where can you find other Christians who desire a similar friendship? This is one of the major purposes of your local church. If you live in an area with a local Bible-teaching church, this is a great place to start. If you live in a community without a church or limited options, you may need to pray for God to open opportunities for you to meet with other Christians in your area.
Baptism does not provide salvation or forgive sins, but it does symbolize your life is now devoted to Jesus. Jesus provided an example through His baptism in Luke 3:1-22. He calls His followers to also be baptized, a command practiced by the very first followers of Jesus in Acts 2:41. Usually, baptism is performed by the leaders of a local church. A local church pastor or church leader will be glad to speak further with you about baptism if you express your interest.
Serve those in Need
As you live out your faith in Christ, you will find many opportunities to practice the new love Christ has placed in your heart by meeting the practical needs of others. This could include caring for someone who is sick, giving to a person in financial need, or spending time with someone grieving over the loss of a friend or family member. Regardless of the situation, we are called to both tell the message of God’s love and to show it (1 John 3:17-18).
The story of how Christ has changed your life is not intended to be a secret—share it! Tell all who will listen about how God has transformed you from your past life to a life of purpose in Jesus Christ. In some cases, other people will come to faith in Jesus through the example you share. In fact, Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples of all the nations, to every person on the planet (Matthew 28:18-20).
For more information on various topics of the Christian life, please visit www.JAShow.org. You will find many videos, audio programs, and articles to strengthen your faith and increase your understanding of the Bible. You can also contact us at:
The John Ankerberg Show
P.O. Box 8977
Chattanooga, TN 37414 USA
Or call 1-800-805-3030 (US) or +001 (423) 892-7722 (International)certificate that you can download and print as a reminder of this lifechanging decision. Click HERE to download.