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New Believers

I have decided to be a Christian - Now what is next?

Congratulations. You just made the best decision of your life--a decision that you will not regret.

You are at the beginning of a new relationship--a relationship with God that is possible because of Jesus Christ. As with any relationship, your relationship with God will grow stronger and deeper through communication and experiences. As you learn more about God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, you will grow to love God and trust Him more and more. You will also come to a better understanding of how Jesus is relevant to the details of your life. Your relationship will grow also as you see God's faithfulness in situations in your life, particularly situations that you have turned over to Him in prayer.

Be careful that you are not deceived into thinking that going to heaven instead of hell is the only benefit of being a Christian. If you believe this lie, you will tend to think that you have already received all that there is to receive as a Christian, and view the rest of your life as an obligation to pay God back for the gift of heaven. This erroneous view leads to the attitude that Christianity is drudgery, sacrificing all the "fun" things in the world for a life of rigidity and boredom. The Christian life is not receiving the gift of heaven and then trying hard from that point forward to live according to the standards of the Bible.

This is the truth: God wanted you to receive Christ, not only to be forgiven of sin so that you can go to heaven instead of hell after your earthly death, but to give you life--contentment, joy, fulfillment, and fruitfulness in Christ. God wants you to know that, because of your faith, Christ actually lives in you, and has given you a new life--His life. God wants you to see the relevance of Christ to all issues in your life. Through Christ, the Father has given you an inexhaustible source of joy, contentment, power, and peace; and equipped you to be a great blessing to other people.

God wants you to get in His raft and let Him take you down a roaring river. You will not be able to control the raft; you must trust Him to do so. If you do, He will not allow you to sink, but the ride will be wild, unpredictable, and sometimes rough. Every person in your path will be affected by the roaring river of God's love and power. Hardly boring and dreadful.

So what's the next step? Just as you have trusted Christ by faith for forgiveness of sin, trust Him day by day with all issues of your life. The Apostle Paul said,

Col 2:6,7 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Paul is saying, "Just as you initially received Christ Jesus by faith, live everyday by faith." If you choose day by day, moment by moment, to trust Christ with the details of life, letting Him have His way with you, then your life will be a great adventure.

Don't feel burdened by your new Christianity. God does not intend for the Christian life to be a burdensome set of rules to follow. Living as a Christian is not a matter of trying to do what the Bible says. What's more, trying in our human strength to be good people does not work. Nobody can live according to the Bible except Jesus Christ Himself. Therefore God does not want you to try your hardest to be good; He wants you to let Jesus Christ be good through you. God does not want you to strain and grit your teeth trying to get bad thoughts out of your mind; He wants you to ask Christ to control your mind and fill your mind with His Word, the Bible. God does not want you to try real hard to change; He wants you to open yourself up to Christ, asking Christ to transform you and live through you. Furthermore, the Christian life is not about our trying to be good for God; it's about Christ being good through us.

Therefore, just as you have trusted Christ for forgiveness of sin, you need also to trust Him to guide you, change you, and live through you. This requires nothing more--and nothing less--than faith in Christ.

Faith is a gift from God, not a fruit of our effort. However, God responds to those who seek Him. He builds our faith by revealing who He is, unveiling truth from the Bible, and showing His faithfulness in difficult situations. For any questions and free online resources:

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