Basics of the Christian Faith: Now What? By Minister Abby Phillips

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Sometimes when a person becomes a Christian he or she does not know what to do next. Hopefully someone will be there to explain things and answer questions about this new life in Christ. I pray that today’s lesson will be helpful if you are a new Christian or know someone who has just accepted Jesus Christ and is asking, “Now what?”

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Dear Lord, thank You for Your gift of salvation. Please help us to understand and help others to understand how we are to live our lives as Your disciples. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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Worship
When a person does something wonderful for you, you thank them and show them your appreciation. Because God did something wonderful for us by saving us through Jesus Christ, one of the ways we thank Him is through worship. When we worship God, we tell Him how much we love Him, sing songs of praise to Him, and strive to live our everyday lives in a way that honors Him. In Psalm 71:19 (NASB*), we see an example of a song of worship to God. The psalmist thanks and honors God for who He is and what He has done.

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“For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?”
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This is not something we have to go to a certain place to do. It is something that should be a part of us; we should have an attitude of worship throughout our day. Psalm 113:3 (KJV**) says: From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord`s name is to be praised.”

We are also to come together and worship with other believers on the Lord’s Day. This is a time where the pastor can teach us from the word of God, we can sing praises together, and we can help and encourage one another. Hebrews 10:24-25 tell us:


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“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
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There may not be a church where you are, or it may be dangerous for you to go there. Some of you may even have to meet in your homes. If either of these situations are the case for you, know that what is most important to God is that you are truly worshipping Him with all your heart.


Study God’s Word
We are to read God’s word and study it so that we can understand what it tells us about what the Lord says and how we are to live. In 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) it says:


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Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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Because we love Him, we should have a desire to know and do what His word says. The Bible tells us what happened from the beginning of the world throughout the ages to when Jesus came, died, and rose for us. It tells us about the disciples and how they spread the Gospel and taught the churches. It explains how we are to conduct ourselves as believers. It even tells us what is going to happen at the end of the world! In 2 Timothy 3:15-16 we learn that:


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“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
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The New Testament was written in Greek, and in verse 17, where it says “the man of God”, that translation of “man” in Greek is “anthropos”, which refers not to males as a gender, but to mankind â€" all human beings. Men, women, and children, those of us who love God are all to study His word so that we will know how to live our lives for Him.


Pray
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing.” We have to go to work and school, walk and drive, eat and sleep, so certainly we can’t be on our knees praying with our eyes closed all the time. What this scripture means is that we are to be praying throughout the day.


When we wake up in the morning we should thank God for giving us another day of life. As we reflect on the things God has done for us, we should pray and thank Him. We should give thanks for the food God has blessed us with when we eat. When we go to bed at night we should thank God for keeping us during the day. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

When something happens to worry us, we should pray about it. Philippians 4:6 instructs us to:


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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
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When we see someone who has been hurt, we should pray for them. We should pray for our family and friends who are not saved to accept Jesus in their hearts, and for those who have accepted Him to continue to grow stronger in their faith. Colossians 1:10 shows us an example of such a prayer that Paul prayed for other believers:


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For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
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As you can see, there are many things to pray about. Whatever it is you’re praying about, the important thing is that you do pray!


Witness
In Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV) Jesus was about to ascend into heaven. He gave His disciples, and as believers we are His disciples too, this command:


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And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
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We are to tell others about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We are to let them know that Jesus alone can save them from their sins. We are to show them how they can become children of God. Just as we have learned, we are to teach others. This passage of scripture is called “The Great Commission.” When you are commissioned to do something, you are given a command and the authority you need to accomplish that command. Jesus told them “I have all power in heaven and on Earth. I have the authority to give you this command and to grant you the power to do it!”

We are not to try and force the Gospel on others, because only God can cause a person to desire to know Him. 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 says:


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Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
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We are to tell others about Him and live a life that is an example of the power and grace of God. He will be the one to save them.


Love One Another
In John 13:34 Jesus says:


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A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you,
that you also love one another.
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It is not a suggestion or a good idea. It is a command. It is not always easy to love others, especially when they are unkind to us, but that is exactly what Jesus tells us to do. In Matthew 5:44 He says:


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But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
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The kind of love Jesus is talking about is agape love. It is not just shown in words we say. It is shown in what we do, how we act, and treat people. You will care for others, pray for them, and want to help them when you love them with agape love.

This love wants what is best for another person, regardless of how they treat us. You and I can’t love someone like that without Jesus living in us. He alone can give us the power to pray for hurtful and evil people. When He gives us that power, we can pray for them. We don’t have to allow them to abuse us, but we can behave in a way that honors God, regardless of how they are acting. And we can pray for God to save them so that their hearts and lives can change. My oldest son used to pray a prayer when he was a small child “Dear God, turn my enemies into my friends.” Only the love of God could make him pray such a prayer for people who were unkind to him!


Remember:
• Worship the Lord daily by living a life that honors Him, and speaking and singing praise to Him. Worship with others as well: learning the word, praising God together, and encouraging one another.
• Study God’s word so that you will know what He says and how you are to live.
• Pray! Thank God for who He is and what He’s done. Pray for other people; ask for help and guidance in your life. Prayer is communication with God: talk to Him!
• Witness: tell others about Jesus and live a life before them that is an example of His love and saving grace. The rest is up to Him.
• Love one another: not just your friends and family, but your enemies as well. You were a sinner, as they are, and Christ gave you salvation. Pray for them to receive Christ too. Then you can be enemies no longer, but brothers and sisters in Christ!

We should do these things because we love God and want to please Him. And as we spend time in worship, study, and prayer, He will show us more ways to live our daily lives as children of God.


The Sinner’s Prayer:
You may have listened to this lesson and learned how to live as a child of God, but you may never have received Christ so that you can be a child of God. If you want to accept Christ today you can do so by praying something like this:

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“Lord, I confess that I am a sinner and that my sin separates me from You.
Only by accepting salvation through Christ Jesus, who died in my place for my sins, can I be saved. I ask Jesus into my heart today and receive the salvation that comes only from Him. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
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What Should I Do Now?
If you prayed that prayer sincerely from your heart, you are saved! You are a Christian! Study today’s lesson again because it tells you the things you need to know about how to live as a child of God. Welcome to the family!


*NASB â€" New American Standard Bible
**KJV â€" King James Version of the Bible

© Minister Abby Phillips, Speak Life Ministries, 2007 ~

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