HAVING RECEIVED CHRIST - WHAT NEXT?
(From the leaflet ‘Do You Want to Be a Christian?’)
It is vital not only to receive Christ by faith, but to continue with Him. Give close attention to the following points:
The New Testament throbs with vibrant hope and joyful certainty.
‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:’ (Romans 8:16)
This assurance is given by the Spirit of God directly to our spirits.
‘We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren...’ (1st John 3:14)
You ‘know that ye have eternal life’ (1st John 5:13)
‘We know that we are of God’ (1st John 5:19)
This is not presumption but is the glad assurance of Christ’s indwelling presence. It is often immediately realised but sometimes may take a little while as we continue to trust. ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.’
The devil will attempt to shake your new-found faith by trying to sow doubt.
‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you’ (James 5:7)
‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’ (Galatians 5:1)
You now have access to God the Father through Christ the Son. Thank Him for His power, salvation, holiness and love. Praise Him that he has given you eternal life and has made you His child.
Make sure that you have a daily ‘Quiet Time’ with the Lord. Take time to in His presence and you will derive strength and guidance for each day. Pray for others to meet Christ as you have done. Pray with other Christians as and when possible.
‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength’ (Isaiah 40:31)
In prayer you speak to God and in the Bible, God speaks to you. It is therefore very important that you read it daily. Read it methodically, ponder it prayerfully and obey it instantly. Begin with the New Testament, and, reading as chapter or two a day, ask the Lord to help you to understand it and interpret its truths to your heart.
‘The entrance of Thy word giveth light’ (Psalm 119:130)
Light is often received through the Word, and when this is obeyed, more light is given, encouraging growth to take place quickly. The still, small voice of the Spirit will sometimes encourage, instruct or reprove. You may have to change your habits or life-style, for God says, ‘Be holy in all manner of conversation (living)’ (1st Peter 1:15).
Obedience is essential for joy, growth, and usefulness in the Christian life.
If you sin, go immediately to the Lord. Confess it, ask Him to forgive you, believe He has done so, be assured that the relationship has been restored, and continue your Christian witness.
‘My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:’ (1st John 2:1)
‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ (1st John 1:9)
‘...confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus’ (Romans 10:9&10)
It is essential to tell what God has done for you. Often as you tell the story of God’s saving power in your own life the Spirit witnesses with your spirit that your words are true. ‘I am saved! Christ lives in me! I am His child!’ Not only are you confirmed in your faith, and placed on record, but you are now spreading the glad news to others.
‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together’ (Hebrews 10:25)
As members of God’s family, we need one another and must meet regularly with fellow Christians. A local Bible-believing church is where you will be encouraged and taught, and where you will discover the joy of sharing your faith and experiences with like-minded children of God.
The Thessalonians ‘turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God’ (1st Thessalonians 1:9). It is our privilege to serve a holy God. His holiness must fill our lives for we represent Him. Be alert for opportunities of telling others how much the Lord has done for you. This is our great privilege and exhilarating experience.
By Rev. Dr. Colin Peckham, former Principal of the Faith Mission Bible College.
- Benhar Evangelical Church
- Covenanter Road
- Eastfield, Harthill
- North Lanarkshire
- ML7 5PB