Are you “Born Again” or have just given your life to Jesus in the part 1 of the post? Congratulations! But DO NOT GLORY YET. Becoming Born Again is the most important decision in life a person can ever make. It is the right step in the right direction to be saved from eternal fires of Hell but it is only the first step to salvation. The Bible indicates that salvation is a walk on a narrow way which is difficult. It would be safer to inform you now so that you don’t ignorantly lose your salvation but secure it.
Many people assume that they are certainly saved, millions of them have been taught that they are saved at the first step of salvation. This is not so according to the bible. Knowingly or unknowingly, it is actually a deception from the Devil to encourage disobedience, complacency and lukewarmness to prevent people from digging down into the word of God to find out what pleases God, His will and to do it. The Bible indicates that the lukewarm people of God will be rejected.
The sinner’s prayer, where you give your heart to Jesus and sincerely repent, is only the first step to salvation. It is like the first step up Mount Everest, which almost anybody could achieve. However, that is very different to climbing to the top of Mount Everest, which almost nobody can achieve due to it’s rugged conditions and the physical pain involved in the climb. There would also be a high chance of falling off the steep knife-blade ridges. However, it would be possible to climb. This also describes the narrow walk to be born again.
I am not saying that salvation results from works or deeds. For example, a sick and incapacitated person can be saved if he or she believes and accept what is true and seeks to obey God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that salvation is not by works, but you still need to seek to obey God, even though we all sin and make mistakes.
Many verses indicate that salvation is conditional on obeying God. Matthew 7: 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many believers in churches are still dressing like harlots and rascals, many exposing sensitive parts of their bodies, many are wearing unnecessary jewellery and are supporting evil things. James 4:4 says . . . friendship of the world is enmity with God… I John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Luke 16:13-14 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. . . .
6 Fundamental Principles for New Christians
***The following points asssume that you are already “Born Again” or you have just given your life to Jesus in the part 1 of this post***
To secure salvation of your soul from Hell and go to Heaven, you still need to follow the salvation path clearly revealed in the scripture as highlighted below:
1. Daily Bible Studying — Your DAILY Nutrition
Newly “Born Again” (or those who are still immature in their faith walk) strongly resemble children, babies. They they need watchful care, and kind attention, and appropriate aliment, as much as new-born infants do. They are said to be newborn because they are still so far from maturity in Christ, as these sins testified. A healthy baby has a healthy appetite. If you have truly been “born” of the Spirit of God, you will have a healthy appetite. The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” Jesus said in Luke 18:17 “Truly I tell you, if anyone does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, he will never enter it.”
You need to feed yourself with the word of God every day without fail that ye may grow thereby, as babes grow on their proper nutriment. Holiness in the heart is susceptible of growth, and is made to grow by its proper nourishment, as a plant or a child is, and will grow in proportion as it has the proper kind of nutriment.
The more you eat, the quicker you will grow, and the less bruising you will have. Put the word of God (by studying it) before your belly. Matthew 4:4 says “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”. Every day, find somewhere quiet, and thoroughly soak your soul in the Word of God. God promises in Psalm 1 that you will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper. Vow to yourself, “No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed.”
The foundation of prayer is you must first begin a relationship with God. As far as God is concerned, if you belong to Jesus, you are a VIP. You can boldly come before the throne of Grace – Hebrews 4:16. You have access to the king, because you are the son or daughter of the king.
Do you really know him and does he know you? Do you have a relationship with him that warrants God answering your prayers? Or is God pretty distant, pretty much just a concept in your life? If God is distant, or you’re not sure that you know God, here is how you can begin a relationship with him right now – Daily Bible Studying as briefed above. You need to be soaking yourself in Holy Scripture. If you don’t bother to read His will, you won’t have any idea of what has been left for you. You may first begin with the Gospel of John in the bible.
With God, when the person is actually a child of God, when the person belongs to God, he knows them and hears their prayers. Jesus said in John 10:14,27-28 “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me…my sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
Jesus also said to those who do know him and rely on him in John 15:7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. To “remain” in him and have his words remain in them means relying on him, listening to what he says and doing it. Then they’re able to ask him whatever they want. We need to pray according to his will and he answers our prayers according to His will, good pleasures, His wisdom, His love, His holiness and so on. 1 John 5:14 -15 says “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us whatever we ask we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Sometimes, He may say “NO”, that is, your prayer is unanswered. ask in faith, just stay in peace-filled patience. The circumstances may look out of control, it may seems the whole world seems to be falling apart, always remember that God is in control. God can provide solutions, resolutions to the problem WAY beyond what you imagined possible.
Continue reading the rest of the 6 fundamental principles by clicking the tabs below:
[templatic_tabs] [templatic_tab title=”Evangelism”] It was the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon, who said the words, “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.” A Christian cannot be apathetic about the salvation of the world. The love of God in him will motivate him to seek and save that which is lost.
You probably have a limited amount of time after your conversion to impact your unsaved friends and family with the Gospel. After the initial shock of your conversion, they will put you in a neat little ribbon-tied box, and keep you at arm’s length. So it’s important that you take advantage of the short time you have while you still have their ears.
Here’s some advice that will save you a great deal of grief. As a new Christian, a friend of mine did almost irreparable damage by acting like a wild bull in a crystal showroom. He bullied his mom, his dad, and many of his friends into making a “decision for Christ”. He was sincere, zealous, loving, kind, and stupid. He didn’t understand that salvation doesn’t come through making a “decision,” but through repentance, and repentance is God-given (see 2 Timothy 2:25). The Bible teaches that no one can come to the Son unless God “draws” him. If you are able to get a decision but they have no conviction of sin, you will almost certainly end up with a still-born on your hands.
In his”zeal without knowledge” he actually inoculated the very ones he was so desperately trying to reach. There is nothing more important to you than the salvation of your loved ones, and you don’t want to blow it. If you do, you may find that you don’t have a second chance. Fervently pray for them, thanking God for their salvation. Let them see your faith. Let them feel your kindness, your genuine love, and your gentleness. Buy gifts for no reason. Do chores when you are not asked to. Go the extra mile. Put yourself in their position. You know that you have found everlasting life. Death has lost its sting! Your joy is unspeakable — but as far as they are concerned, you have been brain-washed. You have become part of a weird sect. So your loving actions will speak more loudly than ten thousand eloquent sermons.
It is because of these thoughts that you should hold back from verbal confrontation until you have knowledge that will guide your zeal. Pray for wisdom and for a sensitivity to God’s timing. You may have only one shot, so make it count. Keep your cool. If you don’t, you may end up with a lifetime of regret. Believe me. It is better to hear a loved one or a close friend say, “Tell me about your faith in Jesus Christ,” rather than you saying, “Sit down. I want to talk to you.”
It is important to realize that we should share our faith with others whenever we can. The Bible says that there are only two times we should do this — “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). The Apostle Paul pleaded for prayer for his own personal witness. He said, “. . . that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak,” (Ephesians 6:19-20).
Remember that you have the sobering responsibility of speaking to other peoples’ loved ones. Many times when you open your mouth for the Gospel, you may be the answer to the earnest prayer of another Christian. Perhaps he has cried out to God that He would use a faithful witness to speak to his beloved mom or dad, and you are that answer to prayer. You are that true and faithful witness that God wants to use.
Never lose sight of the world and all its pains. Keep the fate of the ungodly before your eyes. Too many of us settle down on a padded pew and become introverted. Our world becomes a monastery without walls. Our friends are confined solely to those within the Church, when Jesus was the “friend of sinners.” So take the time to deliberately befriend them for the sake of their salvation. Remember that each and every person who dies in their sins has an appointment with the Judge of the Universe. Hell opens wide its terrible jaws. There is no more sobering task than to be entrusted with the Gospel of Salvation — working with God for the eternal well-being of dying humanity.
[/templatic_tab] [templatic_tab title=”Water Baptism”] Having given your life to Jesus Christ, you will need to submit yourself to water baptism. Water baptism follows repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 8:35-39 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
The scriptural water baptism is one immersion into water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
Water baptism is not for ignorant and unconverted children, nor for unrepentant adult. Those who were baptized when they were still sinners need to be baptized when they truly repent and give their lives to Jesus Christ. The apostles practiced water baptism according to the instruction given to them by the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ as seen in the above passage and in other passages in Acts of the Apostles means baptism as instructed or authorized by Jesus Christ.
[/templatic_tab] [templatic_tab title=”Holy Spirit”]
What, Then, Is The Baptism In The Holy Spirit?
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is an empowering for service that takes place in the life of the Christian (Acts 1:5,8). In it we are immersed in the Spirit’s life and power.
To illustrate, if we drank water from a glass, then the water would be inside us. However, if we went to the beach and stepped into the ocean, then we would be in the water. We receive, as it were, a drink of the Holy Spirit when we are saved, but when we are baptized in the Spirit, it is as if that initial drink becomes an ocean that completely surrounds us.
Just as the indwelling Spirit that Christians receive when they are saved reproduces the life of Jesus, so the outpoured, or baptizing, Spirit reproduces the ministry of Jesus, including miracles and healings.
Why Do We Need The Baptism In The Holy Spirit?
We need a power beyond ourselves for service and ministry in Christ’s Kingdom.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), He knew that His disciples could not fulfill it in their own power. Therefore, He had a special gift in store for them: It was His plan to give them the same power that He had — the power of the Spirit of God. So, immediately after giving them the Great Commission, Jesus commanded his disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father promised, “which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4-5). He further promised: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The disciples waited in Jerusalem as Jesus had commanded, and one day when they were all together, “suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing winds, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance” (Acts 2:3,4). Then Peter explained to the crowd that gathered that they were seeing the working of God’s Spirit and told them about Jesus. The Christian church began that day with the disciples and the 3,000 people who joined them as a result of the day’s events.
We can undertake making disciples of all nations with some degree of success without the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but when we do, we are undertaking a supernatural task with limited power.
It is God’s will – it is His commandment – that we be baptized, or filled with the Holy Spirit: “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The knowledge and reality of the empowering Spirit enables us to reproduce the works of Jesus.
When May I Receive The Baptism In The Holy Spirit?
It can take place at the moment you confess faith in Christ, as in the case of the first Gentile convert, Cornelius (Acts 10:44-46; Acts 11:15-16); but often it occurs some time after the salvation experience (Acts 8:12-17).
Is There Anything To Fear?
Some people fear that if they ask for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, what they experience won’t be the authentic working of the Spirit. But once they do ask for it, they are always glad they did. God doesn’t cause us to do anything we don’t want to, and all His gifts are good and perfect (James 1:17). Jesus said, “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will be? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:11-13). The baptism in the Holy Spirit is an even better gift than any material gift you could receive, and God wants you to have it because He loves you and wants the very best for you.
What Should I Do Before Asking?
The Bible says that a wise man counts the cost before he begins to build a tower (Luke 14:28). This beautiful experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a free gift, but you must be willing to submit fully to God to receive it.
Jesus will respond to a totally yielded vessel. He never asks anything of you that you are incapable of giving, nor does He ever fail to give you something greater in return when you do give your all. The joy He gives through total obedience to Him far outweighs anything you could possibly give up.
There is one more important consideration: In Acts 8, a man named Simon, deeply involved in the occult, wanted to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter sharply rebuked Simon, commanding him to repent. Therefore, if you ever at any time had anything to do with the occult (Ouija boards, fortune tellers, seances, horoscopes, ESP, transcendental mediation, hypnotism, or other such practices), you must renounce and turn away from all such sinful participation, and you must ask for God’s forgiveness and cleansing.
How Do I Receive The Baptism In The Holy Spirit?
You only have to do two things.
First, once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior you just have to ask God to baptize you in the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “Ask, and it shall be given to you” (Luke 11:9).
Second, believe you have in fact received this gift from God. The apostle Paul, writing to the Galatians, said, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith?”
(Galatians 3:2). The answer, obviously, is faith. You have to believe that if you ask, you will receive.
Pray this prayer if you sincerely desire to receive the baptism in God’s Holy Spirit:
“Heavenly Father, at this moment I come to You. I thank You that Jesus saved me. I pray that the Holy Spirit might come upon me. Lord Jesus, baptize me now in the Holy Spirit. I receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit right now by faith in Your Word. May the anointing, the glory, and the power of God come upon me and into my life right now. May I be empowered for service from this day forward. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for baptizing me in Your Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Now, having asked and received, begin to practice the power of the Spirit. An ideal place to begin is where the first apostles did, praising God in a new language. To do this, begin praising God out loud in whatever words come to you. Tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him, worship Him, and yield your voice to Him. Now let Him give you new words of praise you never heard before. Praise Him with those words, too. You’ll find that this can be a very rewarding experience of communication with God that will build up your faith. Continue to pray to God each day in the language that the Holy Spirit has given you.
But this “prayer language” is just one of the gifts that God wants to give you through the baptism in His Spirit.
The Gifts and Fruit of the Holy Spirit
The apostle Paul told the Corinthians that the Holy Spirit would manifest Himself among them in special gifts, of which speaking in tongues was only one: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware….To one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the distinguishing of spirit, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues” (I Corinthians 12:1,8-10).
Paul also wrote that the Holy Spirit produces “fruit” in the lives of believers. These are virtues that demonstrate Jesus’ righteousness in the lives of His disciples: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
So, in asking for the baptism in the Holy Spirit you are availing yourself of these gifts for advancing God’s Kingdom and allowing the Holy Spirit to further cultivate in your life the fruit of righteousness – two great helps in living a life God can use mightily for His glory.
That’s the way it is with God. God is offering the baptism in the Holy Spirit to people who need only to reach out and receive it in order to be on fire to fully serve Him.
Walking in the Spirit
By now you can see that the Holy Spirit is so much more than a shadowy figure to pay lip-service to on Sunday morning. He can be with you and in your to bring new life to your Christian walk. Likewise, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is more than a single experience. It is a continual dependence on the Spirit for guidance and strength in all circumstances. “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
The baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot be earned. You cannot become “good enough” to receive it. It is a gift from God. It is not a “cure-all” for your problems. But the same wonderful power that enabled Jesus to open blind eyes, to command the elements of nature, and to live a life pleasing to the Father during His ministry on earth is also available to you. Ask, and it shall be given to you.
[/templatic_tab] [templatic_tab title=”Restitution”] Now that you are in Christ, the Lord expects you to serve Him with a conscience void of offence toward God and toward man. Hence you will need to take some corrective actions over your past life, according to the teaching of the Scripture. This may involve settling your differences with those offended by you, paying back your just debts, returning stolen property, apologizing for lies told, false claims, fraudulent acts; dissolving your unscriptural marriage union, given up false certificates. This is called restitution.
The Holy Spirit will reveal to you those things that require your corrective actions, according to the word of God. God will be with you as you carry out your restitution and His grace will be sufficient for you. Restitution as an act of righteousness will fill you with joy and peace and will glorify the name of the Lord among men. Ecclesiastes 3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.” 1 Samuel 12:3-5 “Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before His anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you, 4 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand. 5 And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.”
Ezekiel 33:14-16 “Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right: 15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he hath robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. 16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.”
Luke 19:5-10 “And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. 6 And he made haste and came down and received Him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it they all murmured, saying, That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, for as much as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Acts 23:1 “And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” Acts 24:16 “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.”
Some restitution require counseling from true and wise men of God, especially those involving others. Take sufficient counsel before carrying out such restitution. Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” [/templatic_tab] [/templatic_tabs]
[templatic_contentbox type=”author” title=”Author”] Olufemi Folorunsho, popularly known as Femi Tunde is the founder of Yustreet. He serves as an evangelist with particular focus on United Kingdom. He is also a publisher of christian literature and entrepreneur of christian evangelism materials. He is passionate to let everyone know about eternal calling in Christ Jesus and to warn of the danger of eternal fires. He always insists according to Luke 9:23 that we must deny ourselves of worldliness and carnality, we must lay down our will and do God’s will at all times, this is our cross to carry and then follow Jesus. [/templatic_contentbox]