Written by Allen Parr
Five Things a New Christian Should Know
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Here are five questions that are essential for you to understand if you are new to the faith.
4. How do I find my spiritual gift?
5. How do I pray?
1. How do I read my Bible?
If you are a new Christian, it can be very intimidating. You've got this book that you've never read before. Where do you start? My suggestion would be to start in the gospels, and here is my reason. The most important thing is to get to know Jesus Christ for yourself. You need to know who He is, what He teaches, what He believes in, what He wants you to know, and what He has done for you by sacrificing His life on the cross. I recommend you start in the Gospel of John and then move on from there.
2. How do I grow spiritually?
Just like in real life, it is not God's intention for you to remain a baby Christian. He wants to take you on a continuum of growth, a journey so that one day you will be able to disciple other people. How does He do this? Well, the first way that you grow spiritually is as I just said — through the Word of God. There is no substitution. You must put the time in. You must discipline yourself to read the Bible every day so you can get God's thoughts in your mind. Then you will filter every decision through God's thoughts and make the decision that God wants you to make. The next way that God grows people spiritually is through the Spirit of God. As you put God's Word in you, the Spirit, who now lives inside of you is going to remind you of those words to guide you through life. If you have temptations, He's going to bring the Word of God to your mind, so that you will be able to face that temptation. If you have stress in your life, He's going to bring up Scripture in your mind to encourage you. As Dr. Tony Evans says, “The Spirit of God uses the Word of God and makes the child of God look like the Son of God.” The third way that you can grow spiritually is through the people of God. It is so important for you to get involved in a Bible-teaching church! And get involved in a small group of people that can hold you accountable, encourage you, comfort you, and teach you in a Bible study. It is important because if you don’t, you'll find yourself quickly going back to your old lifestyle and drift away from the faith.
3. What do I do when I sin?
How do I recover when I sin? You know as a new Christian, it's going to be easy for you to slip back into some old habits because you are coming fresh out of the world. Whenever you do sin, not if you're going to sin, but when you do sin, what God requires you to do is simply to confess your sin. 1 John 1:9 says, "If you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness." You don't need to get saved again. You don't need to confess your sins to a priest. You don't need to impress God with how sorry you are over your sin. No, the Bible just says to confess, which means to agree with God that what you did was wrong. After you confess your sin, turn away from it, so you do not continue the same thing.
4. How do I find my spiritual gift?
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12 that a spiritual gift was given to each of us so we can help each other. The moment that you gave your life to Jesus Christ, God gave you a special birthday present. He gave you a spiritual gift. This is a special ability that you use to contribute to the growth of the body of Christ. How do you discover this special ability? There are four passages of Scripture in the New Testament that list the spiritual gifts: Ephesians 4:7-12, 1 Corinthians 12:1-13, Romans 12:6-8, and 1 Peter 4:10-11. Try to familiarize yourself with these gifts and take a spiritual gift assessment. Now, please understand that there is no exact definition of the gifts in the New Testament, so this is a man-made tool that will help guide you to what God has gifted you to do. After you discover what your gift is, you want to look for opportunities to use that gift. You need to experiment to see if this is a gift that God has given you. The best way to do that is in your local church.
5. How do I pray?
Let me share what I do to keep it very simple. Every time I pray, I start with confession. This is me saying “Lord, is there anything that I've done, said, or thought that may have offended You?” And next, I spend a few moments in worship. This is when you tell God who He is. Tell Him what He means to you and what He's done for you. The third thing is spending some time in thanksgiving. This is when I think over life and say "You know what Lord? I am so grateful for my family. I am so grateful for my ministry. So grateful for my job, how You've provided.” Just be grateful to God for what He's done. The next thing I do is pray for others. If someone in your family or anybody you know is going through a difficult time, mention their name to God and pray on their behalf. And the last thing you want to do is what is called petition. This just means that you are asking God to do certain things for you. So, if you do these five things and be yourself, just talk to God and allow Him to talk to you, that is the best and simplest way to pray!
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