New Christian
CONGRATULATIONS!!!
   You have just made the most important commitment a person can make in life.  As a result of receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you have experienced what the Bible calls a new birth.  In your physical life, you entered the world as a baby and then grew to maturity.   The same is true in your spiritual experience.  Now that you have experienced a spiritual birth, you need to grow into a mature follower of Jesus (read 1 Peter 2:2).  Scripture references are located by chapter and verse. For example:  1 Peter 2:2 means the fïrst book of Peter, chapter two, verse two. 
   Just as an infant needs help to grow physically, a new believer needs help to grow spiritually. It is our desire to assist you in growing spiritually.  Please secure an easy-to-read Bible to use and choose a time and a place to have your daily study (e.g., before breakfast in the kitchen.)

BEGINNING STEPS 
  1. BE SURE OF YOUR SALVATION
    1. God wants you to know for sure that you have eternal life. Eternal life is not based on your feelings, but on the facts found in the Bible.
      1. Your Assurance Is Based on the Word of God. The Bible states in John 3:16 and 1 John 5:11-13 that God wants you to know that you have eternal life. Read the verses and underline them in your Bible.
      2. Your Assurance Is Based on the Promises of God. See the promises found in the following two verses. Romans 10:9 and John 5:24  
      3. Your Assurance Is Based on the Character of God. A promise is only as reliable as the person who makes it. That is why the assurance of your salvation rests on God’s character. What do these verses teach about His character?  1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:24, Hebrews 10:23
      4. Your Assurance Is Based on the Spirit of God. Ephesians 1:13-14.  To further assure you of your salvation, God has sent living, daily proof of your relationship. As an official seal is placed on a contract between two individuals to guarantee the contract’s validity, so God has given a seal (guarantee) of His promise to you.
    2. The Bible teaches that God is faithful (reliable, steadfast, trustworthy, and stable). You can believe the promises because you know the Promisor. God, your loving Father, is absolutely faithful. Nothing will change His mind about your salvation. Nothing will separate you from His love. Your relationship to God through Jesus is secure.
    3. The Holy Spirit at work within you is indisputable proof of your salvation. The Holy Spirit’s work in your life will bring changes. Some changes will be gradual; some will be instant. The inward and outward changes that result are the final proof of your salvation. 
  2. PUBLICLY DECLARE YOUR FAITH 
    1. Jesus Wants New Believers to Declare Publicly Their Faith in Him. Matthew 10:32-33.  Most churches provide opportunities, at the conclusion of the worship services, for people to make public their commitments to Jesus. If you have not publicly declared your faith, you should do so at the next public worship service you attend. Upon making this commitment, you should be baptized.
    2. Baptism Is an Act of Obedience That Declares One’s Faith. A test of whether a person is a true follower of Jesus is his or her obedience to Jesus’ commands. Read 1 John 2:3.
    3. Jesus Commanded Baptism (read Matthew 28:19-20).  This was not a suggestion or an option for His followers. If we are not baptized, we are disobedient. Jesus set the example by being baptized. Read the account of Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:13-17.
    4. In the New Testament, New Believers Were Baptized(read Acts 2:37-38, 41, 47). The verses clearly indicate that new believers followed Jesus by being baptized. Now read Acts 8:35-38. After the Ethiopian believed, he was baptized.
    5. Baptism Expresses Your Love for Jesus (read John 14:21).
    6. Baptism Pictures Two Things:
      1. What Jesus did for you—He died for your sins, was buried, and came back to life (read 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
      2. What has happened to you—You died to an old way of life and have been raised to live a new life in Jesus (read Romans 6:3-4)
    7. The Bible teaches that the method of baptism was immersion (completely placing a person under water and immediately bringing him or her back up). Immersion is the only form of baptism that adequately pictures this meaning. 
  3. SHARE JESUS WITH OTHERS   
    1. People love to share good news. We announce marriages and births. When something good happens, we rush to tell someone. The more exciting the news, the harder it is to be silent.
    2. A Christian has the most exciting news—the life-changing news of eternal life. It is natural for a Christian to want to share this good news. Think for a moment about the various people God used to bring you to the place where you were willing to receive Jesus.
    3. Now God wants you to be part of helping others come to know Jesus.  For a Christian, witnessing is not an option. Jesus commanded His followers to witness.
    4. There are two things you should use when sharing Jesus:
      1. Your personal testimony
      2. Scripture 
  4. STUDY YOUR BIBLE
    1. God wants an intimate, personal relationship with you. You are not just an acquaintance or a distant relative—you are His child. This relationship can be strengthened by studying the Bible—His revelation to you.
    2. Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is living and active. This means the Bible is more than a book, more than words on a page. It is more than words spoken in ancient times. The Bible is relevant; it addresses the needs of today.
      1. God’s Word Has Specific Purposes (read 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
      2. God’s Word Is Useful for Teaching.  Read these about what they teach us about God. Jeremiah 31:3, Romans 5:8
      3. God’s Word Is Useful for Rebuking (to point out a fault) and Convicting of Sin.  Read Ephesians 4:26-31 and see the areas where God’s Word points out faults in our lives.
      4. God’s Word is Useful for Correction of Error. Not only does the Bible convict, but it also corrects. Psalm 119 points out the psalmist’s experiences with God’s Word. This psalm teaches that God’s Word gives directions for living. Verse 9 asks, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” As God’s Word takes root in your heart, your faults and defects will be corrected by the Bible’s influence.
      5. God’s Word Is Useful for Training in Righteousness (godly behavior). Bible study is your spiritual food. Just as your physical body beneïfts from nutrients in the food you eat, your spiritual life beneïfts from consistent Bible study. Jeremiah 15:16 says, “When your words came, I ate them.”
    3. There Are Several Methods of Learning God’s Word. One of these can be compared to the fïngers of your hand. It is easy to lose your grip if you hold something with only one or two fïngers. If you hear, read, study, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word, your grasp of its truth will become a fïrm part of your life.
      1. Hear—Romans 10:17.  Listen to your pastor’s sermons and to Bible studies. Take notes on what you hear.
      2. Read—1 Timothy 4:13.  Set a goal to read a certain amount from the Bible each day. For example, read one chapter daily from the Gospel of John.
      3. Study—2 Timothy 2:15.  When you study, ask the following questions: • What promise is there to claim? • What example is there to follow? • What command is there to obey? • What sin is there to confess and forsake?  If you haven’t done so already, enroll and faithfully attend your church’s Bible study.
      4. Memorize—Psalm 119:11.  Memorizing Scripture gives you the opportunity to share God’s Word and assists you in overcoming sin. Seek to memorize at least one Scripture verse every week.
      5. Meditate—Joshua 1:8.  Meditation is spiritual digestion. It is analyzing and dwelling on a verse over and over. Meditate on a Scripture verse during the day as you drive, rest, walk, jog, or play. 
  5. LEARN TO PRAY
    1. The best way to get to know someone is to talk with that person often. God longs for you to know Him. The Bible is full of invitations to enter into a deep, personal relationship with God the Father. “If you seek him, he will be found by you” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
    2. In Jeremiah 24:7, speaking of those who would become followers of Jesus Christ, God says, “I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord.” Conversing with God is called prayer. Prayer is a conversation, not a monologue. It includes speaking to God and hearing from God
      1. Jesus Set the Example for Us (read Mark 1:35).
      2. Jesus Taught the Necessity of Prayer (read Luke 18:1).
      3. What did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them (read Luke 11:1)?
      4. Why should we pray continually (read 1 Thessalonians 5:17)?
  6. BE FAITHFUL TO A CHURCH
    1. Jesus personally established the church while He was on earth to unite Christians as a spiritual family (read Matthew 16:17-18). Who was speaking when the words “I will build my church” were spoken?
    2. The word church means “called out ones.” The church is made up of people who have been called out to follow Jesus. The term church is used to refer to all believers but is more often used to denote a local group of believers.
    3. Why Be Faithful to a Church? A church is a group of baptized believers voluntarily joining for instruction, fellowship, worship, and service (read Acts 2:42-47).
      1. Through Your Local Church You Receive Instruction. Jesus has given spiritual leaders to the church (read Ephesians 4:11). According to Ephesians 4:12-14, why has God given leaders to the church?
      2. Through Your Local Church You Have the Privilege of Fellowship. God has placed individuals in families for their care, protection, fellowship, and development. You need the church for all the reasons you need a family and many more. According to Hebrews 10:24-25, why do you need the fellowship of the church?
      3. Through Your Local Church You Meet to Worship. What are some of the things that happen when you worship (read Colossians 3:16)?
      4. Through Your Local Church You Have Opportunities for Service. The church is the proper avenue to serve God. God has given you special gifts and abilities in order to serve (read Romans 12:6-8). 
  7. TRUST JESUS TO DIRECT YOUR LIFE
    1. Now that you have received eternal life, Jesus wants to guide you daily in your new spiritual adventure. It is important to realize that He should do more than just reside in your life. He should be the Lord of all of your life.
    2. Confessing Jesus as the Lord of your life means that you trust Him to direct your life. Trusting Jesus to direct your life is similar to driving down the highway with another person. While you are driving, you are in control of the vehicle. But, when you realize that you do not know the right way to go and the other person does, you allow the other person to take the control of the vehicle. As a result, you take the route he or she chooses. Trusting Jesus is like saying to Him: “You direct my life and I will go with You!” A life directed by Jesus in this way will be spiritually fruitful and filled with joy (read John 15:4).
    3. Be sure to renew your commitment daily to allow Jesus to direct your life in order to experience the abundant life He promises.
      1. Spend time in prayer and Bible study daily.
      2. Be faithful in Bible study and worship at church.
      3. Serve the Lord with gladness.
      4. Be a good manager of your possessions.
      5. Share Christ with others.

Please send a note with your name and phone number.  We would like to contact you and to send you more information as you begin your walk with Jesus.  You can mail your information to New Vision Baptist Church, P.O. Box 680512, Prattville, AL 36068. We look forward to hearing from you and we know God will continue to bless you on your journey.