Live Your New Life!
You have now entered into a new life in God, and have been born again. You are a new "baby" in Christ. Just as a newborn baby needs regular care and feeding, you too
must feed your new life. To grow into a healthy young man or woman, every baby needs five important things: breath (oxygen), food, exercise, cleanliness and love. It is the same with a new Christian.
1. The Christian's Breathing: Prayer
Every living being needs to breathe all day. So a Christian needs to be in constant touch with God. The Bible says:
"Pray at all times."
(1 Thessalonians 5:17.)
As a Christian, you have now been given
just about the greatest treasure: the right to pray in the Name of Jesus! You can pray anywhere and everywhere. The Name of Jesus makes you the conqueror over any and every situation. The Lord Jesus said,
"If you ask anything in my name, I will do it."
The more you pray, the stronger you will grow spiritually. The less you pray, the weaker you will become, and your Christian joy will be lost. Therefore, never, never neglect prayer! Ask your
Father in heaven to teach you the depth of prayer life.
Pray alone in your room, and in the church with others, or in a small group with friends. Pray for others, that they also may be helped. Never begin anything without first praying.
2. The Christian's Food: the Word of God
The Holy Bible is your spiritual food. If you do not have a Bible of your own, you must immediately buy and read one in a language that you understand well, or ask someone to read it to
you. You will not be able to grow spiritually without studying your Bible every day. Peter says:
"Be like new-born babies, always thirsty for pure spiritual milk,
so that by drinking it you may grow up and be saved."
(1 Peter 2:2.)
The Bible will help you to know what to do:
"Your Word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path."
The Bible will also help you to have victory over sin and temptation:
"I keep your law in my heart, so that I will not sin against you."
Remember that the Bible is a whole collection of books. Start by reading the New Testament first, and then you will be able to understand the Old Testament when you read it afterwards. Keep the Word of God in your heart by memorizing important verses, such as those found in this course book.
3. The Christian's Exercise: Obedience, Giving and Witnessing.
No child will be healthy and strong without exercise. As you study your Bible, you will find out what God wants you to do for him. Be prepared to obey him in all things. He loves you, and wants you to be a strong and happy Christian. Trust him and obey him in all things, great and small.
Remember that you belong to him, together with all that you have. He gave you your possessions, money and talents. Use them in his service; never allow any of these things to become more important
to you than obedience to your heavenly Father.
God wants to use you to tell the Good News of this new life. Do not be ashamed of your Lord. Let your words and actions show others what a difference Christ has made in your life.
Do not be discouraged if you fail at first. When a small child learns to walk, he falls many times. But he does not get discouraged. He gets up and tries again until he walks without falling. God knows our weakness, and therefore he provides for:
4. The Christian's Cleanliness: Forgiveness and Victory Over Temptation
A question that troubles many new Christians is this: "Suppose I sin again -- will I stop being a child of God?" The Word of God is very plain about this: If you become a true child of God, you will always remain one. If one of my children disobey me or falls into the mud, he does not stop being my child -- he just becomes a disobedient or dirty child. The Bible says:
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and there is no truth in us.
But if we confess our sins to God,
he will keep his promise. and do what is right:
he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all wrongdoing."
(1 John 1:8-9.)
So we see that God has provided a way for his children to be "washed" from sin, if ever they should sin: As soon as you see that you have sinned, you should confess that sin to God and give it up. Do not continue to do that sin.
You must expect to be
attacked by Satan as soon as you have become a child of God. But do not fear: the victory is yours through Jesus Christ! God provides victory in two ways. The one way is his promise:
"Every test that you have experienced
is the kind that normally comes to people.
But God keeps his promise,
and he will not allow you to be tested
beyond your power to remain firm;
at the time you are put to test,
he will give you the strength to endure it,
and so provide you with a way out."
(1 Corinthians 10:13.)
We see that God will see to it that no temptation or test will be too strong for us. Withstand and reject every evil thought in the Name of Jesus.
The second way God helps us is this:
"Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you;
instead, be filled with the Spirit."
We have already learnt that when we surrender ourselves to Christ, the Holy
Spirit come to live in us. But more is needed: we need to be filled with the Spirit. This means that we should come to a complete surrender, so that every part of our lives comes under the control of the Holy Spirit.
As long as I have a sin that I refuse to part with, or some part of my life that I want to decide about myself, the Holy Spirit cannot fill me. When I come to a full surrender, the fruit of the Spirit will become visible in my life:
"The Spirit produces
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control."
We saw that selfishness is the root of all sin. The Holy Spirit produces fruit that is the opposite of selfishness. He gives us the victory over sin. The more we are surrendered to his control, and the more we grow spiritually, the more we will be like Jesus.
5. The Christian's Love: Church Membership
As a baby needs loving care to
grow into a healthy adult, so the new Christian needs the help of other Christians in order to he may grow spiritually.
The Bible teaches that the Church (all true believers all over the world) is the body of Christ on earth. This Church is seen as many separate churches or congregations. Unfortunately all "Christians" are not true Christians, and even churches differ. You should therefore seek a Christian church near you where the members love the Lord Jesus and obey the
Bible's teachings. There you will meet other true Christians, and you will help one another when you meet together:
"Let us be concerned for one another,
to help one another to show love and to do good.
Let us not give up the habit of meeting together,
as some are doing.
Instead, let us encourage one' another all the more,
since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer."
Church members come together because they
love the Lord, because they love one another, and because the love of Christ sends them out to others who do not know the living God yet.
If you have not yet been baptized, you should speak to the pastor of the church that you wish to join so that you may be baptized. This is important, because baptism is the outward sign of the wonder that has happened within you. Your pastor will explain the meaning of baptism to you more fully (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3-4).
6. The Christian's: Hope: Christ's Second Coming
One great fact that you will find again and again as you read your Bible is that Christ is coming again. He is coming to judge all people that ever lived (Revelation 20:11-15). When he comes, it will be the end of history, and the earth as we all know it will be destroyed. But then he will make the earth new and a happy, sinless eternity will begin.
Be prepared for that day. Jesus says:
"So then, you also must always be ready,
because the Son of Man will come at an hour
when you are not expecting him."
I am looking forward to meeting you on that wonderful day!
Test Yourself No. 15
Answer the following questions for yourself first, and compare your answers with the answers given when you click here: [answers]
1. What is a new Christian compared to?
2. Why is prayer compared to breathing?
3. Name three things that a Christian can do for Christ.
4. What should you do if you find you have sinned again?
5. Why should every Christian join a church?
6. What wonderful event will take place in the near future?