Important Information for New Believers in Christ
So now you’re saved, now what? You got saved – whether through an alter call, reading the bible on your
own, a friend or family member led you through the sinners prayer or God spoke to you Himself. Now what do you do? Somehow there never seems to be a manual that walks you through what you need to do in the days and months following the most important decision you’ve made in your life!
There are so many things that you can do right and so many things that you can do wrong at this turning point in your life. This post will give you all the information you need to take the first steps as a new believer in Christ Jesus.
1. Get a Bible. When you go to buy one you may be overwhelmed or confused with all the choices so you want to get one that will be easy for you to understand. The first translation of the bible to English is the King James Version (KJV) which contains a lot of “thou”, “thine”, “thee” and may be a little difficult for you to understand so you want to stick with an easier English translation like the New International Version (NIV). This is the best bible version for new believers. You can find one at a Christian Bookstore or here is a link to a really great bible for new believers called The Journey: A Bible for the Spiritually Curious . Your local dollar store can sometimes have them as well.
- Why do you need a bible? Well, this is the means God will use to communicate with you most of the time. Not all the time but most of the time.
- You need to read it everyday. You don’t need to read a lot just read until you get something that causes you to think about who God is and who you are now that you are saved. The truth is that can be just one sentence sometimes but this will help to deepen your relationship and understanding of God.
- You have to imagine that you’ve spent your entire life thinking a certain way and now you need to understand how God wants you to think so you need to read the bible to find that out. (Romans 12:2) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
2. Pray. Now you’re thinking that this is going to be weird and awkward. And it will, in the beginning but by the time you get to doing it the 3rd or 4th time it will start to feel normal.
- How often do you pray? Everyday.
- How long do you pray? For as long as you feel comfortable. In the beginning you may only be able to pray for 1 minutes but as you do this everyday you’ll see that you can pray longer.
- Prayer is really just having a conversation with God so think about it as your time to talk to God.
- Prayer is another way that God will communicate with you. You want to say a prayer before you start reading the bible.
Here’s an example of a prayer:
Prayer Before Reading the Bible
Father God, thank you for accepting me as your child. I’m going to read your word now and I would like you to open my eyes to the things that you want me to see today. Open my mind and guide me through the verses with your Holy Spirit, in Jesus Name. Amen.
God will then show you what He wants you to take note of during your reading for that day.
3. Start a Prayer Journal. Think of it as a book where you record what you prayed for and what dreams you’ve had.
- The Journal will allow you to realize when God has answered your prayers
- It will motivate you to pray more and read your bible more when you see how God is actually answering your prayers and communicating with you.
4. Find a church. Believe it or not churches have personalities. This means that you may like the church or you may not and that’s OK. If you go into a church and you don’t feel comfortable, find another church. Some are contemporary and others are traditional. The one where you will settle will make you feel comfortable. You’ll feel at home there. You’ll like the people, the Pastor, what is being preached in the church.
- How do you find the church? Well, start by searching the internet or looking through your phone book. Here’s a link http://www.findlocalchurches.com/
- Word of caution – there are many cults out there so you want to be sure that you are not signing up for a cult or becoming a part of a cult in your quest for finding the right church. So you need to be sure that the church is actually:
- Teach from the bible using versions of the bible that other churches use like – King James Version (KJV), New King James Version (NKJV), New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), American Standard Version (ASV), English Standard Version (ESV), Amplified Bible (AMP). These are the main versions of the bible that Pastors use to preach. If the Pastor is using something other than these you may need to be careful.
- The Pastor uses the bible to teach the message. This is important because he or she is teaching you directly from God’s word. If the Pastor is mainly talking from their own experiences and rarely referencing scriptures in the bible, this would be something else you need to stay away from. If you continue down this path you could end up knowing more about the Pastor than you will about God. And the goal here should be to know God better.
- What about the denomination of the church? Well, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what the church believes. What are the core beliefs of the church. You must ensure that what they believe is Christian. Here’s a list of Christian Beliefs. You want to take a look at the church’s mission, vision and statement of faith to see that they follow basic Christian beliefs.
5. Telling others about your salvation. We know that many people in the church will tell you to scream it from the mountain top and tell everyone you know that you received Christ as your Savior. However, we believe that you may want to wait a little while before doing that. Why?
- Your friends and family members may not be as happy as you are about your new found faith. And, you need to be prepared for this. You have to imagine that they are now expecting you to judge them and their lifestyle since your belief system has changed. Pray and ask God how you should share your faith with each person.
- They are going to have A LOT of questions which you may not be prepared to answer.
- Having to explain your relationship with Christ is like explaining to your parents why you’re in love with a new guy/girl. They may ask you questions about Christ that you can’t answer because your relationship is still new and you’re still getting to know more about Him. Answering “I don’t know” to most of the questions will make it seem like you don’t know what you believe or who you believe in. They may view your faith as a temporary phase.
- After you’ve spent some time talking to God in Prayer and reading the bible, you’ll feel more confident about your new found faith and you’ll be better equipped to answer any questions that your friends or family members may have.
- You will know when you are ready to talk about it. Take your time. Don’t rush.
We know that as you continue to read the bible, pray and stay connected with a local church God will begin to communicate with you and you will start to grow spiritually. We hope these tips helped to guide you in your new relationship with Christ.