1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
So as a new Christian, what’s next? The moment you became a born again Christian through faith in Jesus Christ, is the moment that your eternal life began.
Always remember that your salvation in Christ is not of your own works or your own effort. Salvation is a free gift received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore Jesus Christ alone takes the credit for your salvation.
It is now important for you to understand what has spiritually happened to you as a result of putting your trust and faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
The Christian life will not always be perfect. You will still make mistakes; you will still face life’s challenges. However God has already started the process of sanctifying you where God enables you begin to gradually conform to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).
However the major difference is that you will face life with Jesus Christ by your side. You will encounter the issues of life with God guiding you and directing you. You are no longer alone. God will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
You now have a Saviour and a friend in Jesus Christ. Your life is no longer your own – you now belong to Christ.
God wants us to understand salvation and our identity in Christ. God wants us to have the confidence of knowing for sure that we are saved. You must therefore understand what happened in you spiritually at the moment of your salvation and what you can do next.
A) WHAT HAPPENED AT THE MOMENT OF YOUR SALVATION
The moment you receive Jesus by FAITH, the following happens:
1. The Holy Spirit now lives inside of you (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)
2. You are now a child of God and are part of the spiritual family of God (John 1:12)
3. You are a new creation in Christ. This means that you are a new person in Christ. You now have a new nature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
4. ALL Your sins are forgiven. Therefore you are no longer condemned to eternal punishment, but instead you shall have eternal life through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7)
5. You now live your life by FAITH & BELIEF in God (2 Corinthians 5:7)
6. The Bible is your infallible & God inspired manual for life (2 Timothy 3:16,17)
7. In Christ Jesus, the Lord will enable you to fulfill and experience His plan and purpose for your life. (Romans 8:28)
8. You have eternal life through Christ & God will never leave you or forsake you (John 3:16)
9. Your salvation is secure in Christ Jesus (John 10:28,29)
B) WHAT’S NEXT AFTER ACCEPTING JESUS CHRIST
1. Read and meditate on the word of God daily (Psalms 1:1-3)
The Bible is ultimately our final authority in our Christian walk. The Bible is the God-inspired word of God which corrects, reproves, instructs and equips us in our life and for the work of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Therefore our reading and meditation of the Bible enables us to understand the mind of God for every situation in life.
2. Pray to God daily (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Prayer is communication with God. As a Christian you have the privilege of directly communicating with the Creator of the Universe. You can talk to God about every issue in your life. You can thank Him for all that He does in your life. You can talk to God any time of the day.
Prayer draws us near to God.
3. Get water baptized as an outward sign that you now trust in Christ for salvation (Romans 6:3-4)
Water baptism is an outward sign to the world that you have given your life to Jesus Christ.
We are not saved through water baptism but we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Therefore water baptism is done after you become a Christian to symbolize Christ’s death and resurrection and that we as Christians will also be resurrected in Christ.
4. Share the gospel of Jesus Christ with other people (Matthew 28:18-20)
As a Christian it is also important to learn to share the gospel of Christ and His salvation to other people. You can share the gospel to friends, family, workmates or even strangers.
Everyone needs to hear the gospel of Christ and God desires that all people become saved. Therefore we must play our part to share God’s word and God’s free gift of salvation to others because it is an act of love.
5. Trust God in every area of your life (Proverbs 3:5,6)
As Christians we no longer live according to our feelings or moods or according to the values of this world. Instead we live according to the word of God.
We therefore must put our trust and faith in God. We must rely on God and the promises and instructions that He gives us in the Scriptures. We must learn to trust God in every situation because God will work all things for good (Romans 8:28). Therefore God can also use bad situations in our life for His glory and for our spiritual growth as we walk with Him.
6. Obey the Lord (Matthew 7:24,25; James 1:22-25)
The Bible says that we must be “doers of the word and not hearers only”.
Therefore we must be willing to exercise our faith in God by obeying His scriptures. Our obedience to God will reflect the nature of Jesus Christ to others. Our obedience to God will enable us to grow spiritually in the Lord.
7. Have God control your life daily (Galatians 5:16-25)
Being a Christian means that we now submit our entire life to the Lordship and control of Jesus Christ. As a Christian it is Jesus who is in the driver’s seat of your life. We therefore surrender to Him daily and allow Christ to lead us in whatever we do.
Therefore whether we are in the workplace, with family, with friends, in relationships or in whatever plans we have for our life – we surrender everything to God and seek God’s guidance and direction in every area through prayer and reading His word.
8. Join a good Bible-based church that teaches Bible based Christian doctrine. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The church is not a building. The church is actually the people. The church are born again believers.
However it is important to join a good Bible-based church that teaches and preaches the word of God correctly and where you can fellowship and grow with other Christian believers.
It is therefore important to be prayerful and to research with God’s guidance for the right church to join.
9. Spend more time associating with good & genuine Christians who will encourage you to grow in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Whether you’re in the workplace, with family, with friends, it is important to ensure that you spend more time with Christian believers who will build and encourage you to grow in Christ.