Christianity is first of all being. Some people have the mistaken notion that if they do enough good deeds God will consider them Christians. In actuality that is not true. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are not saved by works, but by faith in Christ. Paul goes on to say that because we have been transformed, will by virtue of our new nature perform good works. So doing good deeds follows being.
But in this chapter the “doing” focuses not on good deeds, but actions which will help you grow as a Christian so that you will live a Godly life.
The Bible is the Word of God, and the Word of God is a very important source of spiritual food. The Apostle Peter, instructing new Christians such as yourself, said,
“Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). The Bible is spiritual milk, and spiritual growth generally occurs in direct relationship to Bible study.
How does one begin to study the Bible? First of all, if you do not already have a good Bible, invest in one. You will soon treasure it as your most valuable possession. There are many versions to choose from, but it is important that you begin Bible study with a modern edition such as the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible or the Amplified Bible. They are much easier to understand than the King James, and all represent vast improvements on older versions.
Once you have a good Bible, you will notice that it is divided into Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament was written before the time of Christ and relates God’s dealings with the Israelites and mankind in general from the day of Creation. The New Testament contains books on the life of Jesus and letters from various apostles of the first century, most of which were written to new Christians throughout the Mediterranean and Asian area of the world.
Inasmuch as we are living in the New Testament age, the place for you to begin to study is there, and not in the Old Testament. A good book to start with is the Gospel of Mark, which is a terse narrative on the life of Jesus. From there go on to 1 Corinthians and 1 John, two of the most exciting letters on practical Christianity.
How much should you read at one time? That depends on you. The emphasis is on Bible study, not just reading. Paul tells us to understand the Word (2 Timothy 2:15), and so it is important that you digest the words of the Bible and not simply read them.
Therefore, how much you read at any one time is up to you. A good rule of thumb is to read at least a chapter or two per day. Your own reading habits may indicate more or less. But however much you read at one sitting, get into the habit of studying the Bible each day. There is no better way to mature as a Christian. The application of God’s Word to your life will soon amaze you with the power and love of our wonderful God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Prayer is communication with God. Just as we need to communicate with family, friends, and business associates to foster healthy relationships, we also need to communicate with God to build a strong relationship with Him.
What is the nature of prayer? Some people think prayer is just asking God for things we want. But it is more than that. Paul gives us a perfect illustration of the nature of prayer in Philippians 4:6. He says, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Prayer is not only petition, that is, asking God for what we need, but it is also worship. It is a time of thanksgiving, when we express our appreciation to God for all He has done for us. We enjoy saying “thank you” to someone who has done something for us. Likewise, when we thank God for His blessings the very act of giving thanks precipitates a release of joy in our hearts. And just as we like hearing “thank you” from others, so does God appreciate His children thanking and praising Him.
Try it right now. Take a moment and thank God for the salvation He has given you from your sins through Jesus Christ. You will experience a Joy that is distinctive of the Christian life
There is also power in prayer. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effect.” From cover to cover the Bible is laced with stories of great achievements by mortal men who through prayer trusted God. Your life can tell the same story.
How often should you pray? Paul says simply, “Pray constantly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In other words, it is your privilege to talk to God whenever and wherever. You do not have to be in church to pray. Nor would you wait until an emergency arises to pray. Rather, it is a good idea not only to communicate with God throughout the day, but also to set aside a designated time period each day for prayer.
So get in the habit of talking to God. Pray for your own needs and for others. Praise God for His goodness and love and mercy.
Payer makes a difference even in the life of the most mature Christian. It will make a difference in yours. As you experience answered payer you will grow into a solid, dynamic person for Jesus Christ.
Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI) is an arm of the life of the church. It supports the local pastors and their efforts to witness to the community of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people find that attending a local chapter of FGBMFI is spiritually uplifting because of the fellowship and interaction of fellow believers. We encourage you to participate.
Regular Church attendance is very important, especially for a new Christian. You will need the fellowship and encouragement of other Christians as you grow in Christ. That is why the book of Hebrews tells us, “let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Much of the help you will receive in your Christian walk will come from Christian friends. Paul writes that we are to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), and often God chooses to minister to us through the love and prayers of fellow Christians
So it is very important that you establish a habit of church attendance. We cannot choose a church for you only God can do that. But it should be a church where there is love and concern, and where the Bible is faithfully taught as the Word of God.
If you are not yet acquainted with a church in your neighborhood, first ask God to help you find one and then investigate several for yourself until you locate a place where you feel at home. And then watch how much God will bless you as you pray, sing praises to Him, and fellowship with other people who have found the joy of knowing Christ as Saviour and Lord.
To be a witness for Christ simply means to tell others what Jesus has done for you. In the Gospel of John there was a man named Andrew whom Jesus called to be one of His twelve Apostles. The first thing Andrew did after heeding the call of Jesus was to go tell his brother, Simon Peter, that he had found the Messiah the Jews had been looking for (John 1:40-42). Peter also became one of Jesus’ Apostles.
A witness is one who testifies or gives evidence to that which he has seen or experienced. You can witness to others by both your words and your deeds. Sometimes the greatest witness is by deed. One who has received Christ and become a changed person is a dynamic witness to his friends. But God also wants us to witness with our tongues. Think about someone you can share your experience with, someone who does not know Jesus. It might be a friend or a relative, perhaps someone in your immediate family. Ask God to help you witness to that person. He will! Obviously, witnessing about Jesus is a benefit to those who have been witnessed to. Had not someone witnessed to you about Jesus you would not be a Christian
But there is another benefit of witnessing. You receive a spiritual blessing just from sharing Jesus Christ with another person. The person may not even accept Jesus as you did. In fact, you will run into some people who will laugh at you for believing in Jesus. But witnessing is a spiritual experience that brings joy and strength to the inner beng of a Christian. Try itl You will be surprised how it will strengthen your faith and determination to follow Christ.