If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
I am the bread of life.
Vital points to remember after becoming a Christian
You'll never make a more important decision in your life than the decision to devote your life to Jesus Christ.
The rewards for doing so are certainly tremendous and everlasting. Clearly, our most valuable assets are our souls—and if
our souls aren't secure, all else is for naught. At any moment our lives can end, so we must always be prepared.
Salvation must be "priority one" in our lives.
But while the rewards are incomparable for salvation, so are the punishments for disobedience or complacency.
So, if you don't immediately set about getting into the habits and routines that will build a strong,
steadfast, unwavering faith in Christ, chances are you'll do what so many end up doing: You'll either
settle down to become an inactive, unspiritual, unsaved Christian (the Bible calls this being "lukewarm,"
meaning lacking proper zeal)—or you'll fall away from Christ. (Revelation 3:14-22)
Neither is a good option, because eternal life is conditioned on having an "obedient
faith in Christ." (Romans 1:5)
Therefore—to avoid these disastrous possibilities—it's crucial that we understand the basics of God's will for
our Christian lives, and immediately set about making them habitual.
(Please click here for part 1 of this series.)
(Please click here for part 2 of this series.)
Worshiping in spirit and in truth
Worshiping God is not only an honor, but also a command.
Jesus said that true worshipers must worship God in two ways: in spirit, and in truth.
Please note that those who "worship" God in a different manner are not "true worshipers," according to the Bible.
As incredible as it sounds, people who worship God—but fail to do so either in "spirit" OR "truth"—will discover
on Judgment Day that their worship to God was useless.
Clearly, we should place much greater emphasis on finding out exactly how God wants to be worshiped than
many do today.
Worshiping God "in truth" means "according to the truth of God's will." In other words, according to the rules
of the Bible (the New Testament contains commands regarding church assemblies and how they must function).
Worshiping God "in spirit" means our spirits must be engaged in the worship.
It means being focused and mentally/spiritually
It means having the right attitude of mind, and avoiding the distractions of others around us.
Our purpose is to glorify God and
Christ, and to grow in our own spirits as well.
Therefore, it's obviously important that we help maintain a
non-distracting environment as well, especially if we have young children. Again, it must be "worship in
spirit" if we are considered by God to be true worshipers.
If you need help contacting a properly worshiping congregation in your area, please
and we be happy to assist you.
Growing in knowledge
One reason assembly is so important is that—among other things—it's where you can receive "continuing education" of a spiritual
nature, which will help you grow in your faith (1 Peter 2:2).
Christians must continually be growing in faith, and this means growing in knowledge (NOTE: Faith comes by hearing
God's word—see Romans 10:17).
Continually growing in knowledge is a command of God (2 Peter 3:18), so we must take our knowledge growth seriously!
Many Christians fail in this area and never seem to be grounded in Biblical knowledge.
Commit yourself to growth in knowledge by self-study, private Bible studies, and the regular public assemblies.
If you do, your chances of surviving the many pitfalls and challenges of life will be greatly improved.
As the Bible states: "Find out what pleases the Lord" (Ephesians 5:10)
Putting off the "old self"
As we grow in our knowledge of God's will, one of the first things we'll likely learn is the need to get rid of
our "old selves" (Ephesians 4:22-23).
This means ridding ourselves of the habits and lifestyles that are against God's will.
We may also need to
remove from our lives associations that are not helpful to our growth. In other words, it may be necessary
to discontinue some of our old friendships ("Bad associations corrupt good morals"—1 Corinthians 15:33).
Furthermore, if our careers conflict with the will of Christ, those will also need to be changed.
The Bible says:
The deeds of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, outbursts of rage, disputes, dissensions, factions,
envy, drunkenness, worldly partying—and the like. I am warning you—just like I did before—that people
who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
As you can see, putting off the "old self" means removing the following actions from our lives: sexual immorality (sex
outside of marriage including homosexuality), greed, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish
ambition, divisions, envy, drunkenness, obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, gossip, and things like
these (Galatians 5:19-24; Ephesians 5:4-6).
Crucifying this "old self" is serious, because failure to do so means you "will not inherit the kingdom of
God..." (Galatians 5:21). In fact, the Bible states clearly that "God's wrath" is coming down on those who do
such things (Ephesians 5:6).
Putting on the "new self"
As a Christian, it's not enough to simply "stop doing bad things."
We must also "start doing good things."
This means developing a "Christian character" and getting our lives into good Christian habits (Bible study,
church attendance, etc).
The Bible says:
...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
People who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
As you can see, putting on the "new self" means developing the following characteristics: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and the like.
Learning "self-control" means controlling our bodies in every way to do God's will. Instead of our bodies and their
desires controlling us, we must—through Christ—learn to control them. Self-control involves submitting our
entire physical beings to the will of Christ, including sexually, verbally, eating habits, thoughts, addiction to
alcohol and other drugs, and so forth.
When we put off the old self and put on the new self, we will become "new creations" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Everyone will be able to
see the changes in our lives and actions.
Understanding the enormous risk of failure
Experts say that most parachute fatalities occur in two groups of parachutists: beginners, and the very
experienced—those who are so experienced that they start taking unnecessary risks.
The Christian life is the same. The Bible warns Christians repeatedly about not falling away from the faith
and losing our salvation. Biblical verses regarding this are far too numerous to mention, but here are a few:
Galatians 5:4; Colossians 2:19; 1 Corinthians 10:12; Revelation 3:5; 1 Corinthians 9:27;
2 Peter 1:10; Colossians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 5:5—and many, many other verses.
New Christians experience many pressures and temptations.
They'll perhaps be adjusting to new family relationships, new work relationships, maybe even new jobs (if old
ones were inappropriate). They'll also be experiencing temptations to neglect the commands of God, temptations to
ignore the things mentioned in this article.
But failure is not an option! Our eternal futures are at stake, and the results are real.
We simply cannot afford to fall away (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Furthermore, our lives will also be influencing others, so the actions we take will be impacting those
closest to us—whether for the better or for the worse.