I just became a Christian. Now what?
AWESOME! If you have given your life to Jesus Christ and accepted Him as your personal Savior from the punishment of sin, you are on a newly paved road that is the beginning of your story of eternal life (John 3:16; 10:10). Every one of your sins have been forgiven—past, present, and future sins included—and you are starting all over, shiny and new (Romans 4:7). The angels are cheering with you in a glorious joy that cannot be explained in words (1 Peter 1:8-9)!
We hope your heart is filled with the wonder that is having Jesus in your life. Now that you have taken this step though, you may be thinking, "Now what? What am I supposed to do as a new Christian?" Thankfully, the Bible is like our personal guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything Else. Here are some of the things it says for new believers:
Read the Bible
Maybe it sounds a little Captain Obvious, but the Bible is our personal love letter from God. He wants us to know how much He loves us, understand who He is, and learn the best way to live our lives for Him. Second Timothy 2:15 says, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."
Translations: The Bible was originally written in Greek and Hebrew, so you'll find lots of different translations into English and other languages. None of these is perfect, but we highly suggest that you choose a Bible you find easy to understand and that is faithful to the original text. BibleGateway.com or YouVersion.com are great places to try out some of the most popular translations today. For the most part, we use the English Standard Version (ESV) on 412teens.
Where to start reading: There are 66 books in the Bible, which might seem kind of overwhelming. A really good place to make that first crack in your Bible is the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. These books are commonly referred to as the Gospels and tell the story of what Jesus did and said while He was a man on earth. Our parent site, GotQuestions.org, is a really good resource for answering some of the day-to-day questions that might come up about what the Bible says on certain spiritual issues. (And we are adding more here on 412teens regularly too!)
Talk to God
As a new believer in Christ, we should hold an open conversation with God. Prayer is just a word for simply talking with God. Some people believe prayer is a set of formal words or includes a list of certain things or that it can only be done during church. But that is so not the case!
The Bible actually tells us to pray without ever stopping (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Praise God day and night in everything that happens to you. Ask Him to provide for your essential, daily needs. Pray for your friends, your family, your teachers, your neighbors. He is always there and always listening. No need to make an appointment, call, or text. Just think. He desires to know you deeply as He cares about you more than anyone you know. To know Him well, just the same way we get to know anybody, we should keep the conversation going always. Jesus's closest friends asked Him how to pray, and you can find His answer in Matthew 6:9-13.
Baptism is a symbol that publicly shows your decision to have a new life in Christ. It's a way to tell everyone, "Hey, I believe, and I'm committed to Jesus now." Even Jesus was baptized (Luke 3:1-22), and He wants His followers to be baptized too. The very first believers performed baptisms (Acts 2:41).
Learn a bit more about baptism HERE. If you're ready to take that step, talk to the youth leaders of your church about getting baptized. They can help give you some direction on how to make it happen.
It's important to note though that baptism is NOT what saves you. The grace of God and your faith in Jesus is what saves you (Ephesians 2:8). Baptism is more of a proclamation than anything else.
Surround Yourself with Christian Friends
As a new believer, you will find yourself faced with new challenges and lots of questions. Build friendships with others Christians so that they can encourage you and you can encourage them in return. Jesus spent a ton of time with His twelve closest friends—the disciples. We should try to do life together, hanging out, talking about problems, praying for each other, and helping each other stay strong when times are hard.
Reading through the New Testament (the last half of the Bible), you'll find over 50 verses that use the term "one another," meaning that they refer to loving one another, serving one another, encouraging one another, and praying for one another. Having other believers have your back is an essential part of positive spiritual growth.
If you are able to find a local, Bible-teaching church where you live—great! If you find that it's hard to get involved where you are, pray that God will provide some opportunities for you to meet other believers. Who knows what form this may take, but be assured that God does want you to have Christian friends, and He will help you. Keep your eyes open for those opportunities!
Once we have invited the love of Christ into our lives, that love begins to spread. You may find that you have a new desire to help other people in need. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide in recognizing ways to help. Always be on the lookout for those little moments. Maybe you help an elderly lady across the street. Maybe you pick up groceries for a mom whose 2-year old just tossed them into the parking lot. Maybe you offer to help a friend who is having a hard time at school. Maybe you pick up a rake and help your neighbor with yard work. Maybe you make a card and visit a sick friend. The Holy Spirit is always whispering these little acts of God's love; we just need to listen and act (1 John 3:17-18).
Tell someone about your new faith!
Becoming a Christian should not be a secret; itís the most amazing celebration in Heaven and on earth! Tell anybody who will listen about how God has changed your life and how He is working through you. Who knows? Maybe you will change a life eternally just by sharing your story! In the moments before Jesus returned to Heaven, He told His disciples to "make disciples of all the nations" (Matthew 28:18-20). That applies to believers today too. We are still called to shine the hope of Christ upon others (1 Peter 3:15-16). You have the greatest gift in the universe right now, and it is meant to be shared!
Hopefully these few tips will help you get started as a new believer in Christ. But remember, they are not requirements you must follow in order to either become a Christian or to stay one. You have been saved by God's grace through your faith alone—not by doing anything (Ephesians 2:8-9). God has started spreading His love in your heart, and He promises to see you through to the end (Philippians 1:6).
May God bless you as you continue to grow stronger in your faith!
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