If you are now trusting in Christ there are many wonderful things in which you can rejoice. For instance, you are now in a right relationship with God: the Bible calls this being ‘justified’ and says that since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Through Christ, your sins have been dealt with: everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name (Acts 10:43). You are now a member of God’s family: all who trust in Christ are given the right to become children of God (John 1:12). You are eternally secure: there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God himself has come into your life in the person of the Holy Spirit: the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you (Romans 8:11). What great truths these are!
Now you need to grow in your new spiritual life. Here are four important things to which you will need to give close attention:
Prayer. You are now able to speak to God as your Father, something you have never been able to do before. You can worship him, praising him for his glory, power, holiness and love. You can ask for daily forgiveness. Not even those who become children of God are perfect, but if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). You can thank him every day for his goodness to you. There are so many things for which you will want to thank him including the everyday benefits of life that we can so easily take for granted. But you will specially want to thank him for saving you for accepting you into his family, and for giving you eternal life. You should never find it difficult to do this ! You can also ask for his help, strength and guidance in your own life and in the lives of others. In particular, you will want to pray for other people you know who are away from God as you once were.
Bible reading. In prayer, you speak to God; in the Bible, God speaks to you. It is therefore very important that you read it every day, to find out what pleases the Lord (Ephesians 5:10). As you do this, ask him to enable you to understand its meaning and to obey its teaching, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Peter 2:2). If you need help in beginning to study the Bible, send for your free copy of the booklet Read, Mark, Learn, a book of guidelines for personal Bible Study based on Mark’s Gospel by John Blanchard c/o Evangelical Press at the address below.
Fellowship. Now that you have become a member of God’s family he wants you to meet regularly with your brothers and sisters! Let us not give up meeting together ... let us encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25). This means joining a local church, so make sure that you do this as soon as possible. Choosing the right church is not always easy and you will want to find one which clearly believes and teaches the biblical truths you have been reading in these pages. In your local church you will find out more about God; you will benefit from the experience of others; you will learn the importance of God’s special directions about baptism and holy communion; and you will discover the joy of sharing with others the gifts and abilities God has given you. You need the church, and the church needs you!
Service. It will now be your privilege to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 10:12). Always remember that God has saved us and called us to a holy life (2 Timothy 1:9). Make holiness an absolute priority; it is God’s will that you should be holy (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Then, seek to use your particular gifts in God’s service; bear in mind that you were created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Finally, be alert for opportunities of telling others how much the Lord has done for you (Mark 5:19). Telling others about Christ is not only the duty of those who trust him, it is an exhilarating experience!
From now on seek to live in such a way that in every part of your life you declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9)!