New to the Faith

You’ve made the decision to follow Christ and have given your life to Him. What do you do now? We have some resources here that will help you understand what has happened and what God has in store for you.

Let’s start with what’s happened to you

Your New Life

You need to realize the importance of what takes place when, by faith, you receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. When you were born again, you were:

  • Forgiven of all sin.
  • Pronounced not guilty, free from all judgment.
  • Given a new heart (new nature) to serve God.
  • Given the Holy Spirit to reside within us.
  • Baptized by the Holy Spirit into a new family (the body of Christ).

At that moment of eternal choice, when a you turned from going your own way and appropriated the atoning work of Jesus on the cross, the awesome miracle of regeneration took place. Through the blood of Jesus, you were washed from your sin and given access by the Spirit into the body of Christ. You became part of a new family. You were taken out of the family of this world and placed into the family of God. You were translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.

This baptism into the body of Christ is a reality which is sometimes misunderstood and reduced to the perspective of “Now that you are a Christian, you must attend church because you are part of the body of Christ.” Salvation is much more than church attendance; it deals with complete immersion into the body of Christ. You are separated from the old and totally immersed into the new. This is a radical change to an opposite position from where you once were. The Holy Spirit leads you into this baptism where you literally experience a change of family and kingdom, with God as our Father and Lord.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Just as our body has many parts, so does the body of Christ. The “parts” of His body are every born-again believer.

1 Corinthians 10:17 For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

The body of Christ is the expression of Jesus’ life on this earth. It is also called the Church (Colossians 1:24) and God’s family (John 1:12). It is composed of a people who are knit together by God’s love, led by His Spirit and who carry out His purposes. We are presented many times in the writings of Paul as the body of Christ in the earth (1 Corinthians 12:27; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 4:12). The body is an organism composed of members who function in unity under one head, the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:15, 5:23, Colossians 1:18).

The whole foundation of the body is Christ Jesus Himself (1 Corinthians 3:10-11). By Him the Church is held and sustained together. To preserve it from false teaching and schisms, the Church must be viewed as an organism rather than an organization. The Church is not just a cold, lifeless institution, but a living relationship where the head and the body are mutually related in love and truth. This is true organism and life. We cannot simply decide to join ourselves to each other, but it takes a work of the Holy Spirit to join us into one body.

Our very lifestyle is based upon our relationship with Christ. The Scriptures state that we are not to relate to one another after the flesh (natural relationships), but in the Spirit, just as we relate to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:16-17). We do not relate to Christ in a natural sense, but in a spiritual sense. Even so, relationship in the body of Christ is a spiritual relationship with one another. This is brought out clearer regarding the Lord’s Supper (communion). The bread mentioned in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 refers not only to the body of our Lord Jesus, but also to us as His body. When we partake of the bread in communion, we are partaking and communing with the Lord and one another in that bread.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 … The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

The body is also the place where each part is fitly joined together in a love relationship. One of the purposes of this relationship is maturity. When every joint and part of the body works together, the result is bodily growth, maturity in love and stability.

Ephesians 4:14-16  That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine … but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

The body of Christ is the instrument of God on the earth. Jesus gave us a very interesting picture of the purpose and function of His body in Luke Chapter 19:12-13. The “servants” (who represent believers) of “a certain nobleman” (representing Jesus) were instructed to “Do business till I come.” What is this “business” which Jesus is asking us to do? In Luke Chapter 4, Jesus reads His purpose and ours out of Isaiah:

Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the LORD.”

The body of Christ has a definite purpose and function: to be a manifestation of Jesus Christ on the earth.

You Are Not Alone

When God created the world, He placed man in a perfect, sinless environment and called everything He created, “Very good” (Genesis 1:31). Adam was in an ideal setting and had a relationship with God that had not yet been marred by sin. Think of the fellowship and communion that Adam enjoyed with God. Yet God looked on all of this and for the first time said, “It is not good.” What was not good? It was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). So, God created a woman for Adam.

What is this saying to us? God created us with a need for other people. Yes, we need Him, but we also need each other. We cannot stand alone. We must realize that when we entered the new covenant, we entered covenant relationship with the body of Christ as well as with the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 2:14-22).

The moment you accepted the Lord Jesus into your heart, you became a member of the body of Christ. This is not an option, but an accomplished fact. Think of it this way: there is a place in the body that God has prepared just for you (1 Corinthians 12:18). If you elect not to pursue God’s purpose for your life, the whole body of Christ is affected (1 Corinthians 12:14-30).

Perhaps you have walked hurriedly across a room at night and “discovered” that new chair or table with your toe.  Now in relationship to the whole body, the toe is relatively insignificant, but if you “stub” it, your whole body hurts. Romans 12:5 tells us that we are “… members of one another.” If one of us hurts, we all hurt. Likewise, if one is blessed, we are all blessed. The Word of God tells us to encourage and edify one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11), to pray for each other (Ephesians 6:18) and to comfort one another (2 Corinthians 1:3-6). There are no “lone rangers” in the body of Christ; we need each other and should be integrally involved with one another.

30 Day Reading Plan

Day 1 John 1 Who is Jesus
Day 2 John 2 First Miracle & Cleansing of Temple
Day 3 John 3 The New Birth – You Must be Born Again
Day 4 John 4 The Samaritan Woman
Day 5 John 5 Jesus the Son of God
Day 6 John 6:1-29 Feeding the Five Thousand
Day 7 John 6:30-71 Jesus, the Bread of Life
Day 8 John 7 Jesus, Teaching in the Temple
Day 9 John 8 Jesus’s Conflict with the Pharisees
Day 10 John 9 Healing the Blind Man
Day 11 John 10:1-21 Jesus, the Good Shepherd
Day 12 John 10:22-42 Jesus is Divine
Day 13 John 11 Lazarus Raised from the Dead
Day 14 John 12 Jesus Enters Jerusalem
Day 15 John 13 The Last Supper
Day 16 John 14:1-14 The Apostles Receive Comfort
Day 17 John 14:15-31 Promise of Holy Spirit
Day 18 John 15 Abiding in Christ
Day 19 John 16:1-15 Work of the Holy Spirit
Day 20 John 16:16-33 Jesus Prophesies
Day 21 John 17 Jesus Prays for His Followers
Day 22 John 18:1-14 Arrest of Jesus
Day 23 John 18:15-27 Peter Denies Jesus
Day 24 John 18:28-40 Jesus Before Pilate
Day 25 John 19:1-15 Jesus is Condemned
Day 26 John 19:16-30 The Crucifixion
Day 27 John 19:31-42 Jesus is Buried
Day 28 John 20:1-18 The Resurrection
Day 29 John 20:19-31 Jesus Appears
Day 30 John 21 Events Following Resurrection
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