Advice to New Christians (NKJV)

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Dear New Brother or Sister in Christ:
In accepting Christ as your Saviour, you have taken the most important step of your life. Repentance toward God has taken place and you have believed in the Lord Jesus. The new life in Christ is very precious. Right now you do not understand all that it means, but as you grow spiritually you will be able to understand more and more.
You have divine forgiveness because: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)). This is the promise of God: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:99That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)).
And now let’s talk briefly about salvation and about spiritual life and growth. Think about the physical birth and growth of a human child; there are many parallels between that and our spiritual birth and growth.
We have been “born again”. Our Lord Jesus Christ once said:
“Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  .  .  .  Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3,53Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
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Physical birth is neither by our own will or power. It is the same with spiritual birth. God is the one who gives us new life, eternal life. Thus all who accept the Lord Jesus as Saviour are made the children of God. This is not our idea — the Bible says:
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-1312But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12‑13)).
In the past, you were a child of disobedience. But now you belong to the family of the redeemed, both in this life and the next, because you are already a child of God. A newborn baby needs to grow. Upon being born again, spiritually, we are like newborn babies.
Using the same analogy of physical human life, the following things are necessary for growth:
Food
A newborn child will die if he does not eat. He needs good food to make him grow as he should. It is the same with a spiritual newborn. Spiritual food is the Bread of Life, the Holy Bible. God feeds us through it. Jesus said:
Not one day goes by without our eating something for our physical bodies, and not one day should go by without our reading the Bible. From the Bible we receive the food and the power to live the Christian life.
The Bible was written thousands of years ago by many different men, inspired by God. The Bible is really a little library of 66 books. In this library we find history books, prophecy, letters and songs (or Psalms). Our meals include a variety of foods to maintain good health. Through these books God provides what we need to grow in the spiritual life. We need to take advantage of this great source of spiritual food.
Breathing
Prayer is like breathing for one who has received Christ. It is impossible to live without breathing. Prayer is speaking to God from our hearts. The Christian should be in constant communication with God. We feel our closeness to God when we pray. Jesus gave us a good example. Many times in the New Testament we find Him going off by Himself to pray.
Many people think that praying is difficult. Is it difficult to talk to your best friend? Of course not. God is our Father and when we pray, we speak to Him. God knows the feelings of our hearts, as well as our thoughts. He knows our needs, but He wants us to express them to Him in prayer. We can tell Him everything concerning our personal life. God wants us to talk to Him sincerely. It is a great blessing to draw near to God in prayer. In addition to your personal prayer, it is important to be at the assembly prayer meetings.
Environment
While growing physically we need sunlight and fresh air. The Christian’s environment is important as well. It is important to live always in the sunshine of God’s love, that is, the sense that His love is always towards us. Jude 21 tells us, “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” It is a joy also to have friendships with people with whom we have common interests. We can find such individuals at meetings. There, too, the Word of God is taught and preached. This is also important for spiritual growth. A Christian grows better in the company of other born again believers (see Hebrews 10:2525Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)). It is possible that your old friends may abandon you when they know that you have received Christ. As a Christian, you should get away from influences which can hinder your spiritual growth. The Apostle Paul said: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
You will find that those who have received Christ into their hearts are not perfect people. The only perfect one is the Lord. By God’s help we can live so that others know we are believers in Jesus. Our actions, day after day, should honor the Lord. Our previous sins are pardoned (see 1 John 1:7-97The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:7‑9)), and now we are called to live a new life. If you ask, God will give you wisdom to understand and obey the instructions in His Word. Read Paul’s epistles; they are specially important. When we meet together with other believers it should be on the basis that we are members of the body of Christ and therefore seeking to show that unity.
Exercise
The human body needs exercise in order to develop completely. The Christian’s exercise is to serve the Lord. You should tell others what God has done in your life. God has given you certain gifts; use them to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Every Christian can do something constructive. Do it willingly and as unto the same Lord who saved you.
Baptism
In the Bible we read that those who were saved were baptized immediately. By baptism a person is identified with the Lord Jesus in His death and burial. Anyone who has truly received Christ as Saviour wants to be thus identified as a Christian. If for any reason you have not yet been baptized, it should be done as soon as possible. The Lord Jesus Christ, just before ascending to heaven, said:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-1615And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:15‑16)).