Jack Heckathorne - Posted by Sysop on Saturday, September 5, 2009 3:01 - 0 Comments 2,397 views
Message to new Christians
First of all are you a Christian? A Christian is not someone who simply joins a church, gets baptized, does a lot of good works, walks down the isle, repents of his sins, confesses his sins, feels sorry for his sins, invites Jesus into his heart or just claims to be of the Christian faith. If this is all you have done you are not saved. Why? Because all of these things are human works and human works will not save you. Inviting Jesus into your heart is not the same as believing in him. You could invite an atheist to dinner but you do not necessarily believe what he says or does. Faith is believing in the person and work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he has saved us…”
True salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ:
“Ye are the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.” (Gal. 3:26)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8&9)
So, first you must believe in the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross and accept him as your savior. This is salvation and it is simple.
Good works are fine, however good works are produced by a Christians faith. Good works do not save us.
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that you affirm consistently, that they which believe in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” (Titus 3:8)
We are saved through our faith/belief in Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells us: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead (spiritually), yet shall he live: and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die…” (John: 11:25 & 26)
Ok, so now you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior. Now what? The first thing that we must know is what to do if we should sin. It is Gods purpose for all believers to tell others the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we have sin in our own life we will not be led by the Holy Spirit to accomplish the things that God wants us to do and rest assured you will still sin because you still possess that sin nature that has been passed down from Adam. That is why John tells us: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). The next verse tells us what to do when we sin:
“If we confess (name each sin to God the Father) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
This verse does not tell us to repent of our sins or ask for forgiveness of our sins. It says confess. Notice something here. This verse says: If we confess…he will forgive…and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. If he cleanses from all unrighteousness when we confess then what is the point of asking for forgiveness or repenting.
The word repent means to have a change of mind about something. (see commentary “Repent What Does it Mean? Part 2 for details) Repent is normally used in the New Testament to tell People to change their unbelieving mind about Jesus Christ. When used in conjunction with sin it means to change your mind about your sinning ways in general.
Confession is naming each sin to God. This is how we are forgiven of sins that we commit after we become believers.
Ok so now you have accepted Jesus Christ and you will confess your sins what’s next?
You are now in the first grade starting school. What do you do in the first grade? You start to learn. Basic things first such as we have on this website are a good start and others that we link to are good as well.
This is important. Find a Church that teaches the Bible correctly. Stay away from organized religion in total and denominational churches as a general rule although there are some exceptions. If you can’t find one on your own write to me and I’ll locate one in your area. If you live in another country (outside the USA) or some remote place there are ministries that will send you Bible study lessons on tape or cd’s free of charge anywhere in the world. We can put you in touch with them. Evaluate a church by what they teach and not by how they make you feel.
For example: If someone personally asks you for money or tells you that you are required to tithe 10% of your income, even once, walk out the back door and keep walking! “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) A 10% requirement is of necessity and not scriptural. The 10% requirement was a Jewish tax for 1/10 of their flock or crops. Offerings were just that; the amount that you freely offer the Lord.
If you hear someone speaking in tongues (gibberish) or if they tell you that you have to join the church and get baptized get out! “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Timothy 2:16)
If the pastor just seems to tell stories and jokes and is not teaching from the Bible this is a bad sign. Obviously you will learn nothing at this Church.
If the Church condones homosexuality or has a homosexual or a female pastor (pardon the expression) run like hell! Female pastors and homosexuality are forbidden by the Bible. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 says” Let you women keep silent in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak” (as a pastor). For homosexuality see Romans 1:26-32
If the Church has rituals other than the Lords Table or requires penance or worships anyone other than Jesus Christ such as Mary it is a false teaching church.
If the Church has beliefs and requirements not found in the Bible or if it does not believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God you would be well advised to stay away from it. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the Man of God (believers) may be perfect (become spiritually mature) thoroughly furnished (prepared to do) all good works.” (2 Timothy 3: 16)
You must realize that Satan is trying to destroy your thinking by filling your head with false beliefs in an effort to keep you from telling others about Jesus Christ and to prevent you from learning what the Bible really has to say. He attempts to do this by infiltrating the churches and he has been somewhat successful. As a new Christian you have limited knowledge of the Bible and are vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. However, there are a number of churches who are aware of this and have kept out the false teaching and continue to teach the Bible the way is was intended to be taught. If you are truly seeking the truth ask God to show you the way and he will.
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. If the Son shall make you free ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:32 & 36)
“Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Therefore, we have seen that we must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit for guidance by confessing our sin to God the Father and that we must first learn the basic things of God through Bible study and continue in study in order that we can reach spiritual maturity, increase our faith and become an effective witness for our Lord Jesus Christ. This is our journey to the high ground and our victory over Satan.