What Next? ( by Fenny West)

What Next?

Now That You Believe: What Next?

This is to help those who have just given their lives to Jesus Christ; those who have just being born again, received salvation to grow in grace in the knowledge of the Lord.

If you know of anyone who has recently surrendered to the Lord, please send them this link to help them grow in grace.

If you have recently given your life to the Lord, then use this article to help you.
1. What has happened? Know ( Be conscious of ) what happened.

I am assuming that you have realised your need to have a relationship with God. Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with the living God. We were separated from God because of the sinful nature we inherited from our parents and because of the fall of man. But God in His mercy sent Jesus to reconcile us. This is the provision that is essential for our reconciliation. Jesus took our place on the cross when He died. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. John the Baptist saw Jesus and proclaimed,” Behold the Lamb that takes away the sin of this world.” God made the provision or gave the remedy or solution for the sin-sickness. But it is only those who accept it that can benefit from it.  It is just like you given a present wrapped up at Christmas or your birthday or any other occasion. Unless you unwrap the present, you cannot enjoy whatever was wrapped up for you. So it is with salvation. You must personally invite Christ to take His rightful place in your heart after asking Him to forgive you of your sins. All have sinned and come short of His glory.. Everyone is separated ,alienated and far from God, no matter how good they may be externally, until they invite Him to take His place. If our good deeds could save us then He died in vain.

23    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24    being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,Rom3:23-24

23            For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom6:23

6                      All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isa53:6

Jesus told not just religious man but teacher of religion, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John3:3

So How do you get born again?

Good question.

9      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.

10    For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Rom10:9-10

13    For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

No one will find themselves in heaven by accident. It must be a deliberate decision you make at a point in time in your life when you accepted the finished work on Calvary as sufficient to save you or reconcile you to the Father and not your morality or lack of it.

8      For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

9      not of works, lest anyone should boast. Eph2:8-9

So if you are not sure you have been saved, pray this prayer and make sure you mean it from your heart.

Prayer of Salvation

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the opportunity to come to you as I am. I realise and accept that I cannot save my self by my morality. Jesus was my sacrificial Lamb and today I accept what He did on the cross as sufficient to save me.

Forgive me my sins and cleanse me from every unrighteousness. Today I make Jesus, Lord of my life and my Saviour. Thank You for this New Life, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Now what happened?

  1. You are now a child of God. (12      But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: John1:12  Rom8:16-17)

2. You are born again, born of the Spirit and born of the Word, born from above ( John3:3,5,8, 1Pet1:23)

23    having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

3. Heaven is now your home.

20   For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,Phil3:20

4. You are Now a New Creation and old things have passed away and all things have become new. (17               Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2Cor5:17)

5. You now have Eternal Life, Zoe- God’s kind of life. You are incorruptible and indestructible. (16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John3:16, 1John5:11-13)

6. You are complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)

7. God has washed your sins away and looks at you as someone who has never sinned. When He looks at you He sees Jesus.

This is what justification means.

1      Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom5:1)

 8. You are righteous before God. God inputs  His righteousness to you. You are accepted in the beloved. You are an object of God’s love. All things are yours. You are an heir of God and joint-heir with Christ. ( 1Cor1:30,2Cor5:21)

9. You name is written in the Book of Life.

12    And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. Rev20:12

10. There is a party in heaven as a result of the decision you have made.

10    Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke15:10

11. You are now a saint of God. If you do not know who you are in Christ, the enemy will short-change you and you will not be able to enjoy your inheritance in Christ. Paul of addressed his letters to the “Saints in …” He was addressing believers and disciples. Therefore if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are a saint.

1      Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

2      Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph1:1-2

2. Church Attendance

After being born again you need to know the importance of fellowship. Church attendance enables you to have fellowship or communion or relationship with other believers. And this is essential for spiritual growth. We are enjoined not to forsake the assembling of saints. When you are born you were immersed or baptised into the Body of Christ.

4              There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;Eph4:4

You are part of the World Wider Church of Jesus Christ. You are not an Island but part of a vibrant ever growth Spiritual Body of Christ, made up of all of those who are born again, regardless of the Church they attend. And we need each other.

Unity and Diversity in One Body

12           For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 1Cor12:12

It is like the human body with different parts that have their part to play to make the body function effectively. Your head needs your hands and your feet and other parts of your body, so it is with the Body of Christ. We all have a purpose or function and unless we are playing our part in the Body of Christ we will not be fulfilled. So join a Church that is vibrant and sound in teaching and fellowship with other believers. That is part of how you grow strong in the Lord.

24   And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

25           not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb10:24-25

A believer who does not fellowship with other believers is just like a coal removed from other coals in a coal fire. Just as the coal will burn out so will the believer who does not fellowship with other believers. The person will be weak, anaemic and unfulfilled.

Unity and Diversity in One Body

12   For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

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.

So make up your mind to attend Church regularly. There you will get to know other believers who would encourage you in your walk of faith. You will also feed on the word of God and be under a pastor who will look after you and ensure that you grow in grace. You will also learn many foundational truths including the essence of the Word of God, baptism in water, Baptism in the Spirit, faith towards God, laying on of hands and Baptism in the Spirit amongst other doctrines.

3. The Word

The importance of the Word of God in the life of a believer cannot be overemphasized. Every living organism has its environment or habitat where it grows. You were born of the word of God and therefore need the word of God to sustain you. Take a fish out of a river and leave on the land and it soon dies. So it is with a Christian who does not feed on the word of God regularly.  Just as you have three square meals or need food regularly so you need the Word of God.

Jesus said  “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

The Word of God is Powerful, dynamic, living, sharper than any two-edged sword. ( Heb4:12)

There are many benefits that come from studying and meditating on the Word of God. You get stronger. You get to know who you are in Christ. It gives your direction and counsel in the face of uncertainties. You get to know your inheritance and claim them in Jesus Name.
God said,” 6        My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge,…”

When you are unaware of your inheritance in Christ you cannot enjoy it you will live beggarly and malnourished, so to speak.

This was why Paul encouraged the believers: 32              “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts20:32

The psalmist also said: 1      Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

2      But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

3      He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

Ps1:1-3

8              This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Josh1:8

Do you want to be a successful, fruitful, healthy, strong and vibrant Christian? If so do not joke with the Word of God. Cherish it, love it, meditate on it day and night. Delight in it. Memorise it. Pray it back to God. It shows you the will of God and shows you who you are in Christ.

You cannot know God more than you know His Word.

12            I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.Job23:12

Pray this before your read it:

18                   Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law. Ps119:18

Expect light, instruction, direction and illumination to come out of it as your read it.

Someone said when you pray, you are speaking to God. But when you read the Word prayerfully, God is speaking to you. Another person said that the word of God has 66 books and these are the 66 broadcast channels of God. However God speaks in other ways as you will discover as you grow in grace. Besides prayer should not be a monologue but a dialogue. As you grow in Christ you will be a able to discern God speaking to you even as you listen to a pastor preaching on a Sunday or when you listen to other messages in other formats including books, videos etc. God is interested in every aspect of our lives and would address them if we will let Him.

Find time and read through Ps119

It is all about the word of God. Notice how the psalmist applies the Word of God in prayer and enumerates the benefits of God’s Word. Make a note of the benefits as you come across them.

Notice his attitude towards the word of God:

47            And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love.Ps119:47

Notice his resolve to meditate on the word of God.

48            My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, Which I love, And I will meditate on Your statutes.

You must have the same attitude to grow strong in Him.

Note a few benefits he discovered:

It brings Light.

130          The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

Direct comes from the Word of God.

133          Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.

Great peace comes from the Word of God.

165  Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.

See how he applies the Word of God in prayer:

154          Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word.

Unless you know that the word of God brings revival, rejuvenation, energy, you cannot pray like that.

31            But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isa40:31

16            Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Col3:16

15            Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Tim2:15

16    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

17            that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work 2Tim3:15-16

15    Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

16    Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

1Tim4:15-16

When you are studying the word of God, be diligent. Have a notebook and note key words and phrases. Look up their meanings.  Underline passages that address issues in your life. That is God’s voice to you.

20           Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Ps103:20

4. Prayer

Prayer is very important for every Christian, especially if you are a new believer. You need to know how to pray and assured that God is hearing you.

Pray is simply talking with God. It is not just talking to Him. It is communicating with God. And communication to be effective must be a dialogue. When you speak to Him, expect to hear from Him. This is what makes your relationship with God exciting. This is one major difference between religion and having a relationship with God. No one teaches you to hear from God in religion.  

6      Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

7      and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Phil4:6-7

There are different kinds of prayers requiring different rules and you must not only know the different kinds of prayers about the rules required for each of them if you want to get results.

18            praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — Eph6:18

God answers prayers that are according to His word and His word is His will and His will is His word. You can see how important the word of God is. Without knowledge of the word of God you will not have the confidence require in prayer. 

Confidence and Compassion in Prayer

14    Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

15            And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

1John5:14-15

There is a prayer of faith which you pray once and expect result. There other prayers like intercession which involves other where you may be required to pray again and again until the answer comes or get a positive result.

I developed a Pneumonic to remember the different kinds of prayer and it is

ACTSIT:

Adoration- praise and worship

Confession- here you affirm the Word of God after mediating on it.

Supplication- where you ask other to pray with you

Intercession – where you pray for other.  It is good to remember other in prayer.

Thanksgiving-We often forget to thank God for answers prayer. It is important to thank God when we receive our answers. When you than God for answered prayer you open the door for more answers. Beside it shows that you are noting what God is doing in your life. And that will encourage you to pray more. This is why it is important to know the things you have prayed about so that you can remember to thank God for the answers. Imagine A child who comes to ask something from their dad but does not thank him when he answers. How rude!

4


5.  Baptism in the Spirit

Baptism in the Spirit means being immersed in the Spirit of God. Baptism is from the Greek word Baptizo which means immersion. On the day of Pentecost as the believers waited in the upper room they were baptised in the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues. Baptism in the Spirit is an essential experience for everyone that is born again.

4              And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

When you are baptised in the Spirit there will be an initial evidence of speaking in tongues as the Holy Spirit gives you the utterance.  It is a heavenly language.

Usually someone prays for you or you can pray for yourself to receive this baptism.

Why do we need to be baptised in the Spirit, Without the baptism in the Spirit You be weak as a Christian and you will not live a victorious Christian life. Before the disciple received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, they were timid and ineffective. However after the baptism of the Holy Spirit they became bold, vibrant and unstoppable.

The Name of Jesus Forbidden

13            Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.Acts4:13

After the Baptism in the Holy Spirit they had a prayer prowess and when they prayed the place where they prayed shook.

31            And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts4:31

Is the Baptism in the Spirit for some special people?

Definitely no; it is for all believers.

38    Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

39            For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

So if you have not received this gift, ask for it in prayer or tell some one to pray for you.

There are many benefits of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit moved people to write the Word of God. With Him you cannot get much from reading the word of God. It will just be like reading a novel. But with the baptism of the Spirit, illumination comes.  This why Paul prayed: 16      do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17    that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18    the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19    and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power Eph1:16-19

18    And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

19    speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

Eph5:18-19

Ignorance can keep people from receiving the Holy Spirit.

Paul went to Ephesus and asked the believers if they had received the Holy Spirit. They told him they knew nothing about it. He then payed for them and they received the baptism of the Spirit.

2      he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

3      And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”

4      Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

5      When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

6      And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.Acts19:2-6

The Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak and do not know how to pray as we ought. He gives us divine direction. He teaches us the scriptures-  breathes life into them.  He empowers us to witness. He gives us boldness.  He comforts us in times of distress. He helps us to pray as indicated above.

26    Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27    Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Rom8:26-27

He gives us advantage in life.

7              Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John16:7

He empowers us

8              But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts1:8

He is the Helper and we can avail of His help in any situation.  He is like a standby Generator that kicks in when we lack power.

He reminds us the scripture when we witness to other.

26            But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.John14:26

He gives us guidance.

13    However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

14            He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and

declare it to you.  John16:13-14

6. Witnessing

With the baptism of the Holy Spirit, be expectant the move of God in your life as never before. You will be energised, vitalised, propelled and divinely directed and used by God to do new things, now that you are Born Again. Keep a diary of testimonies that will be evident in your life and you need to tell others of what God has done for you. Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God that brings about salvation and deliverance and wholeness. The more you testify about your new found love, the stronger you will be and more you will be filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

19   Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20   teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

 Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18


7. Baptism in water

Baptism in water is essential for the new Christian. It should be done as soon as the opportunity presents itself. You will be following in the footsteps of Jesus when you get baptised. Jesus was baptised and his word enjoins us to be baptised. Baptism is symbolic- an outward demonstration of what has happened within you. This will make a lasting impact on you as you identify with the burial (being immersed in water) and resurrection ( being raised up with Christ.

The word of God commands that we be baptised. It should be by immersion and not sprinkling of water.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Rom6:4

37   Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

38   So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

39   Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

40   But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. Acts8:37-40

Notice that they went down the river for the baptism after which they came up. This is how baptism should be.

God Bless you richly.

Fenny West

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