To the new believer

SO, you’re a new Christian! The greatest thing that could ever happen in anyone’s lifetime just happened to you and you’re thrilled. Your eternal destiny was permanently changed in an instant of time. Your lost condition had sentenced you to be exiled from God forever, but God Himself went to Calvary and paid the wages of sin for you, bought a place in Heaven for you, and gave you, as an absolutely free gift, a new and permanent relationship with Him.

Many other wonderful things became true for you at the instant you trusted Christ that were not true a minute before. Each of us would like to inherit a billion dollars, but every one of the things that became ours through the crosswork of God’s Son is worth infinitely more than a billion dollars! Now you have the awesome privilege of beginning a lifetime of adventure learning just what these priceless possessions of yours are.

But first, just how did you become a brand new son, or daughter, in the family of God? What I am about to say may shock you. You may have prayed a “sinner’s prayer” but that didn’t save you. Your salvation was provided for you nineteen hundred years ago on the cross of Calvary and was just waiting for you to “pick it up.” As wonderful as prayer is, it wasn’t necessary to ask God to save you as He was wanting to save you even more than you were wanting to be saved.

All that was lacking was for you to believe God concerning His Son’s death; to trust that death as yours because He died it for you. You may have asked Christ to come into your heart, I did that years ago when I also prayed the sinner’s prayer, but that isn’t what saved me! My salvation, too, was already completed and simply waiting for me to exercise faith in the finished work of Calvary. Perhaps someone encouraged you to “commit your life to God” or “give your heart to Jesus,” but the fact remains that you were instantly, completely, and eternally saved the instant you ceased to trust anything else and began to trust only what God did for you through the crosswork of His Son!

How about some helpful suggestions for starting out in your new life–suggestions that can guarantee that new life will be an adventure? ‘First, make the Word of God your Number One Priority! Our Lord, in His earthly ministry said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”‘ In the Bible God has given us a “Handbook of Salvation” to explain His plan of salvation to us and to help us explain it to others. It is called the Book of Romans.

Devour it! Study it until its tremendous truths come out of your ears! Wise Christians have devoted themselves to a lifetime study of this Epistle. I always recommend that new believers begin their Bible study here. Begin in Romans and go on to the other Pauline Epistles. Learn their message and THEN you will be able to go anywhere in the Bible and benefit from your study. You will see from your study of the Pauline Epistles that Paul is peculiarly YOUR Apostle. The entire Bible is FOR us, but his books are TO us and ABOUT us.

Another hint. Take a highlighter and highlight every verse that tells you something about yourself as you study. Two highlighters would be even better. For instance, you could use a red, or pink marker to highlight verses that tell you how lost we were before God’s Grace found us, and a yellow highlighter to emphasize what is true of us now that we believe.

Secondly, PRAY–prayer doesn’t have to be begging! As a matter of fact, Paul’s prayers seem to begin with thanksgiving–and sometimes end there. Every time you read a verse that tells you how lost you were without Christ you can thank God that is no longer true. Whenever you come across something you have highlighted in yellow you can thank God that this great truth is NOW true of you! Most good prayer is simple thanksgiving. The more you and I learn of the Grace of God, the more our prayers will be genuine, happy giving of thanks to our Father, too. Thanking Him for regenerating us, forgiving us, uniting us to Christ for Eternity, refusing to credit sin to our account, or giving us a new and permanent standing as sons and daughters and fellow-heirs with His Son will not only deepen our affection for Him but give us a fresh and accurate perspective on life and ministry.

http://www.gracebeliever.com/

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