It is truly wonderful when someone accepts the Lord as their Savior and gives up their old way of life to follow Jesus. The Bible says in Luke 15:10 that the angels rejoice in Heaven over every new believer, so this is really a special event. Why then, do many new believers fall back into the world and never follow Jesus? It’s because, like toys that need power to run on, they don’t realize that with salvation batteries are not included.
New believers have come to the point in their lives where they realize that God is real and that Jesus truly is the Son of God who came from Heaven to save them from their sins, and that He died and then rose again and is right now alive in Heaven. In that moment when they face this truth, they want it. They want to be saved, they want to have a prosperous life and they want a home in Heaven when they die. But sadly, many don’t want to take the time to know the One who saved them. Many chase after the prosperous life and leave Jesus behind.
When we’re saved, it’s because God gave us enough faith at that moment to see the truth and accept it. But that is a “measure of faith”—a gift—and in order to grow as a Christian we need to increase our faith so we can know the God who gave us this gift.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”—Ephesians 2:8
It’s important that new believers get into a church that preaches the whole gospel and not one that promotes a prosperity gospel, the divine earthly life, or a come as you are without repentance doctrine. But even more important than finding a church is our need to study the Bible ourselves. We need to learn who God is and why He sent Jesus and what our part is in the family of God.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”—2 Timothy 2:15
Many new Christians feel that they aren’t qualified to read and understand the Bible on their own and that they need to sit under an official teacher or preacher who is supposed to know everything. This is not true. If it were true, then there wouldn’t be a person on earth who qualifies to teach the Bible because on their own merits they aren’t able to understand one thing about God. No one can know the scripture unless God reveals the truth to them through His Holy Spirit. God will make known the truth of the scriptures to anyone who is hungry to know Him. And those theologians that spend years studying will learn nothing except facts and law unless God reveals His truth to them, so don’t be fooled by earthy credentials.
“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”—1 Corinthians 2:10
With so many variations of the Bible available on the market today, it’s hard to even know which one is closest to the original scriptures, so a good rule of thumb to follow is to stick to only translated versions. Some of these may use today’s dialect as opposed to the “thee’s” and “thou’s”, but the contents remain the same. The words are “translated” from the original Greek scriptures; they are not re-interpreted by a modern-day theologian or by someone who wants the Bible to read what they want it to read. God inspired the original scriptures and He wants us all to read the same content.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”—2 Timothy 3:16
We need to study the Bible to know God. It’s great to begin in the New Testament when the Christian world is born, and then read it over and over so we can get it down into our heart. But then it’s important to also go back to the Old Testament and read what happened from the beginning that brought the world to the point of needing a Savior. God may appear harsh at times and that’s because He hates sin and He’s angry with those who chose to live in it and rule by it and hurt the ones who loved Him. But as we read, we’ll begin to see the big picture unfold, and we’ll realize that God loves us and that we’re part of His world, and we’ll want to share His love with others.
We cannot recharge our faith batteries by following someone else’s teaching. We can only grow in the Lord and increase our faith by reading our Bible so we can know Him, and by giving God thanks for our lives and for all we have in prayer, and by praising Him for His faithfulness so we can be drawn close to Him. We are responsible for what we do with that first seed of faith; accept it and act on it, or let it fall away. It is our responsibility to know God and to study His word and become the Christian that He has called us to be.
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”—Philippians 2:12
Like batteries in a toy, we need to keep our faith charged! We need to make it a priority to grow by studying the Bible every day and meditating on the words every day so they get deep into our heart. Then with a full charge, we will not only know God, but we will be equipped to share His love with others.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”—2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)
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