First Steps, FIRST

By David Pam McQuel
There is a starting point for everything. A significant position where a thought, a plan and a desire hits the ground of reality.

A football match has kick off time. A sprint has the gunshot mark. School has an enrollment day. A journey starts with starting the engine. And life begins with conception.

Likewise, the Christian life begins with a conviction and confession day. There is a day in your life when the word of God convicts your heart.

May be someone shares Christ with you. Or you were in a crusade. You could have read a tracts. Or a long down seed finally brings conviction.

Then that conviction births confession for salvation. Romans 10
“9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Both conviction in records to the sacrifices of Christ, his death and resurrection accompanied by a confession of Jesus’ Lordship produces salvation.

The greatest thing that can happen to any human being is the saved. What an awesome testimony!
Nothing compares to it!

Yet as great that is, something has to be done to sustain it. Spiritual birth is similar to biological birth. There is a day of birth. There is an accompanying joy and ecstasy. There extraordinary well wishes and prayers of friends and strangers a like. The word congratulations runs out supply!

Every mum knows that child birth is not the end of her responsibilities. It is in fact the beginning of a prolonged years of responsibilities.

And so when a person accepts Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, it is just the beginning. Colossians 2,
“6Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,

7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

Paul here by the Spirit said, there must be continuity. Continuing to live in Christ brings about taking roots, building a solid foundation and getting established. That’s the goal of discipleship.

New believers need to be rooted. The need to solidify their foundation. That’s maturity.

However, there are the first steps to getting there. A good example is the practice of the first Church in Jerusalem. In Acts 2, we learned that there were the first things they concentrated on doing.
Acts 2:41 “So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them.
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.”

The four activities were:
i. Teaching of God by the apostles.
ii. Daily meetings and sharing affection, challenges and God’s presence in their lives.
iii. Taking the communion of the Lord on a daily basis.
iv. Praying individually and together.

And Peter who led this fellowship down the years wrote on this same issue, but then with experience and maturity in 1Peter 2,
“1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,
2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

We can pick 3 timeless points from here:
i. We need to lay aside the old man.
ii. Feeding is indispensable
iii. There is pure milk and impure.
iv. Growing up will make us enjoy the goodness always.

Putting this together, we can deduct that:
i. Appreciate the new life or new birth.
The new believer is grateful for the mercy of God. In fact, every believer should grateful for the rest of his life. The mercy we received is unquantifiable.
Salvation is a free gift but not fully acquired. Jesus paid the ultimate price that set us free. We should never take it lightly.

ii. Feeding on the milk of the word
The new believer can never grow up without spiritual food. He needs the pure milk of the word of God.
Matthew 4:4, “He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
New believers as well as old ones can only be free through feeding continually and consistently.

iii. Change association
First Peter told us to shun some practices. “2 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking.” All those who walk in these and such ways cannot be a positive force on your spiritual life.
To get the best of your faith, change your friends and associations.

iv. Apply the little of the word you know
It is important to start early, with a tender conscience apply God’s word. When you start early it becomes part of you. As you grow, applying God’s becomes little by little, your way of life.

v. Fellowship with other believers is highly important
From the day the Holy Spirit came upon the discipleshi in Jerusalem, those disciples for no other joy than spending time with fellow believers.
There is joy and edification when a group of Spirit-filled believers.

vi. Prayer is one of your strongest pillars.
Prayer is a universal language. Even the godless pray. That means praying cannot be overemphasized. When a person gets saved, he even has the real basis for prayer.
The new life is also about the new Father. In Christ, we have a new Father
Talking to him should an affection, lover and faith. A new believer ought to pray daily.

vii. Sharing your joy
If you truly appreciate your new life, your new Father, His forgiveness, His mercy and the transformed life, you cannot fail to share your joy.
God has done so much for us. We have to share it with others.

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