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#2. SEVEN STEPS FOR A NEW BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN

Introduction 2

Being born again is an instantaneous experience that happens to us, and it is necessary for our salvation, but it is only the first step (See #1. First Step to Salvation). Our complete salvation will not be received until Jesus returns and our bodies are resurrected from the dead, or we are caught up to meet him and our bodies are changed (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 15:51-53). In the meantime we must "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12), and this bible study shows seven steps that new born again Christians should take when they become believers in Jesus Christ, in order to ensure that they receive that salvation when Jesus returns.

STEP 1: REPENT OF ANY KNOWN PAST SIN

Sins do not automatically disappear from our heart the moment we first believe in Jesus, therefore repentance is very important, because it removes sin from the heart (Ezekiel 18:30-31; Mark 1:4; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38). There are nine steps to repentance, which are as follows:

(1) Believe in Jesus (Acts 10:43; 13:38). There can be no true forgiveness without this because he has paid the price for our sins to be forgiven (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 3:5), and he is the one who delivers us from sin (Matthew 1:21; Acts 3:26; 1 Peter 2:24).
(2) Pray to God for forgiveness (2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalms 32:5-6; Acts 8:22).
(3) Confess each sin to God (Psalms 32:5; 51:2-3; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9).
(4) Be sorry for your sin (Psalms 38:18; Ecclesiastes 7:3; 2 Corinthians 7:8-11).
(5) Forsake the sin (Isaiah 1:16-18; Jeremiah 36:3; Ezekiel 18:21-22; 2 Timothy 2:19).
(6) Destroy all association with past sin (Joshua 7:11-12; Isaiah 27:9; Acts 19:18-19).
(7) Make restitution where possible (Exodus 22:1-7; Ezekiel 33:14-16; Luke 19:8).
(8) Renew your heart and mind with God's word (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:2; 119:11; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10; Hebrews 8:10-12).
(9) Obey God's word and do good (Isaiah 1:16-18; Ezekiel 18:21-22; 33:14-16; Ephesians 4:28; James 4:17).

Bible Study: RP 102 #4. Forgiveness of Sins is not Automatically manifested when we first Believe in Jesus
Bible Study: RP 102 #6. How do I Repent of Sins?

STEP 2: STUDY THE WORD OF GOD

The word of God is the Bible. The Authorized King James Version of 1611 has been the standard for centuries, and is recommended as well as the New King James Version. Many modern translations are either based on corrupted manuscripts, or are a paraphrase, or both, and hide the real truth of God's word to some degree. These should be avoided. You will need to know how to rightly divide the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). You will then need to obtain rightly divided studies (there are some excellent ones on this site), to meditate on them (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:15), and put them into practice in your life (Joshua 1:7-8; Hebrews 5:9; James 1:22). The benefits of diligent study of the word of God are many:

(1) The word of God gives us hope (Romans 15:4-5).
(2) The word of God guides us, and shows us the right way to go (Psalms 119:105; Proverbs 6:20-23).
(3) The word of God builds us up (Acts 20:32).
(4) The word of God delivers us (Proverbs 11:9).
(5) The word of God gives us life and health (Proverbs 4:20-22).
(6) The word of God makes our way prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:1-3).
(7) The word of God enables us to avoid sin (Psalms 119:11; 119:133).
(8) The word of God is truth and sets us free from sin (John 8:31-32).
(9) The word of God increases our faith (Romans 10:17).
(10) The word of God gives us great peace (Psalms 119:165).
(11) The word of God gives us an understanding of the fear of God, and the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:1-5).
(12) The word of God corrects us, perfects us, and prepares us to do good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Bible Study: RP 301 #2. How to Obtain the Truth from the Word of God
Bible Study: RP 301 #3. How to Rightly Divide the Word of God
Bible Study: RP 301 #4. How to Interpret Scripture

STEP 3: PRAY TO GOD

Answered prayer is very reassuring of the presence and reality of God in our lives. We can pray for our own needs, the needs of other Christians, and the salvation of others. There are five points to make on prayer:

(1) We should pray to God the Father (Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2; John 15:16; 16:23; Ephesians 3:14).
(2) We should pray in Jesus' name (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-24).
(3) We should pray in faith, believing that God hears and answers our prayers (Matthew 7:7-11; 21:21-22; Mark 11:22-24; James 1:6-7).
(4) We should pray with thanksgiving when we believe that God has answered our prayers (Philippians 4:6; Colossians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
(5) We should make prayer a continual part of our life (Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Peter 4:7).

STEP 4: ATTEND CHURCH REGULARLY

A good church will believe, teach, and practice the true teachings of the bible, and will provide help for a new Christian, just as a mother provides help for a new born baby. Church attendance will enable us to be one with other Christians (Proverbs 13:20; John 17:11; 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:11-14), to help one another when in need (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Galatians 6:2), to exhort one another (Hebrews 10:24-25), to restore one another when in error (Galatians 6:1), and enable us to be part of the "one fold" (John 10:3-5, 10:11; 10:14; 10:16). Ask God to guide you to the church where he wants you to be at this present time.

Bible Study: RP 322 Why Should a Christian Attend Church
Bible Study: RP 323 Seven Reasons Why Some Christians go to Church on the Sabbath Day

STEP 5: BE BAPTIZED IN WATER

This was always done as soon as possible in the New Testament (Acts 8:36-38; 10:47; 19:1-5). The correct method is by immersion, typifying us following Jesus into:

(1) His death (going down into the water) (Romans 6:3; 6:4),
(2) His burial (going under the water) (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12), and
(3) His resurrection (rising from the water) (Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21).

The correct name (meaning authority) to be baptized in (Greek: en) is the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the way the apostles always did it (Acts 2:38; 10:48). The name (meaning character) of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), is what we are baptized into (Greek: eis), not the name (authority) that we are baptized with. Ask your Pastor about being baptized.

Bible Study: RP 108 Apostolic Water Baptism by Immersion in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ

STEP 6: BE BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

This can sometimes be an experience that people get when they first believe, Cornelius and his household for example (Acts 10:44-46), but in the vast majority of cases this is an experience which follows some time after being born again (Acts 8:5-17; 19:1-6). It is an experience which all Christians need in order to be successful in their Christian walk, because it provides the supernatural power that we need to live spiritual lives, and be witnesses for Christ (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). The evidence that shows whether a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit or not is (almost invariably) whether they speak in tongues or not (Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:6). Ask the people at your church to pray for you to receive this experience.

STEP 7: PAY TITHES

A tithe is one tenth of a person's gross income, or increase. Tithing is part of God's financial plan to provide for his work, and has been since the days of Abraham (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 7:1-4). It continued with Jacob (Genesis 28:20-22), and was a part of the law given by Moses (Leviticus 27:30; Deuteronomy 14:22; Malachi 3:10). The tithe belonged to God (Leviticus 27:30-34), but was used for the service of the Levites (Numbers 18:21-29; Deuteronomy 26:12), and to support strangers, widows, and orphans (Deuteronomy 14:28; 26:12; Acts 6:1-3). Tithing is really an act of faith, because God has promised a blessing if we do it, and a curse if we don't (Malachi 3:8-11). Because the tithe belongs to God (Leviticus 27:30-34), he considers not paying it as robbing him (Malachi 3:8). Modern day tithes should be paid to the church treasury for the support of the ministry, and widows and orphans in the church (Acts 6:1-3). Some functions of the Levites, such as teaching the word of God (Exodus 18:20; Deuteronomy 24:8; 2 Chronicles 15:3; Ezra 7:10), are now part of the ministry of the church (Acts 13:1; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11).

Jesus Christ endorsed paying tithes.

(Matthew 23:23) "You pay tithes of mint, and anise, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice, and mercy, and faith. These it was necessary to do, and not to leave the others undone."

Bible Study: RP 206 The Sin of Robbing God in Tithes and Offerings

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