Helps for the NEW CHRISTIAN by Clarence Sexton

Dear Friend,

I rejoice in the fact that you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. The Bible says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17.

You can live a victorious Christian life. You do not have to be a defeated Christian. The Lord will forgive you of your sins each day if you are willing to confess them. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9.

The material in this booklet is designed to help you understand more about what it means to be a Christian. These simple lessons will also help you get started right in your new life as a Christian. They are given to you with a prayer that you will let our wonderful Lord bless and use you like He wants to.

Yours in Christ, Clarence Sexton Philippians 4:19


What does it mean to be Saved?

Many people are confused about what it means to be a Christian. The Bible has all the answers we need.
The Bible says there is a Heaven, John 14:1-6, and there is a hell, Luke 16:19-31, Revelation 21:8. The only way to get to Heaven and miss Hell is to have Christ in your heart. Then the big issue that must be settled is, "How can I get Christ into my heart?" He saves us from Hell and takes us to Heaven.

Realize

God Loves You
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

All People Are Sinners

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
People are condemned without Christ, John 3:18. We are not only condemned sinners; we are also spiritually dead, Ephesians 2:12.

Our Sins Must Be Paid For

"For the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23
The payment of our sins is death and Hell.

Christ Paid For Our Sins

"... while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
The Lord Jesus came from Heaven. He was born of a virgin, Luke 1:26-28. He lived a sinless life, Hebrews 4:15. He owed no sin debt. He went to the cross where He took all our sins on Him, I Timothy 1:15; 2:5,6. He was buried and rose from the dead on the third day, I Corinthians 15:1-6.

We Must Ask Him By Faith To Save Us

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13
We know Christ died for our sins and wants to save us, but we must ask Him. He promised He would. At the moment I ask Him, Christ Comes into my heart, forgives my sin and saves my soul. He writes my name in the Book of Life, Revelation 21:27. I become a new creation, II Corinthians 5:17. I become a child of God, John 1:12.

Questions and Answers

Question: From what does Jesus save us?

Answer: From our sins, Mark 2:1-11, Matthew 26:28, I John 1:7.

Question: What is sin?

Answer: Sin is disobedience to God or breaking the law of God, I John 3:4.

Question: Who has sinned?

Answer: All of us have sinned. I have sinned. We all have sinned, Romans 3:10,23.

Question: What is the penalty for my sin?

Answer: Eternal death in Hell, Romans 6:23.

Question: How can I be saved from this death?

Answer: I can be saved from eternal death by trusting Jesus as my Saviour, Acts 16:31.

Bible Study

First, read through chapter 5 of I John in the New Testament. Second, reread the same chapter noting the verses which talk about eternal life and how we can be sure God gives us this life through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bible Memory Verse

Assurance of Salvation
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. I John 5:13

What does it mean to be Baptized?

The Lord Jesus Christ founded the New Testament Church. He said, "Upon this rock I will build my church," Matthew 16:18. The Bible also says, "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it," Ephesians 5:25.

Christ gave to the church what we call doctrines and ordinances. The doctrines of the church are its beliefs and teachings. The ordinances of a church are the things He said to be observed. They are called ordinances because He commanded them or ordered them. In the New Testament Church there are two ordinances. One is baptism and the other is the Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper was instituted by our Saviour the night He was betrayed and delivered to die for our sins on the cross. No one is saved by partaking of the Lord's Supper. It is a memorial of the death of the Lord Jesus. We are to remember what He did for us on the cross. Those who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and have followed Him in baptism may partake of the Lord's Supper.

Baptism is a burial and a resurrection. We are buried with Christ in the likeness of His death; and we are raised in the likeness of His resurrection, Romans 6:1-4. Both ordinances of the church are beautiful pictures of spiritual truth. They have no saving power. They picture what the Lord Jesus has done for us.

Remember that baptism is only for believers. You must be saved before you can be baptized, Acts 2:41, Acts 8:37. Baptism is for believers only.

Remember, we are obeying Christ when we are baptized. The Lord Jesus said after we are saved we are to be baptized, Matthew 28:19-20.

Remember, also, that the Bible teaches we are to be baptized by immersion. This means going under the water and coming up out of the water. As we stand in the water, the water crosses our body like the cross where Jesus died. Going beneath the water is a picture of how Jesus went into the grave. Coming up out of the water is a picture of how Jesus came out of the grave alive forever.

Questions and Answers

Question: Who baptized Jesus?

Answer: John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1)

Question: Where was Jesus baptized?

Answer: In the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13)

Question: Why was Jesus baptized?

Answer: To fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15)

Question: What is baptism?

Answer: It is a burial and a resurrection (Colossians 2:12).

Question: What is the meaning of baptism?

Answer: It pictures three things (Romans 6:23; Galatians 3:27).
1. It pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
2. It pictures our death to sin and our resurrection to a new life in Christ.
3. It pictures our faith that when we die and are buried we shall also be raised from the dead.

Question: Does Jesus command us to be baptized?

Answer: Yes, According to His Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, all who accept Jesus as their Saviour are to be baptized.

Bible Memory Verse

If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15

The Bible and Prayer

The new Christian must let God speak to his heart and direct his life. Through the Bible God speaks to us, and through prayer we speak to God. Let us consider the Bible, the Word of God, for a moment.

The Bible

The Bible is a most amazing book. It is actually a library of 66 books placed together in one. There are two divisions of this one Book. There is the Old Testament, having 39 books, beginning with the book of Genesis; and there is the New Testament, having 27 books, beginning with the book of Matthew and concluding with the book of Revelation. There are 1189 chapters in the Bible. Nine Hundred and twenty-nine (929) are in the Old Testament, and two hundred and sixty (260) in the New testament.

Reading four chapters a day one can read through the entire Bible in less than a year. Determine to read your Bible through at least once each year. The best time of the day for Bible reading and prayer is in the early morning. Make it a habit of your life to rise early and begin the day with God. The Bible has the answer for every problem we face in life.

Facts about the Bible

The Bible answers the three greatest questions people ever ask: 1. Where did I come from? 2. Why am I here? 3. Where am I going?

The Bible has one theme - the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible is the verbal (every word, I Corinthians 2:13), plenary (entirely, II Timothy 3:16), inspired Word of God.

Conclusions

Memorize God's Word. hide it in your heart. The Bible says in Psalm 119:11, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Someone has said that God's Word keeps us from sin, but sin keeps us from God's Word.

Treat your Bible as a friend. Carry it with you. Keep it close to your side. Learn where each book is found. Take a pen and mark important passages as God speaks to your heart through them. The Bible is the Book for every Christian.

Prayer

The Lord Jesus is our example in prayer. He got up early and spent time in prayer. He left the crowds and spent time alone with God in prayer. One becomes more effective in prayer as he prays more.

The prayer life of a new Christian may begin slow and be very simple, but a Christian who does not pray is certain to fail. Set aside certain times to pray. Pray on your knees when you arise in the morning. Also get on your knees and pray at your bedside before you retire at night. Pray before meals whether you are in a public or private place. Ask God in prayer to meet your needs, to give you strength and to save your loved ones. Get close to the Lord through prayer.

Memory Verses

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." John 15:7

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." Jeremiah 33:3

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." I John 5:14,15

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matthew 7:7,8


The New Christian and Their Church

When you receive the Lord Jesus into your heart, you are saved. You become part of God's family. When you obey the Lord Jesus and follow Him in baptism, you become a member of the local church in which you were baptized.

A local church is a group of baptized believers who have voluntarily joined themselves together to carry out what we call the "Great Commission."

The Great Commission Says:

Matthew 28:19,20: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

First:

We are to go to people. Some churches have the idea that we are just to announce services and wait for people to come to us. The Lord Jesus said, "Go!"

Second:

We are to explain to those we visit how to be saved. We must tell them in clear, simple terms how they can come to know Christ as their personal Saviour.

Third:

After they are saved, they are to be baptized in a local church as an act of obedience to the command of Christ.

Fourth:

We are to teach the new Christian the things Christ has commanded us. This means that the new Christian is to be faithful to every service of the church. He will grow and develop as a Christian ought to as he faithfully hears the Word of God and worships regularly with God's people.

The Local Church is Very Important

The Bible says that the Lord Jesus Christ founded the church and He loves the church.

"... upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

"... Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." Ephesians 5:25

What Each Christian can do for Their Church

We think a lot about what a church can do in ministering to others, but we also need to think about what each church member can do for his church.

Pray For Your Church

Ask the Lord to meet each need. Pray for the leaders. Pray that everything will be pleasing to Christ.

Be A Loyal Member

Be loyal to the leadership and the program of the church. Encourage others to do the same. Do not be a complainer.

Be A Faithful Member

Attending the church faithfully: 1. Is obeying what the Bible teaches. 2. Identifies one publicly with the Lord and His people. 3. Provides instruction for living the Christian life. 4. Helps a Christian to find God's will in a place of service. 5. Makes one a part of getting the message of salvation to others.

If it were not for local Bible-preaching churches, many people would not hear how to be saved.

Support Your Church

It is God's plan for each member to be a tither. That means that we are to give ten percent of our income to the Lord. We will also want to give offerings above this.

I Corinthians 16:2 says, "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."

With a glad heart, each member of the local church should do all he can to make his church all it ought to be.


Personal Soul Winning

The delight and responsibility of every Christian is to tell those who are lost how to be saved. Now that we know Him as our personal Saviour we can tell others how to be saved.

Everyone must receive Him as personal Saviour in order to get to Heaven.

The Condition of the Unsaved

They are lost. Luke 19:10
Those who have never been saved are lost.
The direction of their lives is away from God. Isaiah 53:6
They are perishing. John 3:16
They are condemned already. John 3:18
They are under God's wrath. John 3:36
They are blind. II Corinthians 4:3,4
They are without hope. Ephesians 2:17
They are dead in sin. Ephesians 2:1
They are missing life's best. John 10:10
They are headed toward an awful place called Hell that has been prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41

The Command to tell the Lost how to be Saved

Someone cared enough about those of us who are Christians to tell us how to know Christ as Saviour, and we must tell others. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to go and tell others how to be saved (Matthew 28:19,20). Our burden for the lost increases as we go after them for Christ. The best place to begin to witness is to our loved ones. Every Christian should start immediately to tell his family members about Christ.

Christ will Save the Lost

There is no one so lost that Christ cannot save him. He will save anyone who calls on Him for salvation (Romans 10:13). He will also help us talk to them about how to be saved.

Begin By Giving Your Testimony

A testimony is telling a personal experience. Sometimes we can begin to witness to others by telling them what Christ has done for us. A Christian's testimony should call attention to three things:

1. My life before receiving Christ.
2. How I came to know Christ.
3. What Christ means to me since I have been saved.

Conclusions

Realize that fear is a perfectly natural feeling when we begin to witness. Our fears can be overcome. Most of the time when we are afraid, we come to realize we must trust God more. After all, witnessing and soul winning are things that we must have God's help to do. Remember, the Lord will use you to help change the course of others' eternal destiny as you tell them how to be saved. The Lord wants to use you - let Him!

Bible Memory Verse

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15


This Sword of the Lord Publishers Pamphlet was used here by permission of Dr. Shelton Smith, publisher of the Sword of the Lord Newspaper. For more information on Sword of the Lord, contact them directly at:

Sword of the Lord Publishers
PO Box 1099
Murfreesboro, Tn 37133