Life as a New Christian
A crucial step that a person must take to start their spiritual journey with God is to get baptized. Baptism does not physically change a person’s circumstances, nor should it be taken lightly as though it were a bath (1 Peter 3:21). During baptism, a new Christian declares Christ as their Lord and savior and is submerged in water that represents Christ’s divine blood. Baptism first and foremost is a spiritual renewal of one’s heart because it washes away past sins and opens the door to Heaven, as well as allows reconciliation for sins through repentance. Like repentance, the physical change in baptism is shown by a difference in how one acts as they turn their heart away from sin and closer to God.
Spiritual life as a newborn Christian is not unlike that of any newborn in the animal world. The normalcy you were once used to is gone, you’re going to need guidance from those older and wiser, you are going to make mistakes, and you will live on milk for a while, but eventually you will need solid food (Hebrews 5:12-14). The responsibility of guiding newer members of Christ’s church falls on those that are older and wiser in their spiritual journey with God. Responsibilities of a new disciple of Christ are directing God’s word to their heart and having patience as they begin their spiritual journey. When the Bible is successfully taught and the teachings of Christ are well received, there will be no shortage of the love and glory that is given to God.
Patience is an important aspect of being a new Christian because mistakes are a part of spiritual growth and struggles aren’t going to go away. Humans are imperfect beings—thus people are going to let themselves down, let each other down, and most importantly let God down. The only human on this Earth that was ever perfect was Jesus and it is because of His sacrifice that we all have a way to come back to God after mistakes are made. This is not saying that people should go around sinning because they have a way to clean their slate with God. But it is saying, that because of God’s grace and mercy an individual has a way to be picked up and turn negative experiences into personal and spiritual growth opportunities.
Try not to be dismayed when struggles arise because the Lord has a beneficial purpose for them, even if those purposes cannot be seen or understood. Do not be discouraged when struggling with temptations, especially as a new Christian, because in time they will get easier the more you turn to God for help. Do not become disheartened during situations involving others. The stronger your heart is for God the greater impact you will have on others instead of having others impact you.
Inspired by: Matthew 6:25-34; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 John 1:8-10; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Luke 8:15; 1 Peter 3:8-22