Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm Saved! Um...Now What?

I'm a New Christian, Now What?

When i first became a new Christian, i had a lot of assumptions, most of them immature. I still thought that war and violence was OK, and that all the church i needed was Chuck Swindoll's daily show. I often felt, "i'm saved, let's end the world, send the wicked to hell" rather than showing Christ's love and forgiveness to the lost-so they can accept it.I also thought the best way to learn about spiritual warfare and demons was by reading New Age fare rather than God's Word which explains it far more truthfully.

Over the years, i've struggled finding a church, finding my role in the Body of Christ and in finding God's will for me (generally and specifically in life). Perhaps my wanderings would have been shorter, and my struggles more bearable had i 1) been discipled and 2) knew what to do upon becoming a Christian. Getting saved is just the beginning.

So here's a few things that would have helped me, hopefully they will help you, recently saved individual.

This isn't all necessarily straight from the Bible, just a few things from my own experience. I don't want to make a habit of blogs from my own experience, but in this case it is helpful to learn from my mistakes.

1) are you really saved?

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, accept that He became a man in a real body died for our sins and rose again the third day, according to the scriptures. Then YES! You are saved! Nothing can take that from you!

This is a pretty decent breakdown of the specifics, but in addition to this link, John 3:16, 1 John 1:9 and many other scriptures give us what we need to know and do to be saved. In short, it's faith in Jesus Christ as the solution for our sins.

2) Get and read a Bible (at least daily)

2 Timothy 3:16

One of the key things in your new relationship with God through His Son Jesus is listening to what He says. We can listen to what God has to tell us through His Word, the Bible. No other source will give us the heart and mind of God. Also, when you read, ask God to speak to you. He often will.

Furthermore, I believe that the answer to every question can be found in the Bible if you look hard enough. It may not be a specific answer, but God will eventually lead you to the truth of a given matter if you pray and seek Him.

Which Bible should I read?

The answer is whatever one you will read regularly (as long as this edition hasn't changed God's word to fit their own agenda).

Many recommend the King James Bible. Personally, i had a hard time getting anything out of it for daily reading. Still, it is good for study (concordances) and the problems with it are widely known. So get one as a resource, or use the online versions of it for study. I have a phone app (mysword) that has the KJV (and 2 other versions) and also hotlinks to the strong's greek and hebrew from the KJV.

Blue Letter Bible Website is great, as it's searchable AND they have an extensive amount of commentaries. If you encounter a chapter or verse that's confusing, go to BLB and you'll have great resources to see what God's trying to get across to you. I can't recommend BLB enough if you want to do serious study of the Bible. One particular highlight is that they have Isaac Newton's commentaries.

As far as daily devotionals, i personally use the NLT (new living translation). It's a study Bible with a green cover and i have gotten a TON out of it. It is a little spendy though, though i think i got mine at walmart a long time ago at a good price. To this day, i can't remember why i bought it.

What i personally like is it's in today's language, and often strives for the most precise meaning of a word or phrase. They also have a decent commentary for many verses, though i don't always agree with it based on other commentaries. They also have other great study resources.

The downside, price and also some phrases aren't as accurately translated as they could be. All in all, i like it for daily reading.

So, in summary, the NLT study Bible, the good ol' KJV and Blue Letter, not in that order.

3) Find a good church to go to

(You may also like to find a good mentor, use the same criteria as a guide.)

One of the most common questions ever (not to me, but some Christians) is probably "what church should i go to?" Or which one is right?

As pointed out in my previous post, I have struggled with this. What i can tell you is that no specific denomination is right, as within each denomination are individuals who may not be on the level. Hence the need for Acts 17:11 and similar passages.

Here are some questions to consider in choosing a church.

Do they follow the Bible and consider it the authoritative Word of God? Do they take it seriously? Does the pastor?

Does the church focus on a specific social (or other) issue as opposed to Jesus Christ and Him crucified?

Is there false teaching? (Prosperity gospel, salvation by works)

What is that church's statement of faith? You can tell alot from that. I do have one, but it's not super-obviously located and one of these days i plan to fix that. A pretty good one can be found here:

Some things to avoid:

- Obvious apostasy. This would be specifically ELCA and Anglican churches that have adopted a supportive stance on gay clergy. Many of these buildings are decorated like a bag of Skittles with rainbow banners in front of the church, and I've even seen a Presbyterian church with a rainbow out front. The rainbow isn't always a clue, but if you dig deep enough, you'll find out the truth on this. A church's stance on the homosexuality (or even other sin issues) should be clear. And if they endorse it/accept it, avoid that churxh.

- Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses (and i hear 7th day adventist) are not denominations, but basically cults. In at least one of these, salvation by works is prevalent. Further, there is kind of wacky teaching on Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1)

- Avoid any church that has you praying to anyone but God, in the name of His Son Jesus. Any church having you pray ANYTHING to Mary, a statue or a saint is teaching falsely. Sorry, but most if not all Catholic churches would fall into this category.

- Avoid any church that holds mans's teachings and traditions above the Bible. I don't mean to hate on Catholics, but this is a huge thing with Catholic church.

But it's not just the big C. ANY denomination can be and is guilty of this, and no denomination has the market cornered on truth. You can however, find good churches in most denominations. Just take that denominations traditions with a grain of salt

- in Star Trek, the Ferengi have a saying. "Never trust a man wearing a better suit than your own."

Now, a pastor's suit (or lack thereof) isn't necessarily an indication of his trustworthiness. Many pastors wear a suit because it's respectable, and a sign of professionalism in our culture. But there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. Does the pastor look like a "pulpit pimp"? Does he drive a porsche? do they have excessive bells and whistles in the building? Is there an emphasis on giving money to the church so God can bless you?

Probably a good idea to skip that place.

On the flipside, a poor church isn't necessarily right either. The roof of my church leaks sometimes, but if the pastor's teachings were off, i'd take a hike.

- Contemplative prayer

Really an issue to itself, but avoid it and any church that offers it. It's essentially mysticism and meditation masquerading as prayer. I probably used to do it when i went astray.

- dominionism

Anything with a "seven mountains" thing going on. Derek Gilbert did many great shows on this for his view from the bunker ( and the blog Herescope also has great articles. Both name names.

Here's a basic look

Finally, with any church or ministry, follow Acts 17:11. Test anything that is preached by God's Word.

4) Cutting ties

One mistake i made in my early walk with Christ is that i didn't completely turn my back on sin. In fact, some of it i wasn't sure was sin (or i suspected, but justified it).

Here's some ways to cut ties.

Did you come out of the occult or New Age? Wicca?

Get rid of your books that teach how to do those things! Anything that can lead you back into that path, get rid of it. Even more, don't give them away, or sell them, but totally get rid of them. Many people advocate burning the books and paraphenelia (oujia boards, tarot decks, perhaps even stuff as "innocent" as Fate magazines). Burning them is scriptural (Acts 19:19) and if you choose to rid yourself of these items in this way, do so safely and taking proper safety measures. If you need a permit to burn, acquire one.

Can you just throw them away? Thats difficult to say. By doing that, there is a possibility someone else may acquire them and be drawn in themselves. In the case of tapes or CD's, perhaps breaking them would be sufficient. Burning may release harmful chemicals.

Personally, i have some UFO books i bought in recent years for "research" but honestly, i may end up getting rid of them.

All of this holds true for pornography as well. Don't make excuses, get it out of your house! Keeping it around potentially leaves an open door to Satan, or at least makes it easier to fall into temptation. Make a clean break. Safely burn books and magazines, safely break any DVDs or tapes.

It has been my experience that NOT getting rid of these things early on, and even justifying them WILL trip you up. Furthermore, getting rid of and destroying them is Biblical and is a demonstration of your changed life.

5) Spiritual Warfare

Ephesians 6:12.

It is real, and you probably will experience it. Especially if you have occult or porn in your past.

My pre (and post) salvation New Age dabblings gave me the opportunity to experience spiritual warfare first hand.

I had sleep paralysis a number of times, and once i even saw what's known as a "shadow person" and i've had a few encounters with demons in dreams. The more recent experiences are not ones I've sought out. In all of the cases i can remember details from, calling on Jesus Christ, asking Him for help put a stop to the event immediately. If you're unable to speak, then just think "Jesus" calling to Him, and that's worked for me too. Trust me God can read our minds, and knows what we need before we do.

In short, Jesus Christ stops satan and his demons from attacking us. Because, Jesus is the name above all names.

Phillipians 2:9 - 10

And all of the spiritual powers are subject to Him.

1 Peter 3:22

6) Get Baptized!

I was Baptized as an infant via the Catholic church. And there's no problem with infant baptism, I'm not for or against it necessarily. But even if you were batized as a baby, do so upon your conversion at the first opportunity. Getting baptized is an external sign of your new internal commitment. I was baptized as an adult and I'm glad that I did it, because it was something that I chose to do. Baptism doesn't save you, but it is good to be baptized as an adult. Dr. Michael Heiser's Naked Bible did an excellant job covering what exactly Baptism is and does or doesn't do. Dig that up if you want more info. I believe it can be obtained via revelations radio

While not authoritative, these guidelines should help you as a new Christian. More importantly, as you consider these things, do so prayerfully asking the Lord to lead you. God will lead you where you need to go. I hope, new Christian that these suggestions lead you closer to the Lord and His plan for your life. It's not an easy road, but it's the only one worth traveling.


  1. A few months after I was saved i went out with a couple of friends near a disposal site in the country and burned my record collection. It was considered the best rock collection in my home town but it had to be done because it was the thing most elevated in my heart. There were other things I got rid of because I knew what occupied my heart.
    It really doesn't matter so much that other people say you shouldn't have this or that. It is more of removing those things from your heart and life that occupy what should be God's space. You know what you idolize.

  2. Well done! Awesome list.

    The item I most agreed with was the nature of the pastor. Being in that position of authority comes with many pitfalls and temptations. Also churches tend to exhalt and elevate their pastors above God's word. Both are biggies to avoid. Yes he/she can dress nice, but I like a pastor who is humble and comfortable is sack cloth.

    1. Thanks hopeful!

      Indeed a humble pastor is a key.

      I'm blessed with a pretty good pastor right now, but still nothing takes the place of my relationship with God!