Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
Let me first of all say “God bless you”. Even the angels in heaven rejoice at your salvation. Your name is now in the Lamb’s Book of Life. You are eternally secure because the Father keeps you secure. His promise to keep you forever in his care is based upon his integrity to his word. Your eternal life is not based upon how you feel or any measure of goodness you possess or good deeds you will do. Obviously you will want to live a life pleasing to the Lord now because you are a new creation in Jesus Christ, II Cor.5:17. Let God lead you to a good Bible teaching church where you can be around your new spiritual family. There you should be learning so much from the Bible about God and his Son Jesus Christ. This spiritual growth will change the way you look at yourself and life in general. Much of Christianity is positive and is of eternal weight and glory, but part of Christianity is negative and involves our involvement with things which displease God.
A fact that I want you to understand as a new Christian is that you will find yourself tempted by pre-salvation habits that involve sin. The difference now is that you find yourself more sensitive and ashamed when you sin. Because you are just learning about your new found faith you are spiritually immature. We all start out as immature babes in Christ and this is why we must mature on the word of God, the Bible, I Peter 2:2 “ As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that ye may grow by it,” II Pet.3:18 “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ..”
After salvation the sin nature still exist in us. We might ask God as to why he doesn’t remove this disobedient nature to sin when we are saved. The answer is that God created our souls with free will and he does not violate our free will before our salvation, neither does he violate our free will after salvation. The sin nature is a part of mankind that remains with us till death. As a believer in Jesus Christ we must choose to love and serve the Lord moment by moment. If our nature to sin was removed at salvation we would not have to exercise faith in God’s word. We would in essence be nothing more than robots. When we choose to obey God rather than sin we live righteous before God by choice. These righteous choices we make everyday, moment by moment, glorify God and this type of holy living causes us to have the abundant life now and one day this holy living will translate into wonderful blessings in eternity, Rom.6:16-22.
Even the most mature of Christians will sin. Sometimes we will sin unknowingly [sins of ignorance] and sometimes we will sin knowingly [willful disobedience]. Our nature to sin runs counter to the Holy Spirit’s leadership. At the moment of salvation the Holy Spirit indwells us, Ephesians 1:13 “ In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also when you believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.”
The indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit is given to empower us to perform the will of God in our daily lives. The Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Galatian believers that the desires of the Holy Spirit and the desires of our old sin nature are contrary to one another, Gal.5:16.
If we sin we are said to be out of fellowship with the Father. This does not mean we are now lost and need to be saved again, but it does mean we are letting the sin nature control us and not the Spirit of God. This displeases the Father and to get back under the leadership of the Holy Spirit we must confess the sin or sins we have committed. “If we confess [name] our sins [to God], he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
This passage was written to believers. Once your sins are confessed then you can go on learning God’s word and his will for your life under the leadership of his Spirit. This is where the local church comes in. Jesus Christ calls and ordains men and he gives them communication gifts so they can teach you the word of God, Ephesians 4:7-16.
The primary objective of God for every believer is to come into conformity to the image of Jesus Christ, Rom.8:29.
This requires our humility so we must be humble enough to be taught the word of God. Our pride must replaced by genuine humility and it requires much humility to become a mature Christian, James 2:10 “ Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
I Peter 5:6 “ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”
God will bring you to spiritual maturity if you will humble yourself under his Word.
God’s word is given by divine inspiration and it is profitable for doctrine, [teaching] for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, II Timothy 3:16. The pastor has the calling and the responsibility along with God’s authority to reprove, correct and exhort you in the word of God.
This responsibility on the part of the pastor is done as a demonstration of his love for the Lord and his love for you.
He does this for the most part from the pulpit as he teaches and preaches the Bible. It is best if you attend a Bible teaching church whose ministry is expository in nature. An expository ministry is more closely akin to that of our Lord’s than any kind of ministry. An expository ministry explains the Bible and works to gives to you the historical, grammatical and doctrinal layout of a passage of scripture. This helps you learn more thoroughly the Bible. If we want to know the will of God we must know God’s word very well. If we want to love God we must know his word very well. Jesus Christ said in John 14:15 “If you love me keep my commandments.” And the Apostle John said in I John 2:5 that our love for God is perfected [matured] as we keep God’s word.
A relationship without good communication is an unfulfilling relationship. Praying is what we do in the communication aspect of this relationship with God. And praying is important although often times praying gets more emphasis than the other part of our relationship with God and that is God speaking to us. If we are going to serve the Lord effectively and if we are going to have a fulfilling relationship with the Lord we must know God’s word accurately. Through God’s word, the Bible, he speaks to us.
Learning God’s word is a lifelong pursuit in which God never stops speaking to us as his beloved children. God never runs out of advice for us and we never run out of need for his advice. The world is constantly giving us advice and influencing us with it. We desperately need God’s advice.
As you learn the Bible you will see yourself changing in the way you think, speak and act.
God Bless You!