Overview of Salvation
We believe Jesus is for everyone. Yes, EVERYONE! Including YOU! Jesus loves you — no matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or what you’ve said. Seriously, He’s seen and heard it all. You, and the things you have said or done, are no surprise to God. He knew you and the things you were going to do before you were even born. Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you… Jeremiah 1:5 THE MESSAGE. Knowing all of that, He created each of us anyway.
God does not discriminate. He does not care about your sex, your age, the color of your skin, where you were born, who your parents are, your level of education, how much money you make, what kind of car you drive, the condition of the house you live in, or what you’ve done in the past. He loves YOU! He made you! He will meet you right where you are, in the middle of the circumstances you find yourself at this very moment. He is there for you — always and forever, no matter what
People all over the world, in all walks of life, from different ethnic and educational backgrounds, make the decision to give their lives to Christ every day. Everyone makes that decision for different reasons or because of different circumstances — and their experience is unique to them alone. It is a moment in their lives that they will never forget. It is a time when lives change in a way that is almost impossible to explain. It is a great change — a truly new beginning in life.
How about you? Are you ready for this kind of a change? Have you had enough of where you are currently in life? Do you want to do something about it? Not sure? When you die — and you will, we all will — do you know what will happen then? Do you know for a fact where you will spend eternity? If you are not sure and you want to know for sure, or if you are simply ready to make a change in your life, it is really very simple. It is as simple as admitting that you are a sinner (we all are), believing Jesus died on the cross to take away your sins, and confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord of your life.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved (Romans 10:9,10 NLT).
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13 KJV).
A Personal Relationship
Jesus loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you — all you have to do is ask Him into your life and invite Him into your heart. No one can do it for you, and you can’t do it for someone else. This is something deeply personal between you and the Lord. God gave His only Son, Jesus, to take away our sins and offer us a better life.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
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 we have to do is invite Jesus into our heart. He is there waiting for us to simply ask.
Jesus says in Revelation 3:20 NIV, Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me
Admit You Are a Sinner – Ask for Forgiveness
Before inviting Jesus into our hearts, we must first admit that we have sinned and ask for His forgiveness. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 KJV). There is nothing at all to be ashamed of or embarrassed about in doing this. Again, this is between just you and the Lord and no one else. It is a matter of putting your heart in the right place before the Lord and truly repenting for the wrong choices we have made. And don’t think that you have done something so horrible that God won’t forgive you. Nothing we’ve said or done is a surprise to God. He already knows it all. He knew what we would do before we were even born. He will forgive us. What is important is to come before the Lord with a contrite heart, admitting we’ve made mistakes, saying we are sorry and asking for forgiveness
Repent…that your sins may be wiped out, that and times of refreshing may come from the Lord (Acts 3:19 NIV).
Believe That Jesus Died for Your Sins
Salvation is God’s free gift to us. We did not do anything to earn salvation. We can’t buy it anywhere. All we need to do is simply believe that Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. …God showed His great love for us by sending His son Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8 NLT). Jesus paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross. He was the sacrificial lamb, shedding His blood and dying to reconcile us back to God. He triumphed over the grave and is seated at the right hand of the Father as our Intercessor.
Confess that Jesus Is Lord of Your Life
Confessing that Jesus is the Lord of your life means letting go of your ways and the ways of the world and surrendering everything you are and everything you have to Him. No, that does not mean that you need to sell everything you have or give everything you own to the poor. Again, this is a matter of your heart. It means that you are willing to give your life, your heart, to Jesus. It’s an understanding that whatever the Lord has blessed you with belongs to Him; you are simply a caretaker of it. It means that everything we do with our lives, we do for Jesus. He is our Lord and we have no other gods before Him. I am the Lord Your God…you shall have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:2,3 NIV).
Prayer of Salvation
Are you ready to let go of your own ways and the ways of the world to become a “new creation” in Christ? This is not just about saying some words as part of a prayer. This is about truly believing in your heart that Jesus died for you, that He is your Lord and Savior, and that you are ready to let go of your past, confess your sins, and give up your “old” way of living life in the world to start living your life for Jesus. If you are ready to do that, then you are ready to pray the prayer of salvation. This will be the most important prayer you ever say. Speak the following out loud to the Lord with complete sincerity from your heart.
Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner. I ask You to forgive me, Lord, and cleanse me of my sins. I believe You are the Son of the Most High God. I believe that You died on the cross and shed Your blood for me. I confess that You are the Lord of my life and I surrender my life to You. You are my Savior, my Lord, my God. Come into my heart. Change me forever. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!
Welcome to the kingdom of God! If you just prayed this prayer and accepted Jesus into your heart, His Word says that you are born again. For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. (Romans 10:9,10 NLT). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13 KJV). You are “whosoever” and you are now saved!
We joyfully celebrate with you, along with the angels in heaven.
BECOMING A NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST
Becoming a new creature in Christ…. what does that mean? When you prayed the prayer of salvation and gave your life to Christ, you became a new person. Second Corinthians 5:17 (TLB) says, When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!
You say you don’t look much different? That is probably true; you probably look the same physically. But you may feel a little different. Maybe a little more peaceful, like a burden has been lifted. Now that you are “in Christ,” your sins are forgotten and your past life is history — nothing you did will be held against you. Second Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) says, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. That is what it means to be “born again.” You have a new beginning. God is not keeping an account of your former sins, nor should you. It’s time to let go of your past mistakes — those days are now over, passed away.
Our salvation is one of the most important aspects of our lives. But if we stopped there we would not experience the complete victory that Jesus died for us to have. A big part of this victory is in how we live our lives each and every day after our salvation in preparation for how we will spend our lives for eternity. The purpose of Chavara Online is to provide as much information as possible about not only receiving the free gift of salvation but also about learning to grow and mature in Christ.
Mark 8:34,35 (NLT) says, …”If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” You may be wondering what living a new life for Jesus is all about. We believe that the next section of the Web site will help you find out.
We pray your heart is receptive and that the Holy Spirit gives you supernatural understanding of everything you read in this section. We pray you are blessed and you continue to be touched by the Lord as you learn and grow in His presence. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen! Let’s get growing.
Church, why should I go to church? Why is church important? Can’t I just stay home and read my Bible and listen to praise and worship music and God-inspired teachings?
Once you’ve accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, in addition to reading the Bible and learning word setting aside time at the start of each week to spend with God at in church is another great way to grow in your relationship with Him. It is a great place to hear and be taught the Word of God and to develop your personal relationship with the Lord by getting in His presence. It is also a good place to meet other born-again believers and develop friendships with other godly people.
Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.” Some people are deceived into thinking that they don’t need to go to church. For some, going to church is more of a chore and a hassle than a choice. Don’t view going to church as something you have to do, view it another awesome way to spend time with the Lord and being fed the Word of God for your Spirit and encouraging and be encouraged by others.
If you are looking for a new church to go to but don’t know where to get started, pray. Ask the Lord to show you where He would have you go. Ask friends and coworkers if they have any recommendations. Make a plan to visit some churches, attend services, meet some of the people in the church, and see if the services are something you enjoy and help you grow in the Lord. You will know when you find the right church for you.
Many believers say they want to serve God and obey his word, but how many are reading the Bible in order to learn how?The Bible is not just one big book, but actually a collection of 66 smaller books written over a period of at least 1600 years by about 40 different authors. Everything they wrote was inspired by God.The Bible was written by men who were guided by the Holy Spirit. God allowed the personality of the writer to show through. He did not dictate the words to the author. But everything these men wrote was inspired by God.
How Important Is the Bible to God?
Matthew 24:35, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away."
Isaiah 40:8, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
Psalm 119:89, "Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven."
What Dose the Bible Claim About Itself?
2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
2 Peter 1:21, "for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
2 Peter 3:15-16, "and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-- as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures."
We are Encouraged to Study the Scripture
John 5:39 , "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
Acts 17:10-11, "Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."
Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Six steps to learning from the Bible — PROFIT
1. Pray before reading the Bible
2. Read regularly
3. Observe those things God’s word tells you to do
4. Find those things God’s word tells you are wrong
5. Incorporate the teachings to your life
6. Take action to make changes
How the Bible Can Help Us
Reading and studying the Bible can be profitable to us. It will help us in many areas of our life. Here are four ways that you can benefit from regular reading of God’s word.
1. It will help you become a better Christian
God wrote us an instruction book. It only makes sense that we should spend some time reading it. God created us to live a spiritual life. But in order to do that, we have to learn from his word how he wants us to live our life. The instructions in the Bible will help us to become a better Christian.
We will learn about sin and what things to avoid which will pull our spirit down. We will learn what kind of mental outlook to have. We will be taught patience instead of anger. We will learn about thinking of good things instead of dwelling on the negative. We will learn love and compassion instead of harsh intolerance. We will learn humility instead of arrogance.
We will discover instructions on how to treat our spouse, how to raise our children, how to treat our family, how to act on the job, how to help others, and how to comfort those who are hurting.
We may be surprised to find that God sets high standards for us. And then we find that he provided us a way to be holy and righteous through the price that Jesus paid for us even though we are weak and sinful. We learn how he is there to give us strength in our weakness, give us faith when we doubt, and give us peace when we are in turmoil.
As we read and study the Bible, we discover that God is making us a new creation as he helps us reach our full human potential. The Bible is our Instruction Book.
2. It will teach you about God
A lot of people have different opinions about God. But if you want to learn what God is really like, you will find out in the pages of the Bible. We learn about the Lord’s mercy and love to us from the Psalms, and we learn about God’s judgement and righteousness from the Prophets. We find out about God’s long-suffering and patience with us from the Gospels, and we learn about his anger against sin from the Books of Moses. We read about God reaching out to save the Gentiles in the Book of Acts, and we read about God judging the Gentile nations in the Book of Revelation.
As we read the Bible, we discover someone who will not fit into a convenient human category — but rather, a complex Deity who does things beyond our human understanding. The more we learn about God, the more we realize how weak and inferior we truly are compared to his eternal majesty.
As we learn from scripture, we see one who keeps all the worlds spinning and yet still has time for our smallest problems. As we study the word, we learn of the one who is moving nations and yet still has time for our family. As we read the Bible, we find out about the one who has the vast physical realm of the entire universe under his control, and yet he still has time for our physical problems. As we study scripture, we meet the one whose intellect is so far superior to us that we can barely understand how all his creation functions, and yet he still has time for us when we are suffering mental anguish.
Reading the Bible will teach us who God is, and it will teach us also who we are in relation to him
3. It will give you direction
How can a book with parts of it that were written from 2000 to 4000 years ago help us with all our complex, modern problems? If you will read the Book of Proverbs, you will discover that man has not changed that much in the past 3000 years. The Bible is just as relevant to us today as it was when it was written. Even though we have attained some intellectual advancements over the past few thousand years, the sad fact is emotionally and spiritually we are just as prone to weakness as the nation of Israel was so many millennia ago.
As we study God’s word, we find direction for our life. Many times the Lord will use his holy word to reveal to us something about our life. It has often happened to me that when I was going through some trial of my faith, I would come upon some portion of the Bible that seemed like it was especially written for me in the very situation that I was in. Those words written so many thousands of years ago would lift up my spirit and give me instructions as to how to get through the difficult time
One of the reasons I think that reading the Bible helps to give direction to our life is the change in our thinking that occurs. As we read God’s word, our priorities change — our focus on what is truly important shifts. As our priorities are replaced by God’s priorities, we discover new directions that the Lord wants to take us
God’s word is not a hard-to-understand theological treatise. It is a practical, down-to-earth narrative addressing everyday problems of everyday people. There are mighty men of God in the Bible, but we also read about all their weaknesses and failures. How much more does the cry of remorse of Psalm 51 mean to us when we realize what great sins caused David to write this song of repentance!
The more we learn about God and what he wants for us, the easier it becomes to discern God’s direction in our life. This understanding only comes from time spent in his word. It doesn’t happen overnight. I have found over the years that the more I learn from scripture, the easier it is to discover God’s direction for me in all areas of my life. I know that you will discover the same thing too.
4. It will comfort you in times of trouble
How many of us have gone through a dark time in our life, and then we found Psalm 23:4, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me." As we looked at those words, we sensed God’s presence in the midst of our despair. The Bible can be a great comfort to us. As Peter acknowledged in John 6:68, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
Over the years, as I faced sickness in my body, turmoil in my life, or confusion over the future, I have always found comfort from the Bible. God’s word has a soothing effect on our spirit. He has promised us peace, he has promised us joy, he has promised us an abundant life. We receive those things by spending time in prayer and meditation with God. But we learn about those things by spending time in his word.
There have been many times when I was facing a difficulty when God led me to words of comfort in the Bible. I could sense his Spirit ministering to me. He was telling me, See David, I understand what you are going through and I am here to see you through. If you are faithful in your Bible reading, you too will discover that comfort that we can only get as we read from his word.
Basing Our Opinions of the Bible
Many people have opinions about God, but when they read the Bible, they discover they had grave misconceptions of who God is and how he does things. For example, you hear many people say, "A loving God would never send anyone to hell." Or you will hear the opposite: "I have done too many awful things in my life for God to ever love me."
The first group hasn’t read Matthew 25:41, "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, `Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels,’ " and 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8, "and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The second group hasn’t read Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool," or 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
So after reading the Bible, it’s clear that God shows a balance between the two extreme positions mentioned. He is neither a harsh judge with no mercy, nor is he a merciful God with no justice. We need to base our opinions about God on what the Bible says instead of assuming that God is going to change his nature to match our own definition of who he is. This is why it’s so important to read and learn from the Bible. The reason why so many false teachings have become so popular is because so few believers really know what the Bible says.
An Overview of the Bible
In the front of your Bible is a Table of Contents which lists the names of all the books in the Bible. The Bible is divided into two sections: the first section which contains three-fourths of the Bible is called the Old Testament, the second section is called the New Testament.
Divisions of the Bible
Old Testament — 4 P’s
- Precepts (the Law) or Pentateuch
- Past Events (History) or Patriarchs
New Testament — 4 L’s
- Lord (Gospels of Jesus)
- Labors (History of Early Church)
- Last Things
The New Testament reveals to us Jesus and the plan of salvation. It begins with the book of Matthew and ends with the book of Revelation. It is divided into four general areas:
1st L — Lord
The first four books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell us the story of Jesus when he was on this earth.
2nd L — Labors
The book of Acts tells us the history of the early church after Jesus' death and resurrection.
3rd L — Letters
The letters (from Romans to Jude) are correspondence from early Christian leaders to other churches or individuals.
4th L — Last Things
The book of Revelation tells us the future story of the end time when Jesus will come back to this world and reign on earth.
A new believer should always start reading the Bible in the first four books of the New Testament, called the gospels. The book of John is especially easy to understand. Some short letters in the New Testament (also called epistles) which are helpful to new believers are the books of Philippians, James, and 1 John.
The Old Testament reveals to us how God dealt with the nation of Israel. It looks forward to the coming Savior of the world, Jesus. It begins with the book of Genesis and ends with Malachi. It is also divided into four general areas:
1st P — Precepts
The first five books (Genesis to Deuteronomy) tell us the beginning of man and the establishment of the nation of Israel with the promise of the Savior of the world coming from this chosen people. It not only contains the early history of Israel, but also the Law of God as revealed through Moses. For example, Exodus chapter 20 records the Ten Commandments.
2nd P — Past Events
The next twelve books (Joshua to Esther) are the historical books of the nation of Israel after it became a kingdom in Canaan. Two short books in this section which reveal God's hand on the life of believers, which new Christians may enjoy, are the books of Ruth, and Esther.
3rd P — Poetry
The next five books (Job to Song of Solomon) are the books of poetry and wisdom in the Bible. Especially helpful to new believers are the book of Psalms, which was the hymnal or songbook of the nation of Israel; and Proverbs, which contains the sayings and advice of the wisest king Israel had.
4th P — Prophets
The last seventeen books (Isaiah to Malachi) are the books of the prophets of Israel who God sent to warn, admonish, and encourage his people toward the end of the history of Israel as a nation. A short book in this section which is good for new believers is the book of Jonah.
Mechanics of the Bible
Here are some hints that will help you find your way around the Bible. There is a handy abbreviation that Christians use to specify verses in the Bible. They list the name of the book first, followed by the chapter number, and then the verse number. For example: John 3:16 means the book of John, chapter 3, verse 16. You can purchase a bookmark from the local Christian Bookstore which contains the names of the books of the Bible. Place this bookmark at Matthew 1:1 and you will always have a handy reference right at the beginning of the New Testament. If you will open the Bible to about the middle, you will discover you are in the book of Psalms. Matthew and Psalms can be two markers to help you navigate through the Bible. To help you find where you’re going in the Bible, along the top of every page is given the name of the book and the chapter.
Where to Start Reading the Bible, and Where Not to Start
New Believers should always start with the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. John is the easiest for new Christians to follow. After reading the gospels, you may want to look at Acts which contains the history of the early church and the Letters (also called Epistles). In the Old Testament the books of Psalms and Proverbs are good reading for new believers. A new Christian should never start in Genesis (the first book of the Bible), Revelation (the last book of the Bible), or most of the prophetic books (Isaiah to Malachi). Read these books after you have a basic understanding of the teachings of the Bible. You need to have a framework of spiritual understanding to help you figure out what the other books are saying.
Praise and Worship
Praise and Worship Music, Praising the Lord, Getting in God’s Presence; these are several ways we can spend time with the Lord in praise and worship.
Praise means to “applaud, honor, glorify, admire.” There are many different ways we can praise other people, such as saying nice things about them, telling them how much they mean to us, etc. But when it comes to praising the Lord, it’s almost as if the word praise takes on a whole new meaning. It’s like trying to find the right words to say to thank you someone who has literally saved your life, because that is what God has done for each and every one of us — He has given us new life in Him. How can we adequately thank Him for everything He has done for us? What can we do or say to the one we love most to show our appreciation for everything He has done? If we look to His Word (as we should on all occasions), it tells us the various ways we can honor God for all the things He has done for us.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord
Psalm 33:3 (NIV): Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV): Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Psalm 98:4 (NIV): Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music.
Psalm 150:1-5 (NIV): Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
Sing praises to the Lord
Psalm 146:2 (NIV): I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Hebrews 13:15 (AMP): …Let us
constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise….
Psalm 47:1 (NLT): …Shout to God with joyful praise!
Philippians 4:4 (KJV): Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Lift up your hands
Psalm 134:2 (NIV): Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD.
Be still and know He is God
Psalm 46:10 (NIV): Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
These are just some of the really great scriptures for praise and worship in the Bible.
Listening to anointed praise and worship music is a really great way to spend time in the presence of the Lord. While there are to the God-inspired teachers of the Word, God has also raised up some tremendous “ministers of music” in the body of Christ. If you have never listened to praise and worship music before, then you are in for a very pleasant and enjoyable experience. If you already listen, then you know what a blessing anointed praise and worship can be.
Spending time with the Lord while listening to praise and worship music is an awesome way to grow in your relationship with Him. When you do so, block out all other distractions around you. Just like when you spend time with the Lord in the Word, this is time for just you and Him, with no interruptions, no phones, iPods, Blackberries, computers or anyone else. It’s time you set aside for just you, the music and the Lord to get into His presence. Sing along if you want it will enhance your time with Lord. It doesn’t matter if your singing voice is award-winning. Never be afraid or embarrassed to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” regardless of what anyone else might say or think. God will love it, and that is all that matters.
We believe in the Holy Spirit. We believe that He is a genius and if we invite Him, He lives inside us. We believe that He is a gentleman and will not impose His will upon us, but He is always with us whenever we need Him and call upon Him. We believe we should always yield to the Holy Spirit when prompted (in obedience and submission to God).
Consider the following scriptures.
Matthew 12:32 (NIV)
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Luke 12:12 (NIV)
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.
Luke 24:49 (NLT)
And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].
John 14:16-17 (NLT)
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
Acts 1:8 (NLT)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you….
We believe baptism symbolizes becoming one with Jesus in His death on the cross, being cleansed of our sin, and being raised with Him to have new life. ( Romans 6:3-11) We also believe in baptism by immersion in water because Jesus was baptized this way and He was with everything else in our lives He is our example. Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:13-17 NIV).
In addition to being our example, Jesus also tells us to do so in Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV): Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…. And in Acts 2:38 (NIV), Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins….”
If you have recently accepted Jesus in your heart as your Lord and Savior, and you have not been baptized, please prayerfully consider doing so. If you were baptized as a baby, consider making this choice for yourself to be baptized before the Lord (Romans 6 NLT). You do not have to be baptized to go to heaven. But just like the other information we’ve provided in this section, getting baptized can certainly help you to grow in your relationship with Jesus.
Find out baptism services by contacting your local church. What are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away… (Acts 22:16 NIV).
Rooted in Christ
This final section is about staying rooted and grounded in God. Staying on course and staying focused. Not deviating or drifting away, but staying strong and developing and continuing to grow in the Lord.
If you’ve made the journey from the very beginning of this section and read through all the information provided, you have come a long way! Congratulations! You have surely grown in your relationship with the Lord. Exactly how much you’ve grown and will continue to mature in the Lord will be up to you. It will be different for every person because each one of us is different, and so too will our relationship be with the Lord. But one thing we all have in common is if we keep loving the Lord and spending time with Him, we will always continue to grow. …Stay with and in the faith [in Christ], well-grounded and settled and steadfast, not shifting or moving away from the hope… Colossians 1:23 (AMP).
Remember, this is not a one day transformation, but a complete change in who you are and how you live your life. This is a long term relationship that will continue to grow and develop over time. But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do] 1 John 2:27 (AMP). Reaffirm your commitment to the Lord every day. Continue to spend time in the Word daily, going to church weekly, and listening to praise and worship music and God-inspired teachings. Stay close to the Lord, like you would your best friend. Keep Him, and His Word, close to you always.
Consider the following scriptures:
And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ (Philemon 1:6 NLT).
May Christ through
your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in
your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love Ephesians 3:17 (AMP).
So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls James 1:21 (AMP).
Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset--rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world 1 Peter 5:9 (AMP).