Summary: So I've come to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. I've come to understand his atoning sacrifice on the cross.
So I've come to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. I've come to understand his atoning sacrifice on the cross. I've come to believe that Jesus resurrected and is alive in heaven right now. I'm beginning to study my Bible and pray twice a day. I'm attending a good church weekly and I've even gotten plugged in with a small group. I'm volunteering for ministries at my church, and serving my community through volunteering at other non-profit organizations. What more do I need to understand about the scriptures? What should my practice be in life? What do I need to understand in the long term about being a Christian? How should I live my life?
I'm glad you asked my friend! But I suppose I asked myself, though hypothetically I'm asking on behalf of someone else who may or may not exist. But that's alright. I'm sure it's a common question. So let's dig into it.
We can get into a habit of so over-emphasizing the conversion experience of coming to know Christ, and preaching the gospel, and trying to get people saved that we forget that there an entire life to be lived after that moment of belief. After that day of my salvation, I had to learn how to live as a Christian. I was saved at age 27, meaning I've got a lot of life left to live! I'm 32 today, and just beginning to understand what it means to live for Christ.
Let's look at ten areas of concern, when considering how we ought to live, after Christ.
1. My Will vs. God's Will - This is a fundamental truth of the new testament, in that coming to know Christ is to turn our whole lives, plans, goals, and desires over to God. We turn our will and life over to God. But what does that mean in practice? Essentially it means that we no longer live according to our will, and what we want, but we begin to live seeking through prayer and scriptural meditation to seek God's will for our lives and then carry out that will.
Romans 12:2 (ESV) says "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (emphasis, me)
So take an example in my life, I wanted to be a novelist and a journalist in the worst way. But when I came to know God, I needed to reconsider my plans. And as I prayed, went to church, listened to sermons on Youtube, read books, read the Bible and such, I realized God's will for me was to go into ministry. Knowing that I could either argue with God and go my own way, or submit to God and do it His way. So I did it His way, even though I was uncertain about how it would all come together. That's faith, striking out when we don't even know how we're going to get there.
2. Sexual Practice - You'd be amazed how many times in the NT letters it talks about sexual immorality. It's obviously a huge concern for us as we struggle in the flesh. God tells us to get married, to not be out carousing with random people, God's word tells us not to engage in orgies or sexual relations with family members, and to abstain from sexual relations with those of our same gender. There are numerous sexual teachings in the New Testament, mainly in the letters. So we're called to be very cautious about our sexual relationships.
God knows us all too well, doesn't He? He knows exactly what areas we struggle in and exactly what our weak points our. This is an issue we like to sneak by with sub-par conduct. Yet it says so clearly in the scriptures: "Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people." - Ephesians 5:3 (NIV) Not even a hint.
3. Wait on the Lord - Learn to be exceedingly patient. I'm not kidding, and I'm not being flippant. Get used to being very patient, and waiting for things long term. We think in terms of days and weeks. God responds in months, years, decades and beyond.
There have been times in my short walk as a believer that I've felt like God had forgotten me, left me behind, or that He wasn't responding. I've noticed that there are times that God is silent, and it isn't because something has gone amiss. God is intentionally silent.
Don't give up, and don't be easily swayed to abandon your walk. Be faithful even when it seems like your alone.