I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS...
SO WHAT'S NEXT?
This page is meant to act as a guide for the individual searching and trying to understand what it means to follow after Jesus. In no way at all are these steps exhaustive in what it means to have a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ. These are simply meant to serve as a basic progression of steps for following Jesus. This of course begins with the Gospel that shares with us the good news of salvation, that allows us to follow Jesus. After salvation there is baptism that publicly professes our faith in Jesus. Once baptized, we join the local church, through which Jesus said we would be given power and authority. As a member of a scriptural church we serve and give of ourselves following the example of our Savior.
What is the Gospel?
In the simplest of terms, the Gospel is the “Good News.” In Romans 1:16, Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” The Gospel is the good news that God offers salvation to the world. Implied in the good news is some bad news. The bad news is that we all need to be saved. Saved from what? Our sin! Every one of us were born in a state of sin due to the original sin by Adam. (Genesis 3) Due to that sin, we are all condemned to be eternally separated from the God Who loves us, in a place called Hell. That is bad news! In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul lays out the Gospel as this, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” The good news is that God loved us enough to die for our sins in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. So, how do we “receive the Gospel?” By faith, believe that Jesus died, was buried and rose again; confess to God that you are sinner and ask Him to forgive your sins and be your Savior. The Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) That is GOOD NEWS!
What is baptism?
Baptism is the first step of obedience for the believer after salvation. It is immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life and the resurrection to walk in newness of life. It is testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is the prerequisite to the privileges of church membership including the Lord’s Supper.
(Matthew 28: 18-20; Acts 2:41-42)
What is church membership?
To understand church membership, you must understand the nature of a church. Throughout history, churches have looked different depending on the era and location. Some churches met in homes, others met under a tree, while others met in large cathedrals. Regardless of the gathering place, the church has always been a local group of believers who have joined their lives together to serve God and carry out the commands of Christ. Unlike joining a country club or a gym, joining a local body (i.e. church membership) is both a privilege and responsibility. When you join a club, you pay your dues and you enjoy the benefits of the club. In other words, “I am a member, now serve me!” Church membership means that, rather than be served, I commit my life to serve the Lord with and through the local church body. Church membership means that I will maintain a close walk with God throughout the week; I will faithfully attend the worship gatherings; I will serve; I will support the church through my tithes and offerings; I will share my faith with others; I will pray; I will love and support the church, her leaders and members. Should the Lord lead you to join your life with ours in serving the Lord at New Home, we would be honored to talk with you about “Joining the Church.”
How do we give?
All that we have been given is a gift from God. As a steward of the portion of God’s wealth entrusted to us, we are obligated to support our local church financially. God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but every Christian should also give other offerings “sacrificially and cheerfully” to the support of the church and causes it deems necessary; ie. Missions, Love Offerings, Etc.
(Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17)
How do we SERVe?
Service is ultimate an act of love. We love because He first loved us. Jesus was our great example of servanthood when he took and washed the feet of the disciples in the upper room. His greatest act of of love was displayed on the cross, where for our sake He willingly laid down His life. True love is sacrificial love. Likewise today we are called as Christians to serve one another and to give of our time and talents sacrificially for the sake of others. God has gifted you with certain talents and abilities, and those should be used in service for Him. Maybe it's teaching a Sunday School class, or singing in the choir, or volunteering for Vacation Bible School, or providing a meal for a family who's lost a loved one. Whatever tools God has given you, use them to serve Him.
(John 3:16; John 13:12-14; John 13:35; Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 1 John 3:16; 1 John 4:19)