“Welcome to the Family of God!” That was the welcome I received thirty-seven years ago when I became a new believer in Christ. I didn’t know what to expect when I gave my life to the One who would ultimately give me a new way to live, serve, and give back to Him. At the time, I had nothing to offer but myself. For God, that was enough, and I experienced God’s love and forgiveness. The big question for me was, “Now What?” I had no clue! I thank God that I was already a part of a nurturing faith community where I began to launch a life-long process of becoming more like Jesus and finding my unique role in the mission given to all believers.
How does one become transformed into the likeness of Christ? And what does the anatomy of a new believer look like? 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, all things have become new.” What are you doing with your new life, and more importantly, how are you doing it? You may be excited, confused, or overwhelmed because you need guidance as a new believer.
That’s why it’s good to read your bible daily to learn and hear from God. Joining a good bible-based church where the truth of God’s word is preached is the perfect place to start building a firm spiritual foundation. Spiritual guidance from grounded believers can also support you on your faith journey. And even when you fail (and you will!), we have a loving God who is right here with us, encouraging and standing with us with open arms, willing and able to show us the way. The choice has always been ours to deepen our relationship with the Father. This relationship is carried out in body and soul.
The human form, while physical, holds many symbolic meanings – especially for the believer. Our eyes look with compassion, our hands bless and heal, and our feet walk to do good. Want to have the mind, heart, voice, hands, and feet of Jesus?
The Mind of a New Believer
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:12).) It’s no longer business as usual. How we see ourselves and others is no longer the same. We must align our thinking to experience God’s perfect peace, divine health, prosperity, security, and will for our lives.
The Heart of a New Believer
What does it mean to receive a new heart? The heart is the location of the human soul, encompassing our mind, will, and emotions. You behave differently and experience a greater capacity for love, obedience, forgiveness, and redemption – mirroring God’s heart. Still, we won’t be perfect because we still have the freedom to choose. Having a heart for God means we are connected. What breaks the heart of God will also break yours. Your compassion for others will overflow, and your need to serve others will intensify as you embody God’s heart as a servant for the Lord. Having a servant’s heart means.
· You put the needs of others above your own.
· Servants let the preferences of others take priority.
· You love and accept people as they are, giving them the grace to grow in God’s time.
The Voice of a New Believer
“No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it, we bless our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so”. (James 3:7–10). God does not condemn, accuse, criticize or gossip. And suppose we allow the Holy Spirit to work within. In that case, our capacity to communicate with the same love, humility, and compassion will grow. This may be a struggle – especially if you speak before you think. Your verbal and nonverbal communication (facial expressions, gestures, body language, eye contact, and proximity) should demonstrate patience and self-control when communicating humbly. You put your own agenda aside and listen to understand. What we say matters—but how we say it makes all the difference in another person’s life.
The Hands of a New Believer
Hands are a metaphor for service. You may have just now thought about helping others. All believers are called to serve the Lord. (1 Timothy 3:13). Jesus uses our hands to heal others. And He laid hands on the people out of love and compassion, according to the will of the Father. We are his hands that give, hold, lift, and are extended to others. When Christ returns and brings our rewards with Him, He will say to those who have faithfully been His hands, “I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me; I was naked, and you clothed me Matthew 25:40).” In doing for the least of these, you are also doing it for Jesus.
The Feet of a New Believer
Feet serve an even greater purpose. As a new believer, you must be willing to go where God sends you. It takes work to pull up stakes and go somewhere that seems foreign to you. When you were unsaved, you went anywhere you pleased and did whatever you wanted to do. But as a new believer, God goes with you. Not saying that the Lord wasn’t with you when you frequented those places that were less than Christ-like, yet the Spirit of the Lord was there. The only difference now is there is a real purpose with you going. With the feet of Jesus, we can go where Jesus’ feet went—taking the gospel to the lost. “I was sick, and you visited me, I was in prison, and you came to me (Matt 25:35-36).” “God is near the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).” And we need to be near them too.
If you say today, “I’m a New Christian, Now What?” Here are some next steps:
· Find a Church Home.
· Read the Bible.
· Be Gentle with Yourself and Pray. While your sins are forgiven, and you are now on a new path walking with God, it won’t be easy. Be patient as you grow in your faith and learn more about God and yourself.
· Create healthy boundaries. Find a Friend or Small Group Strong in Their Faith and Teaching.
By Charlene A. Berry