SALVATION | YOUR NEXT STEPS

We believe that God longs to be in a relationship with everyone He has created – but that sin separates us from that relationship. It’s impossible to make up for our sins through self-improvement or good behavior, but God extended His grace to us through Jesus to restore what has been broken by our sin. Only by accepting this gift and placing our trust in Jesus can we be saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 10:9,10; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6).

After accepting the the gift of salvation, many people may wonder "What's Next?".  Below we have provided a bible study packed with resources to help you navigate your next steps.



NEXT STEPS | Part One- New Creations

Making a decision to follow Christ involves stepping into a new life, a brand new way of living and being. Whether what you see around you has changed or not, you have been changed. So what happens when you are saved?

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Coming to Christ, recognizing Him as savior, and realizing that He is the way back to life in God and with God is called salvation. In salvation, we are immediately and instantly made right with God. Our sin has been absorbed and paid for by Jesus, and we are given a righteousness we did not earn. This first change is known as justification.

A new creature can still have old patterns, habits, and voices that seem to linger. Although we are instantly freed from the penalty of sin, we still wrestle with its consequences. The ongoing change that continues throughout our lives is known as sanctification. This process is seeing the beautiful work of Jesus in us, and as we grow in knowing Jesus, and loving Jesus, He so faithfully gives us the desire and the power to become more like Himself.

We will walk out this sanctification process as long as we are living and breathing on this earth. This is not meant to discourage, but is the reality of life this side of heaven. We hold tightly to the truth and understanding that one day we will be fully united with Him, and our lifelong journey of coming to Him (justification), and becoming like Him (sanctification), will have a breathtaking finale of glorification. In this triumphant act, everything broken in this world and in us will be made restored and made right in His presence!

Take some time and space in prayer and the scriptures below for a deeper understanding of your new life in Christ.

Bible reading:

  • Matthew 19:25-26
  • John 1:12, 3:16-21, 14:6
  • Romans 3:23, 5:1, 5:18-19, 6:23, 7:18-25, 10:9-13
  • Colossians 3:1-10

Respond to the following prompts by writing them in a journal, talking with someone else, or send them to us:

  1. Write a brief description of the decision you have made. Include where you were, who you were with, and who had the greatest influence on you for this decision
  2. Now, let’s take a look back at the old you. Describe who you were and what life looked like before coming to Christ.
  3. Talk about any changes you have seen yourself since making the decision to come to Christ. You may also include anything others have noticed as well.
  4. Describe the decision you believe you made when you accepted Christ.
  5. Please List any questions you have about God or anything related to your faith.

Resources:

A New Affection | Part 1

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NEXT STEPS | Part Two- A Life of Faith

What should I do to grow in my new faith?

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ

When you accept Christ, your old life has passed away, your new life has begun, and you now have a restored purpose and plan for your life. You are not alone in living this new life. You have the presence and power of Jesus with you. In His goodness, He has given us a place to nurture and grow in our faith. Whether you decide to call Praise Church home, or want help finding another local church to attend, being a part of God’s family through a church is how He has designed us to thrive.

Take some time and space in prayer and the scriptures below for a deeper understanding of your faith.

Bible reading:

  • 2 Corinthians 4 & 5

Respond to the following prompts by writing them in a journal, talking with someone else, or send them to us:

  1. Look up the word “Holy” and write out your best definition for it.
  2. What does that word have to do with you in your daily life?
  3. What are some life changes you are feeling led to make since making the decision to follow Christ?
  4. How would being part of a church help support your relationship with Jesus?

Resources:

A New Affection | Part 2

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NEXT STEPS | Part Three- Learning to Pray

How do I communicate with God?

Prayer can seem complicated or religious to many of us. In any healthy relationship, communication is necessary for it to be healthy and thriving. Prayer is simply conversation with Jesus. You can ask Him questions, tell Him your needs, tell Him who He is to you, and pray for others in your life. Jesus would routinely pray to His father in heaven, and take times of solitude away from others to focus on prayer.

God communicates to us through:

            His People- the Church

            Prayer- a two way conversation with God

            His Holy Word- the Bible

            His Spirit- the presence of God with us

The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:12

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you

And in Ephesians 6:18

Pray in the spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and request. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all God’s people


A.C.T.S. - A Beginners Guide to Prayer

One very simple way to pray is using the acronym A.C.T.S. as a guide to help walk through different types of prayer

A – ADORATION

It is important to remember that God is Holy, other, set apart and beyond us. When we adore God, we are magnifying and giving attention to Him. We cannot make Him any bigger than He already is, but we can certainly make our view and our acknowledgement of Him larger in our own hearts and minds. Spend time being aware of His greatness, His love, and His power.

C – CONFESSION

Take time to acknowledge your sin before God.

The Bible says in 1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us in our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

As you confess your sin, remember, we have been justified, and made right with God through the sacrifice and love of Jesus, and given His righteousness before God.

T – THANKSGIVING

Shift your perspective and attention to His goodness in your life. You don’t have to look far to see the good gifts of His love and provision. And where there is a gift, there is a giver. He is the source of any beautiful thing in our lives. As we grow to recognize Him as our provider, we grow in our trust of who He is.

Psalm 100:4 says

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

And 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 it says

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

S – SUPPLICATION

Supplication is asking for something of great importance to you. This is simply letting the Lord know your needs and desires. We can be honest in asking God for what we need, and we can rest in knowing that He is our source.

1 John 5:14-15 says

And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.


The Lord’s Prayer

The most famous prayer in scripture is found in Matthew 6:9-13 known as the Lord’s Prayer. These are words spoken to us by Jesus and they are such a gift to us for how to pray and talk to God. Use this prayer as template and structure for your conversation with God.

Matthew 6:9-13

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Take some time and space in prayer and the scripture below for a deeper understanding of your faith.

Bible reading:

  • Matthew 6:9-13

Respond to the following prompts by writing them in a journal, talking with someone else, or send them to us:

  1. Give your basic understanding of what prayer is.
  2. What does prayer have to do with you in your daily life?
  3. How will you begin to incorporate prayer into your daily life?

Resources: 

Trellis | Part 2

 

Trellis | Part 3

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NEXT STEPS | Part Four- God’s Word

The Bible. Where do you begin? Why is it so important? What does a book written thousands of years ago have to do with my life today? These are all questions many have asked. When we come to Jesus as savior, we also accept Him as the ultimate source of wisdom, truth, and guidance for our lives. The Bible is often called scripture or the Word of God, meaning it contains God’s ideas of what is true. When we interact with scripture, it is helping to form us and give us insight into the reality of how God has created the world, and created us to live within it.

Whether we are reading a newspaper, watching a show on TV, or listening to a podcast, our thoughts and ideas about life are being shaped. We are continually formed by what we give our attention to. These sources can give us narratives and beliefs about every aspect of life, and scripture is a gift to us that not only informs us about God, but renews our minds by centering them around the ways and weave of how He has designed us.

Remember, God communicates to us through:

            His People- the Church

            Prayer- a two way conversation with God

            His Holy Word- the Bible

            His Spirit- the presence of God with us

Here are some ways you can begin to grow in your understanding and interaction with the Bible:

Obtain a Bible- look for a version or translation that best helps you understand God’s word. There are even free digital Bible apps (one we recommend is YouVersion)

Set aside a time and place- spending time reading God’s Word is nourishment. Just as the food we eat needs to be taken in regularly, scripture is something that daily refuels our souls and helps give us what we need to thrive. Having a plan of when you are going to be intentional about reading your Bible helps prepare your heart, and your schedule, for making this a priority.

Where to start- many people begin by reading a Psalm or a Proverb each day. There is much practical wisdom, encouragement, and honest lament or grief about life shown through these books. Another great place to begin is by choosing one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and going through it chapter by chapter. You can also easily find a Bible reading plan that is topical, or goes through books of the Bible in the YouVersion app or by doing a search online.

Memorize- committing scriptures or passages to heart is a beautiful gift that brings much life, peace, and transformation from the inside out. When you get the Word of God inside of you, it is incredible to watch how it flows out and is available to help reset your perspective and focus when you need it.

Read, Study & Meditate-

  • Read- as straightforward as it sounds, read the passage or verses you have for that day
  • Study- focused and intentional observation, interpretation, and application of the scripture
    • Observation- asking questions to help understand the Who, What, When, Where and Why of what you are reading.
    • Interpretation- scripture interprets scripture, what was the authors meaning and what is the context of scripture?
    • Application- this is how we are interacting with the Word of God in the reality of our own lives. How does the truth we observed change us or call us to respond in this day?
  • Meditate- scripture is a healing balm in suffering, it is oxygen for those who come to know Jesus as the unchanging source and reality of our very lives. Meditating on scripture is the act of holding it near in our attention, going over a certain word, scripture or passage repeatedly until we absorb its realities. We will give our attention and focus to something in our days, many times our own internal noise. Meditating on the Word of God is letting it hold space in our hearts and our minds as it works out truth within us and through us.

Take some time and space in prayer and the scripture below for a deeper understanding of the Bible.

Bible reading:

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • Psalms 119:105
  • Joshua 1:8
  • Matthew 4:4
  • Romans 15:4
  • Hebrews 4:12

 

Resources:

Trellis | Part 4

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NEXT STEPS | Part Five- Not Alone

When we come to Christ, he does not leave us alone to figure out how to live this life alongside Him. He joins us with His presence. This presence is personal, and is given to us to dwell with us and in us through the Holy Spirit. This means that the spirit of Christ is in us, and speaks to our spirit with His comfort, peace, guidance and presence through every circumstance of life.

Acts 2:1-5 says

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And John 16:20 says

I (Jesus) an in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

The Holy Spirit is a person, and although we do not physically see Him, He is a constant companion and with us wherever we go. In Scripture He is described as teacher, counselor, comforter, close friend, and protector. God is with you, and His Spirit lives within you, you are never alone.

Remember, God communicates to us through:

            His People- the Church

            Prayer- a two way conversation with God

            His Holy Word- the Bible

            His Spirit- the presence of God with us

We get to move through this world with the reality that He is with us, He is in the room we are in right now, and when we talk, He is there to listen. How would you live this day differently if you functioned as if that were really true, that God is with you right now?

Take some time and space in prayer and the scripture below for a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit.

Bible reading:

  • Luke 24:45-47
  • John 2:19-27

Respond to the following prompts by writing them in a journal, talking with someone else, or send them to us:

  1. Give your basic understanding of who the Holy Spirit is.
  2. What does this mean to you?
  3. How would it look to live with the Holy Spirit as a reality in your daily life?
  4. How can you begin to interact with the Holy Spirit each day?
  5. Write out any questions you still have as they come up

Resources:

Another in the Fire | Part 1

 

Another in the Fire | Part 2

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Congratulations!

This study was created to be a resource as you grow in knowing and understanding who Jesus is. Every single practice, teaching, and part of the Christian faith has its goal and end being closer to Jesus, becoming more like Jesus, and living out from that overflow in this world.

As you continue to grow in Him, certain things will help support that relationship. We encourage you to become a part of a local church, join a Small Group, and find a way to use your unique gifts and talents to serve within the church and your local community.

If you have any questions about this study or your relationship with Christ, please email us at info@praisechurch.tv and our team will contact you.