Steps for Growing in Your Faith in Christ

Study God's Word Every Day.
Studying God's Word shows Christians how to be obedient to God as you read it, remember it, and relate it to life.
Take Time to Pray Daily.
Spending time in prayer will provide for your needs, produce a change in your perspective, and preserve and protect you through every situation.
Experience the Joy of Worship.
We experience the joy of worship when we prepare our hearts to encounter God, praise God for who He is, and present ourselves for His service.
Participate with Other Christians.
Fellowship with other Christians is important because it provides believers encouragement, exhortation, and empowerment to live the Christian life.
Share Your Faith with Others.
When we share our faith with others, God's love is spread, lives are changed, and the lost saved.

Step 1 - Study God's Word Every Day

Remember the three "Rs"? In school they stand for "readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmetic." In the Christian life, there are also three "Rs": reading, remembering, and relating. First, reading God's Word daily shows us how to be obedient to God. From the beginning God's people have been instructed to read His Word: "Meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it" (Joshua 1:8). Study it with other believers (Colossians 3:16).
Second, remembering God's Word keeps us from sin. Perhaps you've heard sin defined as "missing the mark." God's Word tells us what that mark is. So, memorize God's Word, then you'll be able to recall it when you face a spiritual test or temptation. David, the Jewish shepherd king, knew that truth: "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11).
Finally, relating God's Word to life helps us to understand the importance of seeking God's guidance in everything we do. We are to "be doers of the word, and not hearers only" (James 1:22). That means that we are to apply God's Word to every aspect of life. Nothing is exempt. Everything is included! When we live according to God's Word, Christ is honored and people are helped.
Why should you practice these three "Rs"? Because "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (II Timothy 3:16-17). Read. Remember. Relate!

A Word from God

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.--Psalm 119:105
Read a chapter of the Bible each day. A good place to begin is the Gospel of John.

How to Study Your Bible

  • Set aside a time and place best Bible study. Find a time that you're fresh and unhurried. Choose a place that is quiet and away from distractions.
  • Take notes on what you read. Write down your thoughts and questions. Keep a notebook.
  • Underline key verses. Make notes in the margins. Mark favorite passages with tabs.
  • Discuss what you read with other believers. Share your thoughts. Weigh their insights and ideas. Participate in a Bible Fellowship class.
  • Yield yourself to God's leading as He shows you His will for your life. Yearn to discover His truth and to apply it to your life.

Digging Deeper

The following verses will encourage you in your Bible study: Hebrews 4:12; Proverbs 30:5; Jeremiah 23:29; Luke 8:15; I Peter 1:24-25; Psalm 199:15.

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Step 2 - Take Time to Pray Daily

Have you ever tried to have a relationship with someone without communicating? It could never be a very strong relationship, could it? Good communication is vital to a healthy relationship. In much the same way, prayer is essential to your relationship with the Lord Jesus. How? First prayer provides for your needs. Through prayer, we claim the promises of God: "In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God" (Philippians 4:6). According to His will, God answers our requests (Mark 11:24).
Second, prayer produces change in our perspective. Prayer helps us see things from God's point of view. It prepares us to accept God's will. We are to pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Paul learned that whatever answer God gives, His grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9).
Third, prayer preserves and protects our faith. Jesus knew the peril His disciples were in as He faced the Cross. He urged them, even as He does us, to "Pray that you may not enter into temptation" (Luke 22:40). Nothing gives Satan greater pleasure than to cause a believer to stumble. Prayer keeps our focus on the promises and provisions of Christ and off the tempting and testing of Satan.
Yes, prayer is vital to your relationship with Christ because prayer opens you to Him. It opens your mind to God's Word. It opens your heart to experience true worship. It opens your life to participation with other Christians . And, it opens your mouth to share your witness. So, "Pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5: 17).

A Word from God

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with Thanksgiving.--Colossians 4:2
Read the Lord's Prayer. (You'll find it in Matthew 6:9-13.) It provides a model for how Jesus taught His disciples to pray.

How to Pray

  • Praise God for His greatness and grace. Express your adoration for your Heavenly Father.
  • Remember your sins, those bad things you did and those good things you didn't do.
  • Acknowledge your blessings. It is good to give thanks. "Forget not all his benefits" (Psalm 103:2).
  • Yearn for God's will and provision in your life. Ask God to provide for your needs and those of others.
  • Enjoy God's presence. After you finish praying, bask in the reality that you have just talked to God!
  • Record your petitions and God's answers. Keep a prayer journal to remind you of God's faithfulness.

Digging Deeper

The following verses will encourage you in your praying: II Chronicles 7:14; Matthew 6:6; Romans 8:26; James 5:16; Mark 11:25; Philippians 4:6.

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Step 3 - Experience the Joy of Worship

Do you know anyone who worships idols? Even in our modern, sophisticated society, people choose to worship idols. Now, granted, those things may be fame or fortune, power or popularity, or even good things like family and friends. All the same, God alone is worthy of our worship (Exodus 20:3-4). Even for the Christian, there is always the temptation to engage in idol worship which can never satisfy. But, oh my friend, what joy for those who worship the living Lord God!
So, how do you experience joy? First, we experience the joy of worship when we prepare our hearts to encounter God. If you were going to meet someone famous, think of the great lengths to which you would go to be ready. How much more, then, should we prepare ourselves to meet the Creator of the Universe! King David wanted to be ready: "Give unto the Lord the glory due his name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:2) Will you prepare yourself to worship the King of Kings?
Second, we experience the joy of worship when we praise God for Who He is. If God had done nothing for us, He would still deserve our praise. Make this your desire for worship: "I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore" (Psalm 86:12). God inhabits our praise.
Third, we experience the joy of worship when we present ourselves for His service. You see, when we truly worship God, we respond to His call. (Read Isaiah 6:1-8). That is what Paul meant when he wrote, "Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).
A Word from God
Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name.--Psalm 103:1
Read a Psalm each day as part of your personal worship and Bible study time.

How to Get the Most from Worship

  • Participate in a Christ-honoring, Bible-believing church, such as Englewood Baptist, where you can worship regularly with other believers. If you live outside the Rocky Mount area, click here for more information on finding a Christ-honoring, Bible-believing church near you.
  • Read a passage from God's Word,such as one of the Psalms, to help you focus your mind on worship.
  • Anticipate a blessing from God. He has promised to be where even two or three are gathered in His name (Matthew 18:20).
  • Involve yourself in worship. It is not an event for spectators. It is for participation with God and His people.
  • Sing! That's right, sing. It doesn't matter if you have a great voice. "Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises" (Psalm 98:4).
  • Express any decisions you make. Come forward as you feel led. Write down your decisions in your Bible.

Digging Deeper
Learn more about worship. Read: Exodus 15:2; II Samuel 22:47; Psalm 29:2, 119:108; Matthew 18:20; John 4:24; Romans 12:1; Hebrews 10:25, 12:28.

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Step 4 - Participate with Other Christians

Have you ever noticed that the coals of a charcoal fire glow brighter when they're touching each other. They draw warmth from each other. Those coals can teach us an important lesson about Christian fellowship: We glow the brightest when we fellowship with other Christians.
Why is Christian fellowship so important? First, we find encouragement in fellowship with other believers. Christian fellowship provides an atmosphere where we can share our joys and sorrows. That is what God's Holy Word says: "Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2).
Second, we receive enthusiasm from fellowship with other Christians. As we share in the lives of other believers, we are energized to live out our faith. The Bible puts it this way: "Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works" (Hebrews 10:24).
Finally, we receive empowerment from Christian fellowship because we find Christ in the midst of other Christians (Matthew 18:20). The first Christians knew they needed to be empowered by the living Lord Jesus. They found that power together as "they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).
Will you learn the lesson of the charcoal? Make it your priority and prayer to find other believers with whom you can enjoy all the blessings and benefits of Christian fellowship. It will increase your joy and stimulate your growth!
A Word from God
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.--John 13:35
Find a Sunday school class or a Bible Study made up of people who share your age, background, or interests. Get involved and grow together.
How to Participate in Christian Fellowship

  • Find a Bible Fellowship class to become involved in.
  • Respond to the initiative others make to include you in their lives.
  • Introduce yourself to other believers.
  • Encourage others through personal contacts and acts of kindness.
  • Notice others, especially new believers, who need to experience Christian fellowship.
  • Determine ways you can get involved in the lives of others.
  • Spend time praying for other believers by name.

Digging Deeper
The following verses will help you understand Christian fellowship even better: Acts 1:14; Colossians 3:12-16; I Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13, 10:25; I John 1:7.

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Step 5 - Share Your Faith with Others

How did you become a Christian? More than likely, you knew how to become a Christian because another believer cared enough to tell you how to be saved. And how did that person become a Christian? Probably the very same way. You see, God has chosen to include us in His plan to save people. Only we can share the Gospel. When God's people are faithful in this plan, some wonderful things happen.
First, God's love is spread to those who need it. Spreading that love is as simple as sharing John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." If you could quote no other verse, this "Gospel in a nutshell" would be enough. Commit it to memory. It will bless your life and the lives of others!
Second, when we share our faith, lives are changed. The Bible makes that clear: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have past away; behold, all things have become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
Finally, when we share our faith, the lost are saved. Now, we cannot save anyone. That is God's work. We can be faithful, though in telling others of God's promise that "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). Your faithful witness can impact destiny-determining decisions!
If your life has been genuinely changed by the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ, you cannot help but tell that

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
A Word from God
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.--Matthew 28:19
Use the "Things to Remember About Your Faith" guide in the introduction to help share your faith in Christ.

 

Be Ready to Share Your Faith!

  • Show your obedience to Christ by being baptized. This is an outward sign of what has happened in your heart and life because it pictures the death and burial of the old self and the resurrection to eternal life.
  • Have an urgent concern for lost people. Realize that they are lost forever unless they hear and respond to the Gospel message.
  • Adapt your testimony of how you became a Christian to a 2- to 3-minute presentation that you can share anytime and anyplace.
  • Respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will guide you in sharing your faith. He will give you the words you need to say and the confidence to say them.
  • Examine yourself. Make sure that your life matches your words.

Digging Deeper
Read also: Romans 6:4; Psalm 73:28; Matthew 10:32-33, 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:18; I Peter 3:15-16.

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