“Hey, Aunt Kim!”
“Hey, Dave! How are you?”
“I’m good! I know I don’t call you often, but I was wondering if I could go to church with you next Sunday?”
“Well, I’ve become a Christian and I have a desire to be in church.”
About two days prior to that conversation back in September 1998, I found myself on my knees in my bedroom crying out to the Lord confessing my sins and receiving, by faith in Christ, the pardon for my sins. My conversion is what some would call a “Damascus Road” (see Acts 9) experience. I was confronted by the Lord and drastically changed almost instantly. The knowledge of sin and righteousness seemed to be crystal clear and I was overjoyed at the reality of my salvation. Maybe you didn’t have that experience, but what I began to realize soon after my conversion is something that every Christian experiences. I began to feel a tension between what I knew was right and what I was surrounded by, and the war within me. I knew my life had to change. I no longer had the desire to do the things that I once enjoyed doing and I had new desires and new affections for God and the things of God. I knew there would be a risk of losing my girlfriend and some of my closest friends due to my new found love. I needed someone to talk to. I needed guidance. I needed to know how to live the Christian life and none of my peers were believers. Thankfully, my aunt was there and she helped me as much as she could understand what it meant to live as a Christian.
Over the course of my life as a Christian, it has been a joy to see the faith and excitement of new believers. There is such a brokenness and a raw love for Christ and for others that it puts many seasoned believers to shame. As great as that excitement is, it needs to be tempered with wisdom and discernment. If you are a mature believer, one of the greatest joys you can experience is the joy of discipling a new believer. Aside from the gospel, there are some fundamental truths that need to run deep in the lives of new believers. I’m sure you agree.
This became very clear to me due to a situation close to me. As I began listening to particular conversations and questions more intently, six ideas came to mind as I thought about future conversations with this particular person. These six ideas were:
I am aware there could be many more categories and that there is some overlap between these, but I think these help lay a solid foundation.
In future posts, Lord willing, I will explain in detail what these are from Scripture and why they are important.
Grace & Peace,