DEFINITION. what is your OF A CHRISTIAN? Here s what the Bible says...

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2 what is your DEFINITION OF A CHRISTIAN? Here s what the Bible says... John 1:12-13 So, if all we must do is believe in God, why isn t everyone called a Christian? 1 John 3:10 God calls us to live righteously which simply means to do what is morally right. Seems easy, so why should we make a decision to become a Christian? Romans 3:23 We ve all done the wrong thing. No matter how good we live, we still sin (do the wrong thing) and so we need to believe God, ask Him to come and forgive us, make us right (righteous) and then we are called a Christian. Romans 10:9-13 So now, if you have done this, WHAT does GOD say HE WILL DO? Read 1 John 1:9 Great huh?!

3 you are a Christian + YOU HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, WHICH IS AMAZING! However, there is now a responsibility for you to live right. The Bible talks about how just because God forgives, doesn t mean that we can just keep living how we want, expecting Him to overlook it (Romans 6:12) Often times, however, we can also feel guilty for things that we ve done and can t understand how God can just forgive us, seemingly so easily. Don t be trapped by these thoughts! The Bible says that there is no condemnation (making you feel bad) for those who belong to Jesus (Romans 8:1-2). Ok, so now you re called a FOLLOWER OF JESUS, a CHRISTIAN. The Bible even says a DISCIPLE. What do you think a DISCIPLE IS? It can sound like a full-on way to describe yourself! But put simply, it just means someone who knows Jesus, listens to His teachings (the Bible) and believes in Him and His miracles. Read John8:31-32 and John 12:25-26 What do you think about being a disciple of Jesus? How can you begin to do this in your own life? Becoming a Christian can seem daunting. But God s desire is just that you love Him with all of your heart and want to follow Him. He has great things in store for you (Jeremiah 29:11) and He is excited about you!

4 You ve decided you want to follow Jesus? But is there more to it than that? WELL YES THERE IS! Now begins the growth of your relationship with Him and finding out what it is all about. It s a whole new exciting world! You are now on a journey of spiritual growth however, you must start the engine. It doesn t just happen with time. The Bible mentions how it doesn t matter how long you are a Christian, YOU must make the steps toward maturity and knowing God better (Hebrews 5:11-14) SO WHERE & HOW DO WE START? One of the most important ways to get to know God and grow is through prayer. Prayer is literally just talking with God and you need not feel it is any more spooky than that! What is your view or thinking ON PRAYER?

5 Prayer can sometimes be viewed as just a religious ritual that people must do TO MAKE GOD HAPPY. But here is what THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT IT. Matthew 6:5-7, Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 4:2, Mark 11:22-25 Have you ever heard of The Lord s Prayer? Do you know what it is? If you read Matthew 6:5-7 you would learn that Jesus doesn t want or need us to go on and on, saying big fancy words or long prayers. Keep it simple! He just wants us to talk with Him, tell Him that we love Him, thank Him and tell Him what we need. If you keep reading in Matthew 6:8-15, it will tell you what God thinks is a good model of prayer. Jesus really just wants to be your friend. Just like a friend normally should act, He wants to know what you re going through, how you feel. If you re doing great, He wants to celebrate with you, and He also wants to help you when you re down. Praying is the gateway to this kind of relationship. It s talking, which brings you closer. You can pray (talk) to God anywhere, at any time you like. He wants to hear all your stories from your day and He wants to help you when you feel low. He really is the ultimate friend!

6 READING Your Bible So now you know that you can talk to God anywhere, anytime. But how do you know when He talks back, or that He even talks back at all?! It can sometimes be difficult to hear what God is trying to say however, there is a way that He often uses. It is called the Bible. This is literally God s spoken word written down. Sometimes people think or say that it is old-fashioned but it is just as relevant to us now as it was all those years ago when it was first written. What is your opinion of the Bible? Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Bible teaches us many things. It is a way for us to learn and hear what God is saying to us. It gives us inspiration and answers when we don t know the way (Psalm 119:105) It also tells us what God thinks of us (Psalm 139, especially verses 17-18).

7 How do you think GOD SEES or THINKS OF YOU? God celebrates over you. He created you and loves to see you succeed and wants to be with you when you are down. As we found out about prayer, God wants to hear from us about anything. His word (the Bible) is a powerful tool (re ad Hebrews 4:12). It can be trusted and it gives us hope. It can however, seem daunting to just read the Bible. Where do you start and what is it even talking about?! A great way to really learn about God s Word is to follow this simple format. S.O.A.P. S = Scripture, O = Observation, A = Application, P = Prayer. By following this method, it helps you to learn and apply what you are reading to your life so that it becomes more real to you. Choose a book of the Bible to begin and work through it using this format. Your coach can help explain this and even do some S.O.A.P. s with you to get you started. You can choose to just study one verse, or a whole chapter (A good place to start is in one of the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke or John you ll learn so much about Jesus and your relationship with Him). Why not try doing it together with someone else too? Another important part of growing in your faith is by hanging out with other people who believe the same as you do. By reading the Bible together and discussing how you can apply it to your lives, you ll be strengthening your faith and learning at the same time!

8 Temptation Once you make the decision to follow Jesus, the devil does everything he can to turn your back on that decision. He doesn t want you to succeed, be happy or follow truth (1 Peter 5:8). He will make sin look very attractive to trick you into thinking you will be better off without God (2 Corinthians 4:4). Temptation is a very real thing, we are all tempted by some things (1 Corinthians 10:13). Will GOD EVER let this OVERCOME you? This is wonderful NEWS to US! However, Satan won t let up on you either. So we need to be strong and resist the devil (James 4:7-8). Using what you know now, what are two ways you can do this?

9 HOW temptation works James 4:7-8 The best ways to resist the devil are to pray and read the Bible, asking for God s help and standing on the promises that HE has for us. As we have learnt previously, the word of God is described as a sword. There is a whole armour that God teaches us to use when dealing with trials, temptation and trouble. Read Ephesians 6: WHAT are the PIECES of ARMOUR? JESUS has DIED on the Cross to BREAK the POWER of SIN in OUR LIVES. We need to use this armour given to us to stand firm against the temptation that will come to lure us back to our old sinful lives (Roman 6:6-14). Another exciting thing about all of this is that God protects us! He will never fail us and He is faithful! Read Psalm 91:3-4. One thing to note is that although the powers of evil and darkness are very real, you do not need to fear. The powers of God and light are far more powerful than anything the devil can (and will) throw at you. So be wary, but never fear, because God is with you helping you grow and overcome! Read Romans 8:31, Psalm 91, Isaiah 41:10

10 Water Baptism There are a couple of things that GOD asks us to do once we accept HIM as our LORD and SAVIOUR. We now know that we are to believe in Him, and to grow in our faith we need to pray and read our Bible. Water Baptism is another step we must take on our journey of faith. What do you think WATER BAPTISM IS? You may have heard of it before or perhaps you think that it is the same as being christened as a baby by few drops of water sprinkled on your head. WATER BAPTISM IS NOT THE SAME.

11 baptism THE ACTUAL WORD comes from the Greek LANGUAGE and SIMPLY refers to anything that is fully submerged in water and comes out differently. We use this word now to describe what JESUS commands us to do as part of our decision to follow Him (Acts 2:38, Matthew 28:19) There is no other way to describe water baptism as anything apart from it being a symbol of your decision to follow Christ. It is a physical act of you separating your old life (before knowing Jesus) from your new life (being a Christian). As we learnt what the word baptism means that is what we believe happens when you repent of your sins and go through the water of baptism you come out a new person! (maybe not physically, but definitely spiritually!) Read Romans 6:1-4, Colossians 2:12 Baptism is a sign that you are willing to live your life for Jesus and have a spiritual union with Christ (Galatians 3:27). How exciting! SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR..?!

12 Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is God. It may seem confusing but try and simplify it, by think of water. It comes in the form of liquid, ice and steam, yet it is still water. So it is with God He is God, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit but all are the same being. What do you know / what is your opinion of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is God s spirit here on Earth. He is the one that Jesus sent to be with us to help and guide us (John 14:16-17) What does helper mean? A helper is someone who speaks on behalf of or in defence of someone else. This is exactly what the Holy Spirit is for us! He is our direct line to God. The Holy Spirit is with us 24/7 and is ready to call upon whenever you need. In saying this, there is another level of the Holy Spirit that is a powerful tool in strengthening you and your faith. It is called baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues or the gift of the Holy Spirit.

13 THE HOLY SPIRIT has been working through people since the BEGINNING of TIME, but the tangible expression and evidence of His presence was first seen on the day of Pentecost when the disciples of Jesus were gathered together after He d risen into Heaven (read Acts 2). This speaking in tongues is not scary or evil, although it can seem a little weird! However, what you need to know is, is that this language that the Holy Spirit gives you through being baptised by His Spirit, is a direct language to God that only He can understand! (Romans 8:27) You may hear it called your prayer language. Sometimes when we pray we can be easily distracted or we become tired. Sometimes we just don t know what to pray, especially in times of trouble or distress. When we speak in tongues, the Holy Spirit is speaking on our behalf and we can be connected straight to God! (Romans 8:26) The Holy Spirit gives you power over sin (Romans 8:1-4) and helps us to overcome temptations (Galatians 5:16-18). He can help you make decisions and He gives individual spiritual gifts to us that help others, especially the church (1 Corinthians 12). The HOLY SPIRIT really is a powerful gift given to us by God. But it is something you need to ask for and be open to. Understand that it is not by having received this gift of speaking in tongues that you are allowed into Heaven. But, by receiving it you are given a powerful tool that strengthens your time here on Earth.

14 ALL YOU have to do now is ASK? (Luke 11:9-10) FIRST STEPS PRAY GROW OVERCOME STRENGTH

15 SO, a lot has been COVERED and you no doubt have learnt a few things by now. HOWEVER, you will most likely still have many questions. That s GREAT! OUR CHRISTIAN JOURNEY IS FULL OF QUESTIONS AND IT IS OK FOR YOU TO ASK THEM! Your job now is to continue reading your Bible and to find a strong Christian coach that you can talk with and who can help you on this journey of faith. They could be a youth pastor or leader, a pastor at your church, a relative, or a friend who you know has a strong relationship with Jesus. Make sure that you pray together and that they encourage you in your decision to follow Jesus. This is a life changing decision that you have made and God wants to see you go from strength to strength! GOOD ON YOU! Read the New Testament for encouragement and answers to your faith - it is jam-packed with stories of the life of Jesus and of what it means to be a Christian. It will help you to understand God s heart for you today and see where He is taking you, and every other believer. It s awesome!!

16 HOW TO get a bible OPTION 1 - ON YOUR PHONE OPTION 2 - ORDER ONLINE OPTION 3 - GATEWAY CHURCH Ph: (03)

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