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I am Saved – Now What?

SUMMARY:

After you were saved, did anyone help you learn how to walk with God?

Did that person show you how to read the Bible? Explain the role of the Holy Spirit? Help you learn how to overcome sin, confess wrongdoing, or pray? Most likely, no one explained what to expect after salvation or how to fulfill your responsibilities as a believer. The truth is, few new believers get any sort of discipleship or training in how to live as a child of God. But there are fundamental truths that every follower of Jesus should know. Understanding and applying these principles are essential to having an effective, fruitful Christian life.

SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES:

Our Savior is the Son of God and Lord of all.

Jesus is more than a historical figure. He was not just a man who lived centuries ago and died on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8 says, “Although He existed in the form of God . . . [He] emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant . . .[and was] found in appearance as a man.” He was fully God and, at the incarnation, became fully human. Scripture says, “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11). This passage teaches us there is no name more powerful than the name of Jesus Christ. One day, every person who has ever lived will bow his or her knees to Him.

It’s important to realize that as our Savior, Jesus is also our Lord. In essence, this means He is our “Boss.” He has the right to direct every action and our thoughts on a moment by moment basis. In our culture, the word “boss” often has a negative meaning. But Jesus’ authority and guidance in our lives is always for our ultimate good. The picture given in the New Testament is of a loving Shepherd guiding His sheep (John 10:1-16). A good shepherd keeps his flock out of danger and leads them to places of rest and refreshment. Christ, as our Good Shepherd, leads and supports us in love. If we are willing to let Jesus be our Lord, our lives will have meaning here on earth and significance in the kingdom of God. But any believer who deliberately rejects the Lordship of Christ in his or her life is in rebellion against Him.

Every believer has the responsibility to actively live out his or her salvation.

Another important truth a new believer needs to know is that we have a role to play in this new life. We are to “work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). This verse is often misinterpreted by those who think we have to earn our entrance into heaven by living a good life. But notice this verse doesn’t say “work for your salvation.” Paul was addressing men and women who were already saved (see Phil. 1:1). According to God’s Word, salvation is not based on our deeds but on the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is offered freely to those who choose to receive it. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (See also Titus 3:5.) So what does Paul mean by telling believers to “work out [their] salvation with fear and trembling”? He means that once you have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior, you need to put into practice what the Lord has placed within you—the life of Christ. Another way to say this is that Jesus lives within you from the moment of salvation through the presence of the Holy Spirit. If you listen to God’s voice and surrender to His will, the Spirit will gradually conform you into the image of Christ. You will still be uniquely you in personality, but your conduct, conversation, and character will become holy. What does it mean that we are to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling”? This does not mean we are supposed to be afraid of God or of losing our salvation. Instead, it indicates we must take our faith seriously. We should be committed to faithfully attending church, tithing, praying, and sharing our faith. We should not be casual about our relationships with God or lazy regarding our commitments to Him.

The Holy Spirit works within every believer to empower him or her to live a holy life.

Thankfully, living a Christian life is not up to you alone. God “is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). This means the Father will never command you to do something He will not enable you to do.  His empowering presence leaves us without any legitimate excuses for disobedience. In other words, you and I don’t really have the option of saying “I can’t do that” in response to His commands. Once we are sure something is the will of God, we can be confident He will equip us to do it.

God’s ultimate goal for every believer’s life is Christlikeness.

The Father’s plan for your life and mine is to conform us to the image of Christ. In other words, He wants to make us like Jesus (Rom. 8:29). Philippians 2:13 refers to the fact that God works His will within us “for His good pleasure.” As we follow Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to live the life of Christ through us, we become more like Jesus. In the process, we bring the Father great pleasure. And you can be confident that when Jesus is the Boss of your life, He won’t make your life miserable. Our Savior guides us and leads us for His great pleasure—but also for our benefit.

CONCLUSION:

God has given us this awesome promise in His Word:Whatever He wills for us, He will also work within us to accomplish. You and I will never be in a position where we are unable to fulfill His plans for us. He is always right there beside us, strengthening us for the tasks He has planned for us. I pray you will allow the Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to strengthen and equip you to live a life that is pleasing to Him. My friend, that is life at its very best.

KEY PASSAGE: Philippians 2:5-13 | SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE: Matthew 4:19 | John 10:1-16 | Romans 8:29 | Galatians 2:16 | Ephesians 2:8-9 | Philippians 1:1 | Colossians 1:16-17 | Titus 3:5

LIFE PRINCIPLES