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Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

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Philippians 4:7-8
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 
(8)
 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord,
the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only,
but unto all them also that love his appearing."
 

Someone has said: “In order to finish well you need to start well”. What I offer here is for the person who has trusted Christ as Savior. Being a new Christian, you may be wondering: “What’s next? I know I’m saved, but what do I do because I am saved?”

What I am writing does not keep you saved. Jesus prayed for you that God the Father would keep you saved, and He does.
John 17:11-20 "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;" (
See also Romans 8:34-39)

You have already started well by trusting Jesus to save you. Now, you need to finish well by letting Him guide you, and direct you through His Word. (Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”)

HOW TO GET STARTED RIGHT AND FINISH WELL

1) Forget the past. 
Philippians 3:13 "
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before,"
(You cannot change the past.)

2) Maintain fellowship with God:
(a)
Prayer: Matthew 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
(b) Bible study: Psalm 119:11a
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart,…”
(We stay close to God through Prayer and Bible study.)

3) Focus on the goal:
Philippians 3:13-14 "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
(Note: Paul is not reaching for salvation or “trying to stay saved”. Paul is working, doing everything he can, to please God because he is saved. The goal is to serve God until we go to be with Him.)

4) Maintain fellowship with other believers:
Hebrews 10:25
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
(Exhorting means to build up, to encourage each other.)

5) Join a Bible believing local church:
Acts 2:1
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
Acts 2:47 “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (See also Hebrews 10:25)

Do not join a church just because it is “handy”, close to where you live. Do not join a church just because your aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, mom and dad have gone to that church for a hundred years. (If the church your relatives go to preach saved by grace and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5) then that is more than likely a good church to belong to.) Join a Bible believing, Bible teaching, Bible preaching (the Blood of Jesus saves) church. A good way to find a good church would probably be to ask the person who led you to the Lord.

(a) Baptism - (Immersion = complete “submersion”): Baptism is one of the first things you should do (if physically possible) to let people know you have been saved. Baptism is an ordinance of God, not a sacrament. No sacrifice (sacrament) is taking place during baptism.
Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

Being baptized does not save you. Acts 2:41 says they were saved before baptism. The people gladly received the word (were saved) and then were baptized.

After a person gets saved, they need to be baptized. I remind you once again that baptism does not save a person. Baptism is a way of identifying ourselves with Jesus. Just as Jesus was crucified, when we stand in the water, we are acknowledging the crucifixion of Christ. Just as Christ was buried, when we go down into the water, we are buried in the likeness of Christ's burial. When we come up out of the water, just as Christ was resurrected from the dead, we are identifying that we too have been resurrected to new life through the life of Christ.

(b) The Lord’s Supper - (Communion): Communion is an ordinance of God, not a sacrament. No sacrifice (sacrament) is taking place during the observance of the Lord's Table.

The Lord’s Supper (Communion) is only for believers. The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper does not save a person. We are told (by Jesus: Mark 14:22; Luke 22:20) to observe this ordinance because we are saved. There is no saving power in the elements (bread and juice) of the Lord’s Supper. Once again, we take Communion (Lord’s Supper) because this is what the Lord wants us to do. In fact, the Bible says we are to observe the ordinance of the Lord's Supper until He returns for us.

I Corinthians 11:23-26 "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: (24) And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (25) After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."


What I have listed for you are a few basic Bible doctrines. As you grow in the Lord you will learn more teachings from the Word of God. If I can be of help to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at the address given. I pray that just as you started well by accepting Jesus as your savior, you will finish well by following the teachings found in the Word of God: the Bible. May the Lord bless you!

Because of Christ,

Lewis R. Woodard, D.Min.

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