There are a lot of reasons why people make the choice to commit their lives to Christ. A really good sermon convicts you to the core, you meet someone who showed you the heart of God and they gently led you to the Lord, or like me, you are at the end of your rope. Whatever got you to the point where you cried out for help to God or you got washed in the water of baptism, that day, life did change forever. Getting baptized can be an adrenaline rush. Many people report seeing colors more clearly, an inexpressible joy, an outpouring of love. In my experience, I did not feel a thing. That day, for me, was drawing a line in the sand. This is where hopelessness ended and hope began. I was no longer walking the circumstances of my life alone, I was walking hand in hand with Jesus – the author and perfecter of my soul.
What happens when we pray the “sinners” prayer or when we get baptized? The answer is in your Bible, the Book of Romans.
Romans 5 Justification or Right Standing with God
(my paraphrase of the New International Version) We have peace with God. We have gained access to God through Jesus, now our faith in Jesus brings us into grace and we are no longer under the power of sin and Old Testament law but under the power of grace through faith in Christ. We are justified, saved and reconciled. We owe nothing to God but our devotion and love. We are covered.
Romans 6 Our Spiritual Resurrection from Sin & Death
(The Message Bible direct quote) says: “When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace–a new life in a new land! That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.” That is so awesome! We get a new life!!! It just keeps getting better!
Romans 7 We Do Good With Christ – Not By Our Own Will To Do Good
Now we belong to God and live so that we might bear fruit for Him (NIV). The Message Bible says (v.6) “we’re free to live a new life in the freedom of God.” Christ is now the answer to living the good life, not us trying to do it but Christ IN us that does it because we are devoted to Him. Again, The Message, v.25, “He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.” Christ set things right, he delivers us from the influence and control of sin to choose His way.
Romans 8 With the Spirit of God in Us, We Are Children Of God
We have a new identity! We are no longer condemned by sin but alive in Christ. Baptism brings in a new life, a life lived through the Spirit of God. The NIV (v.14) says: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” We are children of God, adopted into sonship (or daughtership) and we are co-heirs with Christ Himself to all the promises of God. Now all things are worked for our good (even things in our past work to glorify God). We were predestined to live for God, He called on us personally to commit our lives to Him, He justifies us through our testimony of Christ’s obedience to death and his resurrection to eternal life, and he glorifies us through our works done in His name. Lastly, we can never be separated from God, he is always with us and will love us forever!
I was made new on Mother’s Day of 2010. Drawing a line in the sand, even though I felt like nothing changed, made me a new person. Even if the people in my life don’t believe that anything changed, I must have faith that God’s Word and His promises matter more than what the world around me says about me. I am now a daughter of the Most High God. He loves me, I live for Him through His Son who lives in me. My life is changed forever. Now, I live in the light. So do you.
My encouragement to any new Christian is to live in these 4 chapters of the Book of Romans. This is your new life! Read it in several versions of the Bible (my favorites are the NIV, The Message, New Living Translation, and the New American Standard Bible). Sometimes reading the same concept with different words brings deeper understanding. Also, you have the Holy Spirit as your helper and guide, ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding and wisdom. He will! God promises that he will give you all good things and those two things are His will for you!