I’m New To Christ


Welcome to the family! The family of God, that is. We are so excited about your decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Truly, you made the best decision you could ever make. Your decision to follow Christ is just the first step on a new journey, but know this, from this point forward you are not alone. Not only do you have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling inside you, you now belong to a brand new family – God’s family. At World Prayer Tabernacle, we want to help you take your first steps as a new Christian and to ensure that you get the best start possible. To do this, we have provided some foundational information within the links below. We pray that the information provided will strengthen and guide you as begin your journey as child of God.


Step 1. Join a small group

One of the most important steps that you can take as a new Christian is to surround yourself with other Christians. You can accomplish this by joining a small group.  Small groups provide the perfect environment to grow in your Christian faith.  At WPT, small groups meet weekly to study God’s word, mutually encourage one another, and pray for one another’s needs.  Additionally, our small groups provide a place for you to belong, grow in relationship with other church members, and become an active part of the ministry.  Small groups are available around each one of our campuses and meet on most any night and even day of the week.  Please follow the link below to find a group meeting near you.

Find A Small Group

Step 2. Learn some foundational truths

We have provided you with some foundational truths to help you on your new journey. Please click on the tabs to learn more.

Your decision to repent of your sins and ask Jesus Christ to be Lord of your life is the greatest decision you will ever make. However you came to this decision, it was the right one! Your decision to follow Christ is the first step of a journey that will last a lifetime. From this point, you are entering a new way of living and a new way of looking at things. With this first step, you are leaving your past behind and moving toward a future bright with hope and promise. Your journey is remarkably similar to another journey spoken of in the Bible: the journey of God’s people from Egypt to the Promise Land. For many years, the people of Israel lived in Egypt, having gone there in a time of famine. As time passed, their numbers increased greatly, and the Egyptian rulers became concerned about their loyalty. Thus began a number of years of oppression for God’s people in Egypt. Finally, God raised up a deliverer, Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt, free from terrible oppression of Pharaoh. This is a picture of what happened to you when you came to Christ. You left the “Egypt” of sin oppression, and despair, and you began a journey to the Promised Land. You were delivered and set free from the grasp of sin. No longer are you a slave of “Pharaoh,” but you are now a beloved child of God Most High. Just like the Israelites, you will walk through various stages in your journey, but you’ve already taken the most important step. Let’s see what this first step, your decision to come to Christ, means.

What does it all mean?
Do you understand where you stood before you decided to follow Christ and where you stand today after having made the decision? Things have now changed! God sees you differently, and you probably see God differently. Let’s think about what has happened to you: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

You were a sinner!
Being a sinner means that you had failed to do what God required of you in order to be in right relationship with Him. In other words, you had failed to fulfill God’s law, just like all of us: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin includes those things you do that are not acceptable to God, as well as your natural tendency to walk in disobedience to God.

As a sinner, you could not please God.
“As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not one’” (Romans 3.:10). Most of us live our lives without ever considering what God might expect from us. But you probably discovered that even when you tried to live right and please God, you couldn’t. That’s because without Christ it is impossible. You see, you were dead in your sin! Ephesians 2:1-3 states, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” Even though God loved you, you were separated from Him. Because God is totally good and perfect. He cannot allow sin in His presence. So, until you met Christ, you were not able to enter into God’s presence. But now, because of His shed blood, Christ has become your passage to the Father.

Because God loves you so much…
He still dealt with your heart through the influence of the Holy Spirit, no matter how hardhearted you became. Something probably happened to you that left you desperate, empty, and in need of God, and He was there to draw you to Himself by inviting you to know His Son, Jesus.

If you had refused God’s love…
If you had refused to accept God’s love and offer of eternal life through Jesus Christ, then you would have remained in your sin and continued to be separated from God. If you had died separated from God, you would have been condemned to an eternity with God in a place the Bible calls “hell.”

What did it mean when you got saved?
Good question! We often see people performing religious duties with the hope of gaining God’s approval. We have already discovered, however, that just doing good things cannot please God. By itself, the act of responding to the altar call after a sermon can’t save you either.

If you didn’t earn it, and the preacher didn’t save you, what really happened?
Another great question! Let’s look at God’s clear answer: “For it was by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). You were saved by grace – favor that God gave you. It was undeserved, unearned, and given freely. Grace came to you through faith, and faith means being totally convinced that something is true. In this case, it means having the assurance that Christ paid for your sins.

Now what is expected of you?
The Bible has a very good answer to that question. Ephesians 4:1-3 states, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” With God’s help through the power of the Holy Spirit, you are expected to “live a life worthy” of God’s salvation, reflecting your new relationship with God. Your new life should be different from your old life. As you walk with Christ, you will learn humility, love, patience, and many other virtues (positive Christlike attitudes) that will help you to please God. As you are learning these virtues and walking in unity with other Christians, you will continue to have confidence that you are child of God.

Reflective Questions
1. How did God see your life before your decision to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior?
2. What did you do to become a Christian?
3. What one thing caused you to see your need for Christ?
4. How has your life changed since receiving Christ?
5. If you died right now, would you go to heaven? Why?

When the Israelites left Egypt, they were headed to a land especially prepared for them.  This Promised Land was a wonderful place, full of blessing and prosperity.  But in order to enjoy it with all of its benefits, the Israelites had to actually walk in and possess it.

It’s the same way for you in this new journey you’ve begun.  You’ve left Egypt, but you’re going to have to walk into your Promised Land.  God has so much waiting for you and He wants to give it to you, but you’re going to have to possess it, just like the Israelites had to do.

When you made your commitment to follow Christ, you became the beneficiary of all the rights and privileges that He won for you by His death on the cross.  This is the Promised Land of your Christian faith.  When you became His child, you became an heir to heaven and all its riches.  Romans 8:17 states it like this: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”

If you are an heir to an earthly inheritance, your inheritance is spelled out in a will that goes into effect only upon the death of the person who made it.  Similarly, when Christ died on the cross, all the riches of heaven were now made available to you as His heir (Hebrews 9:15-17).  Because He died, you can have eternal life. Because He suffered, you can have physical healing.  Because He was wounded, you can be made whole.  By looking at what happened to Jesus on the cross, you can get a better picture of what He bought for you as an heir of heaven.

When Jesus died on the cross, Hebrews 10:20 states that “a new and living was [was] opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.” In other words, the battered, bruised, and torn flesh of Christ was a door into a breakthrough.  Every place where His flesh was “broken through” symbolizes a “new and living way” into the Promised Land of freedom and deliverance never before guaranteed.  We can group these breakthroughs that Jesus won for you into four main areas:  healing for your body, peace for your mind, cleansing for your conscience, and healing for your heart (spirit).

A breakthrough in your body:  the whip 

Isaiah 53:5 is perhaps one of the most frequently quoted verses in the Old Testament.  The last part of that verse, “By His stripes we are healed” (NKJV), talks of the physical wounds inflicted on Jesus’ body.  The first tear in His flesh came with the scourging ordered by Pilate (Matthew 27:26).  In scourging, the Roman legionnaire took the whip that had lead balls tied to each strand.  The victim was then tied and beaten a maximum of thirty-nine lashes with this horrible instrument.  The punishment was so brutal that many people did not survive it.

Because Jesus endured this agonizing flogging, the price was paid for your physical healing.  From the back of Christ flowed the blood for the healing of your body from every disease, affliction, or condition.  Peter expressed this thought in 1 Peter 2:24: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”  Sickness was paid for on the cross, and as an heir with Christ, you have the right to walk through that open door and receive the inheritance of healing.

A breakthrough in your mind: the crown of thorns 

In the events leading up to the actual crucifixion, the Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns upon the precious head of Jesus (Matthew 27:29), thrusting it deep into his scalp.  This crown of thorns represents the “punishment that brought us peace” (Isaiah 53:5).

Christ wore the crown of thorns to bring breakthrough in the area of your mind. Just like thorns are the fruit of a branch, your mind bears the sinful fruit of worry, anxiety, pride, depression, lust, and greed.  But when Christ willingly wore that awful crown, He was taking God’s judgment upon every rebellious, reengage thought that you would ever have.  Because He bore the judgment, no evil thought can control you, and you don’t have to be the victim of ungodly, sinful thought patterns anymore.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV), the Bible speaks of “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  In other words, you can “capture” every thought and make it line up with the Word of God, because of what Jesus has already done for you.  Every thought has been conquered by the blood that flowed from the head of Christ.  As a child of God and a heavenly heir, you can have victory over thoughts of fear, worry, depression, addiction, or any mental struggle.

A breakthrough in your conscience: the nails 

Each of us has a long list, or record, of our failures, weaknesses, and shortcomings.  These can be called “transgressions.”  However, again in Isaiah 53:5, the Bible states that “he was pierced for our transgressions.” Isaiah perceived a connection between Jesus’ being pierced (the opening of holes where He was nailed) and our transgressions.

Between Christ’s hands and the cross was the list of your sins, symbolically.  When the nails went through His hands, they also pierced the list that was between His hands and the wood of the cross.  Colossians 2:14 (NLT) states, “He cancelled the record that contained the charges against us.  He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.”  So, each and every sin of your past has been paid for.  The record of your transgressions has been cancelled!  Your sins were like a certificate of debt that has now been marked “paid in full” because of what Christ endured on the cross.  You don’t have to feel guilty and condemned for your sins, because the nail-scarred hands of Jesus bore your guilt so you could go free.  You can lay your head upon your pillow each night and go to sleep with a clear conscience.

A breakthrough in your heart (spirit): the spear 

Back in Isaiah 53:5, the Bible states that Jesus was “crushed for our iniquities.” Christ’s heart was crushed and broken by the weight of iniquity that He carried for all humanity.

After Jesus finally succumbed, a soldier pierced His side with a spear, and there was “a sudden flow of blood and water” (John 19:34).  From a medical standpoint, this indicates that Jesus’ heart had ruptured and that blood had filled His heart.  After He died, the serum separated from the coagulated blood in His heart.  As a result, the opening of His side produced a stream of water and an oozing of coagulated blood.

Christ died of a broken heart, literally.  His heart was broken that yours might be healed.  Inside the broken heart of Christ is a world of freedom, healing, and reconciliation.  It is yours as a joint-heir of Christ, if you’ll receive it.

The death of Christ on hill of Calvary was pivotal point all of history.  It marked the point from which all humanity could receive forgiveness of sins and total healing of the body, mind, and spirit.  As awful as it seemed at the time, it was yet the most triumphant act of all time.  The Son of God defeated death, destruction, and the devil and opened the gates of heaven for all eternity.

As a child of God, you have a wonderful divine inheritance.  Physical healing, emotional health, a clear conscience, and a mended heart are all yours as an heir of heaven.  Look to the cross each day of your life and thank God anew for what Jesus suffered for you.  Look to the cross and see the great love He has for you.  Look to the cross and be healed – body, mind, and spirit.  Look to the cross and be set free!

Reflective Questions 

  1. In what four areas did Christ win a breakthrough for you when He died on the cross?
  2. In which of these areas do you need to see the power of the cross at work in your life?
  3. Spend some time reflecting on the benefits of the cross as it pertains to your specific journey.

In Understanding the Power of the Cross, you studied the cross and how the blood of Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, sets you free from sin, sickness, and bondage.  1 Corinthians 5:7 refers to Christ as the Passover Lamb, the one who was slain on our behalf.  This is actually referring to Jesus’ fulfillment of something that happened to God’s people in the Old Testament as they were leaving the bondage of Egypt.

When God raised up Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses presented a series of petitions to Pharaoh to let God’s people go.  Hardened of heart, Pharaoh resisted, and a series of plagues and calamities befell the land, culminating with the event that came to be known as the Passover.  On that fateful night, an angel of death struck down every firstborn son of the Egyptians, but “passed over” the homes of the Israelites who had applied the blood of a spotless lamb to their doorposts.

Although Pharaoh relented and let the people go, this was not the end of their journey.  In fact, it was just the beginning, as they did not enter the Promised Land for forty more years!  It’s the same for you, too.  When you come to Christ, you are just beginning your journey.  You have not entered into all the blessings that are waiting for you in your spiritual Promised Land.  You know what’s available there through the power of the cross, but you still have a lot to learn before you actually get there.

Leaving Egypt and entering the Promised Land

You may be out of Egypt, but Egypt is not out of you!

Pharaoh did not give up just because the people left Egypt.  He could not stand the thought that he had lost millions of slaves.  So he decided to go after them.  That’s just like the devil does with you!  He can’t stand the idea that you are now free from his power.  He will do everything he can to try to drag you back to “Egypt.”  He doesn’t want you free and victorious in Christ.  He’ll try to get you to always look back and long for the “good old days” instead of keeping your focus on the journey ahead and the future God has planned for you.

Pharaoh had a plan to enslave the Israelites again, but God had an even bigger one.  His plan was so great and so awesome that the world has never forgotten it.  It’s a story that you probably heard as a child:  the journey through the Red Sea.  Let’s look at this story and see what it means to you.

You need to cross through the Red Sea!

God told Moses and all Israel to camp by the Red Sea until Pharaoh came very close with all his troops (Exodus 14:1-4).  The people did as instructed, and soon Pharaoh was upon them.  That night, Moses stretched his rod over the sea, and the sea miraculously opened.  The three million people of Israel crossed under cover of darkness (Exodus 14:21-22).

Seeing the see opened, Pharaoh’s army decided to pursue.  At just the right moment, Moses stretched out his rod and the sea completely buried all of Pharaoh’s horses and charioteers.  The people rejoiced on the shore of the Red Sea because not only had they escaped their enemy, but now their enemy has been totally defeated!

God wants you to be free indeed, separated from “Egypt,” or the world, so that it has no more power over your life.  But even after having the blood of the Passover Lamb applied to your heart and beginning the journey of leaving Egypt, you’re going to have to walk through the Red Sea.  There’s no other way to get to the Promised Land God has waiting for you.

The Red Sea means two very important things in your life.  First, the Red Sea (a body of water) is a picture of water baptism.  Just as “they were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:2, you need to be baptized at the beginning of your Christian journey.  Water baptism is, therefore, quite necessary – not for your salvation (the blood of the Lam did that), but for your freedom.

Second, the Red Sea symbolizes deliverance.  Not until the Israelites walked through the sea were they free from Egypt’s power.  When you came to Christ, your old habits, thoughts, and bondages were crushed by God’s power, but you, like Israel, are going to have to learn how to walk in that freedom.

Let’s look at these two aspects, water baptism and deliverance, in a little more detail.

The power of water baptism

  Baptism is like a burial of your old life (Romans 6:3-4)

As God’s people walked through the Red Sea, the wall of water was so high on either side of them that they appeared to go down into the water and disappear.  When you are water baptized, you are immersed into the water, just like Jesus was when John baptized Him in the Jordan River (Mark 1:9-10).

This “going down” into the water is like a burial.  It symbolizes that your old life has ended (Egypt) and that you are starting a brand new life (without Pharaoh).  Paul said that we are “buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead though the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4, NASB).

Baptism is important for your conscience (Hebrews 10:22)

Your conscience is that part of your soul that either assures you or condemns you about your past.  Water baptism is “an appeal to God for a good conscience” (1 Peter 3:21, NASB).  Your conscience needs to feel clean, like it has had a bath, and that’s what water baptism does for you.  It’s a point in time when you publicly declare that you have buried the past and are moving on in your journey with the Lord.

Hebrews 10:22 (NASB) states, “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” This is just what water baptism does for you!

The power of deliverance

Pharaoh had an army, and so does Satan!

Satan has an army of demonic powers that are highly skilled at manifesting their personalities through human beings.  One man that Christ set free had a legion, or as many as 6,000, demon spirits inside his body (Mark 6:9)!  By the blood of Jesus, Satan’s power has been broken over your life.  However, he will still seek to control your body, mind, and heart.  He will try to keep you bound up with bad habits and addictions.  He will attack your thoughts and emotions.  And he will especially try to keep you in the grip of bitterness and unforgiveness.  All his intentions for you are evil, because there is nothing good in him.

Paul said, “Do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27).  Even though you are saved, there may be areas in your life that are grieving the Holy Spirit and giving Satan a legal foothold in which he can freely operate.  It is necessary for you to acknowledge those areas and expose them to the mighty power of God to deliver you and set you free from them.  World Prayer Tabernacle provides the perfect opportunity to experience this deliverance in its Freedom Encounter Retreats.

Deliverance is a spiritual housecleaning

Jesus told us that when an unclean spirit leaves a person, it seeks to return: “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order” (Matthew 12:44).  When you get saved, your spirit is now “swept clean,” free of the dirt and stain of sin. However, if you don’t do a thorough “housecleaning” and let the Holy Spirit “occupy” you, Satan will be able to return: “Then it goes and takes with it seven others spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there.  And the final condition of that man is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:45).

This is why many new Christians do not stay free.  They have not completely renounced and removed Satan as an illegal resident in their body, mind, and spirit.  They have left him as an occupant instead of forcefully evicting him!

How Satan seeks to retain control

There are three main ways Satan seeks to retain control in your life, even after you come to Christ.  First are generational bondages (Exodus 20:5).  These are patterns of addiction, habits, criminal activity, divorce, and other such things that have moved through your family line, perhaps for decades.  Through the blood of Christ, you have been set free from these things, but you need to enforce that freedom by renouncing the power of those generational bondages.

Curses are a second way in which Satan tries to control you (Galatians 3:13-14).  God told Israel that if they broke the Law, a curse would come upon them in their finances, their emotions, their health, their mental health, and in other areas (Deuteronomy 28).  When you live in violation of God’s Word, Satan has a legal right to enforce the curse of the Law.  When you come to Christ, however, the curse is broken, paid for by the blood of Jesus.  As Proverbs 26:2 states, “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.”

Soul ties are a third tactic Satan uses against you.  A soul tie is an unspiritual connection between you and someone else that you have a deep (often sexual) relationship with.  That unholy relationship gives Satan access and is an open door into your life.  God forbade Israel to maintain those kinds of relationships: “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those who you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live” (Numbers 33:55, NASB).

Breaking Satan’s strongholds

Bondages, curses, and soul ties have all been broken by the blood of Jesus on the cross.  However, you must declare your total freedom from destructive habits, addictions, emotions, thoughts, and relationships.  This is part of the total housecleaning you’ll do on the Encounter Retreat so that Satan has no more access into your life.

Begin preparing for the next step of your journey by signing up to be baptized at the next water baptism service and for the next Freedom Encounter Retreat.

 

Reflective Questions

  1. Why is water baptism necessary? Have you taken this important step?  If not, sign up today for the next water baptism service.
  2. How is water baptism like a burial and resurrection? How does this apply to your life?
  3. What are the three main ways Satan seeks to retain control in your life?
  4. How can you break the power of Satan over your life?

Step 3. Get water baptized

Another important step in your new journey with Christ is to follow His example in water baptism.  Jesus was water baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River (Mark 1:9-10).  The act of being submersed in water through water baptism is symbolic of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.  By being water baptized, you are identifying with Christ and publicly professing that your old life without Christ has ended and that you are starting a brand new life with Christ.  We encourage you to take this next step of your journey and register to participate in our next baptismal service.  To register, please follow the link below.  You will be contacted when the next water baptism service is schedule.

Register To Be Water Baptized

Step 4. Attend a freedom encounter

Freedom Encounters are a foundational component of the ministry of WPT.  It is our passion to see the lost come to Christ and be set free from the bondages associated with their life before accepting Christ.  When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus was alive but still bound with his grave clothes (John 11:43-44).  This scripture clearly demonstrates that it is possible for a person to be born again, having received new life in Christ, yet still be bound, as Lazarus was, by things associated with their spiritually dead life before Christ.  Freedom Encounters are one-day conferences that purposely and methodically dissect the story of the Prodigal Son relating it to the new believer’s journey back to their Heavenly Father’s house.  These encounters are geared to equipping the believer with the necessary tools to identify areas of bondage and providing them with the opportunity to exercise their God-given authority over that bondage.  Throughout our many years of having Freedom Encounters, we have seen countless believers set free from all sorts of hurts, bondages, and addictions.  This is precisely why Jesus came, “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1).  We hope that you will take this next important step in your journey with Christ by signing up to attend a Freedom Encounter.  To sign-up, please click the link below.  We will contact you when the next Freedom Encounter is scheduled.

Register To Attend An Encounter Retreat
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