A NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIAN THE INTRODUCTION
The Bible says, "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" ( Acts 11:26). Peter said, "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf". (1 Peter 4:16). Now, in being New Testament Christians we are one like Christ because the Name of Christ is in the name of a Christian. Therefore, we should become a New Testament Christian so that we can become like Christ because the Name of Christ is in the name of a Christian. Remember: All Scriptures which are used in this article will be taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
THE WAY TO BECOME A NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIAN
Peter said, "Repent ye therefore and be converted (changed), that your sins may be blotted out (forgiven), when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19).
I. If we want to be converted in a spiritual way, we must hear the word of God because the word of God produces faith. The Bible says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
2. If we desire to be converted in a spiritual way, we should believe in God because He is our Creator. The Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please him (God); for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists), and that he (God) is a rewarder (a promise keeper) of them that diligently seek him", i. e; God (Hebrews 11:6).
3. If we wish to be converted in a spiritual way, we need to repent of our past sins because we have sinned against God. Our Lord said, "I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5).
4. If we want to be converted in a spiritual way, we ought to confess the Deity of Christ because He is our Redeemer. Our Lord said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:31-32)
5. If we desire to be converted in a spiritual way, we must be baptized into Christ so that we can put on Christ. The Bible says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).
THE REASONS WHY BAPTISM IS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION
I. Baptism is a commandment of God. The Bible says, "For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, can any man forbid water; that these (the Gentiles) should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we (the Jews)? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:47-48).
2. Baptism is for the salvation of our souls. The Bible says, "While the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:20-21).
3. Baptism is the act that puts us into Christ so that we can put on Christ. The Bible says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).
4. Baptism is the act that destroys the body of sin. The Bible says, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ, was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life, For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin" (Romans 6:3-6).
5. Baptism is the act that saves us. Our Lord said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16).
6. Baptism is the act that washes away our sins. Ananias said unto Saul, "Why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).
7. Baptism is the climax of the New Birth: the Spiritual Birth. Our Lord said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again (in a spiritual way), he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water (be immersed in water), and of the Spirit (the teachings of the Holy Spirit), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:3-5).
8. Baptism is Divinely Authorized by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our Lord said, "Go make disciples out of all nations, baptizing them (into Christ by baptizing them) in the name (the authority) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:18-20).
9. Baptism is for the remission of our past sins. The Bible says, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name (the authority) of Jesus Christ for the remission (the forgiveness) of your sins" (Acts 2:38).
A. Baptism is a burial in water. The Bible says, "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).
B. Baptism is a resurrection from water. The Bible says, "And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized (immersed) him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him not more; and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:38-39).
Now, you must be born again in the proper way so that you can enter into the Kingdom of God. Therefore, if you should refuse to be born again according to God's laws which relate to the New Birth, you could not enter into the Kingdom of God.
THE WAY TO WORSHIP GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
Our :Lord said, "It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:10). Our Lord also said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit (with the proper attitude) and in truth", i. e. according to His revealed truth (John 4:24). Our Lord further said, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:8-9).
I. In being new creatures in Christ, we ought to worship the Lord our God by singing with vocal music only (acappella music) unto Him. The Bible says, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing (not singing with some musical instrument, but simply singing) with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16). The Bible also says, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing (not singing with some musical instrument, but simply singing) and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19).
THE BEGINNING OF INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN THE CHURCH
Now, instrumental music was not used in the worship service of the early Church because instrumental music is not Divinely Authorized for New Testament Worship. However, instrumental music was later introduced into the worship service of the church many years after the Church had been established. It was added to the church in about 670 A. D. Nevertheless, instrumental music caused a religious division in the church which already had apostatized from the truth of God concerning many different doctrines. Thus, we should not use instrumental music in our worship service unto the Lord our God because the Lord our God has not authorized instrumental music to be used in the worship service of the New Testament Church. Therefore, vocal music only is a worship service of the New Testament Church of Christ because we can express our praises unto the Lord our God for the Divine Blessings which we are receiving in being citizens of His kingdom.
2. In being the sons of God by regeneration, we should worship the Lord our God by praying unto Him. The Bible says, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). Paul said, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayers and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6). The Hebrew writer said, "Let us therefore come bodily unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
3. In being New Testament Christians, we must worship the Lord our God by partaking of the Lord's Supper each Lord's Day in remembrance of His death, burial and resurrection from the grave. The Bible says, "Upon the first day of the week (Sunday is the Lord's day), when the disciples came together to break bread (to partaker of the Lord's supper), Paul preached unto them" (Acts 20:7). Paul said, "For as often as ye eat this bread (the unleavened bread is his body), and drink this cup (the contents of the cup contains the fruit of the vine, and the fruit of the vine is his blood), ye do shew the Lord's death till he comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26).
4. In being New Testament Saints, we must worship the Lord our God by giving liberally of our money so that we can support the work of the Church. The Bible says, "Now concerning the collection (the giving of your money) for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week (Sunday which is the Lord's day) let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come" (I Corinthians 16:1-2).
5. In being the disciples of Christ, we should worship the Lord our God by listing to faithful gospel preaching. The Bible says, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:1-4).
Now, if you want to worship the Lord your God in spirit and in truth, you must worship Him according to His revealed laws that pertain unto New Testament Worship. Therefore, if you should refuse to worship God according to His revealed laws of worship, you could not worship the Lord your God in spirit and truth.
THE WAY TO LIVE A CHRISTIAN LIFE
Peter said, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and about, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:5-11).
I. Diligence is the greatest activity of life. Our Lord said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).
2. Virtue is the greatest purity of life. The Bible says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
3. Knowledge is the greatest perception of life. The Lord said, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and I will write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach ever man his neighbour, and every man his brother saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Hebrews 8:10-12).
4. Temperance is the greatest completion of life. Paul said, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection (under control with temperance): lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Corinthians 9:27).
5. Patience is the greatest development of life. The Bible says, "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" (James 5:10-11).
6. Godliness is the greatest gain of life. The Bible says, "But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content" (1 Timothy 6:6-8).
7. Brotherly kindness is the greatest demonstration of life. The Bible says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger" Proverbs 15:1 "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 5:32
8. Love is the greatest achievement of life. Our Lord said, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:2-3).
Now, in being New Testament Christians, we must add the Christian grace's to our faith. Therefore, if you should refuse to be governed by the Christian grace's, you could not be a faithful Christian.
We must become New Testament Christians in the way which the Lord has authorized for us to be born again in a Spiritual Way. Furthermore, we in being New Testament Christians must worship the Lord our God in the way which He has authorized for us to worship Him in spirit and i n truth. Therefore, we in being New Testament Christians we must produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives while we live upon the earth.
QUESTIONS ANSWER TRUE OR FALSE THE WAY TO BECOME A NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIAN
I. T - F: Did you become a New Testament Christian by hearing the word of God?
2. T - F: Did you become a disciple of Christ by believing the word of God?
3. T - F: Did you become a New Testament Saint by repenting of our past sins?
4. T - F: Did you become a New Testament Christian by confessing the Deity of Christ?
5. T - F: Did you become a new creature in Christ by being baptized into Christ for the remission of our sins?
THE REASONS WHY BAPTISM IS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION
1. T - F: Is baptism a commandment of God?
2. T - F: Does baptism save the soul from its past sin?
3. T - F: Is baptism is the act that puts us into Christ?
4. T - F: Is baptism is the act that destroys the body of sin?
5. T - F: Is baptism is the act that save us?
6. T - F: Is baptism the act that washes away our sin?
7. T - F: Is baptism the climax of the Spiritual Birth (the New Birth) so that we can enter into the Kingdom of God?
8. T - F: Is baptism Divinely Authorized by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?
9. T - F: Is baptism for the remission (the forgiveness) of our past sins?
A. T - F: Is baptism a burial in water so that we can duplicate our Lord's death, burial and resurrection from the grave?
B. T - F: Is baptism a resurrection from the water so that we can live a dedicated life unto the Lord our God?
THE WAY TO WORSHIP GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
1. T - F: Do you worship the Lord your God each Lord's Day (Sunday) by singing with vocal music only (acappella music) unto Him?
2. T - F: Do you worship the Lord your God each Lord's Day by praying unto Him?
3. T - F: Do you worship the Lord your God each Lord's Day by partaking of the Lord's Supper?
4. T - F: Do you worship the Lord your God each Lord's Day by giving liberally of your money to support the work of the Church?
5. T - F: Do you worship the Lord your God each Lord's Day by hearing the gospel of Christ being faithfully preached?
THE WAY TO LIVE A CHRISTIAN LIFE
1. T - F: Have you in being a New Testament Christian added virtue to your faith?
2. T - F: Have you in being a New Testament Saint added knowledge to your faith?
3. T - F: Have you in being a new creature in Christ added temperance to your faith?
4. T - F: Have you in being a disciple of Christ added patience to your faith?
5. T - F: Have you in being a son of God by redemption added godliness to your faith?
6. T - F: Have you in being a New Testament Christian added brotherly kindness to your faith?
7. T - F: Have you in being a New Testament Saint added love to your faith?
Our Lord said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free", i. e. of sin (John 8:32).
Be sure that you know and understand all of the above statements and questions because this is what life is all about. You only get one chance at life so you should learn all that you can about it because life is all that you possess and life is all that you will ever possess.
Please get others to read this article so that they can learn more about the Divine Blessings of their own being of life.
We in being New Testament Christians possess a created and a redeemed nature of life which we need to know about and understand fully in order to overcome the forces of evil.
May the Lord bless you and give you wisdom so that you can learn more about the Spiritual Blessings of your own being of life because your life is priceless.