FOR NEW CHRISTIANS, SEEING CHANGE FROM THE OLD TO NEW NATURE
by John Clark
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This article is written primarily to you, a new Christian. Praise God for the wonderful decision you have made. The Christian life is not easy when it comes to seeing positive changes take place. Even though the Holy Spirit is at work in your life transforming your thoughts and nature, through His Word, the Holy Bible, there are things that must be done on your part to see changes occur. Let me share some truths from Scripture that may be of help to you as you seek to become the person God desires you to be. These are also good reminders to the many people who have been Christians for a longer time.
You are a work in progress, according to Philippians 1:6 and Ephesians 2:10. God wants to GROW you into a godly person, not necessarily change you overnight. Remember, you, like the rest of us, are a sinner saved by grace. (Romans 5:8) God has accepted you as you are and will continually mold you into your new character.
As a new Christian you are now involved in a spiritual battle. Read Ephesians, chapter six. Satan will try every way he can to destroy your new faith and lead you astray. You must put on your spiritual battle armor.
Your mind and thinking must be transformed in keeping with your new nature. This is expressed in Romans 12:2. You might have to change the type of music you listen to, the media you watch, what kind of conversations you engage in, and the type of people with whom you associate.
Old habits may need to be broken. Experts have said that it takes 21 consecutive days to break a habit. Ask the Lord to give you the discipline and power to follow through on this. You may have some real struggles because your old nature is still present. Read what the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 6-8.
It may be necessary to break free from religious legalism. That is when other "religious" people tell you how they think you should live your life. Just live in accordance to what the Bible teaches.
Bondage to addictions must be broken. Although there are cases when people have been delivered from drugs and other forms of addiction almost "overnight" it is not something that is to be expected by everyone. In some instances people have had to be exorcised of demon possession. Demons sometimes have to be called out in the name of Jesus.
Generational curses are very common in our society today. These are dysfunctional behaviors or mindsets that have become a norm and which are carried over from one generation to the next. Examples are things like depression, anger issues, bitterness, and addictions. It may also include attitudes or lifestyles like homosexuality, or having a "poverty mindset."
Last, but not least, you must deal with hurts and issues from your past. This means you need to seek or offer forgiveness where necessary. Some relationships may need to be restored. You may need to go to Christian counseling to work through your past. Philippians 3:13 says to not hold on to your past, but to press forward into the wonderful future God has for you.
These things are not all going to automatically change just because you read your Bible, pray , and go to church. You must give diligent effort to see change occur in your life, not to earn your salvation but to bring it into conformity with your new nature. However, God is working in you so that you will not desire the ways of your old nature. These will not be things you feel you HAVE to change but rather you will want to, and you will be able to see change by the power of God. May you, as a new Christian, experience a victorious life in every area!
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