Now that You Are a Christian PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John E. Russell Sr   

Table of Contents

(Click on any topic to jump to it.)

Chapter 1 - How to Receive Christ.
Chapter 2 - Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit .
Chapter 3 - Read the Word of God .
Chapter 4 - Be Baptized in Water .
Chapter 5 - Pray Effectively.
Chapter 6 - Attend Church.
Chapter 7 - Help Fulfill the Great Commission.


This booklet is addressed to those who have recently accepted Christ as their personal Savior. If you haven't received Christ as your Savior, read Chapter 1. If you have, skip to Chapter 2.

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Chapter 1

How to Become a Christian

It is easy to become a Christian. Jesus has already done the hard part by dying on the cross for us. Here are six very important truths:

1. God loves you. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17, NIV

2. Because of sin, we are under God's judgment: 

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
John 3:18, NIV 

3. We cannot be made right with God by good deeds:

For it is 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. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV

4. Only God can make us right with himself, based on Jesus' death on the cross. 

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
Romans 8:33, NIV

5. Our part is to believe in Christ and confess Him as our Lord:

   But what does it say? The Word (God's message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in        your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach,
   Because if you acknowledge {and} confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart    believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you        will be saved. For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on              Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he          confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) {and} confirms [his] salvation.
   The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in          Him] will [ever] be put to shame {or} be disappointed.
   Romans 10:8-11, AMP 

6. The Holy Spirit will give your spirit a new birth.

This is the most important experience that you will ever have. God will set you free and he will bring new life into your being. This new life will make you more like the Lord Jesus. Jesus said,

           "You should not be surprised at my saying, "you must be born again."
           John 3:7, NIV 

Tell others that you have accepted Christ as your Savior. Please email me and tell me the good news also.

It is God's plan for you to be filled with the Holy Spirit immediately after accepting Christ as your Savior. It is important enough that God commanded it.

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Chapter 2

Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit


The Holy Spirit is the Administrator of God's plan of redemption on earth. He inspired the writers of the Bible to record specific revelations, history, etc. He insured that the scriptures were accurately transmitted down through history. And he led in the process of translating the scriptures into the various languages of people down through history.

Christ through the Holy Spirit calls apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to declare the Good News of Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts sinners when they hear the Gospel preached. When people accept Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit gives them the new birth. He then indwells each believer in a unique way. (God the Holy Spirit is omnipresent, and as such we all live in God. However, not every person is filled with the Holy Spirit or under the control of the Holy Spirit).

The Holy Spirit indwells every believer.

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8:11, KJV

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 
1 Corinthians 3:16, KJV
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:19, KJV

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2 Corinthians 6:16, KJV

That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
2 Timothy 1:14, KJV

However, the scriptures tell of an experience subsequent to the new birth called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in the Old Testament.

The prophet Joel writes,

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
Joel 2:28-29, KJV

Jesus also prophesied the Baptism of the Holy Spirit:

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified).
John 7:37-39, KJV
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
(John 14:16-17, KJV

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was given in the New Testament.

1. This prophecy was initially fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost following Jesus' resurrection:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 2:1-21, KJV

Luke also records four more incidents in the book of Acts where believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

2. The second incident was the filling of the Samaritans eight years after the Day of Pentecost:

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:5-17, KJV

Notice that the Samaritans were believers and were baptized in water before they were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

3. The third incident was the house of Cornelius, ten years after the Day of Pentecost:

And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Acts 10:42-48, KJV

Notice that Cornelius was a Roman centurion, who corresponds to a captain in our Army today. He and his household were baptized in the Holy Spirit before they were baptized in water.

4. The fourth group of people to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts were the Ephesians, twenty years after the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost:

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Acts 19:1-6,  KJV

5. The last recorded incident of someone receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts was the Apostle Paul:

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul [Paul], of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
Acts 10:10-19, KJV

I [Paul] thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
1 Corinthians 14:18, KJV

The Apostle Peter declares that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not only for those who were alive during the times of the Apostles, but for every believer from the Day of Pentecost forward:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
Acts 2:38-39, KJV

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is more than an experience associated with love, joy, the fruits of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit and speaking in tongues. It means being filled with God himself!

Not only is it God's will that we be baptized in the Holy Spirit, but the Lord commands us to be baptized in the Holy Spirit:

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Ephesians 5:18-19, KJV

"Be filled" is one word in the Greek text, pleroō, "to make full, to fill up, i.e., to fill to the full." It is a present passive imperative (SEEDMASTER). Paul—under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—commands us to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit. If God commands us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, then there is a reason. We are called to fight in a spiritual battle and we cannot be victorious through our mere human abilities.

"With the Spirit" is en pneumati, literally, "in Spirit." The Holy Spirit is meant, determined by context. To be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit is to be constantly immersed in the Spirit of God.

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Chapter 3

Read the Word of God

Just as you must eat food for your body, you must have food for your spirit. Food for your spirit is the Word of God--the Bible. Here are the words of Jesus:

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
(Matthew 4:4, NIV).

The Holy Spirit will give you a hunger for the Word of God. It is important to read and meditate on the Word daily. Begin by reading the Gospel of John.

The Lord has called pastors and teachers to explain the meaning of the Bible and apply it to your life. Listen carefully to their teaching, but always check their teaching with the Bible itself. Unfortunately, there are some false teachers.

The Bible itself is trustworthy. To read more about the Bible, click on

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Chapter 4

Be Baptized in Water

Text: Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20, NASB


After you accept Christ as your Savior, it is important to be baptized in water. Contact your minister for counseling and set a date soon. May God bless you as you obey his Word.

1. Christ commanded us to be baptized.

1.1 Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize believers. See the Great Commission in our text above.
1.2 Jesus was baptized as an example.

Jesus obeyed what God commanded others to do--he modeled the role. John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, was preaching repentance and baptizing those who repented. John's baptism was a pre-Christian baptism. John came to bring people to God in order that they might accept their Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. O course, Jesus was sinless and did not need to repent. However, by being baptized, he identified with the people of God.

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." 
Mark 1:9-11, NASB
1.3 After we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are to obey Christ's command to be baptized in water.

2. It is a Rite or Ordinance.

It is an act or confession of our faith in Christ, in addition to a verbal confession of our faith in Christ. Paul taught,

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:8-10, KJV

It is a good practice to have the candidate for water baptism to confess his faith in Christ before being baptized. Then, when we are baptized, we publicly declare by our actions that we are Christiansthat we have accepted Christ as our personal Savior.

There are two Christian Rites or Ordinances: Water Baptism and Communion (The Lord's Supper).

3. It is by Immersion.

There are three modes of baptism practiced by Christian denominations today:

3.1 Immersionthe minister completely immerses the one being baptized, either once or three times.
3.2 Pouring (affusion)the minister pours water over the head of the one being baptized, who stands in water or on the ground.
3.3 Sprinkling (aspersion)the minister sprinkles water on the head or on the face of the one being baptized ["Baptism (Non Immersionist View)," International Standard Bible Encyclopedia].

Here a is case supporting immersion:

In Mar_1:9, Mar_1:10 the baptism is sharpened a bit in the use of eis [Greek preposition "into"] and ek [Greek preposition "out of"]. Jesus “was baptized of John in (eis) the Jordan. And straightway coming up out of (ek) the water, he saw.” So in Act_8:38 we read: “They both went down into (eis) the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of (ek) the water, the Spirit ... caught away Philip.” If one could still be in doubt about the matter, Paul sets it at rest by the symbolism used in Rom_6:4, “We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.” The submergence and emergence of immersion thus, according to Paul, symbolize the death and burial to sin on the one hand and the resurrection to the new life in Christ on the other. Sanday and Headlam (Church of England) put it thus in their Commentary on Romans (p. 153): “It expresses symbolically a series of acts corresponding to the redeeming acts of Christ. Immersion = Death. Submersion = Burial (the ratification of death). Emergence = Resurrection.” In Col_2:12 Paul again says: “having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” The same image is here presented. Lightfoot (Church of England) on Colossians (p. 182) says: “Baptism is the grave of the old man, and the birth of the new. As he sinks beneath the baptismal waters, the believer buries there all his corrupt affections and past sins; as he emerges thence, he rises regenerate, quickened to new hopes and new life” ("Baptism...4. New Testament Usage," International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).

4. The formula is found in the Great Commission.

4.1 Jesus taught that we were to baptize "...them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..." (Matthew 28:19, NASB).
4.2 Some baptize in the name of Jesus, based on Peter's sermon:
Peter {said} to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38, NASB).
I believe that Peter was defining this as Christian water baptism. He was distinguishing it from Jewish baptism (the Jews baptized new converts) and John the Baptist's baptism of repentance.

5. It is believers' baptism.

The baptism that Jesus commanded was the baptism of believers. Baptism does not save anyone. One is baptised because he believes. There is no such thing as baptismal regeneration--the belief that one is saved by being baptized. This belief can give a false sense of security to the sinner who has been baptized.

Infant baptism is invalid. This, too, can give the one who was baptised as an infant a false sense of security. Jesus said that all must be born again:

"Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'"
John 3:7, NASB

A biblical substitute for infant baptism is the dedication of children to the LORD as Hannah and the parents of Jesus did:

"For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him.
"So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.
1 Samuel 1:27-28, NASB
And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was {then} called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "EVERY {firstborn} MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD"), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS."
Luke 2:21-24, NASB


Water baptism is important because Jesus commanded it. It is also important as a witness and confession to others. God will bless you and others as you obey him by being baptized in water. Sometimes it will serve as a point of contact to release your faith for a need that you may have.

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Chapter 5

Pray Effectively

Every born again Christian has faith. It is important to understand how we received that faith and how to gain stronger faith. Without exercising faith we cannot please God or get our prayers answered. Here is chapter one of my ebook, How to Get Your Prayers Answered. I recommend that you download this book and learn how to pray.

The Biblical Definition Of Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 
Hebrews 11:1, KJV

Hebrews 11:1 is probably the most concise definition of faith found in the Bible. It is considered the classical definition of faith. Faith is both the substance of things hoped for and the evidence that things exist that are not yet perceived with the senses.

1. Faith Is Substance

The New Testament was written in Koinē (common) Greek. The Greek word translated "substance" in Hebrews 11:1 is hupostasis, literally, "that which stands under." The derived meaning is "that which has real existence, the basic essence, the actual reality, the substance of something" [Hobart E. Freeman, ThD, Faith (Claypool, IN: Faith Publications, n.d.), 3]. It is a condition of the human heart that is as real to God as the thing we asked for will be to us when we receive it. It is the exact image of the thing for which we ask (hupostasis is translated "image" in Hebrews 1:3). When we receive what we have prayed for the image is replaced by the actuality.

2. Faith Is Evidence

The Greek word translated "evidence" is elegchos, which basically means "conviction." John writes,

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
1 John 5:14-15, KJV

The existence of the God-kind of faith in the human heart is the evidence that what we have prayed for exists. Faith, based on the Word of God, is the evidence—not what we see or don't see—not good or bad circumstances. Faith is not based on human feeling but rather it is based squarely on the fact of what God says. The evidence is not found in the feeling, rational, visible or sense realm.

3. What Faith Is Not

Faith is not mere human hope. Faith is based on the Word of God alone. Human hope may be based on the sands of wishful thinking or human desire, rather than on the rock of the Word of God. Doubt and hope raise the question, "What shall I do?" Faith says, "I have done!" The common phrase, "I am hoping and praying" is incorrect. "I have prayed and am believing" is more scriptural.

Faith is not natural human faith. In order to function in life, we must exercise a natural faith. We have faith in natural laws such as gravity and inertia and assume that they will work the same every day. If the universe were unpredictable and untrustworthy, chaos would reign and life as we know it would be impossible. We trust inanimate machines. By turning an ignition key, flipping on a light switch, boarding an aircraft, we exercise faith in machines. We trust vegetables and animals—we assume they will perform according to our past experience. We trust other human beings. We trust our surgeon, our spouse, our pilot, etc. However, faith in God is supernatural—a gift from God. We will examine the nature of faith in God in the next chapter.

Faith is not mental assent. John Wesley warned in his time that there was a dangerous substitute for faith that he called "mental assent." He was caught in this dangerous trap and only escaped after failing as a missionary in America. Faith is of the heart (human spirit) and not merely the head (human reason). Simply agreeing that God exists and that his Word (the Bible) is true is not Biblical faith. James states that demons believe in this manner and tremble in fear of judgment:

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 
James 2:19, KJV

Faith is not a psychological attitude. Mere positive thinking may have some good results, but it is not Biblical faith.

Faith is not sight. Faith is not based on mere sensory perception or human reasoning. Paul says,

We live by faith, not by sight,
2 Corinthians 5:7, NIV

4. Attributes of Faith

Faith thanks God beforehand. If a husband tells his wife that he has placed a hundred dollar bill in her purse for her birthday, she thanks him immediately. Why? Because she trusts him. She knows it is hers before she sees it. Jesus says,

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24, NIV

God does not answer biblical prayer with "No" or with substitutes. Paul says,

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are `Yes' in Christ. ... (2 Corinthians 1:20, New International Version).

Faith will endure to the end. Abraham waited 25 years for Isaac to be born. Caleb waited 40 years for his land. Noah waited 120 years for his physical salvation. Faith does not look at the calendar, but to Christ. Hope may last a few minutes or a few months. Faith will endure until it is replaced by the thing for which we are believing. D. L. Moody said,

Faith that fizzles out at the finish, had a flaw in it from the first.

Conclusion: Dr. Freeman concludes:

Faith is not hope. Faith is the means by which we receive those things we hope for. Neither is faith sight. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Faith can only operate in the realm of the invisible concerning those things we hope for and do not yet see. Faith cannot exist in the visible realm. When the things we hope for are manifested to our sight, then faith, the invisible "substance," having done its work, is supplanted by the visible substance, that is, the things we hope for. When the actuality comes into view, then the image (faith) vanishes.
Hobart E. Freeman, Faith, 4

Biblical faith is an absolute requirement for answered prayer. The writer of Hebrews states,

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6, KJV

Notice that one must believe that God exists and that he rewards—answers prayer and helps—those who ask. How do we receive this type of faith? Let us now go to Chapter 2.

Chapter 1, of my eBook, How to Get Your Prayers Answered. Download this book free at

© John E. Russell 1994, 2014.

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Chapter 6

Attend Church

It is important to attend a local church that believes the Bible and is functioning as a New Testament church.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews admonishes us to fellowship with other believers:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day [of Jesus' Return] approaching.
Hebrews 9:23-25, NIV

"Birds of a feather flock together," is an old saying. We should fellowship with people who are living for the Lord. The group with whom we associate exerts pressure on us to conform to their beliefs and practices. Associating with Christians places a positive pressure on us to conform to right believing and right living. Then, after we are grounded in the Word of God, we become qualified to minister to non-Christians.

Pastors are called and equipped by the Lord to feed and protect their flock. The Lord gives pastors a special love for people. They oversee the group of Christians in a local church, protecting them from evil people and false teaching. Pastors also teach Christians the Bible and apply its principles to present-day living. It is important to learn the Word of God. The Bible teaches Christians

1. Who they are in Christ.
2. What they have in Christ.
3. What they can do in Christ.
(See Appendix A in my ebook, Ephesians.)

To learn more about the pastor, click on

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Chapter 7

Help Fulfill the Great Commission

Jesus commands Christians to reach the whole world with the Gospel:

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20, NASB

When Jesus tells us to make disciples, he means to make "learners." He further states that we are to teach them everything that he taught. It stands to reason that we must first learn the Bible before we can teach it.

One person cannot reach everyone in the world with the Gospel. However, the Holy Spiritwho indwells every believeris the administrator of God's plan of redemption. He will lead individual Christians to reach certain people. It is important to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leadership and obey him. God doesn't expect us to witness without his help.

There is no greater joy than to lead another person to Christ. This is where the Father's heart is and it is where our heart should be. It is good to memorize key scriptures, such as those used in Bill Bright's "Four Spiritual Laws." Click on

God calls the fivefold ministry gifts:

1. Apostles (Missionaries).
2. Prophets.
3. Evangelists.
4. Pastors.
5. Teachers.

To learn more about the ministry gifts, click on

God has a plan to support the ministers he has called. That plan is called tithing. A tithe is ten percent of one's income. The tithe has its origins in the Old Testament and is affirmed by Jesus. Begin tithing immediately if you haven't already begun. It is a joy and an act of worship to give to God. To learn more about tithing, click on

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What an honor to become a child of God and have him come live inside us! Here is a quotation from Chapter One of my ebook, Ephesians:

          In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works           out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
          Ephesians 1:11, NIV

Notice that the verse begins with the words, "In Him."

The whole verse describes only those who are in Christ. Marshall gives this literal translation of the first phrase of verse 11:

In whom also we were chosen as [his] inheritance.

Wuest comments on this phrase:

The best Greek texts have, not, "we have obtained an inheritance," but "we were made an inheritance or, "we were designated as a heritage." Thus, the saints are God's heritage, His possession through the work of Christ on the cross.
Wuest, 46-47

The usual Christian concept is that God has an inheritance for us and this is true. However, here we are blessed to see from God's perspective—we are his inheritance. He takes joy in us, his inheritance! The LORD says this about his saints:

And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My Jewels—My special possession, My peculiar treasure. And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.
Malachi 3:17, AMP

©John E. Russell 2004, 2014

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 03:33