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Two next steps for every new Christian

You walk out of the forest into the bright summer sunlight. Mountain air fills your lungs, building anticipation for the rewarding views further on the trail.

But in the clearing, the trail splits into three different paths. Which way do you go? How do you find the next path to take?

Following Jesus is like hiking; there are a lot of things to explore, but the best way to make progress is to take one step at a time.

Two Next Steps for Every New Christian

1. Get baptized. 

For everyone who decides to follow Jesus, baptism is the next step. Jesus instructs us to be baptized and set the example by being baptized (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 1:9).

Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change. It’s a declaration of how Jesus changed your life. It shows others you want your life to be aligned with Jesus and it’s a celebration they can join in with you (Acts 16:31-34).

Baptism illustrates the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Being lowered in the water represents our death to sin and old way of life, and being raised out of the water is a picture of how Jesus raised us and gave us a fresh start in life (Romans 6:3-5).

2. Connect to other Christians in the church.  

The best place to ask questions and wrestle through life’s challenges is in community. None of us gets weaker by connecting with others; we get stronger. "We" is always better than "me."

Jesus didn’t do life alone, so we don’t have to, either. He spent time with 12 men, showed them He was God, and helped them take their next steps together (Mark 3:13-19). Jesus started the church with a group of a few people, and it eventually spread across the world.

Listening to Jesus leads to doing what He says and connecting with the people He loves. (Acts 2:38-42). Belonging to Jesus means we belong to His people, too (Galatians 3:26-28).

Belonging to Jesus means we belong to His people, too.

In great times, we can celebrate each other’s successes. In tough times, we can lean on them to carry us through (Philippians 4:14). Through friendship with other Christians, we help each other find freedom from addictions and slavery to debt, marriages improve, and more people find hope in Jesus with friends by their side.

Salvation leads to declaration and transformation. We meet Jesus, tell others we’ve decided to follow Jesus, and connect with others who belong to Jesus. With each of these next steps and the ones we continue to take, our lives change to be more like Jesus.

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