So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him.

Colossians 2:6 (NIV)

When I first came to Christ, I did so in a church setting, surrounded by family and people who knew the Lord. Some were new to Christ, while others had walked with Him for many years. Therefore, I had the support of a church to help guide me into my new life in Christ. However, many people find the Lord in all sorts of places without the support of a church family.

As I was reading through Paul’s letter to the Colossians today, it occurred to me that Paul had a lot to say to these Christians about what it means to be a Christian. Almost as if he were answering the question, “What do I do next as a new Christian?” This letter to the Colossians has a lot of good information for every Christian, new or old. I’m going to go through this letter to the Colossians today and cover the verses that stand out to me that are beneficial to new and old Believers.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.

Colossians 1:21 (NIV)

Paul is declaring a truth here that applies to all of us. Before we knew Christ, we were enemies of God. While this verse doesn’t provide any insight into how to live as a Christian, it does speak a necessary truth we all have to accept. It’s not necessary for salvation, but it helps us to understand the depth of God’s love for us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

The longer we walk with the Lord, the more we are prone to see the world, and those in it, as an enemy. Once, we embraced sin and lived in the darkness. When we see sin, in ourselves we hate what we see. If we’re not careful, we can see sin in the world and hate those who commit it. This is why we have to remember who we once were before Christ.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. )

Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV

This verse is a treasure for both old and new Christians. To the new Christian who has accepted Jesus as their Lord and savior, continue to live your life in Him, rooted and built up in Him. Some of us came to Christ based on little teaching, and without the support of a church family, can easily be led astray. To those who have come to Christ and are being taught what it means to walk a life of faith, be strong in the faith, as you have been taught. To both the new, and old Believer, be overflowing with thanksgiving for the gift of salvation the Lord has given to you.

This next verse is a warning.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual of this world rather than on Christ.

Colossians 2:8 (NIV)

Although Paul was writing to a church threatened by those who would impose Jewish beliefs and customs as Christian doctrine, circumcision, and the like. We have to be just as careful today when selecting a church, or denomination to follow. The first step in seeking a house of worship is to pray to the Lord about it. Simply ask God, “Where do you want me to go?” Whether or not you are a new Believer, when you’re considering a church to attend, you should review their statement of faith. What do they believe? For example, if you want to know what I believe, you can read it here.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding in the world about what it means to be a Christian. Some people will say one thing while others may say something else. Even seasoned Christians can fall into the trap of believing deceptive philosophy that sounds good but has, as Paul says, “an appearance of wisdom…but [lacks] any value in restraining sensual indulgence” (Colossians 2:23 NIV). These traps of false philosophy are easy to fall into because they seem reasonable and make sense. For example, the other day a brother of mine said something like, “Only real churches teach the King James Bible.” There are a lot of benefits to the King James Bible, but using another translation, such as the English Standard Version, isn’t wrong. This brother of mine has only attended churches that teach King James, so it’s what he expects. There are loads of things we might believe are part of being a Christian that is part of us and how we live and behave. However, just because we do them it doesn’t mean they are necessary for salvation or that other Believers do them. We are saved by grace, not by the clothes we wear or any of our works.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:2 (NIV)

Are you a new Christian? Rejoice! Before you knew Christ, you had your mind on the things of this world. You were concerned about temporary things and your place amongst them. Have you been a Christian for a little or a long while? Rejoice! Those earthly things that want to bring you down are temporary and lack the value of the eternal things that God wants you to think about and do.

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:3 (NIV)

Here, Paul is explaining that our old self died when we first knew Christ. Because our old self died, we are no longer bound by those earthly things that once consumed us.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Colossians 3:5 (NIV)

Since our old self has died and we are new in Christ, those old things can also be put to death. That means we don’t do them anymore.

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Colossians 3:7-8 (NIV)

These are all examples of how we used to behave when we didn’t know God. Now that we are coming to know God, we can turn away from these old things.

When I first came to know the Lord, I knew very little about Him. I learned about His love and what He did for me, and most of all, He changed my heart. Our stories of how we came to know the Lord are all different. All of us were in the world before we knew Him. I believe when we are saved that our hearts change. We not only want to know Him better, but we also want to be like Him. It’s this desire, not just wanting to be better, but to be holy like Him, that I think is indicative of the new person we are in Christ.

I don’t believe anyone stops doing all of the things they were doing before they were saved when they are first saved. This type of action requires knowledge about God and ourselves that He’s too kind to give to us right away. I believe our desire to change, and be more like Him is what allows us to receive the “bad news” about ourselves in the increments that God has intended for us as individuals. I know if I had been faced with the person I used to be when I was first saved, I might have been discouraged and thought I could never be the person in Christ that I want to be.

It’s like the marathon that Scripture so often alludes to. When I used to run long distances, I never started off with a sprint because I couldn’t keep that pace for the entire race. However, when I got a good pace, I was able to increase my speed as I ran, adjusting as necessary to win. It was at the end of the race, after having run wisely, that I was able to sprint to the end, obtaining the prize set before me.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and I receive you, into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.