Your First 30 Days of Salvation
You Are Saved, Now What?
Salvation means you realized that you had sinned. You realized that you needed a savior and that you could not find your way back to God on your own. You accept Jesus Christ as the Savior – the one who paid the price for your sin and brought you back into relationship with God. Because you receive the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice for you, you are willing to give your life to Him. You are willing to live your life the way that He says you should live it, instead of doing what you want.
Righteous refers to how God sees us. People are either seen as righteous or unrighteous. When we become saved, God sees us through the sacrifice of Christ. When we are in Christ, we are seen as righteous, just as Christ truly is righteous.
Righteousness is the standard of behavior that God has for us. Our actions may fall short of the standard. But when we receive Christ by faith, we are seen by God as righteous because Christ is righteous.
Justified is a legal term that describes the resulting condition or position, since we are declared righteous. It is as if we are declared not guilty. The Father sees us as if we never sinned. We are restored back to complete right-standing or good-standing with the father.
Imagine you owed the electric company money and could not pay the bill. Your neighbor offers to pay your bill, but he owes money on his own account. Any money that your neighbor would pay would have to go toward his account before he could pay on your bill. However, if someone came along who did not owe any money to the electric company, that person could pay your bill for you. At the end of the exchange, your account would be declared Paid In Full. Not because you had the money, but because someone paid the bill on your behalf.
That is Salvation. The wages of sin is death. Christ lived a sinless life and chose to pay the bill for humanity so that we could each get back into relationship with God, The Father. Only Christ could pay the bill because He is the only one who lived a human life and did not sin. Despite being 1/3 of the Godhead (The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit), Christ humbled himself to limit himself to living a life as a human. When he was crucified and then resurrected, Christ paid the sin debt that humanity could never pay. Christ was also the first example of living a spirit-filled life. When we tap into living spirit-filled lives, we walk the earth like Christ – in His love, His peace and His power.
A Whole New World
BEGIN READING YOUR BIBLE, DAILY. IT IS CRITICAL FOR YOUR SUCCESS.
Imagine that right this moment you got on a plane and were taken to a foreign country, where you did not speak the language or understand the culture. You were taken far away to a country like Vietnam or Hungary. And imagine you were told that you will now live there forever.
Also imagine that we gave you a guidebook to navigate this new country. If you study the guidebook and learn how things work, then your journeys will go much smoother. Would you read the guidebook? Would you memorize key information like how to make purchases or how to find friendly people?
That is your Bible. When you are saved, you enter the Kingdom of God – an experience and reality that functions completely different from most of what you have been taught your whole life. Your Bible teaches you what matters in the Kingdom of God. It teaches you how to succeed over your circumstances, and it teaches you how to let the hurt or broken parts of yourself heal. Knowing your Bible is vital to peace.
If you try to do what you have always done, then your experience will be bumpy and rocky. At the very least, you will not experience many of the promises that people talk about.
But, if you begin studying your Bible, with the realization that it holds keys and guidance to the new world and the new way of living that you have entered, then you will see great positive change in your life. This does not mean that challenges and difficult times will not come anymore. It means that when they come, you will know how to respond and how to get through the challenges more quickly, while still maintaining peace.
TOOLS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR BIBLE
Purchase a Study Bible.
Study Bibles give timelines and historical context for each book of the Bible – who wrote it, what the people of God were going through, and major lessons to take away. Life Application Study Bible is a great one.
It is an easy way to access the Bible when you are away from home.
The website makes topic searches easy. You can type in a word (e.g. peace, victory, forgive) and the site will give you all the scriptures that have that word, based on the translation you have selected (King James Version, New International Version, etc.)
The website has many translations. It is often helpful to read the same scripture in multiple translations. People often find deeper meaning that way.
Start with the following books within the Bible as you begin reading:
Romans (in the New Testament)
Psalms (in the Old Testament)
Hebrews (in the New Testament)
Mark (in the New Testament)
Acts (in the New Testament)
Genesis (in the Old Testament)
Exodus (in the Old Testament)
Focus Your Mind & Your Time
When people first get saved, they are often very conscious of the many sins in their life. Or, other people may want to force new expectations on you when they learn that you get saved. Don’t feel the pressure to fake a new freedom. True freedom will emerge within you over time.
There are normally one or two areas of your life that radically improve once you encounter God. Some aspect of your life is supposed to change. If nothing at all changes, then you probably did not encounter The Father.
However, after the radical change, you may still have 87 things wrong in your life. Don’t become overwhelmed. Here is what you do:
Spend a lot of time with God through prayer and worship
Read the Bible so you begin getting exposed to how The Father thinks
Don’t focus on the negatives! Pursue the new world you are entering. The more time you spend with new friends, the more you will become like them. So it is with The Father. The more time you spend getting to know Your Heavenly Father, the more you will become like Him.
After the first year, you may only have 81 things wrong in your life. After year 2, you may be down to 68 things wrong in your life, and so on.
Focus on becoming like Christ (which is called Sanctification) and the negative things will slowly fade away.
We did not “earn” salvation from good behavior. We were all completely messed up when we got saved. All of us. We were saved because of our faith in God through Christ. Living better is a by-product of spending time with the Lord. Good behavior is a result of feeding our spirit that is re-born/born again. When our spirit grows, our lives produce the fruit of the Spirit: love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22)
Find Saved Friends
Find friends who believe what you now believe. You don’t have to get rid of all your old friends at one time. But, you will need two or three new friends who can related to all of the things you are becoming aware of as you grow in your faith. You need people who understand you and who will not think you are strange.
You will also need help on how to transition in some key areas. Where do people find worship music? How do you know if you are praying right? How do you handle getting angry or jealous or sad when you are saved? Is it different from before?
Don’t struggle by yourself. Get a few friends who are also saved so you have good people to talk to. It will make a big difference, especially in the early months of being saved.
Getting saved is the single best thing you can do for your life. From this point on, you are never alone. The Holy Spirit is with you on the inside. You are now part of God’s family. That means there are Believers in the earth who will accept you and form community with you. And, it means you now have access to God’s love and power in your life.
These first 30 days of your salvation can establish a really great foundation for your faith and your Christian journey. Use your time well.