Have you been baptised? If not, you may want to read Step 3: Baptism first by clicking here.
Once you have had a baptism of water and have been sealed by the promised Holy Spirit, it is time to be led by the spirit and walk a new life with the Lord your God.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
In many churches today, people come in and sit down and receive a message, called a sermon. They have some worship before and after, then they go home. I do not think that this is how Jesus Christ envisaged how His church would congregate.
Some churches may have people within it who speak in tongues and prophecy. Some may heal and some may teach. However, the rest of the church passively listens to sermons and there is no instruction (or equipping of the saints) to do the very same thing. This is a shame as the same Holy Spirit is in each one of us and we should all be involved. Where believers are strong in some areas, they should be helping (or equipping) others in those areas where they are not that strong.
We all have the Holy Spirit, who is a great teacher, but we are to build each other up also, and not simply rely on the Lord to do all the work. You should have someone to disciple you and to help you to grow in your faith. This person should instruct and, with the help of others, equip you so that you can grow in Christ and mature in your faith. They should:
- Help you understand the Bible and teach you sound doctrine.
- Teach you discernment and how to hear from the Lord and how to be led by His Holy Spirit.
- Help you to pray for yourself and for others (including praying in the spirit - also known as speaking in tongues).
- Practice the gifts of the spirit (such as healing and prophecy).
My own experience was a frustrating one. I watched as other people laid hands on people and prayed over them, and I never knew what to do or how to pray for anyone. No one showed me or gave me any advice. It was only when I was at home did I pray over someone and it wasn’t a very convincing prayer.
Ofcourse, the Lord is merciful and knows our limitations. He is not expecting us to speak perfect prayers, especially when we don’t know what we are doing, but not receiving any instruction or help meant that I didn’t grow as fast as I could have if I had of received proper instruction. If I had of been discipled then I could have matured in my faith more quickly.
You should also consider discipling others and leading them to Christ. If you do lead someone to Christ, then it is you who should disciple them. Do not send them to church and get someone more experienced to disciple them. This may be good for them but it is not good for you.
You need to learn how to disciple others and rather than send them to someone else, disciple them yourself but use that person who you were going to send that person to as support. It is only by doing will you become fully equipped to carry out the calling Jesus has put on your life.
This includes baptising them yourself. The apostles and disciples did not need any special certificate or position in the church to baptise and disciple others, and so we should not do this today. Every one of us has been commanded by Jesus Christ to make disciples, and once you become a disciple yourself, you should feel compelled to tell people about the gospel and want them to share in the hope you now have in Jesus Christ.
If you do not know where to start, a good place is in your own family and your own circle of friends, work colleagues and other associates. You don’t need to go in all guns blazing, as that may put some off (although you may find some people are very responsive). Use your own judgement and test the waters and see who is responsive. Do not spend time on those who hate the gospel and despise the name of Jesus. For Jesus tells us…
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Leave these people in spiritual darkness. You may have an opportunity to return to them in the future. Perhaps something will have changed by then. Your efforts are better spent on those who are eager to hear the gospel.
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