NEW CHRISTIANS STARTING FROM SCRATCH
by Charles Robey
(Trussville AL, USA)
Which path will you take ?
Starting from scratch' is an expression which has altered slightly in meaning since it was first coined. It is now usually used to mean 'start again from the beginning' - where an initial attempt has failed and a new attempt is made with nothing of value carried forward from the first attempt (as opposed to 'made from scratch' which means 'made from basic ingredients').
In the late 1800s, when 'start from scratch' began to be used it simply meant 'start with no advantage'. 'Scratch' has been used since the 18th century as a sporting term for a boundary or starting point which was scratched on the ground. The first such scratch was the crease which is a boundary line for batsmen in cricket.
So, are you starting from scratch today, within the Christian world? In other words, are you a new Christian? If so, whether you are aware or not, you are now high on Satan's enemy list. When you came to Christ, even the angels rejoiced and that really threw old Satan a curb. However, you are now on the "A" team, so to speak. You have God's Holy Trinity on your side.
You have God, who is now your eternal heavenly Father. You have the Son, Jesus Christ, who is sitting at the right hand of the Father, ever making intersession for you. And you have the Holy Spirit, who is your comforter.
As a new Christian, I suggest you do three things:
1- Read God's Word, the Bible- By doing this, God will talk to you. A good place to start is in the New Testament book of John.
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalms 119:11).
"And the Scriptures were written to teach and encourage us by giving us hope.: ( Romans 15:4)
2- Talk to God in Prayer - At any time you have a need or feel lead. By doing so you talk with your heavenly Father.
"praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints"(Ephesians 6:8)
What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.(1 Corinthians 14:15)
3-Start attending a good Bible believing church- By this, you will gain fellowship with other like minded believers.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:23-27).
So, how are you coming along? All of this new Christian lingo may seem confusing at first. However, you are, and have been in good company, since God's church began.
Remember, if you can think back that far, how confused you were just starting in the first grade at school. If you are like me, I thought I'd never make it. In fact, often times early in my school experience, I would even beat Mom home, after dropping me off at school. Well, I made it. And you will make it, as well, in your Christian experience. For you see, don't forget you have the "A" team on your side. The team that is undefeated. The team that never lost a battle. And, the team that will carry you through, to the end.. This team is named "The Trinity".
I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope" (Jeremiah 29:11) .
For you see, it was by God's grace, that your life was changed and it is by God's grace that you will be kept.
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:11-14)