You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, God is building a home.
It is our pleasure to bless you with this helpful guide today. By reading our prayer of salvation, you have indicated your desire to begin a relationship with Christ. This guide explains the steps that will ensure you grow and become fully established in Christ. We encourage you to read on and fully understand what it is you have committed to. We want you to successfully continue your spiritual journey with God as he has so much more for you to receive in your life. This booklet will help you connect with God and grow in God. We really want to see you planted in God’s house where you can flourish as a strong, successful person now that you have made this important decision.
André & Wilma Olivier
HOW TO BE SURE OF YOUR SALVATION
How can anyone be sure that just because they made a decision and raised their hand in church, they are now a Christian on their way to heaven, sure of eternal life? Well it’s really quite simple. The Bible is the authority on the truths of salvation, and it says...
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 10:9,10 NLT
Therefore if you have prayed and asked Jesus into your life and believe with all your heart that he is your Saviour, then you are saved. But you might say that you do not “feel” saved. Well, the Bible again says...
I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. John 5:24 NLT
If you now know this yet feel that you still sin and fail, what then? The Bible goes on to tell us how to respond to sin and failure while God is working in us.
But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God's Son, purges all our sin. If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:7-9 MSG
You now need to walk in faith believing that God is true to his word and that you are saved. This is the most exciting decision you could make...but there is more!
HOW TO GO ON AND GROW IN GOD
In order for you to grow and become all that God has for you in Christ, there are several important steps you will need to take.
ATTEND A GREAT CHURCH REGULARLY
This is where you can receive the spiritual food that you need to grow in your relationship with God and others. Make sure you don’t miss out on anything God is doing in church.
They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 NLT
Sitting under good teaching is like milk for your soul and will establish you quickly in the things of God.
BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST HAS COME INTO YOUR LIFE
If you have asked Jesus to come into your life and be your Lord and Saviour then you can be sure that He will respond and do just that. It is a fact, not a feeling, and you will need to trust his promises, not your feelings. Feelings will often lie to us and make us feel we are not saved. Jesus himself said...
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. Revelation 3:20-21 NLT
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. John 1:10-13 NLT
This tells us that we are saved and accepted by God because of our trust in Jesus, not our performance or works. If you feel unworthy or unsure then it is not because God has not accepted you, but that you have not fully believed or understood that God has accepted you in Christ.
REALISE THAT FAITH SAVES US AND NOT OUR GOOD DEEDS
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen. Philippians 4:19-20 NLT
As we trust Jesus for eternal life, we can also trust him for everything else we need in our lives. By depending on and trusting in Jesus we are brought to the Father and made right with God. God has good deeds that he wants you to do in order to impact your world, but we don’t do deeds to be saved and accepted by God. We do good deeds because we have been saved and now want to help others and show the love of God to them.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT
READ YOUR BIBLE AND PRAY REGULARLY
Reading the Bible regularly will teach you about God, and praying regularly will help you connect with God and have your needs met. Also, when we pray, God speaks to us and it is not a one-way conversation. You can connect with God about all the issues in your life. For example: your fears, concerns, emotional life, family, marriage, children, school, job, studies, finances, career, habits and all the things that are holding you back from God’s best for your life. The Bible has all the practical guidelines you need for living a successful life.
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. 1 Peter 2:2-3 NLT
Jesus encourages us to come to God confidently in prayer for anything we need or for any challenge we may be facing. Pray with confidence and boldness, fully expecting God to answer your prayers because you are now one of His children.
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:9-10 NIV
REMEMBER: GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!
STAY HUNGRY FOR GOD
It is so easy to taste of the goodness of God and then turn away from him. People who are hungry ‘eat’. If we don’t eat, we have to be spoon fed or drip fed. These show we are immature or ill. Hungry people seek food and eat so that they can grow strong and healthy.
Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God's Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up! Galatians 3:2-4 MSG
If you stay planted in the church and established in God, then you will grow tall and flourish. You won’t reach your full potential if you move around and church-hop.
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. Psalms 92:12-13 NIV
REMEMBER: FLOURISHING CAN ONLY COME THROUGH PLANTING
BECOME PLANTED IN CHURCH
Planting comes through a partnership decision with the church. The Rivers Partnership booklet is available from the Information Counter and explains the key elements to establishing yourself in the church and your relationship with others. The greatest way to grow in God is to grow in a volunteer role with others.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalm 1:2-3 NIV
SIGN UP FOR WATER BAPTISM
One of the important things that should follow a commitment to Christ is baptism in water. This is an outward sign of your inward decision and is the true test of whether you have given your life fully to Christ or only raised your hand because you had a need. Baptism is the commitment to go on with God and be all that He wants you to be. We encourage you to take this step as it is a definite spiritual transition to your next phase in Christianity.
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation. Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:40-41 NIV
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
TRUST GOD WITH YOUR WHOLE LIFE
God has awesome plans for your life and has had his eye on you from before you were even born. Believe that God is good, and that he wants to be good to you. Believe and fully trust that God wants to bless you and help you in every area of your life.
Pray and ask for your needs to be met.
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them; they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. Psalms 139: 1-5, 13-18 NIV
Now that you have made a decision to walk with God, you will need to get as much input as you can. What we put into our lives is what we will get out. The Bible says:
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 NIV
The Rivers Church Resource Centre carefully selects materials that will help you grow in faith and the knowledge of God. There are several books by Pastor André and other international authors and speakers that will help you live successfully and keep you motivated to serve God fully. There is also a great range of message CDs and DVDs by the Senior Pastors that will equip and inspire you. Also visit the Rivers Church online store.
Does anyone care, God? Is anyone listening and believing a word of it?" The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ's Word is preached, there's nothing to listen to. But haven't there been plenty of opportunities for Israel to listen and understand what's going on? Plenty, I'd say. Preachers' voices have gone 'round the world… Romans 10:16-18 MSG
Make sure you receive as much of the Word of God as possible. We wish you an exciting, fruitful and life changing walk with the Lord Jesus Christ and a wonderful experience of growing in his church.
If you are in the area, we would love to welcome you into one of our Rivers campuses.
RIVERS CHURCH SANDTON CAMPUS
RIVERS CHURCH DURBAN CAMPUS