I was baptized 6 months ago, but I don’t feel power, life, I don’t feel that something happened with me yet. I should have been totally changed, to have more zeal for God, to seek Him more, to have much power over sin. Maybe you will say that we walk by faith, not by feelings, but I don’t feel that I am saved, Pastor. What do I have to believe? Am I on the right path or did I just have a shower in front of some people? I have also asked for advice from other pastors, some told me to be patient, because spiritual growth comes in time, another one told me to repent, I still did not repent. I do not know what to believe. I do not want to stay in indifference or in doubt. What do I have to do to have that joy of salvation? When does the Holy Spirit come into my life?
If you chose to follow the Lord Jesus Christ to be His disciple, then you entered into the New Covenant with Him and according to the promise that the Savior made, you received the Holy Spirit. There are certain things you have to do to have the joy of salvation forever and for it to never leave you. Here’s what the first Christians did after they were baptized:
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.(Acts 2:41–47) (NASB)
Look carefully and you will see that the joy of salvation experienced by all these first Christians was conditioned by four actions that they were doing and in which they persisted, that is, persevering, insisting. If a Christian disregards at least one of these basic components of the spiritual discipline, he can not experience the full joy of salvation. That’s why I advise you to examine your life well and see what you lack:
TEACHING OF THE APOSTLES – Make the deep study of the Holy Scriptures a daily practice and a passion for your life.
Do not just settle with reading the Bible. Reading and studying are different things. Try to read the Bible from scratch and do it forever, but it is time for you to study from the Holy Scriptures certain books, topics, that is, what concerns you, which are related to the problems you are going through and the spiritual needs you have. Now, if you lack this joy of salvation, I recommend that you study the inductive biblical study of the Epistle of Philippians, which is even titled “How to Have Joy.” Another course that I advise you to study is the Sermon on the Mountain entitled “How Can I Be Blessed?” Please contact [email protected], or [email protected] if you live in Romania, and find out how you can get these courses and how you can join a group currently studying this course. It is especially important to have this discipline of Bible study and for it to be your passion.
FELLOWSHIP – The Greek word that has been translated here as fellowship, or in some translations a “brotherly bond,” is KOINONIA and means sharing with others what you have, feeling with others, taking care of them, giving away from yourself, sacrificing for others. The early Christians have persisted (insisted, persevered) in this, and so must every Christian who wants to always have the joy of salvation in his heart. Look carefully at the church you are part of and see who is in pain, in need, in affliction. Go and help these people and make it a daily spiritual discipline.
BREAKING of BREAD – This is the celebration of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, but also a sign of the New Covenant in which we entered. Scripture teaches us that whenever we come to the Lord’s Supper, we have to look at ourselves and see if we live in the right way according to the Savior’s teaching. To persevere in breaking bread is to look at yourself and to check where you are wrong, to recognize, to ask forgiveness, to repent and to correct yourself. This must be a spiritual discipline, and if you do not do it, the sins that remain unsettled begin to press, to bind us, and so you lack the joy of salvation.
PRAYERS – Daniel had three hours of prayer. They were planned ahead of time and this discipline he kept throughout his life, no matter how big the positions he held and how much it required him to work. He kept this spiritual discipline even when he was threatened with death in the lion’s den. Every Christian must have a discipline of prayer and must plan well this time and the content of prayer. Put aside a special notebook in which you gather your prayer needs and put in your calendar a separate time for daily prayer. I will appreciate if you put on that list to pray for me, the author of this article, and for all the work that we are doing through this Christian portal.
Begin to persevere and insist daily on these four components of spiritual discipline and the joy of salvation will not be delayed in coming to your heart. It may take some time, but it will come and will not go away. So may God help you.
Translated by Aliona Soltan