Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Suggestions to Young Christians

You have embraced the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and have determined to accept Him as your Savior. As such, you have determined to turn away from past sins, have confessed Christ as Lord of your life, and have put Him on through baptism in water for the remission of sins. In short, you have begun the Christian walk.

Some of you have been on that path longer than others. Whether you are a newborn babe in Christ, or already have developed some maturity in your walk, there are certain suggestions I would like to make that will benefit you in your profession as one of God’s children.

First, always remember that the authority for your salvation is the word of God. Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone that believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16). The significance of this is that your salvation and your walk are ordered through the Holy Spirit by the word, not by your own feelings. As long as you persist in obedience to the word of God, you will have the promises associated with such obedience. In contrast, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). So, heed the Holy Spirit’s revelation, and let the feelings come as a result or consequence of that obedient spirit.

Second, because you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, turn away from every known sin. Determine in your heart to submit your will totally to the Savior, and keep back none of yourself. Trust in Christ for strength. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). Understand that the child of God cannot serve Him with reservation. There is no room for compromise; no room for a love for the world. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

Third, do not let anything separate you from the love of Christ. By that I mean your faith that Jesus loves you. Do not forget that He has compassion upon you in your weakness, that He has sympathy for your failings, and that His mercy can grant you forgiveness of your sins in any circumstance. If you stumble and fall, do not turn away from Him. Go to Him in humility, confess your faults to Him, and He will forgive you. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Fourth, do not let a single day pass without getting a portion of God’s word into your heart. Read the Bible with the intention of making it your own. Don’t read carelessly, read carefully, with the purpose of meditating on what you learn, and applying it to your life. “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-2). The same thing is true with regard to prayer. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Cultivate the practice of prayer. Pray during sleepless nights, during the day at the job or at school, during times of leisure. Pray when you are tempted, when you are depressed, or when you are joyful. Remember that God loves you, and wants you to communicate your needs and desires to Him.

Fifth, do not neglect any of your duties. Contained within scripture are responsibilities to every child of God. Attendance, study, proclaiming the word, benevolence, hospitality. As you read of God’s requirements, do not resist His will. As a faithful servant, do all that is required. “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do’” (Luke 17:10).

Other suggestions could be made, but these will suffice to establish the fact that young or old, you are a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Do not wait until you are old to serve Him. Give yourself to Him today! Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).