Raising Babes in Christ
Many of those who are baptized into Christ, quickly fall away. Some estimate that as many as 40 to 50% of those who are baptized fall away within five years. We need to do something to help these converts remain faithful.
Scripture teaches that Christianity is a complete change in life (Rom. 6:4; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:24). Change never comes easily.
Physical babies need help maturing. Just as that is true, it is also true that spiritual babes need help maturing. How can we help the new Christian?
We Can Love the New Christian
Christians are commanded to love one another. We are to love the way Jesus loved (Jn. 13:34-35). We are to increase and abound in love for one another (1 Thess. 3:12). We are to “let brotherly love continue” (Heb. 13:1).
Brotherly loves means we are to be patient. One mark of true love is patience (1 Cor. 13:4). We need to remember that change takes time. Apollos was teaching the way of the Lord, but he only knew the baptism of John (Acts 18:24-25). Priscilla and Aquilla explained to him more accurately the way of the Lord (Acts 18:26). Priscilla and Aquilla could have been harsh. Yet, they were patient. Although they were patient, they still stood for the truth.
Brotherly love means that we accept the new Christian. There is no place for not being friendly and not accepting him into certain groups. The first converts accepted one another (Acts 2:42-47). They fellowshipped with one another—they did things together. They were together, united. They ate together—which in that day was a close sign of fellowship.
After Paul’s conversion, the Christians at Jerusalem didn’t believe he was a disciple (Acts 9:26). Yet, Barnabas, whose name means “encouragement,” accepted him (Acts 9:27). We need people like Barnabas!
Shall we accept our new brothers and sisters?
We Need to Teach the New Christian
Jesus instructed us to teach new converts to keep all that he had commanded (Mt. 28:19).
New converts desperately need to learn Scripture. They are to desire the pure milk of the word that they may grow thereby (1 Pet. 2:2). They are to increase in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:10).
We are to be teachers (Heb. 5:12). We need to be able to answer the questions a new convert has. When we hear the new convert make a mistake, each of us needs to be able to take him asked and explain the way of the Lord more accurately.
We Need to Help the New Christian with Sin
New converts are going to have difficulty giving up sin. We need to understand that for them—just like us before our conversion—sin has been a way of life. Habits never break easily. We have difficulty giving up overeating, giving up smoking, etc. One man said, “Bad habits are like comfortable beds: easy to get into, but hard to get out of.” The new convert is going to have difficulty giving up sin, for it has been his habit.
We are to restore the one overtaken in a trespass and bear his burdens (Gal. 6:1-2).
We need to let him know what to do when he sins. We know that they are to repent and pray (Acts 8:22). Yet, the new Christian doesn’t yet know that.
We Need to Help the New Christian Make Friends
Friendship is a powerful influence. People act like their friends: “Birds of a feather flock together.” “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Cor. 15:33).
New Christians are going to lose friends, and we need to befriend them.
Part of our friendship includes setting a good example they can follow. 1 Timothy 4:12. Titus 2:7. Although these passages were written to young evangelists, there is a powerful principle here—set the believers an example.
We Need to Put the New Christian to Work
Those Christians who have a task to fulfill are much more likely to be faithful. New converts who are put to work have a purpose—the church needs them. We must, therefore, put new Christians to work.
There is no excuse for a lazy Christian. God planned that good works should be our way of life (Eph. 2:10). Christians should be careful to maintain good works (Tit. 3:8). We are to encourage one another to go good works (Heb. 10:24).
We need to be working, and we need to be helping new converts find their talents.
New converts need much love and attention.
Our own salvation needs much love and attention. We need to work out our own salvation (Phil. 2:12). Do you need to work out your own salvation?