Colossians 3:9-10(NLT)—9) Do not lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. 10) In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.
The first thing we do to begin a new life is privately accept Jesus into our heart as Lord of our life. This is when we say our sincere salvation prayer, which confesses how we believe Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and we shall be saved. Nothing can take our salvation away from us. This is when we receive the Holy Spirit and become a child of God.
After we are saved, it is important to find a Christian church that preaches and teaches from God’s Word. The Pastor will teach about baptism, which symbolizes a spiritual rebirth. Baptism is not forced on us—it is solely our choice if we want to be baptized or not. Jesus was baptized.
Baptism is sharing our testimony with others to show we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. It is confessing our love for Him. When someone is baptized by immersion (dunked in water), it symbolizes our dying with Christ; and when we rise out from the water we are spiritually born again with Christ. We have a new life.
A new life brings changes. Other people should start seeing changes in our lives. Our desires will become His desires. There will be less world-like actions from us, and more of Him. Our world-like ways were put to death, such as: sexual sin, impurity, shameful desires, greed, and idolatry—anything that takes our mind off God. We used to act upon our fleshly desires, now we have a spiritual hunger. It is time to get rid of things like: anger, rage, jealousy, malicious behavior, slander, gossip, dirty language, drunkenness and drugs because God chose us to be holy. (Read Galatians 5:16-6:2).
Instead, we are to put on the characteristics of Christ: tenderhearted mercy, joy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, self-discipline, and brotherly love. The most important spiritual fruit of all is love.
We are a work in progress. The Holy Spirit will work on us from the inside out, and help us mature spiritually. No one is perfect, only Christ is, but we strive to be like Him with His help.
We are babies in Christ at first. It is our choice on how long it takes to mature. Either we follow the Lord and His ways and obey God’s commandments and stay in the Word, or we don’t. If we don’t follow the righteous path then the process to Christian maturity will be a lot slower.