Question:

Hello,

I recently became a Christian. I think it was at the end of January or the first part of February that I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I wasn’t able to be baptized until April.

But before then, I had a few bumps in the road. I committed three acts of sexual immorality, one being the day before my baptism. I was also with another girl, but only two nights. There was no relationship afterward, we just decided to stay friends. But I ended up missing worship on Sunday for her and felt terrible afterward, as I had chosen her over God. I repented and asked for God’s forgiveness each time, but after reading about Esau in the book of Hebrews, it made me nervous. I think maybe it’s just that because I'm so new to the faith that I worry and question things I shouldn’t. I have turned from my old habits and way of life, and still pray every day and night, and since my baptism. I do feel in my heart that I am a new creation in Christ.

So I guess my question is: am I worrying for nothing? Do I just need to trust in God’s forgiveness?

Thank you and God bless,

Answer:

The problem lies with your understanding of how a person becomes a Christian. There is no passage that says accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior makes you a Christian. Instead, we are told that a person learns God's word, which produces faith (Romans 10:17). That faith causes the person to realize he has been sinning against God and so he changes his behavior and his attitude toward sin (II Corinthians 7:10-11). That faith also gives him the confidence to confess his belief before other people (Romans 10:8-10). This results in a desire to want forgiveness of his sins, which leads him to obey God by being baptized (Romans 6:3-7; I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38; 22:16). How to Become a Christian as more details.

Your acceptance of Jesus tells me that your faith was beginning to develop. The fact that your baptism was delayed for an unacceptable length of time tells me that you are with a group who thinks baptism is unnecessary for salvation -- contrary to the teachings of God. When you read through the New Testament, it is striking to notice that baptism was never delayed. See Why Were They Baptized so Soon? for details.

The fact that you committed fornication repeatedly seems to indicate that while your faith was beginning to develop, you still had not repented of sins. It sounds like you have gotten to that point now in your life, but earlier you were making excuses for sin.

How you feel doesn't tell you whether you are saved or not. Feelings come and go, and feelings are often inaccurate. You know you are saved when you know that you have done what God as said you must do. "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked" (I John 2:3-6).

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