FOLLOWING JESUS

Following Jesus is a decision that takes a moment.  At the same time, it’s a commitment that extends through the rest of your life. To be a Christian means that you have placed your faith in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for the forgiveness of your sins and trusted him for eternal acceptance before God. It means you’ve surrendered your heart to God and turned your life over into his hands.  If you have taken that step of faith, you may be wondering where you should go from here.  This section of the website is designed to help you answer some of those questions.

 

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

It is often difficult to put language around an experience with God. He speaks to your mind, but following Jesus isn’t just an intellectual decision. He pricks your emotions, but salvation isn’t simply an emotional decision. The Bible uses these words to help us understand the life-changing power of meeting Jesus:

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But— When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.
Titus 3:3-7 NLT

First, we need to understand that outside of Jesus our minds and hearts are darkened (read Romans 1:18-23 and Ephesians 4:17-24 for more on this). We often think that we know what’s best for us, but outside of the light of God we are unable to see. We end up becoming slaves to our own pleasures and ambitions. The trajectory of our sin leads to death (Romans 6:23).

Second, it’s important to know that he saved us. We can’t save ourselves. This is the greatest news in all of history! Why did he save us? LOVE (read John 3:16-18 for more).

It’s not because of things we’ve accomplished (Ephesians 2:4-10), but because of mercy! The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross has paid for all of your sins. God gives you a new life and fills you with his Spirit. You are a brand new person on the inside and He gives you everlasting life (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Some have call this the great exchange: God takes all of your sin and gives you his righteousness in its place. This good news is the essence of the authentic Christian faith.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE FAITH?

God both forgives us and adopts us. This miracle happens by faith. Faith means that you step across the line and place your faith in God. The scripture teaches, “but to all who believed him and accepted him, He gave the right to become children of God,”John 1:12). Jesus told us that whoever believes has eternal life (John 6:47). If you placed your faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit assures you that you are God’s child (See Romans 8:15-16)You will also begin to find within your heart a deep desire to stop sinning (see 1 John 3:9-10). Christians will struggle with sin, but God’s Spirit inside the believer consistently leads us and empowers us towards holiness (see Philippians 3:12-20).

WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

THE SCRIPTURES

The Bible is God's Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it was inspired bold by God, the Bible is truth without any mixture of error and is completely relevant to our daily lives.Deuteronomy 4:1-2; Psalms 119:11; 119:89; 119:105; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 22:29; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1- 2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 3:16

THE GODHEAD

God has existed in relationship with Himself for all eternity. He is a triune God, one God revealing himself in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Although each member of the Trinity serves different functions, they each possess equal power and authority. Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 61:1;Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 1:35; John 5:21-23; 14:10; 14:16; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:8-10; James 2:19;

GOD THE FATHER

God is great: He is all powerful, all knowing, ever present, unchanging, completely worthy of our trust, and He is holy. It is in Him that we live, move, and exist. God is good: He is our Father. He is loving, compassionate, and faithful to His people and His promises.Exodus 3:14;Numbers 23:19; Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; Psalm 11:4-6; Malachi 3:6; John 3:16; 4:24; 5:26; 14:1; Acts 17:28; Romans 3:3-4;

GOD THE SON

Jesus Christ is completely human, but at the same time completely God. He is the only plan for bringing people who are enemies of God back into a right relationship with God. He lived a perfect life so that He could be a substitution for us in satisfying God's demands for perfection. He defeated death in His resurrection so that we could have life. Isaiah 7:14; 7:53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 14:33; 16:16; 28:5-6; Luke 22:70; 24:46-47; John 1:1; 1:14; 10:30; 11:25-27; 17:1-5; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56;Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 8:1-3; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 5:19- 21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is fully God, the third person of the trinity, and assures us of our relationship with Christ. He guides believers into all truth and exalts Christ. He convicts people of their sin, God's righteousness, and the coming judgment. He comforts us, gives us spiritual gifts, and makes us more like Christ. Psalms 51:11; 139:7; Genesis 1:2; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Mark 1:10; Luke 1:35; 4:1; 11:13; 12:12; John 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; 13:2; Romans 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Peter 1:21; Revelation 22:17

HEAVEN AND HELL

Heaven and Hell are places of eternal existence. Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. John 3:16; 3:36; Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:25; 5:11-13; Revelation 20:15

HUMAN BEINGS

Man is made in the image of God and is the supreme object of His creation. Man was created to have fellowship with God but became separated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, man cannot attain a right relationship with God through his own effort. Every human personality is uniquely created, possesses dignity, and is worthy of respect and Christian love. Genesis 1:26-30; 2:7, 2:18-22; 2:3; Psalms 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18; 3:23; 5:6; 6:6; 7:14-25; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19; 15:21-22; Ephesians 2; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11

SALVATION

The blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the only way of salvation through the forgiveness of sin. Salvation occurs when people place their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin. Salvation is a gift from God, and it cannot be earned through our own efforts. The victorious work of Jesus on the cross provides freedom from sin, lies, sickness, torment and all the power of the devil. Isaiah 1:18; 53:5-6; 55:7; Matthew 1:21; 27:22-28; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:12; 3:16, 36; 5:24; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 16:30-31; Romans 1:16-18; 3:23-25; 5:8-10; 6; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Hebrews 9:24-28;Revelation 3:20

THE CHURCH

The global Church is a living organism made up of all born again followers of Christ from every age, race, and nation. The local church is a regional community of baptized believers unified through faith in Christ. It is committed to the teachings of Christ, to obeying all of His commands, and it seeks to bring the gospel to the world. The Church works together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ. Matthew 16:18-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-47; 5:11-14; 13:1-3; 14:23; 16:5; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:10-12; 5:22-32; Colossians 1:18; 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 21:2-3

 

HOW DO I GROW IN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?

1. BAPTISM

Once you’ve trusted in Christ, the Bible teaches every follower of Jesus to be baptized.  For more information, please check the box that says “I would like to be baptized” on the Welcome Card that you receive when you walk into church  You can email  for more information.

2. PRAYER

Talking to God is one of the great joys of following Jesus. Because Jesus has forgiven your sin, you can have confidence that God hears you (see Hebrews 10:19-23 for more). Some ways to pray include:

WORSHIP 
focus on his greatness and sing. Write or speak to God about who He is.

MEDITATE 
focus all your attention on a few key scriptures.

LISTEN 
ask God to speak to your heart and listen to the inner voice of His Spirit.

ASK 
seek God’s will through scripture and listening and ask your Father for big, specific requests. We have put together a number of helpful resources on prayer which can be found here.

We encourage you to review some of the help resources on prayer that we've put together.

3. BIBLE READING

The Bible is the most influential book in human history. It includes hundreds of prophecies that were fulfilled generations later; it’s internally consistent, historically accurate, and poetically breathtaking. It’s not simply good literature. The words written in the Bible are God’s words. Reading the Bible with the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit is an amazing way to learn about the God of the universe. Consider starting in one of the following books:

The Gospel of John: John was an eyewitness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He was also one of Jesus’ closest and most trusted friends.

The Letter of James: James was likely the half-brother of Jesus and the leader of the church in Jerusalem. His letter to the churches is practical and powerful.

The Letter to the Romans: Written by the Apostle Paul, this letter is packed with many of the core truths of Christianity.

Psalms: This collection of songs and prayers reveals much of the nature of God and the journey of people to become more like Him.

We have several helpful resources on Bible Reading and Daily Time With God available to you.

4. JESUS-CENTERED RELATIONSHIPS

Following Jesus works best with other people. Getting around other Christians to pray, ask questions, and study the Bible will propel you forward in your walk with God. Consider setting aside time to share with those closest to you about your growing walk with God. Also, devote time each week to be around other Christians. At CityChurch, three ways to do this include:

QUESTIONS?

We would love to connect with you! Please send an email to or call the church office at 203.907.7922 to setup an appointment to meet with one of our leaders.

© 2017 | CityChurch HQ | 61 Amity Rd. New Haven, CT