Chapter III
What We Need To Do


Now that we have covered the message of the gospel and we can see the importance of why we need Jesus, let’s look at what we need to do.


Seven Steps.
Repent: Change & Believe.
Baptize: Baptism in water.
Holy Spirit: Receive God’s Holy Spirit.
Live: Abide in Christ.
Church: Fellowship.
Love: The greatest commandment.
Discipleship: Make disciples and be fruitful.

We will go over these seven steps and why each one is important and you will begin to see the reason for each of these.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (John 3:5-7 ESV)

1. Repent: Change & Believe.

And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. (Luke 13:3 NLT)

What does it mean to repent?

Let’s look at the word repent in the dictionary and in the Bible.


What does the dictionary say?

re·pent  /rəˈpent/

verb

feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin.
view or think of (an action or omission) with deep regret or remorse.
feel regret or penitence about.


What does the Bible say about repentance?

‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent and turn away from your idols, and stop all your detestable sins. (Ezekiel 14:6 NLT)

That all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do. (Acts 26:20 NLT)
If you were to walk up to your friend and punch them in the arm, and they said “that hurts”, and then you said “I’m sorry”. If the next time you see your friend, you punch them in the arm again, and then say you’re sorry again, but you keep doing it every time you see your friend, again and again, then you haven’t repented and you are not really sorry. You never turned from or stopped from doing wrong against your friend.

We repent for the remission of our sins. Repentance is a turning away from our sins, we stop sinning, with a sincere apology to God for our sins. When we repent we are turning from our old life to live a new life without sin.

A true repentance is turning away from sin and turning to God. 

Repent and turn away (Ezekiel 14:6 NLT)

When we turn away from sin and are truly remorseful, Jesus can give us a new heart and a new spirit.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV)

When I asked God to reveal if I had any sin in my life, I began to see that I needed to humble myself. I began to see that what my carnal mind deemed as good intentions, weren’t just enough or acceptable. Because what I deemed as a small lie or a white lie was still sin no matter what my intentions were or how often I did it. I began to see the need for a radical change within my heart to begin to fear God and to really live what His will for me is. 

When I repented, I turned completely away from my sin. I stopped lying no matter what I had once thought because it’s a sin. And I had begun to realize that obeying God is, the most important, more than anything else.

I pray that you will repent for the remission of your sins. I hope you will ask God to reveal any sin in your life and to reveal if there is anyone who you are to forgive, that you might have forgotten about, that have sinned against you.


Forgiveness

We read in the Bible that we need to have forgiveness. It is important that when we repent that we also forgive others.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.(Matthew 6:14-15 NLT)

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. (Mark 11:25 NLT)

 

 

My cousin, Rebekah Bates, simply wrote it like this.

“The more truly forgiven by God we feel, the more desperate we will be to release others from paying us back for their wrongs against us.

The second you feel someone needs to repent to you, is the moment you need to check your heart with God about your repentance with him. Because at the point of wanting an “I’m sorry” from someone comes out of your mouth, you have moved from love (keeping no record of wrongs) to hate and you’re holding your brother or sister up to a loving God with the validation of how they wronged you and now need to repent to you.

Why won’t you just be like Christ, who after being beaten, called names, strung up on the cross and mocked said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The gospel will change the way you respond to wrong treatment. But it won’t deliver you from being treated wrongly.

The enemy uses any avenue to get you in offense and unforgiveness because unforgiveness ultimately keeps you from the father and opens the doors for the tormentors to have access to you.”
-Rebekah Bates


Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34 KJV)
I feel it is also important for us to speak our repentance out loud and to not just think it through in our minds.

The tongue can bring death or life (Proverbs 18:21 NLT)
The words we speak are powerful.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37 KJV)

We will be justified by the words we speak!

Our words and our actions are important and we need to be mindful of what we say and of what we do. We need to be holy and obedient of God’s word.

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV)

In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death. (Proverbs 12:28 KJV)

Forgiveness can sometimes be a really hard thing to do. However, we can ask God to help give us the forgiveness in our heart for the person we need to forgive. Jesus can bring us understanding so that we may forgive from within our heart. 


There had been a few people in my life I had to forgive within my heart. For one, it was really hard for me to understand how to forgive someone who had done such terrible things. Or understand why someone who was so terrible even needed forgiveness to begin with. They never asked for forgiveness, and they probably didn’t even know the damage they might have done or even know about the hatred I even had for them. But living with this unforgiveness in my heart was not good. It was like a bundle of hate, living in my heart. Living with this in my heart made it hard for me to even begin to have compassion for others, without me even realizing it.

Having forgiveness had become one of the most difficult things for me to do. How could I forgive when it wasn’t something that was asked for or even seemed deserved. It was hard for me to grasp past how much negativeness I felt that they deserved. I didn’t even want to ask God to give me the forgiveness, so that I might even begin to release them for forgiveness because to me they had deserved hell. 

However, I was tired of holding this within my heart and I wanted to forget about the person and not look back anymore. So, I cried out to God and I asked God for help to release me from the unforgiveness I had held from within. I prayed and told God all these thoughts and feelings I had about forgiveness. I told God I didn’t want to live with the unforgiveness and hatred I had for anyone anymore. I prayed for God to show me how and why I needed to forgive, and He did. God showed me why and he showed me how. He began to put love back into my heart and I was able to have forgiveness within me.

I’m pretty sure that some of the people never knew how I felt about them. But it doesn’t even matter any more because Jesus has released the unforgiveness that I once held and I no longer have hate in my heart.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God (1 Peter 1:22-23 ESV)

2. Baptize: Baptism in water.

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved… (Mark 16:16 ESV)

What does it mean to be baptized?

Let’s look at the meaning of the word “baptized” and read what it says in the Bible.

The word "Baptism" is a transliteration of the Greek word BAPTIZO which means to immerse.

We read in the Bible that people were baptized in water.

I indeed baptize you with water… (Matthew 3:11 KJV) 

So we read that they were immersed in water.


What does the Bible say about baptism?

We read in Matthew 3:6 and Mark 1:5; Confessing their sins, they were baptized.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. (Matthew 3:11 KJV)
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.(Matthew 3:13-15 ESV)

Why do we need to be baptized?

For the remission of our sins to live in righteousness.
We cannot live righteously in sin. So we must repent from sin and then get baptized to begin to live in righteousness. So we may live a new life.

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 1:4 ESV)

When Jesus came to John to get baptized, Jesus said, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15 ESV)

We read in the Bible, Jesus says “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved”.

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues… (Mark 16:16-17 ESV)

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4 ESV)

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. (Galatians 3:26-27 NLT)


How can we become baptized?

We repent and confess our sins asking Jesus to forgive us, then we become immersed in water in the name of Jesus Christ.

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 
(Romans 6:1-14 ESV)

There is freedom we can experience once we have been baptized. Us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, we can live a new life, for sin will have no dominion over us, since we are not under law but under grace.

I believe it’s important to get baptized once we have  understood why we need to become baptized. Once we can begin to understand the problem of sin. 

I was baptized when I was about nine years old. I chose to do it on my own. No one told me I had to do it, I just wanted to do it. And so I was baptized. But I got baptized because I wanted to go to heaven one day and not to hell. I had no understanding of why I needed to be baptized or what the reason for getting baptized was for. I didn’t understand the problem of sin, and the real depth it carried. I didn’t understand that baptism was for the remission of my sins and that I should not go on sinning.

There is an order and there is a reason. And we need to understand those things.

Should a child not get baptized? No, I’m not saying you should tell a child no. But what I am saying is you should get baptized when you are within understanding of why we get baptized. 

After I got baptized, I continued being a kid. I did not understand the reason for why I got baptized other than I wanted to make sure I went to heaven.
I was a good kid, and then I grew up and I began living my life for myself, living in sin. I had not repented and turned away from sin. 

When we get baptized we are to not sin anymore.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body… (Romans 6:12 ESV)

Then one day God opened my eyes and started revealing the truth to me. So I got baptized again when I was thirty-one years old. But this time it was different, I was baptized for the remission of my sins, to live in righteousness. For I truly repented and turned away from sin, and began living a new life, not for myself, but for God.

3. Holy Spirit: Receive God’s Holy Spirit.

Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 ESV)

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is like the wind. You can’t see Him. He doesn’t have an audible voice. The Holy Spirit empowers. The Spirit is known by what He does.

You know that wind is at work when you see a ship sailing across the water. You know that the wind is at work when the sail is filled with the wind and it’s being driven across the water. You can see the ship moving.

You know that the Spirit is present in a person’s life, not by the person saying that they heard this voice in their head or got this thought that popped in their head, but by being empowered, driven in a certain direction.

You can see the work of the Spirit by the works that are being accomplished and it’s visible in a person's life. You can see the fruit.

Like a ship sailing on the water, they’re being carried along by the Holy Spirit.
 
We read in the Bible that the Holy Spirit is a gift to us, and a helper. 

 

9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ESV)

We have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13 NLT)

 

 

Why do we need to receive God’s Holy Spirit?

We read in the book of Acts that Jesus tells the disciples to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit.
And again in the book of Luke, Jesus tells the disciples to stay in the city until they have received the power from on high.

He commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4-5 NLT)

“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” (Luke 24:49 NLT)

Why would Jesus tell the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit?

We read in John chapter 14 and 15, and Acts chapter 1 where Jesus says he’s sending (the Holy Spirit) a Helper to teach you all things, that will testify of Him, and that you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever (John 14:16 ESV)

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26 ESV)

But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. (John 15:26 ESV)

We can see that through the power of the Holy Spirit we can be given a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speak in different kinds of tongues, or the interpretation of tongues.

The power of the Holy Spirit is used for those who believe and those who don’t believe.

So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. Even so, if unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.” (1 Corinthians 14:22-25 NLT)

Those who do not believe might think we are crazy if they heard us speaking in different tongues, but if they heard us prophesying or seen healing, they would know God is with us.


A Helper

The Holy Spirit also guides us, He is a helper like the wind pushing in a certain direction.

Are we making decisions based off of our own judgment from our carnal minds or are we making decisions from the Holy Spirit who guides us?

For if we have not asked for or received the Holy Spirit, how can we decide what is right? 

For the Holy Spirit brings wisdom, knowledge, discernment, and truth.

We need the Holy Spirit so that we don’t run off our emotions and feelings, or base things off our own judgement or standards, but from God’s standards. For God gives us truth.

 


How can we receive the Holy Spirit?

We can see in Acts 8:14-17 that Peter and John laid hands on the new believers and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit, and then they received the Holy Spirit.

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17 NLT)

We can receive the Holy Spirit by laying hands on one another and praying.

“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:13 NLT)

Ask, and it shall be given you... (Matthew 7:7 KJV)

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.(Acts 2:38 KJV)
Do I need an ordained priest, minister, or pastor to get baptized and received baptism in the Holy Spirit?

No.

You don’t need to go to a special place or church building, and you don’t need anyone in order for you to get baptized in water to Jesus or receive baptism in the Holy Spirit. We don’t read any where in the Bible that you need to go to a holy person, or that you need to go to a special place. 

I believe you can baptize yourself in water to Jesus, and that you can pray and ask Jesus to give you the Holy Spirit.

Though it is a very special thing to do. You don’t need a special place or a special person to get baptized and receive baptism in the Holy Spirit.


What getting baptized was like for me.

My husband and I got baptized together. It was a special moment. We were with a few brothers and sisters in Christ, who baptized us and prayed over us. 
It just so happen to be at a beautiful river and during the summer time. 
A few men had got with my husband and baptized him first and then a few women baptized me. Before we got baptized they explained repentance to us and prayed with us. And then they laid hands on us after we were baptized and prayed for us to receive the Holy Spirit. 
Nothing radical happened when we got baptized. We didn’t feel anything crazy happen and neither of us came out of the water speaking in tongues. There was not fire works going off in the sky either. It was just peaceful. However, we have seen many different baptisms and they were not like ours. But that’s because each of us are different. And some of us have demons that need to go, that don’t want us to get baptized. And some of us can really feel God come over us and we begin speaking in tongues.
I tell you this so that when you get baptized you are not disappointed because you didn’t feel anything or nothing radical happened to you in the moment. We are all different.

I also want to tell you about when I got baptized at nine years old. Thought I did not know what I was really doing when I asked to be baptized, it was still special to me. I had gotten baptized in a lake, and I had all of my clothes on (this is normal), and I was probably dirty because we had been camping with the church group that week at the lake. But I will never forget that feeling I had as a kid when I came out of the water. I remember after I came out of the water, I was saying that I felt like I had just taken a shower. I a fresh feeling and I felt clean. And I was not expecting to feel anything. I was just a kid who wanted to get baptized. No one ever told me that you might feel something or that it could be a radical experience. I hadn’t even ever seen anyone even get baptized before that day. As a kid I thought I was just getting dunked in the water so I could go to heaven.

Personally I believe I had already received the Holy Spirit before I got re baptized as an adult. But it wasn’t until after I had gotten baptized as an adult did I really begin to learn how the Holy Spirit moves. And once I had learned about the how the Holy Spirit, I began realizing that I had received the Holy Spirit years ago prior. I can’t pin point it down to when I received the Holy Spirit, but looking back on things, the Holy Spirit was always there for me rather I knew it was the Holy Sprit or not. And this can sometimes be the situation for some people. 

We read about this in the book of Acts 10:1-48 where they had received baptism in the Holy Spirit first and then they were baptized in water to Jesus Christ. 
Peter, who was also called Simmon, had went to Cornelius house. Peter begins to tell them the good news about Jesus, and it says: 
While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. (Acts 10:44 ESV)
Then it goes on to say:
Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:46-48 ESV)


I pray by now you have repented for the remission of your sins, been baptized in water, have received baptism in the Holy Spirit, and are ready to live a new life in Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.(Ephesians 1:3-10 ESV)

What is life with the Holy Spirit like?

I want to share with you a few testimonies I have had with the Holy Spirit. 

One time I was in front of a store and I saw this woman there, and I asked her if she had any pain in her body that I could pray for. The woman began to point out that she had pain in her elbow, in her neck, and other parts of her body. And at that moment this thought popped into my head, ‘yes she has pain in her body, but her real pain is in her heart, she feels broken’. 

So I began to say to her, “Yes, I hear you tell me off all this pain in your body, but you have a lot of pain in your heart.” 

And she looked at me and said, “How do you know?” 

I said, “because God told me.” 

You see the Holy Spirit put that thought in my head so that I would know to pray for the woman’s heart.


Another time, I had seen a person with a cast on their foot. They said they had broken their ankle and that it hurt to put any pressure on their foot. I asked if I could pray for their foot and they said yes. After I prayed for their foot they were healed and they could put pressure on their foot to walk normal again.
 

In my obedience to Jesus, through me, the power of the Holy Spirit moved. You see it wasn’t me who did the work. I acted by stepping out in faith and the Holy Spirit did the work.

The first one was a word of knowledge given to me from the Holy Spirit, in order for the Holy Spirit to then bring healing to the woman heart. And the second one was a gift of healing by the Holy Spirit to heal the persons foot.


How do we know when the Holy Spirit is speaking to us?

How we hear from God is when the Holy Spirit speaks to us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us in many different ways. Oftentimes we don’t hear an audible voice from God. I personally have never experienced the Holy Spirit speaking to me in an audible voice. But sometimes I get a thought that comes into my mind that is from God (the Holy Spirit). And sometimes I’ll see a vision, or have a dream that is from God. It is when we act on those thoughts, that we can clearly see that it was from God.

Sometimes we have dreams that are nonsense. However, other dreams are from God to bring us comfort, encouragement, warnings, or prophesies.

We will not know if it was our own thought or a nonsense dream, unless we do something with it or we see the dream come to past. 

When we step out in faith, and take that thought that popped into our mind and do something with it, we will see God move. We will know that thought that popped into our mind was not our own, but that it was from God, it was the Holy Spirit speaking to us.

 

 

God works in mysterious ways.

There’s been many times that God has given me a dream and I knew it was from God. And when I wake up from those dreams, I like to go and write them down and put the date next to it. Sometimes I’ll know right away the reason for the dream. Other times I may not know and so I will just go write it down. And there has been times that I have had a dream that I didn’t know what it was for and later it will come to past.


There was one time I had a dream that my husband had bought me a Jeep. I had always wanted a Jeep, but we were RVing and we were not in need for another vehicle at the time. 

My husband knew that sometimes when I have dreams that they are prophetic. So when I told him that I had this dream about him buying me a Jeep, I remember he just laughed and said, "we know that is not going to happen”. Because we did not need a vehicle, nor did we have plans to ever change what we were doing to be in need to buy a vehicle. But then a few months later things changed and we were in need to buy a vehicle. God was moving us into a new direction in life that we had not planned for. So what did we buy? We bought a jeep. We had forgotten about that dream, but I had remembered it once it had came to past. I remember telling my husband, “hey do you remember the dream I had about buying a Jeep.” In awe, he just looked and me and shook his head.

During that time we did not understand the direction we were moving into, but it was a confirmation from God, telling us that we were where we were suppose to be. God knew things were going to change in our life, and so he gave me the dream ahead of time to show me that. 

I always seek God for guidance and direction because I have learned that God’s plan is far better than any plan I can plan for myself. There is peace with knowing you are where God intended you to be.

Continue to Chapter 4