There are at least seven steps in Christianity that are crucial(important) in the life of every believer. The Christian race is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. The journey to Heaven is not something we can run in a day. It is a gradual process(step by step), and because it is a gradual process, it means that every new convert is a “Work in Progress” and it also means that there is a possibility to start well and not end well, like we see in every marathon race particularly in the Olympics. Each race is made up of various laps. Likewise, the Christian race is made up of at least seven steps. Below are the at least seven steps in Christianity:
1. Gathering: Like the Chinese proverb says that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. So also, the Christian race begins with the first step. And the first step in Christianity is called ” Gathering”. There is a gathering. God gathers us according to Ezekiel 36:24 “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” Also the Bible says in John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” In other words, it is only God who brings souls to Himself. This gathering could also be in form of fellowship. Our case study will be Cornelius, you can read Acts 10:1-48. The Angel of God told Cornelius to send for Apostle Peter who was at that time in Joppa to come and tell him what to do. Please take note because there is a lesson to learn here, if Cornelius had died as a godfearing, good, kind man without giving his life to Christ, he would have ended up in hell. So if you are reading this and you are yet to give your life to Christ, please in your own interest do so right now, tomorrow may be too late. Now back to our case study, Upon Apostle Peter’s arrival, God had gathered the entire household of Cornelius and all his friends that were nearby. So, the first step in Christianity is “Gathering”. Now lets move on to the second step in Christianity which is Salvation.
2. Salvation: The second step in Christianity is called “Salvation”. Matthew 1:23 says “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” In other words, the name Jesus means “Saviour from sins” God gathers us so that He can wash us with His blood as written in 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Our case study will be Nicodemus, you can read John 3:1-21. Our Lord Jesus Christ told Nicodemus that except he is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. For God to write our names in the book of life, our sins must be taken away. God takes away our sins by cleansing us with His blood. Ezekiel 36:25 “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.” So, the second step in Christianity is “Salvation”. The third step is Sanctification
3. Sanctification: The third step in Christianity is called “Sanctification”. This is the drilling level where God will remove stony hearts from us and give unto us a heart of flesh to do His will. Ezekiel 36:26-27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Just like no one will give a new recruit a sophisticated weapon to use in the army(land troops). Here is wisdom, the sanctified are a selected few also known as the favourite for the Bible says in Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Our case study will be the Parable of the Sower , you can read Matthew 13:3-23. A sower went to sow, as he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and some fell upon stony places, while some fell among thorns and only few fell upon good soil and this few seeds brought forth great fruits. So, the third step in Christianity is “Sanctification”. Lets move on to the fourth step which is the Holy Spirit Baptism.
4. The Holy Spirit Baptism: The fourth step in Christianity is called “The Holy Spirit Baptism”. After God had gathered us, after He had cleansed us with us blood, after God had sanctified us, He then gives us power through the evidence of speaking in tongues known as the Holy Spirit Baptism for the main purpose of Evangelism as it is written in Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Our case study will be the Apostles, who received power on the day of Pentecost. You can read Acts 2:1-47. Immediately they were baptised with the Holy Spirit, they had courage to Evangelise so much that about three thousand souls gave their life to Jesus Christ. Glory be to God. So, the fourth step in Christianity is “The Holy Spirit Baptism”. The fifth step in Christianity is the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
5. The Gifts of The Holy Spirit: The fifth step in Christianity is called “The Gifts of The Holy Spirit”. There are basically nine gifts and they can be grouped into three categories, one category is called the Revelation Gifts(Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge and the discerning of Spirits), another category is called the Power Gifts because they do powerful things(the Gift of Faith, the Gift of Healings and the Gift of the Working of Miracles) and the last category is called the Vocal Gifts(Gift of Prophecy, Gift of Divers Kind of Tongues and the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues). God can give you any of this gifts as written in 1 Corinthians 12:11 “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” And the interesting thing about this gifts is that you are allowed to covet earnestly the best of this gifts. Our case study will be Apostle Paul who had all this gifts, you can read 1 Corinthians 12:31 and Philippians 4:13. But the Christian race does not stop at this level, which will lead me to the sixth step in Christianity, the Fruits of the Spirit.
6. The Fruits of the Holy Spirit: The sixth step in Christianity is called the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. This is the level where you manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit as a result of spiritual maturity, where you are totally dead to sin(flesh) as written in Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” 5:23 “Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Here is wisdom, except a seed of corn dies, it cannot bear new fruit. So you must be dead to sin, to manifest the fruits of the spirit. Because you can have the gifts of the Holy Spirit and if it is not properly handled, it can lead to your destruction. Here is an example in Matthew 7:22 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” 7:23 “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” This means a day is coming when some people who had the gift of prophecy, gift of working of miracles, and the gift of faith(wonder working faith), will be cast into hell fire because they failed to manifest the fruits of the spirit. Little wonder Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:2 “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” In other words the possession of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit without manifesting the fruits of the Holy Spirit is useless. And this is why we have so many Christians today and only few going to heaven because they are easy to annoyed and difficult to live with. Our case study will be Apostle Paul, the Bible says in Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” This means that Apostle Paul lived a life filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. He lived a life of Christ. So the sixth step in Christianity is the fruits of the Holy Spirit. And finally lets look at the seventh step in Christianity, which is Perfection.
7. Perfection: The seventh step in Christianity is called “Perfection”. This is the level of paying attention to the doctrines of God. The Bible says in Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Stop deceiving yourself that no one is perfect. If no one is perfect, God would not have commanded us to be perfect. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 3:17 “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” Here is an example of a man who began his walk with God at the age of 75years, you can read Genesis 12:1-9 and Genesis 17:1. After 15years of his relationship with God, at the age of 90years, the Lord told him to walk before him and be perfect. So even if you have been performing signs and wonders, you still need to pay attention to the doctrines of God because Psalms 119:89 says “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” You cannot claim you have arrived until you have become perfect. At this level, your lifestyle must be defined that when people look at you, they will have no choice than to say of a truth you really are a child of God. Our case study will be our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible says in John 14:30 “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” In other words, the devil could not find any fault in Jesus, He was perfect. So the seventh step in Christianity is “Perfection”.
In conclusion, the Bible says in Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” This means that we should make Jesus our role model and put aside those secret sins we are still living in and run patiently the Christian race that is set before us. So if you are not born again in your own case, please kindly give your life to Jesus Christ ASAP. And if you are already born again but you are yet to attain perfection, please don’t give up, keep pressing on. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Shallom
N.B: By the grace of God, if you follow them, I will see you in Heaven.