Goal: Establish in Habits essential for spiritual growth.
The goal determines what my lessons should be. I need to discuss the essential habits for a new Christian.
- Learning and applying the Word of God. (listening, reading, studying, memorizing, applying, teaching)
- Praying and listening to the Spirit of God. (prayer, meditation, surrender, obedience)
- Receiving and serving in the Church of God. (discipleship training, vision, goals, application, ministries, exercise of gifts and talents, responsibility)
- Isa 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
- We send our children to school to learn. Lessons and activities are designed to be age appropriate and to meet the needs. Education is systematic.
- This one point may well be the greatest lack in Biblical teaching. too little, too late. A few Bible stories without relevance to life or history.
- Imparting a vision, first things first, what to do, what not to do, mistakes to avoid.
- Follow-up is a critical step that is too often overlooked.
- God’s Plan for Your Life
- The First and Great Commandment
- Resources for Growth
If you have recently been saved, or if you are wanting to begin pursuing spiritual growth, these lessons are for you. Proper orientation is vital to your spiritual development. After completing the following lessons, you will better understand God’s will for your life and how to grow spiritually. You will know the first and greatest command in the Bible and when you succeed in fulfilling it. Others will notice a great difference in your life. Being a Christian is the only way to live!
Read First John 5:12-13
- What can you know?
- What does it mean to have life?
- What does it mean to be dead?
- 4. What does eternal mean?
- Using the definitions of eternal and life, explain what it means to have eternal life.
- Why is it possible to know for sure, with 100% confidence, that you have eternal life?
- If you died right now, where would you go?
- If you died tomorrow, where would you go?
- If you died ten years from now, where would you go?
- How do you know where you will go?
Testimony of Salvation
Because salvation is the most important thing that has ever happened to you, you should be prepared to tell others about it. Some who know you will want to find out how to have the quality of life you have. The following outline will help you organize your thoughts.
- When did you become a Christian?
- What helped you to become a Christian? (People, places, events)
- Why did you become a Christian?
- How did you become a Christian?
- What does being a Christian mean to you?
God’s Plan for Your Life
Read John 15:8-11
- When does Jesus consider you to be a disciple?
- What does it mean to be a disciple? (Check out the dictionary)
- What does fruit refer to? (Galatians 5:22-23)
- If you bear much fruit, who are you like?
- If you follow Christ, why do you bear much fruit?
- What does Jesus tell you to continue in?
- How did Jesus continue in His Father’s love?
- How do you continue in Jesus’ love?
- If you continue in Christ’s love, whose example are you following?
- What two reasons does Jesus give for telling you to follow Him?
- Do you want the best and most fulfilled life Christ can give you?
The First and Great Command
Read Matthew 22:36-38
1. What is the first command Christ expects you to obey?
2. What does it mean to Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind?
3. How does love for God help you resist temptations to sin?
a. Second Corinthians 5:14, For the love of Christ constraineth us….
b. First John 5:3, For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4. Explain why loving God fulfills you.
5. What precedes your love for God? (First John 4:19). ‘We love him, because he first loved us.’
Read Matthew 22:39-40
- What is the second command Christ expects you to obey?
- Why do you love others? (First John 4:21). ‘That he who loveth God love his brother also.’
- How is love manifested? (First John 3:l6)
- How does loving others fulfill the law? (Romans 13:10)
- What is Christ’s desire for you? (First Thessalonians 3:12). ‘And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:’
Read John 21:15-17
1. What question did Jesus ask Peter three times?
2. What must you do to be able to teach someone else to love God with all his heart, soul, and mind?
3. What motivates people more than anything else? (John 15:13)
4. What does Christ want you to be motivated by?
Explain why loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind is the first and great command above all others.
The Three Resources
- Word of God
- Spirit of God
- Church of God
The Word of God
The Bible is the Word of God because it contains God’s message. It is the ultimate and final authority on how to think and how to live. It tells you what is right and what is wrong. Not surprisingly, the message of the Bible has proven to be the best instruction manual on personal living, marriage, family, finances, relationships, and even government. Most importantly, the Bible describes and explains spiritual truths, God’s will, and much more that is not understood by the world. If you want to know the correct way to think about things, the way God thinks about things, look it up in the Bible.
Why is the Word of God the final authority on all things?
Why should you choose the Word of God over the word of men?
How does the Word of God benefit you?
First Peter 2:2
Second Timothy 3:15
Second Timothy 3:16
Second Timothy 3:17
First Corinthians 10:11
First John 5:13
How should you use the Bible?
Second Timothy 2.15
Why is it not possible for the Bible to be interpreted many different ways?
Second Peter 1:20
Second Peter :21
Why should you be awed by having the Word of God?
There are seven ways to learn the Bible. Begin today by reading the Bible. If you read three and a half chapters a day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. Go to church to listen to God’s Word being proclaimed, and take notes. Learn how to study the Bible to discover important truths on your own. Take time to meditate, and think about the things you learn and read about, then memorize meaningful verses to remind yourself of important truths. Apply new lessons right away, and share what you have learned with others. Join a Bible study group todayl
Walking in the Spirit
As a Christian, you are responsible to act like a Christian, look like a Christian, talk like a Christian, and think like a Christian. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:25 that if you live in the Spirit, then you should also walk in the Spirit. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help you. However, you must be willing to be helped. You manifest your willingness by obeying the instructions that you learn in God’s Word.
How should you think about yourself?
There are two kinds of Christians. List the characteristics of carnal Christians and of spiritual Christians.
Galatians 5:22-23 First Corinthians 3:1-3
Walking in the Spirit requires a day by day commitment to allow Christ to direct your life. According to the following verses, what else should you do everyday?
Walking after your flesh results in carnality. This grieves the Spirit of God, and, consequently, you experience grief and anxiety. How does God feel about sin?
Walking in the Spirit requires the help of God to fight the ever-present carnal desires of the flesh. What should you do when you sin or experience temptations?
First John 1:9
First Corinthians 10:13
- Ephesians 5:18
- Ephesians 4:30
- John 16:13
- First Corinthians 2:10 & 12
- Acts 1:8
- Romans 8:26
- Luke 11:13
Begin each day with a few minutes of devotion.
I) Confess your sins.
2) Confirm your commitment to follow Christ and to obey Hint
3) Pray for others. (Keep a prayer journal)
4) Ask for specific guidance and understanding from the Bible.
The Church that Jesus Built
The Book of Acts records the activities of the Apostles at the Church in Jerusalem. You could call it the first church of Jerusalem. It was an exciting time. Many people were responding to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thousands of people were being saved, and just as many were being added to that church (Acts 2:41 & 47).
Today, people are still responding to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, you may have just recently given your life to Jesus Christ. If so, congratulations. Also, people are still joining local churches. You may be one of these. If so, congratulations again. This is the proper thing to do. Notice, in Acts 2:47, that as many as were saved, God added to the church. These people were starting out right. In fact, Acts 2:41 says that they were baptized and added to the church the same day they were saved. These people were enthusiastic about serving God. They wasted no time by starting out right.
Does God want everyone to participate in a local church? Yes, He commanded it to be done. Baptism is one of the four commands of the Great Commission stated by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20. And not only that, but Ephesians 3:21 says, “Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages….” God wants you to be an active member of a church.
Ephesians 4:11-14 explains why the church is so important.
1. God has given each church a staff of leaders (v. 11). Anyone serious about accomplishing anything receives training and guidance from leaders. You need the spiritual leadership that God provides in a church.
2. God adds you to a church to help you become mature in your spiritual development (v. 12). No Christian should miss out on this opportunity in his spiritual development.
- God has given you a church so that the work of the ministry can be accomplished (v. 12). This is God’s method, not man’s. Why settle for anything less?
4. God has given you a church to help you grow spiritually, to use you in ministry, and to encourage you (v. 12).
5. God has given you a church to protect you (v. 14). Jesus warned of false prophets and false doctrines. There are individuals, groups, and so-called “churches” which teach false doctrines. The best way to recognize lies is to know the truth. This is why, more so than ever, you need a church that teaches Biblical doctrine. First Timothy 3:15 refers to the church as the “pillar and ground of the truth.”
Take advantage of this vital resource by allowing God to add you to a local church and become an active participant.
Salvation is the most important thing that will ever happen to you. As Jesus said in John 5:24, “Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” When you give your life to Jesus, He forgives you and makes you a new creature (Second Corinthians 5:17). Now He wants you to grow and learn about spiritual maturity. Your first step in this direction is to follow Jesus in baptism.
What is baptism?
1. Baptism is for believers only. Because you have just been saved, previous baptisms are not valid. Acts 8:35-38 describes the importance of being a believer before being baptized. The Ethiopian eunuch asked, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” Philip told him, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” Baptism is valid only after you are saved.
- Baptism is to be by immersion in water. The word baptism (in the Greek, baptizo) literally means to be immersed.
Because this is the only word used for this practice, Christians should be immersed under water to be baptized properly. Neither sprinkling nor pouring are practiced in the Bible. Once a person was saved, they were submerged completely under water. Acts 8:38-39 describes Philip and the eunuch going down into the water and then coming up out of the water. Also, notice that after Jesus was baptized, He too came up out of the water (Matthew 3:16).
3. Baptism is a command Jesus expects us to obey. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands His disciples to include baptism in fulfilling the Great Commission. In Acts 10:48, Peter “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.”
4. Baptism should be the first step after being saved. Notice the response of those who were just saved. In Acts 2:41, “they that gladly received his word were’ baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Obviously, there was an enthusiastic response by many people. And on the same day that they were saved, they were baptized. In Acts 16:30-33, the jailer and his family were baptized immediately after being saved.
Anyone who has been saved, forgiven, and changed by the mercy and grace of God is, undoubtedly, thankful. In fact, how could one not love Jesus for all that He has done? But, Jesus wants to add more joy to your life. He wants you to grow and to become mature in your Christian life. Do you love the Lord? If you do, then you will do all that Jesus tells you to do. Jesus says in John 14:23, “If any man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Will you follow Jesus in baptism?
- Goal: habits essential for spiritual growth
- Learning and applying the Word of God.
- Listening and following the Spirit of God.
- Receiving and serving in the Church of God.
- Assurance- know you are saved and resist debilitating doubt
- God’s Plan for Your Life- John 15:8-15, disciple
- The love of God- the reason for living for Christ, motivation
- Resources for Growth- Word, Spirit, Church