Your New Life In Christ Bible Study

This Bible Study contains four Bible study lessons based on verses from the gospel of John and other books from the Bible.

Carefully read the lessons and answer the questions following each:

  • Lesson 1: “Knowing Christ”: This lesson will help you begin your new life in Christ
  • Lesson 2: “Growing in Christ”: This lesson will show you the essentials to Christian growth
  • Lesson 3: “Obeying Christ”: This lesson will help you follow Christ wholeheartedly
  • Lesson 4: “Witnessing for Christ”: This lesson will help you tell your friends about your new faith
  • Conclusion: 10 Principles For New Christians

Memorize

Memorize two verses per lesson, beginning with John 3:16. (Memory verses are found at the end of each lesson.) To make memorization easier, print out and carry them with you.

Meditate

Think deeply about the scripture verses as you study and memorize them. Ask God to help you understand His Word and find specific and practical ways you can apply it to your life.

Lesson 1

Knowing Christ

Whether you have just become a Christian or are renewing your commitment to Christ, it’s good to review some basic truths about Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers.

Our Need for Salvation

Though you may know many people who seem to be “better” than others, all of us make mistakes (Romans 3:23). The consequence of human sin and imperfection is eternal separation from God, who is holy and perfect. And since God is the very source of life, eternal separation from Him means eternal death (Romans 6:23).

Promise 1: The Promise of Salvation

The Bible talks about “salvation,” which means being saved from eternal death and experiencing peace with God and living forever with Him. John 3:16, perhaps the best-known verse in the Bible, explains clearly that by believing in Jesus Christ you can have salvation and eternal life:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16

Look at this verse, one phrase at a time, to better understand the simple truth it proclaims:

“For God so loved the world …”

The “world” includes you and every other individual on the face of the earth. God loves you, and the next part of the verse shows just how much He loves you:

“… that he gave his one and only Son …”

God loves you so much that He gave His Son (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid the penalty for your sins when He died on the cross. He took all your sins and died once for all. As He died He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), meaning that He had truly done everything necessary for your salvation.

As the “Son of God,” Jesus is equal to God Himself. He is part of what theologians call the “Trinity”: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amazingly, however, even though Jesus was equal to God the Father (John 1:1-3; 10:30), He freely chose to become a human being and die for us (Philippians 2:5-8).

“… that whoever believes in him shall not perish …”

If you believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, and accept Him as your Savior, you will not have to pay the eternal penalty for your sins—because Jesus paid that penalty for you when He died on the cross.

“… but have eternal life.”

Instead of eternal death and separation from God, you will have eternal life the moment you trust Christ. You can know that:

  • your sins are forgiven (Colossians 1:14)
  • you are a child of God (John 1:12)
  • you possess eternal life (John 3:16)

Committing Your Life to Jesus Christ

Have you personally trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If so, then on the authority of God’s Word you have eternal life. If not, you can trust Him right now (Romans 10:13)! You can receive Jesus Christ into your life right now by praying a prayer such as this:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I know that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memorize John 3:16, and if you ever have occasion to doubt your salvation, use it as an anchor for your faith!

Promise 2: The Promise of Victory Over Temptation

Satan does not want you to be in relationship with God. He will concentrate on some area of spiritual weakness in your life to pull you down. Don’t be surprised when this happens! Instead, learn to take your eyes off your own weaknesses and put your trust in Jesus Christ, who is able to help you. God promises you will not be tempted more than you can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).

You may think that you are the only one who is tempted, but all believers go through similar tests. Temptation is not a sin. Even Christ was tempted (Hebrews 4:15). The sin comes only when you give in to the temptation.

To overcome temptation, take the problem to God immediately, before it has a chance to take root. Be positive in your prayers. Don’t concentrate on the thing that is tempting you, but think about godly things (Philippians 4:8).

Ask God to bring such experiences and thoughts into your life. Meditate on 1 Corinthians 10:13 and rely on its promises whenever you are tempted.

Promise 3: The Promise of Forgiveness

Learning to live the Christian life is like learning to walk. There will be many ups and downs, especially in the beginning (Psalm 37:23-24).

When you were learning to walk, you often fell down. But did you stay down long? No, you reached out to the extended hand of your mother or father, who put you back on your feet. You can learn to walk with God the same way. When you fall, reach out to God through prayer, and accept His merciful helping hand:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” —1 John 1:9

Whenever you do something that displeases the Lord, as soon as the Spirit of God has made you aware of it, make things right with God. As you do this you will come to know—firsthand!—the mercy and forgiveness of God and the joy of being in constant fellowship with Him.

Memorize 1 John 1:9 and practice it daily. Take God at His Word and believe Him for forgiveness and cleansing.

Promise 4: The Promise of His Presence

Because you are human, it will be natural for you to doubt, to be frustrated at times, and to feel weak and all alone. But you are never alone; Jesus Christ is in you and He wants to help you become the kind of person He created you to be (Philippians 1:6).

He will meet your every need and will take care of you daily (Hebrews 13:5).

Jesus knew His followers’ weaknesses and need for greater spiritual strength. He wanted them to know that, even though He would not be present with them personally, the Holy Spirit, whom we have seen is a part of the Trinity, would take His place and meet their every need (John 14:16).

The Holy Spirit can be your Counselor or, as some Bible translations read, your “comforter.” He can also be your teacher. As you read your Bible and ask God to help you understand it, the indwelling Spirit will guide you into the truth (John 16:13). He will also lead you (Romans 8:14), enrich your spiritual life (John 6:63; Romans 8:11), and empower you for Christian living (Galatians 5) and for dynamic witness to others about your faith (Acts 1:8).

The promises of salvation, of victory over temptation, of forgiveness, and of God’s abiding presence are yours this very day. Practice God’s presence, believe His promises, and walk in absolute dependence on His indwelling Holy Spirit.

Lesson 1

Your Response

Answer these questions by looking up the verses in the gospel of John:

1.   What did Jesus come into the world to do? John 1:29

2.   How did Jesus take away the sins of the world? John 19:16-18

3.   God loved the world and gave His Son to die on the cross. John 3:16 tells how we can personally benefit from what God has done.

(a)  Fill in your first name in each of the following blank spaces: “For God loved ________ so much that He gave His only Son (Jesus) so that if ________ believes in Him, ________ will not perish (pay the penalty for sin), but _________ will have eternal life.”

(b)  Physical life will end someday, but the life, which God wants to give each one of us, is eternal life—it will never end. What must you do to have eternal life? John 3:16

4.   What new relationship do you now enjoy by believing in Christ? John 1:12

5.   What happens to those who do not believe in Christ?

(a)  John 3:18

(b)  John 3:36

6.   Eternal life is not obtained by being religious, keeping a set of rules, or doing good works, but by believing in a person, Jesus Christ. What does Jesus say in John 11:25-26?

7.   What happens the moment you believe in Christ? John 5:24

8.   Now, review your answers and state briefly how you know that your sins are forgiven and that you have eternal life:

Suggested Answers for Lesson 1:

1.   What did Jesus come into the world to do? John 1:29 To take away the world’s sins.

2.   How did Jesus take away the sins of the world? John 19:16-18 He died, thus paying the penalty for our sins.

3.   God loved the world and gave His Son to die on the cross. John 3:16 tells how we can personally benefit from what God has done.

(a)  Fill in your first name in each of the following blank spaces: “For God loved [your name] so much that He gave His only Son (Jesus) so that if [your name] believes in Him, [your name] will not perish (pay the penalty for sin), but [your name] will have eternal life.”

(b)  Physical life will end someday, but the life, which God wants to give each one of us, is eternal life—it will never end. What must you do to have eternal life? John 3:16

Believe in Jesus.

4.   What new relationship do you now enjoy by believing in Christ? John 1:12 I am a child of God.

5.   What happens to those who do not believe in Christ?

(a)  John 3:18 — They are tried and condemned.

(b)  John 3:36 — They will not see life.

6.   Eternal life is not obtained by being religious, keeping a set of rules, or doing good works, but by believing in a person, Jesus Christ. What does Jesus say in John 11:25-26?

Believing in Jesus Christ means life forever.

7.   What happens the moment you believe in Christ? John 5:24 I pass from death to life.

8.   Now, review your answers and state briefly how you know that your sins are forgiven and that you have eternal life:

[Your answer.]

Final Thought

Now that you have received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, claim the assurance of your salvation. As a child needs physical food each day to grow, a child of God needs daily spiritual food.

1.   Memorize these verses for Lesson 1.

Promise of Salvation: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16

Promise of Forgiveness: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” —1 John 1:9

2.   Go on to the next lesson, “Growing in Christ.”

Lesson 2

Growing in Christ

God wants to meet with you personally—just you—each and every day.

That thought may amaze you, but consider it for a moment: When you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you become a member of God’s family, a child of God. You can call God your Father.

Any good parent wants to spend time with his or her children—sometimes with all of them together, but often with each one alone. That is how one person gets to know another person well—by spending time alone with that individual.

The best way to get to know your heavenly Father is to spend time alone with Him. You can do this each day by reading His Word and by talking with Him in prayer.

Listening to God: Reading His Word

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. … I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” —Psalm 119:9, 11

If you are just getting acquainted with the Bible, you will likely find the gospel of John the most interesting, because it sums up God’s plan of salvation most beautifully.

After you have finished reading John, you may want to read the book of Acts to see how the early Christians shared their faith with those around them. Sharing your faith is one of the most important things you can do for God.

If you have not read much from the Bible, you may prefer to use a modern version. Ask your pastor or someone at your local Christian bookstore to recommend one.

While you are reading the Bible, meditate on what it says. To meditate simply means to think seriously about spiritual things. It means thinking quietly, soberly and deeply about God—how wonderful He is, what wonderful things He has done for you, what He is going to do for you, and what He wants you to do for Him.

As you read the Bible and meditate, perhaps you will notice:

  • a special promise to claim
  • a principle to help you in your day
  • a command you should follow
  • a searchlight pointing out a sin or spiritual need in your life
  • a meaningful verse to memorize

Don’t read too fast or try to finish too much at one time. To begin, a good rule of thumb is to read one chapter a day. Take time to look for all that God has for you in the day’s passage. There’s no need to rush through your time alone with God.

Talking to God: Prayer

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” —1 John 5:14-15

After you have read and meditated awhile in God’s Word, talk to Him in prayer. Talk to God as you would to a loving parent who wants the best for you and who wants to help you in every way possible.

You can pray to God any time of the day—driving to work, preparing dinner, washing clothes, studying at school. But you also need to find a time during your day when you can give the Lord your full attention, without any distractions.

Perhaps the morning is best for you—when you are fresh, before your active day begins. Or in the evening—at the close of the day, as you consider the next day’s plans and prepare for a good night’s rest. Better yet, try to spend some time alone with Him both morning and evening (Psalm 55:17)!

Whatever the time of day, be consistent in your meeting with God. Jesus rose early to pray, and He went somewhere that was quiet (Luke 5:16).

A Prayer Guide

These suggestions may help you know how to start talking to God:

  • Praise Him for who He is—Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, yet interested in you personally!
  • Thank Him for all He has done, for all He is doing for you, and for all He has promised to do for you.
  • Admit to Him the things you have done or said or thought for which you are sorry. God is both willing and able to forgive our sins (1 John 1:9).
  • Pray for your family.
  • Pray for others—for friends or neighbors who have needs, both physical and spiritual.
  • Pray for yourself. Ask God’s guidance for the day. Ask Him to help you with any problem you have. Ask Him to give you opportunities to serve Him.
  • Try listing your prayer requests, so that you don’t forget any, and so you can record God’s answers. (He may say “yes,” or “no,” or “wait”!) Keep your list in a small notebook or on 3” x 5” cards—something small enough to fit in your pocket or billfold or purse.

Remember, you can pray to the Lord any time, anywhere, and about anything—to ask for something you need or to thank Him for something you have received. As any loving earthly father would be, God is interested in all that happens to you.

He is looking forward to His time alone with you!

Lesson 2

Your Response

God speaks to us through the Bible, and we in turn can speak to Him through prayer. As we carry on this dialogue, we become better acquainted with His glorious promises and blessings. This lesson should make Bible reading and prayer more meaningful.

1.   Turn to the following passages in John’s gospel, and briefly summarize the statements Jesus made about Himself.

(a)  John 6:35

(b)  John 8:12

(c)  John 10:9

(d)  John 11:25-26

2.   What does Jesus promise if you keep His commandments? John 14:21

3.   What further help is promised in John 14:26?

4.   What does Jesus ask you to do in John 13:34-35, and why?

(a)  What does He ask you to do? v. 34

(b)  Why? v. 35

5.   Read John 21:1-6. Describe what happened in verses 3 and 6.

(a)  v. 3

(b)  v. 6

(c)  What important lesson can you learn from these verses?

(d)  What similar truth is taught in John 15:5?

6.   As a believer, what is now your privilege? John 16:24

7.   As you grow in Christ, your faith and confidence will increase, and you will pray with greater assurance. What are you promised in John 15:16?

Final Thought

God, the Holy Spirit, is your teacher, and He uses the Scriptures to teach you. As you continue to read, study and memorize the Scriptures—and pray—Christ will become more real and you will find fulfillment in life.

1.   Memorize these verses for Lesson 2.

Confidence in Prayer: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” —1 John 5:14-15

Victory through God’s Word: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. … I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” —Psalm 119:9, 11

Suggested Answers for Lesson 2:

1.   Turn to the following passages in John’s gospel, and briefly summarize the statements Jesus made about Himself.

(a)  John 6:35 — He is the Bread of Life.

(b)  John 8:12 — He is the Light of the World.

(c)  John 10:9 — He is the Gate (or the Door).

(d)  John 11:25-26 — He is the Resurrection and the Life.

2.   What does Jesus promise if you keep His commandments? John 14:21 He will love me and show Himself to me.

3.   What further help is promised in John 14:26?

The Holy Spirit will be my teacher.

4.   What does Jesus ask you to do in John 13:34-35, and why?

(a)  What does He ask you to do? v. 34 — Love one another.

(b)  Why? v. 35 — So others will know that I am His disciple.

5.   Read John 21:1-6. Describe what happened in verses 3 and 6.

(a)  v. 3 — The disciples went fishing and caught nothing.

(b)  v. 6 — They obeyed Jesus and caught many fish.

(c)  What important lesson can you learn from these verses?

That I should always obey Him in all things.

(d)  What similar truth is taught in John 15:5?

To have a fruitful life I must abide in Him.

6.   As a believer, what is now your privilege? John 16:24 To pray to God in the name of Jesus, this will help me find fullness of joy.

7.   As you grow in Christ, your faith and confidence will increase, and you will pray with greater assurance. What are you promised in John 15:16?

A fruitful life and answers to my prayers.

Please continue now to the next lesson, “Obeying Christ.”

Lesson 3

Obeying Christ

As you grow as a new Christian, you will find that true contentment and fulfillment comes in surrendering complete control of your life to Jesus Christ. This means letting Him have highest authority over your life, as King and Lord.

Being a Christian is not just worshipping God for an hour on Sunday. A true follower of Jesus Christ is committed to a life of obedience to Him, 24/7, for the rest of his or her life. And it is a full life and an exciting adventure (John 10:10)!

Making Jesus Christ your Lord—living a lifestyle of obedience and dependence on Christ—brings about changes in the way you live.

Live Wholeheartedly

First, living with Jesus Christ as your Lord is a wholehearted way of life. We are called to serve God with all our hearts! Wholehearted followers are what God is looking for (2 Chronicles 16:9). Surrender your heart each day to Him, ready and willing to be like Him and serve the King of your life (Ephesians 6:7).

A Relationship of Love

Second, living with Jesus Christ as your Lord is a relationship of love. Your love for God is expressed through obedience (Matthew 22:37-40). Love is more than a feeling—it’s something we do. When you love your King, you obey His commands (John 14:21).

Obedience relates to every aspect of our lives: relationships with family and friends, our jobs, career plans and future ambitions—everything must be surrendered to God’s plans. We need to care more about what God thinks about us than what people think. Our bank accounts, possessions, time and everything we claim as ours, must be under God’s control. Even our social life and leisure time should be yielded to Christ. Be willing to obey Christ even when there is personal cost involved (Luke 14:33)

Through obedience to Christ, we come to really know Him, and we become more like Him. Jesus makes Himself real to us.

Run to Obtain the Prize!

Third, living with Jesus Christ as your Lord means living a focused life aimed at glorifying God. God has a plan for each of our lives. Fulfilling these plans involves our active, disciplined effort. The Apostle Paul described the Christian life as an Olympic competition. In the same way that an Olympic athlete devotes him or herself to rigorous training, so we are challenged to work at our relationship with Christ, growing in our understanding of God’s Word, developing our character to be more like Christ, and living by Christ’s example (1 Corinthians 9:24).

What we do with the 24 hours we are given each day determines the effectiveness of our Christian life and our service for Christ. God calls us to be productive believers, bearing “fruit” for God. Like a branch that draws life-giving sap from the vine, we draw our sustenance from union with Christ, and recognize our dependence on Him (John 15:5). That’s how we live our lives in a way that pleases God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Be Transformed

Finally, living with Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives is a life of transformation. We can’t live perfect lives. When we fail, we can bring those failures to Jesus Christ. He promises to forgive and cleanse us (1 John 1:9). Every day we need to let go of the old way of living and remember we are new creations (Ephesians 4:24). By turning away from our sins and receiving the new life Christ gave us, we steadily become more like Him (Romans 12:2).

The Christian life often runs against the current of the world around us. So we need wholehearted commitment, true love for Jesus Christ, a disciplined lifestyle and readiness to admit our failures and leave behind our old ways of living in order to live victoriously in Christ. By surrendering to Jesus Christ in every area of our lives, we can live life to its fullest as He intended.

Lesson 3

Your Response

Living life abundantly—is it really possible? Is Jesus calling us to follow Him in obedience just to make us good, moral people, or is He really trying to show us the true pathway to joy? Are you ready to trust the leadership of the Good Shepherd and make Jesus the Lord of your life? Perhaps the following questions will help you understand more about the joy of truly surrendering your life to God’s control.

1.   Study 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and answer three important questions concerning Christ’s lordship over your life:

(a)  Now that you are a Christian, what has your body become?

(b)  Why do you now belong to Christ?

(c)  What should now be your purpose in life?

2.   Read Luke 6:46-49 and briefly summarize what you think Jesus was teaching in the parable of the wise and foolish builders:

(a)  What must we do if we call Jesus our Lord?

(b)  What spiritual truth is represented by the house built on the rock?

(c)  What spiritual truth is represented by the house with no foundation?

3.   What does the apostle James say about obeying the Bible? James 1:22-25

4.   Obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord is the true test of your commitment to Him. What does the apostle John say about obedience? Find one thing in each verse. 1 John 2:3-6

5.   What is another sure way of knowing you belong to Christ? 1 John 3:14

6.   As you grow in Christ, there will be times when you fail Him. No one except Christ has ever lived a perfect life. Be willing to admit you have failed and confess your sin. Briefly summarize what each verse in 1 John 1:8-10 teaches about confession and forgiveness.

7.   What can you thank God for right now, concerning your need for God’s forgiveness? 1 John 2:1-3

Final Thought

1.   Memorize these verses for Lesson 3:

Applying God’s Word: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” —Joshua 1:8

Confirmation of My Love for God: “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” —John 14:21

Suggested Answers for Lesson 3:

1.   Study 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and answer three important questions concerning Christ’s lordship over your life:

(a)  Now that you are a Christian, what has your body become?

A temple of the Holy Spirit.

(b)  Why do you now belong to Christ?

He bought me with His own blood.

(c)  What should now be your purpose in life?

To honor God.

2.   Read Luke 6:46-49 and briefly summarize what you think Jesus was teaching in the parable of the wise and foolish builders:

(a)  What must we do if we call Jesus our Lord?

We should obey Him.

(b)  What spiritual truth is represented by the house built on the rock?

We build strong lives when we obey Jesus and make Him our foundation.

(c)  What spiritual truth is represented by the house with no foundation?

If Jesus is not our foundation, we lose everything.

3.   What does the apostle James say about obeying the Bible? James 1:22-25 We should hear God’s Word and obediently act upon it.

4.   Obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord is the true test of your commitment to Him. What does the apostle John say about obedience? Find one thing in each verse. 1 John 2:3-6

v. 3: If we obey God, it shows that we know Him.

v. 4: To disobey God, while claiming to believe in Him, is dishonest.

v. 5: God’s love is seen in the one who obeys Him.

v. 6: We must faithfully follow Jesus.

5.   What is another sure way of knowing you belong to Christ? 1 John 3:14 If we truly believe in Christ, we will be filled with love for others.

6.   As you grow in Christ, there will be times when you fail Him. No one except Christ has ever lived a perfect life. Be willing to admit you have failed and confess your sin. Briefly summarize what each verse in 1 John 1:8-10 teaches about confession and forgiveness.

v. 8: If we think we are sinless, we are deceived.

v. 10: If we say we are sinless, it is the same as calling God a liar.

v. 9: When we confess our sin, God forgives us.

7.   What can you thank God for right now, concerning your need for God’s forgiveness? 1 John 2:1-2

That Jesus lives and intercedes for us.

Please continue now to your final lesson. This could be the most important lesson of all. It concerns sharing your faith with others.

Lesson 4

Witnessing for Christ

A witness in a courtroom tells what he or she knows about a given situation. The Christian witness tells others what he or she knows about Jesus Christ and what it means to personally trust Him with his or her life.

When He began His ministry, Jesus called two fishermen, Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, and said, “Come, follow me … and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Through the ages, the same call has gone out to all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ. He reaches others through the faithful witness of people like you (2 Corinthians 5:19-20).

Your Life Example

As a witness for Christ, your life is a key part of your witness. You are a new creation—the way your new faith shows itself in your conduct is the greatest testimony you have (Matthew 5:16). This means your habits and lifestyle should reflect a life given over to Jesus Christ. It does not mean that you must be perfect before you can be a witness. We all stumble from time to time as we are learning to walk, but as you learned in Lesson 1, God is willing to forgive your sins and put you back on your feet again.

The Power of the Holy Spirit

You also need a power beyond yourself in order to witness—this is the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will give us power to tell others about Him (Acts 1:8). When your life is clean and you walk under the control of the Holy Spirit, He is able to witness through you.

A man named Philip was chosen to serve the church because he was “full of the Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3). He was having a successful ministry in Samaria (Acts 8:4-13), when an angel summoned him to go to Gaza (Acts 8:26), where an Ethiopian official was returning from Jerusalem. The Ethiopian was reading from chapter 53 of Isaiah at the time. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Philip began to talk with the Ethiopian using that very passage of Scripture and telling him the good news about Jesus (Acts 8:35).

The Power of God’s Word

The third critical ingredient to effective witness is God’s Word—the Bible. In the story of Philip, God put the appropriate Scripture in the hands of the Ethiopian before He sent Philip to share with him. When the seed of God’s Word is planted in a prepared heart, it produces fruit—a new believer in Christ (1 Peter 1:23).

It’s exciting to share your newfound faith in Jesus Christ with others. A great way to start is to tell how Jesus Christ changed your own life. There is great power in a simple and honest personal testimony. Also, be prepared with the facts of the Gospel message in mind.

Sharing Your Faith

When you are explaining the Gospel it may help to draw it on paper for the friend with whom you are sharing.

Step 1: Explain the facts.

On the top of your page list the four basic truths of the Gospel (see “Steps to Peace with God”). List them one at a time and use a Scripture or two with each one.

Draw the graphic of God on one side of the chasm and us on the other. As you draw, share Bible verses that explain how the separation took place. Show how the cross bridges the chasm between God and us and how we can cross the bridge through faith in Christ.

Step 2: Invite a response.

If you feel led by the Holy Spirit and the person is responding positively, offer an invitation, such as, “If this illustration is true—and I believe with all my heart that it is—then all of us are on either one side of the chasm or the other.”

Then ask, “Which side are you on? Here … or here?” If your friend is unsure or knows he or she is on the wrong side, your friend can be sure of his or her position by:

1.   Admitting your need—that you are a sinner

2.   Being willing to turn away from your sins

3.   Believing that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.

4.   Praying to invite Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of your life and control your life through the Holy Spirit.

Step 3: Pray with the person responding.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). Remember, Jesus Christ is the door to eternal life. Through prayer we can enter that door and receive Him as Lord and Savior. Lead the person in a simple prayer, such as:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Step 4: Confirm the new believer in his or her decision.

If your friend sincerely prays that prayer, he or she has become a Christian and has been saved from eternal death! You will want to share some Bible verses (such as 1 John 5:12-13) to give your friend assurance of his or her new standing before God.

Follow-up

When you help a person in coming to faith in Christ, remember that this individual is a spiritual baby (1 Peter 2:2). In order to grow, an infant needs nurture and care. This means encouraging the person to begin to read the Bible and pray regularly. You can do so by using this online Bible study. Share what you have learned from Living in Christ. Also encourage this new Christian to find a Bible-teaching church in order to have fellowship with other believers in Christ and continue to grow.

Lesson 4

Your Response

A witness in a courtroom tells what he or she knows about a given situation. The Christian witness tells others what he or she knows about Jesus Christ and what it means to personally trust Him.

1.   What is the Good News (Gospel) that we should share? 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

2.   What power does the Gospel possess? Romans 1:16

3.   What are three things an effective witness for Christ must have?

(a)  Matthew 5:16

(b)  Acts 1:8

(c)  1 Peter 1:22-23

4.   Review Lesson 3 on witnessing and briefly explain the “Bridge to Life” illustration.

5.   Once a person is convinced of his or her sin and need of a Savior, what should that person do?

(a)  Acts 3:19

(b)  John 10:9

(c)  John 1:12

6.   When a person believes in Jesus Christ, what can he or she now say with assurance? John 3:16

Final Thought

Memorize these verses for Lesson 4.

Telling Others about Christ: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” —Acts 1:8

“’Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” —Matthew 4:19

Suggested Answers for Lesson 4:

1.   What is the Good News (Gospel) that we should share? 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 That Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, just as He had promised.

2.   What power does the Gospel possess? Romans 1:16 The power to save from sin all who believe.

3.   What are three things an effective witness for Christ must have?

(a)  Matthew 5:16 — A righteous life.

(b)  Acts 1:8 — Power from the Holy Spirit.

(c)  1 Peter 1:22-23 — A firsthand experience of God’s love and forgiveness.

4.   Review Lesson 3 on witnessing and briefly explain the “Bridge to Life” illustration.

God loves us and has a plan for our lives. Because of sin, we are separated from God. God sent Jesus to be our bridge back to Him. To find our way back, we must receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.

5.   Once a person is convinced of his or her sin and need of a Savior, what should that person do?

(a)  Acts 3:19 — Repent and turn to God.

(b)  John 10:9 — Receive salvation through Jesus.

(c)  John 1:12 — Receive Jesus and become God’s child.

6.   When a person believes in Jesus Christ, what can he or she now say with assurance? John 3:16

That he or she has eternal life.

Conclusion:

10 Principles For New Christians

1.   Feeding on the Word—DAILY Nutrition

A healthy baby has a healthy appetite. If you have truly been “born” of the Spirit of God, you will have a healthy appetite. The Bible says, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” (1 Peter 2:2). Feed yourself every day without fail. Job said, “I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food,” (Job 23:12). The more you eat, the quicker you will grow, and the less bruising you will have. Speed up the process and save yourself some pain—vow to read God’s Word every day, without fail. Say to yourself, “No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed.” Be like Job, and put your Bible before your belly. If you do that, God promises that you will be like a fruitful, strong and healthy tree (see Psalm 1). Each day, find somewhere quiet, and thoroughly soak your soul in the Word of God.

There may be times when you read through its pages with great enthusiasm, and there may be other times when it seems dry and even boring. But food profits your body whether you enjoy it or not. As a child, you no doubt ate desserts with great enthusiasm. Perhaps vegetables weren’t so exciting. If you were a normal child, you probably had to be encouraged to eat them at first. Then, as you matured in life you were taught to discipline yourself to eat vegetables. This is because they would physically benefit you, even though they may not have at the time, brought pleasure to your taste buds.

2.   Faith—Elevators Can Let You Down

When a young man once looked at me and said, “I find it hard to believe some of the things in the Bible,” I smiled and asked, “What’s your name?” When he said, “Paul,” I casually answered, “I don’t believe you.” He looked at me questioningly. I repeated, “What’s your name?” Again he said, “Paul,” and again I answered, “I don’t believe you.” Then I asked, “Where do you live?” When he told me, I said, “I don’t believe that either.” You should have seen his reaction. He was angry. I said, “You look a little upset. Do you know why? You’re upset because I didn’t believe what you told me. If you tell me that your name is Paul, and I say, ‘I don’t believe you,’ it means that I think you are a liar. You are trying to deceive me by telling me your name is Paul, when it’s not.” Then I told him that if he, a mere man, felt insulted by my lack of faith in his word, how much more does he insult Almighty God by refusing to believe His Word. In doing so, he was saying that God isn’t worth trusting—that He is a liar and a deceiver. The Bible says, “He who does not believe God has made Him a liar,” (1 John 5:10). It also says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief. . .” (Hebrews 3:12). Martin Luther said, “What greater insult . . . can there be to God, than not to believe His promises.”

I have heard people say, “But I just find it hard to have faith in God,” not realizing the implications of their words. These are the same people who often believe the weather forecast, believe the newspapers, and trust their lives to a pilot they have never seen whenever they fly in a plane. We exercise faith every day. We trust our car’s brakes. We trust our history books, our medical books, and we trust elevators. Yet elevators can let us down. History books can be wrong. Planes can crash. How much more then should we trust the sure and true promises of Almighty God. He will never let us down . . . if we trust Him.

I have often heard cynics say, “The Bible is full of mistakes.” It is. The first mistake was when man rejected God, and the Scriptures show men and women making the same tragic mistake again and again. It’s also full of what seem to be contradictions. For example, the Scriptures tell us “with God, nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). We are told that there is nothing Almighty God can’t do. Yet we are also told that it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). So there is something God cannot do! There’s an obvious “mistake” in the Bible. The answer to this dilemma is to be found in the lowly worm.

Do you know that it would be impossible for me to eat worms, although I have seen it done. I once saw a man on TV butter his toast, then pour on a can of live, fat, wriggling, blood-filled worms. He carefully took a knife and fork, cut into his moving meal, and ate it. It made me feel sick. It was disgusting. The thought of chewing cold, live worms is so repulsive, so distasteful, I can candidly say it would be impossible for me to eat them, even though I have seen it done. It is so abhorrent, I draw on the strength of the word “impossible” to substantiate my claim.

Lying, deception, bearing false witness, etc., is so repulsive to God, so disgusting to Him, so against His holy character, that the Scriptures draw on the strength of the word “impossible” to substantiate the claim. He cannot, could not, and would not lie.

That means that in a world where we are continually let down, we can totally rely on, trust in, and count on His promises. They are sure, certain, indisputable, true, trustworthy, reliable, faithful, unfailing, dependable, steadfast, and an anchor for the soul. In other words, you can truly believe them, and because of that, you can throw yourself blindfolded and without reserve, into His mighty hands. He will never, ever, let you down. Do you believe that?

3.   Evangelism—Our Most Sobering Task

It was late in December, 1996. A large family gathered in Los Angeles for the joyous occasion of wrapping Christmas presents. It was a big family because it was the product of two marriages. There were so many gathered that night, five of the children slept in the garage. It was a converted structure, kept warm during the cold night by an electric heater which sat by the door.

During the early hours of the morning, the heater suddenly burst into flames, blocking the doorway. In seconds the room became a blazing inferno. The frantic 911 call revealed the unspeakable terror of the moment. One of the children could be heard screaming, “I’m on fire!” The distraught father vainly rushed into the flames to try and save his beloved children. He received burns to 50% of his body. Tragically, all five of the children burned to death. They died because steel bars on the windows of the garage thwarted their escape. There was only one door, and that was stopped by the flames.

You are back in time. It’s minutes before the heater burst into flames. You peer through the darkness at the peaceful sight of five sleeping youngsters. You know that at any moment the room is going to erupt into an inferno and burn the flesh of horrified children. Can you in good conscience walk away? No! You must awaken them, and warn them to run from that death trap!

The world sleeps peacefully in the darkness of ignorance. There is only one Door by which they may escape death. The steel bars of sin prevent their salvation, and at the same time call for the flames of Eternal Justice. What a fearful thing Judgment Day will be! The fires of the wrath of Almighty God will burn for eternity. The Church has been entrusted with the task of awakening them before it’s too late. We cannot turn our backs and walk away in complacency. Think of how the father ran into the flames. His love knew no bounds, and our devotion to the sober task that God has given us will be in direct proportion to our love for the lost. There are only a few who run headlong into the flames to warn them to flee (Luke 10:2). Please be one of them. We really have no choice. The Apostle Paul said, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16).

It was the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon, who said the words, “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.” A Christian cannot be apathetic about the salvation of the world. The love of God in him will motivate him to seek and save that which is lost.

You probably have a limited amount of time after your conversion to impact your unsaved friends and family with the Gospel. After the initial shock of your conversion, they will put you in a neat little ribbon-tied box, and keep you at arm’s length. So it’s important that you take advantage of the short time you have while you still have their ears.

Here’s some advice that will save you a great deal of grief. As a new Christian, a friend of mine did almost irreparable damage by acting like a wild bull in a crystal showroom. He bullied his mom, his dad, and many of his friends into making a “decision for Christ”. He was sincere, zealous, loving, kind, and stupid. He didn’t understand that salvation doesn’t come through making a “decision,” but through repentance, and repentance is God-given (see 2 Timothy 2:25). The Bible teaches that no one can come to the Son unless God “draws” him. If you are able to get a decision but they have no conviction of sin, you will almost certainly end up with a still-born on your hands.

In his”zeal without knowledge” he actually inoculated the very ones he was so desperately trying to reach. There is nothing more important to you than the salvation of your loved ones, and you don’t want to blow it. If you do, you may find that you don’t have a second chance. Fervently pray for them, thanking God for their salvation. Let them see your faith. Let them feel your kindness, your genuine love, and your gentleness. Buy gifts for no reason. Do chores when you are not asked to. Go the extra mile. Put yourself in their position. You know that you have found everlasting life. Death has lost its sting! Your joy is unspeakable—but as far as they are concerned, you have been brain-washed. You have become part of a weird sect. So your loving actions will speak more loudly than ten thousand eloquent sermons.

It is because of these thoughts that you should hold back from verbal confrontation until you have knowledge that will guide your zeal. Pray for wisdom and for a sensitivity to God’s timing. You may have only one shot, so make it count. Keep your cool. If you don’t, you may end up with a lifetime of regret. Believe me. It is better to hear a loved one or a close friend say, “Tell me about your faith in Jesus Christ,” rather than you saying, “Sit down. I want to talk to you.”

It is important to realize that we should share our faith with others whenever we can. The Bible says that there are only two times we should do this—“in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). The Apostle Paul pleaded for prayer for his own personal witness. He said, “. . . that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak,” (Ephesians 6:19-20).

Remember that you have the sobering responsibility of speaking to other peoples’ loved ones. Many times when you open your mouth for the Gospel, you may be the answer to the earnest prayer of another Christian. Perhaps he has cried out to God that He would use a faithful witness to speak to his beloved mom or dad, and you are that answer to prayer. You are that true and faithful witness that God wants to use.

Never lose sight of the world and all its pains. Keep the fate of the ungodly before your eyes. Too many of us settle down on a padded pew and become introverted. Our world becomes a monastery without walls. Our friends are confined solely to those within the Church, when Jesus was the “friend of sinners.” So take the time to deliberately befriend them for the sake of their salvation. Remember that each and every person who dies in their sins has an appointment with the Judge of the Universe. Hell opens wide its terrible jaws. There is no more sobering task than to be entrusted with the Gospel of Salvation—working with God for the eternal well-being of dying humanity.

4.   Prayer—“Wait For A Minute.”

It has been well said that God always answers prayer. Sometimes He says, “Yes.” sometimes He says, “NO.” Sometimes He says, “Wait for a minute,” and a day to the Lord is a thousand years to us (2 Peter 3:8). That means that a ten year wait for us, is 14 minutes and 24 seconds to God, so ask in faith, but rest in peace-filled patience.

Surveys show that more than 90% of America prays daily. No doubt they pray for health, wealth, happiness, etc. They also pray when grandma gets sick, and when grandma doesn’t get better (or dies), many end up disillusioned, and some end up bitter. This is because they don’t understand what the Bible says about prayer. It teaches that sin will stop God even hearing your prayer (Psalm 66:18). It teaches, among other things, that if we pray with doubt, we will not get an answer (James 1:6-7).

Here’s how to be heard….

1.) Pray with faith (Hebrews 11:6).

2.) Pray with clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24:3-4).

3.) Pray genuine heart-felt prayers, rather than vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7).

4.) Make sure that you are praying to the God revealed in the Holy Scriptures (Exodus 20:3-6).

How do you “pray with faith?” If someone says to you, “You’re a man of great faith in God,” they may think that they are paying you a compliment. But they aren’t—the compliment is to God. For example if I said to you, “I’m a man of great faith in my doctor,” it’s actually the doctor I’m complimenting. If I have great faith in him, it means that I see him as being a man of integrity, a man of great ability—that he is trustworthy. I give “glory” to the man through my faith in him. The Bible says that Abraham “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” (Romans 4:20-21). Abraham was a man of great faith in God. Remember, that is not a compliment to Abraham. He merely caught a glimpse of God’s incredible ability, His impeccable integrity, and His wonderful faithfulness to keep every promise He makes. His faith gave “glory” to a faithful God.

As far as God is concerned, if you belong to Jesus, you are a VIP. You can boldly come before the throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16). You have access to the king, because you are the son or daughter of the king. When you were a child, did you have to grovel to get your needs met by your mom or dad? I hope not.

So, when you pray, don’t say, “Oh God, I hope you will supply my needs.” Instead say something like, “Father, thank you that you keep every promise You make. Your Word says that you will supply all my needs according to Your riches in glory, by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Therefore, I thank you that you will do this thing for my family. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen”

It was the great missionary, Hudson Taylor, who said, “The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see Divine power wrought in the place of weakness, failure, and disappointment, let us answer God’s standing challenge, ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things of which thou knowest not of.’”

How do you get “clean hands and a pure heart?” Simply by confessing your sins to God, through Jesus Christ. His blood cleanses from all sin (1 John 1:7-9). When you confess them to God through Jesus, God will not only forgive your every sin, He promises to forget that sin (Hebrew 8:12). He will even justify you, on the grounds of the sacrifice of the Savior. That means He will count it as though you have never sinned in the first place. He will make you pure in His sight—sinless. He will even “purge” your conscience, so that you will no longer have that sense of guilt that you sinned in the first place. That’s what I mean “to be justified by faith.” That’s why you need to soak yourself in Holy Scripture—to read the letters to the churches and see the wonderful things that God has done for us through the Cross of Calvary. If you don’t bother to read the will, you won’t have any idea of what has been left for you.

How do you pray “genuine heart-felt prayers?” Simply by keeping yourself in the love of God. If the love of God is in you, you will never pray hypocritical, or selfish prayers. In fact, you won’t have to pray selfish prayers, if you have a heart of love. When your prayer-life is pleasing to God, the Bible says that He will reward you openly (Matthew 6:6).

How do you know that you are praying to “the God revealed in Holy Scripture?” Study the Word. Don’t accept the image of God portrayed by the world, even though it appeals to the natural mind. The world sees God as a loving, kind fatherly-figure, with no sense of justice or truth which appeals to guilty sinners. Look to the thunderings and lightnings of Mount Sinai. Gaze at Jesus on the cross of Calvary—hanging in unspeakable agony because of the Justice of a holy God. Such thoughts tend to banish idolatry.

5.   Warfare—Praise The Lord and Pass the Ammunition

When you became a Christian, you stepped right into the heat of an age-old battle. You have a three-fold enemy—the world, the flesh, and the devil. Before you became a Christian, you floated down stream with the other dead fish. But now, God has put His life within you, and you will find yourself swimming against a three-fold current. Let’s look at these three resistant enemies.

First, the world. When the Bible speaks of the “world” in this context, it is referring to the sinful, rebellious, world system. This is the world that loves the darkness and hates the light (John 3:20), governed by the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4)( — the “prince power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The Bible says the Christian has escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. “Lust” is unlawful desire, and is the life’s blood of the world—whether it be the lust for sexual sin, for power, for money, for material things. Lust is a monster that will never be gratified, so don’t feed it. It will grow bigger and bigger, until it weighs heavy upon your back, and will be the death of you—see James 1:15.

There is nothing wrong with sex, power, money, or material things, but when these become predominant in God’s sight, the Bible calls this “inordinate affection” (Colossians 3:5). We are told, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (1 John 2:15, James 4:4).

The second enemy is the devil. As we have seen, he is known as the “god of this world.” He was your spiritual father before you joined the family of God (John 8:44, Ephesians 2:2. Jesus called the devil a thief, who came to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10).

The way to overcome him and his demons is to make sure you are outfitted with the spiritual armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-20. Become intimately familiar with it. Sleep in it. Never take it off. Bind the two-edged sword to your hand so that you never lose its grip. The reason for this brings us to the third enemy.

The third enemy is what the Bible calls the “flesh.” This is your sinful nature. The domain for the battle, is your mind.

If you have a mind to, you will be attracted to the world and all its sin. The mind is the data-processing control panel for the eyes and the ears. It is the center of your appetites. All sin begins in the “heart” (Proverbs 4:23, Matthew 15:19). We think before we sin. This happens because we don’t think before we sin. The Bible warns that lust brings forth sin, and sin when it’s conceived brings forth death. Every day we have life, we have a choice. To sin or not to sin—that is the question. The answer to the question of sin, is the fear of God. If you don’t fear God, you will sin to your sinful heart’s delight.

Did you know that God kills people? He killed a man because he didn’t like what he did sexually (Genesis 38:10). He killed a husband and wife because they told just one lie (Acts 5:1-11). Knowledge of God’s goodness—His righteous judgments against evil, should put the fear of God in us, and help us not to indulge in sin.

If we know that the eye of the Lord is in every place beholding the evil and the good, and that He will bring every work to judgment, we will live accordingly. Such weighty thoughts are valuable, for “by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil” (Proverbs 16:6). Jesus said,

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5).

6.   Fellowship—Flutter by Butterfly

Pray about where you should fellowship. Make sure the place you are going to call your church home calls sin what it is—sin. Do they believe the promises of God? Are they loving? Does the pastor treat his wife with respect? Is he a man of the Word? Does he have a humble heart, and a gentle spirit? Listen closely to his teaching. It should glorify God, magnify Jesus, and edify the believer. One evidence that you have been truly saved is that you will have a love for other Christians (1 John 3:14). You will want to fellowship with them. The old saying that “birds of a feather flock together” is true of Christians. You gather together for the breaking of bread (communion), for teaching from the Word, and for fellowship. You share the same inspirations, illuminations, inclinations, temptations, aspirations, motivations, and perspirations—you are working together for the same thing, for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God on earth. This is why you attend church—not because you have to, but because you want to.

Don’t become a “spiritual butterfly.” Send your roots down. If you are moving from church to church, how will your pastor know what type of food you are digesting? The Bible says that your shepherd will have to give an account to Him that has entrusted you to him (Hebrews 13:17), so make yourself known to your pastor. Pray for him regularly. Pray also for his wife, his family, and the elders. Being a pastor is no easy task. Most people don’t realize how many hours it takes to gather a fresh sermon each week. They don’t appreciate the time spent in prayer and in the study of the Word. If the pastor makes the same joke twice, or shares something he has shared before, remember, he’s human. So give him a great deal of grace, and double honor. Never murmur about him. If you don’t like something he has said, pray about it, then leave the issue with God. If that doesn’t satisfy you, leave the church, rather than divide it through murmuring and complaining.

A woman once spread some hot gossip about a local pastor. What he had supposedly done became common knowledge around town. Then she found that what she had heard wasn’t true. She gallantly went to the pastor, and asked for his forgiveness. The pastor forgave her, but then told her to take a pillow full of tiny feathers to a corner of the town, and in high winds, shake the feather out. Then he told her to try and pick up every feather. He explained that the damage had already been done. She had destroyed his good reputation, and trying to repair the damage was like trying to pick up feathers in high winds.

The Bible says that there is life and death in the power of the tongue. We can kill or make something alive with our words. The Scriptures also reveal that God hates those who cause division among the brethren (Proverbs 6:16). Pray with the psalmist, “Set a guard O Lord, over my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”

Remember the old saying, “He that gossips to you, will gossip about you.”

7.   Thanksgiving—Do the Right Thing

For the Christian, every day should be Thanksgiving Day. We should even be thankful in the midst of problems. The Apostle Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4). He knew that God was working all things together for his good, even though he was going through trials (Romans 8:28).

Problems will come your way. God will see to it personally that you grow as a Christian. He will allow the storms, to send your roots deep into the soil of His Word. We pray more in the midst of problems, but it’s been well said that you will see more from your knees, than you will on your tip toes.

A man once watched a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. In an effort to help it, he took a razor blade, and carefully slit the edge of the cocoon. The butterfly escaped from its problem . . . and immediately died.

It is God’s way to have the butterfly struggle. It is the struggle that causes its tiny heart to beat fast, and send the life’s blood into its wings.

Trials have their purpose. They make us struggle—they bring us to our knees. They are the cocoon in which we often find ourselves. It is there that the life’s blood of faith in God helps us spread our wings.

Faith and thanksgiving are close friends. If you have faith in God, you will be thankful because you know His loving hand is upon you, even though you are in a lion’s den. That will give you a deep sense of joy, and joy is the barometer of the depth of faith you have in God. Let me give you an example. Imagine if I said I would give you one million dollars if you sent me an email. Of course, you don’t believe that I would do that. But imagine if you did. Imagine if you had knowledge of more than 1,000 people who had sent me an email, and every one received their million dollars—no strings attached. More than that. You had actually called me, and I had assured you personally that I would keep my word. If you believed me, wouldn’t you have joy? If you didn’t believe me—no joy. The amount of joy you have would be a barometer as to how much you believed my promise.

We have so much to be thankful for. God has given us “exceeding great and precious promises” that are “more to be desired than gold.” Do yourself a big favor—believe those promises, thank God continually for them, and “let your joy be full.”

An old farmer once had an ungodly relative visit him. After the farmer had bowed his head and thanked God for the food they were about to eat, the relative rudely said, “What did you do that for? There’s no God. We live in an age of enlightenment.” The old farmer smiled and said, “There is one on the farm who doesn’t thank God before he eats.” The relative sat up and said, “Who is this enlightened one?” To which the farmer quietly replied, “My pig.”

8.   Water Baptism—Sprinkle or Immerse?

The Bible Says , “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. . .” (Acts 2:38). There is therefore no question as to whether or not you should be baptized. The questions are how, when, and by whom?

It would also seem clear from scripture that those who were baptized, were fully immersed in water. Here’s one reason why:

“And John was also baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there. . .” (John 3:23).

If John was merely sprinkling believers, he would have only needed a cup full of water.

The Philippian jailer and his family were baptized at midnight, as soon as they believed. So what are you waiting for?

Who should baptize you? It is clear from Scripture that other believers had the privilege, but check with your pastor, he may want the honor himself.

9.   Tithing—The Last Frontier.

It was once said that the wallet is the “last frontier.” It is the final area to be conquered—the last thing that comes to God in surrender. Jesus spoke much about money. He said that we cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). The word “mammon” was the common Aramaic word for riches, which is akin to a Hebrew word signifying “that which is to be trusted.” In other words, we cannot trust God and money. Either money is our source of life, our great love, our joy, our sense of security, the supplier of our needs—or God is.

When you open your purse or wallet, give generously and regularly to your local church. A guide as to how much you should give can be found in the “tithe” of the Old Testament — 10% of your income. Whether you give this amount or not, make sure you do give something to the work of God (see Malachi 3:8-10). Give because you want to, not because you have to. God loves a cheerful giver (2Corinthians 9:7), so learn to hold your money with a loose hand.

10. Troubleshooting—Cults, Atheists, Skeptics

If you know the Lord, nothing will shake your faith. It is true that the man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument. Take for example a little boy who is looking at a heater. His father warns him that it’s hot. The child says, “O.K. I believe it’s hot.” At that point, he has an intellectual belief that the heater is hot. When his Dad leaves the room, he says, “I wonder if it really is hot?” He then reaches out his little hand and grabs the heater bar with his fingers. The second his flesh burns he stops believing the heater is hot. He now knows it’s hot! He has moved out of the realm of “faith” into the realm of “experience.”

In comes a heater expert and says, “Son, I have a B.A. in the study of heat. The heater is definitely not hot. I can prove it to you.” The child would probably say, “Mr Expert, I don’t care how many B.A.’s you have. I know that heater is hot—I touched it! I’m not in the realm of belief, I’m in the realm of experience. Goodbye.”

If you have touched the heater bar of God’s love and forgiveness, if the Holy Spirit has “born witness” that you are a child of God (Romans 8:16), if you have received the Gospel with “power, the Holy Ghost and much assurance” (1 Thessalonians 1:5), you will never be shaken by a skeptic.

When cults tell you that you must acknowledge God’s name to be saved, that you must worship on a certain day that you must be baptized by an elder of their church, don’t panic. Merely go back to the Instruction Manual. The Bible has all the answers, and searching them out, will make you grow.

If you feel intimidated by atheists—if you think they are “intellectuals,” read the book, God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists. It will show you that they are the opposite. It will also instruct you on how you can prove God’s existence, and also prove that the “atheist” doesn’t exist.

Finally, the way to prevent sporting injury and pain, is to keep yourself fit. Exercise. The Apostle Paul kept fit through exercise. He said, “Herein do I exercise myself, to always have a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men” (Acts 24:16). Do the same. Listen to the voice of conscience. It’s your friend, not your enemy. Remember the words of Solomon:

“Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Keep the Day of Judgment before your eyes. On that Day, you will be glad for the cultivations of a tender conscience.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope the principles expounded have been helpful, and that any knowledge you have gained from it, will some day save you some pain.

One thought on “Your New Life In Christ Bible Study

  1. JimmyBean

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

    Reply

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