Ten stepst to fruitful discipleship
A practical ten lesson discipleship program that covers the basics of the Christian life.
Introduction 1 Ten steps to fruitful discipleship A Discipleship Tool: Ten commitments for believers to establish their Christian life Don Fanning Forest, Virginia Introduction First Edition 2012 Published by Branches Publications 1985 Colby Dr. Forest, Virginia 24551 3 Branches Publications was started to publish missions and discipleship training tools for equipping leaders and teachers who are making disciples and fulfilling the Great Commission. More materials are available at www.branchespublications.com including a daily discipleship Bible study at TGC Resources (The Great Commission Resources) http://www.tgcresources. com/category/truths-to-live-by/. ÂŠ 2012 Copyright: Branches Publications Don Fanning Design: Krista Freeman All rights reserved ISBN: Printed in the United States at Snow Fall Press All parts of this publication are protected by copyright. Any utilization outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission from the publisher is forbidden. Other books published by Branches Publications include: What in the World is God Doing? Gordon Olson and Don Fanning Truths to Live By, A Devotional Bible Study of the NT commands,, Don Fanning Romans, A Study Guide for Small Group Leaders, Don Fanning Revelation, A Study Guide for Small Group Leaders, Don Fanning Methods of Inductive Bible Study, Don Fanning Mission Impossible? A History of Christian Missions, Don Fanning Trends and Issues in Missions, Don Fanning Workbook for Trends and Issues, A six-step adult learning process, Don Fanning Theologies that have molded modern missions, Don Fanning Gifts of the Spirit, Don Fanning All books by Branches Publications are available online at www. branchespublications. com. 4 Ten Step Discipleship Program Preface It has been said that if all of those who supposedly have made a “decision” to follow or accept Christ had continued faithful to Him, would not be enough churches in the country to contain them all. What a difference the world would be if His followers had been discipled in the beginning of their Christian lives. For all the talk today about discipleship, this author has found remarkably few believers who have ever been discipled, much less know where to begin to disciple other new believers. This book was written to provide an economical, interactive tool for teaching the new believer what it means to become a follower of Jesus. These are the Ten Basic Steps of Discipleship that can be used in several ways, from a Ten lesson Adult Bible Study, Small Group study guide for discussions, or a personal tool for discipleship. One missionary used this tool for planting eight churches in South America (the Spanish version). The author is indebted to Gary Kuhn and his book, Dynamics of Follow-Up, which gave the initial idea for the project (diagrams and basic concepts used with permission from Zondervan Publishing). Each step is to designed the new believer to interact with the Scriptures on key issues, then to dialogue with a discipler over the conclusions drawn from his study. The content is written in a semi-programmed instruction format, designed to get the student engaged in his own study and coming to conclusions about the Scripture. Blanks are left for the student to write out responses to the questions. The early lessons may require the aid of the discipler, but the program quickly builds confidence in the new believer’s ability to personally discover truths from the Scritpture. This confidence will become the building block of a lifetime of Bible discovery. All the Bible references called for within each lesson are printed on the bottom of each page, in case a Bible is not handy or a new believer is not accustomed to Bible reference searches. It is the author’s prayer that this will be a life changing foundation in the Christian life. Don Fanning Introduction 5 6 Ten Step Discipleship Program Contents 1 Understanding the Gospel Clearly 7 2 Assurance of Salvation for the Believer 3 How to Have a Daily Devotional 4 The Keys to Power for living 5 Why is the Church So Important? 6 Principles of the Prayer Life 7 What does Obedience Mean? 8 How to Overcome Temptation 9 What is the Will of God? 17 27 35 45 57 67 77 87 10 How to Prepare and Give your Testimony 99 Appendix 108 Step 1: Understanding of Salvation 7 8 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Understanding our salvation The two essential steps for growing spiritually: (1) An understanding of God’s plan of salvation (2) Personal security of your own salvation Becoming a Christian means to receive the Lord Jesus Christ by trusting exclusively in His death as the full and only payment acceptable to God for the forgiveness of your personal sins. Receiving Christ involves three aspects: intellect, emotion and will. Our relationship with Christ can be illustrated by the marriage relationship, which also calls for those same three aspects. A man can intellectually know a lot about his girlfriend, but that does not make them married. Also he can feel strong emotions and love her with all his heart, but true marriage requires more. It requires the involvement of the will as well. The couple is not married until they make a commitment before a judge or a minister and witnesses. This commitment makes all the difference. It is the same in our relationship with Christ. It is not enough to believe the facts about Christ intellectually; nor is an emotional experience sufficient. Both are important, but no one becomes a Christian until, by an act of his will, he receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal and exclusive Lord and Savior to be a permanent part of his life. Salvation Man’s belief Intellect 1. Learns he has violated God’s laws 2. Understands that apart from Christ he has no hope 3. Believes in the sacrifice of Christ’s death as payment for his sins Emotion 1. Feels unworthiness from Spirit’s conviction of his sin 2. Senses a personal sorrow for Christ’s suffering for him 3. Commits his heart and allegiance to His Savior Will 1. Changes his opinion of how good he is 2. Decides that Christ is worth more than his sins 3. Invites Christ into his life to be his Savior forever Step 1: Understanding of Salvation To begin with, he must understand God’s plan of salvation for all mankind. He must study the Bible to learn the truths about salvation. 9 THE GOOD NEWS: The word, gospel means “good news.” Christ came to earth announcing good news for mankind. Read John, chapter 10, verse 10. ¿What did Christ want to give to men? ______________________________________________________________ It is not just any life, but an “abundant life” (an “extraordinary, remarkable, fulfilling” life), which God wants to give us. In John 3, verse 16, what word describes God’s motive in sending Christ into the world? ____________________________________________________________________ Because of His love, God sent Christ into the world so that man would “not perish, but have ______________________________________.” See John 3:16 below. This is the good news: Christ came to give man both abundant and eternal life. However, WITHOUT CHRIST, man is in a serious dilemma: THE TRUTH ABOUT SIN: Read Romans 3:23. This verse tells us three things: 1) Who are included in condemnation because of sin? ________________________________________________________________________________ 2) What is the means of comparison in the verse? o Men with other men o Men with the glory of God 3) What is the result of the comparison in this verse? ______________________________________________________________________________ John 10:10, I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. John 3:16, For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. Rom 3:23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 10 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons If we compare ourselves with other men, we may seem more or less good. The Bible tells us that we will be compared to the “glory “ or the perfection of God’s holiness. All people, then, are found to be sinful, “destitute “ (Gk., “inferior, lacking or incomparable”) to the glory of God. We are all sinners before a Holy God. Psalm 51:5 says, “Look, I was guilty of sin from birth.” This is our natural condition; since Adam we are all born with a sinful nature. 3) We are also sinners because of personal choice. In the Old Testament, Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we, like sheep, have gone astray;, we have turned every one to his own way.” Consider these questions: Do you think you are a good person? o Yes o No Do you always do everything you know is right? o Yes o No Have you ever told a lie? oYes oNo What did that make you? A _________________________________________ . Have you ever taken something that was not yours? oYes o No What did that make you? A __________________________________________. Have you ever lusted after a person in your mind? oYes o No Jesus said that to lust after a person is adultery. Then what does that make you? An __________________________________________. These are just three of the ten commandments! In James 4:17, we learn,”to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin...” We often know what is right, but our actions are normally contrary to our conscience, therefore, we sin because we are by nature sinners. Perhaps someone might think that his sins are not so bad. Read James 2:10. 1) How many sins make a person guilty?____________________________________ 2) Therefore, if one becomes guilty of sins because he sinned only once, everyone is guilty of ______________ ______________________________________________. Likewise this truth means there is no difference; we are all guilty. THE CONSEQUENCE of our sinfulness is found in Isaiah 59:2. If a person is a sinner, what, then is his relationship with God? _____________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ James 2:10, For the one who obeys the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. Isaiah 59:2, But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Step 1: Understanding of Salvation 11 It is sad that in our day many admit to being “sinners” in general, but they do not understand the seriousness of their condition: they are SEPARATED from God, and therefore LOST and without hope. Multitudes do not see themselves, nor want to see themselves as God sees them. The Punishment for Sin In Romans 6:23, Paul shows us a great contrast. What is the consequence (the wages ) of being a sinner? _____________________________________ What is the result of receiving “the gift of God?” ____________________________ Death is the punishment for sin, which means SPIRITUAL DEATH. Adam and Eve, the first human sinners, died SPIRITUALLY when they decided to disobey God (Genesis 2:17). This was not a physical death, but a SPIRITUAL death, that is they were immediately separated from God’s life and communion with God. Read Ephesians 2:3. What is the condition of each person BEFORE God gives him eternal life in this verse? ___________________________________________________________________________________ In 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, Paul graphically describes the meaning of eternal separation. Who are those who receive this punishment? _______________________________ What is the punishment for sin? ______________________________________________ Rom 6:23, For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph 2:3, among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest 2 Thes 1:8-9, With flaming fire he will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will undergo the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength, 12 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons The punishment for SIN must be given for all sin to all sinners. Read Hebrews 9:27. What type of death is referred to here? o o Physical death Spiritual death If this is physical death, what immediately follows it? ______________________ No one escapes death, and no one escapes the judgment that follows it. Notice that there is no second life in which to become better (reincarnation is false) nor a second opportunity, nor an option to pay for your sins later (such as in Purgatory, which is never mentioned in the Bible). When a person dies, his eternal destiny is SEALED. Therefore, each person must stand before God, the Judge, and receive the consequences of his sin. In Romans 2:16, what will God judge? ______________________________________ Nothing that is spoken, done or thought about that will escape His scrutiny. Everything will be openly judged. Because God is holy and just, He must judge everything. Every sin must be canceled by payment of a life’s blood -- This is how serious God takes sin. Why do we not find much hope in Romans 2:11 for those who think that they are exceptions or they are special? __________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ God never shows partiality or preference for “special” people. He is just. The guilty must pay for their sins. In man’s sinful state, it would be impossible for him, on his own, to achieve communion with God and eternal life, because God cannot have communion in the presence of sin.. However, there are many who imagine they will go to heaven because they are good sincere people (members of a church, baptized, tithe, give to the poor, etc). Based on what you now know, why are your own good works insufficient to bring you eternal life? __________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Heb 9:27, And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment Rom 2:16, on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus. Rom 2:11, For there is no partiality with God. Step 1: Understanding of Salvation 13 Salvation is a Gift Since we can not deserve salvation and it is impossible to earn it by our own merits, the only way to get salvation is to freely receive it as God’s gift of His righteousness and forgiveness. We should give thanks to God, because the only way we could ever possess salvation is because God is willing to offer it to us as a free gift. This is why the message is called the GOSPEL, which means “Good News.” Read Ephesians 2:8-9. In verse 8, what is God’s motive for giving us salvation? ___________________________________________________________________________ What does God’s salvation have nothing to do with? our ________________. . .It is the gift of God. “Grace” is the motive for giving something undeserved. We can only accept or reject that which is given. Why does it have nothing to do with us and our efforts? _____________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ Because God is a God of love, He wants to give us salvation as a gift since we can never deserve it, but, how can He give us salvation and still be JUST? This is a dilemma. Christ made the payment for sin Praise God! He had a marvelous plan to rescue us from our desperate state, but the price was tremendous. Eph 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 14 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons God has provided the bridge across the abyss of the separation that exists between sinful man and a Holy God. The cross of Christ is the only way for sinners to achieve communion with God and, thus, to have eternal life. Read 1 Timothy 2:5. How many “mediators “ are there between God and man? _________________ If THERE ARE NO OTHER mediators except Christ, there is no use putting your confidence or trust in any other supposed intermediary. Christ is the ONLY MEDIATOR. For this reason, in John 14:6 Jesus told us that NO ONE comes to the Father, but by Him. This is not egotism, rather is a simple statement of fact. He is the only one there. In Romans 5:8 what was our spiritual condition before God when Christ died for us? We were ________________________________________________________________________ He did not wait for us to get better or change. God loved us so much that He sent His infinite Son into the world to pay OUR DEATH PENALTY, with an infinite payment on Calvary. Read 2 Corintians 5:21. Who did not have sin? _________________________________________________________ _____________ What was Christ made for us? ________________________________________________ What would be the benefit for us? ____________________________________________ In 1 Peter 2:24, what did Christ carry in His flesh on the cross? ___________________________________________________________________________________ In reality, by insisting on doing good works or presenting ourselves as good persons in order to impress God, or pretend to deserve heaven, we are effectively rejecting the price that Christ paid on the cross of Calvary. 1 Tim 2:5, For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, John 14:6, Jesús le dijo: Yo soy el camino, y la verdad, y la vida; nadie viene al Padre, sino por mí. Rom 5:8, For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 2 Cor 5:21, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 1 Pet 2:24, who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed. Step 1: Understanding of Salvation So perfect and infinite was the price that Christ paid “once and for all” (Heb 10:10) that now, He can freely offer us three marvelous things. Read John 5:24 and write the three things: 15 (1)________________________________________________________________________________ (2)________________________________________________________________________________ (3)________________________________________________________________________________ Salvation must be received as a gift Since He is an infinite Saviour, who died an infinite death, paying an infinite price, no one else could pay for such a benefit. We could never earn enough to pay for His salvation. How then can we acquire it? Read John 1:12. There is only one way. “As many as ..._________________________________________________________________ “ To whom was the promise offerred? _________________________________________ What is the promise? __________________________________________________________ The only option is for us to personally receive Christ into our lives. We must understand intellectually what He did on the cross and accept the gift of His death for our sins, but comprehension in itself is not enough. We can feel desperation and sadness for our sins, but that is not enough. We must PERSONALLY INVITE HIM because we want Him to enter into our lives. This John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 1:12, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name 16 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons invitation is a personal commitment to depend upon Christ alone for our acceptance before a holy God.. Read Revelation 3:20. What does it mean to “open the door”? ___________________________________________________________________________________ If we open the door to our lives, what does Jesus promise us? (1) _______________________________________________________________________________ (2)________________________________________________________________________________ As soon as we invite Christ into our lives, He has promised to come in immediately and, will sup with us. In other words, He will have intimate communion with us forever. Jesus Christ is “received” by faith (Ephesians 2:8), that is to say, by believing what the Word of God says about our sinfulness and Christ’s perfect sacrifice for us, and by committing to trust in His promises. He will fulfill His part by forgiving and accepting us as His children. Any sinner who recognizes what Christ did on the cross and is willing to depend only on the death of Christ as payment for his sins, has Jesus’ promise to be His personal Savior forever. His life can then be lived in gratefulness and graditude to Christ for His salvation. Rev 3:20, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Step 2: Assurance of our Salvation Review #1 Salvation 17 1. What is the meaning of the word “gospel?” ____________________________________ 2. What is the consequence of sin in Romans 3:23? _____________________________ We are _________________________________________________of the glory of God. 3. Another consequence of being a sinner is found in Isaiah 59:2. It says sin, S______________________________________________ us from God. 4. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is D _________________________________________________. 5. What happens immediately after physical death according to Hebrews 9:27? The J _______________________________________________ 6. The only hope man has is to possess eternal life before death, thus before the judgment. Is it possible to better ourselves enough to merit eternal life? o Yes o No 7. In Ephesians 2:8-9 eternal life must be received as a G_______________________ 8. In 1 Timothy 2:5, the Bible tells us how many mediators there are between God and man. How many are there? o1 o 2 o 3 o more than 10 o many 9. According to John 5:24, what three benefits do we receive when we receive Christ as Savior? (1) We have E__________________________________ L_________________________________ (2) We will not come into C_________________________________ (3) We have passed from D____________________ to L_____________________________. 10. How do we appropriate these benefits? There are two verses that indicate what we should do: John 1:12, We must R________________________________________________ Christ. Revelation 3:20, We must I_________________________________________________________ Christ to enter into our __________________________________ . If someone were to ask you now, “Where would you go if you were to die today?” how would you respond? 18 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Now that you have believed in the redemptive work of Christ on the cross, and you have received Him as your personal Savior... God promises you: Eternal Life John 3:16 Forgiveness Eph. 1:6-7 Sonship John 1:12 What you should know: Live by faith, not by feelings Col 2:6 Live guided by the Holy Spirit 1 John 4:13 Rom 8:16 Live the new life in Christ 2 Cor 5:17 What you will have: Hunger for the Word 1 Pet 2:2 Desire for a holy life 1 Jn 2:3 Love for other believers Rom 5:5 Desire to tell others about Christ Acts 4:20 Step 2: Assurance of our Salvation ASSURANCE OF SALVATION 19 One of the first areas of Satan’s attacks on your new spiritual life will be his suggestions in your mind that what you have done is ridiculous or not real. His first intent will be to make you doubt what God has said in His Word and has done in your heart. It is possible that you will have this thought: “You don’t really believe you are saved: it is just your imagination. Your sins are not forgiven just because you received Christ. It just can’t be enough or that easy.” We should always respond to such doubts by studying the Scriptures. It does not depend on how we feel about it. What does God say about this? If Satan can keep you doubting, he will have won by ruining the peace and joy of your new Christian life. In John 15:11, according to what Jesus says, what is the source of our joy? _________________________________________________________________________________ If Jesus’ words are the source of our joy, we should be filled with a sense of security when we know what He said. He never lies and always means what He says. God has promised us three things if we have put our faith in Jesus Christ. Write each one beside each verse that He promises. John 3:16 _______________________________________________________________________ Ephesians 1:7 __________________________________________________________________ John 1:12 _______________________________________________________________________ According to these verses Jesus promised us eternal life, complete and guaranteed acceptance, and that He will make each of us His child. John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Eph 1:7, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 1:12, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 20 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons There are SIX REASONS by which we can know that we have eternal life now: 1. God says it. Read 1 John 5:13. According to this verse, which of the following phrases is true? o o o o We hope to be saved in the end. We anticipate, perhaps, being saved in heaven. We can know we are saved now. We desire to be saved someday. Unfortunately, many people commit the error of basing their assurance for going to heaven on their feelings about themselves. It is possible that we have great emotional feelings as we find true pardon in Christ, but emotions can be deceptive. Sometimes people do not feel anything when they accept Christ, which can lead them to doubt their salvation. The only thing we can rely on at all times is what GOD SAYS. Read 1 John 5:11-12. Why is it impossible to have received Christ and not have eternal life? _______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ The two things are related. You can not have one (Christ in your life) without having the other (that is, eternal life). Therefore, if a person has received Christ, he has SIMULTANEOUSLY received ___________________________________________________. It is just that simple. Count on it! If you have received Christ as your personal Savior, you have eternal life. In John 5:24 there are three things that occur simultaneously when a person believes in (or receives) Jesus Christ. As we saw in the first chapter write them down again: 1. His has ___________________________________ ______________________________________ (Notice the present time of the verb) 2. He will not come into _________________________________________________________ (Future time of the verb) 3. He has ____________________________ to ___________________________________________ (Past time of the verb) 1 John 5:11-12, And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. John 5:24, â€œI tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life. Step 2: Assurance of our Salvation 21 Did you see all three? Notice the present possession of eternal life, the future promise of no condemnation and the past experience of passing from death to life. 2. THE SPIRIT OF GOD TESTIFIES TO OUR SPIRIT THAT WE ARE SONS OF GOD Read Romans 8:16-17. The Holy Spirit within us gives us security, a sense of belonging, and an understanding of our new relationship with God. How does one arrive at having this Spirit? (Read Rom 8:15) ______________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Notice again, just as it is impossible to have received Christ without having eternal life, so it is impossible to have received Christ and not have the Holy Spirit within. The Holy Spirit and Christ are One. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. We are our parent’s children because we have their blood in our bodies. We are God’s children because we have His Spirit within. They both happened simultaneously when you received Christ. The only way we know this is not because we feel something, but because God’s Word declares that it happened… and we believe it. The only way to have the Spirit is for God to give Him to the believer the instant he put his faith in Christ. After reading Ephesians 1:13 write the order of events in salvation. Write 1, 2, 3 beside the events according to their chronological order in 1:13 (which one was first, then second…?) ___ Believe ___ Be sealed with the Spirit ___ Hear the Gospel When a person receives Christ, he literally is receiving the Holy Spirit. Note how it is said in Romans 8:9 then answer the following questions: What is the “Spirit” that we must have in order to belong to God? ________ Rom 8:16-17, The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Rom 8:15, For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Eph 1:13, In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Rom 8:9, But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 22 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons ___________________________________________________________________________________ What happens if anyone does not have the Spirit? __________________________ This “Spirit of God” lives inside the believer communicating to his spirit that they are friends, and even more, “sons of God.” Do you know with assurance that you have the Spirit and thus are a child of God? o Yes o No 3. CHANGES THAT HAVE OCCURRED IN OUR LIVES. One of the first changes that occurs within our spirit is the sense of our unworthiness and sinfulness. Jesus said that when the Spirit comes (after the Ascension), He will convince the world (lost men) of their sinfulness (John 16:8). In fact, the first proof in the epistle of 1 John that the Holy Spirit has begun His work of conviction in a person is his sense of sinfulness. If you ask almost anyone if they think they are a “good” person, most will answer “Yes, I try to be.” Only someone who knows the truth of God’s Word, that he has broken God’s law and thus is a guilty sinner, would have to respond to the question, “No, I am guilty and unworthy.” What is the first test in 1 John 1:8 to reveal whether we are saved or not? ___________________________________________________________________________________ Which of the following changes have you experienced since accepting Christ? (Mark as many of them as are true in your life) o o o o Peace within New sensitivity to sin Victory over some sins Love for God o Desire to read the Bible o Change in attitudes o Sense of being forgiven o New care for others Look at 2 Corinthians 5:17. What is the universal experience of true Christians in this verse? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ John 16:8, And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 1 John 1:8, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 2 Cor 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Step 2: Assurance of our Salvation 23 When Christ enters a person, changes begin. Our world view changes, our sensitivity to sin changes and our normal life style begins to change. This “new creature” (the new believer) continues to change as he is taught the Word of God and as he begins to practice it in his life. His perspectives, attitudes and relationships will change progressively when his new life grows in importance to him. Have you seen some of these changes in your life? o Yes o No If your answer is “yes” write some of them below: _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 4. WE LOVE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST The Bible is clear with respect to this experience in 1 John 3:14. Read it. How can we know that we have passed from death to life? ___________________________________________________________________________________ Which of the following have been your experiences? o o o o I desire to be with other Christians. I desire to be encouraged by others. My prejudices have changed. I desire to help other Christians. We know that we have eternal life because we love other Christians and we want to be with them. Is that true of you? __________________________________ 5. WE WANT TO SHARE OUR SAVIOR WITH OTHERS In Romans 5:5 we find another result of having the Spirit live within us. What is it? ____________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ Look at Rom 5:8 to see what the love of God does: Christ gave his life 1 John 3:14, We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Rom 5:5, Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Rom 5:8, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 24 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons for sinners. This same love has been placed in our hearts toward others. It is evident when we want to give our time and effort (our life) to tell our unsaved friends and people we have never met of Christ’s forgiveness. In Acts 4:20 what was it that the Apostles could not stop talking about? ________________________________________________________________________________________ The testimony of many people is that after accepting Christ, the first reaction is a desire to tell others that they can have the same experience of salvation. Their first thought upon meeting a new person is: “Does he know the Lord?” 6. WE WANT TO LIVE A LIFE OF OBEDIENCE A person cannot say that he has received Christ as Savior and Lord and still want to live in habitual sin. True repentance always produces changes in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit makes us sensitive to sin, so that one does not want to live like he did before Christ became a part of his life. Read 1 John 3:3-7. The use of the present tense verb phrase “commits sin” or “sins” means to habitually or continually be practicing sin. How would you describe the believer’s relationship to sin? _________________________________________________________________________________ Only by the GRACE OF GOD can we be “pure.” Now read Titus 2:11-12. What does the mercy and grace of God teach us to do? 1. “Renounce ... _______________________________________________________________ 2. “Live ... ______________________________________________________________________ If we say that we have received Christ and we continue to live in sin, we are deceiving ourselves. We have never changed. This does not mean we have to be perfect, but it does mean that we are conscious of and hurt by our sins, which never bothered us before. Each part of our life —(our work, Acts 4:20, For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 1 John 3:3-7 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. Tit 2:11-12, For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, Step 2: Assurance of our Salvation 25 our habits, friendships and recreations) — must remain under the light and authority of the Word of God. Do you desire to live a pure life for God? Be honest. o Yes o No The evidences are important because all Christians should KNOW FOR CERTAIN that they are saved. There are two references that make this clear. 2 Peter 1:10 says that it is necessary to make our “vocation and election ________ _______________________________________.” We are expected to investigate the promises, examine our relationship with Christ to see if there are genuine signs or symptoms of Christ’s presence in our life. 2 Corinthians 13:5 exhorts us to examine ourselves to see if... ____________________________________________________________________________________________ If you have these evidences in your life and know that you have received Christ as your only and sufficient Savior, then you can rest in His promise in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me: and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” If you have come to Christ in faith trusting in His death and resurrection as just payment for all your sins, and desire Him to be a permanent part of your life, then these symptoms should be a part of your life. You can rest in the promise that your sins will never be remembered: Hebrews 10:17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 2 Pet 1:10, Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble 2 Cor 13:5, For indeed he was crucified by reason of weakness, but he lives because of God’s power. For we also are weak in him, but we will live together with him, because of God’s power toward you.dd 26 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Review #2: THE SECURITY OF SALVATION 1. Who says that we can KNOW THAT WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE? ______________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ (1 John 5:13) 2. The Spirit of God testifies to our ________________________________________ that we are ____________________________________________ of ________________________________ (Rom 8:15). 3. The changes in our lives give evidence that we are a new _____________________________ _________________________________________________ (2 Cor 5:17). 4. Now the true believer has____________________________________________________ for other _______________________________________________________________________________. (1 John 3:14). 5. So real is our experience of salvation that we want __________________________________ with others. (Acts 4:20). 6. When the believer understands what Christ suffered on the cross for his sins he wants to do more, he wants to live________________________________________________ (1 John 3:3-7). Step 3: Daily Devotions for believers 27 28 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Daily Devotional Time 1 Peter 2:2 Psalm 1:1, 2 2 Tim. 2:15 2 Tim. 3:16,17 Mark 7:35 The Process 1. Prayer 2. Bible Reading 3. Meditation 4. Write your findings and conclusions that youâ€™ll practice in your life The Plan 1. The place 2. The time Ask Questions Prayer Log 1. Is there a sin to leave? 2. Are there promises to make? 3. Are there examples to follow?â€™ 4. Is there a command to obey? 5. Is there a teaching about God in the passage? 6. Are there other important truths to apply to my life? 1. Make a prayer list 2. Example: Date Petition Answer Date KEEP A RECORD OF YOUR QUITE TIME Step 3: Daily Devotions for believers Your Daily Devotinal Time 29 The only way to build up a relationship is to spend time with the person of interest. Therefore, to know God in a significant way, we must spend valuable time with Him. This time is called “the Daily Devotional Time” or my “Quiet Time.” During these moments of open and intimate communion with God, we learn much about Him, His will for our life, His direction and His nature, that is what we can expect of Him. This may be the time we make significant decisions about how we are going to practice what it says in His Word. These moments will become an essential part of our day. 1. What did David say about his devotional time? Psalm 119:147, 148_____________________________________________________________ Read also Psalm 1:1, 2 ____________________________________________________________ It seems that David took very seriously his two times a day to meet alone with God. Do you sense that it is a drudgery or obligation to have your devotions? Be honest: o Yes o No 2. Why is the devotional time so important? Was it a boring time for David? Read Psalm 42:1-2 ____________________________ Are you hungry for communion with God? Even Jesus found His joy in His daily times with His Father. Write what Jesus did in order to make time for His “Quiet Time” according to these verses: Mark 1:35 ______________________________________________________________________ Luke 5:16_______________________________________________________________________ Matthew 14:23 ________________________________________________________________ Psalm 119:147-148, I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word. 148 My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word. Psalm 1:1-2, Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 42:1-2, As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Mark 1:35, As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Luke 5:16, So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Matt 14:23, And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 30 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons When we enjoy our time alone with God, meditating on His Word and His Person, and permitting Him to speak to us through His Word and the Holy Spirit, this daily time becomes refreshing and precious. Soon others will note that we have changed. These changes will be seen in our attitudes, reactions to others, priorities and will begin to be seen in our lives. We will become more like Christ in our appearance and in the way we do things. During the Quiet Time we learn to experience what it means to “rejoice in the Lord always.” The joy from our daily time with Christ carries over into daily life. 3. What do we receive from this time? In Hebrews 4:16 the author encourages us not to be timid, lacking confidence with the Lord, but that we should come “boldly” or “with confidence.” The word means “outspokenness, frankness, plainness of speech.” There are two benefits in Heb 4:16 to our appearing before God. Write them out: a. ________________________________________________________________________________ b. ________________________________________________________________________________ “Mercy” is obtained when we repent of our sins in confession to Him and “grace “ is a power given to the “inward man “ (2 Co 4:16, “…though our outward man is perish [is wearing away] our inner man is renewed day by day”). This is a result of the daily devotional time that circumstances cannot affect. In Ephesians 3:16, what did Paul ask in prayer for each individual in the church of Ephesus with respect to the “inward man?” ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Paul knew that we need to be “strengthened” with power in the “inward man.” We are strengthened when we spend daily time with Jesus. We develop a deeper sense of His continual presence with us. Sometimes we become discouraged and hopeless. What did Jeremiah do when he felt this way? (Jeremiah 15:16). Write out the answer. _______________________________________________________________________________________ Heb 4:16, Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Eph 3:16, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, Jer 15:16, Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. Step 3: Daily Devotions for believers 31 It is a joy and pleasure to meet daily with the Lord and His Word. It is a good idea to begin by setting aside at least 10-15 minutes, as a goal for your “quiet time.” It will require planning and discipline. There is no “correct” time, but there is a correct place. The place must permit maximum concentration in the Word of God, free of distractions and interruptions. In Mark 1:35, where was Jesus? _____________________________________________ 4. What do we do in the Quiet Time? A. First, we should pray and ask God to speak to us. Our purpose is to have communion with Him and share our needs. In 1 Peter 5:7 what should we bring to God? ______________________________ He does not want us to be frustrated, therefore, He wants us to carry our burdens to Him. So, we share with Him our “cares” because He “cares” for us. Knowing that He is with us through all our problems and understands how we feel is a great comfort. Constantly be asking Him how you can bless someone else. When we claim the promises we have discovered in His Word, applying them to our daily needs, God responds. God answers prayer, but ONLY SPECIFIC PETITIONS. In John 15:7 Jesus taught us THREE REQUIREMENTS of people to whom God responds. (Write them here). 1. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. ________________________________________________________________________________ The following FOUR-STEP plan can be used as we pray: Worship: Recognizing His greatness Confession: Asking God to reveal our sins and agreeing with Him about how awful they are (1 John 1:9). Thanksgiving: Thanking God for all that He allows in our lives. Supplications: Petitions: Asking God to supply the needs of others (intercession) and for our own needs (petitions) as well. Mark 1:35, Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. John 15:7, If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 1 Pet 5:7, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 32 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons B. Secondly, we read a portion of Scripture planned for the day. Here, also, the purpose is for God to speak to us through His Word. A second, and most important purpose, is that we learn Who He is through His Word, and we watch for His commands to know how to live His way. In Psalm 119:105, 130, David tells us several things that we can receive from the Word. Write two of them: 1. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________________ While we read, meditating on the Word of God, He gives us direction and understanding. To the one who wants to know His Word to put it into practice God will give more interest, insights and desires to know more. (See John 14:15). God will provide for us just the light that we need for each day, if we want it. We should study a chapter or a paragraph of the Bible at a time., reading the passage several times to get an understanding of what the text is saying. A recommended plan or order for beginning reading and study in the New Testament could be the following: 1. John 2. Philippians 3. Mark 4. 1 John 5. Romans 6. Acts 7. 1 Corinthians Choose someone to be accountable to for being faithful to the Lord in your quiet time. Ask each other daily what you learned in your devotions that morning. It won’t take long until a habit is formed. C. Thirdly, our Daily Devotional is a time for meditation. Meditation is the process of understanding the sense of a biblical passage and then to contemplate the different applications in your own life. Then you have to decide specifically what you are going to do to practice what you discover. How did David practice meditation everyday? Psalm 1:2 _______________________________________________________________________ Psalm 119:105, 130, Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. .... The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. John 14:15, Si me amáis, guardad mis mandamientos. Psalm 1:2, Sino que en la ley de Jehová está su delicia, Y en su ley medita de día y de noche. Step 4: Keys to Power for Living Here are several questions we should ask ourselves: 33 1. Does this passage show me some sin I should get rid of or quit doing? 2. Is there a promise in which I should trust? 3. Is there an example for me to imitate? 4. Is there a command I must obey? 5. What does it teach me about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? 6. Are there other truths that I should understand and apply to my life? 7. How can I form a PRINCIPLE from this passage to apply to my life? It is very important to evaluate these questions and use the Quiet Time pages in a Journal to record our thoughts, daily findings and the areas of our lives that must be changed. The pages of the Quiet Time Journal are very important as they stimulate us to be consistent and responsible. This is the most important factor for our growth in Christ. D. Fourthly, we should record any THOUGHTS God may have given us during our Quiet Time. These thoughts can become our meditation during the entire day as we go over them in our minds.. Always end your writing on the pages answering â€œHow can I apply this to my, life?â€? Under this title, we should write specifically what God is teaching us. In Psalm 119:11 Why is it so necessary to do this every day? ___________________________________________________________________________________ In Psalm 119:103 What should be our daily joy? ___________________________________________________________________________________ When we spend time alone with God each day, we grow in our new life as Christians and others will begin recognize that we have been with Him. Psalm 119:11, Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:103, How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! 34 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons REVIEW #3: THE DEVOTIONAL OR QUIET TIME 1. Write in your own words the significance of the Daily Devotional Time. __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. In Psalm 119:147-148, when did David spend his special Quiet Time with the Lord ?_________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. In Hebrews 4:16, what two things do we receive by spending time with the Lord? a. _______________________________________________________________________________________ b. _______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. According to Ephesians 3:16, what happens to the â€œinward manâ€? as he spends daily time with Jesus? ____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Write the four SUGGESTED steps in the Quiet Time: a. We should P________________________________________ b. Then R____________________________________________ a portion of the Bible. c. A time of P__________________________________________________________________ d. We should write our T_____________________________________________ about the applications to our lives. 6. Write the four suggested steps for prayer in the Quiet Time. W_____________________________________________________________________ C______________________________________________________________________ T______________________________________________________________________ S________________________________ and P_______________________________ Congratulations! You are progressing well in the first steps of your new life in Christ. Step 3: Daily Devotions for believers Being â€œfaithfulâ€? means to develop these daily habits that transform your life. Our next lesson is on the Power of God to live for Christ. 35 36 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Keys to Power For Living Be Filled with the Holy Spirit Ephesians 5:18 Meaning John 10:10 John 15:16 Galatians 5:22-23 Acts 1:8 Christ in you Galatians 2:20 Be Controlled by the Word of God Colossians 3:16 Desire Matthew 5:6 Promises Conditions Submission Romans 12:1-2 Obedience Purity 1 John 2:3 Fulfill the Conditions 1 John 1:9 CONTINUAL POWER Appropriate the power Trust God for His strength Step 4: Keys to Power for Living 37 Power for Living Each day can be an adventure, for the believer who knows the reality of being filled with the Spirit, and the joy of living under His loving control. Unfortunately, not all believers experience this joy. Which of the following declarations has been your experience? Rare Sometimes Usually 1. I feel discouraged because I am not growing quickly. 2. I am disappointed at my lack of self-discipline. 3. I am embarrassed because some old habits have not disappeared. 4. I am afraid of not pleasing God. 5. I would be embarrassed if others knew my doubts and thoughts. 6. I feel guilty because I do not tell others about Christ. 7. I feel useless when I compare myself to other Christians. 8. I feel trapped by my failures of the past. These are only some of the reasons why a young Christian should know the source of his strength and how to appropriate its power to be victorious. Most Christians do not understand the work of the Holy Spirit, and therefore, tend to get discouraged, weak and without fruit in their Christian lives. What kind of life does Jesus want to give us in John 10:10? ______________________________________________________________ Jesus does not want us to be weak or miserable, but He wants us to experience the “abundant” life [which means “superior, extraordinary, uncommon, remarkable”]. Let’s begin with the principle. In 2 Peter 1:3-4, what do the promises of the Scriptures permit us to participate in? __________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ John 10:10, I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 2 Pet 1:3-4, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 38 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons The knowledge that we now have within us” the divine nature” is a most wondrous and awesome concept. It is more than a feeling: it is God Himself! In three verses Paul describes this “divine nature”. Write his descriptions of this “divine nature” in these verse beside the three references. Ephesians 3:16 _____________________________________________________________________________ Ephesians 3:17 _____________________________________________________________________________ Ephesians 3:18-19 _________________________________________________________________________ When we understand the differences in these passages, we will know the entire Trinity lives within us and fills each of us.. This is power! The “abundant life” is only possible because God Himself resides in our bodies giving us power to live victoriously over sin and circumstances. There are two areas affected by the powerful indwelling of God in our lives: 1. OUR PERSONAL LIFE The changes in a Christian life are often referred to as “fruit.” A real fruit is the result of a seed being planted in fertile ground, germinating and growing into a plant which always produces the fruit. This reality becomes a metaphor to illustrate the Christian life. Paul wrote that “the fruit of the Spirit” will be evident in the life of any Christian. If the seed of the Spirit has been planted in the believer’s life (this occurs in salvation), the Spirit will reproduce His own character in the believer. Write the new and distinct aspects of the “fruit of the Spirit”, en Galatians 5:22-23. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. OUR SERVICE The Christian life is not a selfish experience, but a life that God can use to reach out to others. This requires a power greater than ourselves, and Jesus has promised to give us the power to accomplish His purpose for our lives. Eph 3:16, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, Eph 3:17, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, Eph 3:18-19 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Gal 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Step 4: Keys to Power for Living In Acts 1:8 when is this power available to us? 39 ____________________________________________________________________________________________ When do we receive the Spirit? (See Galatians 3:2; Romans 8:9) ___________________________________________________________________________________ When we, by faith, receive Christ as our Savior, at the same time we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Each believer, therefore, has the power of the Spirit within him. Now we must learn to allow Him to control us and manifest His power. THE SECRET OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS TO BE CONTINUALLY BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT In Ephesians 5:18 Paul made a great contrast. What are the two opposite positions? ___________________________________________________________________________________ In our study of the â€œfruit of the Spiritâ€?, (Gal 5:22-23) what was the last aspect mentioned? ___________________________________________________________________________________ Temperance is self-control. The believer who is filled with the Spirit and who therefore, manifests the fruit of the Spirit is constantly in control of himself., the opposite of being drunk. Write with your own words the resulting response of being filled with the Spirit found in Ephesians 5:19: ___________________________________________________________________________________ We want to share with each other what we are learning and to worship. Compare this result with the results of the abundant indwelling of the Word in our lives found in Colossians 3:16. What is the similarity? ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Acts 1:8, But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Gal 3:2, The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Eph 5:18, And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. Eph 5:19, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, Col 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 40 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons What produced these results in Colossians 3:16? ____________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ When the Word lives in abundance in us, we manifest two ministries to each other. What are they? _____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ We want to teach or share what we discover and encourage one another to follow what the Bible says and and we have a strong desire to worship our Lord in word and song. It is interesting that two things can have the same result, that is: (1) the filling of the Spirit and (2) the abundant indwelling of the Word in our lives. They must be related. When we respond in obedience to the commands, wisdom and correction of the Word, the power of the Spirit is manifested in our lives enabling us to be obedient. Therefore, the commandment “be filled. . .” is a continual or habitual activity. It is not a one time or occassional experience. Jesus fills us with His Spirit when we seek to live in obedience to His Word. The filling of the Spirit is the enabling power to do His will. There are three more commandments with respect to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Write the ones you find in each of the following verses: 1. Ephesians 4:30 _________________________________________________________________________ When we disobey the commands of God in His Word we offend and sadden Him. 2. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 __________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ This is stronger. When we refuse to do something that we know is God’s will, we quench, extinguish or suppress His communication with our spirit. 3. Galatians 5:16 _________________________________________________________________________ We must obey everything the Spirit tells us to do in the Word; this is “walking in the Spirit.” We do not need a mystical voice in our head, rather Eph 4:30, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 1 Thes 5:19, Do not quench the Spirit. Gal 5:16, I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Step 4: Keys to Power for Living 41 we listen to Him speak to us through the written Word as the Spirit makes something applicable to our lives. Remember, the Spirit came to bring conviction of sin, or show us our disobedience to His Word. How is this related to Col. 3:16? ______________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ The principle of having power for victory in the Christian life is to obey the commands of the Word of God in all aspects of our lives. In a sense, the more obedient we are, the more filled with the Spirit we will be. Any step we take toward obedience is strengthened by the power of the Spirit. When we have disobeyed, what should we do? See 1 John 1:9 __________________________________________________________________________ As we confess our sins and repent of them, He is constantly cleansing us and He maintains communication with our conscience so that we may follow Him in obedience and victory. The filling of the Spirit is not to be asked for in prayer, but it is the result of certain conditions. What are they? Condition #1: DESIRE A person must desire that God control his life. According to Matt 5:6, What is the condition for being “filled”? __________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ God does not disappoint those who” have hunger and thirst” for righteousness, that is, for obedience to His Word by enabling them through the filling of His Spirit. Condition #2: YIELD THE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE To know the power of God each believer must make the basic decision to yield the right of final control for his life to Christ. To do so they must believe that God’s way is the best way to live.The believer allows Christ to control his life everyday. 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Matt 5:6, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 42 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons It is like newlyweds: At the wedding, they vow commitment one to the other., but this is not sufficient for the rest of their lives. Each day they must submit to the needs of the other and must be determined to give up some of their own rights or fantasies of what they think they deserve in order to have a healthy relationship as a couple. It is the same with us and Christ. According to what Jesus said in Matt. 6:33 what should be the priority in our lives? ________________________________________________________________________________________ The values and purposes of God’s kingdom should be given priority in the life of the Christian. Because we have received the rich mercies of God in salvation, how should we conduct our lives? Romans 12:1 ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ A child of God should pray daily, “Lord, today I give You my life to be what You want me to be, to go where You guide me, and to say what You want me to say.” Condition #3: LIVE IN OBEDIENCE The key is, To whom do you yield your body? The word “yield” means to be willing to follow the direction of God as it is revealed in His Word. Paul wrote, “Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God” (Rom 6:13) When we drive a car, we do not have to make the decision of whether or not to stop at a red light; we automatically stop. We know that running a red light is dangerous and against the law. Stopping at a red light becomes an attitude of life. Obedience to the Word of God is very similar — it should be an attitude of life. When temptation comes, we should not debate in our minds whether or not to get drunk, to commit robbery, to tell a lie, to be angry, or to commit adultery, etc. We must learn automatically to obey the Word of God. Matt 6:33, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Rom 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Step 4: Keys to Power for Living From the following verses, write what PROVES obedience: 43 Deuteronomy 8:2-3 ___________________________________________________________________ 1 John 2:3 _______________________________________________________________________________ John 15:14 ______________________________________________________________________________ Condition #4: PURITY The disobedient believer grieves and quenches the Holy Spirit, and causes his Christian life to lose its joy, becomes discouraged or even bored. Even the Holy Spirit has no authority or power to change a disobedient rebellious person. He only empowers obedience, but will not stop disobedience when He is quenched. When a believer sins, he must react immediately or he will form destructive habits that become increasingly harder to break. From these verses write how he should respond: Rom 6:19 _______________________________________________________________________________ 1 John 1:9_______________________________________________________________________________ The word “confess” comes from a Greek word that means “to say the same thing.” God wants us to confess to Him according to what He says about our sins. He wants us to be in agreement with Him; however, this is not a quick escape for our conscience. We must see just how horrible our sinning is to God, and understand what Christ had to pay for those sins, then learn to feel the same hatred toward sins as God feels. The word “repentance” means “a change of mind” about our actions in order to be in agreement with God. Confession is the expression to God of our change of mind, especially toward sin. If we had to choose between our favorite sin and God, which would win? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Deut 8:2-3, And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. 1 John 2:3, Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. John 15:14, You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. Rom 6:19, I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 44 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons That is a change of mind or repentance. What are the two things that God does once and for all when we â€œhabitually confessing our sinsâ€?? 1. _________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. _________________________________________________________________________________________ God gives us forgiveness for our sins (those that we are conscious of and are confessing) as well as He is cleansing us from all the other sins (those we are not yet conscious of) to maintain a perfect communion with God. What grace! These are the conditions for the filling of the Holy Spirit and the way to activate the power of the Spirit in our lives. Step 5: The local church and the Christian life REVIEW #4: POWER TO LIVE 45 1. What is the secret for success in the Christian life? _______________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. In John 10:10, what kind of life does Jesus want to give us? ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. When do we receive the Holy Spirit? (Galatians 3:2; Romans 8:9) ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. How many members of the Trinity live within us? o 1 (just the Holy Spirit) 2 (both the Holy Spirit and Jesus) 3 (The entire Trinity) 5. Write the nine aspects of the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 6. There are three more commands with respect to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Write in your own words these commands without looking them up in the Bible. Ephesians 4:30__________________________________________________________________________ 1 Thessalonians 5:19 ___________________________________________________________________ Galatians 5:16 ___________________________________________________________________________ 7. Write the four conditions for being filled with the Spirit. Each letter begins a word. o D_____________________________________________________________________________________ o Y ________________________the C___________________ of your L_________________________ o L _________________________________in O ______________________________________________ o P _____________________________________________________________________________________ 46 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons The importance of the Local Church A. What is the Church? 1. The Body of Christ 1 Co 12:1-27 2. Local Universal Church B. ¿Why is it necessary? Five Purposes to Fufill: 5. Mission in the world 4. Ministry to others 3. Magnify and Worship the Savior 2. Spiritual Maturity (Acts 2:42) 1. Membership commitment (Heb 10:25) C. Why should we participate in the Church? 1. A mature life requires all five purposes. 2. God commands us to be part of His Church (Heb. 10:25) 3. It protects us from extremes 4. Advice of mature Christians is available. D. What kind of church should we attend? Where the Gospel is preached Where training is given Where love abounds The doctrine is biblical Where the members are filled with the Spirit Step 5: The local church and the Christian life The Local Church and the Believer 47 I. What is the Church? Whoever you are or wherever you were saved, it is the same experience for everyone anywhere in the world. Since the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2, every believer has immediately been indwelt with the Spirit. This action unites all believers through the Spirit, as family members are united through the same DNA. How are we all united in 1 Cor 12:13? _____________________________________________________________________________________ The first work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to baptize us ( that is, “put us into...or immerse us”) into the Body of Christ with all other believers. Even without knowing it, we were made a part of the Body of Christ the moment we believed by being put into [baptized into] Him. This is not based on our feelings, but we know it happened because the Bible declares that it did. How is the “body of Christ” called in Ephesians 1:23? ___________________________________________________________________________________________ II. Why is it necessary to involve ourselves in a “local” church? Obviously, the Universal Body of Christ is not visible here on earth, nor does it function as an organization. In separate communities around the world, members of the Body of Christ gather for very important reasons. Meeting together is essential in order for the believers to grow spiritually. There are more than fifty commandments in the New Testament that can be obeyed only by being part of a local church. 1. It is necessary to commit to MEMBERSHIP in a local church Communion does not happen only when the believers are meeting together. “Communion”” means “share, have in common, or participate” in something outside ourselves. It is not necessarily a feeling about others as much as a recognition of our responsibility for the well-being of others.Communion is to learn from each other, give to others’ needs, and share the same priorities for each other. 1 Cor 12:13, For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit. Eph 1:23, Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 48 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons a) This implies that it is important to protect UNITY in the church by... Eph 4:3 “Maintain the bond of______________________________________________ Eph. 4:29 “Be careful with our ______________________________________________ Heb 13:17 “Obey and subject ourselves to _________________________________ b) We should assume part of the responsibility for... Luke 14:23 Make an effort to ______________________________________________ 1 Thess 1:2 Remember to __________________________________________________ Rom 15:7 We should ______________________ one another c) We should commit ourselves to ministries in the church in order to... 1 Pet 4:10, Discover our _____________________and________________________ Eph 4:12, Be ________________________________by church leaders d) My commitment includes helping the church ... 1 Cor 16:2 Each week I should ___________________________________________ 2 Cor 9:7-8 How much should I give?____________________________________ Mal 3:8-9 How did Israel rob God?_____________________________________ Heb 10:24-25, I must ________________________________ the services. Eph 4:3, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph 4:29, Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Heb 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Luke 14:23, Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 1 Thess 1:2, We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, Rom 15:7, Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory. 1 Pet 4:10, As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Eph 4:12, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 1Cor 16:2, On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 2 Cor 9:7-8, So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. Mal 3:8-9, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Heb 10:24-25, And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Step 5: The local church and the Christian life 49 If we want to be obedient to Christ, we should be a part of a local church because it is a command. When we meet together, three things should occur. (1) Consider one another, that is, take care of each other; (2) provoke one another [literally it means “agitate”] to show love and good works; (3) exhort one another, [“motivate or console one another”]. Many believers do not mature for lack of contact with other believers for the purpose of mutual giving and receiving of spiritual blessings, being accountable to one another and for being motivated by others to obey. Write below the four activities of the early church found in Acts 2:42: 1. _______________________________________________________ 2. _______________________________________________________ 3. _______________________________________________________ 4. _______________________________________________________ The step of committing to the Family of God in membership to a local church is vital to our growth in the faith. 2. It is necessary for our MATURITY In Acts 2:42 we saw that the early church continued in “the doctrine of the apostles.” What are the three aspects of the ministry of the Word in 1 Timothy 4:13? 1. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. _______________________________________________________________________________________ After reading a passage, exhortation is the application of that passage to our lives; teaching is the discovering the meaning of a passage and forming of principles for our lives. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, what are the four uses of the Word that are necessary for Acts 2:42, And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 1 Tim 4:13, Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 50 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons us to be “perfect” or “complete, mature,” and prepared to do good works for God? 1. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Each aspect of the use of the Word (doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness) should be exercised in the local church. Our attitude in going to church should be to learn everything possible so that we may be effective Christians for the next week. What was the problem with the believers in Hebrews 5:12? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ They had been taught well, but did not want to share what they had learned; they did not want to be involved in the ministry. If we do not share what we are learning, what happens to us? ( Hebrews 5:11). _________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ They lost their desire to know the Word. They became “dull of hearing” that is, lazy and slow, lacking interest and motivation. This was probably the result of being absent from the church meetings. They lacked the desire to apply the Bible to their lives and the maturity to guide them in their expressions of praise to God. 3. It is necessary to MAGNIFY or worship God. True worship happens when a person responds in obedience to what God says. Less than this is “lip service,” and nothing more. What are the two characteristics for worshipers that the Father seeks in John 4:23-24? They must worship in ... 1. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Heb 5:11-12, of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. John 4:23-24, But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Step 5: The local church and the Christian life The two concepts of worshiping in spirit and in truth means: (1) To be sincere, desirous of genuine submission to the will of God. 51 (2) Have a clear understanding of the Truth (without error) responding with joy and obedience Israel showed the opposite of this attitude in Isaiah 29:13. What was their problem? _____________________________________________________________________________________ The local church must teach God’s Word for understanding and for application of the Word, not “precepts of men.” Those who worship come with their spirits conditioned to accept the truth and act accordingly as a part act of worship. These are the worshipers that the Father is seeking. To see believers praising the Lord for His truth and grace, and singing for His glory, honors God and is beneficial for our growth. Those who only occupy a seat rarely desire to learn from the Word of God and their worship is empty. Those who take advantage of the teaching, applying it to their lives, become equipped to invest their energies in ministry to others. 4. It is necessary to be involved in MINISTRY God will never ask something of us without providing what is necessary to do it. He has given each believer “gifts” or capacities and the motivation to serve Him in some area of the church. It is His investment in our ministry for His Kingdom. However, we must involve ourselves in a ministry in order to discover the gifts He has given us. God equipped us with a profile of gifts, talents, passion and temperaments together with our experiences for a purpose. Our unique profile will determine where and how we can serve effectively in the church. What is this “profile” called in Eph 2:10? ________________________________________________________________ If our “workmanship” equips us for a work of ministry, how are the ministries divied in 1 Pet 4:10-11? ___________________________________________________________________ Isa 29:13, Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Eph 2:10, For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them. 1 Pet 4:10-11, As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 52 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons 5. It is necessary for our MISSION in life. What was the Apostle Paul’s principle motivation in Acts 20:24? __________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ His career was his mission in this life, which God had prepared for him to accomplish in the Kingdom of God. Paul did not want to fail God. The purpose of the church is to help us mature and to train us while organizing opportunities of service so that we can accomplish our corporate mission together. III. What is the requirement to be a member of the church? Each Christian should follow the biblical example of identifying himself with Christ and His Church through water baptism. This symbolizes what Christ has done in our lives: He joins us to Himself and thus to his death, burial and resurrection. We are then made new creatures-- spiritually resurrected to a new life! (2 Co 5:17). The MODE of baptism that symbolizes what has saved us (that is, our union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection) is IMMERSION. Read Romans 6:3-4. What puts us into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ? ____________________________________________________________________________________________ If it is the “baptism” that puts us into Christ, it must be the baptism of the Spirit (1 Co 12:13). If the Spirit unites us with Christ in such a way that His death is our death, His burial is our burial and His resurrection is our resurrection, then water baptism should symbolize this same operation of the Spirit. Write below each diagram the three steps of baptism: DEATH BURIAL RESURRECTION _________________________ _____________________ ________________________ Acts 20:24, But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 2 Cor 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Rom 6:3-4, Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 1 Cor 12:13, For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit. Step 5: The local church and the Christian life 53 In the Bible baptism in water occurs relatively soon after their conversion experience. What was the only requirement for baptism in the case of the Ethiopian in Acts 8:35-38? ___________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ God’s plan was never for the believer to remain isolated from a local church after they believe, rather everyone who believe should have a gran welcome in the local church. How are new believers thought of and treated in Ephesians 2:19? ________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ God wants every believer to meet with other believers in the “family” of God. Since Christ instituted baptism as the symbol of our identification with Him, He obligates all believers to make very public the faith in Christ. Baptism is to be our “public profession of faith.” He does not permit keeping it a secret. So our identification with the Body of Christ, His Church, is manifested by publicly being made known in a local church. How public does He want our profession to be in Luke 9:26? __________________________________________________________________________________ The communion with other believers ocurrs when we know each other, take of and protect each other, become responsible for each other’s lives, receive instruction and are encouraged to follow Christ in an opposing and contrary world. We should consider our commitment to the work of God as a privilege and do it with joy. Remember: Christ “loved the church and gave himself for her” (Eph 5:2). It is His first love. How much should we love the church as well, even with its problems. Every church depends on God for its needs. God supplies ALL the needs though the persons to whom the church ministers and who has learned to love their Savior. For this reason, because we have received blessings, we Acts 8:35-38, Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Eph 2:19, Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, Luke 9:26, For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. 54 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons should be willing to give ourselves in a living sacrifice to meet the needs of others. How did Paul teach the Early Church to respond materially? 1 Cor 9:11 ______________________________________________________________________ IV. What are the privileges of being a part of a local church? 1. The members of a local church are identified as true believers. How are they described in these verses? Rom 12:5 ________________________________________________________________________ Eph 2:19 _________________________________________________________________________ 2. The members are treated as family by their support and encouragement in the Christian life. What is the responsibility to each other in this verse? 1 Thes 5:11 _____________________________________________________________________ 3. The church provides a place to discover your gifts and get involved in a ministry that will be valued for eternity. How do these verses express our motivation for learning how to serve the Lord? 1 Cor 15:58 _____________________________________________________________________ 4. In the church the believer is under the protection of spiritual leaders who are gifted at protecting, training and coaching members to mature and reach their maximum potential in their Christian life. What do these verses indicate about why we should trust our leaders? Heb 13:17 _______________________________________________________________________ Acts 20:28 _______________________________________________________________________ 1 Cor 9:11, If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? Rom 12:5, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 1 Thes 5:11, Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Cor 15:58, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. Heb 13:17, Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Acts 20:28, Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Step 5: The local church and the Christian life 5. Through the church we have the privilege to honor Christ in His memorial service. How is this done according to the following verses? 55 1 Cor 11:23-27 __________________________________________________________________ These are just a few of the values of being a member in a local church. Remember: Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, which indicates the tremendous value of the church. May we value her as much as He does. 1 Cor 11:23-27, For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 56 Review #5: The Local Church Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons 1. What is the Church? It is the B ___________________of Christ. 2. If the Church is the Body of Christ, why is a local church necessary? ___________________________________________________________ 3. There are four reasons why it is necessary to be committed to membership in a local church. Complete each sentence below without reading the lesson, if possible. a. Our comitment is to protect the U______________________ in the church. b. Our commitment is to assume part of the R______________________ for the church. c. Our commitment is to participate in a M _______________________ of the church. d. Our commitment includes H______________________ the church. 4. Additional reasons for why we should be committed to membership in a local church include the following: a. It is necessary for my M________________________________________________________________ b. It is necessary to M_____________________________________________ and worship God. c. It is necessary to be involved in M ______________________________________________ d. It is necessary to fulfill my M ___________________________________________ in life. 5. What does baptism mean to you in light of our study? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ 6. What are the five privileges to being an active member of a local church? a. Members are I __________________________________________________ as true believers b. Members are treated as F ____________________________________ to one another. c. Memebers can discover their S_______________________________ G _______________________ d. Members are P ________________________________________ by spiritual L__________________ e. Members can H _______________________________ Christ at His M_________________________ Step 6: Prayer and the Christian life 57 58 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Prayer Learn to Pray Philippians 4:6-7 Purposes for prayer 1. Satisfy inward needs 2. Direction from God 3. Win over worry 4. Converse with God 5. Destroy sin GOD To be more effective 1. Be flexible 2. Be systematic 3. Be consistent 4. Be specific 5. Be confident Impediments to prayer Prayers IMPEDIMENTS MAN 1. Praying without faith (James 1:5-8) 2. Fail to ask with trust (Matt 21:22) 3. Ask with wrong motives (James 4:3) 4. Desiring sin (Psalm 66:18) 5. Relationship problems (1 Peter 5:7) 6. Petition outside the will of God (1 John 5:14, 15) Step 6: Prayer and the Christian life The Prayer Life of the Believer 59 Transparent communication is essential for any relationship to grow, especially our relationship with God. Prayer is our method for communicating with God. It is essential that we express our feelings, desires and needs directly to God. Since God is the refuge of the believer, what should we do with our feelings according to Psalm 62:8? ________________________________________________ This verse is like 1 Peter 5:7 which we studied in the chapter on the Devotional Time. How frequently should we pour out our hearts to God according to 1 Thessalonians 5:17? _____________________________________________ We have seen that the first part of our communication is when God speaks to us through His Word. The second part is when we give God our response to His Word in our prayers, and through sharing our concerns and needs. Prayer is not a ritual or something memorized. It is simply speaking with God from our heart. In the Bible there are certain forms of prayer. The kind of prayer depends on what we want to express. Match these verses with the word that expresses the kind of prayer each one describes. __ 1. Worship (for Godâ€™s attributes) __ 2. Thanksgiving (for what God does) __ 3. Confession (for what we are) __ 4. Intercession (for others) __ 5. Prayer for personal needs (Petition) a. Psalm 38:18 b. Hebrews 13:15 c. James 1:5 d. Ephesians 5:20 e. 1 Samuel 12:23 Prayer is not repeating sacred words, rather is it the expression of our heart. In Isaiah 29:13, what was the problem in Israel when Isaiah preached? ___________________________________________________________________________________ Psalm 62:8, Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us 1 Thes 5:17, pray without ceasing, Psalm 38:18, For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. Heb 13:15, Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. James 1:5, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. Eph 5:20, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Sam 12:23, Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. Isa 29:13, Therefore the Lord said: â€œInasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, 60 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Prayer is more than honoring God with our lips. It is drawing near to Him with our hearts in transparent obedience. Purposes of Prayer Prayer is not a means to express our selfish desires. What was the supreme purpose of prayer that Jesus taught in John 14:13? __________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ God is glorified by responding to prayers directed to Him in the name of Jesus. To ask for something in the name of any other person signifies to ask something in the other persons place, to his favor, with the same purpose as the other person. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus taught that He expected to be our priority in all that we do. What do you think it mean to you to put Christ first in your life? ___________________________________________________________________________________ When purposes and values of Jesus and His kingdom are the priority in our lives and prayers, whatever we ask will be heard and answered. 1. Prayer satisfies the deepest needs in the human heart God made every man with the need to have communion with God. This communion is only realized in the person who feels loneliness in his soul. Write how David satisfied this loneliness of his soul. Psalms 42:1-2 _________________________________________________________________ Psalm 63:1 _____________________________________________________________________ Psalms 63:5-8 _________________________________________________________________ John 14:13, And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Matt 6:33, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Psalm 42:1-2, As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 63:1, O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. Psalm 63:5-8, My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. 6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. 7 Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. 8My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. Step 6: Prayer and the Christian life 2. Prayer is a means to acquire a sense of direction from God 61 When we meditate in the Word and pray to God in accordance with it, His mind begins to transform our mind. What did Paul pray that the Ephesian church would receive in Ephesians 1:17? ___________________________________________________________________________________ Spiritual wisdom has to do with wise thinking about future decisions and revelations in the knowledge of Jesus, to “know what is the hope of his calling,” that is, to know God’s purpose for bringing us to know and receive the gospel (Eph 1:18). The sage described the conditions for knowing God sufficiently so as to know the mind of God on issues. How seriously did Solomon want to know God’s thoughts (Prov 2:3)? ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Prayer is the means of dealing with our anxieties or worries. The plan of God is to maintain a healthy mind. Anxiety and frustration destroy our mental health. We can trust Him to take care of us. He makes no mistakes. How should we treat our problem of anxiety and frustration in the following verses? 1 Peter 5:7 _____________________________________________________________________ Philippines 4:6-7 ___________________________________________________________________ 4. Prayer is the means to communicate our failures and burdens to God. We should not carry our anxieties and frustrations with ourself inside if we are going to grow spiritually. We do not beat ourselves up for our failure. Neither does God want us to feel like He has abandoned us or does not care anymore. Prayer changes us from the inside, because we trust His promises. Look in the verses for the answer to the following questions: Eph 1:17, I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him, Prov 2:3, indeed, if you call out for discernment— raise your voice for understanding Matt 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 1 Pet 5:7, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Phil 4:6-7, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 62 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons a. What is our responsibility in 1 John 1:9? __________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ b. What is His promise and purpose in 1 John 1:9? _________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ c. Why is He so generous in John 16:26-27? _________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Prayer strengthens us against sin and temptation. When we ask for His strength, determination and wisdom to obey the Word of God, He gives us encouragement to gain the victory over sin with Him at our side. What did Jesus tell His disciples that they should do to avoid the temptation in Matthew 26:41? ____________________________________________________ What should we ask in prayer for other people? See 2 Thess. 3:1-3. a.__________________________________________________________________________________________ b.__________________________________________________________________________________________ c.__________________________________________________________________________________________ The Development of Effectiveness in Prayer What are the keys to learning â€œhow toâ€? pray. 1. Maintain balance Prayer is not exclusively for us, rather it is a means for us to benefit others. If God decided to restrict His activities today exclusively to the 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. John 16:26-27, In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. Matt 26:41, Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 2 Thess 3:1-3, Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. Step 6: Prayer and the Christian life prayers of His children, what would God be doing for others in response to your prayers? 63 a. What did Paul desire for those who did not know Christ in Romans 10:1? ___________________________________________________________________________________ b. What did he do to bring it about? __________________________________________ c. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4. What groups of people should we be praying for? For what purpose? ____________________________________________________________ d. According to Matthew 9:37-38, for what objective does Jesus want us to pray for? __________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Be systematic It is a common experience that when the prayer time arrives we forget the requests and needs to pray for. A list of needs written down in a Prayer Journal will help us remember what to pray for. Such a list could include needs from: Your family Your friends: unsaved, neighbors, and acquaintances Your pastor, staff and church Missionaries and others that work in their ministry, specific unreached people groups. Authorities in the workplace, government or other relations Personal needs. How systematic was Paul in his prayers for others in 1 Thess 1:2? __________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Be consistent Most believers are inconsistent and sporadic in their spiritual lives. Our dependency on His intervention in our lives is directly proportionate to our belief that He will do something or our prayers will make a difference. Rom 10:1, Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 1 Tim 2:1-4, Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Thess 1:2, We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 64 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons We should never cease to communicate with God. We should be communicating with God in prayer about every area of our life in our thoughts all day. How should we practice prayer in accordance with Roman 12:12? ___________________________________________________________________________________________ What did Paul command in 1 Thess. 5:17? _____________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Be specific For example: How do we respond normally when someone intentionally mistreats us? Put an “x” by the statement that best states your natural response: Get mad at him Think of someway to take vengeance. Try to forget it. Seriously pray for him. I forgive him, but cannot forget it. Other typical responses: ______________________ Examine Luke 6:28. According to this verse, what is the correct answer? ___________________________________________________________________________________ Paul wrote some prayers as examples in Ephesians 3:14-21. Write out some of the petitions the Paul made for others and himself. _____________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Be Confident Are we sure God is going to hear us? How hard or long do we have to pray before God hears us? It all depends on our concept of God’s character. Is He quick to listen or is it hard to get His attention? At times one can pray briefly, almost in passing, and things begin to happen. Other times fasting Rom 12:12, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 1 Thess 5:17, pray without ceasing, Luke 6:28, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. Eph 3:14-21, ... I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... 16 .that He would grant you, ... to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17.that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19.to know the love of Christ ...; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 .Now to Him...be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Step 6: Prayer and the Christian life 65 and consistent prayer over an extended period of time are necessary before things seem to change. I prayed sixteen years for my father’s conversion, but God responded marvelously. In one of the parables Jesus taught that with humans it often takes great pleading and persistence to get an answer. Jesus had just taught the model prayer (Lord’s Prayer) in Luke 11:2-4. Then he described how with humans it is often difficult to get what we want or need, but with God it is very different. He is eager to hear and answer. What does He say should be our attitude en prayer in Luke 11:9-13? (Notice the contrast between humans and God in v. 13) ________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ Nothing delights our Father more than to hear his children sharing everything with Him, expressing every need and burden. He promises to answer with what is best for us and for advancing His purpose in the World. Often our answers take considerable time to arrange, so let God work. Be patience and trust Him. In Luke 18:1 what is the tendency of many when the answers are delayed? ___________________________________________________________________________________ Paul never wavered, in spite of great difficulties, in his prayers. What were the two characteristics of his prayers in Ephesians 3:12? ________________________________________ and ___________________________________________ OBSTACLES TO OUR PRAYERS Just vocalizing our prayers before the Lord does not guarantee the desired response. The Bible speaks of certain obstacles to our prayers being either heard or answered. God is not manipulated by us nor made to Luke 11:2-4, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven,Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” Luke 11:9-13, So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, 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 18:1, Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, Eph 3:12, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. . 66 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons do something that will be harmful for us. In the following verses find the impediments or obstacles that interfere with our answers as we want them. James 1:5-8 _________________________________________________________________________________ [The context is 1:2, when you need to understand why you have various trials and temptations] Matthew 21:22 ______________________________________________________________________________ [“believing” means having confidence and trust in His will and purpose] James 4:3 ____________________________________________________________________________________ [our motives or reasons why we request something are critical] Psalms 66:18 ________________________________________________________________________________ [“regard” is to harbor or cherish in your heart] 1 Peter 3:7 ___________________________________________________________________________________ [Directly applicable to husbands, but extends to all relations] 1 John 5:14-15 ______________________________________________________________________________ [Implies His will should be known… through His Word] God has provided prayer as our means of communication with Him through Jesus Christ. He wants us to share with Him everything we are experiencing. Likewise He wants us to learn from His Word everything He is thinking and desires for our lives. As much as we want Him involved in our life, He wants us involved in His will. Through prayer we maintain our sensitivity to His Spirit’s conviction and assurance of His leading. He will bring things to our minds to change, to do, to respond others, and what to trust Him for. He wants us to learn the comfort that only He can give us in times of difficulties and persecution. We will learn to crave these times more than anything on earth. A daily time in prayer becomes a refuge, like an oasis in the middle of the dessert, when we learn to pray. James 1:5-8, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways Matt 21:22, And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” James 4:3, You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Psalm 66:18, If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. 1 Pet 3:7, Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 John 5:14-15, Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. Step 7: Obedience and the Christian life Review #6: PRAYER 67 1. What is the supreme purpose of prayer that Jesus taught in John 14:13? __________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Fill in the blanks on the five purposes of prayer in the lesson: a. Satisfies our D__________________________ N_____________________________________ b. A means of discovering the D__________________________________________ of God. c. A means of dealing with our A__________________________________________________ d. A means to communicate our F_____________________ and B________________ to God. e. A means of S_________________________________________ against the temptation of sin. 3. What is the meaning of keeping balance in prayer? Write your answer in your own words. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Write the four suggestions to be effective in your prayers: a. Be S____________________________________________________________________________________ b. Be C____________________________________________________________________________________ c. Be S____________________________________________________________________________________ d. Be C____________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Beside the biblical reference write the obstacle or impediment to prayers: Psalms 66:18 — R___________________________ sin in your heart. 1 John 5:14-15 — Ask for things contrary to His W_____________________________ Matthew 21:22 — Not B___________________________________________________________ James 1:5-8 — Not praying with C_______________________________________________ James 4:3 — Ask for reasons that are S________________________________________ 68 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons OBEDIENCE 1 John 2:3 What? Why? 1. Because God is trustworthy. 2. Because obedience proves our love for Him. 3. Because God demands it. 1. Do God’s will in everything. 2. It is not: - Serving God according to our own criteria - Asceticism - Legalism HOW? Step 4 Learn to stand against temptation 1 Cor 10:13 Step 3 Have the correct attitude 1. Delight yourself in doing God’s will Psalm 40:8 2. Do it with confidence and trust. Deut 26:16 3. Be sincere Luke 8:15 Step 2 Trust in the power of God for obedience. Phil 4:13 Acts 1:8 Step 1 Know God’s commands. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Step 8: Temptation and the Christian life LIVE OBEDIENTLY 69 The secret for a purposeful and fruitful Christian life comes from obedience to the Word of God and being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In 1 John 2:3-4 the Bible says that a man who says he knows the Lord, but does not obey His commandments is a “liar.” Why is he called a “liar?” ______________________________________________________ If a man knows the “Lord” (or Master), he should, therefore, be obedient to what He says. If he is not obeying, he does not know Him as Lord. Match the benefits on the left with the verses on the right. You must read each passage. We find rest and peace when we are obedient. We find more intimacy in our relationship with God. We feel God’s presence with us. We find direction and guidance for our lives. We find new confidence in prayer. What does obedience mean ? a. John 14:21 b. 1 John 3:21-22 c. Prov 3:5-6 d. Matt 11:28-29 e. Phil 4:9 The dictionary defines obedience as, “the state or act of being submissive to another.” According to this definition, which of the following phrases do you understand as truth? Obedience is following the path of least resistance. We must be obedient to an external authority. Obedience is being resentful in our response to what is demanded. Obedience is the attitude of yielding ourselves to God’s way as we trust in His knowledge of what is best. You should have chosen the second and fourth statements. Some believers live their lives refusing to yield themselves to God’s way, because they are afraid that He might ask something of them they are not willing John 14:21, He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 1 John 3:21-22, Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Matt 11:28-29, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Phil 4:9, The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. 70 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons to do. If the truth be known, should they yield their lives to the Lord, they would discover that He would never ask them to do anything they were not suited for. In the meantime, their rebellion and refusal will cause them to lose God’s blessing on their lives. Which of the following words reflects submissive obedience ? Receptivity Confidence Vulnerability Honesty The truth is, if we trust God, it is easy for us to obey Him in everything. The measure of our resistance to obey is the measure of our lack of trust in His will. We would rather try to serve God according to our way, in our spare time. Though this is better than nothing, it does not show submission to His authority. Which statements below best expresses this attitude ? “I will go to church once a week. Why should I do more than that?” “They just want my money. I’m going to give only when I feel like it.” “I will forgive an offender only when he tells me ‘I’m sorry’, and not a second before.” “I do not agree with that leader’s ideas, and I’m going to oppose him.” When a person thinks he can serve God by following his own ideas, he is deceiving himself. Each one of the anterior sentences violates Scriptural commandments. However, they are the thoughts of many Christians. Some think that obedience means losing the possibility of having fun or having to give up personal possessions to appear humble. This is a form of Asceticism: depriving one’s self and suffering in order to be spiritual. If we trust God with our lives, what promise do we have in Psalms 37:4? __________________________________________________________________________________________ Each one of us wants to receive the “petitions” or the desires of our hearts, and God wants us to be satisifed proportionatly to how we delight ourselves in the Lord. For some, an external or superficial conformity to man’s rules is sufficient. It gives a false sense of being spiritual. In Isaiah 29:13, the prophet gives three negative descriptions of this superficial obedience. Write the three descriptions below. a. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Isa 29:13, Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Step 7: Obedience and the Christian life 71 b. _________________________________________________________________________________________ c. _________________________________________________________________________________________ When a person attempts to be more acceptable to God with words, dress or deeds that men think are spiritual, he is simply following man’s rules in an effort to seem more spiritual to God. This is called “legalism.” Obeying man’s “rules” becomes more important than God’s commands. The legalist is more afraid of disobeying the rules of men or churches than of disobeying God’s commands. How did the people of Jesus’ day treat God’s commands compared with their traditions of right and wrong? (see Mark 7:9 for the answer) _________________________________________________________________________________________ Obedience is the heart attitude of yielding to any command of the Word God while depending on the power of the Spirit to obey it. Why should we be obedient? Motivation is always a special ingredient that precedes an action. So then, a believer must be motivated in order to be obedient. Can you put in one sentence why the believer should be obedient from your reading of Revelation 4:11? ___________________________________________________________________________________ In the first place, we should be obedient because He is worthy of glory, honor and power, because He has created everything for His pleasure. It is easy to obey a person who loves us as profoundly as He loves us. In 1 John 4:9, how do we know God loves us? ________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ By sending His Son, God showed us how much He loves us. He is trustworthy. Therefore, He who loves us so much deserves our trust, submission and obedience. In second place, to love God means to keep His commandments. If we say we love God, how do we demonstrate it? (See 1 John 5:3) ________________ Mark 7:9, He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. Rev 4:11, “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” 1 John 4:9, In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 1 John 5:3, For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 72 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons ___________________________________________________________________________________ To love God means to keep His commandments. We are not talking about sentimentalism, but about yielding ourselves to the will of God revealed in the Bible. If we love God by keeping His commandments, what additional benefits will we receive according to John 14:21? ______________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ Wonderful! We will be loved by the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, will manifest himself to us in a special way. How exciting! We are always obeying someone’s desires, whether it is ours or someone else’s. In Romans 6:16, thus what are we called? ________________________________________________ What opinions or choices do we have? A person who always does the will of another is a slave. As believers, we can choose our master: sin (disobedience) which leads us to death and corruption; or obedience which leads us to justice and abundant life In Romans 6:22 what are the benefits of being a slave to obedience? _____________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ In third place, we should be obedient for the reasons found in the following verses. What does our obedience show? Deut 10:12-13 ________________________________________________________________________ Deut 8:2-3 _____________________________________________________________________________ John 14:21, He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Rom 6:16, Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 Rom 6:22, But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. Deut 10:12-13, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? Deut 8:2-3, And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. Step 7: Obedience and the Christian life 73 James 1:22 ____________________________________________________________________________ 1 John 5:2-3 ___________________________________________________________________________ In each verse we have seen that He expects us to be obedient only because He told us to obey. According to1 Timothy 6:14, to what extent should we be obedient? __________________________________________________________________________________________ If we should obey Him “without spot or blame” then we should be obedient with a sincere heart simply because He as asked it of us, without trying to get something for doing it. He can not be manipulated by our obedience. How do we become obedient? In today’s world it is not easy to be obedient because we must change or do things that cost us. There are four steps necessary to achieve an obedient life. In the following verses find the first step (or principle) to be obedient: Psalm 119:9, 11 ________________________________________________________________________ Psalm 119:73 ____________________________________________________________________________ Psalm 119:129 __________________________________________________________________________ The first step is the need to know and understand the commands. We must grow more in the knowledge of the Word in order to understand what He wants us to do. Most Christians do not know the Ten Commandments. Did you know that there are 364+ commands in the NT for us to obey? To study one command a daily command see “Truths to Live By” at www.tgcresources.com or a complete list of a study of each of the NT Commands go to www.branchespublications.com. Can you see the importance of being in a church that teaches the Bible? James 1:22, But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 1 Jn 5:2-3, By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 1 Tim 6:14, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, Psalm 119:9, How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. Psalm 119:11, Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:73, Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. Psalm 119:129, Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul keeps them. 74 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons According to Philippians 1:9, what should continue growing in our lives? ________________________________________________________________________________________ How does knowledge (of the Word of God) help us grow according to Philippians 1:10? _________________________________________________________________ This knowledge helps us choose “more excellent” things, according to the Word of God. The second step in each verse is a promise of the power of Christ Once we know the commands of God, then we need courage and power to do them. It is evident that in our own strength we will fail. If we decide to obey, we need His power to strengthen us. How do these verses describe that power? Acts 1:8 ______________________________________________________________________________ Galatians 2:20 _______________________________________________________________________ Ephesians 5:18 ______________________________________________________________________ Philippians 4:13 _____________________________________________________________________ This step enables us to obey. Obedience will be impossible without the power of the Spirit, which enables us to be obedient. Now we know that the first two steps for obedience are: a. Know the … _______________________________________________________________________ b. Trust in God for … _______________________________________________________________ What should be our attitude toward obedience? Write the answer in Phil 1:9-10, And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, Acts 1:8, But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Gal 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Eph 5:18, And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. Phil 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Step 7: Obedience and the Christian life your own words: 75 Psa 40:8 _______________________________________________________________________________ Deut. 26:16 ____________________________________________________________________________ Luke 8:15 ______________________________________________________________________________ The third step toward obedience is to have the right attitude. Obedience comes from the heart; a determination to keep God’s Word out of love and gratitude for Him. It is all about attitude! What was Paul’s attitude at being enabled to be victorious in 2 Corinthians 2:14? _____________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ The fourth step is the capacity to have victory over temptation. We will study temptation in the next lesson. Look up 1 Co 10:13. In this verse there are three principle ideas. Write each idea in your own words. a. _______________________________________________________________________________________ b. _______________________________________________________________________________________ c. ______________________________________________________________________________________ All believers face temptations, but God promises to limit those temptations to the level that we are able to resist, if we are depending on His strength and wisdom. The following is a list of areas in your life in which you need to discover Psalm 40:8, I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” Deut 26:16, This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. Luke 8:15, But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. 2 Cor 2:14, Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 1 Cor 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 76 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons and apply the instructions from God’s Word. Once you learn and understand God’s commands, you are on the road to obedience… and reaping all the benefits of such a life. Witness Involvement in a church Prayer Giving Bible study and quiet time Work Use of time Marital relationships Priorities Discipline of children World evangelism Our next lesson will explore the challenge of temptations. Step 8: Temptation and the Christian life REVIEW # 7: OBEDIENCE 77 1. What differentiates a true believer from a “liar”? ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Our obedience reflects an attitude of T__________________________________ toward God. 3. There are three wrong ways of thinking about obedience. Write them: a. Follow our own I_____________________________________________________________________ b. A_____________________________________ is to deny ourselves certain conveniences or possessions in order to seem spiritual. c. L______________________________ is when we feel “spiritual” because of conforming to certain norms of conduct. 4. Write the three things that motivate us to obey: a. Because He is W_____________________________________________________________________ b. Because loving God means K_______________________________________________________ His commandments. _ c. Because God A________________________________________________________________ us to. 5. Write the four steps toward obedience: a. Know God’s C_________________________________________________ . b. Trust God for the P___________________________________________ c. Develop the right A___________________________________________ . d. Learn how to have V_________________________________________ temptation. 78 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons TEMPTATIONS: Sources of Temptation Satan 1 Pet 5:8 6. Pray for victory 5. Obey by faith Flesh World Gal 5:16-17 1 John 2:15 1. Be alert The conditions for victory over temptations 4. Know your provisions to escape 3. Be quick to hear 2. Be filled with the Holy Spirit Step 8: Temptation and the Christian life Temptations 79 In this world we live in a constant struggle between good and bad. To begin this lesson we will look at a Bible definition of a mature Christian. Read Heb 5:14 then write in your own words how this passage describes maturity. ____________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ We have a tendency to rationalize our conduct and be undisciplined in what we know to be right before God. The mature believer learns “to discern between good and bad,” makes a vow to do good. Temptation is a destructive impulse within each of us to choose the “bad.” Temptation itself is not sin, but if we do not manage it properly, it could quickly lead us into sin. Read Jeremiah 17:9. What is true in each of us that make it difficult for us to win over temptation? _______________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Our “heart” (emotions, desires, our mind or reason) naturally has a tendency to deceive us. For example, according to 1 John 1:8, what is the result of this deception? It causes us to believe. . .________________________________________________________ If we permit our “heart” to deceive us into believing that we do not sin or are a pretty good person, we can justify any sin. This is a natural auto-defense mechanism to rid ourselves of the guilt that accompanies sin. How does God want us to treat the guilt of sin according to 1 John 1:9? ______________________________________________________ The mark of a true believer is the practice of “confessing” or admitting our sins, instead of hiding, rationalizing or excusing them. We must be open and honest before God. Paul is discussing his “imperfection” in Philippians 3:13. In his struggle with sin, once he confessed it, what does the verse say he could do? ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Hebrews 5:14, But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Jer 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 1 John 1:8, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Phil 3:13, Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 80 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Because we have the promise of forgiveness in Christ’s sacrifice, (1 John 1:7), we have the security that we can certainly forget “that which is behind”. Our conscience can be clean because Christ paid with His blood so that our sins could be pardoned. The more we meditate on these Scriptures, the less attraction sin will have for us. THE SOURCES OF TEMPTATION The Bible teaches us that there are three sources of temptation: a. Satan b. The world c. The flesh SATAN These verses describe Satan’s activities. Write the ways in which Satan can deceive us: Genesis 3:1 ____________________________________________________________________________ 1 Corinthians 10:10 __________________________________________________________________ 1 Peter 5:8 ____________________________________________________________________________ Revelation 12:10 _____________________________________________________________________ When we accept Christ, we also receive an enemy who is very subtle, and is called the “Destructor” and a “Lion”, who will consume us physically or mentally, if we give him the opportunity. Although he is always accusing us before God’s throne, according to1 John 2:1, what does Christ do against this critic? ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 1 John 1:7, But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. Gen 3:1, Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 1 Cor 10:10, nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 1 Pet 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Rev 12:10, Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 1John 2:1, My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Step 8: Temptation and the Christian life 81 This is why we don’t stand a chance without Christ who defends us as our Advocate or Lawyer against accusers (1 Jn 2:1). Also, we have the promise in Romans 8:39 that “…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God will never be persuaded by Satan to abandon us. THE FLESH The “flesh” is our natural sinful nature into which we were born. It does not go away when we accept Christ. The flesh always wants the same thing, and if we give in to its desires, we get into sin. Write what the following verses say about the battle going on inside us. James 4:1-2 ___________________________________________________________________________ Galatians 5:16-17 _______________________________________________________________________ This battle within is between the flesh and the Spirit. The only way to win over the flesh is to make a decision to follow the Spirit. THE WORLD This is battle against conforming to the morality and pleasures of our culture or face possible exclusion from society, rejection or unjust persecution. The following are some experiences that we may have to deal with. Mark the ones that have been your experience. Look for security in possessions. Desire respect from others for a talent, or some accomplishment. Buy clothing or other things to be in style. Ignore or violate principles in order not to cause problems. Get to know important people for your own benefit or advantage. Priorities are on worldly or sensual pleasures. Rom 8:39, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. James 4:1-2, Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? Gal 5:16-17, I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 82 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons According to these verses, what should be our relationship to the world? John 16:33_______________________________________________________________________________ Romans 12:2_____________________________________________________________________________ 1 Timothy 6:10 _________________________________________________________________________ 1 John 2:15 ______________________________________________________________________________ THE CONDITIONS FOR VICTORY Even though our enemies are powerful, and we should not think the fight will be easy, we must remember that “greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). CONDITION #1: BE ALERT Some believers are naïve in their thinking. They believe they can get near to sin without being trapped by it. This was Lot’s thinking in Genesis 13:9-13. He chose to live in Sodom and Gomorrah, instead of living with God’s people. Thinking that we are immune to temptation (“This will not affect me.”) is a dangerous attitude. What do these verses instruct us about how to be alert? 1 Corinthians 16:13 ____________________________________________________________________ Acts 20:28 _______________________________________________________________________________ 2 Timothy 4:5 ___________________________________________________________________________ Revelation 3:2 __________________________________________________________________________ John 16:33, These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world Rom 12:2, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 1 Tim 6:10, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 John 2:15, 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. 1 John 4:4, You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 Cor 16:13, Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Acts 26:28, Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” 2 Tim 4:5, But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. Rev 3:2, Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Step 8: Temptation and the Christian life Not only should we be mentally alert, but we also need an internal power in order to win over temptation. 83 CONDITION #2: BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT Victory over sin comes through the power of the Holy Spirit. Since He is greater than all the sources of temptation, we must allow Him to control us. When we give Him CONTROL over our lives, He will give us the power for victory. What do these verses teach us about the control of the Spirit? Ephesians 5:18 _________________________________________________________________________ Galatians 5:16 __________________________________________________________________________ Acts 1:8 _________________________________________________________________________________ Philippians 4:13 _______________________________________________________________________ The filling of the Spirit is the result of obedience to the Word of God . It is not a mystical experience but a response from God for what we practice habitually. When we obey the Bible, the Spirit fills us with the power to be victorious. CONDITION #3: QUICK TO HEAR Temptation is like a snake or a fire: we cannot play with it. There is a certain pattern of development in the temptation to sin. Write the steps mentioned in James 1:14-15.__________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Where does temptation begin? How should we respond to temptation? 1 Peter 5:8-9 _________________________________________________________________________ Eph 5:18, And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, Gal 5:16, I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Acts 1:8, But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.â€? Phil 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. James 1:14-15, But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 1 Pet 5:8-9, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 84 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons James 4:7-8 ___________________________________________________________________________ Satan has no power or dominion over our lives, unless we give him the opportunity to influence us. If we resist him, he will flee from us. CONDITION #4: KNOW THE ESCAPES PROVIDED Temptations are tests that prove our faithfulness to God. Our sovereign God permits these tests in our lives to make us strong when we depend on Him. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13. This is the key verse for temptations. Write three or four promises you find. a.______________________________________________________________________________________ b.______________________________________________________________________________________ c. ______________________________________________________________________________________ d.______________________________________________________________________________________ Our temptations are not uncommon, although they seem very difficult. By the grace of God WE CAN TAKE ANYTHING God permits. There is always a way to escape temptations. Some “escapes” are mentioned in these verses. In your own words, write the escapes. Psalm 119:11 __________________________________________________________________________ 2 Timothy 2:4 __________________________________________________________________________ Understanding the Word of God and applying it correctly is essential for victory over temptation. CONDITION#5: OBEY BY FAITH There will be times when our feelings will direct us one way while the Word of God leads us in another. No matter what we feel, we must always choose to follow the lead of God’s Word. According to the following verses, what does God expect of us? James 4:7-8, Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 1 Cor 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Psalm 119:11, Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. 2 Tim 2:4, No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. Step 8: Temptation and the Christian life 85 2 Corinthians 5:7 ______________________________________________________________________ Colossians 2:6 _________________________________________________________________________ Our way of life must be characterized by faith. Faith is simply an expression of our trust in what the Bible says. If we obey, we are saying that we recognize that Godâ€™s way is better than our own, so we choose to practice what it says as best we can. CONDITION #6: PRAY FOR VICTORY Since our strength comes from God, prayer and communion with Him are indispensable. These verses ask for prayer to whom and why? Matthew 26:41_________________________________________________________________________ Matthew 6:13 __________________________________________________________________________ Philippians 1:4, 10 _____________________________________________________________________ Colossians 1:9-10 ______________________________________________________________________ Remember that God is Holy. If we want to live in communion or partnership with Him, we cannot allow sin to infiltrate our lives. We must deal with temptation right away. If we sin, we must confess it and stop practicing it immediately. We must never permit that guilt (because of unconfessed sin) destroy our relationship with God. Why does God allow us to be tested? Read Deuteronomy 8:2 for the answer. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Temptations will come into our lives to test whether we will act on biblical principles or our selfish desires. We should not give an opportunity for Satan to accuse us or permit him access into our life. 2 Cor 5:7, For we walk by faith, not by sight. Col 2:6, As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, Matt 26:41, Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matt 6:13, And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Phil 1:4, 10, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy ... that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, Col 1:9-10, For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Deut 8:2, And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 86 Review : Overcoming Temptation Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons 1. What makes temptation so deceiving in our lives? (Jer 17:9) _________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What are the three sources of temptation: 1. ______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. ______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. In your own words describe what it means to “be alert” to temptation according to the lesson. ____________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. To be filled with the Spirit means that He is in control of our lives. How does our lesson describe His control of our lives? __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. What are some of the escapes from temptation suggested in the study? _______ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Why is “faith” required to be obedient according to the lesson? _________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 7. How is prayer helpful in victory? Be specific from the lesson. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Step 8: Temptation and the Christian life 87 88 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons The Will of God for the believer Promises that anyone can find if they search for it Moral will of God is already revealed Steps to Find the Will of God 6. Commit yourself to fulfilling His perfect plan for your life 5. Be consistent in prayer 4. Look for counsel from wise people 3. Be obedient to what you know 2. Study Godâ€™s Word for commands, examples, principles and teachings to live by 1. Present your bodies as a living sacrifice Step 9: The Will of God and the Christian life DISCERNING THE WILL OF GOD 89 Salvation IS a living relationship with a Person who loves us and wants the best for our lives. A relationship is a two-way street, each communicating what is most important to each one. God not only gives us eternal life but He also gives us clear and daily direction in this life. In Romans 2:18, how do we know the will of God? _________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ The “law” refers to the commands of the Old Testament. We must be instructed by the “law” in order to know the Moral will of God to make decisions in God’s will. THE GENERAL PLAN FOR OUR LIVES Many of us have wrong concepts about the character and personality of God. Because we sometimes think that God only wants to punish us or that He really is not interested in our happiness, so we tend to be afraid of yielding complete control to Him. How does Jeremiah (29:11) express God’s attitude toward us? ___________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ God does want all the best for us: “…plans to prosper you…to give you hope and a future”. This verse encourages us to trust in God because His purpose is to benefit us. What are the three adjectives that Paul used to describe the will of God in Romans 12:2? a. ____________________________ b. _____________________________c. _________________________ Which of the three is found in Jeremiah 29:11? _________________________________ God’s plan for us is not only good, but it is also “agreeable”. This Word means “good, fulfilling, and delightful.” God’s will is designed to give us purpose and fulfillment. What is the result of obeying the will of God as we see it in John 15:11? _________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Rom 2:18, and know his will and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law Jer 29:11, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Rom 12:2, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. John 15:11, These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 90 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons For the obedient believer God’s will brings joy. The third adjective in Romans 12:2 is “perfect.” This implies that God’s plan will surely fulfill His purpose for us. In Ephesians 2:10 there are several important concepts: How are we equipped to do “good works” (His will)? _______________________________ ______________________________________________________ When were these (good works) planned in detail (God’s will)? ____________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ His “workmanship” prepared us to place us in His plan “in advance”. Any other plan is secondary. Can you see why it is important to get involved in His plan from the beginning of your Christian life? PROMISES CONCERNING THE WILL OF GOD God’s specific will for your life happens as you apply biblical truths in your daily living. A life lived in daily obedience is a life lived in the “will of God. These promises will give you confidence to follow the Lord’s will: God has promised us specific direction. He wants us to feel secure in the knowledge of His will in each situation that may come. Read these verses: Psalms 25:8-10 To whom does God promise His direction? _______________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ What does He specifically promise to give us in these verses? _____________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ A meek person is one who can be controlled by his superior, one who voluntarily puts himself under another’s authority. The promise is for understanding and judgment (wisdom to make decisions). God has promised to gives us WISDOM to discover His will. Eph 2:10, or we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Psalm 25:8-10, Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. 9 The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. Step 9: The Will of God and the Christian life He does not want to hide His will from us, but neither does He make it too specific. Only a person truly interested and committed will take the time to investigate the information the Lord has left us. Read Proverbs 2:1-4. Write the eight verbs that describe this kind of investigation: 91 1. ________________________________________ 2. _________________________________________ 3. _________________________________________ 4. __________________________________________ 5. _________________________________________ 6. __________________________________________ 7. _________________________________________ 8. __________________________________________ Getting wisdom (knowing His will) requires accepting it, storing it, listening to it, applying it, calling out for it, crying out for it, looking for it and searching for it in the Scriptures.. That is to say, discovering the will of God requires committing yourself to knowing the Word of God. What does God promise in James 1:5? _______________________________________________ When Paul prayed for the Colossians (Colossians 1:9) , he used two terms to describe the will of God. What are they? a. _________________________________________________________________________________________ b. _________________________________________________________________________________________ “Wisdom” comes as we learn the principles of the Word, and use “spiritual intelligence” as we apply these to our daily lives. God has promised to work in us so that we desire to do His will. God is engineering our lives long before it is time to make a decision. Read Philippians 2:13. What does God promise to do in us? ________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Prov 2:1-4, My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, 2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; James 1:5, But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. Col 1:9, For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, Phil 2:13, for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good pleasure—is God. 92 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons He will help us with “the desire and the effort” as He prepares us to accomplish what He wants. God can transform us as we delight ourselves in Him. Read Psalm 37:4. If we delight ourselves in the Lord, what does He promise? ____________________________________________________________________________________________ God has promised to correct us when we fail to do His will. Read John 16:8. Jesus described the coming ministry of the Holy Spirit, who would live within us. What is the Spirit doing in the world? ___________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ The Spirit will “reprove” [“convict, produce shame for disobedience, expose”]. He will convict us for not believing or trusting in Him (16:9); He is the Spirit of Jesus who will keep us walking in His will (16:10); and He reminds us that if He judged the most powerful person in all the creation (Satan), then we will not escape His judgment (16:11). This is the chief ministry of the Spirit in our lives. STEPS FOR FINDING THE WILL OF GOD Life is a series of decisions we make for different motives and objectives, which the Bible helps us control in our attitudes and goals. These steps will help you in making those decisions according to God’s will. STEP #1: PRESENT YOUR BODY TO THE LORD AS A LIVING SACRIFICE We humans have a tendency to be egotistical and selfish. In the Old Testament, God asked his people to sacrifice the best of their flocks and other possessions for His purpose. In the New Testament, He asks all believers to sacrifice our bodies. In Romans 12:1 what should motivate us to be a “living sacrifice?” _______________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Psalm 37:4, Then you will take delight in the LORD, and he will answer your prayers. John 16:8, And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment—9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;10 concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. Rom 12:1, Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—alive, holy, and pleasing to God—which is your reasonable service. Step 9: The Will of God and the Christian life The more you recognize how great is God’s pardon and mercy toward sinners, the easier it will be to yield to Jesus the direction of your life. 93 When the Christians of Macedonia contributed to Paul’s ministry, what were the two steps they took, according to 2 Corinthians 8:5? a. _________________________________________________________________________________________ b. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Being a “living sacrifice” is giving yourself to the Lord. Once we have allowed Christ to govern our lives, we are committed to the “will of God” revealed in His Word. In 1 Corintians 6:19, what had the Corinthians forgotten? __________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ We do not own our bodies. How can God demand this response to His direction? Read 1 Corinthians 6:20 ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ We have been washed in the blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11), and our debt for sin’s payment was paid through His death on the cross. Therefore, we should learn obedience. Write in your own words why you should be submissive to His will. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ STEP #2: STUDY THE WORD OF GOD Since most of our decisions are made according to our goals and attitudes, we should be very careful to form our goals and attitudes according to the Word of God. What goals do these verses set for us? 1 Corinthians 10:31 ______________________________________________________________________ Romans 14:19 ____________________________________________________________________________ 2 Cor 8:5, And they did this not just as we had hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 1 Cor 6:19, Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Cor 6:20, For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body. 1 Cor 6:11, Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 10:31, So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Rom 14:19, So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for building up one another. 94 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Galatians 6:9-10 ________________________________________________________________________ 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 ________________________________________________________________ Colossians 1:10_________________________________________________________________________ 1 Corinthians 6:12 _____________________________________________________________________ When I am about to make an important decision, I should ask myself: • If I accept this opportunity, will it help me accomplish my goals for Christ? • If there are more than one biblical option, which one would be of maximum benefit toward accomplishing my biblical objectives in His will? We should not only seek biblical goals, but also the attitudes that will honor our Savior by how we fulfill His will. Study these biblical attitudes. God’s will for our ATTITUDES… IS. . . IS NOT . . . Key Passages: Love Humility Clean Conscience Integrity Gratitude Diligence Willingness Generosity Submission Courage Contentment lust Pride Guilt Irresponsibility Presumption Laziness Obligation Egotism Rebellion Cowardliness coveteousness 1 Cor 13:1-3 Phil. 2:3-8 Ro 14:22-23 Col 3:17,22 Col. 3:17 Col. 3:23 1 Pt 5:2 1 Tim. 6:17-19 1 Pt 5:5-6 John 16:33 Heb. 13:5 This is only the beginning. The Bible is full of instructions for our lives, and we must study to find them. Gal 6:9-10, So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up.10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith. 1 Cor 10:32-33, Do not give offense to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also try to please everyone in all things. I do not seek my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved. Col 1:10, so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects—bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 1 Cor 6:12, “All things are lawful for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “All things are lawful for me”—but I will not be controlled by anything. Step 9: The Will of God and the Christian life 95 According to 2 Peter 1:3-4, what has been given to us so that we may live the Christian life to the fullest? _________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ It is wonderful to know that everything we need to be in a right relationship with Christ (piety) has been given to us through His “great and precious promises.” It is worth the effort it takes to find all His instructions and put them into practice. STEP #3: OBEY AS WE UNDERSTAND In each of these verses there are two steps we must take in order to achieve a progressive growth in the knowledge of His will. Write the steps you find. John 7:17 a. _______________________________________________________________________ b. _______________________________________________________________________ John 13:17 a. _______________________________________________________________________ b. _______________________________________________________________________ First we must desire to do His will before we can receive the power to understand the Word. Once we know it, then can come the blessing if we obey or else we can expect the chastisement if we rebell. The following are verses that give us different ways to gain understanding of the Word of God. Write what you find as you study: 1 Timothy 4:13 __________________________________________________________________________ 2 Timothy 2:7____________________________________________________________________________ 2 Pet 1:3-4, I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence. 4 Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire. Jn 7:17, If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from my own authority. Jn 13:17, If you understand these things, you will be blessed if you do them. 1 Tim 4:13, Until I come, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 2 Tim 2:7, Think about what I am saying and the Lord will give you understanding of all this. 96 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons 1 Peter 1:10-11__________________________________________________________________________ 2 Timothy 2:15__________________________________________________________________________ Joshua 1:8________________________________________________________________________________ Philippians 4:9___________________________________________________________________________ This process requires time and personal effort. With each commitment to obey what we know, spiritual growth will take us further into spiritual maturity. STEP #4: SEEK THE ADVICE OF MATURE CHRISTIANS Counsel from mature Christians is not the same authority as the Bible; however, it is an important fountain of wisdom. They can provide concepts and information we need in decision-making. What is the common element for victory that we find in the following verses? Proverbs 11:14__________________________________________________________________________ Proverbs 24:6 ___________________________________________________________________________ In the abundance of counselors there is victory. Instead of asking for opinions about your specific situation, it is better to ask questions such as: “What Bible verses would apply in this circumstance?” or “Have you had an experience that would help me in this decision?” Why is it good to get counsel from others? __________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 1 Pet 1:10-11 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who predicted the grace that would come to you searched and investigated carefully. 11 They probed into what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christ and his subsequent glory. 2 Tim 2:15, Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately. Josh 1:8, This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful. Phil 4:19, And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Prov 11:14, When there is no guidance a nation falls, but there is success in the abundance of counselors. Prov 24:6, for with guidance you wage your war, and with numerous advisers there is victory. Step 9: The Will of God and the Christian life STEP #5: BE CONSTANT IN PRAYER 97 God does not want us to be anxious in regard to the future. In Philippians 4:6, what should we do to avoid worry? ________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ In prayer we can express our trust, consciously leaving the future or the consequences of our obedience in the hands of our sovereign God. This verse not only teaches us to bring our petitions to God, but also our______________________________. The more we give thanks in the circumstances of life, the more God will “guard” our hearts and minds (vs. 7). Through prayer we experience freedom from the tension of being responsible for the direction of our lives. We find another principle in 2 Thessalonians 1:11. Who is praying for whom? ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Paul’s team prayed regularly for the Thessalonians. He prayed that they would be “worthy” and that God would “fulfill every good purpose” of theirs and every act prompted by their faith. This is the principle: while others pray for you that God would work powerfully in your life, you should be praying for them. WE ALL NEED OTHERS TO PRAY FOR US AND WE FOR THEM. Conclusion: We have the tendency to want to know God’s great purpose for us, to see if we want what He wants. The person with this attitude will not be able to know the will of God. If God is God, and He is, He expects us to commit to obey Him without knowing where He will take us. When we prove our obedience in small things, God will guide us into His will in more important things. Our dedication to learn and practice His revealed will, will determine measure He takes to reveal His purpose for our lives, one step at a time. In the meantime, God wants us to invest in the lives of others around us, building them up in the things of the Lord and evangelizing those who do not know Him. Phil 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 2 Thes 1:11, And in this regard we pray for you always, that our God will make you worthy of his calling and fulfill by his power your every desire for goodness and every work of faith, 98 REVIEW #9: THE WILL OF GOD Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons 1. What are the three adjectives or descriptions of the will of God in Romans 12:2? The will of God is… G_________________________________________ P_________________________________________ P_________________________________________ 2. There are three key principles for remembering the will of God. Beside each biblical reference, write the principle in your own words. a. James1:5______________________________________________________________________________ (for the mind) b. Philippians 2:13 _____________________________________________________________________ (for the will) c. Colossians 3:15 ______________________________________________________________________ (for the heart) 3. What is a “living sacrifice? What verse talks about this? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. How does Bible study help us to find the will of God? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. How can others help us discover God’s will for us? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ 6. How do we avoid worry over the future? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ 7. Fill in the blanks with the steps in finding and doing the will of God. a. Present your B ______________________________as a L____________________________ S b. Study the W ____________________________of G________________________ c. Be O______________________________________ to that which you know. d. Seek C______________________________ from other M______________________ believers. e. Be consistent in P___________________________________________________ Step 10: Preparation of Christian Testimony 99 100 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons PREPARING MY TESTIMONY I. Attitudes and actions BEFORE accepting Christ: ______________ II. The circumstances: How I became aware of my need of a Savior and how I received Christ personally : _________ III. Changes in attitudes and actions that have occurred in my life AFTER receiving Christ: _____________ Step 10: Preparation of Christian Testimony DEVELOPING AN EVANGELISTIC TESTIMONY 101 Probably the two most difficult steps of obedience for a new believer are . . . (1) To tithe and give sacrificially of our possessions (2) To testify to others about our new faith in Christ. In this lesson you will learn how to share your faith with others by giving a testimony of how you came to Christ. Each of the following verses gives a reason for sharing with others how to be saved. Write the reason you find in each one: Matthew 28:19 _________________________________________________________________________ Luke 19:10 _____________________________________________________________________________ Acts 4:12 _______________________________________________________________________________ Acts 1:8 _________________________________________________________________________________ John 15:8 _______________________________________________________________________________ Jesus commanded us to go into the entire world with His message, that is to say, we should not wait for the world to come to us or to the church. He expressed His desire to win the lost because there is no salvation apart from Him. He gives the power to go and reproduce fruit in the lives of others. When Christ healed the blind man in John 9, the man was called to go before the Pharisees to give a “testimony” of the miracle. How much knowledge was necessary for him to give an effective testimony in John 9:25? _________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Matt 28:19, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Luke 19:10, When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida. Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.” Acts 1:8, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” John 15:8, My Father is honored by this, that you bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples. John 9:25, He replied, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. I do know one thing—that although I was blind, now I can see.” 102 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Giving a testimony is communicating what has occurred to you personally, just like the blind man. Do you know for sure that you have received eternal life? If so, you can say as the blind man did, “One thing I know, once I was _______________________________, and now I am _________________________________________” Once you were lost, without assurance of eternal life, but now you know that this life is something that will never change within you. This dynamic testimony, given at the right moment, will have a great impact. A TESTIMONY is the presentation of the facts of an event. Just as in a court of law, you must present the truths you know or have experienced, not something imagined. Therefore, what is necessary BEFORE being able to give a testimony? ________________________________________________________________________________________ Obviously, we must have personally experienced the assurance of salvation before being able to give a “testimony” of salvation? What kind of testimony did John give? 1 John 1:1-3 Choose one: What he had heard from others His personal experience What is a personal testimony? ________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Sharing our experience of finding eternal life is a way to create thirst in others to know the peace and joy we express. In 1 Peter 3:15, the apostle Peter tells us why we should PREPARE a personal testimony. Write the reason in your own words. _________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ We must always be ready to give an answer for the hope (assurance) we have of eternal life. Therefore, let us now begin to work on the presentation of your testimony. 1 Pet 3:15, But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Step 10: Preparation of Christian Testimony 103 Each testimony has three parts: BEFORE the experience of salvation; the CIRCUMSTANCES that lead you to accept Christ; and AFTER your salvation: what differences did you or others see? Can you find these three parts in Paul’s testimony in Acts 26? Write below the references that show his testimony: His life before knowing Christ: 26: ___________________________ — _________________________________________ How he came to recognize his need: 26: __________________________ — ___________________________________________ How he received Christ: 26: ______________________________ — _______________________________________ What Christ was doing in his life: 26: ______________________________ — ________________________________________ The general outline of giving a testimony might go like this: BEFORE — Give a brief summary of your life before knowing Christ. Finish this sentence – There was a time in my life when I lived selfishly and tried to be as good as I could…. CIRCUMSTANCES — Then tell what happened specifically to bring you to Christ, something like this: – Someone came into my life who was honest with me about my sinfulness showing me how I had broken the Ten Commandments and would be found guilty before the judgment of God. I admitted that I had lied, stolen, lusted, etc., and it became obvious that I could never be good enough to be accepted. Acts 26:4-5Now all the Jews know the way I lived from my youth, spending my life from the beginning among my own people and in Jerusalem.5 They know, because they have known me from time past, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. Acts 26:13-15, about noon along the road, Your Majesty, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining everywhere around me and those traveling with me. 14 When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself by kicking against the goads.’15 So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Acts 26:15-18, But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ 104 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons He showed me how Jesus Christ took all the payment for my sins on Himself when He died on the Cross. He only asked that I repent and trust completely in what He did on the cross and whatever He says. With all my heart I invited Him into my life to live within me and be my Savior and Lord forever. AFTER— Finally share the changes that have occurred since knowing Christ. Write something like: Now when I think about dying I know I’ll be in heaven with Jesus, and in the meantime, I’ll never be alone. Jesus is with me every minute of the day and helps me through my troubles, etc. Read what Paul wrote in Titus 3:3-7. Write the Before, the Circumstances and the After of Paul’s testimony below: Before: ___________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Circumstances: _________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ After: ____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Follow this guide for an effective testimony: THINGS TO REMEMBER a. Use conversational speech. Do not preach. b. Avoid Christian religious words such as: “justification, under the blood, saved, etc.” Just be natural. Tit 3:3-7, For we too were once foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to various passions and desires, spending our lives in evil and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But “when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 5 he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.” Step 10: Preparation of Christian Testimony c. Give enough details about your life before Christ to provoke interest, but do not bore your audience with a long narration or details of your sinful activities. 105 d. Communicate your message using adult speech, although you may have been saved at a young age. It is better to say, “There was a time when I realized I was a sinner,” than to say, “I was six years old when…” e. Avoid dogmatic sayings which can cause skeptics to doubt. f. In the BEFORE section, include both the good and the bad without being graphic. Don’t focus on your previous sinfulness. GOOD: desire to better yourself; achieve great things; get a good education; excel in sports; etc. BAD: Focus on egotism; selfishness, love of money; inferiority complex; anger; stubbornness; excel at whatever price; trying to impress others, etc. Try to emphasize common aspects in order to identify with your audience. g. In the CIRCUMSTANCES section: 1) Communicate clearly the Gospel: These are the key verses to the plan of salvation. Look them up, mark them so you can find them easily. The truth about sin ..........Romans 3:23 Put this verse in your own words: ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ The consequences of sin ..............Romans 6:23 Put this verse in your own words: ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Christ paid for our sin.....Romans 5:8 Put this verse in your own words: _________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Rom 3:23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom 6:23, For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. John 1:12, But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children 106 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons The necessity of receiving Christ .....John 1:12 Put this verse in your own words: ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ How to receive Christ personally ........Rev. 3:20 Put this verse in your own words: ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Let the Bible be your authority, not your feelings. Explain why and how you received Christ as your “personal Savior.” h. In the AFTER section, conclude with two or three personal benefits that come from being a believer. Now, write your testimony using the outline provided in this lesson. Write at least five ideas, circumstances, or illustrations under each of the three divisions. You will not use all your illustrations, ideas or circumstances every time you give your testimony. Instead, you will choose the ones that apply to or help you more effectively identify with the person to whom you are talking. Finally, write some brief points on a 3 x 5 card to help you as you practice giving your testimony. Note: your testimony should take only about three or four minutes. Note: your testimony should only last 3 or 4 minutes. You can expand your testimony whenever you have more time or see that there is more interest. Practice until you feel comfortable sharing out loud and easily remember all the parts of the testimony. Rev 3:20, Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me. Step 10: Preparation of Christian Testimony REVIEW #10: TESTIMONY 107 What is a personal testimony? _________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Write the outline for preparing a personal testimony: a. ________________________________________________ b. ________________________________________________ c. ________________________________________________ Write some things that you should avoid when giving your testimony: a. ________________________________________________ b. ________________________________________________ c. ________________________________________________ d. ________________________________________________ e. ________________________________________________ Write some things you should include: a. _________________________________________________ b. _________________________________________________ c. _________________________________________________ 108 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons 5. Write your testimony using the three parts: (use the back) Before Circumstances After Appendix for discipleship 109 Appendix A: John Wesley’s Small Group Accountability Questions 1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am? In other words, am I a hypocrite? 2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate? 3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told me in confidence? 4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits? 5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying? 6. Did the Bible live in me today? 7. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday? 8. Am I enjoying prayer? 9. When did I last speak to someone about my faith? 10. Do I pray about the money I spend? 11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time? 12. Do I disobey God in anything? 13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy? 14. Am I defeated in any part of my life? 15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful? 16. How do I spend my spare time? 17. Am I proud? 18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican? 19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it? 20. Do I grumble and complain constantly? 21. Is Christ real to me? Wesley’s Band Meeting Questions 1. What known sins have you committed since our last meeting? 2. What temptations have you met with? 3. How were you delivered? 4. What have you thought, said, or done, which you doubt whether it be sin or not? 5. Have you nothing you desire to keep secret? A key component of Wesley’s discipleship was openness and vulnerability as well as opennes to personal exhortation coupled with humble repentence. Reference: John Wesley’s Class Meetings: a Model for Making Disciples, by D. Michael Henderson, Evangel Publishing House, 1997, pp. 118-9 110 Ten-Step Discipleship Lessons Introduction to the Daily Devotion The wise and contented person discovers his delight in the Word of God. David wrote, “Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the LORD’s commands; he meditates on his commands day and night” (Psalm 1:2). The following is a guide to help organize your private life in the area of your personal devotions. Someone said, “What you do not organize, you never complete.” It is important to have a method for every important activity in your life. My Devotional Diary has three activites to utilize: Reading the biblical text If you want to read the Bible through in one year you can follow the reading guide provided to read the chapters indicated for the morning and evening. All the readings should be summarized in your own words in the section “Important points” for each day of the week. In the column to the right it is important to write the specific applications to your life that you decide from the reading of the text. These are the things that you decide to do in order to practice the Word of God in your life. Write out your prayers The discipline of writing prayers will be a blessing to your life. It is like writing a love letter to your sweetheart. When you write the mind is not distracted. It is very special! The guide teaches you the four steps of a complete prayer to practice daily: Worship, Confession, Thanksgiving and Requests. An evaluation of yesterday The daily evaluation consists in writing what the Lord is teaching you. Where do I need to improve my life and my plans for the Lord? One’s honesty will be evident in the transparency and willingness to receive corrections and wisdom from others. Review Once a week you should make plans for the coming week: “Failure to plan is to plan to fail.”The discipline of selecting a verse for the week, to practice it daily and repeat it to others, especially in a small group bible study, is an excellent habit. We should make weekly goals, think about the persons to whom we want to testify and serve in the near future, and the specific projects we want to complete. The goals that we set for the week will become the motives of our prayers. For Sunday, it is a good idea to take notes of the sermon especially that focus on what to put into practice the following week. Then share it with someone special to make your self accountable. My Daily Devotional is a tool to help you organize your private life and your devotional life. The habits your form here will become a permanent part of your life. Guide for a Daily Devotional Passage read today:________________ Review of memory verse: Key points in my reading ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ o Application for my life ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ ______________________ ____________________________ My prayers for today Worship: I praise you for being... ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Confession: I confess my sin and disobedience of ... ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Thanksgiving: I give you thanks for ... ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Requests: I ask You for ... ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ My evaluation of yesterday: ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Guide for a Daily Devotional Passage read today:________________ Review of memory verse: Key points in my reading ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ o Application for my life ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ ______________________ ____________________________ My prayers for today Worship: I praise you for being... ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Confession: I confess my sin and disobedience of ... ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Thanksgiving: I give you thanks for ... ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Requests: I ask You for ... ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ My evaluation of yesterday: ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Guide for Prayer Lists Persons that I am praying for: Family ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Christian friends ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Non-Christian friends ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Spiritual leaders ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Government leaders ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Others ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Companion Note Sheet from Bible readings for recording QUALITIES OF THE CHARACTER OF GOD QUALITY REFERENCE SIGNIFICANCE TO ME Faithful 2 Cor 1:20 I can trust Him always Righteous 2 Tim 4:8 He will never be unfair Light Jn 8:12 Everything is exposed to Him ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Reading Guide to read through the entire Bible in one year JANUARY 1/Genesis 1-3 2/Genesis 4-6 3/Genesis 7-9 4/Genesis 10-12 5/Genesis 13-15 6/Genesis 16-18 7/Genesis 19-21 8/Genesis 22-24 9/Psalms 1-4 10/Genesis 25-27 11/Genesis 28-30 12/Genesis 31-33 13/Genesis 34-36 14/Genesis 37-39 15/Genesis 40-42 16/Genesis 43-45 17/Genesis 46-48 18/Genesis 49-50 19/Psalms 5-8 20/Job 1-4 21/Job 5-7 22/Job 8-10 23/Job 11-14 24/Job 15-17 25/Job 25-27 26/Job 18-20 27/Job 21-24 28/Psalms 9-12 29/Job 28-30 30/Job 31-33 31/Job 34-36 FEBRUARY 1/Job 37-39 2/Job 40-42 3/Exodus 1-4 4/Exodus 5-7 5/Exodus 8-10 6/Psalms 13-16 7/Exodus 11-13 8/Exodus 14-16 9/Exodus 17-19 10/Exodus 20-22 11/Exodus 23-25 12/Exodus 26-28 13/Exodus 29-31 14/Psalms 17-20 15/Exodus 32-34 16/Exodus 35-37 17/Exodus 38-40 18/Leviticus 1-3 19/Leviticus 4-6 20/Leviticus 7-9 21/Leviticus 10-12 22/Leviticus 13-15 23/Psalms 21-24 24/Leviticus 16-18 25/Leviticus 19-21 26/Leviticus 22-24 27/Leviticus 25-27 28/Numbers 1-3 MARCH 1/Numbers 4-6 2/Numbers 7-9 3/Numbers 10-12 4/Psalms 25-28 5/Numbers 13-15 6/Numbers 16-18 7/Numbers 19-21 8/Numbers 22-24 9/Numbers 25-27 10/Numbers 28-30 11/Numbers 31-33 12/Numbers 34-36 13/Psalms 29-32 14/Deuteronomy 1-3 15/Deuteronomy 4-6 16/Deuteronomy 7-9 17/Deuteronomy 10-12 18/Deuteronomy 13-15 19/Deuteronomy 16-18 20/Deuteronomy 19-21 21/Deuteronomy 22-24 22/Psalms 33-36 23/Deuteronomy 25-27 24/Deuteronomy 28-30 25/Deuteronomy 31-34 26/Joshua 1-3 27/Joshua 4-6 28/Joshua 7-9 29/Joshua 10-12 30/Joshua 13-15 31/Psalms 37-40 APRIL 1/Joshua 16-18 2/Joshua 19-21 3/Joshua 22-24 4/Judges 1-3 5/Judges 4-6 6/Judges 7-9 7/Judges 10-12 8/Judges 13-15 9/Psalms 41-44 10/Judges 16-18 11/Judges 19-21 12/Ruth 1-4 13/1 Samuel 1-3 14/1 Samuel 4-6 15/1 Samuel 7-9 16/1 Samuel 10-12 17/1 Samuel 13-15 18/Psalms 45-48 19/1 Samuel 16-18 20/1 Samuel 19-21 21/1 Samuel 22-24 22/1 Samuel 25-27 23/1 Samuel 28-31 24/2 Samuel 1-3 25/2 Samuel 4-6 26/2 Samuel 7-9 27/Psalms 49-52 28/2 Samuel 10-12 29/2 Samuel 13-15 30/2 Samuel 16-18 MAY 1/2 Samuel 19-21 2/2 Samuel 22-24 3/1 Chronicles 1-3 4/1 Chronicles 4-6 5/1 Chronicles 7-9 6/Psalms 53-56 7/1 Chronicles 10-12 8/1 Chronicles 13-15 9/1 Chronicles 16-18 10/1 Chronicles 19-21 11/1 Chronicles 22-24 12/1 Chronicles 25-27 13/1 Chronicles 28-29 14/1 Kings 1-4 15/Psalms 57-60 16/2 Chronicles 1 Proverbs 1-3 17/Proverbs 4-6 18/Proverbs 7-9 19/Proverbs 10-12 20/Proverbs 13-15 21/Proverbs 16-18 22/Proverbs 19-21 23/Proverbs 22-24 24/Psalms 61-64 25/Proverbs 25-27 26/Proverbs 28-31 27/Song of Solomon 1-4 28/Song of Solomon 5-8 29/Ecclesiastes 1-3 30/Ecclesiastes 4-6 31/Ecclesiastes 7-9 JUNE 1/Ecclesiastes 10-12 2/Psalms 65-68 3/1 Kings 5-7 4/1 Kings 8-10 5/1 Kings 11-13 6/1 Kings 14-16 7/1 Kings 17-19 8/1 Kings 20-22 9/2 Kings 1-3 10/2 Kings 4-6 11/Psalms 69-72 12/2 Kings 7-9 13/2 Kings 10-12 14/2 Chronicles 2-4 15/2 Chronicles 5-7 16/2 Chronicles 8-10 17/2 Chronicles 11-13 18/2 Chronicles 14-16 19/2 Chronicles 17-19 20/Psalms 73-76 21/2 Chronicles 20-22 22/Obadiah 2 Chronicles 23-24 23/Joel 1-3 24/2 Kings 13, 14 2 Chronicles 25 25/Jonah 1-4 26/2 Kings 15 2 Chronicles 26 27/Amos 1-5 28/Amos 6-9 29/2 Kings 16, 17 2 Chronicles 27 30/Psalms 77-80 JULY 1/2 Chronicles 28 Hosea 1-3 2/Hosea 4-7 3/Hosea 8-10 4/Hosea 11-14 Reading Guide to read through the entire Bible in one year 5/2 Kings 18-20 6/2 Chronicles 29-30 7/2 Chronicles 31-32 8/Isaiah 1-3 9/Isaiah 4-7 10/Psalms 81-84 11/Isaiah 8-10 12/Isaiah 11-14 13/Isaiah 15-17 14/Isaiah 18-21 15/Isaiah 22-24 16/Isaiah 25-28 17/Isaiah 29-31 18/Isaiah 32-35 19/Isaiah 36-38 20/Psalms 85-88 21/Isaiah 39-42 22/Isaiah 43-45 23/Isaiah 46-49 24/Isaiah 50-52 25/Isaiah 53-56 26/Isaiah 57-59 27/Isaiah 60-63 28/Isaiah 64-66 29/Psalms 89-92 30/Micah 1-4 31/Micah 5-7 AUGUST 1/2 Kings 21 2 Chronicles 33 2/Nahum 1-3 3/2 Kings 22, 23 4/2 Chronicles 34, 35 5/Zephaniah 1-3 6/Habakkuk 1-3 7/Jeremiah 1-3 8/Jeremiah 4-6 9/Psalms 93-96 10/Jeremiah 7-9 11/Jeremiah 10-12 12/Jeremiah 13-15 13/Jeremiah 16-18 14/Jeremiah 19-21 15/Jeremiah 22-24 16/Jeremiah 25-27 17/Jeremiah 28-30 18/Jeremiah 31-33 19/Psalms 97-100 20/Jeremiah 34-36 21/Jeremiah 37-39 22/Jeremiah 40-42 23/Jeremiah 43-46 24/Jeremiah 47-49 25/Jeremiah 50-52 26/2 Kings 24, 25 2 Chronicles 36 27/Lamenations 1-5 28/Psalms 101-104 29/Ezekiel 1-3 30/Ezekiel 4-6 31/Ezekiel 7-9 SEPTEMBER 1/Ezekiel 10-12 2/Ezekiel 13-15 3/Ezekiel 16-18 4/Ezekiel 19-21 S/Ezekiel 22-24 6/Ezekiel 25-27 7/Ezekiel 28-30 8/Psalms 105-108 9/Ezekiel 31-33 10/Ezekiel 34-36 11/Ezekiel 37-39 12/Ezekiel 40-42 13/Ezekiel 43-45 14/Ezekiel 46-48 15/Daniel 1-3 16/Daniel 4-6 17/Daniel 7-9 18/Daniel 10-12 19/Psalms 109-113 20/Ezra 1-3 21/Ezra 4-6 22/Haggai 1, 2 Zecariah 1, 2 23/Zecariah 3-6 24/Zecariah 7-10 25/Zecariah 11-14 26/Esther 1-3 27/Esther 4-6 28/Esther 7-10 29/Psalms 114-118 30/Ezra 7-10 OCTOBER 1/Nehemiah 1-4 2/Nehemiah 5-7 3/Nehemiah 8-10 4/Nahum 11-13 5/Malachi 1-4 6/Matthew 1-4 7/Matthew 5-7 8/Psalms 119 9/Matthew 8-10 l0/Matthew 11-13 11/Matthew 14-16 12/Matthew 17-19 13/Matthew 20-22 14/Matthew 23-25 15/Matthew 26-28 16/Mark 1-3 17/Mark 4-6 18/Psalms 120-123 19/Mark 7-9 20/Mark 10-12 21/Mark 13-16 22/Luke 1-3 23/Luke 4-6 24/Luke 7-9 25/Luke 10-12 26/Luke 13-15 27/Luke 16-18 28/Psalms 124-127 29/Luke 19-21 30/Luke 22-24 31/John 1-3 NOVEMBER 1/John 4-6 2/John 7-9 3/John 10-12 4/John 13-16 S/John 17-19 6/John 20, 21 Acts 1 7/Psalms 128-131 8/Acts 2-4 9/Acts 5-7 10/Acts 8-10 11/Acts 11-14 12/James 1-5 13/Galatians 1-3 14/Galatians 4-6 15/Acts 15-17 16/Psalms 132-135 17/1 Thessalonians 1-4 18/1 Thessalonians 5 2 Thessalonians 1-3 19/Acts 18, 19 1 Corinthians 1 20/1 Corinthians 2-4 21/1 Corinthians 5-7 22/1 Corinthians 8-10 23/1 Corinthians 11-13 24/1 Cointhians 14-16 25/2 Corinthians 1-4 26/2 Corinthians 5-7 27/Psalms 136-139 28/2 Corinthians 8-10 29/2 Corinthians 11-13 30/Romans 1-4 DECEMBER 1/Romans 5-8 2/Romans 9-12 3/Romans 13-16 4/Acts 20-22 5/Acts 23-25 6/Acts 26-28 7/Psalms 140-143 8/Ephesians 1-3 9/Ephesians 4-6 10/Philippians 1-4 11/Colossians 1-4 12/Philemon 1 Timothy 1-3 13/1 Timothy 4-6 14/Titus 1-3 15/1 Peter 1-4 16/1 Peter 5 2 Peter 1-3 17/Psalms 144-147 18/2 Timothy 1-4 19/Hebrews 1-4 20/Hebrews 5-7 21/Hebrews 8-10 22/Hebrews 11-13 Jude 23/1 John 1-3 24/1 John 4, 5 2 & 3 John 25/Revelation 1-4 26/Revelation 5-8 27/Psalms 148-150 28/Revelation 9-12 29/Revelation 13-16 30/Revelation 17-19 31/Revelation 20-22