Discipleship - Christian Life

In the Great Commission Jesus tells us that there are two steps in making someone a disciple.   

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

This section contains studies which are designed to help with that second step: "Teaching them to observe all things" that Jesus commanded.  

Growing Up in the Lord - The Work and Worship of the Church

Overview:

• When I became a Christian, I accepted and confessed Jesus as: (Romans 10:9-10)
• To whom do I and all my abilities now belong? (Romans 12:1-2)
• Does Jesus have a right to tell me how to live, what to do and what not to do? (Luke 6:46; Matthew 7:21; John 14:15)
• What is a new Christian to do after baptism? (Matthew 28:19-20)

Introduction: In this lesson we will study two important things Jesus tells us to do:

• Hebrews 10:25 -
• 1 Corinthians 15:58 -

1. Why Is It Important To Meet Together For Worship?

A. Honor to God (Revelation 4:11)

1. Why honor God? He is:

a. Genesis 1:1-2:
b. Psalm 100:4-5; 103:1-5:
c. Romans 14:10-12:
d. How do you think taking time out from our own activities honors God?
e. What does it say if we are not willing to do this?

B. Encouragement to each other (Colossians 3:16)

1. What could happen to us if we neglect to meet together with our church family? (Revelation 2:4; Hebrews 3:12-13.)
2. What should happen to us if we faithfully and regularly meet together to worship God? (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 3:18)

2. How Does God Want Us To Worship Him?

A. Where is our worship to come from? (John 4:24)
B. What are some things that would keep God from receiving our worship?

1. Matthew 5:23-24; Mark 11:25:
2. 1 Peter 3:12; James 4:8:
3. Matthew 15:8-9:

C. What things has God told us to do when we meet to Worship him?

1. 1 Corinthians 11:23-30:
2. Acts 20:7:
3. Ephesians 5:18-19:
4. 1 Timothy 2:1-8:
5. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2:D. On what day of the week do Christians especially meet for worship, and in memory of what event? (Acts 20:7; Mark 16:1-6)

3. What Work Does God Have For Each One Of Us To Do As Part Of The Church?

A. Four basic things Jesus has given the church to do:

1. John 4:23:
2. Matthew 28:19:
3. Matthew 28:20:
4. Acts 4:34-35:

B. Does everyone in the church do the same work? (Romans 12:4-5;
1 Corinthians 12:12-31)

C. How do I know what work I should do? (Romans 12:6-8)

D. What are two principles by which all my work for Christ should be done? I should do everything ....

1. Colossians 3:17:
2. Colossians 3:23:

F. To whom are we to submit as our supervisors and shepherds in working for the Lord? (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-4)

 

 

Growing Up in the Lord - The Way I Live

1. Introduction: In connection with this lesson, read Romans 12, Ephesians 4, Colossians 3. Jesus gives us a whole new way to look at life, with new things to live for. How would you describe the lifestyle of a Christian? 2 Corinth¬ians 5:17; Romans 12:2.

2. What Is The Greatest Commandment Of The Lord To Christians? Matthew 22:35-38.

A. If I love God, what will I always try to do?

1. John 14:15:

B. If I love God, what are two things I will always try to avoid doing?

1. Ephesians 4:30:
2. I Timothy 6:1:

C. What is the main purpose of my life as a Christian?

1. Matthew 5:16:

3. What Is The Lord's Second Greatest Commandment To Christians? Mt 22:39.

A. If I love others as myself, what are two things I will avoid doing?

1. Romans 13:10
2. Matthew 18:6-7

B. If an activity or style I enjoy creates problems for another person and causes him to sin, what should my attitude be? (1 Corinthians 8:13; 10:31-33; Romans 14:21)

4. I Belong To A Holy God, Therefore My Life Must Be Holy: (1 Peter 1:15-16; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Corinthians 7:1)

A. What will my old friends think of me now that my life is changing? (1 Peter 4:4)
B. Will it take courage and determination if I am going to please Christ and be different?
C. Though my family or my past experiences may have made it hard to follow Christ, what choice am I still responsible to make? (Romans 6:12-13)
D. Where can I learn how God wants me to live? (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalm 119:105)

5. In My Baptism, I Was Joined With Christ In His Death And Resurrection: (Romans 6:1-4)

A. I have been with Christ (Romans 6:8). My old sinful self was (Romans 6:6). It is as if I am to sin, but to Christ (Romans 6:11). I am no longer a slave of but a slave of (Romans 6:17,18).

6. From Ephesians 4:22-5:18, List Things The Lord Wants Us To "Put Off":

A. Does God take away these things to spoil our lives or to give us real life? (Deuteronomy 5:29; John 10:10)

7. List Some Things That God Wants Us To "Put On": (Colossians 3:12-15; Galatians 5:22-23)

A. As I grow in these things, I am becoming more like:

1. Galatians 2:20; 4:19

B. Why is it important to fill my life with good in place of the evil that was once in it?

1. Matthew 12:43-45

8. How Can I Overcome The Temptations Of My Old Nature?

A. "Burn bridges" to the past:

1. What did the Ephesian Christians do when they turned away from witchcraft and sorcery? (Acts 19:18-20 - Do I have things I should get rid of?)
2. Do my friends and the places I go make it harder for me to resist sin? (1 Corinthians 15:33; Romans 13:14 - make it hard to sin)
3. I should be willing to part with the activities and friends that cause me to sin, even if it is as hard as losing a hand or eye from my body. (Matthew 18:7-9)

B. Keep your heart and mind clean:

1. Where does sin start? (Matthew 15:19; James 1:13-15)
2. Why are the wrong kind of clothes, books, magazines, music, movies, TV and conversation so damaging to my Christian life? (Proverbs 4:23)
3. What must I do about my thought-life now that I am under the Lord¬ship of Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8)
4. Jesus teaches me to deal with sins such as murder and adultery at what stage? (Matthew 5:21-22; 27-28)
5. At what point in their development do you think wrong thoughts are easiest to deal with?
6. While I am doing my best to keep my thoughts clean, what should I ask God to do? (Psalm 51:10)

C. Get help from God:

1. What can I put inside my heart and mind that will help me overcome sin? (Psalm 119:11)
2. Who will help me "put to death" the sins of my old nature? (Romans 8:13)
3. How can I continually be "refilled" with the Holy Spirit? (Luke 11:13; Colossians 3:16)

D. Strengthen your new nature:

1. What should I do, as far as possible, about any old wrongs I have done against people which have not been cleared up?

a. Matthew 5:23-24
b. Leviticus 6:4

2. What should I do if I hold any resentments against people from the past (including my parents, spouse, or family members)? (Mark 11:25)
3. What is the food for my new nature to grow on? (Matthew 4:4)
4. Who will help to make me like Jesus? (Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 8:28,29)
5. Who in the church has God given me to help me grow like Christ? (Ephesians 4:11-13)
6. What else will keep me close to God and make me strong? (Ephesians 6:18)
7. Where can I go to find encouragement to overcome temptation and live like Jesus? (Hebrews 10:24-25)
8. If I will use these helps that God has given me, what has God promised? (1 Corinthians 10:13)

 

 

Growing Up in the Lord - My Family Life

1. Introduction:

A. God created marriage and the family and organized them in the way that is best for us. He knows what we need.
B. If our family life is right, everything is better. If family life is messed up, nothing else is really good.
C. We can probably serve Jesus in and through our family more than any other way. o Our families can really be happy if we let Jesus as Lord direct them.

2. Choosing A Spouse: Before marriage, be guided by Christ's teaching in the way you treat people of the opposite sex. Choose a spouse who will completely share with you in serving the Lord through your marriage.

A. Does God want a Christian to marry an unbeliever? (1 Corinthians 7:39; 2 Corinthians 6:14)
B. If one wants to obey God in this, whom will he or she date?
C. Does God want people to have sex outside of marriage? (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2)

3. Husbands: In marriage, what is the main thing the Lord Jesus tells the husband to do? (Ephesians 5:25-29)

A. Who is the example of the husband's love for his wife? (Ephesians 5:25)
B. Christ's love for the church caused him to do what for it? (Ephesians 5:25)
C. The relationship between the husband and the wife is compared to what other relationship? (Ephesians 5:23)
D. What is to be the husband's attitude as he leads his wife? (1 Peter 3:7)
E. What will happen if he does not have this attitude? (1 Peter 3:7)
F. What is another thing Jesus tells the husband to do? (1 Timothy 5:8)
G. What decision is the husband and father responsible for making and carrying out? (Joshua 24:15)

4. Wives: What is the main thing Jesus as Lord tells the wife to do? (Ephesians 5:22-24,33)

A. What is her example in this? (Ephesians 5:24)
B. Can the family or any other organization succeed without leadership?
C. Whom has God placed in leadership in the family? (Ephesians 5:23)
D. Do you think the wife is to submit to her husband because he is always right, or because he is her husband?
E. When we disobey God's appointed authority, whom do we also disobey? (Romans 13:1-7)
F. If a wife submits to her husband only when she thinks he is right, is this submission?
G. If the wife obeys her husband but resents it and takes out the resentment in nagging, sexual coldness or in some other way, do you think she is submitting in the spirit that the Lord Jesus teaches?
H. Who, as our example, won the greatest victories and the greatest honor through humility and submission? (Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 16:24-25 )
I. Why was Eve given to Adam as a wife? (Genesis 2:18-25)
J. What is the basic family role which the Lord has given the wife? (1 Timothy 5:9-10,14; Titus 2:4-5; Proverbs 31:10-31)
K. How can a wife help her husband if he is not a Christian believer? (1 Peter 3:1-4)

5. Husbands And Wives: What are some other things that Jesus teaches husbands and wives? (Ephesians 5:25; Titus 2:4)

A. Do you think this love that is commanded is basically a feeling or a decision? (Can feelings be commanded?)
B. What will this love always cause a couple to do?
C. Colossians 3:13
D. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5
E. How does God feel about a married person flirting with or allowing him¬self to daydream about someone besides his spouse? (Where does adultery start?) (Job 31:1; Matthew 5:28-30)
F. What does the Lord teach about sexual immorality and adultery (marital unfaithfulness)? (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; Hebrews 13:4)
G. Is sex within lawful marriage something dirty, or something clean to be enjoyed? (Who made our sexual natures?) (Genesis 1:27; Hebrews 13:4)
H. If a husband or wife withholds sex from the other, he or she is disobeying God.
I. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
J. Mark 10:2-9
K. When a couple marries, what should be their intention? (Romans 7:1-3)
L. Is divorce an option for Christians? (Mark 10:9; Malachi 2:13-16)
M. If a person divorces his spouse (except for the cause of fornication) and marries another, what sin does Jesus say that he or she commits? (Matthew 19:9)

6. Children: What is the main thin8 Jesus tells a child to do? (Ephesians 6:1-3)

A. Who is the authority whom the Lord has placed over children? (Colossians 3:20; Exodus 20:12)
B. Disobeying or disrespecting our parents is disobeying God.

7. Parents: What is the main thing Jesus tells parents to do? (Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 22:6)

A. Whose is the primary responsibility for teaching children God's way, the church's or the parents'? (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

B. How often should parents talk to their children about God and his way? (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
C. Do you think the child will adopt godly beliefs and values if the parents do not seriously live these things before them? (Romans 2:21-24)
D. Will the Lord hold parents responsible for correcting their children? (1 Samuel 3:12-13)
E. What is the purpose of parental discipline? (Proverbs 22:15; 29:15)
F. If a parent will not discipline a child to prevent him from going wrong, does the parent love the child? (Proverbs 13:24)
G. How does God, our Father, show his love to his children? (Hebrews 12:5-11)
H. If a child does not learn to submit to authority while at home with his parents, how do you think this will affect his ability to submit to teachers, church leaders, employers, government authorities, and to God?
I. If a child does not learn by discipline to control himself and do things he doesn't want to do, how do you think it will affect his ability to cope with life's pressures later?
J. What characteristic of parents makes discipline not damaging but strengthening to a child? (Proverbs 13:24; Titus 2:4)

 

 

Growing Up in the Lord - My Relationships with Others

1. Introduction: To begin this lesson, read Matthew 18 and Romans 12:14-21.

A. Satan wants to divide people and make enemies. Jesus wants to unite people and make peace.
B. Christians should not be slaves to anger and resentment as many other people are. o Broken relationships serve Satan and hurt the work of Jesus in saving the world.
C. Imperfect human beings will always have their differences and problems With each other. But Jesus teaches us how to avoid many problems and quickly solve the ones that do come.

2. Pride: The Greatest cause of conflicts between people is pride and self-centeredness. (Matthew 18:1-5)

A. What were Jesus' disciples arguing about? (Matthew 18:1; Luke 22:24)
B. If we are always concerned about who is the greatest brightest, best, smartest, richest, most loved, has most authority, or should be treated best, etc., will we be more likely or less likely to run into conflict with others?
C. According to Jesus, what must we do to "self" if we are to follow him? (Matthew 16:24-25)
D. What did Paul say has happened to the "self" of a Christian? (Romans 6:6)
E. Did Jesus, our example, insist on his rights, or did he voluntarily lay them down because he loved others? (Philippians 2:5-8)
F. Should my main aim be to please myself, or to be redemptive toward others as Jesus was? (Romans 15:1-3)
G. If we "bear crosses" and "lose" our lives (or rights) to make it better for others, what will we "find?" (Matthew 16:25)
H. What is the guideline for all our relationships? (Ephesians 5:21)
I. Is this the way the world thinks? (Are Christians different?)

3. We Cannot Afford the Cost Of Broken Relationships: (Matthew 18:6)

A. How bad is it for a person to be the cause of offense or sin in another person's life? (Matthew 18:6-7)
B. If I have done wrong to another person and have not cleared up the matter or made it right, what does Jesus say about my worship to God? (Matthew 5:23-24)
C. If a wronged person will not forgive, can he receive the grace and forgive¬ness of God? (Matthew 6:14-15)
D. When a person is filled with resentment and bitterness, how do you think it affects the emotional climate of his family or his church?
E. What is necessary before outsiders can believe in Christ and be saved? (John 17:20-21; Philippians 2:14-16)
F. If our fights and divisions disgust outsiders so that they fail to believe in Christ, who will be partly blamed for the loss of their souls on the Day of Judgment?

4. Things That Offend: Because conflicts with others can threaten our own salvation and that of others, we must determine the things that offend and take them away. (Matt.18:7-14)

A. When we look for the causes of trouble between ourselves and another per¬son, where does Jesus tell us to start? (Matthew 7:1-5).
B. It will help to study and list the things in you that upset the other person.
C. Are you reacting too strongly to ordinary faults within the other person? In an imperfect world, people are not going to stop doing things that offend us. Much of the solution has to be in controlling our reaction to the wrongs. How does love react? (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
D. We should be as willing to give up things that cause sin and conflict as we would be to give up (Matthew 18:8-9)
E. A Christian should even be willing to be wronged rather than prolong an ugly conflict with another person. (1 Corinthians 6:7; Matthew 5:39-41)
F. If something I enjoy causes spiritual problems for another person, what should I be willing to do? (Romans 14:13-15,19-21)

5. Jesus' Example: Jesus has given us a way to clear up conflicts and deal with wrongs. (Matthew 18:15-20; 5:23-26)

A. What are the three steps Jesus gives for dealing with a person who has done wrong to you? (Matthew 18:15-17)
B. When one person has wronged another, does Jesus say which of them should be the first to go to the other? (Matthew 18:15; 5:23-24)
C. What, then, is important?
D. With what attitude or spirit should you approach a wrongdoer in order to help him? (Galatians 6:1)
E. Considering the damage that a lasting conflict does, how quickly should we try to resolve our conflict with another person? (Matthew 5:25; Ephesians 4:26)

6. We Must Forgive As God Forgives: (Matthew 18:21-35.)

A. Whose job is it to pay back people who do wrong? (Romans 12:19-20)
B. Why does our own salvation depend on forgiving others? (Matthew 6:14-15)
C. Who gains an opportunity when we keep anger and resentment in our hearts? (Ephesians 4:26-27)
D. Who is our example in forgiving others? (Luke 23:33-34)
E. Do you think forgiveness is a feeling or a decision? (Can a feeling be commanded?)
F. When people mistreat us, instead of paying back evil for evil, we Christians are to overcome evil with. (Romans 12:20-21.)

7. Summary: Many marriages, church fellowships, and working relationships have been saved and kept together simply because the people involved valued the relationship enough to do what it took to keep harmony. Little strains in relationships, like little tears in a garment, must be mended before they grow bigger. We must be willing to communicate or say "sorry" whenever it is needed. We can and must keep our relationships right. Our relationship to God depends on our relationship to others. Only when Jesus is Lord of our relationships can our lives be filled with his grace and power.

Growing Up in the Lord - My Finances

1. Introduction: To begin this lesson, read Matthew 6:19-34; Luke 12:13-21. The story is told of a person who left his wallet in his pocket when he was baptized, because he wanted his money as well as himself to belong to the Lord. If we accept Jesus as Lord of our lives, he has the right not only to receive our financial support for his work, but to tell us how to use what we keep for ourselves. Jesus teaches much about our attitude toward money and our management of it. In no other area is our Christianity more tested than here.

2. Why Study Finances?

A. Who is the real owner of everything? (Psalm 24:1; 1 Chronicles 29:11)
B. Besides giving our bodies and our abilities as a sacrifice to God, in what else should we serve him? (Proverbs 3:9)
C. At the judgment, we will answer to God about what? (Luke 19:11-27)
D. How will our faithfulness or unfaithfulness in handling money affect us in the life to come? (Luke 16:10-12; 19:15-17)

3. The Christian Attitude About Money:

A. The devil likes to blind people to reality (2 Corinthians 4:4). He wants us to think we are not really living until we can buy all the things we want. In contrast, what does Jesus say? (Luke 12:15)
B. How many kinds of evil are people willing to do because they love money? (1 Tim 6:10)
C. Love of money (greed) is a form of what sin? (Colossians 3:5)
D. What basic decision must a person make about money if he is to follow the Lord? (Matthew 6:24, 31-33. Compare Matthew 19:16-26)
E. Why is this decision so important? (Matthew 6:21)
F. What will over-concern about money and possessions do to our service to God?
(Luke 8:5-15)
G. If we have and , we are to be content. (1 Timothy 6:8)
H. Can a person decide to be content? (Hebrews 13:5)
I. Are happiness and contentment dependent on how much we have, or are they a result of inward attitudes about life? (Philippians 4:11-13)

4. Getting And Using Money:

A. How does God feel about laziness? (Colossians 3:23; Proverbs 20:13; 6:9-11)
B. On the other hand, what does the Lord say about worry over finances? (Matthew 6:31-33)
C. If, after we have done all we can, we worry over finances and other problems, are we trusting God?
D. How does God feel about people getting money dishonestly? (Micah 6:10,11; Proverbs 20:23; 21:6)
E. Now that we follow Christ, how should we feel about such dishonesties as cheating on the reporting of income and deductions, putting personal items on company expense accounts, misinformation on insurance claims, using company supplies and phones for personal purposes, changing the odometer reading on a car before sale, "calling in sick" when wanting off for another reason, ignoring parking tickets, knowingly writing hot checks, skipping scheduled payments, or moving away from an address without paying back rent and other bills owed? (Psalm 119:104)
F. What shows that Zacchaeus, who had been dishonest, really repented when he started following the Lord? (Luke 19:8)
G. Name five reasons for earning money:
H. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 -
I. 1 Timothy 5:8 -
J. Ephesians 4:28; Galatians 6:10 -
K. Galatians 6:6; 1 Corinthians 9:14 -
L. Romans 13:7 -

5. Honoring God Through Our Offerings:

A. Though the New Testament leaves a Christian free to decide what portion of his income he will contribute to the work of the church (2 Corinthians 9:7), what Old Testament commandment reveals God's mind about the portion of a person's income that would honor God as a gift? (Leviticus 27:30,32; compare Genesis 28:20-22)
B. Considering that we have received so much more grace and help from the Lord than the Old Testament people did, do you think a Christian should be satis¬fied to give less to God's work than the O. T. people were commanded to give?
C. In deciding what portion of my income to give to God, should I take my standard from some weak, uncommitted Christian around me, or from the expressions of God's mind in the scriptures?
D. When God's people failed to support God's work financially, God said they
were him. (Malachi 3:7-12)
E. Upon receiving income, when were God's people to start giving to God, and of what quality were their gifts to be? (Exodus 23:19a; compare Exodus 13:12)
F. What do these examples say to us today about the honor due to God in giv¬ing?
G. In giving to God's work and to those in need, we are becoming more like God who loved us and gave his Son (John 3:16). Jesus said, "It is more to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35)
H. How does God feel about a person who gives freely and gladly? (2 Corinthians 9:7)
I. What has God promised to do for those who put God's kingdom first in their finances? (Matthew 6:31-33; Luke 6:38; Malachi 3:10,11)

6. Managing Our Finances So As To Honor And Serve The Lord:

A. Satan can use finances, just as he can drugs, drink or immorality, to bring people into conflict and bondage. If a Christian gets into a lot of unnecessary debt because he wants too many things, how will this affect his ability to serve God and others with his money and his life?
B. If he has a lot of debts, what should a Christian plan to do in order to free himself to serve God better?
C. In the story of Luke 9:11-17, what action of Jesus and his disciples at the end of the story shows that we are not to waste what we have, but use it carefully?

7. Conclusion: The Bible says a lot about how we use our money. This is one of the greatest tests of our loyalty to Christ as Lord. The Christian whose finances are under Christ's control will really stand out in a materialistic, immoral and undisciplined world. (Matthew 5:16)

Growing Up in the Lord - My Employment and Citizenship

1. Introduction: Jesus compared his people to salt and light when describing their influence for good in the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Now that we are Christians under the Lordship of Christ, we are no longer to be conformed to the ways of the world, but we are to be transformed (Romans 12:2). Outsiders will see this change in us best in our behavior at work and in our community. In these areas we have some of our best chances to show the glory of God and affect the lives of lost people for Christ.

2. Employers And Employees For Christ:

A. Name two duties of a Christian employer to those who work for him:

1. Colossians 4:1; James 5:3-4
2. Ephesians 6:9

B. Why should an employer treat his employees rightly? (Ephesians 6:9)
C. Name three duties of a Christian employee:

1. Ephesians 6:5,6; Colossians 3:22-23
2. Titus 2:10
3. 1 Timothy 6:1

D. Should a Christian employee work well only when his employer treats him right? (1 Peter 2:18)
E. For whom does the employee really work? (Ephesians 6:5-7; Colossians 3:23)
F. If a Christian employee is insubordinate or dishonest or lazy, what does this cause the employer to do? (1 Timothy 6:1)
G. If a Christian employee obeys orders; avoids clock-watching, lateness and irresponsible absence; and does the best job possible even when unsuper¬vised, what does this cause an unbelieving employer to think about Jesus and his teaching? (Titus 2:9-10)
H. What principle of God's word should an employee follow if he is asked to do something wrong as a part of his job? (Acts 5:29)
I. What kind of business practice does God hate? (Proverbs 11:1)

3. Citizens For Christ: (Read Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-25)

A. From whom does all earthly authority come? (Romans 13:1)
B. Does God use earthly leaders and officials to direct and protect the earthly lives of people? (Romans 13:3-4)
C. If a person disobeys the civil authorities, he is really disobeying (Romans 13:1-2).
D. A Christian will obey, not because he might get caught, but because of (Romans 13:5)
E. We should submit to the authorities at how many levels? (1 Peter 2:13-14)
F. Do you think a Christian should consider it smart or clever to "get away" with law-breaking?
G. Taking a principle from Peter's teaching about masters and slaves, would you say that a Christian should obey an official because the official al¬ways does right, or because of the authority of the office held by the official? (1 Peter 2:18)
H. If a government should begin to mistreat Christians, or if enemies of Christians should start to slander them, what is the best way for Christ¬ians to counteract this? (1 Peter 2:13-15)
I. Does paying taxes have anything to do with pleasing God? (Romans 13:6-7)
J. Should a Christian want to get by without carrying his share of the tax load, while enjoying the benefits paid for by taxes? (Galatians 6:5; Acts 20:35)
K. What should a Christian do when there is some worthwhile community project that needs help? (Titus 3:1)
L. What do we owe our government leaders besides obedience and payment of taxes? (Romans 13:7; 1 Peter 2:17)
M. Just because we live in a country where we are free to say any kind of thing about a leader, does this mean that a Christian should do so? (Titus 3:2; Exodus 22:28)
N. When we live in a country where we are free to choose good leaders through elections, do you think God will hold a Christian responsible to vote?
O. What is the greatest thing a Christian can do to help his government lead¬ers and to change things for the better in government? (1 Timothy 2:l-4; Proverbs 21:1)
P. What should a Christian do if his government orders him to do evil? (Acts 4:18,19; 5:29)

4. Conclusion: Christians should be the best employers, employees, and citizens of all. This will bring glory to our Lord and make others want to follow him.

Growing Up in the Lord - My Personal Spiritual Life

1. Introduction: Not all of a Christian's service to Christ is in a church program. They also serve him personally every day. This service includes personal Bible study and prayer, witnessing to others about Christ, and helping and encouraging people.

2. Serving Jesus In My Private Devotional Life:

A. Read the account of Jesus' powerful ministry in Mark 1:21-34. Then read what he did the next morning in Mark 1:35. What connection do you see between the two?
B. When Jesus was faced with a very important task, what did he do first? (Luke 6:12)
C. What was one thing that Jesus' apostles were always doing? (Acts 6:4; 10:9;)
D. What does the Lord say that I must always be doing? (1 Thess.5:17; Ephesians 6:18)
E. What are two especially important times for prayer? (Psalm 5:3; 141:2)
F. Before I eat my food, what should I do? (1 Timothy 4:4,5; Luke 24:30)
G. Instead of worrying, what am I to do? (Philippians 4:6,7; Luke 18:1). What will come to my heart if I do this in faith?
H. Is there any kind of trouble which I cannot hand over to God in prayer? (1 Peter 5:7)
I. What should be my approach in everything I do? (Proverbs 3:6)
J. Name some things Jesus teaches you to pray for (write just a word or two for each). (Mt 6:9-13; Luke 11:13; Ephesians 6:18,19; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Ps 51:10; James 1:5; Matthew 5:44; Genesis 24:4,42-44; James 5:14-16; Ephesians 5:20)
K. Name three things that will keep God from hearing your prayer.

1. Mark 11:25
2. Psalm 66:18
3. James 1:6-7

L. If my body lives by food, what does my spirit live by? (Mt 4:4)
M. Name seven things which learning God's word does for you.

1. Romans 10:17 -
2. Psalm 119:11 -
3. Ps 119:105 -
4. James 1:21 -
5. John 15:3 -
6. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 -
7. Romans 15:4 -

N. What does taking a "quiet time" for Bible study and prayer every day say about your attitude toward God? If you are "too busy" for a daily quiet time, what does this say?

3. Sharing Our Lord With Others:

A. When Andrew found Jesus, what did he do? (John 1:40-42)
B. When Philip began to follow Jesus, what did Philip quickly do? (John 1: 43-45)
C. After Jesus had healed the demon-possessed man at Gerasa, what did Jesus tell the man to do? (Mark 5:18-20)
D. What does the Lord tell us to do? (1 Peter 3:15)
E. How does God describe people who do not follow Christ? (Ephesians 2:1-12)
F. If your friend was dying with a disease and you knew a cure, what would you do?
G. If you knew of an outstanding bargain offered at a store, and your friends did not know about it, what would you do?
H. If you have found eternal life and blessing in Christ, and your friends don't know about him, what should you do?
I. Do you think you need to understand all the deeper things of the Bible be¬fore you can help a person with the basics of following Christ, or tell him about the good things you have already found?
J. 80% of new members come into the church because of being invited by a friend, relative or acquaintance. Knowing this should make me want to:
K. If you are anxious that people should not be lost, and you do what you can to bring them to Christ, you are thinking and working for the same things God does. (John 3:16.)

4. Encouraging And Helping Others:

A. Barnabas was called "Son of Encouragement" (Acts 4:36). He encouraged and stood by which new convert while that convert was getting started in Christ's service? (Acts 9:23-28)
B. Which people in Bethany encouraged the ministry of Jesus by often having Jesus and his disciples in their home? (Luke 10:38-39)
C. How did Aquila and Priscilla help and encourage the preaching ministry of Apollos? (Acts 18:26)
D. What should each Christian want to do for those who are timid or weak in serving Christ? (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
E. How can we fulfill the law of Christ? (Galatians 6:2)
F. If a fellow-Christian falls into sin or unfaithfulness, what does the Lord tell you to do for him, and how? (Galatians 6:1)
G. When you convert someone from a wrong way, you do what? (James 5:19-20)
H. Should you hold back from talking to a brother or sister about his or her sin for fear of embarrassment?
I. How can Christians help each other? (Hebrews 10:24-25)
J. What statement of Cain, the first murderer, is the exact opposite of the spirit Christians must have? (Genesis 4:9)
K. If another person is in need or trouble, what does the Lord want you to do, as far as you are able? (1 John 3:16-18; Galatians 6:10)
L. When you do this, you are acting like (Acts 20:35).

5. Conclusion: Now that I belong to the Lord Jesus, I must not go on being "wrapped up in myself." I must develop sensitivity to God, always being con¬scious of his presence (Psalm 139:7-12). I must develop sensitivity to people and their needs as Jesus did.

A. This growth does not come automatically. It is a decision. Jesus said, "To everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away" (Luke 19:26). I can fall back and die spiritually, or I can go forward and "grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord" (2 Pet 3:18)
B. Sit down right now and write down the practical steps you need to take in order to make the things in this lesson happen in your life: personal devo¬tions, witnessing and helping the weak. Those steps will be the steps that follow Jesus.

What It Means To Be A Disciple

 

1. All Christians Should Be Disciples:

    A. The Meaning Of "Go Teach": Mt. 28:19-20 (This phrase translates the following: Strong's #3100 matheteuo {math-ayt-yoo'-o} 1) to be a disciple of one 1a) to follow his precepts and instructions 2) to make a disciple 2a) to teach, instruct. Therefore, to teach all nations is to make disciples of all nations. This discipling is further accomplished by teaching disciples to observe the commands of Jesus. To be a disciple is to constantly learn to follow the teachings of Jesus.)

    B. Our Purpose: 2 Tim. 2:2 (The purpose of this series of studies is to train you to be a better disciple so that you may teach others to be better disciples.)

2. To Be A Disciple Is To Put Christ First:

    A. Christ Must Be First Before All Others: Lk. 14:26-33 (Jesus advocated that we love him above all other family and friends. Without this kind of love, you cannot be a true disciple. He illustrated incomplete discipleship with stories of a half-finished tower and an unfought battle. Is your christianity incomplete? Are you trying to call a truce instead of fighting Satan? To be his disciple you must have total love and total commitment.)

    B. You Must Love God More Than Anybody: Mt. 22:37-38 (The most important command is to love God. All other commands hang on the principle of love. You must love God with all your being. This is a totally consuming love.)

    C. The Kingdom Must Be First: Mt. 6:33 (Putting Christ first means seeking his kingdom first. This means if you are a true disciple, the church will be very important to you.)

3. To Be A Disciple Is To Imitate Christ:

    A. A Disciple Must Copy The Master: Mt. 10:24-25 (It is enough for the disciple to copy his master. Discipleship means to imitate the behavior of our Master, Jesus.)

    B. Follow His Steps: 1 Pet. 2:21 (Imitating Christ means following his example. Note this means following in his steps, not just in his general direction. Illustrate with walking through a minefield and being particular to follow each step.)

    C. Self Denial: Mt. 16:24 (Following Christ requires taking up a cross of self denial.)

4. To Be A Disciple Is To Continue In His Word:

    A. Learn From The Master: Jn. 8:31 (To be a disciple, a student of Jesus, you must study his word. Can you honestly consider yourself a student of Jesus if you never "sit at his feet" [study his word]?)

    B. Search Vs. Scan: Acts 17:11 (Jesus taught us to search the scriptures. There is a very real difference between an intense search and a careless scan. Illustrate with searching for a lost jewel as opposed to just scanning for it. God's word is a precious treasure. You should search diligently to find its jewels.)

    C. Be Skillful: Heb. 5:12-14 (The only way to become skillful in God's word is by reason of use, continual study. The more you study, the more you sharpen your skills in handling God's word.)

5. To Be A Disciple Is To Bear Fruit: Jn. 15:1-8 (Jesus taught we must bear much fruit. What makes a fruit tree a FRUIT tree?? Fruit! As a part of Christ, the vine, you must bring forth abundant fruit. This is what discipleship demands.)

 

The Challenge Of Putting Christ First

1. The Principle Stated: Lk. 14:25-33 (Jesus taught that true discipleship demands putting him first.)

2. What Hinders Us: Lk. 14:15-24 (This is a story of three different excuse makers. It illustrates different things that hinder us from putting Christ first. Their three excuses will be categorized; employment, possessions, and family. Also we will look at self as a barrier between you and God.)

A. Self: Lk. 14:26 (The word "hate" in this verse means to love less. He includes self in this group. You must love Christ more than yourself. Sometimes we allow our own selfish desires to stand between us and Christ. When you let what you want take priority over Christ's will, that is putting self before Christ.)

2 Tim. 3:2 (Paul lamented a time when people would love themselves more than God. Selfish self-love is listed with grievous sins. Therefore, it too is a grievous sin.)

Mt. 6:24, Mt. 16:24 (Jesus taught you cannot serve two masters. If you try to serve God and self, your allegiances will be confused. Illustrate with citizenship of two countries at once. Who will you be loyal to in time of war? Therefore, you must deny self and not let it hinder your discipleship. You must loose or give up your life in order to follow Jesus.)

Eph. 5:29 (This passage illustrates proper care for self. The proper perspective is that you take care of your, but understand that you serve God first - even before meeting those needs - Matt.6:33.)

B. Employment: Lk. 14:18 (The person who bought land allowed their farm work to prevent their attendance at the feast. This is an example of letting employment [or possessions] hinder your discipleship.)

Lk. 12:16-20 (The man who was so absorbed in his work was considered a fool by God. Look at how many times he referred to himself in vs. 17-19. His selfishness caused him to put his work before spiritual concerns.)

Jn. 21:15-17 (Jesus challenges Peter's love. "More than these" refers not just to a plate of food. It refers to the food they had eaten, fish. Fishing was Peter's way of life and his occupation before he met Christ. Christ challenges Peter to love him more than his own livelihood. Therefore, you must love Christ more than your employment.)

Eph. 6:5-7, Eccl. 9:10 (The proper perspective is that you work hard at your job. Be the best you can be, but not to the exclusion of serving God first.)

C. Possessions: Lk. 14:19 (The person who bought oxen allowed their possessions to prevent their attendance at the feast. This is an example of putting possessions [or possibly work] before the Lord.)

Lk. 12:15 (Life's joy and success cannot be measured by what you have. Instead it should be measured by what you are.)

Mk. 10:17-22 (The rich young ruler was very obedient but felt unsatisfied with his effort. Jesus listed all the commandments that pertained to relationships with your fellow man except "thou shalt not covet". Jesus knew he was a greedy man. By laying it out this way, Jesus exposed the man's greed. The man refused to repent which made him full of sorrow. Refusal to overcome greed for possessions will destroy your joy, your life.)

Deut. 8:11-14 (Greed for possessions will make you forget God.) 

Eccl. 5:18 (The proper perspective is that you work hard and enjoy what you gain, but not to the exclusion of serving God first.)

D. Family: Lk. 14:20 (The person who had married a wife allowed their family to prevent their attendance at the feast. This is an example of putting family before the Lord.)

Lk. 14:26 ("Hate" = "love less" in this context. You must love Christ more than all your family.)

Lk. 9:57-62 (At first it may seem Jesus was very strict with these people. However, a closer look reveals that some expressed interest in following Jesus until they learned he had no place to stay. After learning this they used family as an excuse to delay following him. They put their hands to the plow when they expressed a desire to follow Jesus. But they looked back when they saw the going would be tough and began to make excuses. Letting family hinder your service to God will make you unfit for the kingdom.)

Eccl. 9:9 (The proper perspective is that you love and enjoy your family, but not to the exclusion of serving God first.)

3. How To Put Christ First:

    A. Prioritize: Lk. 10:38-42 (Jesus commended Mary because she chose the good, important things. Like Mary, you must make a decision to put Christ before everything.)

    B. Set Your Mind On Heaven: Col. 3:1-2 (Set your cares and affections on heavenly things. Don't be too absorbed with earthly goals. Instead, make heaven your goal.)

    C. Seek To Fulfill The Needs Of The Church: Mt. 9:37-38 (Jesus saw the need for spiritual workers in the vineyard. Don't just see the church as something that is there to fulfill your needs, see the church as something that has many needs. Be consumed with what you can do to help fill the need for workers in the church.)

    D. Invest: Mt. 6:19-21 (Jesus said your heart will be where you put your treasure. If you invest the treasure of your time, money, and effort in the Lord's work, the Lord will become more important to you.)

4. Conclusion: Mk. 10:29-30 (Laying other things aside for Christ brings reward in this life, but especially the great reward of heaven.)

 

 

The Challenge Of Imitating Christ

 

1. God's Intended Purpose: Rom. 8:28-29 (God predetermined that those who love Jesus will conform to his image. Conforming to Christ's image does not mean being him, it means to be a close replica of him. Illustrate with hand-print in clay. The print is not the hand, but it is a close copy.)

2. Imitate His Knowledge: 1 Cor. 2:15-16, Col. 3:10 (God asks you to pattern your thinking after Christ's. Of course this does not mean you must attain the same level of knowledge as Christ, but you must imitate his mind set, his values, standards, priorities, motives, etc.)

    A. Perspective: Rom. 8:6-8 (The carnal mind set can not consistently submit to God's law. Before you can successfully control sin, you must have a spiritual mind. This means you must learn to value things as Christ values them. Illustrate with how the sinful mind sees [values] a beautiful woman verses how Christ sees [values] her.)

    B. Standards: Eph. 4:17-24 (This passage talks about the standards Christ expects us to live by. You must not live in immorality. Christ has not taught you to do this. Instead you must learn the standards Christ upheld.)

    C. Priorities: Jn. 6:38, 2 Cor. 8:9, Phil. 2:5-8 (Christ did not come from heaven for his own will, but for his Father's. He became poor for our sakes. Jesus shows a consistent pattern of putting a greater priority on the cause of God and the needs of others. You must arm yourself with this same attitude.)

    D. Motives: 1 Cor. 13:1-3 (It is not enough to do good deeds. What you do must be motivated by love.) Mt. 6:1 (Christ not only looks at your deeds but the reason you do them. To imitate the mind of Christ you must learn to imitate his motives.)

3. Imitate His Behavior: Mt. 16:24 (You must learn and practice self denial as exampled by Jesus. Bearing your cross does not mean tolerating inconveniences in life. It means crucifying, killing the sinful desires of the flesh.)

    A. Kill Sinful Desires: Rom. 8:13, Gal. 5:24, 1 Cor. 9:24-27 (The Bible teaches you to mortify, kill the deeds of the flesh, crucify it's passions and desires. You must constantly struggle to suppress the desires of your flesh and bring your life into submission to Christ's will. Paul compares being a disciple with athletic competition. You must exercise great self-discipline and try as though only one can win the prize.)

    B. Live The Holy Life: 1 Thes. 4:7 (God has called you to live a holy life. Holy means set apart. Does your lifestyle reflect a life that is set apart, different from worldly people around you?)

4. Imitate His Love: Jn. 15:13 (Jesus left an example of perfect love.) Mt. 22:37-40 (Jesus categorized love into two areas; an all consuming love for God, and loving your fellow man.)

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  • A. Loving God: 1 Jn. 5:1-3 (Your love for God must be expressed in obedience to his law.)

    B. Loving Christians: Jn. 13:34-35 (Proper love among Christians identifies us to the world as God's children.)

    C. Loving Your Enemies: Mt. 5:43-48 (You must imitate God in loving your enemies.)

    D. Actual Love: 1 Jn. 3:18 (God's idea of love involves action, not just feeling. It is hard to force yourself to have a positive feeling toward others, especially your enemies. But you can change your attitude toward others and the way you treat others.) 1 Cor. 13:4-8 (Real love is reflected in how you treat someone, not how you feel toward them.)

The Challenge Of Continuing In His Word

 

1. The Desperate Need For Personal Study: Hos. 4:6 (God's people were destroyed for lack of knowledge. The same principle is true today.) 1 Cor. 3:1-2, 1 Pet. 2:2 (The word of God is spiritual food. A new Christian feeding on God's word is like a baby feeding on milk. How often do you spiritually starve yourself?)

    A.Search: Acts 17:11 (The Bereans were commended for regularly searching the scriptures to test the message of the apostles.)

    B.Constant Use: Heb. 5:12-14 (The more you learn, the faster you can learn. Your spiritual senses will become sharper the more you consistently exercise them.)

    C.Teaching At Home: Eph. 6:4, Deut. 6:6-9 (It is critical that you study and teach God's word in your home and to your children.)

    D.Learning In The Assembly: 1 Cor. 14:31, Deut. 31:11-13 (God intends for you to learn more of his word at the assembly of the church. Even children can learn at the assembly of the church. This is a valuable compliment to regular Bible study.)

2. What To Study For: 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (Paul outlines four types of things you can learn from God's word. You should search for each of these as you study.)

    A .Doctrine: Neh. 8:8 (This word means instruction, learning, that which is taught, precepts. It has to do with informing of the basics of right and wrong. You should study God's word to learn the basics of what is right and wrong, understanding the basics of what God is saying.)

    B. Reproof: 2 Tim. 4:2 (This word means proof, conviction, convicting one of his sinfulness. It differs from doctrine in that doctrine defines what is wrong and reproof demonstrate to the hearer wherein they have done this wrong. You should study God's word to find conviction of what your problems are.)

    C. Correction: Eph. 4:28 (This word means a straightening up again, rectification, restoration to an upright state, improvement. This picks up where the previous two leave off. Whereas doctrine identifies the sin, reproof proves to us our guilt of that sin, correction shows how to overcome the sin. You should search God's word to find information on how to overcome your problems such as the above passage on how to overcome stealing.)

    D. Instruction In Righteousness: Heb. 12:5 (This word means tutorage, education or training, discipline, instruction which aims at the increase of virtue. This differs from doctrine, reproof and correction in that it includes all of these kinds of teaching as they specifically relate to righteousness. You should search God's word for training from God in how to live your daily life.)

3. Steps To Follow: Prov. 2:1-5 (This passage outlines three specific steps to follow in order to gain spiritual understanding.)

    A. Hide His Commands: Ps. 119:9-11 (Hiding his commandments means memorizing principles in God's word. This will help you resist sin.)

    B. Apply Your Heart: 2 Tim. 2:15 (The word "study" means be diligent. You should be diligent and apply yourself to studying God's word.)

    C. Cry For Help: Jas. 1:5 (You should pray to God for the wisdom to understand his word.)

    D. Guaranteed Success: Ps. 1:1-3, 1 Tim. 4:15 (You will be blessed if you pursue God's word. Meditating on God's word brings the promise of spiritual profit.)

4. What The Word Will Do For You: Ps. 119:130 (God's word brings light, specific blessings to your life.)

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  • A. Change Your Mind: Rom. 8:5-8 (God's word can help you change your perspective from carnal to spiritual which will help you resist sin.)

    B. Resist Sin: Mt. 4:1-11 (Jesus used the word as a defense against sin.) Ps. 119:9-11 (God's word will help you keep your heart and life clean.)

    C. Changed To Be Like Christ: Jas. 1:21-25, 2 Cor. 3:18 (Studying God's word is compared to looking at your face in a mirror. When you study God's word, be obedient and you will be blessed. When you look in this mirror, you also see the glorious life of Christ. The more you are obedient to God's word the more his word will change you to be made more like the glorious image of Christ portrayed in the scriptures.)

The Challenge Of Bearing Fruit

 

1. The Principle Stated: Jn. 15:1-8 (Jesus taught the necessity of bearing fruit. Without bearing much fruit, you cannot be his disciple.)

2. Two Kinds Of Fruit: 2 Cor. 9:10 (You can bear fruit by doing good deeds and by leading souls to Christ. Inside each fruit [good work] is a seed that brings more fruit and multiplies the spreading of God's word.)

    A. The Deed Done: 2 Cor. 9:6-8 (Their good work was generous giving to those in need. These good works planted seed that would result in some coming to Christ.)

    B. The Result: 2 Cor. 9:12-13 (The result of these deeds was that people glorified God [obeyed] because of the benevolent work being done.)

    C. Glorifying God: Mt. 5:13-16 (Again, your good works can cause others to glorify God. To glorify God means to submit to his will.)

3. Good Works: Col. 1:10 (God considers living a life of good works the same as bearing fruit.)

    A. Fruits Of The Spirit: Gal. 5:22-23 (These godly characteristics are considered fruit in God's eyes. These are the kinds of fruits that will help you be a part of leading others to Christ.)

    B. Christian Graces: 2 Pet. 1:5-8 (By adding these attributes to your life and abounding in them, you have the assurance that you will not be unfruitful.)

4. Saving Souls: Mt. 28:19-20 (Jesus commissioned his disciples to teach all nations and to instruct those who obey the gospel to keep his commands.)

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  • A. Called Fruit: Rom. 16:5 (A saved soul is referred to as the first fruit to Christ in the region of Achaia.)

    B. Erring Christians Also: Jas. 5:19-20 (If a disciple errs from the right way, we are encouraged to seek to restore them. This is a kind of fruit you can bear for God.)

    C. Doesn't Have To Remain: 1 Cor. 3:9-15 (This passage talks about our works [converts] being tried by fire. Even if your work [converts] does not stand the test of time, you still have your reward.)

    D. Expect Rejection: Ezek. 3:4-9 (God warned Ezekiel that some were stubborn people who would likely not listen. He said a great deal to prepare Ezekiel to be rejected.) Ezek. 3:17-21 (As long as Ezekiel did his job of warning others, God was pleased with him. The same is true with you. Your effort to lead others to Christ fulfills your part in bearing this kind of fruit. Whether or not others respond and remain faithful is their concern.)

    E. Teach: Acts 20:20 (Paul effectively taught publicly and from house to house. You may not be able to teach publicly but perhaps you can teach house to house. If you are not able to teach at all, your good life will help influence people so they will be willing to listen to other capable teachers.)

    F. Set Up Someone Else: Jn. 1:40-42 (Not much is said about Andrew as far as him converting thousands of people. However, he introduced his brother, Peter, to Jesus who taught Peter. In this way, through Peter's work, Andrew touched many lives.)