NEW CONVERTS CLASS LESSON #1
BEGINNING YOUR NEW LIFE
This series consists of eight lessons designed to biblically guide the new believer to living the life that would be pleasing to the Lord. These lessons will show that God has given the new Christian specific instructions as to how to live the very best life possible. As a new believer why not make a commitment to the Lord right now to complete each of these lessons thereby making yourself a student of God's word and a child of God commited to living for Christ.
Your Salvation Experience
Welcome to the Christian life! You are now a member of God's family because by faith you received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. This has brought you into a wonderful and fulfilling relationship with God who Created you. Receiving Christ as your Savior begins an eternal relationship with God. It is much more than just going to heaven when you die. Salvation is a gateway that begins your new life. Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
You must understand that you have been saved FROM sin.
Everyone in the family of God is a sinner saved by God's grace. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."(Ephesians 2:8-9)
I know that you want to live for the Lord and become the best Christian that you possibly can. This is why you are reading this lesson and attending the New Converts Class. May this always be your desire.
There are many truths in the Bible that will greatly help you to live the life the Lord wants you too, which is the best you could possibly have.
“BEING "BORN AGAIN"
A person who receives Christ as their Savior and receives eternal life begins as a new born baby in the Lord. Jesus told Nicodemus that to see the kingdom of God one must be "born again". (See John 3:1-19) This is called the "new birth", and means a person has become a new member of the family of God. You have much to learn about the Lord and now because you have received the new birth and been indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God you can learn about spiritual things of the Lord.
BEING INDWELL BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
What does it mean that you are "indwelled" by the Holy Spirit of God?
Jesus in Acts 1:5, told his disciples that within a short time they would receive the "baptism of the Holy Spirit". He said, "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." (Acts 1:5) Jesus told them this just before he returned to Heaven. In Acts 1:4, He said that they were to wait until they had received the Holy Spirit. In Old Testament times, those who believed in God did not permanently receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Now however, the Lord was going to do something new. All believers would receive the Holy Spirit, who would be with them forever. In Acts 2:1f, is the account of the disciples receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. All Christians since that day have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus earlier had promised the disciples that He would send them the Holy Spirit to guide them in their lives.
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26)
Jesus also said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (John 16:13-14) The Holy Spirit is God, living within us. He, the Holy Spirit is God and is identified as the third member of the God Head, made up of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
THE CHURCH IS BEGUN
In Acts 2:, when the Holy Spirit came, the Lord Jesus began the church. Everyone who has been saved since the Day of Pentecost, in Acts 2, became a member of the "Body of Christ". The Body of Christ of Christ is made up of all persons saved since Acts 2, until the Lord returns to take us to Heaven. The Bible uses the word "body" in the same sense as we do in referring to our human bodies. Our body is made up of all our body parts. So all our body parts is referred to as one body.
The local church is made up of a group of Christians, who are in fact a part of the whole body of Christ. Some refer to this as the "Universal Church", because all Christians are in it. The local church however, which the Bible speaks the most about, is made up of a group of believers joined together in a small geographic location to serve the Lord. That is what our church is.
NOW YOU ARE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE AND SPIRITUAL THINGS OF GOD
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit begins when a person believes in the Lord Jesus and is saved.
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)
Paul further says, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19)
THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE
Because the Holy Spirit lives within us, He gives us the "new nature", which is the nature of God. We are now able to understand spiritual things because the Holy Spirit working in us helps us to do so.
THE OLD NATURE
Before a person is saved they do not have the nature of God. They only have what the Bible refers to as the "old" or "carnal" nature. That is why we sin. Our carnal nature is the nature of rebellion and rejection of God which is sin. It came when Adam and Eve yielded to Satan's temptation and sinned.
Because a person who has not received Christ only has the old carnal nature he can not please God. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:7-8) Note what else Paul said, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12)
Sin is the reason things in the world are not as they should be. God intended that mankind would live a peaceful, satisfying and abundant life. However, because of the present of sin, man has not done what God intended and sin has cause all the grief and sorrow we see today.
Sin which is basically rebelling against God by not living as we should. Our loving Creator God wants the best for us. God's commandments are given to us so we would know what is best for us. It is the same thing that a loving parent does for their child. The parent instructs the child not to do certain things that are harmful and would hurt them. If the child rebels and does them they will be hurt. Sin, then is the destructive things which causes us harm.
One of the problems with sin is that it can give pleasure for a time. It is like the child who loves to play in the street. It is fun and because it is fun a child may each time it is allowed outdoors may go straight there. But although it is fun to be there it is a deadly place to be. Many of the vices we are so familiar with such as smoking, drinking, dancing and gambling (to name only a few) do give pleasure. However, the pleasure distracts us from the fact of their deadly effects.
As a child of God the Bible says to put away the destructive things out of your life. Paul told the Colossians to "mortify", meaning "put to death", sin within our lives. (See Colossians 3:5-17) To the Romans he said, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:12-14)
THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK IN OUR LIVES
Because the believer is indwelled by the Spirit of God, we have the nature or desire to do as God wants which is best of us. We now have the ability to live as we should and as God intended. We can overcome sin and the temptation that comes from our old carnal nature. Because God lives within us we can conquer sin in our lives.
God's promise to the believer is that:
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
It should gives us great encouragement to know we can overcome sin in our lives. It is a life long process as opportunity to sin is always present. But be sure that as time goes by, you will by God help overcome sins in your live. Each sin overcome, each temptation refused is but another step toward overcome it. It time as you mature by living for the Lord, these sins that may give you so much trouble now will brother you very little.
We should then look at each temptation that comes our way as but an opportunity to advance one more step toward a happier more fulfilling life. As we overcome each temptation as it comes we grow stronger and are better able to conquer it the next time it comes to mind.
HAVING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF SALVATION
Having the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us understand the Truths of the Bible even helps us to better understand how we were saved. Few Christians begin there life in Christ knowing all the Bible teaches about Salvation. A person at first knows in their heart they are sinners and in faith they reach out to the Lord, trusting in His promise to save them.
As time goes on you will learn more about God, the Lord Jesus and salvation. The Bible says, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isaiah 28:9-10)
These verses tell us that the principles (truths) of God are learned in time through study. We learn one principle and that helps us to learn another one. All the truths of Scripture are tied together and the more we read and learn the better we will be able to understand each truth.
Having the Holy Spirit living within us gives the Christian a great deal of comfort. God is always with us and no matter what comes our way we know God, working through the Holy Spirit will guide us through it. (Read Romans 8:28)
A REVIEW OF THE THINGS WE KNOW ABOUT SALVATION
1. A person must realize he is a sinner.
Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Before a person is saved, he must first realize he is a sinner and needs to be saved. We are born into sin and must be "born again".
2. A person must realize without salvation he will go to hell.
Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." This death is not only physical death, but spiritual as well. The Bible says, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:14.) Had you died before trusting the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you would have experienced the second death, which is eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire. But praise the Lord, you will now never have to worry about Hell again, because God has saved you and given you eternal life. God promises, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:15)"
3. A person must believe that Jesus died for them and rose again.
Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Do not forget that we as sinners were condemned, but Jesus was not! He is the Son of God who never sinned or could sin because He is God. He, God, came to this earth took our sins on Himself because we as sinners could not save ourselves. He died in our place and took our punishment. (See Isaiah 53, I Peter 2:24). He arose on the third day after letting death taken Him, because He was God. (See I Corinthians 15:3-4, Romans 5:18)
4. A person must confess Christ as Lord & Savior and receive Him into their hearts.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
This decision to be saved was not to join the church, be baptized or even change your way of living. It was asking Jesus Christ, by faith, to come into your heart and be your Lord and Saviour that saved you. Baptism and church membership follow receiving Christ as your Savior, and had no part in God forgiving you and giving you eternal life.
YOUR ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
Now that you are saved, God wants you to have the assurance that your sins have all been forgiven. You are not saved when you get to heaven, but you are saved right now and for all eternity to come. John 3:36 says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life...." Hath, means right now and everlasting means forever and forever.
Jesus died for all your sins, even the ones you have not yet committed. Yet, some Christians who lack in spiritual growth, do not have this blessed assurance. John 10:28 says, that as soon as you received Christ into your hearts you were given eternal life and shall never perish. 1 John 5:13 says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." As Titus 1:2 says, we can know we are saved because God said it and He cannot lie.
Do not base your salvation on how you feel. Feelings can change from day to day, but God`s word never changes (Matthew 24:35). A good feeling may be good, but it is not necessary to be saved. Did you know the Bible never says you must have a feeling when you get saved! You are saved because you have done what the Bible says and God has declared you as one of His children.
There are some things which might cause you to doubt and not have the assurance God wants you to have.
1. Always thinking about your past life can cause doubt.
God has forgiven all your sins and has forgotten them. He also wants you to forget them. Forget the past! It is all under the atoning blood of Christ (Isa. l:18: Psalm 103:12).
2. Wondering if God really received you causes doubts.
When you come to the Lord with a desire to be saved and asked Him to save you, you can be sure He did, because God, who cannot lie, has promised to. Just take Him at His word. John 6|37 says, "....him that cometh, to me I will in no wise cast out."
3. Basing your salvation upon feelings or emotions causes doubts.
Don't' forget - feelings change - but the Bible which is God's eternal word never does. Read:
Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 5:l -- FAITH - Assures - NOT feelings.
4. Trust God: Live as He commands - you will have assurance.
a. 1 John 2:3. Do you really want to obey.
b. Rom. 7:15-25. A War is going on.
INSTRUCTIONS: This sheet is a review of the Biblical Truths found in this lesson. After each lesson try as best as you can to answer the questions. Look back in the lesson for the answers. If you do not understand a question or its answer, put down the best answer you can and ask about it during class. This is only here to help you.
I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior on _________________ (date, at __________________________(location). Person/s who helped lead me to Christ were ______________________________________________________(names).
Write out Ephesians 2:8-9
Now memorize it for the next class.
1. Romans 3:23 tells me that all people are __________________________.
2. Romans 10:9 tells me I must confess _______________________________.
3. I know I am saved because ____________________________________.
4. John 10:28 tells me God has given to me _________________________________.
5. Name one thing that might cause you to doubt. __________________________________________________________________________
6. Can you overcome all sin in your life?__________ What verse teaches this? ___________________________.
7. When did the church begin?_______________________.(verse, day or place)
8. What is the Holy Spirit living within us called?____________________.
9. Can lost people live for the Lord?______________ Why?______________________________________________________.
10. Write down a good verse that teaches assurance of salvation?____________________________.