NEW CONVERTS CLASS LESSON #2
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A CHILD OF GOD
Now that you are saved and have this assurance from the Word of God, God wants you to continue on in your Christian life. Remember that Ephesians 2:8, 9 tells you that you were saved "by grace through faith" and not by good works you have done or ever will do. After a person is saved, he becomes a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) and all things become new. You now have a desire to do what is right and the spiritual ability do live a godly life because you have God's Spirit or new nature. When we obey and allow the Holy Spirit to direct us we are being obedient to God's Word. Ephesians 5:18 tells the Christian "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." Being filled with the Spirit means to allow Him to direct and be the guiding influence in our lives. As a new Christian, you will want to do things that please the Lord. Let's look at several of the first things we need to do as a new Christian. We have responsibilities to the Lord.
PUBLIC PROFESSION OF YOUR FAITH
Let other people know that you have been saved. Let your friends know what has happened to you. We should not be ashamed of Christ (Romans l). One of the best ways to do what the Bible says found in Romans l, is to go forward in a church service at the public invitation. Tell the pastor you are coming, making a public profession of faith because you have trusted Christ. He then tells the people in the church of your decision to receive Jesus Christ. This is being obedient to what the Bible instructs us to do. It will also strengthen you in the Lord because as you obey and do what the Bible instructs you grow and mature as a Christian. It is like a child who begins to attend school in the first grade. The teacher instructs the child in learning the alphabet. If the child obeys and learns them, then soon he is beginning to read. Maturing in Christ is similar. God's word is our textbook to teach us how we should live. It tells us how to live the best life we possibly can. As we obey the commandments of the Lord, we learn them and then go on to learn other lessons. As a new Christian, you should seek to obey the Bible, which is God's instruction book on life. The more obedient you are the faster you will mature in Christ.
BAPTISM AND CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Jesus gave the disciples some instructions just before He ascended back to heaven as recorded in Matthew 28:16-20, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." The word "teach" in verse 19 means to disciple or win the lost to Christ. After a person is saved, the second thing he is instructed to do is be baptized (verse 19). Since the beginning of the first church, believers have given evidence of their faith in Christ by being baptized in water. We mean a person is to be immersed under the water as a picture or symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
In the Bible, baptism always comes after a person has been saved. Baptism does not save you or keep you saved. It is an act of obedience to Christ and pictures what has already taken place in your heart. It describes our union with Christ as seen in Romans 6:3-5. Every Christian should be baptized soon after receiving Christ as Savior. Have you been obedient to Christ and been baptized?
Baptism is done only by the local church. In Acts 2:41, we find that when a person was saved, he was baptized and joined the local church. This baptism identifies you with the local church. The church is God's place for Christians to be taught the Bible, to have fellowship with other Christians, and a place to pray and worship the Lord. Nothing can replace the church, not even Sunday morning T.V. or radio preaching. You need to be in church! You should immediately be baptized and join the local church after being saved. This is one of your first opportunities to obey the Lord and please Him. Don't miss it!!! Ask the pastor to explain to you exactly what you need to do in order to be baptized and join the church. Have you talked to the pastor about joining the church? Do it today!
Hebrews 10:25 tells us to be faithful in our church attendance. This means you should attend church every service. It is understandable that if a person in working or sick they can not attend. However, unless you are providentially hindered you should attend church. Today, many church members ignore the Sunday night service and Bible Study. They feel content to attend only on Sunday Morning. Some ignore the Sunday School hour. Each service and meeting the church has is designed to help and aid the Christian in living abundant lives in Christ. Most pastors during the Sunday night service preach messages dealing with deeper spiritual truths than on Sunday morning. In the Sunday morning service there will be more visitors, and generally lost people in the church. The messages are more evangelistic and the subject is generally on salvation. The Evening Service is attended by the faithful members of the church and the messages preached at helping them to grow in the Lord. Church members who only attend the Morning services miss a great opportunity to receive the deeper spiritual truths of the Bible. You see, faithful attendance will be a key to your Christian life and growth. You ought to be in church for Sunday School, the 11:00 AM Service, Sunday night, and Monday night. Support the special services also with your attendance, such as church fellowships. The last part of the Lord's instructions to the Disciples in Matt. 28 tells us to teach new converts the Word of God. This is done through the ministry of the local church in each of its meetings. Your pastor is faithful in being on duty, prepared to teach and preach God's Word to help you grow in Christ. Your privilege is to attend and avail yourself of the opportunity. There is an article title "What's So Important About Attending Church?" at http://bible-truth.org/whyatten.htm that you will find helpful in understanding the need to attend your local church.
One note on preaching and teaching. Most pastors really pray and seek God's guidance on what to preach. They study really hard and spend a great deal of time preparing their lessons and messages. It is estimated that most good pastors spend from four to six hours on each message. Being lead of the Lord that come and deliver God's message to the church. However, if church members are not there they do not hear what God has to say to them as a local church.
Most denominations today are losing members. Many believe that one important reason for this is that most of these churches have done away with Sunday night services and also Bible study and prayer meetings. The churches that are growing and winning people to Christ are the ones whose members are being faithful in attending all the services.
When you choose not to attend Sunday School, Sunday evening, Bible Study and prayer meeting you, in fact, are voting to discontinue them. You also are telling your neighbors and others in the church you do not think that these services are important. You miss the opportunity to show your love and dedication to the Lord, by faithful supporting the total ministry of the church. To be sure, it takes time, effort and expense to attend all the services of the church. However, the benefit received will outweigh any sacrifice on our part. One verse of Scripture that instructs how dedicated to Lord we should be is found in Romans 12:1-2.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1-2).
THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Lord's Supper and baptism are the two ordinances of the church. The Lord's supper is also only for the saved person. I Corinthians 11:23-26 tells us what it represents. The bread represents Christ's body and the grape juice represents His blood which was shed for us. This is a reminder of what Christ has done for us until He comes back. This is a serious time and should never be taken lightly.
GIVING TO THE LORD
l. Giving Yourself
Paul says in Romans 12:1, we should, ". . . present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." The Lord wants YOU more than anything else you might give to Him. Surrender yourself totally to Him and determine to follow Him and be obedient to Him. Let Him have control of your life.
2. Giving Your Praise and Thanksgiving.
Hebrews 13:15 tells us to offer to God our praise for all that He has done for us. We praise Him with our lips through prayer and telling others about what Christ has done for us.
3. Giving of our Money & Possessions.
2 Corinthians 9:7, tells us that God loves a cheerful giver. God told His people in the Old Testament to bring their tithes into God's storehouse. A tithe is 10% of what you earn or receive. God promised to bless those who titled in the Old Testament (Malachi 3). In the New Testament, his faithful consistent giving in cheerfulness is confirmed. 1 Corinthians 16:2 tells us to give every Sunday (first day of the week), to the local church (God's storehouse), as God has prospered. Stop right here and read 2 Corinthians 9:6-8. Believe what God says about His blessing for you and then obey Him every Sunday. This also is another way of expressing to the Lord your love and thanks.
God wants you to grow spiritually and become a mature Christian. Many Christians have a real struggle with making the commitment to tithe and give offerings to the Lord. Christians who have been obedient understand the value of regular giving of the tithe and offerings to the Lord. Note that as you read 2 Cor. 9:7, it says, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." You should make it a matter of prayer as to how much you are to give the Lord. Surely, it should be at least ten percent, as was required in the Old Testament. But you may want to give more. Remember what verse 6, says "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." (2 Corinthians 9:6) This is a matter between you and the Lord. A husband and wife should discuss the matter and pray about it together. If a wife has a husband that is lost and has no regular income, she should give from what she receives. The same applies to children who are saved. It is a good idea for the parent to instruct the child in Scriptural giving from their allowance or money they earn from chores. Remember, this is a matter between you and the Lord. It is a matter of exercising faith in the Lord to supply your needs. God has promised to meet your needs and to bless you materially when you faithfully give. Read Philippians 4:10-19.
David understood this principle and wrote, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." (Psalms 37:25)
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:38)
The money you give to the church pays the utility bills, buys literature, maintains the building, supports our missionaries and pays for the ministry of the church including the pastor's financial support. When some of the members of the church to not tithe and regular give these material expenses of the church are neglected. A church will not have to pinch pennies, neglect missions, scrimp on purchasing literature or not properly support their pastor if all the members will tithe. God will supply the need but only through those who faithfully give and let themselves be used as a channel to carry out God's work in the local church.
Write out Romans 12:1-2 and mark it in your Bible.
Memorize this verse for next week.
l. What does Romans 10:11 tell us to do? __________________________________
2. Does baptism and church membership save you?____________________________
3. Does God want you to be baptized after you have been saved? __________.
Have you been baptized? _______________________
4. What Bible verse in Hebrews tells us to attend church and not forsake
the assembling of ourselves? _____________________________________
5. In the Lord's supper, what does the bread represent? ___________________
____________________. The juice? ___________________
6. What are 3 things a Christian should give to the Lord? _________________
7. Read Luke 6:38, again. What do you think that the phrase, "For with the same measure that you mete withal, it will be measured to you again", means?
Note the underlined word.
8. In the Scripture you read in Phil. 4:10-19, why do you think Paul told them that, "God would supply all their needs"?