Mt. Prospect Baptist Church New Member Orientation
Lesson One:So You’re a Christian! Now What?The Character of Genuine Saving FaithUnderstanding My Identity in ChristThe Security of the Believer
So You’re a Christian! Now What? Congratulations! You've made a decision and made the commitment. You've accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord and you have been scripturally baptized. So, you're a Christian! Now what? Someone once said, "Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional." Scripture disagrees: Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:2-3).
So You’re a Christian! Now What? Christianity is all about growth. Just as physical newborns must grow and develop, spiritual newborns must develop skills for functioning and growing in the Body of Christ. Too often, though, when someone accepts Christ as an adult, they receive little if any assistance to assure that spiritual growth. As a result, they can wander for years in a maze of confusion, never understanding why they're so unsatisfied.
So You’re a Christian! Now What? Many fail to understand the meaning of being “born again,” this mystery occurs the moment one receives salvation from sin and its consequences. Since Jesus compared spiritual birth to natural birth, it’s good to consider what being born again does and does not include.
The Character of Genuine Saving Faith It is faith that is at the heart of our Christianity. Now, give yourself this little test that will help you examine your faith. Many churches are filled with people who have a kind of faith that doesn't save them. James called it a "Dead Faith." 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith." You want to be sure your faith is real. Now, as you look at yourself and you're asking, "Am I really a Christian? Have I really appropriated this gift that God gives? Have I believed genuinely?" What do you look for in your life to discern whether your faith is real? What are the marks?
The Character of Genuine Saving Faith First of all, here are some things that neither prove nor disprove saving faith. OK? Here is a list of things that don't prove anything. You could be a Christian; you could not be a Christian, and still have these things. They don't prove or disprove saving faith, but you need to know what they are so you're not deceived.
I. Evidences That Neither Prove Nor Disprove One's Faith • Visible Morality: Matthew 19:16-21; 23:27 • Intellectual Knowledge: Romans 1:21; 2:17 • Religious Involvement: Matthew 25:1-10 • Active Ministry: Matthew 7:21-24 • Conviction of Sin: Acts 24:25 • Self-Assurance: Matthew 23 • Time of Decision: Luke 8:13, 14
II. The Fruit/Proofs of Authentic/True Christianity • Love for God: Psalm 42:1; 73:25; Luke 10:27; Romans 8:7 • Repentance from Sin: Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; Romans 7:14; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 John 1:8-10 • Genuine Humility: Psalm 51:17; Matthew 5:1-12; James 4:6, 9 • Devotion to God's Glory: Psalm 105:3; 115:1; Isaiah 43:7, 48:10; Jeremiah 9:23, 24; 1 Corinthians 10:31 • Continual Prayer: Luke 18:1; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; James 5:16-18
II. The Fruit/Proofs of Authentic/True Christianity • Selfless Love: 1 John 2:9, 3:14; 4:7 • Separation from the World: 1 Corinthians 2:12; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17, 5:5 • Spiritual Growth: Luke 8:15; John 15:1-6; Ephesians 4:12-16 • Obedient Living: Matthew 7:21; John 15:14; Romans 16:26; 1 Peter 1:2, 22; 1 John 2:3-5 If list I is true of a person and list II is false, there is cause to question the validity of one's profession of faith. Yet if list II is true, then the top list will be also.
III. The Conduct of the Gospel • Proclaim it: Matthew 4:23 • Defend it: Jude 3 • Demonstrate it: Philippians 1:27 • Share it: Philippians 1:5 • Suffer for it: 2 Timothy 1:8
III. The Conduct of the Gospel • Don't hinder it: 1 Corinthians 9:16 • Be not ashamed: Romans 1:16 • Preach it: 1 Corinthians 9:16 • Be empowered: 1 Thessalonians 1:5 • Guard it: Galatians 1:6-8
What Does It Mean to bea Christian? Most people live their entire lives without ever knowing "WHY." They exist year after year with no idea of why they live or God's purpose for their lives. The most basic question a person can ask is, "What is the meaning of my life?“
What Does It Mean to bea Christian? Everyone wants to be happy. People try in many ways: • Some look for happiness by acquiring possessions. • Some look for happiness by experiencing pleasure. • Some look for happiness by gaining prestige and power. • But real happiness comes from understanding my • _________________. Purpose in Life
Understanding My Identity in Christ My identity in Christ, is about your identity, who you are before God and others. It is about how who you are in Christ affects every part of your life -- from how you think and feel to the choices you make each day.
PARENTPRINTS FINGERPRINTS GODPRINTS LIFEPRINTS Who Am I? Who I am is determined by four things: …….….... .. ……..…....
The most important question you will ever answer is Jesus’ question to you, “Who do you say that I am?”
Becoming like Jesus means knowing Jesus Jesus said, “I am” Who you are “in Christ” is your true identity.John 14:20
Your response to God’s call on your life is the single most transforming event in your life-- all else flows from it.
What kind of people does God call? A. Exceptional people who easily grasp it all B. Ordinary people like me C. People who are clueless until they are called D. Simple, quiet people whom Jesus transforms into a mighty people.
Disciples are ordinary people who trust Jesus is the Son of God and follow Him. Matt. 4:19
”Calling is the truth that God calls us to Himself so decisively that everything we are… do…have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to His summons and service.” -Os Guinness
1 Your first birth fills your life with a natural code that corrupts your possibilities to experience the powerful presence of God in your life.
A new life, a new creation, and new “containers.” 2 The second birth provides a “spiritual DNA” that places in your life God’s Spirit that empowers you to a new life in Christ
My status before God is based on: ______________________ I am made right _________________I am delivered from the dominion of darkness DELIVERANCE JUSTIFICATION _________________I am rescued __________________I am made holy REDEMPTION SANCTIFICATION
5. A servant of God 2. Made an heir 4. A citizen of heaven 3. Receive the Holy Spirit My standing with God 1. Adopted by God
My Way of Life “…a disciple, or apprentice, is someone who has decided to be with another person, under appropriate conditions, in order to become capable of doing what that person does or to become what that person is.” --Dallas Willard
Who you are will determine what you do The goal of the Christian life is to live up to what you have already attained in faith through your relationship with Christ.
The Security of the Believer Satan can never steal your salvation from you. But he can rob you of the assurance of your salvation. Satan loves to sow the seeds of doubt in the hearts and minds of God’s people. If he can cause them to doubt their salvation he’ll cause them to become easily discouraged, and a discouraged Christian is useless to the Lord’s work. What is “Assurance of Salvation?” It means that you _______ with absolute certainty that you have been born by the Spirit of God. know
1 John 5:11-1311And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. 13These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. The Security of the Believer The Bible is the basis of our assurance. Read 1 John 5:11-13. vs.11 God has given us ______________. vs.12 Those who have the Son have _______ . vs.13 This truth is given so you may _______ you have eternal life. eternal life life know
Ephesians 2:8-98 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is (the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Read Ephesians 2:8-10. GRACE: _____________ SAVED: _____________ FAITH: ______________ unmerited favor rescued belief, trust
What is the difference between Religion and Christianity? Religion: _________ Christianity: _________ Christianity is a ___________ not a __________. doing done relationship religion
“I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” John 10:28-29
New Relationship Read the following passages and see what happened to you the moment you trusted in Christ as your Lord and Savior. Rom. 5:1___________ 1 Cor. 2:16 ___________ 1 Cor. 6:19-20_______________ 2 Cor. 5:17___________ 2 Cor. 5:21___________ Gal. 2:20_______________ Eph. 1:7 ______________ Justified Mind of Christ Temple of Holy Spirit New Creation Made Righteous Crucified with Christ Redeemed, Forgiven
Summary • Why is having the assurance of our salvation so vital? • Identify and explain the components of Saving Faith. • Explain what it means to be a Christian. • What determines my identity in Christ? Explain each one.
Summary • What kind of people does God call /use? • What happened to you the moment you trusted in Christ as your Lord and Savior? • Explain your status before God (Justification, Sanctification, etc.) • Explain your standing with God. • Explain the Security of the Believer.