A couple of months ago I wrote material for a four week new member’s class that I started in our church. The first three weeks, I focused the material on identifying with Christ for salvation, service, and stewardship. The final week I focused on being Kingdom focused in a Southern Baptist Church. Over the next week or so I will post my material. You are free to use it, but please email me stories about how the material was used and the results. I hope this material strengthens your own New Member’s Class.
New Members Class, Part 1 – “Living In Christ”
Congratulations! You are in this class because at some point in your life you answered the call of Jesus Christ by committing your life to follow Him. You are also here because you have joined or you’re seeking to join this church. The goal of this 4 week class is to help you experience the living Christ. In order for you to grow in relationship to God and this church, you need to understand and apply what the Bible teaches about being a Christian, a church member, a tither, and a Southern Baptist.
What is a Christian?
1. Read John 1:1 and John 14:6. Who is Jesus Christ?
2. According to Romans 10:9-10, how does someone become a Christian? Does this describe what you have done?
3. Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 and write down the most important truth in the Christian life.
4. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and describe what impact Jesus has made on you?
In Christ, what’s new with you?
Trusting in the Lordship of Jesus Christ and trusting in His death and resurrection from the dead is more than the assurance that you will go to heaven when you die. It is about Christ changing your life now.
At the moment you committed your life to Christ three key things changed about you.
First, you have changed because in Christ you have a new identity. By trusting in Christ, you have identified His death as your own. You have identified His resurrection as your own. Your life is based on who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for you.
1. Read Galatians 2:20 and describe how Paul saw his new identity?
Second, since your life is now identified with the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you experience something brand new, complete forgiveness from sin. You have a new freedom, not to self, but to God (2 Cor. 5:21). His forgiveness through Christ has given you freedom.
1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, describe what effect Christ’s death and resurrection has had on your sin?
2. Is there a sin that has had control over you? What has Jesus done to this sin?
The last area of change is exciting. God has entered into a new relationship with you. You are no longer just His creation or just a servant, but you are His adopted child. Through Christ, He accepts you and makes you part of His family. You belong to Him.
1. Read John 1:12 and Romans 8:14-17 and describe the type of relationship you have in Christ?
In Christ, what remains the same?
Now that you have an understanding of how Christ has changed your life, you need to understand what parts of your life are the same. The first area that hasn’t change is your circumstances. Many people want Christ to help them to escape their problems. The truth is when you trust Christ He helps you to face and solve your problems. Christ won’t automatically solve your family, your job, or you’re your financial problems. These problems will only change as you choose to live in Christ.
The second area that hasn’t changed is the area of temptation. The same things that tempted you before you were a believer will tempt you as a believer. The good news is that Jesus was tempted in all ways, but was without sin. God wants you to overcome temptation by trusting Him and allowing Christ to live though you.
The last area that hasn’t changed by inviting Christ into our lives is our thought patterns. We are told that we must renew our minds. We are also told that we must take every thought captive in Jesus Christ. The first conflict a new believer faces is between his new faith in Christ and his old thought patterns.
How Do I Live In Christ?
You will live in the tension between the reality of how Christ has changed you and the frustration of how He hasn’t until you make a commitment to three principles.
-The first commitment is to the principle of faith.
1. Read Romans 4:21-22. How did Abraham show His faith?
2. Read Hebrews 11:1, 6. What is faith and how is it shown?
-The second commitment is to the principle of reading God’s Word.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for training, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
How to study scripture:
1. Circle all the words that impact you in the verse above.
2. Pick one word and right out a definition for that word.
3. Re-think the verse in light of the word.
4. Decide how you can apply this verse to your own life.
– The last commitment is to the principle of prayer.
How to pray:
Prayer is communication with God. God speaks to us through His Word and we respond back to Him in prayer.
1. Take the verse above and make it into a prayer: