Beginning the Christian Life

Over the last few months I have felt strongly that it is time for Christians to enter the Promised Land. More on that to come, however it has become apparent to me that for us to enter the Promised Land we need to be mature - not babes as Hebrews 5 points out:

11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (NIV)

Thus we are going to cover "Beginning the Christian Life"

Introduction

"These studies were first prepared in 1959 in Chicago, Illinois, to meet the needs of new disciples choosing to follow Jesus. Since that time they have been reproduced in several editions, and used extensively by various groups, as a study guide in classes for those who have newly come to faith.

The studies are based entirely on the Bible without attempting to become involved in discussing the views of various doctrinal positions held by diverse Christian bodies. The New Testament seems to present so simply how the Christian life is begun, that it is unnecessary to do much more than expose the new disciple to the Bible, inviting their sincere response. By such response they will establish a foundation upon which to build a subsequent strong and lasting Christian life.

continued ...

We have observed over a period of many years in Christian ministry, that the manner in which young disciples are instructed in the beginnings of their Christian life is often haphazard, and many times neglectful of the Bible passages that refer to such beginnings. We have also observed that where one’s personal beginnings in the Jesus-relationship are marked by lack of wholeness, their ongoing Christian life ls often irregular and uncertain.

Undoubtedly these studies could be done much better than they are. However, they were composed during an extremely busy and demanding ministry which permitted such free time as could be found. It was felt, however, that if we waited for the opportunity to do a better job, nothing at all would be accomplished. We thank God for the measure of blessing the studies have brought to many, and trust that they shall continue to be useful along with the many other ministries that undertake to direct and instruct God's people."

by W.J.E. Baxter

This material is presented in seventeen lessons - based largely upon the template curriculum found in Hebrews 6 v 1 & 2. We have also used the NIV version of the Bible rather than the King James Version as used in the original studies.

1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites (baptism), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.

Thus we have six major topics that we'll cover over the following lessons.

Before we start however, let us consider the need for strong foundations.

The Parable of the Two Houses

Combining the accounts of Matthew and Luke

Matthew 7:24-29

24 So then, everyone who

are like a wise man,

25 The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house.

it does not fall. It is built on the rock. 26 "But everyone who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man. He builds his house

27 The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house.

28 Jesus finished saying all these things. The crowds were amazed at his teaching.29 He taught like one who had authority. He did not speak like their teachers of the law.

Luke 6:47-49

comes to me and listens to me and does what I say. I will show you what they are like. 48 They

who builds a house. He digs down deep and sets it on solid rock.

When a flood comes, the river rushes against the house. But the water can't shake it. The house is well built.

on soft ground instead of solid rock

The moment the river rushes against that house, it falls down. It is completely destroyed.

Read Lesson 1 - "Two Houses"