Beginning the Christian Life


"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.

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."

Introduction by W.J.E. Baxter - paraphrased - original author of the core material presented in this section.

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 judgment. 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.

Combining the accounts of Matthew and Luke

Matthew 7:24-29 Luke 6:47-49
24 So then, everyone who
  comes to me and listens to me and does what I say. I will show you what they are like. 48 They
are like a wise man,
  who builds a house. He digs down deep and sets it on solid rock.
25 The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house.
  When a flood comes, the river rushes against the house. But the water can't shake it. The house is well built.
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
  on soft ground instead of solid rock.
27 The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house.
  The moment the river rushes against that house, it falls down. It is completely destroyed.
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.


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