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Great New Believers Study

Discussion in 'General Hobbies and Interests' started by Rob, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Rob

    Rob Regular Member

    112
    +0
    This is an online study written by a friend. Eric is a member of this board and will be posting under the handle Hasbeens2000. I think it is great for New Christians. Eric has a gift for explaining things in a clear and understandable manner. Below is an outline the first lesson of the study, and a link to the forum at his church where the rest of the lessons will be posted. You can ask Eric questions at the New Believers Forum. God Bless you all.

    Rob

    Here is the complete outline and posting dates for the Clovis Hills New Believers / Basics of Christianity online series.

    PHASE 1: Starting My Relationship With God.
    · Lesson 1a: Who is God? (The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)--Thursday, January 31
    · Lesson 1b: Who am I? (My new identity in Christ)--Thursday, January 31
    · Lesson 2: Is all this really true? (Assurance)--Thursday, February 7
    · Lesson 3: What does this relationship look like? -- Thursday, February 14

    PHASE 2: Developing My Relationship With God
    · Lesson 4: Prayer -- Thursday, February 21
    · Lesson 5: Worship -- Thursday, February 28
    · Lesson 6: The Bible (the 5 finger technique)--Thursday, March 7
    · Lesson 7: Obedience (Baptism, tithing, and the law)--Thursday, March 14
    · Lesson 8: Service (Spiritual gifts and the awesome blessings that come from serving)--Thursday, March 21

    PHASE 3: My Relationships With Others
    · Lesson 9: Forgiveness -- Thursday, March 28
    · Lesson 10: Relationships that will change (family, friends, co-workers)--Thursday, March 28
    · Lesson 11: Becoming a “Contagious Christian” -- Thursday, April 4
    · Lesson 12: My new brothers and sisters in Christ -- Thursday, April 11
    · Lesson 13: Speaking the Truth in LOVE (Biblical admonishment)--Thursday, April 18

    PHASE 4: Spiritual Warfare
    · Lesson 14: Spirits and Supernatural Beings -- Thursday, April 25
    · Lesson 15: Temptation -- Thursday, May 2
    · Lesson 16: Good vs. Evil (Why do bad things happen to good people?)--Thursday, May 9
    · Lesson 17: The End Times -- Thursday, May 16


    Who is God? Lesson 1a

    At the beginning of any relationship between two people, some kind of introduction must take place. If we’re lucky, someone who knows the person we want to meet will do the honors. The main purpose for this ministry is to help you develop an intimate relationship with God, so let me begin by introducing you to Him, so to speak.

    Most people have some idea of what God is. Most think He’s some sort of all-powerful, all-knowing being that is in charge of some interpretation of Heaven. So far, so good. Some even believe He judges us somehow, in that He decides who gets rewarded when they die, and who gets punished. We’re still on the right track. Most believe He made the planet we live on. Right again! Unfortunately, that’s where many people draw the line. Too many people define God this way, and by doing so, keep Him at arm’s length, thinking He’s someone we might have to deal with after we die, but until then He can stay on the “back burner” of our thoughts, if He’s even there at all. We like to keep him in a little box that we only open when we’re in serious trouble, or when we’re forced to deal with death, or perhaps one or two major holidays like Christmas and Easter. After we’re done looking at Him for a while, we put Him back in the box and go about our way, as if to say, “Thanks, God. I’ll take it from here.” But God is so much more that that! He is a wondrous being, full of love, power, and justice beyond anything we could possibly imagine. And He’s closer than most of us realize.

    God is made up of what is known as The Holy Trinity. He is actually three individual and unique beings connected as One—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is a difficult concept for us, as humans, to grasp. Our minds are conditioned from birth to function in a physical world with rules and laws like time and gravity and physics. But what we must come to understand is though God created all those rules and laws, He is not bound by them. Therefore, there are concepts like the Trinity that we may not be able to understand fully, but we still must accept on faith, as they are presented to us in the Bible.

    Now we have an idea of what He is, let’s talk about who He is. After all, don’t you want to know more before you decide to turn your life over to Him? Or, if you already have, don’t you want to know a little better the One you’ve committed your life to for all eternity? I certainly did, and still do. The better I know Him, the closer I get to Him and the better our relationship is. And the better our relationship is, the better my life gets. It’s really that simple. Let’s get started with…

    God the Father. God the Father is also called Jehovah, Yahweh, the Most High, or the Great I Am, in the Bible. He is a spiritual being, who is eternal. (Deuteronomy 33:27) That is, he has no beginning and no end. He has always existed. He is so magnificent and so pure, if He were to appear to us, we would die in His presence. (Exodus 33:20) That is why we never see him directly. He has appeared to us in various forms—clouds, pillars of fire, the burning bush, etc., or He sends messengers. God is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere, all at once. And because He is, he is the source of ultimate fairness. Only He is just, because only He knows everything about everything that happens. He is loving and kind and patient. He is for us. He wants to be active in our lives. He is the Father of the prodigal son. (Luke 15:11-32) And He has loved us eternally, (Jeremiah 31:3) so much so that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, His perfect Son (John 3:16) to make a reunion with us possible.

    God the Son. Jesus is the Son of God. God created Him, therefore He does have a beginning, although we don’t know when that was, or if it’s even possible to determine. Jesus is an everlasting being, and like the Father, lives outside the boundaries of time, so age means nothing. We do know that His existence did not begin on December 25 of the year 6 B.C. That’s just when He came to live among us to fulfill God’s plan. The Bible tells us that Jesus was there with the Father and the Holy Spirit when the world was created. (John 1:1-4) He was sent down to Earth as a human baby to live among us, to assume the burden of all the sins of mankind, and to be a sacrifice for all so that God’s justice would be fulfilled, and we could be reunited with Him. As it was foretold in the Old Testament, Jesus was tortured and crucified to save us from ourselves. And He volunteered to go through with it. There was no other way to pay the terrible price of sin that all of us have on our heads, and spare us from an eternity in hell. If there was another way, He wouldn’t have had to die. That is why He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) But because He did, we can enjoy the awesome gifts of God’s forgiveness, and eternal life.

    But that’s only part of the reason He came to live among us as a man. Through His teachings and the example of the life He lived out before us, He taught us how to live the best life possible. “…I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.” (John 10:10 CEV) And even though He is our Lord and King, He came to serve us! “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) The Bible says one day He will return to gather up His people, those who know Him, and we will begin our new life with Him in Heaven.

    God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, like Jesus, was created by God and was with Him before the creation of our world. Like the Father, the Holy Spirit does not assume a physical form. He is the One Jesus calls our helper and our counselor. (John 14:16) It is the Holy Spirit that is God living in our hearts when we give our lives to Jesus and accept His gift of salvation. It is He who speaks to us and guides us. He activates our spiritual gifts, and helps us to use them for good. He corrects us when we make mistakes, and He is the exhilaration and joy we feel when we are close to God. The Holy Spirit gives us courage to stand in the face of evil and the strength to resist. And He is the One who tells the Father what is on our hearts when we don’t have the words to express it on our own. The Holy Spirit is the One whom God the Father uses to change our lives into the image of His Son, because the Father knows that the closer we are to Jesus, the closer we are to experiencing His best.

    This is the end of the first part of Lesson 1. The second part, entitled “Who Am I?” will discuss how God changes us when we give our lives to Him. This is an interactive ministry, so please feel free to ask any questions you might have about any of the material I have presented here. You can either respond to this topic, or you can email me at [email protected]. Thank you!

    In Christ,
    Eric Ratá

    http://www.clovishills.com/forum/toast.asp?sub=show&action=topics&fid=2
     
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