This is lesson seven in a 12 lesson online discipleship training course. This Bible follow up material covers the essentials of the Christian faith including Jesus, the Bible, God’s Word, God, assurances, and what God expects of believers after they come to Christ. This study can be used to teach new believers, to brush up on your Bible basics, or to study on your own. The end of each lesson contains a list of questions and Bible references for further study on the topic of that lesson as well as a suggested memory verse. For more lessons in the series, see the links at the bottom of this page. All lessons can be printed, shared, copied, or distributed.
Online Discipleship Training Course – Lesson Seven – The Growing Christian
The wheel is an illustration showing the life of an obedient, growing Christian. The wheel illustration uses a hub and four spokes. Each of these are vital disciplines of a growing Christian. Doing these things will not make somebody a Christian. Remember that good deeds cannot save us. But if we truly believe in Christ these are the basic things that He commands us to do and are evidence of our growing relationship with Him (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Firstly, Christ must be in the center of our life. What does this mean? It means that we are to put Him in first place in our life. He is to be our Lord. Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” It means that we should obey Him above everything else. Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” People in the world are generally selfish and put themselves first. But as believers in God, we must be willing to put our desires, hopes, and plans under God and serve Him rather than ourselves. If we do put God first, He promises to take care of us. (Matthew 6:33).
Christ being in the center also means that He is the source of strength. He is the one who enables us to overcome the temptations and trials that we continually face. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” The world is a difficult place, but by relying on Christ the committed Christian can overcome and have success in whatever we do because we know that “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Finally, Christ being the “hub” means that He will also bear our weight by carrying our burdens. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” We are commanded not to worry. Instead we are to take our worries to God. Though we are still responsible to do what is right, we can take comfort in the knowledge that God is taking care of us.
There are two primary ways for the growing believer to build a closer relationship with God.
The first is through The Word, which is the Bible. God communicates to us through the Bible. It is our spiritual food. 1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow in respect to your salvation.” We should desire this spiritual food as much as babies desire milk.
If we want to be a mature follower of God we must spend time learning His Word. There are no shortcuts. The most vital aspect of our relationship to Him is personal time in the Word. Through it we can know everything necessary for “life and godliness” 2 Peter 1:3.
The second way we develop a closer relationship to God is through prayer. Any friendship will grow cold if one person is doing all the talking. God talks to us through His Word, but we must also talk to God through prayer. 1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
Prayer should not become a boring habit in our lives of simply reciting some words or praying at certain times (Matthew 6:7-13). It should be a lifestyle of communicating to God from our heart. Sometimes new believers are scared or nervous to pray because they aren’t sure what words to pray or think they are not good at it. But remember that God cares far more about our attitude than our exact words. We need to keep a healthy personal prayer life to connect us with God and draw strength from Him.
The growing Christian also must live out his faith in his relationships with other people, both believers and unbelievers.
The growing Christian is commanded to fellowship with other believers. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Committed Christians should love each other, help each other, encourage each other, serve each other, and even rebuke each other when necessary. Therefore it is important for each believer to find a strong, biblical local church to become involved with so that they can connect with other believers to both give help and receive it.
The growing Christian is commanded to witness to unbelievers. Mark 16:15 says, Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” We know the good news from Christ and should not keep it to ourselves for any reason. Instead we must be faithful to share it with our friends, relatives, co-workers, and even strangers so that more people can know how to have a right relationship with God. We must witness with our lives to show the world what a committed Christian looks like and we must witness with our words so that others can also know how to receive what we have.
These are the four basic disciplines or exercises of the Christian life. It is very simple, but it is not very easy. Make the decision to commit yourself to God. Put Christ in the center of your life and begin exercising these basic spiritual muscles!
THE CHRIST CENTERED LIFE
HOW TO LIVE IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD
TEACHING EACH CHRISTIAN THE “HOW” OF:
THE WORD 1Peter 2:2
(Eating) Acts 17:11
PRAYER John 16:24
(Talking) Matthew 21:22
Fellowship Hebrews 10:24-25
(Walking) Psalms 27:17
1 Thessalonians 5:11
WITNESSING 1John 1:3
(Sharing) Acts 1:8
Bible Study Lesson 7: THE Growing Christian
1. Since Jesus is the Head of the Body–The Church–what place should each believer give the Lord in his life? (Colossians 1:18)
2. What is God’s command to His children? (2Peter 3:18)
3. How can we get to know the Lord better? (John 5:39; Luke 24:27)
4. What should motivate us to have a daily Quiet Time with God? (Mark 1:35)
5. For whom is it our privilege to pray? (Ephesians 6:18; 1Timothy 2:1,2; Luke 23:34)
6. There are about 575 direct commands in the New Testament. About 45 commands deal with personal discipline. What should your attitude and action be in view of the following commands?
7. What is God’s plan for getting the message of salvation to a lost world? (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
What is the Gospel that brings salvation? (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)
9. In witnessing, what facts would you present to the unsaved from the following verses:
Roman 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.