This is a devotional study for all new believers

The introduction to the Christian Life is really a come and discover what God has instore for you.

John 1:43 NIV The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Mar 1:16  As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
Mar 1:17  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

That was an invitation to the disciples to come and learn from Jesus, to be taught about the kingdom life

In the journey of life people can be divided into three main areas

  1. Atheists
  2. Agnostics
  3. Believers
  • Atheists believe that there is no God and that he doesn’t exist.
  • Agnostics, on the other hand, have not gathered enough evidence to decide one way or the other. Agnostics are just not sure yet.
  • Believers have faith that there is a God and he exists

Rose Tremain, Quoted: Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Wherever you are on the journey, we have to understand that life is not a dress rehearsal, we only get to live our life once. Although many people may reject the notion that there is a God and there are many others are just not sure.

  • But whether people choose to believe in a God or not, whether they believe in a heaven or hell or not, the reality is we live in a world that has a huge fascination with the supernatural world.
  • According to recent Gallup polls, belief in aliens is up, as is belief in ghosts and in paranormal activity is at an all-time high
  • At its heart, this interest in the spirit realm and the paranormal is about coming to terms with the fact that we live in a spirit world. The bible describes both the angelic realm and the demonic realm as a spirits that have access and activity in our world today.
  • With the modern era of movies and television it is the fascination with the supernatural that continues to top the charts with the most watched movies.
  • Whether we choose to believe in God, angels, demons or even the afterlife we seem to be inundated by the world’s fascination of it. So, believe it or not, accept it or not the concept of both the spiritual and the supernatural is constantly being explored and exploited.

This course is an introduction to what we believe about God.

CS. Lewis Said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important”.

Life’s Emptiness

Billy Graham has well described the emptiness that so often characterises our human experience
“You started on the great quest the moment you were born. It was many years perhaps before you realised it, before it became apparent that you were constantly searching for something more in life.

There is an old saying that “The grass is always greener on the other side:”

Everybody is always searching for fulfilment in life, whether in relationships, work, adventure or wealth. People have this idea that if I can just get the right education everything in life will be wonderful; or if I get the right job, find the right partner, live in the perfect dream home, go on that perfect cruise. Only to find that their search for fulfilment in not found in material things, or in relationships or experiences. They will go from one thing to the next trying to fill an emptiness that only God can fill and only God can satisfy.

Many years earlier blasé Pascal, (1623-1662) tile French Mathematician said: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of ever man that only God can fill.”

Life’s Origin

In order to understand the reason for this sense of emptiness, we need to look at where man comes from.

Man was originally created in the image of God so that we may enjoy a meaningful relationship with him. This means we were created to have fellowship with God as an essential and integral part of our normal human existence. Without God man will always be empty, unfulfilled and incomplete. Genesis 1:26

The reason man is out of fellowship with God is because of sin. Adam the first man chose the path of rebellion by refusing God the right to be God in his life.

Sin is simply when we want to live life our way and not God’s way. As God had told Adam you are free to eat from every tree in the garden except one, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die. Genesis 2:15-17

The serpent came and deceived them by getting them to act against God’s Word and because of this sin came into the world. Genesis 3:1-4.

The result of Adam’s rebellion or sin was death or separation from God. Just as God created us body, soul and spirit, sin affected us on all these three dimensions.

  • Our bodies became subject to sickness and decay and ultimately death.
  • Our soul, which is our mind and emotions, became corrupted by our sinful nature.
  • Our spirit man, which is eternal, became separated from God and destined to a lost eternity.

As we can appreciate that when the bible speaks of death and subsequently new life it is speaking about what has happened to our spirit man. God has created everyone with three dimensions:

  • We are a spirit, which is the real you and is eternal
  • We have a body which is our flesh and bones
  • We have a soul, which is our mind, emotions and personalities

These next two scripture speaks about what has happened to your spirit man 2 Cor 5:17, 1 Pet 1:23 

  • As you know when you give your life to Christ you do not get a new body or a new brain, but your spirit came alive to God when you were born again.
  • When we die our bodies will go to the grave, our mind and personalities will go with it but our spirit man is eternal and will live forever. 1 Th 5:23

When sin came into the world the relationship God intend for us to have with him was broken and this affected all mankind from Adam onward.

Sin affected us in these three ways:

  1. Spiritual death. This is the separation of man spirit with God’s spirit which effects everyone the moment they were born because of the fall of Adam.
  2. Physical death. This is separation of man’s body from his spirit and happens at the grave.
  3. Eternal death. This is an irreversible separation from God for eternity and happens after the judgment for the unbeliever.

The New Nature Of Man

Just as Adam was made in God’s image, so when Adam brought children into the world the bible tells us they were born in his own likeness, the likeness of his corrupted and sinful nature. Genesis 5:3.

  • We live in a world that has now been subject to 6000 years of corruption.
  • This is the reason that all men are subject to death. Rom 5:12 -14
  • Each of us by our own sins have both confirmed and demonstrated the effect of Adam’s fall on the human race. Rom 3:23 -24

The Nature Of God

Psa 22:3 Yet you are enthroned as the holy one; you are the praise of Israel.

The most outstanding characteristic of God that we see from study of the Old Testament is his holiness. This means that God is completely and absolutely holy, righteous, and separate from sin and evil.

  • God’s law is simply an expression of his holy nature. Therefore the penalty for disobedience of his law cannot simply be brushed aside once it has been disobeyed. To do so it would require God to deny his own character. Therefore, the penalty of sin (which is death) must be paid. Rom 6:23
  •  God’s solution to man’s separation from himself due to sin was in the sending of his son Jesus Christ. John 3:16
  • Because of Christ sinlessness He was in a position to pay the penalty for our sins. 2 Cor 5:21
  • Salvation comes through Jesus Christ and him alone. John 14:6, Luke 2:11, Acts 5:31, 1 Tim 2:5, 1 John 4:14 
  • It is vital to understand that without a saviour we have no salvation. This is a very important distinction as our eternal destiny pivots on this truth.
  • There is a big difference between religion and Christianity, religion is man trying to earn his way to God through good works, good morals or by trying to live right according to the bible and this does not make a person saved.
  • Christianity is simply a relationship with Christ believing that he paid the price for our salvation and redeemed us from the kingdom of darkness.
  • This is why most religions, cults or deceptive religious group will often use the bible as the bases of their beliefs but they will always exclude Christ as their personal saviour. Acts 4:10 -12, Acts 16:30-31

This is why it is vital to understand that without a saviour we have no salvation no matter how good and sincere a person may be. Heb 9:22

  • There has never been anyone in the history of mankind that has shed his blood for the salvation and forgiveness of the sins of man.
  • This is a very important distinction as our eternal destiny pivots on this truth.

God’ s Undeserved Favour

Eternal life is a free gift that we could never earn and a gift we don’t deserve. Eph 2:4-9

  • God was not obliged to save anyone since man chose to wilfully rebel against Him. However, because of God’s great love and mercy he chose to make provision for man’s salvation through Christ. This undeserved mercy is what is meant by the grace of God. Titus 3:5 

Here Is an Easy Way To Remember The Meaning Of Grace:

G –       God’s
R –        riches – (eternal life)
A –        at
C –        Christ’s
E –        expense – (the cross)

God’s Gift Of Salvation

The free gift of eternal life, in order to be ours, must be received by faith. John 1:12, Col 1:12-14

  • By accepting Christ you have received a new life, your spirit comes alive to God, and at that moment God makes us a brand new person on the inside. Jesus said it’s like being born all over again.  2 Cor. 5:17
  • Someone has said, God formed us, sin deformed us and now God wants to reform us.
  • This process of change and transformation should begin when we repent and accept Christ. Romans 12:1-2 Message Bible

Place Your Life Before God

1So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 2Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson, we are looking forward to seeing what God has revealed to you in His Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.