The First 7 Days
By Timothy Lee
Editor’s Note: This outline was written by an apostolic pastor and is given to all new converts, usually the same night they are baptized. Each convert is encouraged to read and complete this study over the next seven days. Pastor Lee reports excellent results with this study.
Seven short Bible studies that will help you succeed in your new journey. Congratulations on your new experience with the Lord and His church.
Day One: Be Sure
Assurance of salvation should not be based upon our emotions alone. Feeling good is a benefit that comes with the mulling of the Holy Spirit. Salvation is based upon not only our experience but also our faith in the saving grace of Christ and upon the promises of His Word. Emotions and various circumstances will cause our feelings to go from highs and lows, but faith will keep us steady.
A. Assurance should be based upon God’s Word.
God’s desire for mankind is that all men would be saved and have eternal life.
We find in John 3:16 that God made a promise that through His son Christ Jesus we could have eternal life. We can never be good enough to save ourselves. Our salvation comes only by the grace and mercy of God.
“For God so loved the that he gave his only begotten , that whosoever believeth in him perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“But God commendeth His toward us, in that, while we were yet , Christ for us”
“For by are ye saved through ; and that not of yourselves: it is the of God: Not of , lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
B. Your assurance should be based upon the fact that you have followed the plan of salvation given in God’s Word.
The apostle Peter, to whom Christ gave the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16:20), stood on the Day of Pentecost and preached the gospel message after many had witnessed the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (Read Acts chapter two.)
“Now when they this, they were pricked in their and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said unto them, , and be everyone of you in the name of for the of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the . For the is unto you, and to your, and to that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:37-39).
C. Your assurance should be based upon the fact that you have repented of your sins, have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and have received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
To repent means, not only asking for forgiveness, but to turn away from, or to turn an about face. It means that you will no longer partake of the sins that you once did.
“Repent ye therefore, and be , that your sins may be out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
D. Your assurance should be based upon the fact that you were buried with Christ by baptism in His name.
When we are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ as commanded in the Scripture our sins are remitted, that is forgiven. It is also symbolic of burying the old person that we once were and arising to live a new life with Christ.
“Therefore we are with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the by the glory of the Father, even so we also should in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
“The like figure whereunto even doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 3:21).
E. Your assurance should be based upon the initial sign of speaking in tongues which comes with the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
In the Book of James chapter three we find that no man can tame the tongue. It is the most unruly part of the body. Once we have surrendered our complete being to Christ, He will use our tongue to speak praises to Himself through us in a heavenly tongue.
“While Peter yet spake these words, the fell on all them which heard the word.
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the also was poured out the of the Holy Ghost. For they them speak with , and magnify God” (Acts 10:44-46).
‘And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the came on them; and they spake
with , and prophesied” (Acts 19: 6).
Just as Jesus died, was buried in a tomb, and rose again in a physical way, we do the same in a spiritual way by doing what three things?
* Sometimes we have days when we may not feel as though we are saved due to emotions. What gets us through these times?
* When a person receives the infilling of the Holy Ghost according to the Scripture, what supernatural sign will be experienced?
Day Two: Be a Witness
People love to share exciting things that have happened to them with other people. Your salvation experience is without a doubt the greatest thing that has ever happened in your life. You should have a burning desire within you to see others receive this same experience.
A. We are commanded to share the gospel message with everyone.
The reason that you are now saved is because someone shared the gospel with you. It is now your duty and privilege as a born-again Christian to lead others to Jesus. There is a world of hungry people who are searching just like you were for a change in his or her life that only Christ can bring. You have the opportunity to point them toward that change.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All is given unto me in and in. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the of the , and of the
and of the ” (Matthew 28:18-19).
“But when the is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall of me”
B. We are given the power we need to witness to others.
Many times people are hindered from telling someone else about Jesus because they are shy or timid. Others may not feel that they are knowledgeable enough in the Scripture. However, we have no excuse. The Holy Spirit empowers us to be a witness for Christ. He will give us the boldness and knowledge we need in order to be effective for Him.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
C. We are made overcomers by our testimony.
By telling others about how Christ delivered us from a life of sin, we are giving glory to God and reminding our accuser (Satan) of our faith in Christ and His ability to save us by His shed blood. By our testimony we are strengthened and are able to overcome the temptations and attacks of the enemy.
“And they overcame him by the of the Lamb, and by the word of their ; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).
* According to Scripture what message should you share with others?
* What empowers us to share the gospel message with others?
* Name at least three people that you will share your experience with this week.
Day Three: Be Prayerful
When you were born again of the water and of the Spirit you became a child of God. A good relationship between a father and a child will require thorough communication. The way you get to know someone better is to communicate with him on a regular basis. That is why prayer is a very important part of the Christian life. You should start right away in establishing a daily prayer time with Christ.
A. Prayer builds a relationship with God.
Prayer is conversation between us and God. It is a time where we speak with Him, and He speaks with us. It is the means whereby we get to know God in a more intimate way and start to become more like Him because we have spent time in His presence. Prayer unleashes God’s power so that He is able to work in our behalf. It is what allows God to accomplish the things that He wants to see happen in our lives. Prayer opens new doors of opportunity for God to move. Prayer must be made a part of the new believer’s life in order to be successful in building a relationship with Him.
“Rejoicing in ; patient in tribulation; instant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
“For it is by the word of and prayer’ (Timothy 4:5)
B. Jesus prayed as our example.
We find many places in the Scripture of Jesus praying. If Christ, being God in flesh, prayed, how much more should we pray since we have a sinful nature? Jesus set the example for us to follow and gave us much instruction on the subject of prayer.
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our which art in heaven, Hallowed be name” (Matthew 6:9).
“And in the , rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a place, and there ” (Mark 1:35).
C. The disciples saw the necessity for prayer.
“And it came to pass, that, as he was in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).
“But we will give ourselves to prayer, and to the of the word” (Acts 6:4).
The following eight steps are a guide to help you in forming your prayer life.
1. Start with praise and worship.
“The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted” (Psalm 18:46).
5. Repentance and forgiveness.
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalm 66:18).
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).
“In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears” (Psalm 18:6).
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:17).
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, 0 LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
7. Praying the Word
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart” (Proverbs 4:20-21).
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
* List below three things that prayer will do.
* It is very important for you to pray at least once a day. Place a time schedule for each day of the week given below.
Day Four: Be Studious
Just as prayer is a vital link between you and God, so is His Word. To know God is to know His Word; to know His Word is to know God. He will speak to you through His Word; He will guide you by His Word; and He will strengthen you by His Word. The Bible is your handbook for survival in this life. You should read it daily, memorize it, and hide it away in your heart.
A. The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
The Bible is more than just and old book; it is the inspired words of God given for our instruction. It gives us the history, and future of all God’s creation. It tells of the fall of mankind, but it also points mankind back to God’s grace.
“All scripture is given by of God, and is profitable for , for reproof, for
for in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16).
“So then cometh by , and hearing by the of God” (Romans 10:17).
B. God’s Word is the source of life.
Just as in the physical life we need bread for survival, likewise in the spiritual we also need to be fed. The Word of God is that spiritual bread we need. By partaking of the Word each day we will began to grow spiritually and mature as a Christian.
“But he answered and said, It is , Man shall not by bread alone, but by every
that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
C. God’s Word is the source of happiness.
True happiness comes when our life is lined up with the Word of God. Studying His Word allows us to learn His principles by which we should live. By learning the principles of His Word, we align ourselves with Him.
“But he said, Yea rather, are they that hear the of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28).
D. God’s Word gives direction.
As a child of God we should always look to Him for direction in our lives. We can find that direction through His Word.
“Thy word is a unto my feet, and a unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
E. God’s Word is a weapon.
When Jesus was in the wilderness fasting for forty days, Satan came to tempt Him. Jesus responded to each temptation with the Word. Just as it worked as a weapon for Christ Jesus, the Word will work as a weapon for us in our defense against the enemy of our soul. There are going to be times that Satan will attack you; it may be through depression, finances, or fear or various forms of temptation. Whatever area he attacks you in, find victorious scriptures relating to that situation and began to learn and quote them until you have won victory over that problem.
“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is , Man shall not live by alone, but by every that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:3-4).
“For the of God is quick, and powerful, and than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
* List three things in which God’s Word is to us.
* List below one or more attacks that Satan has brought against you. Then find positive scriptures concerning that attack; write them down to learn them and claim victory in that area of your life.
Day Five: Be Faithful
Faithful church attendance is very important to a believer. It is here that you will find elements needed to be successful in strengthening your relationship with God. David said, “I was glad when they said unto me; Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1).
A. At church you will find godly fellowship.
Christian fellowship is vital in your Christian life. Fellow shipping with brothers and sisters of like faith will strengthen and encourage you in your walk with God. The new believers of the early church understood the importance of fellowship.
“And they steadfastly in the doctrine and , and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
“That which we have and heard we unto you, that ye also may have with us: and truly our is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (I John 1:3).
B. At church you will find encouragement.
There are going to be times in your walk with God in which you will find yourself getting discouraged. It is at your church that you will be encouraged and exhorted to press ahead in your Christian journey.
“And let us one another to provoke unto and to works: Not forsaking the of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
C. At church you will receive teaching and instruction.
God has given a diversity of ministries to the church so that we may be perfected in our walk with Him. Through these different ministries we receive the training that we need in order to mature in Christ. You will find these ministries in action at your local church.
“And He gave , apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, and teachers; For the of the saints, for the work of the
for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12) .
D. At church you have opportunities to get involved in ministries.
Through the instruction you get at church you will learn about different gifts that God gives to individuals to fulfill His work. Over time you will find that God has blessed you with one or more of these gifts. It is through your church and the guidance of your pastor that you will began to have the opportunities to put these gifts into operation so that you can begin to minister to others.
“Having then differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us according to the proportion of faith; Or , let us wait on our ministering: or he that , on teaching; Or he that , on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with ; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:6-8).
List the five things that you will find at your church.
List the five ministries that God has provided for the church.
To learn more about the spiritual gifts God has provided for believers to carry out his work, read I Corinthians chapter twelve.
Day Six: Be Submissive
In God’s Word we are commanded to be in submission to the authority placed in our lives. God has given a divine order of authority within the church. Apostle Paul wrote that Christ is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18). Within the church, under Himself, Christ has placed leadership for the overseeing of His people.
A. Your pastor.
One of the greatest blessings God has given the church is the pastor. Just as sheep need a shepherd, the saints of God need a pastor to help in guiding them on their spiritual journey.
“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the , and you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their sake. And be at among yourselves” (I Thessalonians 5:12-13).
B. Your pastor will teach and instruct you.
Through your pastor you will receive teaching and instruction concerning the things of God. Through this teaching and instruction you will began to better understand the things of God and His Word.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they without a preacher?” (Romans10:14).
“And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, and teachers; For the of the saints, for the work of the , for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11).
C. Your pastor will give you counsel.
There will be times in your Christian walk when you feel confused and have questions concerning spiritual matters, or life in general. Your pastor is there to help you get through these times and find the answers you need.
“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you, the of God: whose follow, the end of their conversation”
‘Where no is, the people fall: but in the multitude of there is safety’ (Proverbs 11:14).
* What gift has God given the church for spiritual authority?
* Name two things that you can receive from your pastor.
Day Seven: Be a Disciple
Now that you have been born again of the water and of the Spirit, you should have a strong desire to be a disciple of the One who saved you, Christ Jesus. In following the content of the previous chapters you are on your way to discipleship. This chapter will help you understand what it truly means to be a disciple of Christ. You should ask your pastor if there are discipleship or new convert classes available for you through your church.
A. What is discipleship?
To become a disciple of Christ simply means to become a learner or to increase one’s knowledge of His ways; to learn by use and practice; to be accustomed to or in the habit of. In order to become a learner of Christ we must first gain spiritual insight. We must assume the role of the student and look to God to teach us. We must understand that there is no stopping place in learning. It is a life-long process.
“For this ____________we also, since the day we_____________ it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be __________________with the _________________of his will in all wisdom and understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all__________________, being fruitful in every good work, and ______________________in the knowledge of God” (Colossians1:9-10).
B. The cost of discipleship
One must realize that there is a cost to discipleship. Being a disciple of Christ is not always easy since it requires a change. A true follower does not seek to justify his or her lifestyle, but rather seeks to change that lifestyle to fit the one who is being followed. It is through this change that we find true purpose and happiness in this life.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come _____________________me, let him ______________himself, and take up his_____________________, and _________me. For whosoever will ____________________his life shall __________________it: and whosoever will lose his ________________________for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).
“And I will ________________at liberty: for I _______________thy precepts” (Psalm 119:45).
C. The benefits of discipleship.
While there is a cost involved with discipleship, the rewards that Christ has promised to His followers are many. We will briefly cover just a few in this lesson. There are many more blessings that come with discipleship, both in this earthly life and in the eternal life, that is promised to those who are faithful to the end.
1. Fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit are the blessings of a Spirit filled life. When we are living a life, that is pleasing to the Lord and are full of His Spirit, these qualities will be exhibited in our lives.
‘But the of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, , gentleness, goodness, faith,
_____________ : against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
2. Financial blessings.
Part of being a disciple of Christ is trusting Him with every part of our life. This includes our finances. Jesus told us through a parable that if we are faithful over the few things He has blessed us with, He will make us ruler over many things. (Read Matthew 25:14-29.) We have the opportunity through tithes and offerings to meet this challenge God has put before us. Talk with your pastor to learn more about the blessing of giving.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not you the windows of , and pour you out a , that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
“Honor the LORD with thy , and with the of all thine increase: so shall thy be filled with plenty, and thy shall burst out with new wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10).
3. Physical blessings.
Throughout Scripture we find many examples of physical healing brought forth by the hand of God as a result of someone’s faith in Him. God’s people today still have the promise of divine healing as found in His Word.
“But he was for our transgressions, he was for or iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)
“Is any among you? Let him call for the of the church; and let them over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the of shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14-15).
* What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ?
* What will our life exhibit as a result of being Spirit filled?
* List two opportunities that God has provided for us to give back a portion of what He has blessed us with.
* What should we do if we are sick?
This study was written by ‘The Apostolic Promise Church’ By: Pastor Timothy Lee 361 Country Club Dr., Cape Girardeau, Mo 63701. Used by permission.
Pastor Lee encourages anyone to use this material if it will help in the discipling of new converts.