GOING ON WITH GOD
All that we have studied so far is relevant to going on steadily as a Christian. If we do not obey God, for example in being baptized, we cannot expect to grow spiritually. The gift of the Holy Spirit is intended to enable us to worship, to equip us for service, and to help us to be a fully functioning member of the Body of Christ, the Church. The Church is the proper environment for our growth. There we receive shepherding care, fellowship, teaching, and many other blessings. These are all essential, but there are several other matters we must mention.
If you are to grow as a Christian certain things are essential.
The basic meaning of fellowship is ‘sharing’.
Read Psa. 122:1. What made the Psalmist glad?
Read Psa. 133. In verse 1 what two words are used to describe brethren dwelling together in unity?
In Malachi 3:16 what did those who feared the Lord do? (Fearing the Lord is another way of saying reverencing Him or worshipping and obeying Him.)
What was the Lord’s reaction to this?
In Acts 2:42 what four things did the early Christians continue
In Heb. 10:25 what are we not to do and what are we to do?
As you have seen in a previous study, Paul speaks about the Body of Christ in I Cor. 12. What do you think verse 21 means?
Fellowship is essential for every Christian. A baby is born into a family and, likewise, a new Christian needs the family of God.
If a live coal is taken out of the fire and placed on the hearth, it will quickly cool. So will a Christian who neglects fellowship.
B. The Bible
The Bible is food for your soul. Some parts are easier to understand than others, so if you are a new Christian, you should seek help from your pastor, elder, or housegroup leader. Mark’s Gospel is a good place to begin. Then you could read the Acts of the Apostles. There are several ways of taking in or absorbing the Word of God.
1. You hear it read and preached in Church. God expects us to hear His Word. What comes to us through hearing God’s Word (Rom. 10:17)?
Apart from hearing with our ears, what are we to do, according to Ezekiel 3:10?
But we must not only hear the Word, we must also read it.
2. Reading God’s Word
Israel’s kings were commanded by God to read His Law.
In Deut. 17:19 how long was the king to read the Law of God and what would be the outcome?
In Rev. 1:3 what is promised to those who read that book?
What did Paul tell Timothy in I Tim. 4:13?
The first part of Isaiah 34:16 is an important command. Write it out here:
3. Studying God’s Word
What would you say is the difference between just reading the Bible and studying it? Discuss this with Christian friends.
Why were the Bereans noble in Acts 17:11?
Write out II Tim. 2:15 in full.
4. Memorizing God’s Word
Why does the Psalmist say he has hidden God’s Word in his heart? (Psa. 119:11)
What impression do you get from Deut. 6:5,6 and 11:18 about the importance of having God’s Word in your heart?
Learning verses of Scripture by heart is not as difficult as it may seem.
The secrets are (a) Repetition, (b) Daily review, (c) Learning the chapter and verse with it, i.e. the reference, so that you can find it.
5. Meditating on the Scripture
To meditate on something is to think prayerfully about it. Hearing, reading, studying, and memorizing the Scripture are like swallowing food. Meditating is like digesting food. Clearly, then, it is very important.
What benefits come from meditating on God’s Word, according to Josh. 1:8?
What will the man who meditates in the Word of God be like, according to Psalm 1?
We should read the Bible and meditate on it daily. We hear it read and preached two or three times a week when we gather for worship and fellowship. Studying the Bible and memorizing it require greater effort and you may need further help with that. However, remember that this course is Bible study! Maybe you didn’t realise that you have been studying the Bible? Now why not memorize one of the verses in this study? Psalm 119:11 is a good one to start with.
Prayer is conversing with God. That is, you talk to Him and He talks to you in your heart and through His Word. You should talk to God in prayer every day. Have a definite time set aside, preferably first thing in the morning.
What instructions are we given in Matt. 6:6?
What does Jesus say will happen if we abide (remain, continue) in Him, in John 15:7?
What condition is required to get our prayers answered, according to John 16:23,24?
We are called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ (see Acts 1:8). We witness by our lives, the way we behave, and by our lips, what we say. What will be the result of letting our ‘light’ shine before men, according to Matt. 5:16?
Read carefully Acts 8:1-4 and answer this question: Who was it that went everywhere preaching the Word?
Why did Paul not need to preach in Macedonia and Achaia and places round about, according to I Thess. 1:7,8?
Certain attitudes must be avoided at all costs, while certain other attitudes must be cultivated.
A. Attitudes to Avoid. Write down what the wrong attitudes are next to the Scripture verses:
1. Prov. 16:18
2. I Jn.2:15,16
3. Prov. 6: 16-19
B. Attitudes to Cultivate. Write down the desirable attitudes:
1. Jn. 13:34, 35
2. I Pet. 5:5
3. Heb. 13:7, 17
4. Matt. 11:29
5. Heb. 12:28
If you give serious attention to the matters outlined in this study, you should certainly grow as a Christian. But if you have problems, see your pastor or elders. This is what they are there for (Jer. 3:15). After completing this course, seek to continue some form of Bible study, such as the Commitment Course.
Don’t stand still in the Christian life. Keep moving and keep growing.