Lesson 13 Living The New Life

“I AM COME THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE LIFE, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b). “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’“ (John 7:38 NASB). “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world” (1 John 5:4). These tremendous claims for the life of the one who believes in the Lord Jesus are presented in a most forthright manner in the New Testament as the norm for Christian living. Peace, rest and spiritual power are not to be exceptional among the followers of our Savior, but rather the standard experience.

The Lord not only offers pardon for the guilt of sin and the assurance of life eternal, but also offers a new life in which the Spirit of Christ is working actively to transform our walk and to renew our minds. We can have that kind of life if we take heed to what the Scripture says about how it is to be lived. Spiritual blessing and power are not automatic for believers. They are highly conditional.

Words for the New Believer

We have reviewed the necessity of being sure that we possess eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is important to fix our hopes on clear promises in the Word of God concerning Him. It is also important to manifest a changed life as evidence of the reality of our claim to know the Lord Jesus. Here are some initial encouragements:

1. Confess Christ As Your Lord Before Others (Romans 10:9-10; Luke 12:8).

Refuse to be a silent, undercover believer.

2. Discontinue Harmful Habits and Associations (Psalm 1; 2 Corinthians 6:14 -18).

Do not let others pull you down while you are trying to help them.

3. Seek a Mature Prayer Partner and Helper (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

There is greater progress and encouragement with this assistance.

Spiritual Life Principles

Victorious Christian living is not simply for missionaries and exceptional disciples. It is Christ’s will for all His people (2 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 4:13). The following considerations mark the path of triumph each day:

1. Submit to Jesus Christ As Lord Daily (Colossians 2:6; 2 Corinthians 8:5).

He cannot bless the one who refuses to bow the knee to His supremacy and love. We are His and not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

2. Yield Daily to Every Prompting of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:13-19; Romans 8:14).

We are not to grieve, quench or resist in any way Him who is our in-dweller and anointing (Romans 8:9; 1 John 2:27). We are to be continuously filled, or controlled, by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). A Spirit-filled believer walks worthy of God (Colossians 1:10).

3. Be Occupied With Christ Himself, Rather Than Self (Hebrews 12:2-3).

We are to focus our thoughts upon Him (Colossians 3:2). Our entire life is to be Christ-centered and not self-centered. Turning from self is a necessary part of our transformation.

4. Obey the Word of God (John 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 John 3:24).

To obey God is better than all sacrifices (1 Samuel 15:22). How can we call Jesus “Lord” and not do the things He says? (Luke 6:46). Freedom of the Spirit is not to do as we please, but rather to do as He pleases. Obedience to the Word brings additional light (Hebrews 5:14). We must will to do God’s will (John 7:17). We can expect to be tested in this area of our willingness (Genesis 22:1-18). We should never call obedience to the Word “legalism.” Legalism is adding to God’s requirements—whether relating to salvation or living the Christian life.

5. Believe God and Trust Him for Every Need (Hebrews 11:8; John 14:1).

Our walk must be by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith is in one sense a gift of God but in another sense the moral responsibility of man. That is why Jesus rebuked some of His disciples for their unbelief (Matthew 8:26; Luke 24:25).

6. Serve Others for Jesus’ Sake (Galatians 5:13; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Colossians 3:23-24).

He that watereth shall be watered (Proverbs 11:25). No believer can grow by simply absorbing blessings and giving out nothing. The famous illustration puts it: “The Dead Sea is dead because it is always taking in and never putting out.”

7. Discipline Your Life (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Self-control, or temperance, is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23; 2 Peter 1:6). The believer is told to “mortify” (put to death) the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5). God works with us in this discipline (Hebrews 12:6-7).

The daily presentation of our body to God is necessary (Romans 12:1-2). We are to resist the devil (James 4:7), endure and overcome temptation (James 1:12), be zealous of good works (Titus 2:14) and love others (John 13:34). When we do wrong we are to confess and forsake the sin (Proverbs 28:13).

Provision-for-Failure Principles

Do believers ever stumble or fail? Of course they do. Consider David, Peter or others of God’s greatest men. However, it is important to seek restoration to God lest we come under His discipline and correction (Hebrews 12:5-9). These are the divine remedies:

1. Fulfill Your Responsibilities.

a. Confess and forsake all thoughts or actions which you know to be outside the will of God (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9).

b. Make things right with others wherever possible (Matthew 5:23-24; Romans 12:18).

c. Be forgiving (Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 18:35). Be forbearing (Colossians 3:13). Cover with love as much as possible (1 Peter 4:8; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

d. Get back into full fellowship with God in the Word and prayer and with other believers in the local fellowship.

2. Rely on Christ’s Victory.

Break repeated cycles of failure and confession involving the same areas. Remember that the Lord Jesus has accomplished the basis for present deliverance from the power of sin in our lives.

a. He broke the power of the sin nature (Romans 6:6) and condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3). We who were once the slaves of sin (Romans 6:20) have now been made free. This does not mean that this nature has been removed or eradicated (Galatians 5:16-17; Romans 7:21, 23; Matthew 26:41) but its former prevailing power has been annulled.

b. Believers no longer need to fear Satan. He was defeated at the cross (John 12:31; John 16:11), and his power over believers was broken (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14). However, we are told to resist him (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7), and we are not to give him opportunity (Ephesians 4:27).

c. The world includes a Satanic system of values, morals and ungodly influence that is the Christian’s enemy (1 John 2:15-16). This differs from the world’s inhabitants whom God loves. The system has been condemned by our Lord (John 12:31; 1 Corinthians 11:32). He prays for us to be kept from it (John 17:15). We have overcome it (1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4).

Devotional Principles

Each believer must spend time daily with God. Our life is an intimate fellowship with the Person of the Lord. Certain practices characterize the believer whose life is being used and blessed of God.

1. Quiet Time.

The ear of the disciple is wakened to hear the voice of God (Isaiah 50:4). The first part of each day should begin with Him (Mark 1:35). Evenings and other periods may be set aside for Scripture study and prayers, but the experience of many of the saints in Scripture, as well as the example of our Lord Jesus, confirms the necessity of beginning the day with God. This regular time is for meditation and direct contact with God.

2. Prayer.

Our Savior said, “Men ought always to pray” (Luke 18.T). It was not an option in His earthly life and should not be an option for us. It should be our lifeline of communication with God. If we are not receiving, it is likely that we are not praying (Matthew 7:7) . An important beginning for each day is to commit our bodies to the Lord for His purposes and to beseech His guidance through the day.

3. Study of the Word.

The Scriptures are given by God to be food for our souls (Hebrews 5:12-14; Psalm 19:10). We are to eat God’s Word (Jeremiah 15:16). How can a young believer cleanse his way? “By taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). There is a place for meditative study of a short portion in the morning; systematic study, such as reading through the Bible; and special study for assignments. It is important to be able to read the Bible for ourselves and to make good personal applications of the truth. Memorizing Scripture is encouraged (Psalm 119:11).

4. Witnessing Overflow.

We are given power by God to be the witnesses for Jesus Christ in this world (Acts 1:8). The natural way of witness is to share our faith as a way of life with those around us. By overcoming the fear of man, we will be able to speak up for Christ before those around us who are lost and bound for a Christless eternity.

Church Principles

The Lord Jesus Christ has a great love for His church, in spite of all its earthly deficiencies (Ephesians 5:25). His church is made up of redeemed people. He wants them to gather together in various localities to encourage one another, worship the Lord, preach His word and obey His commands. The Bible does not contemplate a believer who is detached from the local church and fellowshipping with God on his own. A great passage on this subject is Acts 2:41-42. In studying this passage you will note normal church activities and responsibilities:

1. Baptism.

This is the public confession of the Lord Jesus Christ by new believers (Acts 8:36-37).

2. Apostles’ Teaching.

The teaching of these men is now contained for us in the Bible, together with that of the prophets of the Old Testament, which is also the Word of God.

The preaching and teaching of the Word of God to companies of believers is one of God’s appointed means for growth. It provides systematic instruction to supplement as well as to give direction and encouragement to personal Bible study.

3. Fellowship.

Believers are told not to forsake the assembling of themselves together with other believers (Hebrews 10:25). Those who forsake these companies are said to be “not of us” (1 John 2:19). Isolationism or individualism has no place in a healthy Christian experience. Note how the early believers stuck together (Acts 2:44-47). Notice the way most letters of the New Testament are addressed.

4. Breaking of Bread.

This has to do with the memorial feast of bread arid wine instituted by the Lord the night in which He was betrayed (Luke 22:19-20). It was observed by the early believers (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34).

5. Prayers.

There is a place for joint prayers with other believers as well as individual prayer (Acts 1:14). There is an added value to joint prayer (Matthew 18:19). Mighty events came about as believers prayed together.

You may have given yourself to Christ as Lord and Savior. If so, that is the proper beginning. You must now commit yourself to Him that He might live His life in you day by day (Galatians 2:20). Thus He will be victorious in you and through you.

Study Guide Living The New Life

Being “born again” is just the beginning of the new life of the believer. Many privileges and responsibilities are involved. It is important to understand the concepts below.

1. Jesus Christ came to give the believer (select one)

a. eternal life.

b. abundant living in this life.

c. victory over the world and its temptations.

d. all of the above.

2. When a person becomes a believer in Christ, it is important that he (select three)

a. change his personality.

b. confess Christ publicly to others.

c. discontinue harmful habits and associations.

d. seek help from a mature Christian.

3. Paraphrase (rewrite in your own words) 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

How does this passage affect you personally?

4. Identify the keys to victorious Christian living in the verses below:

a. John 14:21

b. Romans 12:1-2

c. 2 Corinthians 4:5

d. Ephesians 5:18

e. Colossians 3:2

f. Hebrews 11:6

5. Answer by circling True or False.

a. It is possible to sin after becoming a Christian. (True or False)

b. We have to sin. (True or False)

c. It does not make any difference if we sin or not since “once saved, always saved.” (True or False)

d. We do not have to confess our sins after we are saved because God has already forgiven all our sins—past, present and future. (True or False)

6. What is God’s part and man’s part in forgiveness and restoration of the Christian (1 John 1:9)?

7. What actions are indicated in the following verses that will deepen our devotion and intimate fellowship with the Lord?

Mark 1:35

Psalm 119:9-11

Acts 1:8

8. What five things were the believers in the early church actively engaged in (Acts 2:41-42)?

Which of these have become a real part of your Christian life?

9. What do you say? What were the events leading up to the time that you became a Christian? What have been the most meaningful changes in your life since you were born again?

10. What do others say? Contact at least three people this week and ask them the following questions. You may wish to say something like the following:

“I’m involved in a Bible Survey here in (name city). Could you help me by sharing your opinion on three important questions? (1) In your opinion, which is most important to a Christian: going to heaven or having a fulfilled life here on earth? (2) How would you describe the way a real Christian should live? (3) Do you feel it is important for a Christian to be actively involved in a local church? Why or why not? Thank you so much for your help. Would you like for me to mail/e-mail you a copy of the survey results? Thank you.”

Record their names and addresses on the 3x5 cards provided by the class leader. Record the answers on the back, indicating if the survey results are desired. Then return the cards next class meeting. Results of the survey will be tabulated by the class leader and mailed to each person indicating an interest.