"Dead to Self — Alive to Christ"
This week you will be studying passages in the scriptures that show us so clearly what the problem is. The problem is the “self” that lives for itself. Christ calls for us to crucify the old self and he promises to raise up a new and very different self.
1. Before you actually begin your Bible study program please take a few minutes and write down in your own words what your baptism into Jesus Christ meant to you. Why did you do it? What is it going to mean? If you will keep this in a safe place it will mean a great deal to you for years to come. As the years pass it will serve as a reminder to you of the serious commitment that you made on this day. 2. Turn to Luke 9:18-26. Read and study this passage several times. 3. Now turn to Luke 18:28-30 and look at the promise that is attached to discipleship, indeed to the very decision that you have just made. 4. These two passages will become very important as you will share your life in Christ with others. Remember where they are and what they say. As you continue to go through this study, remember that everything you learn is something you will be responsible for passing on to someone else. Don’t skim over it. Learn it as you go. Be sure to spend time in prayer at the end of your study sessions. Learn to deeply communicate with your Father who loves you so very much.
1. Turn to Romans 6:1-14. Read and study this carefully. Each time you come to the word "we" or "us," substitute your own name. (For example: verse 2 — "By no means. John died to sin, how can he live in it any longer?") 2. Write down some of the things about your old self that caused it to receive the death sentence. 3. Write down some things about your new self that you really want to express. 4. How do you specifically plan today to live out verse 13?
1. Before you start today’s study, ask yourself a very important question: Am I staying in close touch with older Christians? This is crucial, and all next week the Bible study will focus on this; but we can’t wait until next week to say something about it. If there is anything in you that is not wanting to see or be with other disciples, then you can be sure that that is something that is not of God and must be crucified. It is your old independent self, not the new self God is giving you. 2. Turn to Romans 7:14-24 and read how powerless we are to live this new life alone. Do you see why we must deny the self? Especially note verse 24. 3. But now go on to Romans 8 where we see how we can do the impossible. You were told at your baptism that you could receive the gift of the Spirit; now study what some of that Spirit means in your life. Read and study verses 1-17, making notes on the things that strike you the hardest. Remember to keep substituting your own name for the pronouns.
1. As you have questions about things that you are studying or things that are happening to you, seek out some of your older brothers and sisters and let them help you. They have been through many things you will go through. Lean on their wisdom and understanding. 2. For this Bible study you will need both an Old Testament and a New Testament. If you don’t have both, make arrangements to get them right away. 3. When we are children, we need to be taught things we don’t know; and we need to be corrected when we are wrong. You are a baby in Jesus Christ. There is much you don’t know and there are some areas where you need correction. We can say that for every new Christian (and every older one). How you take correction is going to make all the difference in your growth in Christ. Turn to Proverbs 12:1-2. Next look at Proverbs 12:15. Go back to chapter 10:17. 4. Write down your attitude toward being corrected. Distinguish between those things that are left over from your old self and those things that Jesus Christ is putting in your heart. 5. Go to the New Testament now and read II Timothy 3:16 and answer this question: Why are older brothers and sisters to bring the word of God to you? What is going to be your attitude when they do?
1. In your new life you will find that "attitude is everything." If you develop a critical or negative pessimistic attitude, you will put out the Spirit’s fire in your life. Today the Bible study will focus on the reason you can keep a great attitude even in the worst of circumstances. 2. Read and examine each of the following passages: John 16:33, Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:12-13 and 19, and James 1:2-4. 3. When these are all put together, what are they promising you about everything in your life? 4. How does this fit with having a good attitude regardless of what is happening? 5. List anything that is tending to cause you to have a bad (negative, complaining, pessimistic) attitude. Confess these right away to another disciple and ask for their prayers and encouragement.
1. By today, you have certainly realized that you are not doing all for Jesus Christ that you determined to do five or six days ago. You want to love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. But you have failed in some specific areas. What you will study today will be very important in dealing with this for the rest of your life. 2. Turn to I John 1:5-10. Read it once carefully. 3. Think of the difference in light and darkness. Think of the difference between a bright open room with lots of windows, and a totally dark basement area. In one, things are out in the open. You can see them as they really are. In the other, things are hidden and covered by the darkness. With this in mind, what does he mean when he calls us to "walk in the light?" Do you see how this fits with verse 9 and the call to confess our sins? 4. We all (from the oldest to the youngest in Christ) sin. If we claim that we don’t, we lie (verse 10). How then are we to handle all this? Do we cover and hide our sins? Or do we bring them out into the open through confession? 5. Look at the two results of walking out in the light as described in verse 7. How will this cause a deeper fellowship with the brothers and sisters? 6. Remember this trustworthy saying: Satan’s only ground is darkness. When we confess our sins and bring them out into light, we take away from him his only base of operation.
1. As you come to the end of this first week as a committed disciple of Jesus Christ, go back to the most basic idea in discipleship. Turn to Galatians 2:20. 2. Every time your old nature tries to assert itself you can say, "/ have been crucified with Christ." Concerning what things do you especially need to say that today? Write them down. 3. As you determine what you should do with your day remember: "I, __________, no longer live, but Christ lives in me." Meditate on this great idea and then determine to let your life today be used for the very things that Jesus Christ is most interested in. 4. Focus on Paul’s words today. "You are not your own; you were bought with a price." (I Corinthians 6:19-20) Believe that with all your heart. You are not your own. Jesus Christ has purchased you for his purpose by his death on the cross. Carefully distinguish between your purposes and his purposes and live as one who has been "bought with such a great price." Important reminder: As a new baby, you need to be in daily touch with others who are ready to give you encouragement and guidance. If you have been avoiding that contact, determine how to deal with that wrong attitude that is developing.