How to unlock the BibleMany new Christians find it very difficult to discover how to unlock the Bible and how to apply Biblical principles for living a new lifestyle that is in line with what the Bible teaches.
My early experiences as a new a ChristianWhen I first became a new Christian I had no idea on how to unlock the Bible and apply it to a new way of thinking and living. I had no idea on where to begin. I knew God was real because of a very powerful encounter with God on the day of my conversion to Christianity, May 23rd, 1990. I had no idea of the different versions of the Bible. Some well-meaning Christians gave me a “Good News” version of the Bible and told me to read a specific section. But without instructions or using a study Bible that at least had commentaries it was very difficult. Other Christian leaders gave me some basic Bible study materials, but all of these were based on the assumption that I had some church and Christian background.
Zero Church backgroundI had zero church background. I had no idea why Jesus came to earth, who the Holy Spirit is, and as I read the Old Testament, God looked like someone who had a big stick and if you made a mistake you would be zapped by Him! I found that most Christian Discipleship materials are akin to throwing someone into the deep end of a swimming pool and saying, “Here, figure out how to swim.” Thankfully, persistence is one of my attributes and I doggedly persisted. I kept buying various Bible versions and finally came across the NKJV Spirit Filled Life Study Bible. Once I learnt how to use their study notes the Bible came alive and I grew in my knowledge and walk with God.
How to unlock the Bible for othersVery few new Christians would have persisted and in most cases I have found that they have a very fragmented understanding of the Bible and how to apply it to their lives.
Growing Deep and StrongIn 2001 Ps. David W Searle, a very gifted theologian, and I embarked on a journey of writing a Christian Discipleship course that would grow and mature a brand new believer like me who had zero church background. It was a God appointed partnership. Ps. David has an incredible depth of Biblical knowledge and I come from an unchurched background and understood the challenges of a new Christian.
Our objectivesWe had clear objectives on helping a new disciple of Jesus Christ learn how to unlock the Bible and apply it their life.
- It had to quickly establish a new believers by applying Biblical principles practically to everyday life.
- It had to take them on an intentional path from a new believer to a coach or small group leader, discipling others in 12 months or less.
- The leader’s manual had to be simple to use, true to the Bible, and reduce any chance of incorrect doctrines being added by immature leadership.
- It had to be based on a study Bible that was well developed, enabling us to page number all the Bible verses, making it easy for a new Christian to look up the references.
- It had first of all to lay out foundational truths, such as the two spiritual kingdoms, who God is, why Jesus came, the person of the Holy Spirit, the existence and purpose of angels, and how to get free of the baggage we bring from their old life into their new Christian life.
- Secondly, it had to show from the Bible how God meant us to live, realign their character with godly principles and discover their God-given gifts.
- Thirdly, it was important to teach them how to pray and bring others into God’s kingdom out of the kingdom of darkness.
- Fourthly, it had to teach them how to disciple others, that is, those they had prayed into the kingdom of Light.
- It had to be designed so that anyone could pick it up and begin to confidently disciple others.
- It had to be flexible so that it could be run in almost any setting and time frame, from one-on-one to a small group, with coaches to mentor and encourage the new Christians.
Carl is a follower of Jesus Christ; co-author of the Christian Discipleship and Leadership program called the ©Growing Deep and Strong Series. Founder and Director of Internet Secrets Made Easy. His life passion is to be a catalyst and facilitator in developing people who will become leaders and disciplers of others. Connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube