Survey in Basic Christianity
Lesson 13
Living the New Life

O.J. Gibson

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b). The life He promises is eternal (John 10:28), refreshing (John 7:38), victorious (1 John 5:4), and includes life benefits such as peace, rest, and spiritual power (Matthew 11:28-29; John 14:27; 2 Timothy 1:7).

The Lord offers pardon for sin and the assurance of eternal life. The Spirit of God provides new life to believers, and He works actively to transform our walk and renew our minds. The abundant life can be ours if we follow what the Scripture says about how to live.

Words for the New Believer

The clear promises of God’s word confirm that having believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have eternal life (John 3:16; 36; 5:24; 1 John 5:11-13). Genuine believers will demonstrate a changed life, proving the reality of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Here are some initial steps a new believer can take:

1. Confess Jesus as Your Lord Before Others
When you consider what the Lord Jesus has done for you, it is appropriate to tell others so that they may come to know Him, too (Luke 12:8; Acts 1:8). Refuse to be a silent, undercover believer.

2. Discontinue Harmful Habits and Associations
The Bible encourages separation from evil practices and people. The Lord warns against a Christian entering into a marriage with a non-Christian, being in a business partnership with unbelievers, or other alliances with those who do not know our Savior (Psalm 1:1-6; 2 Corinthians 6:14 -18). Do not let others pull you down or drag you back into your former lifestyle. Do not compromise your Christian testimony.

3. Seek a Mature Prayer Partner and Helper
“Two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). You will grow stronger and be encouraged with the help of a more mature believer at your side.

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 steps mark the path of triumph each day:

1. Submit to Jesus Christ as Lord Daily
We now belong to Christ, and we should walk with Him daily. Believers consciously give themselves first to the Lord and then to serve other believers. (2 Corinthians 8:5; Colossians 2:6). He blesses those who willingly bow the knee to His supremacy (Philippians 2:9-11). You belong to the One who loves you. You are His and not your own, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

2. Yield Daily to Every Prompting of the Holy Spirit
Believers are to present their bodies to God and not to unrighteousness, seeking to be led by the Spirit of God (Romans 6:13-19; 8:14). We are not to grieve or quench the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19) who lives and abides in us (Romans 8:9; 1 John 2:27). We are to be 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 Yourself
Being occupied with the Lord Jesus helps us run the Christian life-race with endurance and keeps us from becoming “weary and discouraged in (our) souls” (Hebrews 12:1-3). We are to focus our thoughts upon Him (Colossians 3:2). Our entire life is to be Christ-centered and not self-centered.

4. Obey the Word of God
When we obey the Lord, it is strong evidence that we love Him. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). It also indicates that He lives in us, and we live in Him (John 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 John 3:24). To obey God is better than all sacrifices (1 Samuel 15:22). If we call Jesus “Lord,” we will want to do what He says (Luke 6:46; John 7:17). We can expect our willingness to obey the Lord to be tested (Genesis 22:1-18). We should never think of obedience as “legalism.” Legalism is adding to God’s requirements—whether relating to salvation or living the Christian life. We obey Him because we love Him.

5. Believe God and Trust Him for Every Need
Believers walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) and trust the Lord for everything (Matthew 6:24-34). We trust in Him for salvation and in all areas of life (John 14:1). He rewards those who live by faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is the exercise of trust in the Lord, as seen in the lives of those listed in Hebrews 11. Jesus rebuked His disciples for their unbelief (lack of faith in Him) (Matthew 8:26; Luke 24:25).

6. Serve Others for the Lord’s Sake
Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). We should serve one another in love (2 Corinthians 4:5; Galatians 5:13; Colossians 3:23-24). God calls us to humbly serve, putting self-interest aside, and be constantly looking out for the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4). Believers grow by serving one another. “He who waters will also be watered himself” (Proverbs 11:25). It is said, “The Dead Sea is dead because it is always taking in and never putting out.” The Lord rewards believers for their loving service (Hebrews 6:10).

7. Discipline Your Life
Christians live a disciplined life (1 Corinthians 9:27) exercising self-control, or temperance, which is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23; 2 Peter 1:6). Believers are to put to death sinful behavior (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 for 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? Yes, they do. Consider some great men of God, such as David, Peter, or others. Although they had significant failures, the Lord restored them to Himself. When we sin, it is essential to seek restoration to God so we do not come under His discipline and correction (Hebrews 12:5-9). These are the divine remedies:

1. Fulfill Your Responsibilities

  1. Confess and forsake all thoughts or actions you know to be outside God’s will (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9).
  2. Make things right with others wherever possible (Matthew 5:23-24; Romans 12:18).
  3. Be forgiving (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:35). Be forbearing (Colossians 3:13). Cover with love as much as possible (1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 1 Peter 4:8).
  4. Maintain your fellowship with God by reading and studying the Bible, through prayer, and by engagement with other believers in a solid Bible-believing church.

2. Rely on Christ’s Victory
Break repeated cycles of failure and confession involving the same areas of sin. Remember that the Lord Jesus delivers believers from the power of sin in their lives. Believers have three primary enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil.

  1. The world includes a Satanic system of values, morals, and ungodly influence that is the Christian’s enemy (1 John 2:15-16). God loves the world’s inhabitants, but He has condemned the world system (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; 5:4).
  2. The flesh is the expression of our sin nature. “We all once formerly conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). We are no longer slaves of our sin nature (Romans 6:6, 20; 8:2), for Jesus condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3) and set us free. God gives us a new nature; this does not mean that our sin nature has been removed or eradicated (Matthew 26:41; Romans 7:21, 23; Galatians 5:16-17), but its former prevailing power has been annulled.
  3. The devil was our father, and we fulfilled his desires (John 8:44). Believers no longer need to fear Satan. He was defeated at the cross (John 12:31; 16:11), and his power over believers was broken (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14). We are now in the family of God, and He is our Father (John 1:12; Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 6:18; 1 John 3:1). We are to resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9), and we are not to give him a base of operations to drag us down (Ephesians 4:27).

Devotional Principles

Believers want to spend daily time with God to enjoy intimate fellowship with Him. Some practices characterize the life of a believer whose life is used and blessed by God.

1. Quiet Time
The ear of the disciple is awakened 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 prayer. The experience of many believers in Scripture and our Lord Jesus’ example confirms the importance of beginning the day with God. This regular quiet time is for meditation and direct contact with God.

2. Prayer
Our Savior said, “Men always ought to pray” (Luke 18:1). 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, likely, we are not praying (Matthew 7:7). An excellent way to start each day is to commit our bodies to the Lord for His purposes and seek His guidance throughout the day.

3. Study of the Bible
God has given the Scriptures as food for our souls (Psalm 19:10; Hebrews 5:12-14). We are to eat (consume) God’s word (Jeremiah 15:16). “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9). Many believers use their morning Quiet Time for a meditative study of a short portion of the Bible. They reserve a longer dedicated time for reading through the Bible, a systematic study of the Bible, or for group Bible studies. It is important to read the Bible for ourselves and make good personal applications of the truth. Memorizing Scripture is encouraged (Psalm 119:11).

4. Witnessing
God gives us the power to be 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 and win those who are lost and bound for a Christless eternity.

Church Principles

The Lord Jesus Christ has a great love for His church despite 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 expects believers to be in fellowship at a local church and engaged by exercising their spiritual gifts, not isolating themselves from other believers. A great passage on this subject is Acts 2:41-42. In studying this Scripture, you will note normal church activities and responsibilities:

1. Baptism
Baptism is a public confession of what the Lord Jesus Christ has already done to save you, and it should quickly follow your profession of faith (Acts 8:36-38).

2. Apostles’ Teaching
The early church continued in the apostles’ teaching. Their teaching is now contained for us in the New Testament books of the Bible. The preaching and teaching of all 66 books of the Bible to the church is one of God’s appointed means for growth. It provides systematic instruction for all believers. It supplements personal Bible study and gives direction and personal encouragement to believers.

3. Fellowship
Believers are told not to forsake the assembling of themselves together with other believers (Hebrews 10:25). Isolationism or individualism has no place in a healthy Christian experience. Note how the early believers were actively involved with each other (Acts 2:44-47).

4. Breaking of Bread
On the night in which the Lord Jesus was betrayed, He established a memorial feast with bread and wine that we might remember Him and His sacrifice for us (Luke 22:19-20). This meal is called the “Breaking of Bread” or “The Lord’s Supper,” and it was observed by the early believers and is still practiced today (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34).

5. Prayer
In addition to individual prayer time, there is a place for coming together with other believers to pray. The early church made this a regular practice (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.

SBC Lesson 13 Study Guide
Living The New Life

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

  1. Jesus Christ came to give the believer (select one)
    1. Eternal life
    2. Abundant living in this life
    3. Victory over the world and its temptations
    4. All of the above
  2. When a person becomes a believer in Christ, it is important that he (select three)
    1. Change his personality
    2. Confess Christ publicly to others
    3. Discontinue harmful habits and associations
    4. Seek help from a mature Christian
  3. Paraphrase (rewrite in your own words) 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  4. How does 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 affect you personally?
  5. Identify the keys to victorious Christian living in the verses below:
    1. John 14:21
    2. Romans 12:1-2
    3. 2 Corinthians 4:5
    4. Ephesians 5:18
    5. Colossians 3:2
    6. Hebrews 11:6
  6. Answer by circling True or False.
    1. It is possible to sin after becoming a Christian. (True or False)
    2. We have to sin. (True or False)
    3. It does not make any difference if we sin or not since “once saved, always saved.” (True or False)
    4. 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)
  7. Paraphrase (rewrite in your own words) 1 John 1:9
  8. What actions, in the following verses, will deepen our devotion and intimate fellowship with the Lord?
    1. Mark 1:35
    2. Luke 18:1
    3. Psalm 119:9-11
    4. Acts 1:8
  9. What five things were the believers in the early church actively engaged in (Acts 2:41-42)?
  10. Which of the five things has become a genuine part of your Christian life?
  11. 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?
  12. We encourage you to memorize God’s word. The suggested memory verse for this lesson is:

John 10:10b (NKJV)
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”