If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
Investing in God’s people from life to life
These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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Establishing or discipling is a time of training and development of stature in godliness. It takes a person from knowing the right things to living the life in dependence on God.
The person for whom this is important is someone who so desires to grow in their walk with God that they are willing to pay a price. They have gone through the Romance stage as a new believer, so the basics of the faith are not new to them. (Helping someone in that place would be Enthuse New Faith.) Now they have come to a place where they desire more of God. They are not content with skating over the surface and realise that to gain more of Jesus costs us for it is only as we empty ourselves of self that there is room in our lives for Him. Now they trust Him enough to give Him there all.
This page covers practicalities rather than any Biblical understanding. To gain any Biblical perspective there are a number of pages examining this in the section Principles of discipleship.
What are the key elements that are involved in establishing a believer in faith? Here are some thoughts.
The key passage for this stage of spiritual life is 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. There are many lessons to be learned as life challenges every aspect of the life with God. The times with them will be spent in
There are many resources available for studying the Bible. This site has a whole section of materials - Bible Explorer. The issue is not so much the right materials as covering a broad spectrum. Here the student is dependent on the teacher who must avoid focusing on their pet topics. It is often good to go through passages of the New Testament to avoid excessive focus on one issue.
The focus of going to the Scriptures is less about discovering new things and more about transforming life. The challenge is to put into practice what God says. In exploring what this means for the younger believer both lives are exposed to the light of God’s truth and the reality of how each are walking with God. In this process the real character issues that must be dealt with for life to develop start to come out.
As the younger believer begins to engage with the Scriptures, and seeks to put them into practice issues of character start to emerge. These can only be seen when you are close enough to the life of the developing Christian. Usually they are seen outside of the context of meeting up. This could be in sports, group activities, visits to home, board games, ... A whole host of contexts. It is in seeing these areas of character and helping them to engage with God for a transformed life that there is real progress in godliness. This is a hard process to go through, but the outcome is a major improvement in a persons walk with God.
It is in raising these issues with the younger believer that the more mature must learn to cling to the Lord through faith and in prayer. Transformation is fundamentally a work of God, above our cleverness with words, or knowledge of the Bible.
In our increasingly broken world you are likely to run into issues that are beyond you. That is fine. Your role is not to be the answer to everything. When there are issues that are beyond you concerning emotional hurts from the past or spiritual influences then your role is to find them help that is trustworthy. A resource that can be helpful in surfacing issues of this nature is “The Bondage Breaker” by Neil Anderson.
It is essential at this time that there is the opportunity to minister together. Without ministry at this stage there is a real risk of stagnation. God is at work in us as we are His servants, not merely for our personal development and great thrill of experience.See the page for equipping for ministry. Areas of ministry could include -
There are two great ways of organising the times together. One is to follow a plan, taking some subject and looking at what the Bible has to say about it. The other is to listen to the needs that are coming up in the students life and helping them to think this through Biblically.
It is vital that both of these approaches are used consistently. There is a temptation to go one way or the other, but to fall for this trap leads to problems down the road. If one sticks to the plan, then you are not being responsive to what God is doing, nor to the real and felt needs of the student. If one follows the needs that are expressed and the situations that come up in life, you will find that after a year you have gone round in circles and there is no real progress. By maintaining a balance, say alternating the times you keep in balance between these two essential methods.
One of the great resources that God has given you is your life with Him. There is in your experience a wealth of reality. I am sure it is far from perfect, that is fine, it is hard to follow people who are perfect, even more so to follow people who are hiding their faults. When they see the reality of your life they have a perspective of what God can do and it is an encouragement to move out in faith. Paul demonstrated this.
ESTABLISH - developing in faith