We have previously talked about
our responsibility to teach non-Christians the whole truth. I would
like to go beyond the new birth and discuss raising a new Christian.
We are really the ones that are responsible for the growth of new Christians.
So many times today I hear people leading people to baptism and then they
seem to be left there to sink or swim. So where do we start?
First of all we need to help them find them someone to talk with when they have questions. They should have people that they can contact with questions. They also should be encouraged to be at as many services and study groups as possible.
We need to make sure that not only do we let them know that we are available to help, but we take the initiative to contact them on a regular basis so that they know that we are interested and concerned.
We also need to make sure that they know how to study the Bible. Some people don’t know where to start. Many of the people that we are talking with today are not from Christian or religious families. Many are not sure how to begin, or what to do when they get to the lineages or some of the other areas that seem to be less important or even boring.
The next problem is similar to the “birds and the bees” questions kids ask. When do you tell them those things that would be considered the “meat”? As with children this depends on their maturity level and their understanding of the particular area of study. One way that has been used is to run them through a set of film strips or a special study program. This can be very helpful and works well with many people. We must be prepared to vary our patterns, if needed, to fit the special needs of those being taught, though. We are not “cookie cutter Christians” and should not try to make new Christians exactly alike. Each person will be an individual and should be treated that way. Just as we are told in Ephesians 4:11-14. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: We need to remember that God tells us that we will all be different and that we all have a place in the church. We need to help each person, new or mature, to find a unique place in the church. Then we need to encourage them to be all that they can for Jesus. (I know that this is/was the advertising cry of the US Army, but it should mean even more in God’s Army!) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13. If we can do all things through Christ then we need to make sure that we use all that we have received form Christ to promote and build His kingdom. The most important thing is that we need to be out there working for Him.
What kind of teacher will you be? Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 We need to make sure that we are teachers in all these areas. First of all we need to make sure that we are working to improve ourselves in these areas. Then we need to make sure that they see our Christianity and our love for them and for all mankind. They need to see us teaching all nations. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
And on a final note we need to follow the first century church. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:42-47 We need to make sure that wherever we are that we are making sure that we are provoking Christians to love and good works. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Hebrews 10:24 We need to do whatever it takes to make sure that we get to Heaven and bring along as many people as possible.