The Importance of My Personal Life (Session 30)
Purpose: The purpose of this session is to help you see how important you are as you live as a disciple and witness to the world. Your life is significant to both those who live around you and also to the Father.
1. To help the disciple see that as an ambassador for Christ, it is important how we live.
2. To understand that we represent the King of Kings as we live in this world.
3. To understand that God has given us a message that we can both tell and live before others.
4. To grasp more fully that we belong to the King of Kings.
You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people.
1. Prayer and mutual sharing.
2. Discuss questions.
3. Review memory work.
4. Present and discuss disciples testimony.
The purpose of this session is to stress from God ’s Word the importance of the disciple’s personal life. How the disciple conducts himself is relevant and of utmost importance. We have been chosen as heavenly ambassadors to bear His Word of love and grace. The following observations are simple, but they are direct and clear.
I. Believers (disciples) are:
A. A chosen race, a royal priesthood...to proclaim His excellencies, 1 Peter 2:9
B. Exalters of Christ — those who enable Him to be seen more clearly, Philippians 1:20.
C. Epistles (letters) known and read by all men, 2 Corinthians 3:2.
D. Lights in the world — reflectors of Christ, Matthew 5:14; 2 Corinthians 3:18.
E. Christians — “little Christs,” Acts 11:26
F. The “salt of the earth,” Matthew 5:13. A preservative that also causes thirst.
G. Examples, 1 Timothy 4:12.
How much folly does it take to ruin a testimony...to cause a life to be ineffective? Very little — Ecclesiastes 10:1; Hebrews 12:1
II. Who would be affected by the breakdown of my personal life?
A. Myself —little things can sap our spiritual strength. Unwillingness to judge little things can render us useless. When spiritual strength is sapped we become mere decorations.
B. Unbelievers— those who need Christ, 2 Timothy 2:21. We are responsible to the extent that we could have been used to reach others.
C. Believers—young and/or weak Christians could be hurt, Hebrews 12:12.
D. Last, but certainly not the least, God the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; and Ephesians 4:30. The Holy Spirit is grieved and quenched by our sinning. We can’t grieve someone who doesn't love us.
In considering “living out the gospel,” there is a place to look at the importance of my life as a disciple. The object of this learning experience is to help an individual see that the nature of one”s personal life can have a significant effect upon his ultimate discipleship ministry and effectiveness as a minister for Christ. This in no way means that I should give attention to the way I live only because of this ministry. To live a double or inconsistent life, or to tolerate a problem that is contrary to Scripture is to invite ruin, shame and dwarfed usefulness. It is important to see the uniqueness of believers and disciples as we are described in the Word of God. We can begin to do this by looking at the following verses and responding to the questions with the verses noted.
1. How are Christians described in 1 Peter 2:9? What seems to be our unique purpose in the world as described in this verse?
2. Philippians 1:20 tells us we are to?
3. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 3:2 tells us we are a _______________. In your own words, what significance does this have in relation to our behavior in the world?
4. What term was first used for disciples at Antioch? Acts 11:26.
What does this term mean in its biblical setting (speculate)?
5. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus calls the disciples ________________. Compare this with John 8:12. What comments can you make on the similarities and differences taught in these two verses?
6. In Matthew 5:13, we are called ________________________ What are some of the ways we are like this?
7. The final similarity or picture is found in 1 Timothy 4:12. What are we called in this passage?
8. List the practical truths that come to mind as you read these verses describing Christians.
9. In connection with the “race” I am running, what do I need to do according to Hebrews 12:1?
10. Most of us are somewhat aware by this time of what a sin is. What is an “encumbrance?”
A very personal question might be, what encumbrances are in your life that are hindering your effectively running of race? If you don’t know, ask God to show you, and list them.
11. What is the basic teaching or instruction from Ecclesiastes 10:1?
12. The following verses give some indication of who is affected by your personal life. As you think of your impact upon the world and those you know, analyze these verses and write briefly who is affected by your life.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
1 Corinthians 3:16,
1 Thessalonians 5:19
2 Timothy 2:21
13. Christians are not meant to be decorations. Little things can sap our strength and power, and we can end up “on the shelf,” 1 Corinthians 9:27. We need to judge things in our lives and keep “on track!” We cannot afford to let little things sap our power and usefulness. 1 Corinthians 9:27 tells us of what possibility?
14. We should note that the word translated “disqualified” means something other than losing one’s salvation. The word in the original Greek is “adokimos,” which was a word used by Greek housewives for cracked pottery which was no longer able to hold water. These pieces of pottery often ended up on an upper shelf where they contained things such as but-tons and pin (in our culture). They were simply used ornamentally and for lesser uses than they had been destined for in their making.
What happens in the life of one of whom this is true?
How would you describe someone who is “on the shelf?”
Questions for Review and Discussion
1. In view of the theme and material included in this worksheet, what is the most important consideration for you and your life?
2. How can we develop a sensitivity to sin and behavior that would affect our witness?”
3. 1 Corinthians 9:27 tells me that we can be “put on the shelf,” or disqualified. What does this mean in terms of how you live your life?
4. From your life and personal testimony, what indications do you have that you have had an impact on another person?
Summary and Key Concepts
The purpose of this session is to show that the life I live as a Christian is desperately important if I am to be an effective ambassador. There are several figures of speech in Scripture that give adequate description of what I am and how I should be. It is important to give sufficient time in studying them to understand what a believer is and can be in this world. It is true that if I have a poor Christian testimony — if my life is grossly inconsistent with what it could be otherwise, I will not be effective as far as my service is concerned.
It is also crucial to illustrate through the use of 1 Corinthians 9:27 that it is possible to be permanently disqualified from the race— to be “put on the shelf” and be of no more use to the Savior— if I persist in sin and do not confess and daily yield to His leadership.
Equally important is the truth that a “hypocrite” is not someone who does not live up to what he professes to be. Most of us would then be hypocrites. Rather, a hypocrite is someone who has no intention of living up to what he professes to be.
Be sure to see and understand the reality that we do not live our lives unto ourselves. Many people can be affected when we are negligent and live in sin. At this particular time, the lives of some of us who are Christians have become a joke to unbelievers. It may be important to look back to sessions on spirituality and maturity and do some reviewing of these important topics.
Every Christian should have a well written and rehearsed testimony of what God through Christ has done for him, or her. ( Peter 2:15). This week write out a ten minute testimony of your life: before Christ, how God brought you to Christ, and how your life has changed since receiving Christ. Use only three minutes or less in writing about your life before Christ. Plan to read it to your discipler. It is also helpful to develop a three minute testimony and a one minute testimony.
Related Topics: Discipleship