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Introduction

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The Graceful Beginnings Series of Bible studies are specifically designed for anyone new to the Bible—whether you are a new Christian or you just feel insecure about understanding the Bible. The lessons are basic, introducing the inexperienced Christian to God and His way of approaching life in simple terms that can be easily understood.

Just as a newborn baby needs to know the love and trustworthiness of her parents, the new Christian needs to know and experience the love and trustworthiness of her God. Graceful Beginnings: New Believers Guide is the first study in the series, laying a good foundation of truth for you to grasp and apply to your life. The other books in the series can be done in any order.

Some Bible Basics

Throughout these lessons, you will use a Bible to answer questions as you discover treasure about your life with Christ. The Bible is one book containing a collection of 66 books combined together for our benefit. It is divided into two main parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament tells the story of the beginning of the world and God’s promises to mankind given through the nation of Israel. It tells how the people of Israel obeyed and disobeyed God over many, many years. All the stories and messages in the Old Testament lead up to Jesus Christ’s coming to the earth.

The New Testament tells the story of Jesus Christ, the early Christians, and God’s promises to all those who believe in Jesus. You can think of the Old Testament as “before Christ” and the New Testament as “after Christ.”

Each book of the Bible is divided into chapters and verses within those chapters to make it easier to study. Bible references include the book name, chapter number and verse number(s). For example, Ephesians 2:8 refers to the New Testament book of Ephesians, the 2nd chapter, and verse 8 within that 2nd chapter. Printed Bibles have a “Table of Contents” in the front to help you locate books by page number. Bible apps also have a contents list by book and chapter.

The Bible verses highlighted in each lesson are from the New English Translation® (NET®) unless otherwise indicated. You can use any version of the Bible to answer the questions, but using a more easy-to-read translation (NET, NIV, NIRV, NLT, ESV) will help you gain confidence in understanding what you are reading. You can find all these translations in Bible apps and online.

This study capitalizes certain pronouns referring to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit—He, Him, His, Himself—just to make the reading of the study information less confusing. Some Bible translations likewise capitalize those pronouns referring to God; others do not. It is simply a matter of preference, not a requirement.

The God You Can Know

The God You Can Know lessons focus on the attributes of God—those character qualities of God that He has revealed about Himself. God’s greatness is far beyond human understanding. But, His Word does give us part of the picture. And, that picture reveals an awesome God!

An “attribute” is a quality or characteristic of someone or something. For a person, an attribute is something generally true about that person. If someone says that you are always kind, that’s an attribute of you. If someone says that you are always patient, that’s an attribute of you. Attributes describe someone so that we can know more about him or her.

The attributes of God are things we CAN know about God. They describe His character and are true about Him all the time. God has revealed these attributes about Himself so we can know who He is. By knowing who He is, we can know Him better. He is truly The God You Can Know. And, by knowing Him, we can learn to trust Him with our lives.

Trust (faith) is always an issue of credibility. It is hard to trust God if you don’t know Him. The more you know Him, the easier it is to trust Him. You don’t have more faith by talking about faith. Getting to know the object of your faith, your God, increases your confidence in Him. Knowing God’s character plus His promises gives you plenty of reasons to consider Him trustworthy. The Bible describes that confidence to be like having your feet firmly planted on solid rock—with God as your Rock. He is a trustworthy God.

“So, I am always thinking that when God reveals a particular thing about Himself, He is helping me know Him. That is the point of saying things about Himself or doing particular things in the world. He is helping me know Him, the true God, a person, so that my delight can be in Him…” (John Piper, desiringgod.org, Interview on March 8, 2016)

Trusting Your Father God

Your God is also a trustworthy Father. Jesus continually taught His disciples to consider God as their Father. This God is your Father God, too. The moment you placed your trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation, you were adopted into God’s family as His child. He is the perfect Father, the most loving Father, the most dependable Father, and the Father who cares about your every need.

The Apostle Paul, who wrote several books of the New Testament, describes it this way,

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:14-16)

Our Father God’s love for us is deep and amazing.

See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children—and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know him. (1 John 3:1

Jesus continually encouraged His followers to call God, “Father.” He taught them to pray to their Father God, whom they could trust.

… for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So pray this way: “Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored,” (Matthew 6:8-9)

Wait a minute. What if you didn’t have such a good earthly father! Your concept of a father might be pretty scary. God knows that. But, He wants you to know that you are dearly loved by your Father God. Dearly loved.

Think of the best father in any movie or TV show. Who comes to mind? God is even better than that father. And, through these lessons, you will become familiar with the character of God—those attributes that help you to know Him well, love Him wholeheartedly, and gain the confidence to trust Him as your Father God.

At the end of each lesson, we will include three things to help you renew your mind with truth about God:

1) Bible verse to learn

This will help to renew your thinking and make Bible truth part of your life as you begin this new adventure. Memorizing Bible verses is not just something “to do.” You are planting God’s words to you in your mind. The Bible calls it “renewing your mind” with truth about who God is and who you are.

If your Bible is a different translation from the one given in The God You Can Know, feel free to memorize the verse from your Bible rather than what is given. The point is to begin a habit of memorizing Scripture. You will be surprised at how soon it just flows from your mind.

2) Response in prayer & praise

This will help you to begin regular conversation with your Father God who loves you dearly. You will be encouraged to talk to your Heavenly Father about anything and everything. Tell Him what you are thinking and feeling. He is someone you can trust.

3) Discover God the Father

You will be asked to read prayers and praises from both the Old Testament and New Testament. Spend a few minutes each day reading these prayers and reflecting on how each prayer reveals someone’s understanding of and trust in God. Get to know Him well—this One who loves you dearly.

[For further study: See this excellent series of articles on the attributes of God called “Let Me See Thy Glory - A Study of the Attributes of God.”]

Overview of the Attributes of God

  • God’s SOVEREIGNTY: God is the sovereign ruler of His creation. He rules it with supreme authority and power.

“How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.” (2 Samuel 7:22 NIV)

  • God’s OMNIPOTENCE, OMNIPRESENCE, & OMNISCIENCE (the Omnis): God’s power is more powerful than anything or anyone else in the entire universe. God’s presence is everywhere at the same time. God knows everything there is to know.

“You are all around me, behind me and in front of me. You hold me in your power. I’m amazed at how well you know me. It’s more than I can understand.” (Psalm 139:5-6 NIRV)

  • God’s HOLINESS: God is holy. He is set apart from anything that is sinful or evil.

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil. You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (Habakkuk 1:13a NIV)

  • God’s JUSTICE: God always does what is morally right and fair.

“This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.” (Romans 3:26 NET)

  • God’s GRACE: God’s grace is His undeserved favor abundantly poured out on those who desperately need Him.

“Our Lord poured out more and more of his grace on me. Along with it came faith and love from Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 1:14 NIRV)

  • God’s GOODNESS: God is good all the time — even in the tough times, in different ways for each person, and in what He allows or doesn’t allow into our lives.

“You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” (Psalm 119:68 NIV)

  • God’s LOVE: God’s love is patient, kind, forgiving and considers what is best for the one being loved.

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8 NIV)

  • God’s JOY: God’s joy finds great pleasure in His creation and His creatures, especially people who trust in Him.

“… The joy of the Lord makes you strong.” (Nehemiah 8:10 NIRV)

Your Father God’s love for you is deep and amazing. Bask in it!

Related Topics: Character of God, Women's Articles

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