Using This Study GuideRelated Media
Graceful Beginnings: New Believers Guide is a series of lessons specifically designed for the new Christian in mind—whether new to the Christian faith in general or new in understanding what one might have only heard about previously. The lessons are basic, introducing the new believer to her 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 newborn Christian needs to know and experience the love and trustworthiness of her God.
The seven lessons are:
- Lesson 1: Beginning Your New Life in Christ
- Lesson 2: The Focus of Your New Life - Christ
- Lesson 3: Your New Power Source - God’s Spirit
- Lesson 4: Prayer - Living in the Father’s Love
- Lesson 5: Your New Life in Community
- Lesson 6: A New Life of Obedience
- Lesson 7: Sharing Your New Life with Others
The Bible verses used in this study are from the NET Bible® unless otherwise indicated.
How to Use in One-to-One Discipling Relationships
Graceful Beginnings emphasizes that Christianity is Christ. It’s all about a relationship with him. The lessons encourage the young Christian to appreciate and enjoy this new relationship with Jesus Christ that is filled with treasure for her to know and experience. Help her to delve into her spiritual riches and to experience the kind of life our God has prepared for us all.
Understanding and appreciating our rich treasure is best done in a one-to-one discipling relationship. A mature Christian, one farther along in her walk with Christ, should be the discipler, meeting with the new believers (disciples)—individually or as a small group (2-4).
Each lesson of Graceful Beginnings consists of two parts:
1) “Together Lesson” for the discipler to work through with the new believer at a weekly session, and
2) “Personal Discovery Guide” for the new believer to work through on her own during the week between sessions.
At the end of the seven lessons, plan a time to get together and share each other’s faith stories (worked on during Lesson 7’s Personal Discovery Guide).
How to Use as an Individual Study
Though designed for one-to-one discipling settings, anyone can go through this study on his or her own. One suggested way to do this is to spend one day going through the “Together Lesson” then follow the “Personal Discovery Guide” during the next 6-7 days. If you have questions about anything you are reading or learning, please ask another Christian you know and trust or email with your questions.
Guidelines for One-to-One “Together Lessons”
1. Make sure both the discipler and each new believer have a copy of Graceful Beginnings.
2. Agree to a definite starting and stopping time. Keep to that time, if possible. Expect the discipling “Together Lessons” to take about 60 minutes, depending upon discussion.
3. Make sure that each of you has a modern translation of the Bible to use.
4. Begin and end with prayer. As you enjoy your instructional time together, give yourselves freedom to address any questions that came up during the week. As questions come up during the discipling lesson, choose to address them if relevant or plan to address them at a later time.
5. It is not necessary that you write answers to the discussion questions while working through each discipling lesson. However, you should read the teaching material and all the Bible passages. Each new believer needs to know where to find these in her own Bible for future reference. Then, give some thought to each of the discussion questions/issues.
6. Make sure you stay in the Scriptures. That is your authority because that is God’s Word.
7. At the end of the “Together Time,” introduce the Personal Discovery Guide that follows the lesson.
8. Reinforce the transferability of these lessons. Both of you can use them with any future disciples God brings into your lives.
9. Enjoy your time together getting to know one another in the Lord. Rejoice in the truths you share together!
Memorizing Bible Verses Together
Help the new believer to begin memorizing Bible verses each week (included in the Personal Discovery Guide). We recommend that you both memorize the verses during the week. The verses printed in Graceful Beginnings are from the NET Bible®. You may each choose to memorize the verse from your Bible rather than what is given. That is perfectly okay. The point is to begin a habit of memorizing Scripture.
The 7 memory verses associated with the lessons are:
Memory Verse 1
“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Memory Verse 2
“But these are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)
Memory Verse 3
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Memory Verse 4
“Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Memory Verse 5
“I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Jut as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Memory Verse 6
“I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ” (Galatians 2:20)
Memory Verse 7
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14 New Living Translation)