Everyday Discipleship: Lesson 1: Salvation

Everyday Discipleship: Lesson 1-Salvation

This is the first lesson in the book. We start with the basics: Salvation and answering any questions or doubts each person may have. We can’t assume the Gospel has been taught clearly to everyone in our group. We want them to have their questions answered and the Gospel message to be clear.

Part 1: The Basics

1. What You’ll Need: As we begin this journey together, each of us needs a Bible, this book, and a journal. We like to have a journal separate from this book so you can write in it when you’re not studying and so you can keep prayer requests, questions, and other notes in it each day. If you don’t have a Bible or journal, talk to your group’s leader.

Your group should decide which version of the Bible you will be studying together. Feel free to go to a Bible website like Biblegateway or Youversion to compare different translations. These are the versions recommended:

ESV: English Standard Version

NASB: New American Standard Bible

NIV: New International Version

NLT: New Living Translation

NKJV: New King James Version

HCSB: Holman Christian Standard Bible

For extra study: AMP: The Amplified Bible

2. Bring your questions: For us to help each other grow, we each need to ask questions. If we don’t understand something or are curious about something, we need to ask. Questions make sure we are addressing each person’s needs and that we are growing in our understanding of God and His Word.

3. Confidentiality: Requests, questions, and discussions in this group are held as confidential. If another person needs to be brought into a conversation, we will be honest about that (such as talking to the pastor about a question we have regarding Scripture). However, nothing should be shared about anyone in the group without their permission. We all need to feel safe and accepted in this group.

4. Joining Together: Our goal is to touch base several times during the week. One way is our weekly meeting and seeing each other at church.

We will also send you a link in your email to join our private Facebook group (or other app private group) and a reading plan on YouVersion where we can read the same verses each day and comment on what we’ve read. Watch for the invitations to these in your email or text.

Lesson 1: Salvation

Weekly Meeting:

Icebreaker:

  1. Leaders will begin by sharing their personal testimonies with the group and let students know that they will also have opportunities in class to share their testimonies. (Each testimony should be only 1-3 minutes long).
  2. How have you heard people talk about salvation? What does that word mean to you?
  3. Go around the group and share when you each became Christians. For those who have not yet accepted Christ or still have questions about Christianity, just let the group know that.

Introduction: Salvation is a word we use to describe “becoming a Christian.” Other terms we use are “born again” and being or getting “saved” or “asking Jesus into your heart.” The Bible uses all these terms except “asking Jesus into your heart.” This idea comes from a scripture in Revelation 3:20, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (NLT) Most of the time, the term “salvation” or “saved” is used.

Scripture Reading: John 3, Romans 3:23-31, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 10:9-13

Discussion:

  1. What are we being saved from? Why do you think God calls what He does in our lives “salvation”?
  2. In Romans 3:23-31, it starts with “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” What does that mean to you?
  3. John 3:6 says the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that we are now new creations in Christ. How has becoming a Christian been a “birth” or how have you become a new creation?
  4. What is new for you? What is the same?
  5. In John 3, Nicodemus asks Jesus what he must do to be saved. What is the answer? What must we DO to be saved?
  6. According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, what is the Good News?

God had a perfect plan for mankind, but people chose to go their own way. (Genesis 3) Now, we live in brokenness, and we try many ways to fix ourselves. Some try to live good lives and do good works. Others choose to follow philosophies and religions that contradict Bible Truths. Some try to hide their pain and bury their feelings by falling into addictions and harmful behaviors. All these ways lead to disappointment, emptiness, and, as the Bible says, death or separation from God.

Jesus came to earth (He was fully God and fully man), and He lived a sinless life. He died on a criminal’s cross, falsely accused, and paid the penalty for our sin. Then, God raised Him from the dead, victorious over sin and death.

  1. Why is it important that Jesus not only died to pay for our sin, but that he rose from the dead?
  2. According to Romans 10:9-13, who can be saved and how are they saved?
  3. Do you have any questions? Always remember, you can bring your questions to these meetings or text them during the week.

Key Point:

Jesus showed the way, paid the way, and is the way.

Jesus showed the way by living the way we should live, interacting with others the way we should.

Jesus paid the way when he died on the cross carrying our sin and rose to life victorious over sin and death offering us freedom from sin and reconciliation with God.

Jesus is the only way to salvation. There is no other god or guru who can make us right with God and our own efforts are futile. Read John 14:6 and memorize it.

Discipleship in Action: You now have a purpose like never before. Now that you are adopted as a child of God and His Holy Spirit lives in you, you are commissioned as an ambassador to the world. Be alert and aware. If someone notices that something is different in your life or asks you about your faith, be ready to share. Don’t worry about quoting the Bible or knowing how to teach them about Jesus. Just share what God has done in your life. You will find that your heart will beat with the same desire of Jesus’ heart: that all will come to know Him and none would die without Him (2 Peter 3:9). This passion will drive you to pray for others and share any time you can. Look for those opportunities that God brings into your life.

Prayer Time: Keep a prayer list and note answered prayer. Share prayer requests as a group, and as you pray, remember to thank God for His generous grace and mercy that has saved us. Thank Him for the relationship we can now have with Him.

On Your Own:

Memory Verses: 1 Peter 1:3-4; John 14:6

Extra Reading: Read the Book of John. Write down any questions you have as you read. Bring the questions to the weekly meeting or to your one-on-one meeting with your leader.

Homework: Write out your testimony

  1. My life before Christ
  2. How I knew I needed Christ
  3. How I became a Christian
  4. My life since I’ve known Christ

Five Weekday Devotions:

Monday: Who Do You Say I Am?

Scripture: Matthew 16:13-18; 10:32-33

I was teaching a friend English. She was Buddhist. She asked in the middle of the lesson, “So, you’re a Christian?”

“Yes,” I answered.

“And you believe your way is the only way to salvation?”

Again, I answered, “Yes. The Bible tells us there is no other way for us to have a relationship with God except through Jesus Christ. So, yes, I believe there is only one way.”

“And you believe you’re right, and we’re wrong?”

This was getting a little uncomfortable, but I had to answer truthfully. “Yes, I guess we do. I truly believe what the Bible says, and I believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins. I believe He forgives us of our sin, and through Him we have eternal life in heaven with God. God doesn’t want anyone to die without knowing Him. He loves everyone and His salvation is for anyone who will believe in Him.”

My friend laughed at me, finding the whole idea funny. For me, it was the first time I had so clearly stated what I believed, even admitting to my friend that Buddhism wasn’t right. That was hard, but I had to be honest.

Today, especially in the cultural climate, it can be difficult to state such absolutes. We’re made to feel guilty to insist that there is such a thing as Truth. We know that the Gospel is going to offend some people, and that is uncomfortable. It seems easier to just stay quiet not running the risk of stirring up trouble.

However, the Bible tells us that if we honestly acknowledge Jesus in front of others, He will acknowledge us before God; basically, that we are truly Christians. That doesn’t mean we have to be rude or obnoxious about it. We just need to be honest and loving in the way we talk to people. 

Jesus asks each of us, “Who do you say that I am.”

The answer needs to be settled in our hearts, and we must be ready to share our faith in God with others when the opportunities arise.

Questions to Ponder:

Who do you say Jesus is? Has that been settled in your heart and mind?

Where do you struggle most in understanding who Jesus is?

Have you shared your faith with anyone? What was the best part about doing that? What was the worst?

What hinders you from speaking up when you know you should?

Pray, and if you choose to, write down your prayer and any questions you have in your journal.

Tuesday: Jesus Is THE Way

Scripture: John 14:6; Acts 4:12

Not long ago I had a conversation with a young woman who was saying she takes the parts from each religion that she likes and tries to live a good life. She talked about how peaceful and loving the Buddhist religion is. I started to bite my tongue and let it go, but I felt the Lord prompting me to speak up.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I don’t see Buddhism as a peaceful, loving religion after living in Taiwan for so long. I see it as putting people in bondage. So many are required to do what the fortune tellers say. They are afraid most of the time. They never know if they are good enough or if they are going to cause something bad to happen to them or someone else.”

To my surprise she responded, “You know, I’ve seen that. My aunt was Buddhist, and you’re right.”

I felt that was all I was to share that day. Any further argument or discussion was not needed at that moment. I felt certain of that.

In our world today many think they can be good enough to be okay or that whatever they decide to believe in is fine. When we start with “Well, I think…” we are usually in trouble.

Jesus was very clear that He is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other way to salvation but through Him. To compromise this one point is to miss the Gospel and salvation completely.

Questions to Ponder:

What does it mean for Jesus to say He is the way?

Why does He say He is the truth?

Have you believed in Jesus as Your Savior who gives your life?

Does it bother you that Jesus is so insistent that He is the only way to salvation?

If you have not believed in Jesus, what is holding you back? What questions do you have?

Pray, and if you choose to, write down your prayer and any questions you have in your journal.

Wednesday: Boast in the Lord

Scripture: Galatians 6:14-15; Philippians 1:21

When we become followers of Christ, everything changes. The ambitions of this world pale in comparison to the purposes of God. Suddenly, the most important thing is to share what God has done in our lives. We aren’t number one in our lives any longer; He is.

We see this in the lives of each of the disciples in the Bible. They went from being scared, confused followers to passionate, bold world-changers.

We no longer boast of ourselves, but we boast of all that God has done. We often say we want to glorify the Lord. “To glorify” means to make His name known among the people. That is one of our most important jobs now.

In 1999, we were young parents with three children. God put a burning desire in our hearts to move to Taiwan, leaving behind everything. We sold most of our belongings and accepted a ministry position in Taipei.

I remember our first day in Taiwan, praying, “God, what have we done? I’m too old to be doing this.” Immediately, His peace and comfort flooded my heart. My priority was to serve Him and glorify Him wherever He wanted us to go.

God may not call you to leave your home and family to serve Him in another country, but when He changes our hearts, He also calls us to live for Him. We no longer live for ourselves, and nothing else matters more. Whether we are the CEO of a huge corporation or a self-employed starving artist, our main vocation becomes boasting of all God has done in our lives.

Living in Taiwan for fifteen years was one of the most wonderful things we could have ever done, not because it was an awesome adventure, which it was, but because we had so many opportunities to boast in the Lord. He took care of us, provided for us, and allowed us to lead many people to faith in Christ. It was hard to leave behind our extended family, giving up time with them especially when my husband’s father and my mother died while we were in Taiwan–that was painful. But we knew we had made the right choice, and our parents did too. We never regretted following Christ.

I promise you the same is true for you. You will never regret your choice to follow Christ. That does not mean it is easy and that nothing painful will happen, but you will find joy as you boast in the Lord and give up your life for the one He gives.

Questions to Ponder:

Has your heart and desires changed since finding Christ?

What is He leading you to do to make His name known?

Who has He put on your heart to tell your story to?

How can you glorify God each day; how can you make His name known?

Pray. Remember to end with prayer, and, if you choose to, write down your prayer and any questions you have in your journal.

Thursday: Count the Cost

Scripture: Luke 14:25-35; 9:23

God tells us to count the cost. As wonderful as salvation is, and as amazing as the joy of the Lord is, it costs to follow Christ. The world does not understand our faith. Many think we are foolish for following God. Sometimes families do not understand the relationship we have with Christ. So, God asks us to count the cost for following Him.

A dear friend of mine was the first in her family to come to Christ. She was afraid to tell her family at first, but as she grew in her faith, and as we prayed for her, she became bolder and unafraid. She shared her faith with her family. Her family were very strong followers of Taoism, and they had committed her to a goddess in that religion. She was supposed to serve in that temple her whole life.

When she shared with her family, something very interesting happened. Her family was okay with her choice. Not only that, but her mom teased her that she’s better off being a Christian because in Taoism you must do too many things, and she was too lazy for all that. It was a jab at her, but it was okay. She was so relieved at her family’s reaction. She was sure they were going to disown her when she told them of her faith.

My friend counted the cost, and she chose to follow Christ. She has now completed seminary and has served for several years in a church in Taipei. We still pray for her family to come to Christ, but so far, only one brother has decided to join her in her faith.

There is an old song we used to sing that says, “Though none go with me, I still will follow. No turning back, no turning back.” That’s the kind of faith and commitment we are making to Christ.

Questions to Ponder:

Have you counted the cost of following Christ, or do you feel like you prayed out of fear of hell or because a friend pushed you?

Have there been costs you did not consider before following Christ that surprised you? How did you handle those?

Are you at a place in your Christian walk that you can say, “Though none go with me, I still will follow”?

What, if anything, is holding you back from complete surrender to Christ?

Pray. Remember to end with prayer, and, if you choose to, write down your prayer and any questions you have in your journal.

Friday: Adopted as Children

Scripture: Romans 8:1-4, 14

The first verse of Romans 8 is such an important one. Satan’s favorite deceit is shame and guilt. He is called the accuser. He accuses and condemns and reminds us of our many failures. He tells us how terrible we are and how God could never love or use us. It’s always interesting to me that Satan will tempt us to sin, and when we fail, he’s right there to accuse us. He doesn’t care if you are an innocent child or 80 years old. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy all that God has for your life.

Verse one tells us, “There is NO CONDEMNATION for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” And in verse two, “the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” We must hold on to these truths. And verse 14 states clearly that we are children of God. We are free! We are His children. We are in His family, and Satan has no right to us.

A young woman was so burdened by her failures. She hid them carefully from those around her. She hated herself and felt that God could never use her. The more she struggled, the more she fell into sin, defeat, and depression. Finally, she’d had enough. She confessed her struggles and sin to a few people she trusted (James 5:16). Their reactions varied, but it really didn’t matter. Something strange happened when she stopped being afraid and stopped hiding behind shame. She was set free! She found victory over her sin and struggles. She found that confession set her free from the fear of being found out. God had a plan for her life, and God could use her. In her weakness, He was strong (2 Cor. 12:9). In her fears, He was her faith. In Satan’s lies, He was her Truth that set her free (John 8:32).

I’ve seen this same scenario repeatedly in my own life and in the life of so many others. Hold on to the truth, let God remind you of His word, and confess your sins to someone you trust who will pray for you and help you in your walk with God. Just the fact that you are not hiding in shame, but are standing in faith and transparency, will give you strength and freedom.

Questions to Ponder:

Do you have a sin in your life that you need to confess to someone so they can pray for you and hold you accountable? Would you be willing to confess that to your discipler this week?

How does it feel to realize that there is no condemnation for you now that you have found Christ?

What does it mean for God to call you His child?

If you struggle with the concept of God being a good Father, would you talk with your group about that? What would help you understand and accept God as your perfect Father?

Pray. Remember to end with prayer, and, if you choose to, write down your prayer and any questions you have in your journal.

1 thought on “Everyday Discipleship: Lesson 1-Salvation”

  1. Terrie Hellard Brown

    In Monday’s devotion I share a story of my experience talking with a friend about beliefs, and I answered her question about my believing she would go to hell if she didn’t believe in Christ with a simple yes and some explanation, but I now know there are much better ways to answer that question that allows us to share the Gospel effectively. Please take a few minutes and watch this video to learn more: https://youtu.be/LqumyDo2sc8?si=siSOUCe6iU6mpzpv

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