Lessons in Discipleship (2) دروس في التلمذة

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LID#2-Basic Assurances for a New Believer

          This is Dr. Ed Hoskins welcoming you to Lessons in Discipleship, a series designed to help new believers become established in their  Christian faith.

For our session today, we are looking at Basic Assurances for a New Believer. First, let me tell you a little about myself.  I’m a retired physician. I spent 34 years in family medicine and student health. I became a Christian 50 years ago and was helped early in my Christian faith by the Navigators, an international non-denominational Christian organization, whose stated goal is “To know Christ and to make him known.”  I’ve been on associate staff with that organization since 1980. Lessons in Discipleship is a compilation of what I learned during that time.  Today’s session is Basic Assurances for a New Believer.

To start with, coming to know Christ through Jesus is a wonderful experience and all the angels of heaven rejoiced.  However, there was one person in the universe made extremely angry by your decision – Satan. He’s also called the ‘accuser of our brothers’ in Revelations, chapter 12:10. The Bible says, ”For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night…” Satan hates a new believer’s decision to follow Christ.

Every Christian must be prepared to meet Satan’s very specific lines of accusations.

When Jesus started his ministry on earth at age 30, Satan verbally attacked him with three specific temptations listed in Matthew chapter 4.  It began after Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Each time Satan attacked, Jesus responded with a quotation from God’s word, “It is written.” And then he quoted scripture, usually from Deuteronomy. Over the last 50 years, I’ve noticed five of the most common satanic accusations for every new Christ-follower.  You may not experience all of these five, but you will certainly experience one or more of them.  The first one has to do with our salvation.  Satan wants you to doubt this.  He would like you to think that you are not really saved.  The second one has to do with prayer.  Satan wants you to doubt God’s ability to answer your prayers.  Satan may whisper, “God doesn’t really hear you.  He’s too busy.”  Satan’s third attack has to do with temptation that usually has to do with your past and unwholesome activities you may have been involved in. Satan may whisper, “Some temptations are too powerful for you to resist. You’re weak. You cannot escape your sinful nature.”  Again, that’s another lie from Satan.  Christ promises that when we come to know him, we become a new creature.  Another attack of Satan is that “You are too sinful.  You’re a horrible person.  God could not possibly forgive all of your sins.”  A fifth attack (lie) has to do with guidance.  Satan may whisper, “God, won’t guide you in this life. You’re on your own.”

So how do we defend ourselves against Satan’s lying attacks? The answer is by memorizing and quoting scripture just as Jesus did. Let’s look at the very first one having to do with salvation.

Satan’s first attack: “You’re not really saved. You just had the emotional experience.” What is our defense?  Memorize the following verse by memorizing, word-perfect, all three parts, topic, reference, and verse.  To fix it firmly in mind, quote the reference at the start and end of each verse, just like the back and front end of a ship. Repeat the reference ‘fore and aft’, like this:

“Assurance of salvation,  I John 5:11-12.

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I John 5:11-12”

Let’s go on to Satan’s second accusation.  This one has to do with prayer.  Satan may whisper, “God doesn’t really hear your prayers.” Again, it’s another lie from Satan. What is our defense?  The answer: memorize the following verse and reference ‘fore and aft.’

“Assurance of answered prayer,  John 16:24.

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.  Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.  John 16:24”

Let’s move on to our third temptation.  Satan my whisper, “Some temptations are just too powerful to resist. You’re weak. You can’t escape your own sinful nature.”  What is our defense? Answer – The truth.  Memorize and use the following reference and verse ‘fore and aft.’

“Assurance of Victory over Sin,  I Corinthians 10:13.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are attempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  I Corinthians 10:13”

Now let’s look at Satan’s fourth major attack. He may whisper, “You’re just too sinful. You’re such a bad person. God can’t forgive all of your sins.”

Well, once again it’s hard to defend.  But our answer lies in God’s truth.  Memorize the follow verse ‘fore and aft.’

“Assurance of forgiveness,  I John 1:9.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  I John 1:9”

And finally, Satan wants us to doubt God’s guidance in our lives.  You are not on your own.  God promises his help.  The defense again is God’s truth. Memorize the following verse with topic and reference.

“Assurance of Guidance,  Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6”

Let’s summarize what we learned from this brief presentation. First, all believers face Satan’s accusations.  Second, our defense is God’s word. But be prepared as this may not just happen one time.  It is likely to happen multiple times.  Each time meet Satan’s attack with God’s truth.  Each memorized verse can be used by the Holy Spirit in our defense.  Three, review your verses daily.  Consider using 3 x 5 cards. That’s what I still do.

That wraps up today’s presentation.  We will see you next time for another session of Lessons in Discipleship when we cover the topic of Living the Balanced Christian Life, the Wheel illustration.

Thanks for coming and being a part.  Until next time, keep following Jesus. He is worth it.

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