The Bridge – Leading Someone to Christ

This is a study in ‘spiritual obstetrics’.  Becoming a Christian was referred by Jesus as ‘new birth/being born again’ (John 3:3f). This is a very helpful analogy. In the same way as natural birth would have some ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ (cutting umbilical cord, clearing and cleaning), there are certain things we can think of and apply when someone expresses a desire to follow Christ.This isn’t about a formula. These steps/principles are there in order to give that person the best start in becoming Christ-followers. We must exercise wisdom & discernment in this process and be aware where the person is at in their journey. In providing a model for how someone became a Christ-follower we will examine Jesus’ teaching & the Early Church practice.

Beforehand…

  • Do not rush anything – early births can be problematic
  • Wait until the person expresses a desire to become a Christ-follower
  • Make sure it isn’t just a spur of the moment, emotional, naïve decision
  • Give them time/space to evaluate this crucial decision
  • Do not pressurise people – it is the Holy Spirit that convicts/convinces: John 16:8-13
  • Rev. Peter Collinson’s Tips:
    A life that has to be lived – as an attractive example
    A love that has to be shown – 1 Cor. 13 – building bridges, caring
    A light that has to given – pray for opportunities: conversation, booklet, invitation.

Believe!

  • Salvation is an act of faith: 1 Corinthians 2:14
  • Faith underpins the whole process: John 7:38; Acts 16:31
  • Believing in the authority & inspiration of the Bible: 2 Timothy 3:16
  • Believing main doctrines of Christianity: 
    (Creation, The fall, Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Return)
  • Faith in itself is a gift from God: Ephesians 2:8
  • Personal faith is to be expressed – Romans 10:9-10

Repent!

  • Personal recognition of personal sinfulness: Romans 3:23; Luke 15:18, 21
  • Personal recognition of need for forgiveness: John 16:8
  • Repentance = change of thinking/turn around (away): John 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:-11
  • Repentance is not just regret: 2 Corinthians 7:-11a
  • Personal repentance is to be expressed: 1 John 1:9; Acts 18:18-19
  • Repentance may mean practical restitution: Luke 19:1-10;Acts 26:20

Receive!

  • This is the death of the old life: Galatians 2:20
  • This is the beginning of a new life/death of the old one: 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • The Holy Spirit is promised by Jesus: John 16:7
  • The Holy Spirit will indwell us: John 14:17; Acts 5:32; 1 Corinthians 6:19
  • He will be the Helper/Counsellor/intercessor: John 16:8,13; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Romans 8:26

Be Baptised!

  • Baptism does not appear to be optional
  • Jesus showed the way: Matthew 3:13-17
  • Jesus commanded it: John 3:5; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:16
  • The Early Church practiced it: Acts 8:26-39;10:44-48
  • Powerful message: burial/washing: Colossians 2:12 /Acts 22:16
  • Public demonstration of our conversion: Acts 2:38, 41

Afterwards…

  • You have a new relationship with God: Galatians 4:6;
  • You need to have an assurance – 1 John 5:13
  • Press on – there is more: John 10:10; Philippians 3:12-15a
  • Marks of authentic disciple: prayer, Bible-reading, fellowship, serving, evangelising


‘Conversion is so simple that the smallest child can be converted, but it is also so profound that theologians throughout history have pondered the depth of its meaning.’
  
 Billy Graham

‘The sincere convert is not one man at church and another at home.
He is not a saint on his knees and a cheat in his shop.’       
 Joseph Alleine (1634-1668)

‘We should think of conversion, not as the acceptance of a particular creed, but as a change of heart.
Helen Adams Keller (1880-1968)

 

©. CFM LIFE Groups, November 2007

 

 

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