Monday, August 9, 2010

13 Continuing the Care of the New Christian

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It is very important that we pray daily for the person whom we have helped to know Christ. The prayers of the Apostle Paul found in Philippians 1:9-11, in Colossians 1:9-11, in Ephesians 1 and in Ephesians 3 show what he prayed for with reference to those for whom he had spiritual responsibility. In one place he said, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:14-19). Meditate on these requests. They show what is necessary in the lives of all Christians.

In writing to the Thessalonians Paul declares how often he prayed for fellow believers: "Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith" (I Thess. 3:10). We, too, should pray daily, consistently, and fervently for the persons whom we have been privileged to point to the Lord Jesus Christ.


We should get together with new Christians within 24 or 48 hours at the most. As we prayerfully repeat the visit, we will discover that the enemy has already been at work. Doubts will have arisen, questions will have come to their minds, problems will have arisen at home or at work concerning their new-found faith. They will need the warmth of our personal touch, and our continuing interest. We will need to put ourselves out to do everything possible for their spiritual good. When we visit them we should have a time of prayer, and try to help them meet their problems by instructing them further in the Scriptures. The Lord will help us in this if we look to Him. A telephone call in between visits, inquiring concerning their progress, will encourage them.

If we are unable to contact them by a visit or by a phone call, we can write a letter. Too often, however, we put off writing a letter until we can write one that we think is long enough, not realizing that a brief letter of encouragement would be better. To write frequently even though briefly, is what is needed. Many of us do not realize the power of a personally penned letter in which we pour out our heart, as we seek to be of assistance to the person whom we have led to Christ.

I remember an incident which occurred a couple of years ago when we were in London with the Billy Graham team. One of our fine personal work counselors, Mrs. Mendenhall, spoke with a Dutch woman one night. She did not receive the Lord then. Something just was not clear to her. Mrs. Mendenhall did not give up, however. She went home, and before she retired, she poured out her heart in a letter to the Dutch woman, explaining again as carefully as she could the gospel message.

When the Dutch woman received the letter she read it over very carefully, then knelt down and received the Lord Jesus Christ as her own personal Saviour. She did not keep the letter to herself but circulated it among her friends. Within three months ten of them had come to know Christ as personal Saviour through reading the letter. Altogether too often we do not realize the power of a written testimony. We need to make more use of this method of witnessing.


Here are two additional suggestions for helping new Christians. After having studied this matter for some years and having specialized in the care of new Christians, I have come to the conviction that one of the most helpful things we can do for them is to get them to commit Scripture verses to memory. In that way the Holy Spirit has a weapon, the Word, that He can call to their minds at any time or anywhere.

May I suggest we introduce new Christians to the booklet "Beginning with Christ," either our own copy or one we secure for them. When they have committed the four verses to memory which are in it, then have them use the booklet, "Going On With Christ." After they have memorized the eight verses of "Going On With Christ," encourage them to complete the Topical Memory System.

The Topical Memory System has in it one hundred and eight verses topically arranged. To repeat what I have written before in these lessons, nothing has paid greater dividends for me than the time spent in committing Scripture to memory.

That, however, is not the only way to come to know the Bible. We should encourage new Christians to read it consistently and consecutively for themselves. We often suggest the Gospel of John because it goes into the life of the Lord Jesus and shows so clearly how to be saved. I might suggest Mark and the Book of I Thessalonians which was written to very young Christians.

Furthermore, we must see to it that they become active in the fellowship of a good, Bible-believing church. God wants us to hide the Word on the tables of our heart through memorizing it; He wants us to read it; but He also wants us to hear it preached.

He tells us in Jeremiah 3:15: "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." It may be that we will have to call for the new Christians on Sunday mornings and take them to Sunday school and church. God does not intend that we try to get along without the fellowship of other Christians and the fellowship of a Bible-believing gospel-preaching church (Heb. 10:24,25).


As I have suggested, we should visit with our young Christians regularly and pray with them, not depending on the Sunday fellowship to be sufficient for them. We ought to contact them during the week, perhaps have lunch with them. They need our help to not only know the Bible through memorizing Scripture, through Bible reading, and through Bible study, but they need to be taught how to have a daily quiet time. We should share with them some of the wonderful things that God has taught us. In all of this, of course, we are preparing them for the day when they, in turn, will share with others - their neighbors and their friends - what Christ has done for them. God wants new Christians to grow, and to become effective personal witnesses. They can reproduce spiritually by sharing their knowledge of Christ and spiritual truth with others. But in order to do this, they must have continuing help from us.

In conclusion, I would like to summarize all thirteen lessons of this course in just four verse of Scripture. The first id Matthew 4:19. Here we read that when the Lord Jesus called several of His disciples He said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Do you want to be a fisher of men? You can if you will but follow. The command is to follow Him, and His promise is that He will make us fishers of men.

The second is Acts 22:14,15. Paul, in giving his testimony before the multitude in Jerusalem, repeated the words of Ananias: "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard." In other words, we are to take time to look at the Lord Jesus and to listen to what He has to say to us through His Word, the Bible. Then we can go out and witness to others of what we have seen and heard. Have you been taking time to look and to listen?

The third passage reads, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me" (Acts 1:8). This is the promise of the power of the Holy Spirit for witnessing.

The fourth and final passage is Exodus 4:10-12. When Moses said to the Lord, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent neither heretofore... but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue," the Lord asked him, "Who hath made man's mouth?" Then He commanded "Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say."


1. What are some things you might do personally to encourage and help a new Christian?

2. As you look back over the weeks you have been memorizing Scripture, list some of the outstanding results that have come to your life from these passages.

3. What have been the greatest blessings to your own life as a result of your daily quiet time with the Lord?

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You have now completed Lorne Sanny's The Art of Personal Witnessing

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