Train up a Child (New Believers Training!)
by Dr. Ken Matto
 
(Prov 22:6 KJV) Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

 

Normally we always associate the above verse with training up little children which the Lord has given to us but I believe it has a wider meaning in that it is imperative that we train a new believer in a proper and biblical method. When we train a new Christian properly, they will then begin a biblical foundation on which to continually build and as they mature in the faith, they will not drift into an unbiblical pattern of thinking and living.

 

I would like to give a list of items which would be profitable for new believers to be associated with at a very early age. These items will help a new believer develop a full Christian walk early on and will make them feel part of the Great Commission, not having to wait until some future date to get involved, which by that time discouragement may begin to set in. Many churches give new believers classes on subjects as baptism, church history, and other subjects which seem to relate only to the local church they are attending and after that it seems any other learning is relegated to the Sunday School. I would like to give a list of items which should be a curriculum for new believers in every church to give them a right start in their Christian walk. Let us now look at the list.
 
 
Missions
(Isa 52:7 KJV) How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

 

One of the first areas of Christianity the new believer should be acquainted with is missions. The primary responsibility of the true church is to send forth the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. I know when I became a Christian in 1981, the man whom the Lord sent to disciple me put a love for missions in my heart almost immediately.
 
 
Giving
(Luke 6:38 KJV) Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

 

Another important area a new believer needs to be quickly acquainted with is the area of giving. Not only should they be taught the principle of tithing, but that tithing is only the beginning point of giving. Money is not the only thing we give unto God, we give ourselves as well.
 
 
Early Involvement
(Jer 1:6-7 KJV) Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. {7} But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

 

One thing a church should do is to involve new believers in the Lord's work in the church. They may not know much but if they work side by side with mature believers they will begin to develop their spiritual gifts and will then be able to work in the proper sphere of service which God has empowered them to. We can call it "apprenticeship Christianity." We must realize that the only way a Christian develops is through involvement.
 
 
Christian Radio
(Josh 1:8 KJV) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

 

Many times we are in our cars for extended periods of time or sometimes we are allowed to have radios at work. This affords us the opportunity to find a good Christian station and be edified for longer periods of time than normal study times. I know many times I was searching for an answer to some biblical question and then I will hear it on the radio. Good quality Christian radio is important. There is much garbage on many Christian radio stations which must be avoided. This is where the mature Christians can guide the new believers.
 
 
KJV
(Psa 12:6 KJV) The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

 

It is also good to teach a new Christian to use the King James Version. Every Christian I know that is worth anything to the kingdom of God has been trained by the KJV. The modern versions are just confusing, even to Christians older in the faith. Just think if churches used the KJV again, the pastor wouldn't have to read the same verse ten times over in different translations.
 
 
Biblical Training
(2 Tim 3:16 KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 

The key to training a child right is the use of the Bible as the textbook for growth and not some Sunday School lessons which draw on the world and psychology for it's basis of teaching. The Bible and the Bible alone is the training manual.
 
 
Study techniques
(1 Cor 2:13 KJV) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

 

New believers must be taught that the Bible is it's own interpreter and that outside materials such as "fantasy island" prophecy books, news magazines, newspapers, or the Jerusalem Post or Y2K propaganda has nothing to do with Bible interpretation. The Bible alone will give the meaning of verses. When I dumped all my prophecy books out, the Holy Spirit then cleared up all my biblical interpretation and He then taught me Scripture according to Scripture. I mean c'mon now, is there really going to be a beast with seven heads and ten horns with crowns coming out of the physical sea?
 
 
Heavenly Discipline
(Heb 12:6 KJV) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

 

A new believer must be taught they are to be obedient to God and to follow the dictates of Scripture. If they attempt to walk in the ways of the world, God will discipline them. If they understand that they are children of God which means they are subject to discipline, they will be careful of their walk in the Lord.
 
 
Church or house church attendance
(Heb 10:25 KJV) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 

The new believer must have stressed to them the importance of fellowshipping with other true believers.
 
 
Communion
(1 Cor 11:28-30 KJV) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. {29} For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. {30} For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

 

The new believer must be taught the seriousness of taking Communion, that it is not a church ritual or tradition but rather a solemn occasion and there are penalties associated with taking it unworthily. If a person is saved they may partake of it. If a person has something against someone, they need to rectify it before taking communion or not take it for the time being, there is no sin or wrong in that.
 
 
Sunday School
(Psa 119:66 KJV) Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

 

If there is one thing that the churches have a hard time doing, it is getting Christians to come to Sunday School. I don't understand it! My church has Sunday school at 10:00 AM. Monday I get up for work at 6:00 AM and am off and running at 7:00 AM. So how come Christians can get up for work very early but can't make it to Sunday School for 9:30-10:00? New believers should be taught that Sunday School is a great place for exchange of biblical ideas and a place to learn much practical Biblical theology. An interactive Sunday School is so profitable for both student and teacher.
 
 
Home Bible Studies
(Rom 16:5 KJV) Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

 

A new believer must be shown that home Bible studies, normally on a week night, are very profitable. These home studies engender intimacy among believers and a great growth potential. Home Bible studies also offer a non-threatening environment in which the new believer may feel comfortable in asking questions which may seem simple to us, but new to them.
 
 
Root them in major doctrines
(1 Tim 4:6 KJV) If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

 

One of the areas in which the church has departed from is the teaching of the great doctrines of the faith. The church must return to teaching the great doctrines of the faith to root the new believer. It is these great doctrines which open up the Scriptures to us and give us a great foundation for our faith. A new believer who learns the doctrines of the faith will surely not depart from sound teaching and understanding.
 
 
Christian Separation
(Ezek 22:26 KJV) Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

 

Another important principle a new believer must learn is the "principle of separation." We cannot do the things the world does, whether it be home or on the job. We must exude a good testimony before the world and the new believer must be taught what the difference is between worldly ways and Godly ways. The world must see the difference between them and God's people. Compromising with the world always leads to heartache.
 
 
Prayer
(Jer 33:3 KJV) Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

 

Prayer is intimate communication between God and His children and the new believer should be taught the importance of a steady and faithful prayer life.
 
 
Christian Fellowship
(1 John 1:7 KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 

The new believer must be taught that fellowship with Christians is imperative. The new believer does not have to worry about his or her old friends. As soon as they find out they are born again, the worldly friends will begin to go their separate ways and God will fill the void with new Christian friends which will be beneficial for growth.
 
 
John 3:30
(John 3:30 KJV) He must increase, but I must decrease.

 

One thing a new believer must be taught is to guard against any and every form of pride. Christ must take preeminence in our lives and not us. As we progress in the faith, Christ must be seen and not us.
 
 
Satan and his snares
(1 Pet 5:8 KJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

 

The new believer must be taught that as soon as they become saved, they have an enemy which is determined to trip them up any way he can. They must also be taught that Satan is a defeated foe and has no authority over the believer.
 
 
Cults & False Gospels
(1 John 2:19 KJV) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

 

The new believer must be taught that not everyone who names the name of Christ is truly a Christian. They must be taught about the way cults twist the Scriptures and rely on other writings as their authority. If a new Christian is warned about cults, they will not get snared because they will ask the right questions.
 
 
Adversity
(Isa 43:2 KJV) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

 

Last but not least, the new Christian must know that there will be times of adversity in their lives but God is right there with them as He is in the good times. If the new Christian knows that hard times will come, they will not become discouraged but will endure through the valley of adversity knowing that God has not abandoned them.
 
I hope these few suggestions will serve as a spiritual cudgel to train up that new believer the correct way. Teaching them the basics of the Christian faith is a necessity and the teaching must be thorough, so the new Christian will grasp it. May God guide you as you "Feed His Lambs."
 
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