a practical Christian discipleship course.
Introduction and Contents
Many times I have wondered what it must have been like in ‘Barny’s Bible class’ at Antioch. The class began in
Acts 11:22-24. The need for it arose when people tuned in to the Good News about the Lord Jesus and then turned to the Lord themselves.
Barnabas saw evidence that God was at work in the lives of these people (verse 23). His task was then twofold. Firstly, he encouraged them in their new-found relationship with God, and secondly, he helped them in evangelism among the people around and about them (verses 23-24).
Their class continued for more than a year. Barnabas brought in a young teacher called Saul (later Paul) and the two of them schooled the believers in Christian truth and Christlikeness (verses 25-26). As they raised the standard for Christ, so they raised the standard of Christian living. The Lord gave them great success. The people of Antioch could clearly see the difference between those in the class and those not in it. The students were so much like Jesus Christ and so taken up with His teaching that those who knew them called them ‘Christians’.
This practical discipleship course has developed from material originally compiled for weekly study classes led by Brenda and Colin Salter for Redruth Baptist Church, Cornwall, England. It is offered here with the prayer that you will be able to grow in your Christian walk and witness as you follow these directions to the Lord Jesus, His word and His will.
We have been offering suggestions for group discussion at the end of every
section, since the 2010 edition of Raising the Standard.
1. Readers should look carefully at what the Bible passages quoted
actually say. What is their simplest meaning?
2. Readers should ask what the passage meant to those people who
were the original receivers of it. How does the first century
context influence the meaning of the words and events?
3. Only then should readers try to apply the passage to their own
lives in their twenty-first century context. Always ask 'How must I live to please
Placing the way we currently live our own lives alongside what God is
teaching us through the Bible (God’s own word), comparing the two,
and then changing our lives to be more like what we learn we should
be, is a great way to progress in Christian discipleship. Please study the Bible passages referred to in the text. This book is not a substitute for the Bible, but rather a signpost to it.
Discussion Guide on the Introduction (above):
Read Acts 11:19-30.
1. Why do you think Jerusalem’s church leaders sent Barnabas to
Antioch when they heard that so many people had become
2. As a person begins the Christian life (a life to honour Jesus Christ)
what kind of things may they have to learn to do or not to do?
3. What do you think Barnabas meant when he “encouraged them all
to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts”? verse 23.
4. Why was such encouragement necessary?
5. Give some suggestions as to why the Believers were called
Christians in Antioch?
6. The last four verses show those new Believers in Antioch
responding to a need elsewhere. In what way does becoming a real
Christian influence how we use our money?
- all 60 lessons, divided into 10 sections:
The Master’s Instructions about Himself
1. God the Father
2. God the Son
3. God the Holy Spirit
4. The process of Christian growth
5. Worshipping God
The Master’s Instructions about the Gospel
6. Why do we need it?
7. What is it?
8. How should we respond to it?
The Master’s Instructions about the Christian Life
9. Receiving and relying upon the Holy Spirit
10. Learning to please God
11. Learning to confess sin
12. Learning in fellowship
13. Learning how to pray
14. Learning how to learn
The Master’s Instructions about Everyday Life
15. Living as a Christian at home
16. Living as a Christian at work
17. Living as a Christian child
18. Living as a Christian husband and father
19. Living as a Christian wife and mother
20. Living as a single Christian
21. The Christian attitude to money
22. The Christian attitude to time
23. The Christian attitude to sickness
24. The Christian attitude to other people
25. The Christian attitude to the future
26. The Christian’s attitude to his/her own abilities
27. The Christian’s attitude to his/her own body
The Master’s Instructions about Specific Christian Problems
28. How to overcome temptation
29. How to know God’s will for your life
30. How to pray
31. How to fight the spiritual battle
32. How to lead another to Jesus Christ
33. How to grow through problems - Joseph
The Master’s Instructions about Christians Together
34. Born into the family of God
35. Brought up in the family of God
36. Becoming what God wants me to be in the body of Christ
The Master’s Instructions about the Bible
37. The authority of God’s word
38. The value of God’s word
39. Ways of studying God’s word
Mark’s ‘Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ’
40. The place of Jesus Christ
41. The purpose of Jesus Christ
42. The prayer life of Jesus Christ
43. The miracles of Jesus Christ
44. The message of Jesus Christ
45. The man Jesus Christ
46. Jesus taught the sinfulness of man
47. Jesus taught the sufferings of the Son of Man
48. Jesus taught the resurrection
49. Jesus taught the coming of the Son of Man
The Life and Ministry of Peter
50. Starting off with Jesus
51. Stepping out with Jesus
52. Seeing who Jesus is
53. Slipping back from Jesus
54. Struggling to stay with Jesus
55. Sorry, then sent by Jesus
56. Speaking out for Jesus
57. Stepping out for Jesus
58. Suffering for Jesus
59. Still learning while serving
The End Matters
60. One final request directly from me to you
- your personal commitment.
Originally published by Kingsway Publications, Eastbourne, England 1987.
Printed in Khartoum 2001 in English, reprinted 2010 with added Discussion guides.
Reprinted in Juba 2018 in English.
Printed in Arabic 2006, reprinted in 2008 and 2018.
Printed in Dinka Padang 2007.
To freely download please click the book cover here or (for the English language) at the top of the article.