An introduction to four Bible studies for new or re-committed Christians who want to grow in their relationship with Jesus.
Your New Identity: Study 1
As you begin your journey of following Jesus, this Bible study will help you reflect on your new identity in Christ and how God is working in your life.
When you responded to the invitation to follow Jesus, what did that mean for you?
What insights or questions do you have about your new life as a fully-committed Christian?
HEAR THE WORD
Read Matthew 4:17-22.
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
What stands out to you about this story?
The message Jesus preached began with a call to repent. The word repent means “to turn around; to change direction entirely.” We might say, “to make a 180-degree turn.” What associations do you have with the word repent? What does it mean for you to repent?
What is Jesus asking of Peter and Andrew? What is he offering them?
Why do you think the fishermen left their nets and boat “at once” to follow Jesus?
This is a story about change in identity. Describe their old identity and their new identity. What do the nets and the boat represent to the fishermen?
What might your nets and boat be? What might it mean for you to leave your nets and boat behind as you become a fully-committed follower of Jesus? Ask God to show you.
Thank you, Jesus, for this invitation to follow you. I’m excited to follow you because: (write down your answer).
Take time to listen to God for a response to your prayer.
In our fast-paced, digital culture, writing in a journal can be a helpful way to reflect on your life, faith, and growth. Take time this week to journal as a way of recording how God is working in your life. Please schedule time to journal right now and create a reminder for yourself.
Like the disciples were changed by meeting Jesus, write down what happened when you responded to God’s invitation.
As you journal, reflect on the questions from the Bible passage and consider how you will respond to what God is showing you.
Your faith is not conﬁned to just you and God. You need other people along the way. Who are two people you would like to invite to help you in your faith journey? Write down their names and please text them right now to meet with you this week.
As Simon Peter and Andrew discovered how to "fish for people" so we too can invite others to join Jesus in his mission. Who are two people you can invite to follow Jesus and begin exploring a new identity in Christ?
As you grow in following Jesus, you will learn more about prayer, forgiveness and spiritual disciplines. The next study in this series encourages you to grow in your relationship with God and others.