Mentoring the New Believer - Lesson 6


In this lesson, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the concept of confession in the context of mentoring a new believer. You will learn the importance of confession in spiritual growth and explore the differences between personal and corporate confession. Additionally, you will discover practical methods to practice confession on an individual level and how to facilitate corporate confession within a group. Lastly, you will see how confession impacts the mentor-mentee relationship by building trust, enhancing accountability, and fostering spiritual growth.

Bill Mounce
Mentoring the New Believer
Lesson 6
Watching Now

I. Understanding Confession

A. Definition and Importance

1. Biblical Context

2. Role in Spiritual Growth

B. Different Types of Confession

1. Personal Confession

2. Corporate Confession

II. Practicing Confession

A. Personal Confession Process

1. Identifying Sins

2. Expressing Regret and Seeking Forgiveness

3. Commitment to Change

B. Facilitating Corporate Confession

1. Creating a Safe Environment

2. Guiding the Group in Confession

III. Confession's Impact on the Mentor-Mentee Relationship

A. Building Trust

B. Enhancing Accountability

C. Fostering Spiritual Growth

  • In this lesson, you'll discover the origin of the New Believers Class, created out of frustration with the lack of resources for new Christians, and learn how the class is structured around the "life as a journey" metaphor, emphasizing the importance of following Jesus on this journey.
  • By studying this lesson, you gain insights into the process of Christian conversion, its influencing factors, and the importance of mentorship for new believers' spiritual growth.
  • By studying this lesson, you grasp the concept of salvation in Christian mentoring, explore its elements (justification, sanctification, and glorification), and learn practical applications for guiding new believers.
  • This lesson teaches you about the key elements of salvation and the Holy Spirit's role, equipping you to effectively mentor new believers in their faith journey.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the importance of baptism, its various forms, and its relationship to salvation and faith in the Christian life.
  • In this lesson, you'll learn the significance of confession in spiritual growth, how to practice personal and corporate confession, and its impact on the mentor-mentee relationship.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the vital role of listening to God, the Holy Spirit's guidance, and various ways to listen, while overcoming common obstacles and implementing practical steps to improve your listening skills.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the importance of prayer and worship in a new believer's life and discover how to mentor them effectively in these spiritual disciplines.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into the incarnation and deity of Jesus, supported by biblical evidence, and learn to embrace His dual nature as Savior and Lord in your personal faith journey.
  • Through this lesson, you learn about the Holy Spirit's role, work, gifts, and how to cultivate a Spirit-filled life for spiritual growth and maturity.
As a new believer begins their walk with God, a mentor can help them understand what a relationship with God is like and what they can expect along the path. By listening to the comments of the new believer as they interact with the New Believer's curriculum, a mentor can help correct some misconceptions and guide the new believer to get started in the right direction. The New Believer's class is entitled, Life is a Journey. You can find this class in the Foundations section. Click on Class Resources heading on the class page to see the links for the resources. This class will help prepare you for the types of questions the new believer may ask, and give you answers and resources to continue the dialogue with them. This is the first time Bill has taught this class, and he plans to update it. We are missing the last several lectures.

Dr. Bill Mounce
Mentoring the New Believer
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:01] The following lecture is provided by biblical training. The speaker is Dr. Bill Mounts. More information is available at WW w dot Biblical training dot OIG. All right. Lesson three Keep saying each chapter gets easier, and I think he chapter does get a little bit easier. He's going to get a lot easier after this one. But again, this is one of those chapters where it took a long time to decide where to put it. And the chapter title, as you can see, is When You Stumble. We're on page 37 on the workbook. This is one of the most, I think, difficult and frustrating things that happens to a new believer holding. They've been taught the health and wealth, prosperity, kind of gospel. You know, they're not going to expect any problems from self, but that's not the gospel. But even someone who has heard the gospel can understand what conversion is, can understand that things are going to change. They're still going to get discouraged when they realize they're still doing the things they used to do and they're still thinking the way they used to think. And they're going to get discouraged when they when they respond in anger to go, Wait a minute, I became a Christian. I thought that stuff was supposed to change. And I thought that stuff is supposed to go away. And I think almost all new believers learn pretty soon that that change is an automatic. And you can tell them in less than 2 hours. I do that it's not an automatic change. You have to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the whole process of sanctification. But there's going to come a point in it happened to us, right? And it's going to happen to the people in our churches and within our ministries that they are going to go, wait a minute, I'm doing the same things I used to do and I'm frustrated and I don't know what to do.

[00:02:05] And I think when you talk about the 95% that leave the faith after their conversion experience, walk away from the faith, I think that's got to be the stumbling part that gets them. It's it's when they start realizing that, wait a minute, things aren't perfect. Things are still the struggle and do I really want to do this thing? So the idea of stumbling, the idea of sin is a topic that has to be discussed. Of course, the trick is in this I think, is to discuss sin in such a way that it's not. Here's a whole list of do's and don'ts, and God is somewhere terrified that someone's having a good time. And so he gives us all these rules and, you know, it's hard and you got to work really hard. And I mean, this whole thing, that's what we have to stay away from. But at the same time, we have to say, look, these things are going to happen. It's okay. It is okay. These things are going to happen. Is part of the process of hiking. You know, you can't go on a hike without stumbling. If you go on a hike without stumbling, you're probably on a sidewalk somewhere. Who wants to walk on a sidewalk? I mean, if you want to extend the metaphor, but if you want to go hiking up the mountains where I spend my summers, you're going to stumble. And that's just the nature of the path. They're hard paths and so does the Christian walk. And I end up using Psalm 51. I really, really like some 51. This is the Psalm that David wrote after his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. And it is a model of confession because that, of course, is what this this talks all about, this talk is how do you confess and be forgiven and continue growing in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

[00:03:48] It's about sin, but it's mostly about confession. And I just I don't think there's a better example of confession in all of the Bible than other than Psalm 51. So that's why I hooked up with it. So anyway, so the first couple of days encourage you to just get familiar with Psalm 51, get the new believer to read it, to reread it, start kind of seeing what David does when he confesses. So that's what most of the workbook is about. Yes. If you could fix something with Mike, my wife and I, we've been arguing for years about Romans seven, where Paul is part of the community, I think of this curriculum. And I thought, I wonder why he didn't put. I think she really you'll wonder why I stayed away from one of the hardest exegetical issues in all the Bible. And first of all, I would obviously never bring up the topic with the New Believer. Second of all, it's really hard. This is the Romans seven passage. What I want to do. I don't do the very things I don't want to do, I am doing. And the question is, is this the experience of Paul before I became a Christian, just the experience of Paul after he became a Christian. And the arguments actually are very strong on both sides. And if you sit there and you read a good commentary and you make a chart and wisdom, that's why you're still fighting the arguments. You are having a conflict of ideas with your wife. I was going to call it because the. The arguments are very strong now. When that happens, in the end, when you're trying to interpret a Bible passage. My basic rule is you're probably asking the wrong question.

[00:05:27] And I have that nagging doubt in Roman seven that somehow I'm not asking the right question because the answer should be clearer than it is. Having said that, I believe it's the experience of a believer and there's problems with that. But it fits into the flow better because in the flow of thought of Romans at the end of chapter three is when you become a Christian, that's justification, all that. And then four is faith, five is peace with God. Six is the role of sin in your life, The ongoing role of sin in your life as a believer and in eight is the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. And it just would be odd for me to see you going back to, Well, here's what it was like before I became a Christian. My grandma had a story that an illustration that she used to tell me. Grandma had an illustration of that. When you first wake up in the morning and it is still basically dark in your bedroom, you can only see the large objects, you can see your chest of drawers and, you know, maybe a lighter. You only see the the big stuff stands up. But if you lie in bed longer and the sun starts to come and you start being able to see more objects in the bedroom, right? You see the stuff on the floor, you can you can just see all the different, smaller, smaller things. And eventually, if you lay there long enough and the sun comes beaming in the window, you actually can see the dust particles in the air. The illustrations, that's what the Christian life is. And then we first become a Christian. The Lord doesn't dump everything on us.

[00:07:08] So when Jesus shows us the big stuff, you know, we got it. We got to deal with your anger or we have to deal with this, whatever these big issues are. And then as we deal with them, it's not like there's nothing else to be dealt with, right? It's like Gaza's. Okay, good. We got to phase one's done this, go phase to this, Look at some of those other things that are still hindering your growth and hindering your relationship with me, but aren't quite as obvious and visible. And eventually as you grow in Christ. I mean, I've been I became a Christian when I was eight, so the 51 years know, but after a while you just keep seeing more and more and more. And not in is not a discouraged anything it's that I'm progressing and that my Christian life and you know, sometimes I backslide and sometimes I have major issues. But for the most part the Lord and I just keep dealing with issues. Because that's my view of the Christian life. It's very natural for me to read Romans seven as a Christian experience, and that as you grow in your maturity, you don't see that your heart is pure. You see that your heart is even more wicked than you ever imagined. I use this explanation for years, and this life is a journey. I keep coming back to life is a journey. We keep growing and learning and cycling through. Sometimes the same stuff, sometimes other stuff. And we just keep growing and growing. And we'll do that for all eternity. Anyway, okay, so the workbook is mostly concerned with some 51. It does end with some model three, which is another great psalm of confession and cleansing. That's what the new believer is going to work for.

[00:08:55] Okay, let me summarize the high points on the sermon. You know, since you're listening to that, you can be listening to the sermon. Okay. Well, I was thinking, that's kind of a waste of your time to do this, but I can't really jump into the things I want to talk about, to summarize the sermon. So anyway, let me summarize the sermon. What I tell people is that when you became a Christian, you were changed. But the change in salvation is automatic, that you do not cooperate with God. We don't help him save us. Okay. So that's part of the salvation process. We do not cooperate with God. But the next part of the salvation process, we do cooperate with God that the Holy Spirit prompts us, empowers us, sometimes drags us kicking and screaming into holiness. And we have to cooperate. We have to agree. We have to walk with them. Imagine you get the freeway going to position the little road off to the side is got a gate. You go through the gate and on the other side of the gate is a path. Someday I'm going to I'm going to get a picture of the it on my wall. I just I've never found one yet, but the image is so powerful sometimes as you walk down that path, the path of discipleship. And it is a difficult path. It's a path of joy, like the Bible says. But it is also a path is difficult because we're dealing with the sin. This within the sin that is without. Sometimes we're going to stumble on the walk. Sometimes we're going to do the things that we're not supposed to do, or we're going to be what we're not supposed to be in both character and actions.

[00:10:31] And the question of the talk is, what do you do when you do that? What do you do when you do something that you know you're not supposed to do? Or when you realize that you are something that you're not supposed to do? What does a new believer do at that point? Right. That's the point. So I realized that I really needed to define two terms. I tried not to assume any any knowledge on the part of the reader in this whole thing. So I assume for one hand they don't know what sins. And so I go into a talk about soon and sin is usually defined as missing the mark, right? Never use that in a sermon. There's a center of a bull's eye and God determines the center of the bull's eye. In the center of the bull's eye is love, not hate. It is joy, not worry, right? It is peace. It's not fretting about things. There is a center of the bull's eye. And this is the center of the bull's eye. Is God's character right? Have you ever had this discussion? Do people think that what we're supposed to do and be as Christians is. Arbitrary number had that discussion with anyone. I haven't, but I've often wondered what why do we have to be this way and not this way? The answer to the last question is that the center of the bull's eye is the character of God, right? So the rules, the guidelines that are in Scripture are not arbitrary. They're simply a reflection of who he is. And then it's a reflection of how he behaves because of who he is. He is love. And so he behaves in love. And so that's what determines the middle.

[00:12:16] And I would think that's a helpful thing for people to understand. Is that what determines the middle? The middle of the target that we're shooting for is God's character. And so sin is when you pull back the arrow of the ball of your life forever, you will extend the metaphor, shoot the arrow, and you don't hit the middle of the bull's eye. Instead of having love, you have anger. People have to understand that's what sin is. It's not doing what God has called us to do. It's not being who God has called us to be because He is the highest good. His joy is that we be like him. All right. Looking for ways to explain this in terms that someone who has no church experience could understand. The second we're going to come back also in our talk then and talk about other ways to define sin. That's how I do it in the lesson. The other term that I found I had to define was temptation. And isn't this one of those freeing things? Have you ever met people who think that temptation is? Yeah. Yeah. And they're so defeated because the temptation is still there. The temptation to lust, the temptation to envy that whatever it is, those those temptations, they're still all there. They haven't gone anywhere. People can get really discouraged. So I go into a discussion of temptation, and I emphasize that one temptations, not sin. It's the yielding to temptation that's the same. But temptation is going to come. Billboards are going to be there. They're going to keep a lot of Victoria's secrets in malls, you know, And you and I got to see them in advance. No, my wife tries. She knows she's to warn me.

[00:14:02] I turn my sons away and we go somewhere else. I mean, you know, temptation is going to come, right? There's nothing you can do about that. So I make that point. And the other point that I make, again, this is one that I want to come back and talk about, is that nobody can make you sue one of the greatest comedians of all times. You talked about the other day, Flip Wilson. The person is famous for saying, Don't make me do it ever made me do it. The devil can never make you do it. The New Believer understands that they don't have to sit. Now we need that. We're going to qualify that because up until the point of the conversion, they've been living the entire life and establishing patterns of sin. So it's like telling someone, Hey, you don't have to be envious. Well, that can just become guilt sitting on top of a person because for 30 years perhaps they developed patterns of envy. They want the bigger car, they want the bigger house, they want the better looking girlfriend or boyfriend. And I mean, they have all these patterns. It's kind of like if you tell someone, well. You don't have to send it. I mean, it can really be defeated. But I think you can tell people that temptation is not sin and understand that you don't have to do it. There's no act that while flip is wrong. The third thing is, is that God's on their side. I tell the story of a basketball coach I had at one time. One of the fun things that graduate school and this will be hard to believe, but back when basketball was still a semi non-contact sport, when I was in grad school, I got to play on the Scotland national team and I was tall over there.

[00:15:46] Can you believe that? I'd never quite hit six three. I'm a midget today, but over there I was huge. I love playing about the first time in life I've ever been able to use my weight, you know, all £180 of it back then. And I just love playing. Basketball is what kept me sane when I was over there and I was getting ready to shoot a free throw at some really important game. And also and I heard a shout from over there. So that's your beer you miss. Oh, interesting. The voice was vaguely familiar. I did what I never should have done. I turned and looked. I turned and looked. It was my coach and he was yelling. But you beer you miss. I completely missed the hoop. I shot an air ball on a free throw. I saw a pro do it the other day, though. It made me feel a lot better about myself. Every free throw. Every game after that, he was trying to get free beers out of me if I missed free throws. My coach wasn't on my side. This is a Doug. It's a true story. It's a dumb story. But it's important that that the new believers understand God is on their side. God's their best for him. He's the entire cheering session just about. He wants you to grow. He wants you to learn. He's on your side. He's helping you, is pulling you, is pushing you. He's doing everything he can to help you. And when you talk about sin and temptation, the new believer has to walk away with a good sense that God's on their side and he's working with them. Now, once it defines sin and temptation, the question is what do you do when you fail? And I have a phrase that I used in the sermon that I started using a lot.

[00:17:36] When you are presented with sin in your life, it is a defining moment. I really, really believe that it is a defining moment as to the kind of person you're going to be. I read a book once. It's called The Deception of Leadership. Here's the basic part of the book. You're going along in life and you come to a crossroads. You come to make a decision. Perhaps the decision is a conflict with your life, perhaps a conflict with an elder or a deacon. Maybe it's a conflict with the person who gave most of the money to your church last year. Maybe it's your neighbor who has that ratty dog that won't shut up. And I mean, whatever the case, you come to a point and that's your defining moment. Because if you make or if I make the wrong decision, here's what happens. My mind goes this direction and it goes away from what the issue really was. And in my mind, the other person goes the other direction. And what this means is I am more right today than I was at the point of conflict. My neighbor or elder is more wrong than he was at the point of conflict. Because what happens is, as we as we go away in our mind from the truth, the only way to keep justifying this decision is to make the other person worse than he really is. It's a very interesting concept because here's the problem, he said. When we get to a point that we need to fix it, we tend to go just straight across. Well, at this point, you're way better in your mind than you ever really were. And the older is way worse in your mind than he ever was.

[00:19:42] And so the book says, you've got to go back up to here. You've got to think rightly about that point of conflict that separate it out. This is what happens with us and sin and God and confession. So you want to be angry. You've got to. A new believer has gone through a period in his life and God says, now is time to deal with that anger of yours. It's not appropriate. Vengeance is mine. Your call is to learn to forgive. What do you do? I mean, I just do what I preaches for the first time because there was some conflict with some people in the church and me and I thought, this is the defining moment in our entire relationship. What are we going to do with this conflict? And I think we need to emphasize to new believers that when conflict comes, when sin comes, they have to confess. Confession is the easiest, simplest thing in the world, and it is the most difficult, infuriating and frustrating thing in the world, isn't it? So this is, I think, really, really important because what happens is if the new believer says, no way, I'm hanging on to my anger. Then what he does is that the anger gets a toehold in his life, doesn't it? And guess who's invigorating that toehold? Say. Say, Gee, have you ever met anyone? I keep using anger's illustration, but it's something I think we can all understand. Do you ever know anyone who is so angry? It's like your anger has a life of its own. It's like it's a force emanating from their body. What you need to do, actually, is right here. You need to go to discipleship. See, all. All questions in the world are answered until betrayed.

[00:21:44] Go down to seminars. And there is an absolutely amazing one right there called Spiritual Warfare. Gary is a systematic professor at Western Seminary in Portland. He travels around the world all the time speaking. He just he just is what he does. It's the only thing that he does. He goes to Lebanon all the time and he's all over the place. And he's not especially a strong spiritual work. I mean, that's not a natural thing for him, but it's the number one seminar that he's asked the teach on around the world. And he's done it hundreds of times. So I said, Hey, how about 101? So he he takes his 10 hours on spiritual warfare. Gary's basic point is that we all have weaknesses in our personality, right? We may tend to lust or we may tend to anger or we may tend to a envy or, you know, whatever view that whatever we all have, we all of those areas are like that we have to work on. Just being human. What spiritual warfare is, is that Satan wants control of that toehold. And once he gets control that toehold, Gary says that Satan can actually lend his own demonic power to that aspect of your personality. He has a really cool set of words. He used to explain it, and Gary's not. I know this a pretty extreme people in spiritual warfare. Gary is very controlled. He's very, very biblical. And what he says, that's what happens, that that is the beginning of spiritual warfare when when a person refuses to confess. And that opens him up to Satan's attack. You know, the verse we we struggle not against flesh and blood, against principalities. I always thought I was one of the really strangest verses in the whole world.

[00:23:40] And I got no. I struggle against flesh and blood. I mean, I got a little debates going on with people. What Paul says the real battle is a spiritual battle. And I never understood that until I got involved in spiritual warfare of this type, where Satan had, I believe, empowered people with his power because they wouldn't confess. Well, we've talked about some of the times it comes up. I mean, I've experienced a lot of other aspects of spiritual warfare. Suddenly morning at 3:00 every Sunday morning for several years, I got woken up to change, rattling voices being hit, being pulled in bed, my wife being cold in bed. Satan did not want me preaching that morning. And so I've experienced at that level quite a bit of the spiritual warfare. We've all experienced the anger of kind of spiritual warfare where Satan has control of that part of his life. I'm getting a bit off the topic, but I wanted to really emphasize that this is like confession is so important because if our people learn to confess, Satan doesn't get a toehold. But if our people refuse to confess, then that that's all that Satan needs. He doesn't need a whole lot. He just needs a crack. And he'll take the crack and he'll run with it. We're going to come back and get into some of the other issues in the starting. Thank you for listening to this lecture. Brought to you by biblical training, dawg. Feel free to make copies of this lecture to give to others, but please do not charge for these copies or alter the content in any way without permission. We invite you to visit our web site at WW W dot Biblical training, dawg. There you will find the finest in evangelical teaching for use in the home and the church.

[00:25:40] And it is absolutely free. Our curriculum includes classes for new believers, lay education classes, and seminary level classes taught by some of the finest seminary teachers drawn from a wide range of evangelical traditions. Our mailing address is Post Office Box 28428. Spokane, Washington 99228 USA.