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First Principlesby Kip McKean“For when by reason of the time you ought to be teachers, you need to have someone teach you the rudimentsof the first principles of the oracles of God Therefore leaving the doctrine of the first principles of Christ, let uspress on to perfection – not laying again a foundation of faith toward God, of the teaching of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment. This will we do!” Hebrews 5:12; 6:1-3 (WEV)Originally, the First Principle Studies were written in 1980, while I served the Lord during the formative early days of theBoston Church of Christ. They were revised in 2003 and 2006 to meet the needs and to confront the challenges of thePortland International Church of Christ. Recently in 2009, after two years of ministering in Los Angeles, I made a fewmore modifications. As of today, these same First Principles Studies are being taught to all the new disciples of the City ofAngels International Christian Church. God has greatly blessed these lessons as they have been translated into over 20languages around the world. May the Lord con tinue to “solidify, unify and multiply” sold-out disciples everywhere for theevangelization of all the nations in this genera tion! And to God be the glory!Kip McKeanSeptember 1, 2009

IntroductionFIRST PRINCIPLESCourse Information1.This course should take a high priority in your day as it is geared to help you grasp afirmer hold on God’s Word and to deepen your understanding of His will for your life.2.Each session two new Scriptures should be memorized for a written or verbal quiz at thebeginning of each class.3.Each study’s content and order of Scriptures should also be memorized for the quiz.4.Each student is required to memorize the names of all the books of the Bible.5.An outline of the book of Acts will be turned in by session 11. Each student is required tomemorize two points from each chapter in the book of Acts.Outline of ClassesSession 1.Introduction and Seeking GodSession 2.The Word Of GodSession 3.DiscipleshipSession 4.The Coming of the KingdomSession 5.Light and DarknessSession 6.New Testament ConversionSession 7.The CrossSession 8.The Baptism of the Holy SpiritSession 9.The Miraculous Gifts of the Holy SpiritSession 10.The ChurchSession 11.Acts 1 - 8Session 12.Acts 9 - 15Session 13.Acts 16 - 21Session 14.Acts 21 - 28Suggested Reading ListThese books are recommended as thought-provoking and informative tools to be used in gaining insights into God’sWord. In no way are they suggested to be Biblically correct on all doctrinal points.Chapman:Coleman:Edwards:Rivers:Taylor:The Five Love LanguagesThe Master Plan of EvangelismThe Tale of Three KingsVoice in the WindThe Disciplined Life3

IntroductionFIRST PRINCIPLESScripture Memory“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give thereason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”1 Peter 3:15Session 1Jeremiah 29:11Matthew 6:33Session 2John 8:31-32Philippians 4:13Session 3Mark 1:17John 13:34-35Session 4Acts 2:38Philippians 4:4Session 5Ezekiel 18:20Galatians 1:8Session 6Matthew 22:37-39John 15:8Session 7Matthew 28:18-20Luke 19:10Session 8Hebrews 10:24-251 John 1:9Session 9Hebrews 12:15Hebrews 13:17Introduction to the Course1.Course requirements2.Purpose of First Principles ClassA. Solidify – Hebrews 6:1-3B. Unify – John 13:34-35C. Multiply – Matthew 28:18-203.How to win people to ChristA. Build a good friendshipi. Spend timeii. Have discussionsB. Find out their backgroundi. Life story ( also share yours)ii. Present beliefs about God, Christ and the BibleC. Ask your friend to study the Bible with you.D. Buy a Bible as a gifti. A readable versionii. Inscribe a meaningful thoughtE. If they are an unbeliever about Jesus or if they are unclear about Him then i. Study the book of Johnii. Purpose (John 20:30-31)F. If they believe in Jesus start with the Seeking God Study4.Have a Christian friend you are discipling in on the study as well. Take concise notes for your nonChristian friend, so they can go back and review what has been studied.4

Seeking GodFIRST PRINCIPLESSeeking God1. Psalm 119:1-2A. Blessed means happy (superlatively happy)B. Happiness is not the goal of one who seeks God but the “by-product”C. To seek God you must do it with all your heartD. Seeking God means to “keep His statutes”2. Matthew 6:25-34A. Do not worry – ironic – can not add a single hour to your lifeB. God knows your needsC. Seek first His kingdom and righteousnessD. Then God will give you everything you need3. Acts 17:26-28A. God determines the times and places each person livesB. He does this so men will seek Him, reach out for Him and find HimC. He is not far from anyoneD. A Christian meeting you is not by chance – but of God4. John 4:23-24A. God seeks men (Acts 17 taught men must seek God)B. Men who want to worship Him in spirit and in truth5. Acts 17:10-12A. Read and study the Bible for your own convictionsB. Study daily6. Jeremiah 29:11-14A. God has an individual plan for your lifeB. A plan to prosper you – with hope and a futureC. You will find God when you seek Him with all your heart7. Acts 8:26-39A. The angels and the Holy Spirit are helping to get you to GodB. Do not be afraid to ask questions about life or the Bible – be humbleC. You need someone to explain the Bible to youD. You will be “rejoicing” when you find God8. Matthew 7:7-8A. Seek and God guarantees you will find HimB. Ask God for help5

The Word Of GodFIRST PRINCIPLESThe Word of God1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17A. All Scripture is inspired by GodB. It is to be applied to our lives2. Hebrews 4:12-13A. The Word is relevantB. The Word cuts (hurts)C. Learn that it is good to be “cut,” because a scalpel (God’s Word) “cuts” the cancer (sin) out!3. 2 Peter 1: 20-21A. There is no private interpretation of the BibleB. The Holy Spirit inspired the men who wrote the books of the Bible4. John 8:31-32A. Intellectual belief is not enough – nor can we go by our feelingsB. Everyone must hold on to and follow the teachings of Jesus to be a true discipleC. Sincerity does not equal truthD. Religious people can be wrong5. Matthew 15:1-9A. Do not go by traditions or creedsB. Worship by traditions – which contradicts the Word of God – is worship in vain6. 1 Timothy 4:16A. Watch your life and doctrine closely – they are inseparableB. Which is more important, life or doctrine? Neither – an airplane with only one wing cannot flyC. Why is it so important to learn and to teach and to live the right doctrine? To save yourself and those whohear you.7. Acts 17:10-12A. Must check what religious leaders sayB. Your challenge: Read and study the Bible every day!8. James 1:22-25A. The Word of God is a mirrorB. Do not forget what you see – “do what it says!”9. John 12:48A. Why study the Bible? The Word will judge us!Decision: Will I live by the Bible or by my feelings, traditions, desires, etc.?6

DiscipleshipFIRST PRINCIPLESDiscipleshipIntroduction: Matthew 28:18-20A. What does Jesus want everybody to become?B. Which is the more popular term -“Disciple” or “Christian?” The word “Christian” only appears three times in theNew Testament. It is the name those in the world gave the disciples, seven years after the church began.(Acts 11:19-26) The word “Disciple” occurs over 270 times in the New Testament.C. SAVED CHRISTIAN DISCIPLED. Jesus came to make disciples. Only baptized disciples will be saved.Let’s have Jesus define disciple, thus defining who is a true Christian.1. Mark 1:14-18A. Calling of the first disciplesB. Come follow me (Christ)C. Fishers of men – Jesus gave these first disciples the real purpose for livingD. Immediately2. Luke 9:23-26A. If any man.B. Deny self. Notice Christ in the garden (Matthew 26:36-39, “Not my will, but your will.”) Do notgive in to moods.C. Carry the cross – dailyD. Gain world . forfeit soul. Lose your life for Jesus . save it3. Luke 14:25-33A. If any man.B. Count the cost (v. 28-30)C. Consider the alternatives (v. 31-32)D. Love Christ more than any person (v. 26)E. Persecutions (v. 27)F. Everything, not just anything (v. 33)4. Luke 11:1-4A. Must learn to pray – disciples saw the strength Jesus received from the FatherB. Daily personal relationship with God (v. 3); daily prayer5. John 13:34-35A. Love one anotherB. Be an active part of the fellowship6. Matthew 28:18-20A. Command – make disciples (given to all)B. Who is a candidate for baptism? A person who makes the decision to be a discipleC. You need someone to disciple you to maturity in ChristD. This is the only way to save the ple2488192the world, 5 billion plusConclusion Question: Am I a disciple? Am I a Christian? Am I saved? What do I need to do to become adisciple?7

The Coming of the KingdomFIRST PRINCIPLESThe Coming of the KingdomIn this study you will see the continuity of the Old and New Testaments.Questions:1.What is the Kingdom of God?When did it come?Old Testament Predictions of the Kingdom (The height of Israel’s glory was under the kingship of Davidapproximately 1000 B.C.)A.Isaiah 2:1-4 (750 B.C.)1. Last days2. Mountains (Symbolizes kingdoms): Mountain of the Lord, chief of the mountains3. All Nations4. JerusalemB. Daniel 2:31-45 (550 B.C.)1. Daniel interprets King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream2. Empiresa. Babylonian: goldb. Medo-Persian: silverc. Alexander the Great: bronzed. Roman: iron (iron and clay)3. Rock – cut out not by human hands (therefore God)4. Rock becomes huge mountain – filled the whole earth5. Kingdom that will never be destroyed (v. 44)2.New Testament Predictions of the KingdomA. John the Baptist (25 A.D.)1. Kingdom is near (Matthew 3:1-6)B. Jesus (30 A.D.)1. Kingdom is near (Matthew 4:17)2. Kingdom will come in the lifetime of some of the disciples (Mark 9:1)3. Kingdom will come with power (Mark 9:1)4. Kingdom entered by new birth (John 3:1-7)5. Kingdom is within you (Luke 17:20-21)6. Peter has the keys. (Matthew 16:13-19) Church and the Kingdom are the same and will be built onthe truth that Jesus is the Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)7. Joseph of Arimathea was still waiting for the Kingdom when Jesus died. (Luke 23:50-51)8. Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached first in Jerusalem to all nations.(Luke 24:44-49)3.Fulfillment of the Old and New Testament Predictions Acts 1-2 (33 A.D.)A.B.C.D.Last days (Acts 2:17)1. Isaiah 2:2All nations (Acts 2:5)1. Isaiah 2:22. Luke 24:47Jerusalem (Acts 2:5)1. Isaiah 2:32. Luke 24:44-49Eternal kingdom (Acts 2:37-42)1. Daniel 2:31-458

The Coming of the KingdomFIRST PRINCIPLESE.F.G.H.I.J.K.Date of coming approximately 33 A.D. (Acts 1-2)1. Old Testament prophecy2. John the Baptist – “is near” (Matthew 3:1-2)3. Jesus – ”is near” (Matthew 4:17)Lifetime (Acts 2:14)1. Mark 9:12. “Some” – Judas died (Acts 1:18-19)Power (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-4)1. Mark 9:1New birth (Acts 2:38)1. Water and Spirit (John 3:1-7)Kingdom within (Acts 2:37)1. Luke 17:20-21Peter with the keys (Acts 2:14, 38)1. Matthew 16:19Repentance and forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38)1. Luke 24:44-494. ConclusionA. The church is the kingdom of God on earth established in approximately 33 A.D.B.Acts 2:42 As citizens of the kingdom and members of the body (the church), we must be devoted to:1. Doctrine2. Fellowship3. Breaking Bread4. PrayerC.Matthew 6:33 We must seek His kingdom first. Ask them to commit themselves to at least SundayServices and Midweek Services.9

Light and DarknessFIRST PRINCIPLESLight and DarknessIntroduction: 1 Peter 2:9-101.DarknessNot a people of GodNo MercyLightPeople of GodMercyLostNot a ChristianNot a DiscipleSavedChristianDiscipleA. Every person is either in the darkness or the light. There is no twilight zone.B. Where are you?DarknessA. Isaiah 59:1-21. Sin separates us from God.WALLDARKNESSMANLIGHTGODSIN2. In order for a man to have a relationship with God the wall must be broken down-sin must beforgiven.3. The point in time sin is forgiven is the point in time a person is saved.B. Romans 3:23-251. Who has sinned? Everyone!SINSINSINPerson A2.3.C.Person BPerson CWho is further away from God, a person who sins a little or a person who sins a lot? All are equal, alllost. Therefore a good moral life does not save you. You cannot earn your salvation by your gooddeeds.Faith in the blood of Jesus saves you. (v. 25)What is Sin?1. Galatians 5:19-21 (sins of commission)2. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (sins of commission)3. James 4:17 (sins of omission)D. What is the eternal consequence of sin? Romans 6:23WAGES OF SINGIFT OF GODDeathHellDarkness10Eternal LifeHeavenLight

Light and DarknessFIRST PRINCIPLES2.LightA. John 3:1-7 Born again (v. 3), born of water and spirit (v. 5), born again. (v. 7)B. Personal decision as an adultC. What message must one believe to be in the light (to be saved?). Acts 2:22-241. Jesus is from God. (v. 22)2. Jesus raised physically from the dead. (v. 24)3. Everyone is responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. (v. 23) All have sinned. (Romans 3:23)D. Response of people Acts 2:371. Cut to the heart2. What shall we do?E.

Edwards: The Tale of Three Kings Rivers: Voice in the Wind Taylor: The Disciplined Life. FIRST PRINCIPLES 4 Introduction Scripture Memory “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15 Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Jeremiah 29:11 .