Inquirers Class

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Class Purpose

The Inquirer’s Class seeks chiefly to teach its members the doctrines and beliefs held by the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales (and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church as a whole).

Church Membership

The purpose of the Inquirer’s Class is not just to teach and train prospective new members, though that is certainly the most common type of inquirer. A class participant need not feel compelled to join the church after the completion of this class. If after taking the Inquirer’s Class you feel led to pursue membership with the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales please let the senior minister know and he, along with the Session (board of elders), will walk you through that process.

Texts used in the class

  • Bible
  • We Believe and Teach (provided to participants)
  • The Standards of the ARP Church (Optional. Students may purchase copies if they wish.)

Class Schedule

The Inquirer’s Class consists of eight sessions that meet weekly. Please check the church calendar for the latest times and locations. If you will be missing a session please let the church office know ahead of time and speak with the senior minister about opportunities to make-up any sessions missed.

Sessions

Please make note of all assignments and when they are due. The reading assignments are given to allow time for more classroom discussion and less lecture. Other assignments are given to help students process the material and to understand better their own relationship with Christ Jesus. Most sessions will focus on at least one of the seven questions that are asked of prospective members as well as source material from the textbook “We Believe and Teach”. Scripture will be referred to regularly as the Bible will be our main “textbook” during this class.

Session #1

Homework (for Session #2):a. Write the testimony of your salvation in Christ Jesus (1-2 double-spaced, typed pages)
b. Read Chapter V, “Christ Our Savior-Redeemer and Lord,” from We Believe and Teach including the Scripture passages referenced therein. Optional Reading: The portions from the WCF, LC, and SC referenced in We Believe and Teach.

Home Reading (before class): Read Chapter IV, “Man’s Need of Redemption,” from We Believe and Teach including the Scripture passages referenced therein.Optional Reading: The portions from the WCF, LC, and SC referenced in We Believe and Teach.

Question 1: “Do you acknowledge yourself to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving his displeasure, and without hope save in his love and mercy?”

Session #2

Question 2: “Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of sinners, and do you receive him and trust in him alone for salvation as he is offered in the Gospel?”

Homework (for Session #3):
a. In two paragraphs or less give a concise explanation of the Good News of Jesus Christ for sinners.
b. Read Chapter I, “The Bible, The Holy Scriptures,” from We Believe and Teach including the Scripture passages referenced therein. Optional Reading: The portions from the WCF, LC, and SC referenced in We Believe and Teach.

Session #3

Question 3: “Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the written Word of God, the only perfect rule of faith and practice?”

Homework (for Session #4):
a. Read Chapter VI, “Christian Practice,” from We Believe and Teach including the Scripture passages referenced therein. Optional Reading: The portions from the WCF, LC, and SC referenced in We Believe and Teach.

Session #4

Question 4: “Do you now promise, in humble reliance upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?”

Homework (for Session #5):
a. Read Chapters II and III, “God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” and “God’s Eternal Purpose,” from We Believe and Teach including the Scripture passages referenced therein. Optional Reading: The portions from the WCF, LC, and SC referenced in We Believe and Teach.

Session #5

Question 5: “Do you accept the doctrines and principles of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church,
so far as you understand them, as agreeable to and founded on the Word of God?”

Homework (for Session #6):
a. Read Chapters VII and VIII, “The Church and Worship” and “The Sacraments,” from We Believe and Teach including the Scripture passages referenced therein. Optional Reading: The portions from the WCF, LC, and SC referenced in We Believe and Teach.

Session #6

Question 7: “Do you submit yourself in the spirit of love to the government and discipline of the church,
and seek the peace, purity and prosperity of this congregation so long as you are a member of it?”

Homework (for Session #7):
a. Reflect on Question 6, “Do you promise, with the Lord’s help to be faithful in the performance of your Christian duties, both in private life and in the work of the church?”
b. Read 1 Corinthians 12-13.

Session #7

Question 6: “Do you promise, with the Lord’s help to be faithful in the performance of your Christian duties, both in private life and in the work of the church?”

Session #8

This session takes a look at the First Presbyterian Church and its specific ministries and opportunities for members to love God, to love others, and to serve the world.