Vision & Commitment Course

The Vision and Commitment Course (V&C) is designed first and foremost to lay essential biblical foundations in the lives of individual Christians. Through the 20 sessions, we will explore biblical truths that for thousands of years have transformed countless people to the glory of God. Whether you are a new believer in Christ, have known the Lord for many years, or are simply searching for truth, the content presented in this course has all the potential to transform your life radically to the glory of God.

The course is also intended as a tool to equip those who are called and gifted to pioneer new churches, or to help existing churches to be strengthened in their foundations. In either case, though the maximum benefit is attained by systematically working through the course from beginning to end, individual sessions can be used as needed. Ideally, the course would be taken in a small group context to allow for discussion, but it is also an effective resource for personal study.

In the first half of the course, we examine foundational truths in our lives as individuals. We look at the Gospel, being born again, water baptism, the vital ministry of the Holy Spirit, the grace of God, the Lordship of Christ, and growing in God.

The second half of the course explores our foundations collectively as the Church. We start by defining and understanding the Church, then the individual ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, teachers, elders, and deacons. We then go on to look at how relationships should function in local churches, fellowship life, giving and receiving, and finally, what the Bible has to say about manhood and womanhood.

“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)

Just as lack of physical vision can cause us to go off course, so a failure to see what God wants to reveal to us will have serious consequences for how we live life. God wants us to see what He sees. In this introductory session, we will discover our need for life-changing revelation through the Holy Spirit, whom we look to as the principal teacher of this course...

In this session, we are going to look at the heart of the Bible’s message. We are going to delve into what God has done to save us. This message is called the gospel, and it is powerful. As it says in Romans 1:16, “…it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” To truly understand the good news, we will look at three key biblical events: creation (God’s original intention), the fall (what went wrong), and redemption (God’s solution)...

In this session, we will discover what the Scripture has to say about being born again, which is also called the “new birth.” In particular, we will answer the following questions: What is being born again? Why do we need to be born again? How are we born again? What are the evidences of being born again?...

The Bible tells us that our response to the gospel should be to “…repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” (Acts 2:38). With all of the mystery, confusion, debate, and division in the Church over the centuries regarding the necessity, method and effect of water baptism, someone unfamiliar with Scripture might be surprised to find out just how straightforward the Bible is on the subject...

As we see in scripture, the Holy Spirit plays a vital role in every aspect of us becoming and being a Christian. Therefore, in this session and the two that follow, we’ll look in some detail at who He is and what He does. We’ll explore the wonderful mystery of the trinity, the activity of the Holy Spirit throughout scripture, and the vital work of the Holy Spirit in salvation...

In the previous session, we looked at the person of the Holy Spirit and saw some of the ways in which He has worked in the lives of people from creation onwards. In this session, we are going to look at what it means to be baptized in the Holy Spirit in a way that empowers us for life, enables us to be effective in sharing the gospel with others and equips us with the gifts God gives us to glorify Him...

All those who have been born again by the Holy Spirit can (and should) expect to experience the promised baptism in the Holy Spirit—the gateway to a life of being continually filled with the Holy Spirit. In this session, we are going to consider further what the Spirit-filled life should look like for us as individuals and for the gathered church—and at the implications of this for the world...

The grace of God is an enormous subject, underpinning everything we have looked at so far in this course, from the gospel to the Spirit-filled life. In this session, we will look at the subject of living in the grace of God. There is no other subject more life-changing and liberating for the Christian than this one. We will begin by understanding what grace is, and how it is an unquestionable characteristic of God from the very beginning...

The message of the New Testament is not merely “Jesus is the answer,” but “Jesus is Lord.” In the Bible, the word “Savior” is found 37 times while the word “Lord” is used 7,736 times. Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the Lord of heaven and earth. In this session, we are going to look specifically at what it means for Jesus to be our Lord on a personal level, and how His rule (that is, His Kingdom) is advancing in the earth.

As we have seen in previous sessions, God has graciously given us new life and has, by His Holy Spirit, equipped and empowered us with everything we need to live it to the full for His glory. However, just as a child starts off doing nothing for itself, but gradually plays an increasing role in its own development, so God intends that we should be active participants in our growth as Christians...

So far in this course, we have focused primarily on our individual Christian experience and our personal foundations as believers. In this and the remaining sessions, we will concentrate on the bigger picture of God’s corporate purpose for His people—the Church. We will define what, or rather who the church is, what scripture has to say about its role and purpose, and the ultimate goal of unity in the Church.

When considering those who lead and serve in the Church, people may be familiar with titles such as priest, vicar, reverend, bishop, minister, and pastor. However, many of the titles used cannot be found in the Bible, or have been used in a way that is inconsistent with their original meaning. At the same time, certain biblical ministries seem absent or are ignored...

In the last session, we looked at apostles as the first and most foundational ministry to the Church according to Ephesians 4:11-13. In this session, we will continue by looking at prophets, the next ministry listed in Ephesians 4. We will consider the invaluable role they, and the gift of prophecy, have in God’s great plan for His people, not only in the days of the Bible, but also in modern day...

People have varying ideas come to mind when picturing an evangelist. Often these ideas are based on stereotypes and can be unhelpful for producing an accurate biblical understanding of the vital ministry of Evangelism. Our passion is to see the evangelist restored to effective functioning in the local church as they fulfill their role of preaching the gospel and equipping the church to do the same...

We might think we are on more familiar ground here than in previous sessions since, of all the Ephesians 4 ministries, shepherds (frequently referred to as “pastors”) and teachers are the most common and accepted in the Church at large. However, as we examine what the Word of God says about them, we can expect to be challenged in our preconceptions and expanded in our understanding of these gifts to the Church.

In this session, we will look at those who are called by God to particular positions of leadership and service in the local congregation. Although our society increasingly balks against authority in all its forms, and does not think of servanthood as something virtuous, we will start by focusing on the ultimate model of leadership and servanthood: Jesus. We will then look further into the role and qualifications for elders and deacons...

This description of the newly-birthed church in Jerusalem provides one of Scripture’s clearest pictures of what the Christian community should look like. Though the Body of Christ has had two thousand years to mature since then, and has grown to comprise millions of believers worldwide, it would be hard to find a congregation today that matches this inspiring precedent...

In the last session, we saw that to be in fellowship means to be joined together with others in outworking a common purpose. The Greek word translated as “fellowship” in Acts 2:42, "koinonia," is translated elsewhere in the New Testament as “sharing.” In this session, we will look at two further ways in which we express fellowship with God and one another: sharing bread and wine (“The Lord’s Supper”), and sharing our finances.

There is always enormous pressure on the Church to conform to the pattern of the world, and scarcely any subject is as emotive and bitterly controversial today as gender distinction. However, the Bible is remarkably clear throughout on this subject. In these final two sessions, we will look at what the Bible teaches concerning the significance of God creating us male and female...

In the previous session, we considered the wisdom and purpose of God in creating us male and female. We also saw how sin affected the complementary and harmonious relationship men and women were designed to have. In this, our final session, we will look further at 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, which sheds light on the subject of women speaking out in church gatherings...