Welcome to disciple making:
This series on disciple making is Booklet 1 – Essentials, which is part of the program
Transferable Cross Training (TCT) developed by Dr. Karl Payne. The purpose of TCT is to help equip men and
women to be effective disciple makers. The materials are field tested with various proof verses that can be
memorized, and each lesson is focused on transferability. It is our desire is for those who accept the challenge
of discipleship that, with or without a Bible and notes in hand, each individual who has taken the time to master
the concepts and principles in this series will have confidence to comfortably and biblically respond to common
questions and comments from friends or enemies of Christ. By God’s grace we can make a difference in eternity
by being actively involved in the most important job assignment entrusted to mankind. For more information
about TCT or obtaining the booklet series, see
Please remember that the uniqueness of this discipleship series is its simple transferability.
It is the expressed desire of the author that students actually use these materials after completing each
booklet, by sharing them with others in a manner consistent with
2 Timothy 2:2.
How many times have you found yourself ruining the present because of something you did in the past? This
struggle is with "vain regrets."
Why are they vain regrets? Because it is vain to think you can change the past. It can't be
done. The past is history. Common sense should tell us that to destroy a second day because of yesterday's
mistakes is shortsighted. It's bad enough we allowed yesterday to be lost.
The Apostle Paul referred to this problem:
"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it [perfection in this
life] yet. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on
towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
What did Paul have to forget? Plenty! Remember, he was the religious zealot who had taken
it upon himself to imprison or destroy every Christian and Christian Church with whom he came in contact. After
scattering the Christians is Jerusalem he had even been given permission to hunt them down in other cities.
After becoming a Christian, how do you think he felt about his past actions? Guilt ridden, I'm sure. But Paul
realized his past was just that - past (no matter how often he may have wished it was not true). If you cannot
undo, redo or change the past, even if you wish you could, then why allow something you cannot change to control
the present and future? Common sense says let it go.
The Apostle Peter, for all his early success preaching, had some days I'm sure he wished he could do over.
I wonder how he felt the night he denied Christ three times. Think about it - the leader of the twelve, a man
who lived with Jesus for three and one half years, a leader of leaders. But what happened that night when a
teenage slave girl asked him if he was a follower of Christ? He denied he knew Christ with cursing. I am sure
he wished he could relive that night. But he could not. Did Jesus forgive him? Did He still allow Peter to be
involved in significant ministry? Yes He did!
Speaking of the guilt incurred from sin, have you thought how King David (a man after God's own heart) must
have felt before, during and after his escalating failures of adultery, cover-up and murder? I wonder if David
ever wished he could turn back the clock, or at the very least have willingly confessed his sins rather than have
God send a prophet to expose his hypocrisy? Psalm 51 is a
beautiful, but painful, testimony of David finally turning his heart back to God.
Remember that God will always forgive and cleanse us when we confess our sin. He has promised to do so in
1 John 1:9. Take a minute and read
Psalm 32:5-6. God's willingness to forgive our sin when we
confess it is not just a New Testament revelation. David clearly understood this concept and promise. If God is
willing to forgive and move on, we are foolish if we don't.
To continue to relive the forgiven past is not only a waste of time, it is insulting to God. He has promised
to forgive and cleanse us when we confess our sin. To live in the past may be human, but it also denies, doubts,
or forgets that God always keeps His promises.
Do you have anything that would be harder for you to put behind and forget than Paul did after he participated
in killing Christians, than Peter did after denying Christ in His hour of greatest need or King David did after
committing adultery with a trusted friend's wife and then ordering a murder in a bungled attempt to cover-up his
sin? If Paul, Peter and David could accept God's forgiveness and forget, so can you. If God was still willing to
use them in active ministry, there is still hope for you too.
Forgetting what lies behind, I press forward...
- The previous lesson on "Forgiveness" is designed to answer the "how" question. It deals with the basic
mechanics of how a Believer should respond to sin.
- This lesson on "Vain Regrets" is designed to answer the "why" question. It deals with the loss of hope.
"How could God possibly forgive me, much less still love me, after what I have done?"
- People struggling with vain regrets have lost hope. They need to change the tape of failure that plays
non-stop in their mind. Use God's recorded dealings with Paul, Peter and King David to illustrate His
willingness to cleanse, forgive and sustain sinners in divine service.
- If God can forgive Paul, Peter and King David, He can forgive me and you. If He is willing to put them
into His service after their failures, there is still hope for us.
- It is foolish to allow yesterday's failure to ruin another day. God has cleansed you - let it go!
Dr. Karl Payne, at heart, is an apologist who loves to train and
equip Christians for spiritual service and warfare (Eph.4:11-16). He enjoys preaching, writing and
retreat / conference / seminar speaking. He derives his greatest pleasure tackling the challenge of teaching
Christian workers, interns and budding preachers / teachers at both the Bible College and Seminary levels.
In addition, he has co-authored two books: A just Defense and Cross Training through