Church Life

INTRODUCTION:
This is the second in a series of studies prepared to instruct those who have recently come to faith.
The first series "Beginning the Christian Life" is designed to help new disciples in establishing firm foundations for their personal lives, and if possible should be studied first.

In this series we move from the personal to the corporate. When one comes into a living relationship with Jesus via Holy Spirit, they also should come into a whole new way of living in association with other Christians. It is at this point that many Christians make a basic mistake resulting in lifelong spiritual immaturity. Jesus not only died for the individual but He died for His church, the church being a community of redeemed men and women. This community is variously referred to as the "church" (congregation); "body"; "building"; garden and vineyard"; "army"; to mention some of the metaphors used to describe God‘s people collectively.

In this study the two uses of the word "church" will be dealt with. The emphasis we are concerned with is a local emphasis, for it is important that as soon as one comes to Jesus they become involved with the Christian community in the area where they live. As stated above, it is a serious mistake for one who has just received Jesus to fail to become involved with other Christians in the ongoing life of Christian development and corporate witness.

This series, like the first series, was prepared in the midst of a busy pastoral ministry in the city of Chicago. Neither study was intended to be other than what they are, a sincere attempt to provide direction to those who are beginning the Christian life.
They were intended primarily for our own church but have been used extensively beyond the boundaries of our own ministerial responsibility, having already gone through several printings. We are grateful to God for any use He can make of them for His glory and the establishment of His people.
W.J.E. Baxter -.paraphrased  - original author of the core material presented in this section.

THE CHURCH AND CHURCHES

We pointed out in our last series of studies, "Beginnings", that the Lord Jesus spoke of each individual life as a construction project - like building a house. In the "Parable of the Two Houses", He taught most emphatically the need of sound personal foundations for our lives. He spoke of two houses which outwardly 1ooked much the same. However, one man "digs down deep" and builds a sound foundation. The other man refuses the labor and expense involved in excavating a solid foundation, and builds his house on "soft ground". Then came the inevitable storm! The house that has a solid foundation "did not fall: because it was BUILT ON THE ROCK"! The house that was built upon the sand "falls down, and WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED" (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:39-49).

Jesus Christ our Lord is the Rock upon which we build our individual lives. We are taught in the Bible how we must relate to Him and so make sure we have Him as our Foundation. This teaching was found specifically listed in Hebrews 6:1,2. A building is only as solid as its foundation! Our "continuing" is only as solid as our "beginning". The failure to start the Christian life on a solid Bible basis accounts for the many who fall away soon after professing conversion, and the many others whose lives are weak and without definite direction.

We trust you find the following lessons helpful and challenging - our experience tells us that we seldom change unless we are under pressure, sometimes it takes extreme pressure. Remeber, that diamonds are just dirty old carbon - ashes from a fire, but under pressure turn into something precious!


Previous page: Eternal Judgment (2)
Next page: The Church & Churches