You have come forth from the waters of baptism and your sins have been forgiven and there is a new power at work in your life. You were willing to count yourself nothing and now God has raised you up to newness of life and purpose.
It is extremely important now, as members of the body of Christ, to realize that our re-birth was not into an institution but into an organic body. The Church of Christ is made up of people! All of us are now transfusing our entire essence with the DNA of our Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
These lessons have been put together to enlighten us to the basic principles of the oracles of God. However, it is vital to the transformation process that we move on to perfection (completeness).
Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God”
The love of the word of God (which has caused you to obey the Gospel and to follow this course to its completion), is the source of the complete transformation that we as Christians are to achieve in maturity.
• The Scriptures Warn against Apathy.
Hebrews 5:12-14 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
• The Scriptures Teach Endurance and Diligence!
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a teaching Gospel. The Apostle Paul through the Spirit instructed Christians, knowing that over time they might become lethargic. He instructed the Christians at Colossi to monitor their journey in three ways; see if you can list them (they are underlined to assist you)?
Colossians 3:1-4 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
That's right; he told them to continually consider their past, present, and future!
Past: To remember what it was that motivated them to obey the Gospel and seek the forgiveness of sins through baptism. To remember that they have arisen from that watery grave of baptism to be new creatures, redeemed and set apart to the Lord. To use this motivation continually!
Present: To become involved! The term “hidden” used here comes from the root meaning, ‘to be wrapped up in'. So it is not talking about withdrawing from, but actually completely engulfing yourself with. This was additionally endorsed by the Apostle Paul, when he spoke of the growth of the church coming from every member doing their part – Ephesians 4:16.
Be an active part of all Bible studies that are offered in your local body of Christ. Start a Bible class in your own home. List the brethren of your congregation you are not familiar with and go and meet them. Go visit brethren. Find those who share your love of the word and pray together, read together, and seek to grow together. There are many ways to become involved, ask the elders or other members; but most importantly, don't wait for someone else to determine your involvement.
Future: Keep our goal directly in front of us. Being with our Lord in glory! With our joyous duty sandwiched between such amazing motivations, we can move on to perfection in Christ (completeness).
God works the wonders of the Gospel's power of salvation through us. Use this passage as motivation and reminder. Memorize it!
1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”
May the Lord Bless, Strengthen, and Keep You Always! In His Great Name!