Bible Lesson 30

#4 IN A SERIES

Today we will continue our study on foundations. We have begun this series, on how sturdy and steady our foundations are; and the last four lessons in this series has been about the foundation of the American family and what goes into making a foundation that will have eternal significance. We found that the Word of God lays out the necessary elements that must go into a good foundation and that is what our desire is, in teaching this series of messages. Foundations are the underpinning of every building, whether it be an individual?s life, the nuclear family, the Church, the School, or our nation.

We look at the foundation of our families first; because families are part and parcel of all the other foundations that we are concerned with.

We know from the Scriptures that the key element in any of our foundations is
Jesus Christ who is the rock that our foundation must be built on if it is to withstand the pressures and storms of life. Jesus tells us in Matthew chapter seven and verse twenty-four,?Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

This verse of scripture is part of the Lord?s Sermon on the Mount, which lays out the fact that Jesus left heaven to come to the earth to correct man?s understanding of the Word of God and the God of the Word.

If you read the Sermon on the Mount, which is Chapters 5 through 7 of Matthew, you will see that the sermon is corrective. The Jews had either misinterpreted the word of God or had decided to use it for their purposes, and Jesus is giving them a “heads up” and telling them that they must not just? do? certain things; but must do them for the right reason, out of a pure heart toward God. Jesus makes it plain that if the Word of God is not our rule and guide that our foundations will not stand up to the pressures of our society and our world.

I believe that we should tread carefully when we begin to speak about having a relationship with Jesus and speaking of having Jesus Christ as our foundation. The “good news” of the gospel of Christ, has been diluted, called into question, lied about, and replaced with heresy over the years, until today when we speak of knowing Christ and being a Christian, it has lost it’s supernatural meaning.

When the Bible speaks and Christ speaks about hearing His sayings and doing them, there in Matthew 7:24, it does not mean that we have learned how to say the words. What Christ means there is that our lives exist, after we truly know Jesus in the forgiveness of our sins, with Christ on the throne of our lives and Christ as the foundation of our lives and Christ with His hands on the control of our lives.

We are reminded in Ephesians chapter two and verse ten, that in true salvation, God creates us anew, ?in Christ?. Then in Second Corinthians 5:17, we are reminded that the truly saved person, the person “in Christ”, is a new creature. That Scripture does not speak about some future time that we will be a new creature, it says that “if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature”!

The moment we are saved we are a new creature; because we have a new heart and a new mind and a new allegiance, and a new desire; and that is from God. If we follow the scripture we know that the moment we truly believe and surrender our lives to Christ, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit becomes our teacher, and our guide, and our leader; and those who buck and snort and refuse that leadership were never saved.
If you read the entire Sermon on the mount, you will find that it is a map and directions for the lives that we will live here on the earth, that is if we are truly saved.

There are so many that have been taught simple mechanical formulas for salvation, things like ABC, (admit, believe and confess) with certain groups; however that does not lift Christ which is the only way to salvation, John 12:32. Salvation is a work of our Holy God in the lives of sinful men, and it is not something that we can manipulate God into doing, it is something that is all of God and it is supernatural.

Before our salvation, we are dead men and women, dead in trespass and sin, and it takes a sovereign act of God to bring us from spiritual death to spiritual life, that we call regeneration. Only as a result of a man’s gaining of knowledge from the Bible does God begin this act of salvation, (See Romans 10:19). We refer to regeneration by various terms, like “born again”, born of God, renewed, and quickened. Regeneration changes a sinful man into a creature that desires God above all else. The regenerate man is that “new creature” that is spoken of in Second Corinthians 5:17, that man whose old things are passed away and all things have become new.

The truth about real salvation is that it results in a radically changed life. How can the hand of the Creator have been on the life of a lost sinner, and that sinner not be able to see the change?

When does God call any man out of the darkness into the light? Only God can know that. It is our mission as lost men who, at least have learned that we are lost and that there is only one way to be found, to preach and witness to everyone about the Grace of God.
That’s how the family foundation plays into the Church foundation. Real biblical teaching and demonstration begin in the home.

It begins with godly parents who know the Lord in the forgiveness of their sin. I would remind parents that no one can lead, where they have not been, so if you want your child to be a Christian, you must be one yourself. If you want your child to be a good citizen and to follow in the steps of Christ, you must demonstrate to that child that you are following in the steps of Jesus, as you do unto others as you would have them do unto you?

It is evident that many people in our time do not understand that any child that God gives to them, may attain to godliness and greatness; but there must be someone who believes in them and spend the time and effort it takes to lead them toward godliness.

The visible Church is in place to validate the teachings of the parents who have taught them as Deuteronomy instructs parents to do. This may sound like I should have posted this lesson as one of the family foundation lessons, and that may be; however, if there is not proper preparation of the child by the home and the parents, the church will not normally be able to make much progress with that child.

Children were given to parents, not to preachers, or churches, or teachers and schools, and certainly not to the government. Children live with parents, they spend some short time with teachers and preachers, and the parents as God intended to have the greatest influence on children. So, if you are a parent who did not teach your children about the Bible and the God of the Bible, you have reared a child that will not be a strengthening factor in whatever church they attend.

Am I saying that the visible church of our day, the denominational, institutional church is not what it should be? Yes! Sadly, to say otherwise would make me a liar, and confuse some who read this lesson. Many members have been brought into the church, “who have been starched and ironed before they were washed”, according to Vance Havner, and it is obvious that he knew what he was talking about.

If the church of Acts had overlooked iniquity and by-passed evil and smilingly looked the other way, while the devil sneaked into every phase of her life, as we have done today, Christianity would have died in infancy. Anyone who loves the Lord and His Word, the Bible, knows that the institutional church of our day when taken as a whole does not measure up to what God intended His Church to be. Why do you think that is?

I believe that it is because, over decades, the culture that we have lived in has encroached on the Church’s firm foundation until we have arrived at a time when the foundation of the Church has been cracked and damaged to the point that it cannot support the true Church. If we look seriously at the Church of our day, we see that we have adopted the idea of tolerance, and I mean tolerance of things that the Bible does not allow within the body of the Church.

More and more we are embracing the diversity of just about everything! We have tolerated the preaching of false doctrines, to the point that now, some have come to believe that you don’t have to believe that Christ was virgin-born or that He is even divine. We have bought into all kinds of programs that seek to bring in members who do not know the Lord in that intimate way that regenerates and saves.

Our interest seems to have shifted from the Lord’s way of adding to the church to our way which accepts anyone and everyone who walks the aisle and shakes a preacher?s hand. I have said it before and I say it, here again, joining some church group, makes you a church-member, not a Christian. Christianity is a work of God on sinners whom the Lord calls out of the world to a new way of life; and unless and until God works, nobody will be saved. Much of the error that we can see in the church of our days is not malicious but it results from carelessness in a young man?s instruction in many of our seminaries.

Then the young preacher boy comes from seminary full of steam and good intentions and finds that it is to his benefit to preaching those things that sit well with his new congregation, and fits into the stated ideals of the denomination that he will serve. What I say here is not meant to be mean spirited but it is a simple truth and if we had more people reading and understanding the Bible, it would become evident to everyone.

Preaching the Word of God is a serious business and God often refers to it as a “burden”. God warns us in the Epistle of James chapter 3 and verse 1, that we take the job of teaching the gospel to others, very seriously and God inspired James to write to us and say, My brethren, be not many masters (teachers), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. Let me state, emphatically, I am not attempting to condemn the institutional church, but I am warning it?s members and leaders that God has cautioned us all to beware of allowing the church to take up a false gospel.

To prove my point, let me quote from the word of God the verse of Second Timothy chapter 3 and verses 1-5, which warns us all,?This know also, that in the last days perilous time shall come. For men will be lovers of their selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection; trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.

Dear brothers and sisters, we are living in that age today, when it is hard to tell the church from society. When the church is nothing except a reflection of the community. Is God satisfied with the institutional church?

The answer to that question is No. God shows Himself to be dissatisfied with any church that is not where it ought to be with Him. (Read Revelation chapters 1-3). It is not my job to condemn the institutional church; however, it is my job to speak the truth in love to it; and there is much that needs to be addressed. It is not Biblical nor is it practical to say things like, ?there are no perfect churches?; and to adhere to the status quo.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob