Building on the Rock of Christ
In Matthew 28:18-20 The Great Commission was established by Jesus our Lord when he commanded the apostles to make disciples, to baptize, and to teach those new to the faith. Our job as believers does not stop with bringing the unsaved to the Lord and baptism. On the contrary our job is just beginning. We are to teach and raise up new believers and help them in their growth process through the power of the Holy Spirit.
An analogy that can be used is that of a nursery in a hospital. There a new born is fed and cared for in their helpless state. This is not to say that a new born Christian is helpless; far from it for they are filled with the Holy Spirit of God; but what they are is vulnerable. This is a critical time for them for they are lambs and there are wolves about.
In Matthew Jesus called them false prophets which He equated to as “ravenous wolves.” John 10:11-13 Jesus said this, “I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep; but a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep; sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.”
Building on the Rock of Christ
The point here is until Jesus comes back there will always be wolves that attack the flock; and there will always be hired hands that care nothing for the sheep. They are in it for themselves at the expense of the sheep. So what is our responsibility as Christians and Christian leaders to our new born Christian brothers and sisters? Again, It is clear from the Great Commission that we are to teach and raise up and how do we do that? We become foundation builders.
Is there a biblical precedent for that? In Matthew 7:24 Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Who is the Rock? It is Jesus our Lord and all that he has accomplished at the cross. This is what we must build on. Just as there are brothers and sisters that are called to raise children in the Lord through teaching in Children’s Ministry; there Christians that have a burden to raise up new and young believers. They are the foundation builders that sense the vulnerability that a new Christian faces. Sadly, many churches do not make a place for a new Christian to begin discipleship; but are left to assimilate into the Body of Christ with minimal attention. It is to our shame that these new babes in Christ are neglected.
Foundation of sand
Without proper teaching and up bringing there is a danger of their spiritual house being built on sand. We have an example from our Lord Jesus of what happens to a house that has no foundation. In Matthew 7:26 He said this, “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Of course this is speaking of a person that does not have Christ and has built has house on the foundations of the world; but the principal still applies to a new Christian who has no foundation or whose foundation is faulty. Unfortunately, there are Christians that have been in church for years; but for lack of a foundation they do not mature and their growth is stagnate.
What happens to a house that has been built on a bad foundation? In my younger days I worked on a framing crew for a construction company that built residential houses; and I understood the importance of having a good foundation to build on. If you are working with a bad foundation every phase of the building process is effected negatively. When someone eventually purchases a home like this as time goes by they will begin to see cracks in the walls, problems with the trusses that hold up the roof and the like. It all starts with the foundation and ends with the foundation. Build on a faulty spiritual foundation and as time goes buy you will develop cracks. How may these cracks begin to appear?
We are no longer children
Ephesians 4:14 it says, that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried away with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into all things in Him who is the head – Christ. If we remain an immature Christian we can easily fall into deception and lead others into deception. It is God’s desire that we grow in maturity; that He may use us to the full; that we may in turn help raise up new Christians just as we were. Just as a newborn must at some point get off milk so must a new Christian get off milk. Think what would happen to a newborn baby that never made the transition to solid food; the consequences would be disastrous .
Can a Christian be in church every Sunday still be on milk. Sadly, this is not uncommon. In Hebrews 5:12-14 Paul was addressing the Christians in Rome and said this, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you in the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.” It breaks my heart to see new Christians that are building a faulty foundation or no foundation at all. The goal of every Christian should be to grow in maturity. Paul went on to say that solid food is for the mature and the result of constantly eating solid food is to be able to distinguish good from evil.
Would you leave your baby?
Going back to our nursery analogy. Would you leave your new born baby in the nursery go home and forget about the about the new born that you labored and delivered with great joy? Is that not what we do with new born’ s that we as a church labor to bring to Christ and in our joy we leave the new born Christian in the nursery to fend for themselves. What I am saying may seem harsh but we were given a great commission a command by our Lord. This is nothing that we as Christians should ever take for granted for if we do the body of Christ will suffer. The bottom line is you can’t build a house without a foundation. We owe it to our new born brothers and sisters to give them something they can build on and thereby obey and glorify God.