Important Note To Students And Teachers
It is very easy for Christians of today to be more concerned about being accepted by fellow believers than having a deep, intense faith in Jesus Christ. In a desire to be accepted, Christians find it much too easy to be devoutly dedicated to a church or devoutly committed to a religious system or devoutly committed to a heritage rather than being committed to Jesus Christ.
It is much too easy to substitute commitment to a church for faith in Jesus Christ; or substitute commitment to a system of "hows" and "whys" performed in precise, definite ways for faith in Jesus Christ; or substitute commitment to a heritage for faith in Jesus Christ. It seems faith in Jesus Christ is assumed: "Everyone in the church or attracted by the church believes in Jesus Christ!" "We don't need to stress faith in Jesus [as the New Testament obviously did]. We need to stress baptism." "We don't need to stress faith in Jesus [as the New Testament obviously did]. We need to stress the church." "We don't need to stress faith in Jesus [as the New Testament obviously did]. We need to stress the 'hows' and 'whats' of precise correctness in worship."
Note the irony. We seem to fail to note that if the reason for baptism does not begin with faith in Jesus, baptism is meaningless. We seem to fail to note that if the reason for being the church is not founded on faith in Jesus, being the church is meaningless. We seem to fail to note that if the reason for worship is not to praise and glorify the God who gave us Jesus, our worship is meaningless.
God intended to send Jesus from the beginning. Go to the first book in our Bible and read Genesis 12:3 along with Genesis 22:18. Then read Acts 3:25 and Galatians 3:16. From the beginning, God's intended blessings were focused in Jesus who would be God's Christ. [See Acts 2:31-33 and note how God's resurrection confirmed Jesus was the Christ.] Paul affirmed that God's intention in Jesus Christ was intended "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4).
Jesus Christ is central to God's atoning, redeeming work. Faith in Jesus Christ is essential to gaining access to atonement and redemption. Faith in God's accomplishment in Jesus Christ provides people the means to have access to God.
The purpose of these lessons is to encourage students to deepen their appreciation for and dependence on Jesus Christ. These lessons do not say that the only important matter is to place an inactive confidence in Jesus. These lessons do say that obedience is meaningless if acts of obedience fail to express faith in Jesus.
Hopefully, by a study of these lessons you will be impressed with the wondrous thing God does for us by giving us Jesus Christ.
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