Knowing Jesus Christ
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. – 1 Cor 2:2
It is the Person and work of Christ through which we have reconciliation and access to God the Father, Son, and Spirit. The Father so loved the world that He sent His Son that all who believe in the Son should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). The Son of God became flesh for our sake that He might live a life of obedience and suffering and be the Servant of the Lord that we were not. He died for the sins of all who believe and rose again for their justification. All who trust in Christ have their guilt and sin taken away, they are declared righteous in Christ, and they are adopted into the family of God. The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to the hearts of believers. We are dead in sin and trespasses but the Spirit, through the Word, makes us alive that we may believe.
The beginning of being a disciple is knowing Christ. It is turning from our slavery to sin and death and clinging to the feet of Christ for our salvation. As we put our trust (faith) in Christ and His work on our behalf we are united to Him by the Spirit.
In summary, to know Christ is to have put our faith in Christ and, by the Spirit, to be united to Him so that all that He is now our Lord and ever works now to intercede for us and conform us to His image. The movement from Knowing Jesus Christ to Growing in Grace is this union – those who trust in Christ are made holy by Him.
The stages in Knowing Christ are these:
He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. – John 1:41-42
Everybody who is a disciple is first brought or invited to come see Jesus before he knows anything about Jesus. We bring our children before they can speak. For others, invitation is the simple act of bringing someone to worship so that they might see Jesus. Invitation is also the attitude that we have when others come to our Church. We desire that they would see Jesus and so we are warm and inviting to them knowing that we too once needed to be invited into the House of the Lord.
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. – 1 Cor 14:24-25
Worship is for God. The aim of our worship is God and His glory. We glorify God as a people redeemed and He meets with us and works in us by His Word. The new visitor to a Church is a witness to the worship of God’s people. God is worshiped through song, repentance, giving, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the preaching of the Word.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? – Rom 10:14
It is the worship of God’s people and, especially, the preaching of God’s Word that brings the light of God into human hearts. The power of salvation is in the Word through the Spirit of God. Our aim in worship is that everyone leaves changed – that unbelievers begin to follow Jesus and believers are built up.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. – 2 Cor 5:20
We pursue people after worship if the Word is bringing conviction to their hearts. We pray with them. We answer questions. We care because Christ is making His appeal through us that they be reconciled to Him. We follow-up by inviting them to return and meet Christ in worship the next week and we invite them to our homes so we can speak to them and help them to understand.
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – Acts 2:38
In God’s time, a person comes to the end of himself and turns from himself and lays hold of the feet of Christ because Christ is Lord. He takes off his burden and gives it to Christ and accepts the yoke of Christ as Lord. He is baptized into the Church setting him apart from the world belonging to the Kingdom of God. He is a child of God and will now be raised to maturity by the strength that every part of the Body of Christ supplies.