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Repentance from Dead Works (1 of 7)

Mike Connell

Page 2 of 10
So there are many things that are basic in the Christian life, so I might ask you what's basic to the Christian life? What would you say? Well you'd say: prayer; read your Bible; come to church; get fellowship - you'd say a whole lot of things. You notice none of them are mentioned there? So this is nothing to do with that - these are the foundations for building. It's about how your life is built, and you becoming all that God wants you to become. These must be put in there. These are not just a set of teachings. It's not just six steps and now I'm away. It's not that at all. It actually is a foundation.

You notice when a building is first being constructed, they lay a foundation. You don't see the foundation, but it carries the whole weight of the building. Now you never remove the foundation. It always remains there, and the stability of the building depends on the foundations being present, being strong, and being able to support what you're building. So what he's saying is: this doctrine of Christ, or the first principles of Christ, is a body of teaching on how to live your life in such a way, we can corporately become what God wants us to become. Christian life is never a single or alone life; it's always lived in community. It is what you call a “living foundation”, so each part of this is something to be living inside you. It's something you live out in your daily life. It's not something - I heard that tape, I'll pass it on. This is something that needs to be operative continually in your life if you want to progress.

If any of these areas are not operative in your life, you can't progress. You'll be around a long time, but there's a huge difference between: being a 10 year old Christian; and a Christian who's had one year's experience 10 times - just repeated the same stuff. So you notice then, the first things are these are the foundations to Christ, the anointed life, the anointed one; and we know there is Jesus Christ who is the pattern, but it also refers to the body of Christ of which you and I are a part. That's the first thing.

Second thing is, it's foundation to your identity, and how you do your life with Jesus. It's foundational - the foundational substructure. Notice he calls it the First Principles. The word first comes from the word arché, from which we get principality. It's something which is the beginning. If this isn't there, you don't go any further. You just keep busy, but you don't go further.

Notice these first principles - the word ‘principle’ means: a foundation on which, or the beginning of something from which, everything else springs. Or putting it simply like this, it's your ABCs. If you don't learn your ABCs, then you remain illiterate. It doesn't matter how hard you try - and I'm sure you try real hard - but if you haven't learnt your ABCs, you experience a sequence of failures. You can't put your finger on what's wrong - it's not because you aren't trying; it's the foundations aren't there.

It’s like learning your times tables. You know, one of the things we had to learn was our times tables. You just had to learn it. If it wasn't learnt, and it wasn't in you, then you could not proceed in maths. You'd get so far, you'd try the best, and you struggle as much as you can. No matter how well intentioned you are, no matter how much effort you put in, you just don't get anywhere. You just have a sequence of failures. Why? The foundations essential to going forward are just not there.