The main purpose of this lesson is to understand a practical overview of the Normal Christian Life. As I acquire Biblical concepts and knowledge I want to mentally connect the pieces to God’s overall plan for my life.
Consider a jigsaw puzzle. Imagine trying to fit together the pieces of a puzzle without being able to refer to the picture boxtop. It is much less frustrating when the boxtop picture is available for reference.
The second diagram (below), the “Abbreviated Overview”, is like the puzzle boxtop, while the pieces represent bits of Biblical knowledge.
Typically, I accumulate Biblical information from the Bible, friends, books, sermons, podcasts, conversations, etc. I may have difficulty knowing how this new information (to me) fits into my everyday life here on earth, or worse yet, I may arrive at wrong conclusions which can distort my understanding of God and the Christian life.
Some newer Christians become frustrated and return to their secular life style. Others may focus only on behaving correctly and develop a list of “do’s and don’ts”.
Others may compartmentalize their life, resulting in a perceived “spiritual life” separate from their “secular life”. They may attempt to live an acceptable spiritual life before others, while at the same time concluding that Biblical principles somehow don’t apply to their secular everyday life.
My response should be to view the various components of my everyday life as a unit, and involve God in every aspect of my life.
My goal is to understand how to integrate Biblical knowledge into my daily relationship with God and others, and to protect me from falling into the common practice of simply archiving Biblical information.
As I grow, I will become increasingly more aware of my need to walk continually before the Lord (24/7), seeking His approval, and less dependent on the need for approval from others.
Jigsaw Puzzle “Boxtop” Guide
Discuss the explanations below for each component of the jigsaw puzzle “boxtop”, all of which will be covered later in more detail in the following lessons.
1) Birth to Rebirth
We should each be able to easily identify ourselves as having gone through this period, alienated from God, living in spiritual darkness, and without hope.
2) If a Person Rejects Christ
If a person rejects Christ and dies during this period, that person who has built their house upon the sand without a foundation, will go to the judgment of unbelievers to spend eternity separated from God. It is important to understand that this judgment has nothing to do with believers, only unbelievers.
Matthew 7:24-27 (Jesus said) “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”
Revelation 20:11-15 (The apostle John wrote) “Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.
Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.
This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
3) The Cross
This event is by far the most important happening in my life. From God’s perspective I have passed from “death” (without His life) to “life” (the Lord indwelling), from hopelessness to hopefulness.
John 5:24 I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.
4) The New Life
It is important that I understand the event of salvation is the entrance into a new life with God, prepared by Him to completely meet my every need as I fit into His design.
I am introduced to the concept of fitting into God’s plan for my time here on earth, which is but a small part of His eternal plan for me.
Two Biblical analogies can illustrate my Christian life: that of a plant growing from a seedling to a tree, and that of a human growing from a baby to an adult.
Again, the event of salvation is just the beginning of the new life of learning to walk with God. During this period of time it is very important for a new believer to be discipled (“spiritually parented” / mentored”).
1 Thessalonians 2:7-13 … we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother nurtures her own children.
We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. … like a father with his own children, we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers.
5) The Intended Objective (Goal)
Just as I would expect a healthy sapling to grow into a fruit-bearing tree, and a healthy infant to grow into an adult and become a parent, so God’s intention is to make of a healthy spiritual infant a spiritually mature and fruitful Christian.
6) God’s Foundation and My Building Options
God has laid a Foundation, Jesus Christ, which represents my salvation. This is equally true for all believers.
However, each of us individually has a choice as to how we will build on that Foundation. The buildings represent the use of my resources (time, energy, possessions) during my physical life here on earth. If I allow the Holy Spirit, as the Master Building Contractor, to use my resources, He will use those building materials to create for me an eternal structure of gold, silver and precious stones. That which I deny Him use of will produce a structure of wood, hay and stubble.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (Paul wrote) According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it.
But each one must be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.
If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward.
If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.
7) Rewards Ceremony (Tribunal of Christ)
These verses speak of a future rewards ceremony called The Tribunal of Christ (or The Judgment Seat of Christ) at which time each believer will individually appear before Jesus Christ to be rewarded (for eternity) for what he/she has allowed the Holy Spirit to do through their life while living here on earth.
There should be no fear of punishment at this event, although I need to be aware of the potential for loss of eternal rewards, since all that is wood, hay and stubble will be turned into worthless ashes. It is important to note that no unbeliever will be present at this event.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10 Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.
Matthew 6:20-21 But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.