For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
The firm foundation
The Christian life is often compared to farming or a building. In both cases, the process always starts from below. In farming, the seed must first be planted, die, germinate and take root, then bear fruit (I Corinthians 15:36) . It is the same with the building. It starts with the foundation, and is then built from the bottom up.
These figures show clearly how it is to grow in the Christian life. First we have to die and be buried, so that the resurrection life which is the life of the Lord Jesus, can bud and bear much fruit. In the building of the Christian life, the work of the cross , the death of the works of the flesh by the Spirit , the emptying of self, and brokenness are necessary. The inner man must first grow downward and inward, be strengthened, rooted and established, then grow upward and outward from the cornerstone who is Christ himself.
This edification process is not seen by those outside. Only after it is well founded and rooted, does it begin to be built upwards, and only then does it begin to be noticeable. It is then when the Lord's life appears. First death is at work in us, then life is manifested (II Corinthians 4:12).
The more rooted and grounded in him, the stronger and more apparent will be the growth, especially if they are set in stony soil or upon the rock (Matthew 7:24). The Lord knows our condition and he knows on what foundation we are set, he knows what kind of roots we have and how they are rooted, if they are deep or superficial, in Christ or in anything else.
Many people want the edification, but few want to go through the process to achieve depth in the Christian life. They prefer a life of ease without suffering. May the Lord help us to understand this; that we may receive with grace the edification that begins from the bottom, painful most of the time, so that we may grow on a solid foundation, and the glory of Christ may shine.