For any large building, the builders begin with a firm foundation. Sometimes they dig down to “bed rock” or sink pilings deep into the earth. Structural engineers know that if they do not build a firm foundation, the ground will settle, the winds will blow, earthquakes will come and the building will fail and perhaps fall.
The Bible describes the Church as a building with a foundation. 1 Corinthians 3:9-11 “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” How is He the foundation? The church is built upon the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, who gave his life to redeem us and who, by the power of God, was resurrected from the dead. The church is also built upon the truths that he taught. Matthew 16:15-18 “He (Jesus) said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.’” The Church is built upon the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God.
The church as a building is described slightly differently in Ephesians 2:19-21 “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” The church is not a physical building made up of brick, concrete or lumber. Instead, it is made up of people – you and me. We together are a holy temple to the Lord. We are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. The church is not built on the bodies of these individuals, but instead on their teachings and prophesies – the truths that they left for us. In this analogy, Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. A cornerstone is the reference for the rest of the building and therefore determines the position of the entire structure.
Jesus told us that we need to build our house on the rock. Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
It is very important what foundation we build upon. Personally, we need to build our lives on the truths of the Bible as taught by Jesus and His apostles. If we do, we will be wise and able to stand firm for God when the storms of life beat upon us. Our churches also need to be built upon the truths of the Bible as taught by Jesus and His apostles. If we do, we will grow up as a holy temple to glorify our God. Let us be careful of the foundation we build upon.