Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Building on a Biblical Foundation


21 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in yoursg name, and in yoursg name cast out demons, and in yoursg name performed many miracles?’ 23 “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew youpl: depart from me, youpl that practise lawlessness.’

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock: 25 “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it did not fall: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 “And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand: 27 “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was it’s fall.

28 “And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that the crowds were astonished at his doctrine, 29 for he teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Matthew 7:21-29


In our society we see divorce rates rising, broken homes, sexual promiscuity, large numbers of unmarried mothers, the development of an “under-class”, large numbers of men unemployed, wide-spread alcohol and drug abuse, and an increase in violent crimes. Politicians are jumping from one opinion to another at the whims of the media, enacting unrighteous and destructive laws.

Modern science is telling us that we are a chance combination of chemicals seeking the continuation of our super-ape species, and yet to no purpose. Modern art-forms are expressing despair, hurt, immorality, irrationalism and madness, devoid of any useful message.

People are drifting aimlessly, empty, without hope, without meaning, without guidance, without love, desperately seeking comfort from the pleasures of the here-and-now. Our world is the way it is because we live amongst a people who have no firm foundation. They have rejected the solid rock of Christ’s words to build their lives upon the shifting sands of their own imagination.

In opposition to this, Christ calls us to build every area of our lives on the sure foundation of the whole of the Scriptures, and to declare this in all the earth.

Our Foundation Must be God’s Word, Not Man’s Traditions

8 Beware lest anyone take youpl captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and youpl are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and authority.

Colossians 2:8-10

The “basic principles of the world” spoken of in Colossians 2:8 constitute that counterfeit foundation which Satan has laid in the heart of the natural man. It is that worldview that usurps the place of Christ’s word as the true foundation for men’s lives.

Psalm 51:5 says that we were “shapen in iniquity” and “in sin” we were “conceived.” By nature, we are sinners and we reject the true foundation. We would rather follow our own wisdom, or the traditions of men, or what the “experts” tell us, rather than the Bible. Christ commands us to repent of this and found our lives on His word.

Even as believers we are still afflicted by sin, for we have another “law in [our] members waging war against the law of [our] mind.” (Rom. 6:23.) This is why we still have a tendency to make tradition our foundation at times.

Our traditions may be “what was always done,” or even (for a few) what the Puritans or Covenanters thought. But many traditions are new, rather than old (indeed traditions are always newer than the truth – Jer. 6:16). In our generation it is more likely that we follow the current traditions of modern evangelicalism, or what our friends at S.U. or C.U. think.

Our traditions may appear more “holy” than others, but they still usurp the rightful place of Christ’s words in our lives. Unless we, like the Bereans, “[search] the Scriptures daily whether these things [are] so,” (Acts 17:11) then we are deceiving ourselves to our own injury.

Our Foundation Must Be the Whole of the Scriptures

16 All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for teaching, for reproving, for correction, for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16,17

In the parable that we have read, our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to build upon the foundation of His word. Christ’s words are not just those spoken by Him while on the earth, they are the whole of the Scriptures. In 1 Peter 1:10,11, it says that what the Old Testament prophets prophesied was by “the Spirit of Christ.” Similarly “the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Eph. 2:20) in the New Testament was laid by the same Spirit of whom Christ prophesied in John 16:14, “he shall take of mine and disclose it to youpl.” Therefore, when Christ tells us to found our lives on His words, He means the whole of the Scriptures.

As 2 Timothy 3:16,17 tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed… that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God wants us to be perfect, and so should we, but we won’t achieve it by applying part of Scripture – we must apply it all. This includes all those books at the end of the Old Testament, the book of Revelation, and other parts of Scripture that we find hard to understand, and also those passages that we find hard to accept or hard to obey. Every part is necessary for a firm foundation.

Every Area of Our Lives Must be Founded on Scripture

31 Whether, therefore, youpl eat, or drink, or whatever youpl do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

When Christ calls us to found our lives on the rock by doing what he says, is he calling us to build our house partly on rock and partly on sand? I mean, is Christ telling us to base our lives partly on the Bible and partly on our own, or other people’s “wisdom”? Of course He isn’t! He wants us to build all of our lives on the Scriptures, even how we eat or drink.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that the sum of all knowledge is found in the Bible. I’m not saying that the Bible tells you how to get the food off your plate and into your mouth. But I am saying that the foundation for every area is found there, even our eating and drinking. For example, are we gluttonous? are we greedy? do we give thanks, etc.?

Some people will say that God is only for “spiritual” things, that there are “neutral” areas where God needn’t be brought in, or “secular” areas, where God shouldn’t be brought in, e.g. government. This is a wicked lie. Christ is to rule in every area, for He must have pre-eminence (Col. 1:8). Christ exercises His rule through the Bible and so by His prophets and apostles He speaks to every issue: God, man, salvation; our actions, our thoughts, our words; the individual, the family, society, the church and the state; farming, nursing, banking, commerce, engineering, science, art, literature – everything!

Building on the Foundation

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

James 1:22-24

In the parable, Christ says that the one who does what He says, is the one who builds on a solid rock. If we would have a firm foundation for our lives we must build on this foundation. It’s no good sitting back and admiring the rock, and saying, “My, but that’s a lovely, big, solid rock. That would make a lovely foundation.” But isn’t that what we do? We find out the principles from the Scriptures, and then go ahead and build on our own wisdom any way – or maybe we don’t even do that, as we have seen.

Maybe we look at the Bible and say, “This is what Christ wants achieved in the such-and-such an area,” and then use our own methods to bring it about. We mix Scripture with expediency and pragmatism to lay our foundation, but this is to mix lay and iron together (Dan. 2:34,35). We may build an apparently lovely structure for Christ, but the rain will fall and the floods will rise, and then what? It will be found that we have been building on sand – but by then it will be too late. Christ ordains the means as well as the end.

Let us lay the foundation of Christ’s word and sincerely build every area on it alone.

Christ’s Words are a Sure and Blessed Foundation

3 He shall be like a tree that grows near planted by a river, which in his season yields his fruit, and his leaf fadeth never: and all he doth shall prosper well.

Psalm 1:3 (SMV)

Lastly I want to reassure you that building on Christ’s foundation will bring blessing. I’m not saying it will be easy and I’m not saying you won’t suffer, indeed living a godly life will lead to persecution (2 Tim 3:12). But you will be able to come through any trouble that comes to your life, if you are building and continue to build on Christ’s foundation. When the rain falls and the floods rise you will survive, and indeed it will be for God’s glory and your good (2 Cor. 1:8,9; 12:9,10).

However, the application of Christ’s word to every area of our lives not only enables us to survive trouble, but positively leads to prosperity. Psalm 1 tells us that meditation on the Scriptures leads to prosperity in all that we do, although at times what we have to do for the Lord may at times badly affect our worldly affairs.

I’m not teaching a health and wealth Gospel, but there is no doubt that the greatest blessing for the individual, the family, the church and the nation will only come when all things are subjected to Christ and founded on His word.


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