“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11).
We are no more secure than the foundation on which our lives are built. All of us realize the importance of a solid foundation for any kind of structure. Jesus referred to its significance in Luke 6:47,48: “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man who built an house, and dugged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when a flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock.”
Over the years I have ministered to countless numbers of people. I have seen some who have faced impossible opposition and odds in their walk of obedience and who have persevered. I have seen many who floundered and turned back–some physically and others mentally and emotionally while giving the appearance of going on.
One’s perseverance in life and ministry has to do with the foundations upon which his faith is built. The foundations of faith that have been built into his life immediately and ultimately determine his persistence in faithful living.
Paul admonished the Colossians: “As ye have, therefore, received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding with thanksgiving; Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:6-8).
It is extremely important that new converts be established in the faith. Our calling as Christian leaders is to build great people, not great churches. Great believers will form great churches. Our Lord gave gifted men to the church–apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor/teachers–to equip the saints, to build them up in the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God until they are mature in the faith. With maturity they will not be tossed around and carried about by every wind of doctrine that blows (Ephesians 4:11-16) but will be consistently powerful in their walk. Every believer should reach for maturity to the extent that he can help others to do the same thing: “The things that thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Truth is absorbed in the new convert like knowledge is imbibed with the mother’s milk. Our primary concern should be how we model the Christian life before young believers. Paul has much to say about the issue of Christian example in his writings. People learn as much or more through observation than they do by what they hear. What Paul said to the Philippians in Philippians 4:9 seems to be the height of egotism but actually our walk should be so committed and consistent that what he said could be our testimony: “Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do, and the God of peace shall be with you.”
Paul could make such a statement because he could also say with absolute certainty: ìI know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that dayî (2 Timothy 1:12b). Because of Paul’s certainty, he could confidently say: “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).
Solid foundations are not built out of philosophy, vain deceit, traditions, or the rudiments of the world (Colossians 2:8). They are built out of godly living and sound words. The two go hand in hand. Jesus challenged the disciples in John 14:10,11 to verify His Word by His Works. Sound words produce sound actions both of which, in turn, flow out from and result in a solid foundation.
Paul instructed young Timothy: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). I recently read the following truism on the sign board of a church: “A man who has a Bible that is falling apart has a life that is not!”
Be blessed this day,