Isaiah 28:16, “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed”
Sometime ago while visiting Fayetteville, West Virginia the town where I was born and grew up as a boy, I decided to take a look at the old neighborhood where I once lived to see if it had changed any. I noticed the woods where I played as a kid had become a four lane highway. Some of the houses and buildings were no longer there and some were still standing just as straight and tall as they had some 45 years ago. They were still standing because of a good foundation and were constructed with good materials. Having a solid, well-built foundation is essential in building anything that is meant to last. If the foundation isn’t solid, the superstructure that is built upon it, regardless of its sturdy appearance, will soon crumble and eventually come down or won’t be fit for habitation. The apostle Paul used the metaphor of a building to warn us that we who have made Jesus Christ the foundation of our faith can still build a poor superstructure. We do this when we use materials like “wood, hay, straw,” which can’t stand the fire test. These combustibles represent wrong doctrines and careless behavior; every thought and deed that is false, impure, or worthless. If we build with these qualities, our lives will accomplish little of eternal value. The Bible speaks of our lives as buildings (2 Corinthians. 5:1) and describes for us the kind of foundation upon which our life must be built. Thus, our life will be different if we use gold, silver, and precious stones! These valuable elements stand for materials of a lasting quality. Our life is a process of building, and for to it to weather the storms, it must be built on a solid foundation. My friend, Jesus Christ is that solid foundation (I Corinthians 3:11). In addition to a good foundation, quality materials, ingredients, and workmanship must go into the building such as:
(1) A strong faith and trust in God. The Christian life has its beginning and conclusion in faith. The writer of Hebrews put it this way, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
(2) Honesty would be another essential ingredient. To illustrate this point a wealthy man employed his brother-in-law to build him a house. He explained that he and his family intended to travel to Europe for the summer. While there, he wanted this dream house built. The brother in-law agreed and set to work. As the building progressed, he decided to cut corners here and there by using inferior materials wherever he could cover them up. After all, the rich man would never know the difference. In time the summer ended and the house was completed. The wealthy man returned home. Immediately he was taken out to the building site to look over the new house. After examining it carefully and admiring its elegance at some length, he said to the builder: “I’ll tell you, it’s lovely. In fact, you have done such a marvelous job that I’m just going to give it to you.” You can imagine the dejected feeling of the brother-in-law when he knew that inferior workmanship as well as inferior materials had gone into the house.
(3) Another essential ingredient would be moral purity. Those of us who have lived during the decade of the fifties until the present have watched the pendulum of moral values swing all the way into the gutter. Pre-marital and extra-marital sex has become common place in our society. People take trips on narcotics and alcoholic beverages until they are void of reality. Massage parlors, pornographic literature, X-rated movies, and many other forms of fleshly indulgences are the order of the day. It’s no wonder why our world is in such disarray.
Foundations are paramount in regards to solid growth. You wouldn’t try to build a skyscraper without first preparing the foundation and making sure you were on solid ground? And if the quality of the building is poorly constructed, the devastation is the greatest. We all know that weak buildings don’t survive very well during an earthquake, and so it is in our spiritual life. Many people do well when their life is going well; however, when the storms of difficulty crash upon them they begin to fall apart. Why? Because their life is built upon a weak foundation of their own human abilities. As long as their problems aren’t greater than their own ability to cope with them, all is well, on the surface, but when the problems grow larger than their own inner strength, they crumble. Thus, without a solid foundation they cannot cope with the seismic shocks of life. So, how is your foundation and what materials are you building it with?
(1) Are you building it with wood, hay, and straw?
(2) Or, are you building it with gold, silver, and precious stones?
My friend, once you have trusted Jesus as Savior, you have the right foundation. But then you must build the superstructure of your life with the right materials!