I enjoyed a great evening in Vilonia last night. I preached at the Vilonia church for their summer series, speaking on marriage, and loved being with so many old friends. The downside was I had to miss Alex’ class; the official beginning to the EVERYTHING I KNOW I LEARNED IN VBS series of lessons he’s going to be bringing us on Wednesday nights.
I filled in for him last week and talking about how THE WISE MAN BUILT HIS HOUSE UPON THE ROCK. If you were there, you know we spent a lot of time talking about the foundation on which the house is built (the Lord Jesus Christ). Time got away from us and I didn’t get to make my last point in the class…
What does the house we’re building (on the Lord) look like?
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Paul describes the household of Christ, His body the church, as an institution which has as its foundation the prophets of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the New. The word picture Paul paints is of a building erected by God, with His inspired preachers serving as the foundation, and with His Son being the chief cornerstone, around which the bricks of the walls are laid one-by-one.
With God serving as the Architect, who had the design for the house in mind before creation, Christ is able to be the Piece around which the construction takes place. After all, if the cornerstone is not perfectly square, the walls would be irregular and the building would surely collapse. Thankfully for the Christian, Christ is the perfect corner around which His whole house is built.
And what is the building…
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
This building, now completed (“fitly framed together” is literally “precisely angled” or, in the metaphor, “flawlessly designed”), exists to God as a perfect Temple to house His presence. Though Christians worship all over the world, and though they are separated, sometimes by thousands of miles, we all belong to the same spiritual institution: God’s one church (Ephesians 1:22), His body (Ephesians 1:23), household (Ephesians 2:19), and, as it says here, His holy Temple.
That holy Temple is not divided along racial lines, nor is it fractured by doctrinal divisions; it does not exist as an umbrella housing a plurality of contradictory philosophies and teachings. It is the house of Christ, built on the foundation of Christ Himself. Separated from it, no man can find salvation from God, no man can be reconciled to God, and no man can approach God in true, pleasing worship.
So we have this house, built on the foundation of Jesus, who is also the cornerstone. What are we, in this house? Remember how Jesus said Peter was a stone (Matthew 16:18)? He’s a part of the building of the Lord’s house. What about us?
Listen to Peter himself…
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
(1 Peter 2:5)
Each Christian serves as a brick, just like Peter, working together both to hold up the brick above us and be supported by the brick below us. We work together on the foundation of Jesus. That’s why a house divided against itself can not stand; we’re only blessed if we stay unified on His foundation. Once completed, God’s spiritual Temple stands as a building of living stones, whose occupants enjoy the blessings of living in the house of God.
When we build on the foundation of Jesus, we form a spiritual home for God to live in with us and bless us forever. You’d have to be positively FOOLISH to build on some other foundation.
All other foundations are sand.