In my hometown, a local man has been charged with first degree arson in the alleged torching of his own business, a fire that occurred in July of 2022. I don’t know how that case is progressing, but what I do know is that the business location has been cleared and that there has been heavy machinery working the lot for weeks now. Construction workers plow here, push dirt there, move more dirt over there, and pound on it for a few days.
It’s fascinating to watch the activity because the workers go through these steps of plowing, pushing, and pounding the dirt again and again, and it appears nothing much is happening. But this is deceptive, because we know there will come a point at which – BAMM – in no time the groundwork will be complete and a hotel/restaurant will spring into existence.
It takes weeks, and sometimes months, but eventually, the foundation is in place, and atop that foundation, a sturdy structure can be built.
The True Foundation
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, ESV
There is but one sure and lasting foundation. This is true for the life of an individual, and it is equally true for any professing Christian institution, whether a local congregation, a ministry, a university, a missionary society. It does not matter. No foundation but Christ will be able to endure the fire that will test each man’s work.1
The Foundation Layer
Jesus is the foundation, and Jesus laid the foundation as well. Speaking of Jesus, the Son, the writer of Hebrews says:
You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
– Hebrews `1:10, ESV
He is the Creator of all things, and therefore Lord over all. Jesus is the Creator of all that exists – ex-nihilo – everything from nothing.
For by [Jesus] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
– Colossians 1:16, ESV
The Foundation Ancestor
Not only is Jesus the foundation for our faith and the foundation layer of creation, Jesus ante-dates the foundation of the world. The foreordained salvation through his blood was in place before the foundation of the world was laid.
[Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
– 1 Peter 1:20-21, ESV
The Foundation Word
Finally, there is a foundation of the words that flowed from Jesus’ lips. As we hear them and build our lives on them, we are building on the firmest possible foundation.
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.
– Luke 6:46-49, ESV
Jesus is the true foundation, the firm foundation. He himself laid every sure foundation. He created the foundation. His redeeming blood was planned before the foundation was even laid. His spoken word is the solid foundation for life-building. No other foundation will suffice.
If the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?
– Psalm 11:3, ESV
1. 1 Corinthians 3:13