Bible Top 1000

A Sure Foundation
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According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 3: 1- 11)

Notice first that Paul was not talking about a foundation, but rather the foundation The apostle was not talking about laying just any foundation to build on, but he was speaking specifically of laying the one and only foundation that will last.

This may cross many ideologies and popular notions of our time but this is an irrefutable fact as revealed in the word of God. One must exercise care in builidng upon this foundation. Even when we have the right foundation we must use care in building. Just any and every kind of material cannot be used.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (v. 13-14)

Many today are spending precious time and sincerely building in their own understanding and in their own might; They are building works 'for God' that in the last day will be proven to be stubble and hay. Only those works built under God's divine unction of the precious truths of the Word will endure. Paul said he had laid the foundation---Christ the chief cornerstone had been presented to these men. Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (I Peter 2:6 ) Our work is built on the foundation of Christ and the apostles. How we build from there is our choice.

Paul then admonished the Corinthians to use grace and continue to build on the foundation according to God's plumb line. We love to speak of the love and the grace of God but we must also know that Isaiah spoke of that day when God said, Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place (Isaiah 28:17) He spoke of the day when His Son would have been offered and men given the opportunity to step into the very presence of God holy righteous and undefiled. Anyone who doesn't measure to that standard of righteousness ordained in Christ, will find himself standing in judgement regardless of the work he might have thought he was building.

Let us take care in the work we build!

Living Too Close to the Edge

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (I Corinthians 3:1 - 3)

The Church at Corinth had been in place for quite a while when Paul wrote this letter to the congre- gation, but he could not write to them as mature brethern. In essence he was saying, " I can't treat you like adults because your understanding is still that of children. You haven't made any effort to grow up; You like the milk and goodies but you can't take the straight meat of the word." In other words they were still living too close to the borderline of the world. They had not yet stepped forward on faith to possess the promised fullness that God had for them . They were like the Israelites who lingered instead of entering right in to Canaan where the figs grew and the milk and honey flowed.

Paul let them know they were still walking as unre- generate men while claiming the grace of Christ. They were looking to the World rather than looking to Christ. They were looking to the carnal for instructions and direction. They were clinging to the things of sin with one hand while clutching at the promises of God with the other.

Today, as then, many are emphasizing everything but the need to grow spiritually. We must grow in the grace of God and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. This is not a head knowledge that Paul speaks of. Many then as today had a head knowledge of the Word. Paul wanted them to have a "heart knowledge" that they might grow up as men of strength for God.

We see many people more concerned about the philosophy of Salvation and grace than they are ith achieving the personal deep experience of it We must go on to experience the reality, to hunger and thirst after righteousness: that is the food that will strengthen the spiritual man and cause us to grow in Him until we reach the stature of the fulness of Christ: Instead we find Christians lingering close to the boundaries of Sin longing after the cucumbers and leeks they enjoyed there.

Many times we work hard to "get our heads around" the understanding of Salvation and right- eousness when what we must work more diligently at is "getting our hearts around it." We must hide God's word in our hearts, not in our minds. Hiding it in our minds will only produce hypocrites---those who know the words but cannot live them out. If it is hidden in our hearts it will cause us to grow into strong witnesses to the Power of God!

Tracing Character to It's Source

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments."
Psalm 119:9,10

A giant oak tree came crashing down during a severe thunder storm with extremely high winds. This huge oak was thought to be in perfect health, due to its outward appearance with beautiful green leaves during blooming season. However, the massive tree could not withstand the stress of the high wind because of its deterioration on the inside. What started as a tiny corruption from perhaps a nail in the center of the trunk, had spread until that tremendous tree was so weakened that it toppled by the strong winds.

Like the big oak, Christians may also reach a point where they forsake God. It is also because they have decayed on the inside. Perhaps the deterioration started with a little lie, a drink of beer, or forsaking the assembly of God to go to a ballgame, race, or fishing.

Long before our feet carry us where we ought not to go, and our hands do what they ought not do, the desire is in our hearts. But with pure hearts, we will be able to stand the stress of temptation and the stress of every day living.

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
Psalm 119:11