BUILDING ON A GOOD FOUNDATION
By Rodney W. Francis
In all walks of life foundations are very important. They determine how well we stand in times of adversity; in times when things do not work out the way we think they should. For the Christian it is vital that we build our lives on the foundations of the Christian Faith, the teachings of Jesus and of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19-22 ). On that foundation we grow! In Hebrews 6:1-2 we have some of those foundations mentioned. To build our lives spiritually strong we need to know what it is to repent and believe the Gospel. Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached the importance of this (Matthew 3:1-3 ; Matthew 4:17 ). Water baptism is another essential part of our foundation (Acts 2:38-43 ). Water baptism is a full immersion in water experience that we do after we have been born-again of the Holy Spirit and believe on the Lord Jesus (christening as a baby is not water baptism; it is a religious ritual that is found nowhere in Scripture). The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a very essential part of our Christian experience. Receiving the Holy Spirit personally into our lives is necessary, for Jesus said: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (Hebrews 6:2 ):of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth . . .“ (John 16:7-15 ). Here Jesus is telling us of the need to receive the Holy Spirit. It is so important that Jesus needed to go back to Heaven and send Him to us. He told us to make sure we are “endued (“be clothed with”) with power from on high” (Luke 24:49 ; Acts 1:8 ). That happened for the early New Covenant Christians on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4 ). That experience is still necessary today for everyone who believes the Scriptures. Very sadly, much of Christianity is weak and ineffectual because man’s teachings have come in and robbed multitudes of Christian converts of God’s power in their lives. The fact is we cannot live the Christian life without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit! (If you are not yet filled with the Holy Spirit and have the blessed release of speaking in other tongues, then I urge you to make this a priority in your life now). I was sovereignly baptized in the Holy Spirit in the midst of a herd of cows at 5:30 a.m. in the morning. There were no other human beings around to try and tell me this was not of God. I spoke in tongues so fluently that they poured out of my mouth. I know it was God, for He then spoke to me about His call and purposes for my life. I am still walking in that calling over 57 years later. Hallelujah! Without the power of the Holy Spirit at work in my life we could not reach the multiplied thousands that we do in the way we do (all by faith, not knowing where our next dollar is coming from).
Let me remind you that the 12 disciples of Jesus, who had been taught by Jesus for more than three years, also needed to experience the infilling of the Holy Spirit. They needed more than knowledge ~ they needed power to overcome all the obstacles that life throws at us. What a difference the Holy Spirit made in their lives. He changed them from “unbelieving believers” (Mark 16:14 ) into mighty men and women of God who went forth to change their generation for Jesus!
DO NOT NEGLECT THE FOUNDATION!
I find it very sad that numbers of people tell me they are part of a church fellowship, but have never been taught the foundational truths of Christianity. I even have had numbers of Christian Leaders tell me that they have never taught these principles!
How can people grow strong in the Lord if they do not have a strong foundation to build upon?
How strong is your foundation?
Does it cause you to make decisions that glorify Jesus Christ?
ls Jesus so real in your life that you desire to please Him more than anyone else?
Are you committed to doing whatever He asks of you?
How strong you are right now is all according to the foundations of the Christian Faith in your life.
Let us all be encouraged to make sure that our foundations are strong enough to withstand every shaking, obstacle, opposition, persecution, etc. that comes against us. New Zealand has recently experienced hundreds of earthquakes that have shaken the nation. Those buildings that had weak foundations have been damaged, some permanently. They looked nice on the outside, but it is the foundations that determine how well they stand!
CONSIDER THIS . . .
Consider seriously the words of Jesus: “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: ‘He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently (“with great energy, vigour, force” – Collins Dictionary) against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded (“well built”) on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth (“sand”) without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great’” (Luke 6:47-49 ; Matthew 7:24-29 ; James 1:22-25 ).
What made the wise man wise ~ and what made the foolish man foolish? They both heard exactly the same words from the mouth of Jesus, yet the end results were vastly different. The wise man did what Jesus told him to do: “he dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock (Jesus)”; the foolish man took ‘short-cuts’ and did not take the time to dig down to the rock to build his house on. He built on the sand. He did not do what Jesus said. When both houses were completed it was more than likely that the foolish man’s house looked just as good (maybe even better) as the wise man’s house. But there were storms ahead, and those storms determined how good a foundation those houses were built upon. The wise man’s house stood the test of everything that came against it. The foolish man’s house was quickly undermined by the streams of flood waters and was completely washed away ~ he lost everything.
Surely this teaching from Jesus should make us realize just how important a strong foundation is!
We cannot afford to take risks and hope that everything will turn out right.
We need to be sure that our life is built on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the apostles and prophets, so we can withstand every storm that comes against us in this life.
And those storms are increasing as this world plunges more and more out of control in these end-times.
Make sure your foundations are strong in Jesus!
Another important foundation is to build around yourself other strong Christians who are committed to doing the will of God. Let them be close enough to you so that if they have concerns about the way you are living, that they feel they have the freedom to share their concerns with you. It could save you years of heart-ache and sorrow. Make sure you are in a good fellowship of Christian believers so you can grow together in the purposes of God. That way the storms of life will not overcome you!
Build strong, dear friend. Life is too valuable to get wrecked because of a weak foundation. Make sure you are truly born-again; if not already, get baptized in water and then in the Holy Spirit. If need be, ask others to pray for you, baptize you in water and to get you filled to overflowing with the Mighty Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in the Holy Spirit’s language called tongues). God bless you!