A Temple with No Foundations

A Temple with No Foundations

Every building that is meant to last and withstand the elements requires a foundation. Regardless of the materials, some form of anchor to the ground is needed. We note that such foundations are not always as strong as they could be, or are left to erode and break apart. Among the "anchors" of faith and righteousness is the need for the Christian to understand the Authority of God.

God's word tells us plainly that we are supposed to have proper and right foundations. As Paul speaks of in Ephesians 2:19-22, if we are Kingdom Citizens (citizens of the household of God), we are built on a solid foundation—that of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus as the “chief cornerstone”! Only when we honor and revere Jesus as that cornerstone will we truly be “fitted together,” growing into the proper temple that God would have us be, and built together as a habitation for the Spirit of God.

Jesus used this basic principle as the backdrop of one of his most famous parables.

Matthew 7:24-27“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

The houses pictured here could be our lives, our faith, and our very actions. The question, of course, concerns whether my “house” is built upon the Rock or not. If I am not “In Christ,” I am in sin! In proper application and harmonization of this subject, however, it occurs to me that we must also be mindful of another aspect of our spiritual foundations.

We are clearly shown in the Scriptures that foundations can crumble and falter. The Psalmist writes, “If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). Again, “They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable” (Psalm 82:5). In the New Testament, we see the foundations crumble in individual lives. People like Judas Iscariot, Ananias and his wife Sapphira, and Simon the Sorcerer all fail to have the proper understanding of God’s Authority. We can fail in the same ways.

Someone says today, “If I cannot prove by Scripture that it is sin, I cannot call it sin.” This attitude reveals a severe lack of understanding of the authority of God, and shows that the person saying it has no true foundations. The foundations of God’s authority are never built with a study and consideration of sin, but of a true understanding of righteousness and goodness, as God has established it! Paul writes to Rome, “For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil” (Romans 16:19).

Consider Galatians 5 and the Fruits of the Spirit vs. the Works of the Flesh. Which receives the longer list? If the Bible was meant to be used to prove specifically that everything that is sin is wrong, it would have to be a much larger volume. As such, we are taught by Scripture not to focus and learn what is wrong, but rather what is right! When Paul writes, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ,” he means that there is no other foundation. The Christian does not have to prove that other “foundations” are wrong. Again Paul writes, “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1Timothy 1:3). The Christian does not have to prove that other doctrines are wrong, only that the Doctrine of Christ is right! I would also suggest that such would literally be impossible, since tracking down every false doctrine and every false messiah would waste a lifetime better served by simply proclaiming the true Word of God.

What happens when we become willingly ignorant of these foundations? Likely the same thing that happened to God’s People. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6).

When we seek a different foundation than what has been laid down, we are working not only to fulfill our own desires at the expense of serving our King; in refusing the foundations of God’s Authority, we establish our own sense of “righteousness” (Romans 10:2-4). We make excuses in order to glorify ourselves and worship ourselves.

Remember, we are patterning ourselves after Him! Anything other than what He has defined as “good” is either fruitless or outright sin. Let us be more like Noah—he did not prove that all the world was wicked, but “prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world” (Hebrews 11:7). Let us be more like Abraham—he did not seek out to prove that things were wrong, but to prove that the promises of God were right! “… for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

—Steven McCrary