Thursday, 1 May 2014
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
In verse 10, Paul said “I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.” As a wise master-builder, he began the church at Corinth with a solid foundation; the solid foundation. Had he come as a philosopher with the wisdom of the Greeks or as a Jewish rabbi with the traditions of the Pharisees in order to build the church, there would be nothing truly solid for others to build on. But he came with the one Foundation that all of Scripture points to, Jesus.
“For” refers directly to the preceding verse which said, “let each one take heed how he builds on it.” If Paul laid the foundation and others came with conflicting instruction, there would be no cohesion in the building. If one is to build a solid foundation and put up a house of reeds, the house will simply blow off the solid rock. He has wisely laid the foundation on what all of Scripture points to. Isaiah 28:16 shows us a hint of what was coming –
“Therefore thus says the Lord God:
‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.'”
This idea is cited at least five times in the New Testament and it is speaking of Jesus Christ. He is the cornerstone which is the foundation of the work of God. From this, there must be a harmonious erection of the rest of the building using the same material. This then speaks of the principle doctrines of the faith – the Trinity (which implies the Deity of Christ), the virgin birth, the incarnation, the all-sufficient atoning death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the surety of His coming again, etc.
If these principle doctrines are denied or skewed, they cannot be a part of the house which God is building. Nothing else can be added as well. It is heretical to teach a “sinless” state in Mary for example. We can have no other Mediator between us and God. And so on. It is all Christ, only Christ, and the properly-proclaimed Christ which must be the building materials upon the foundation, which is Christ.
Life application: Be careful to always return to the core teachings of Christ, never adding to, subtracting from, or twisting them as you go.
Lord God, help me to think clearly on the all-important matter of biblical doctrine and not to replace Your intent with my own. Keep me from the sin of bad doctrine. Keep me focused on Jesus – without addition, subtraction, or manipulation. What a precious word, O God. Help me to never diminish its luster. Amen.