The Sure Foundation

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin

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)

The most important bit of a building is the bit you can’t see: the foundation. If these are poorly laid then it doesn’t matter how good the rest of the building is, it will fail. Those who have had to struggle through the costly exercise of underpinning a building will know how difficult it is to “fix” foundations, better to make sure they are good in the first place.

When Paul is writing to the church in Corinth, a church which is in need of spiritual underpinning. Some of that fellowship say that they “follow Paul”, and others assert that they “follow Apollos”. Their foundations are poor, as they have built on the wrong person! It is no wonder there is division, that the cracks are beginning to appear. Paul is keen to remind them that he is just the builder, the one who laid the foundation. He’s not the foundation, Christ is!

Wider church culture is full of things which can become false foundations: preachers gain celebrity; styles of music becomes all important; and our buildings consume tens of thousands. In and of themselves these things can be beneficial: we need to hear God’s word preached; we should lift our voices in praise; and a leaky roof rather dampens worship! The point is that we shouldn’t make any of these things the main thing.

From time to time it is worth checking your foundation. After all, as Jesus taught us, it is futile not to build your house upon the Rock.

The Countess of Huntingdon

On 13th October 1746 Theophilus Hastings, ninth Earl of Huntingdon, breathed his last. His widow, the Countess Selina, faced a choice and she turned to the Methodist preacher Howell Harris. He later wrote: “She consulted me about which was it best, to live retired and give up all, or fill her place, and I said the latter I thought was right”. The Countess heeded his advice, and thus a great influence on the evangelical revival of the eighteenth century was begun.

O Lord GOD, you know

And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” (Ezekiel 37:3) - Our darkest moments are often produced by the sense that we are alone, that no-one else quite understands. Our deepest frustrations can be caused by an inability to express ourselves clearly. The sense is there in our hearts, but it just will not come out coherently. It is in those moments that the knowledge that God already knows the contents of our hearts can be a consolation.

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