1 Corinthians 3:11 - For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
St. Paul, Christ's energetic apostle, claims to have the answer to the question: "And what shall a man build for absolute security?" The whole Bible supports him in his answer, as does all history. With the full authority of divine inspiration, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:11, "For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
Every Christian minister who is true to his calling must build on Christ. All Christians place their hope of heaven on Christ. The center of all true Christian teaching is Christ. Without Christ, a person has no true security in life and no security whatsoever in eternity. The truth of this is all around us. The world has pretty well forgotten Christ or at least has ignored Him—and look at the state it's in now!
But do we know what Paul means when he calls Jesus Christ the only foundation? Some say Christ was the greatest teacher who ever lived. He certainly was that—an infinitely more. Some say Christ was the most brilliant example of right living the world has ever seen. His teaching and example are matchless, but that does not mean I will be able to follow them. So what is Paul thinking of when he calls Christ the only foundation?
Christ is the foundation because "He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation" (Colossians 1:15). God Himself came down the stairway of heaven with His Son in His arms to place Him into humanity that all men might have a foundation for life. From His richly abundant treasures, God gave His best. He gave Himself. He went right to the source of man's trouble: He picked up sin in all its horror and took it to Calvary. There, the Son of God suffered and died, bearing the weight of mankind's sin, all of it (see Isaiah 53:6).
That's exactly what the apostle Paul was thinking of when he wrote, "For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." And how could it be otherwise? It was God Himself who left the glories of heaven, suffering the pangs of hell for you and me, dying magnificently, rising majestically, promising to each of us, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20b).
In this world so full of false and deceiving promises, it's easy to think the foundations we lay are of lasting and permanent value. They are not. As the old hymn tells us, "On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand." May the Holy Spirit lead you to a faith that clings to God's Son as the true foundation for your life.
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, teach us to build on Your Son, Jesus, our firmest foundation. Amen.
From "The Foundation for Life," a sermon message from Rev. Dr. Armin Oldsen, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. What can happen when there are cracks in a building's foundation?
2. How has Jesus laid the perfect foundation for each of us?
3. What kind of foundation are you building on? What are its most important elements?
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