Solid Foundation

This morning, the title of the sermon is Solid Foundation. Our text will be Matthew 7:24-27.
Before we look at this text and consider our points for this lesson, I would like to ask a few
preliminary questions. Typically, I put questions at the end of my lesson, but this morning we are
going to do it a little differently.


These are my questions that I would like for you to answer in your own head or on a sheet of
paper:

  1. By what are you founded upon? I am going to repeat the question for us; By what are you
    founded upon? Consider what the focus and center is of your life. Knowing this will help
    you to gather whether or not our applications that appear later in this lesson are relevant
    to you.

2. Who do you listen to the most? Again, the second question is – who do you the most?

3. When troubles come in your life, and when things seem to get difficult, where do you put
your faith?

4. When there is peace in your life, and things seem to be going your way, where do you put
your faith?

As we go through this lesson, I ask that you ponder and think about your answers to these
questions.

I am going to ask that if you haven’t already turned there, please turn in your Bibles to Matthew
7:24-27.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man
who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds
blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish
man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the
winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

In our lesson this morning, we are going to be focusing on the foundations of five different parts
of our life that are all interconnected and intertwined. These five parts of our life are fundamental
and basic, but without the proper foundation, our Spiritual lives and souls crumble. The five parts
of our lives that we will be discussing are as follows:

  1. Faith

2. Church

3. Home

4. Prayer

5. Being


As already mentioned, these are all connected and they are vital to us. And without the proper
foundation in each part, we will (and this is a certainty) forfeit our souls.

We first need to discuss the solid foundation of our faith. The oxford dictionary defines faith as a complete trust or confidence in someone or something. The oxford dictionary also states in its second definition that it is a strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. In other words, faith is belief in something that cannot be tangibly proven. However, the faith I want us to talk about is not this kind of faith. Although belief is an essential part of our salvation, this is not the issue I want to address. I want us to discuss the foundation of our faith, in other words, the reason why our faith should rest on Jesus
Christ. Please turn in your Bibles to Ephesians 1 beginning in verse 3.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ
with every Spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”

Let us skip down to verse 7.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
mankind known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which set forth in
Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and
things on earth.”

Let us also skip down to verse 13.

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and
believed in him, were sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of
our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

In this passage, we see the very reason as to why Christ must be the foundation of our faith. Not
only is he the author of our spiritual blessings, and also one who unites us all, but he also holds
the word of truth according to Ephesians 1:13. If you remember what we read in Matthew 7:24,
everyone who hears the words of Christ will be like the one who builds his house on the rock. If
we have the words of Christ as the foundation of our faith, then we indeed have a solid
foundation.

The second part of our life that I want us to discuss the foundation of is the Church. Before
I talk about the foundation of the Church, I want to point out something that has been troubling
to me over the years. I am going to ask for a show of hands; how many of you have seen the
Church with the name of Mary, John the Baptist, or just one of the apostles in it but not the name
of Christ? I cannot tell you how many times I have passed St. Mary’s Church or St. Andrew’s
Church. And sometimes I wonder what the foundation of their Church is.

Please turn in your Bibles back to Ephesians 1:9-10, a couple verses that we read already.

“Making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth
in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and
things on earth.”

We see here that Christ is the unifying force behind a specific body. There are other verses in
Ephesians that show that Christ is the one in whom we are all to be united in. Ephesians 2:11-22
state that we are made one in Christ. In Ephesians 4:15, we see that we are to grow in every way
in the Church that has Jesus as its head, and in verse 16, we see that each one of us plays a part in
the Church. In 1 Corinthians, Paul addresses the divided Church at Corinth, and he states in verse
2, that they were all sanctified in Christ Jesus. In chapter 12 verse 12, Paul states “for just as the
body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one
body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks,
slaves or free – and all were made to drink out of one Spirit.”

Let us consider this quote from Tony Reinke, author of Competing Spectacles, “The axis of the cross marks the turning point for God’s plan for this universe. The cross points in four directions as the spectacle that brings together heaven, earth, all nations to his left, and every nation to his right. Rejected by earth, forsaken by heaven, this cross-beam held the savior’s arms open wide. Here divine wrath and divine mercy collided. Even more expressive than the global flood, the cross of Christ was a public display of God’s righteous anger towards billions of sins, once passed over, and now judged in the full manifestation of his wrath in visible human history.”

When we consider the cross, and all that the cross did not only for our sins, but unifying the
world under one body, we should be offended when we begin to see man become the foundation
of churches. There are churches that also bear the name of Christ or bear the name of God, but
the doctrine that they teach are not the words of Jesus. In Matthew 7:24, Jesus says that those
who hear his words and do them are the ones who build their house on the solid foundation. If
the foundation of our churches are not Christ and his gospel, then we have built a Church on
sand, and we can expect it to crash and burn. That is not an exaggeration, that is an honest
examination. We must ensure that our Churches are grounded in the truth of scripture.

The third part of our life that requires a solid foundation is the home. I feel as if the home
that I came from had a very strong foundation. I was privileged to have both of my parents there
for me, and I was fortunate enough to be raised in and brought up in the Church. There is a
biblical pattern to having a strong foundation in the home. The first passage I want us to consider
is from the Old Testament. Please turn to Deuteronomy 11 beginning in verse 18. Again, please
turn to Deuteronomy 11 beginning in verse 18.

“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you
shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house,
and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You
shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the
days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers
to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.”

There was an Old Testament precedent to having a strong foundation in the home. During the
time of the Old Law, the precepts and commandments of God were to be taught in the home so
that the children would grow up to be God-fearing. This involved the parents writing the law on
their hearts and souls. Parents, is the law of Christ written on your heart and soul? And are they
as frontlets between your eyes? Can your children see that you have the law of Christ with you?
Are your children being taught in the ways of the Lord?

Let us look at the New Testament precedent for having a strong foundation in the home, this
principle is still binding today and it did not disappear when the old law disappeared. Turn in
your Bibles to Ephesians 5 beginning in verse 22. I will not read the end of chapter 5, but I will
merely summarize it. In this passage, Paul through the Spirit of Christ commands that the saints
have a balanced home. Women ought to submit to their husbands and husbands ought to show
their wives love and respect. In Chapter 6, kids are commanded to obey their parents and parents,
specifically the fathers, are commanded to bring up their children in the discipline and
instruction of the Lord. In Colossians 3:18-21, a perfect summary can be made of how the
Christian home should be balanced with God being the foundation.

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and
do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the
Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

Abbott Elliot Kittredge, a minister in the Presbyterian Church, had this to say about the Christian
home: “What a power it is to the child when he is far away in the cold, tempting world, and
voices of sin are filling his ears, and his feet stand on slippery places.” The home must have a
strong foundation so our children and our children’s children can have a strong foundation.
Without a strong foundation in the home, we cannot expect God to be a priority in our lives in
the next generation. Let us have a stronger foundation in our homes.

The fourth part of our lives that warrants a solid foundation is prayer. Our prayers must
have a strong foundation. To whom are we praying to? And with the prayers we are praying, are
we asking for the right things and are we being serious in our prayers. Charles Spurgeon once
said that he would much rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach. Prayer is very
important and it can be very powerful if it has the right foundation.
Let us consider Colossians 4:2-4

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time,
pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of
Christ, on account of which I am in prison – that I may make it clear, which is how I
ought to speak.”

Prayer ought not to be something that we let slip our mind, nor is it something that we must put
off to one time of the year as the methodists and catholics do on specific holidays and occasions.
Prayer ought to be something that we are steadfast in. We must also be watchful of what we pray
for. How often do we pray the same repetitive prayer or say the same things in a prayer that we
have no idea what they even mean? We must be watchful of our prayers and pray for things that
come from the heart. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, an exhortation and instruction is given to pray
without ceasing and to give thanks in all circumstances. Why? Because it is the will of God in
Christ Jesus.

God desires that we have effective communication with Him, and the means of our
communication is prayer. The prayer of Christians is special because they are the only prayers
that can be heard by God. Why and how do I know this? Let us look at Ephesians 2:18.


“For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”

And let us look also in John 16:23-24.

“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the
Father in my name, he will give it to you.”

In Jesus Christ, we have access to God through our communication with Him in prayer. Prayer
ought to be prioritized and it needs to be something that is taught in the home. If we want to have
a solid spiritual foundation, then we need to prioritize Christ in our prayers.

The fifth and last part of our lives in which we need a strong solid foundation is our own
spiritual being. Let us turn in our Bibles to Psalm 92 and let us read verses 12-15.
“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are
planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear
fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

The foundation of the righteous is the Lord. The Psalmist says that the righteous are “planted in
the house of the Lord. I imagine that most of us would say that we are founded and grounded in
God and that we prioritize Him in our lives. However, I think we could also all admit that this is
not always the case. We do not always make for our lives a solid identity.

Paul often struggled with who or what he was going to make his foundation. Of course, I cannot
think of a better example of a mere man that made Christ his everything, but even he understood
that his foundation was not always the strongest. Consider what he writes in Romans 7 beginning
in verse 14.

“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not
understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer
I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that
is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if
I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”

Paul understands that when his foundation is the flesh, it results in him doing what he shouldn’t
be doing, which is sin. There are times when he was unrighteous, and it is because his foundation
was in the wrong place to begin with. However, if we have the right foundation, the solid
foundation, then a different result will be produced. Look at what Paul writes beginning in verse
24 and following.

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God
through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself must serve the law of God with my mind,
but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (continuing into chapter 8) There is therefore now
no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has
set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

Let us skip down to verses 5 and 6

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but
those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set
the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Our lives are wretched, the value of being is nothing because all we have to show for ourselves is
sin and the transgressions we have committed. With Christ, however, we receive covering for our
sin. Therefore, we are now obligated to live in accordance with the Spirit, and we must have our
minds set on the things of the Spirit. What does this mean? What does it mean to have our minds
set on the things of the Spirit? It means that we need to be thinking about the things that Christ
would think about. As Paul writes in Philippians 2, we ought to have the mind in us that was also
in Christ Jesus. We are to have an attitude and mind of humility and servitude towards others and
towards God. Sin is not our master, God is. And if we want to avoid living in accordance with
the flesh, then we need to cease making it our master and choose to have God as our master and
our foundation instead.

Before I offer my last invitation at this wonderful congregation. I want to read the first, third, and
last stanzas of one of my favorite hymns ever written; and I want you to ponder the words of this
song and I want you to consider your own foundations.

“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?”

“Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to
stand,
upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.”

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”

This morning, if you believe that you have not had the solid foundation of Christ in your life, I
want you to know that He is the best option. We would be happy to pray for you and to pray with
you. Perhaps, you have not yet put your faith in Christ through Baptism. One cannot be added to
Christ until he or she has been immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins. This morning, we
would be happy to do that for you. If you have any need this morning, any need at all, please
come forward as we stand and as we sing.

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