1 Samuel 10-12 | Luke 9:37-62

“But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” —1 Corinthians 3:10-11

If the foundation we build our lives upon is faulty, then our lives will be built on sand. As hard as we try to behave well and do what is right, when the going gets tough we will falter and fail, because our thinking is built on a faulty premise. Our thinking is what determines our beliefs and our beliefs determine our behaviour.

Many of Paul’s letters illustrate this. He divides them into two parts; the first is usually his doctrinal teaching, and the second is the ethical application of it. In the middle, we will often find a “therefore,” which links the two together. “This is what you need to believe,” says Paul, “therefore, this is how you need to behave.” That is why it is vitally important we properly understand what we believe, because this is what determines our actions.

To build our lives on a solid foundation our behaviour needs to be utterly consistent with what we believe and know to be true. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells the parable of the man who hears His words and puts them into practice. He wisely builds his house on rock and it withstands the storms, but the foolish man who hears His words but does not put them into practice builds his house on sand. When the rain came, the streams rose and the winds beat against the house, and it fell with a great crash (Matthew 7:24-27).

The assumption frequently made is that the sand represents a foundation built on anything but Christ, and the rock represents a foundation in Christ. This is not the case. Jesus said the wise man who built his house on rock was the man who “hears these words of mine and puts them into practice.” The foolish man who built his house on sand “hears the words of Jesus, but does not put them into practice.” The rock represents obedience and the sand disobedience.

Our actions and behaviour are a logical consequence of what we believe. When our foundation is securely rooted in Christ, we live on the basis of what God has revealed in His word. Jesus tells us a Day of Judgment is coming, and it will not be our beliefs under scrutiny, but our actions. “I was hungry, did you feed me? Thirsty, did you give me drink? Sick, did you look after me? In prison, did you visit me? Naked, did you clothe me?” Our actions do not exist in isolation, but are a result of what lies under the surface. Therefore, biblical doctrine needs to be the bread and butter of Christian life, and Jesus Christ the rock foundation upon which we build.

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