Read: Hebrews 3:1-19
Consider: Reading through this chapter of Hebrews I was struck by the verse quoted above. It reminded me of Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish builders recounted in Matthew 7 and also in Luke 6. The parable may be very familiar to you, but is worth looking at again. In Luke 6:46-49 the parable is recounted in the following way: ‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.’
Unlike building that we would be used to, the house being built here is straight on to rock. Imagine yourself as the person building the house, where the house is your faith and how you are growing and maturing. Now ask yourself what the foundation represents. This is something that we have no part in laying, but is something that is already in place. In Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth he says this: For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved – even though only as one escaping through the flames (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
Can you see that it is Jesus who is the foundation of our faith. With the foundation of our faith in place (putting our trust in Christ for forgiveness), we then can build on this foundation to become the person God wants us to be – holy, pure, strong and mature in our faith. Like any building it takes time and effort on our part; in fact becoming the person God wants us to be takes a lifetime.
You may be wondering what Paul is talking about when he speaks in this way: If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is (1 Corinthians 3:12-13). Think of everything you do each day as building on the foundation of Christ. For some people, they will treat their faith superficially and build using wood, hay or straw. These will be things that are of no lasting importance and may be things that although not bad in themselves, may even pull the Christian away from seeking to become more Christlike.
For other Christians, they will be seeking to become more Christlike day-by-day, building using gold, silver and precious stones. These will be things that are of eternal significance.
The bottom line for each of us is: What kind of building are you becoming for Christ? Are you content with a faith that demands nothing of you, or are you hungry for the things of God and do you have a desire to become more Christlike?
Pray: Father, our prayer is that we would build on Christ as our foundation, using gold, silver and precious stones. Amen