You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Built on a Firm Foundation
On June 27, 2009, a very strange site greeted the construction workers arriving at the construction site of the nearly-completed Lotus Riverside apartment complex in Shanghai, China. One of the eleven 13-story apartment towers that they had been working on was lying flat on its side. It looked as if some giant toddler had walked up to the building and just pushed it over. The building itself was, for the most part, intact. Even the doors and windows remained in place. But none of that mattered because the foundation on which the building had been built had completely given way. Without a firm foundation, no building, no matter how skillfully built, can stand for long.
The apostle Paul makes the same point about the Holy Christian Church in our Bible passage for today. In these verses from his letter to the Christians in Ephesus, Paul compares the Holy Christian Church to a building. Just like a physical building, the Holy Christian Church needs to be built on a firm foundation in order for it to stand. If it doesn’t have a solid foundation on which to stand, the Holy Christian Church will fall like that apartment tower in Shanghai, regardless of how skillfully the building may seem to be constructed.
But what can serve as a firm foundation for God’s Church? What is solid enough to enable God’s Church to withstand every storm that may try to tear it down? What is strong enough to resist the attempted erosion of centuries and millennia? What is so sturdy that no matter how many bricks are built upon it, it will never give way?
Only one foundation can do all that. The foundation is Jesus Christ and the solid teachings about him that are recorded in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. From the beginning, the way in which God builds people into his church has remained the same. He always has worked to bring people to faith in his Son Jesus. In the Old Testament, God spoke through the prophets and told people about what his Son would do for them when he came. In the New Testament, God spoke through his apostles about what Jesus fully accomplished when he did come.
Throughout it all, Jesus remained the focus. He was, and is, the chief cornerstone on which God builds his church. Jesus’ perfect life on behalf of all people, and his innocent sufferings and death to pay for the sins of all people are the immovable foundation on which every Christian stands and on which God’s church stands. When we stand firmly on Jesus and his Word, nothing can knock us down. For Jesus is our firm foundation, and nothing built on him can ever be demolished.
Lord Jesus, my strong foundation, keep me always firmly built on you. Amen.