Watch Part 1 here
Intro: The moment God saved you, He begin a building process. The Apostle Paul tells us in I Corinthians 3:9 that we as believers are likened unto a vineyard and to a building. He tells us that God has claimed us as his own personal construction project. We are God’s building!
For years this metaphor has intrigued me. I began working in the construction industry at the age of 17, and ever since that time, I have been involved in some aspect or another. I enjoy building things and I am amazed at the references to building that we find in the Scripture. In this series, I want to draw our attention to the simple fact that each of us are Under Construction.
It is imperative that we understand that this building project is a team effort.
Our text says in verse 20 that we “are built”. Verse 22 says “ye also are builded”.
God is the One doing the building;
- Psalms 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
However, He requires our cooperation.
In I Corinthians 3, Paul warned the church of Corinth:
- 1 Corinthians 3:10, 11 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
I. The Foundation
Any experienced building or contractor will agree that the most important part of any building structure is the foundation.
- Psalms 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
You cannot normally see a foundation.
Drive by any building and most of the foundation if not all of it is completely hidden and out of sight.
A foundation is not something that is pretty, or decorated, or even advertised.
But a foundation is the most important part of the building.
If the foundation goes – the house is in serious jeopardy.
A. The Foundation Must Be Deliberate
- 1 Corinthians 3:11 But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Nobody should ever build a house and throughout the foundation process just “go through the motions”.
No one should just coast through the foundation step.
Laying a foundation involves several things.
- You make sure the soil is suitable. Swampland, wetlands and sandy soils are not suitable.
- You mark the perimeters of the structure. (Put up batter boards and pull strings)
- You then determine what type of foundation you are going to have. (slab, basement or crawl space)
- You select the materials you will use. (Concrete, cinder blocks, re-bar, etc.)
My point is – a lot of thought and planning has to go into a foundation.
It’s not something that is done lightly or haphazardly. It is serious!
When getting ready for life, or for marriage, or for starting a family, having children, starting ministry, you better make sure you have a GOOD, SOLID, STRONG foundation!
- We have young couples getting married without ever laying the right foundation for a good marriage.
- Ungodly lusts; immature reasoning and unstable emotions are not a firm foundation!
- Couples having children without ever laying the right foundation for raising God-fearing children.
- You better have more than a nice diaper bag, bassinet, toy box and car seat before you start a family.
- Having a desire to be involved in the work of God without taking time to insure a strong foundation.
NOTE: The ONLY foundation that will work is the truths laid out by God Himself.
- NOT your family.
- NOT your parents.
- NOT your pastor or church.
- NOT your philosophies or traditions.
- NOT your beliefs; your preconceived ideas; your parent’s way of doing it or not doing it…
- NOT your high school diploma or college degree…
- NOT your online groupies, friends and followers and their feedback or opinions.
The only foundation that will work is CHRIST!!
B. The Foundation Must Be Deep
Our text in Ephesians 2:20 says that Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone.
One of the keys to a strong foundation is a good, solid, deep footing under the foundation.
The codes in different states vary, but footings for a foundation have to be so many feet wide and so many feet deep.
They have to be anywhere from 36 to 42 inches deep and about 16 to 18 inches wide.
The inspectors will make sure that there is enough concrete in the footings to build a house upon.
The deeper it is, the stronger it is.
The same thing applies to building a life.
The problem with the foundations that Satan builds is that they are shallow.
There’s no depth; no true meaning; no substance.
When God started building US, He encourages us to build a DEEP, SUBSTANTIAL walk with Him.
NOTE: If the ONLY walk you have with Christ is when you are at church, that won’t work!
If your walk with God is only when you are around other Christians, that won’t work!
If your walk with God is just a superficial, surface Christianity that you take off and put on like a coat, that won’t work!
- A deep walk with God involves your thought life and your meditations.
- A deep walk with God involves your attitude to your God-given authorities.
- A deep walk with God involves your response toward truth, and reproof, and instruction.
- A deep walk with God involves a total and complete dependence upon Him for everything.
- A deep walk with God involves your spending, your giving, your earnings, your money, your investing.
- A deep walk with God involves your relationship with your spouse and your children.
- A deep walk with God involves your time, your priorities, your career, your job, your education.
- A deep walk with God will involve every single aspect of your life.
God is not interested in being a Sunday go-to-meeting cloak.
God is not interested in being a bumper sticker on your car.
God is not interested in being a fish pin on the lapel of your jacket.
He should be your foundation – and it should be a DEEP, SOLID, SUBSTANTIAL foundation!
C. The Foundation Must Be Durable
When you first build a house, it is easy to get distracted by the excitement and take shortcuts.
A common problem I’ve seen in the many years I’ve been in construction is the side effects of a poor foundation.
People’s houses begins to settle, and the drywall, tile floors, slabs, etc. begin to crack and come apart.
Two elements that reveal a poor foundation:
- Time – it’s never obvious at first, but over time the effects become very noticeable
- Inclement weather – lots of erosion, rain and storms cause the foundation to settle.
- Luke 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
Conclusion: God wants to do something amazing with you. He wants to make your life a testimony of His grace and His power. But He will only build on the right foundation.
That foundation must be Jesus Christ.
For most people, their foundation is anything BUT Jesus Christ.
It is a preacher, or a parent, or a spouse, or a church, or a friend, or whatever.
When the storms begin to rage, and the pressure begins to mount, the depth and durability of the foundation is evident.
Under Construction Part II
Ephesians 2 and I Corinthians 3
II. The Framing
- Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
The foundation has been laid.
Are you allowing God to FITLY FRAME you??
Once the framing starts, you can tell what it is going to be.
Once the foundation has been laid, there is still danger of building an improper building.
Having an improper foundation is bad.
Building improperly on the right foundation is also a serious problem.
I Corinthians 3
- 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
- 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
- 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
- 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
- 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
We learn from verse 12 that we can build the wrong building on the right foundation.
There needs to be a serious approach and sober attitude to the dangers of building improperly after salvation.
NOTE: The words “take heed” literally means to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, understand; to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine; in a geographical sense of places, mountains, buildings, etc. turning towards any quarter, as it were, facing it
Paul is begging the church in I Corinthians 3:10 to make sure that that how they build is done by considering every aspect.
NOTE: Every one of us is a builder.
- The question is NOT – ARE YOU A BUILDER.
- The question is – WHAT KIND OF BUILD ARE YOU?
- Or – WHAT ARE YOU BUILDING?
Verse 12 tells us – you are a building, no matter what building material you use.
Verse 13 tells us – you are a builder, no matter what sort it is.
The question is – when every man’s work is made manifest, what will be revealed???
Paul referred to himself as a “wise master-builder”.
A “master-builder” is an architect: one that is schooled in the codes and guidelines of building.
An architect is one that tells the builders what will work and what won’t work.
What is safe and what is unsafe.
What is strong and what is weak.
What is regulation and what is not.
A wise master-builder is the most responsible, most experienced, most serious person on the jobsite.
They make sure that the building is done exactly by the blueprints and is up to code in every respect.
Are you taking this building process seriously?
The test of the construction process is – if any man’s work abide.
- 1 Corinthians 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
Illustration: Remember the story of the three little pigs? All three of them build a house. One out of straw. One out of sticks, and one out of bricks. The only one that counted was the one left standing after the wolf huffed and puffed.
When building a building, a major concern should be the longevity of that structure.
III. The Finishing
Now, we are going to look at the final step in this construction process. That process is the called the Finishing.
Once the framing is done, the finishing process starts.
Our text in Ephesians 2:22, 23 – groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Notice the emphasis that Jesus placed on this aspect of the construction process.
- Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Having a foundation is great, but that is not good enough.
Beginning the building process is great, but that is not good enough.
It is worthless – it is silly – it is literally a mocking matter to not be able to complete what you started.
- Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
The logic that Christ is presenting here is that it is pointless to start a building process if you have no intentions of finishing it.
The key here is remembering this – GOD STARTED IT – HE WANTS YOU TO COOPERATE WITH HIM IN FINISHING.
It is possible to put all the blame, or all the work on God, but He is not the One to blame if we do not become complete, perfect, Christians.
Here’s why I can say that:
- 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
NOTE: He has GIVEN UNTO US ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN TO LIFE. Yet, look what he says in the following verses, and what it is that He is telling us to do:
- 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
- 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
- 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
- 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
QUESTION: Who gave us all things pertaining to life? God did! Who is doing the adding here? We are!
In other words – He gave us everything we need to finish this building project.
It is God’s plan – it is God’s will – it is God’s plan for your life to be finished.
- Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
PERFECT: brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; that which is perfect; consummate human integrity and virtue of men; full grown, adult, of full age, mature
COMPLETE: to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full; to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally; I abound, I am liberally supplied; to render full, i.e. to complete; to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim; to consummate; to make complete in every particular, to render perfect; to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking); to carry into effect, bring to realization, realize
Conclusion: Let God help frame you and let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon and let God finish what He started.