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Monday, June 8, 2009

The Foundation of Our Faith

Do you ask to see the foundation when a friend shows you his new house? I think not. The only time we look carefully at the foundation is when it is being built and when there is something wrong with it. We know the house cannot stand without a strong foundation. The house will fall if that foundation either starts corrupted or is damaged by outside forces.

The foundation of our faith is Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Paul would say that he kept building upon that foundation during all of his ministry. Christianity becomes no more than preference when we do not keep that foundation safe from damage. It becomes an act of religion which does not need to invade other areas of life. A person can go to church and claim Christianity but do almost any other sin without thinking much about it.

The foundation tells us of a price that was paid. Death is the ultimate price for any transgression. It is held for the most egregious of crimes. It is carefully weighed before it is exacted upon the individual. Years of possible appeals are given to each person who has received this sentence. It is reluctantly completed. It is the highest price that can be paid.

The wages of sin is death. There is little to debate once the price has been stated. Jesus required a wholehearted devotion for those who would follow Him. The foundation He laid by going to the cross was one of total commitment to us. He said our devotion to Him must exceed that of the devotion we would have to our fathers, mothers, spouse, children and our own lives. He could say that because He was going to the cross. He was giving us the example of the faith we should have.

I am afraid that is not the foundation of Christianity today. People treat their "faith" as a casual preference. Some of the most committed come to church once a week without any thought of Christ until the next Sunday. They believe this is all that is necessary to be a believer. They think this "condition" will preserve their marriages and make their children act right. They do not understand that a halfhearted commitment is really the lack of commitment.

It is like exercising once a week. It does some good but not enough to keep you from gaining weight or dramatically affecting your health. Christ's crucifixion should have told us how serious the matter is. It should have awakened us to realize that we can't expect to be casual about this faith.

Christ's resurrection gives us hope. The darkest time of all history was Jesus' death on the cross. All the hopes of the disciples disappeared with His last words. They thought He had spoken very clearly when He said, "It is finished." It was finished for them. They didn't know what to do.

The resurrection changed everything. His followers become more bold. They understood more about this life than they ever had. They knew that there was more than this world. They devoted their lives to this message. They fully understood the implication of those who would not believe. They knew their own destinations. They had true hope.

Is this the faith of most Christians today? Do they spend time in their Bibles because they know it will bring them closer to the Lord with whom they will spend eternity? Do they see this world as the only one?

People will act like this is the only world without a foundation of the resurrection. They will hold back their tithes. They will not spend as much time worshiping or serving in church if this is the only time they have. They must be frugal with their limited resources. It is careless to give these away if this is the only life there is.

The foundation of our faith is fine. The problem is that people have built their houses on other foundations yet claimed their foundation is upon Christ. Their houses are falling down and they don't know why.

What is the foundation of your faith? It will be revealed by what you are doing with your resources. Take a look at your calendar and bank account. What is your foundation?

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