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Saturday, April 6, 2024

4-6-2024    Building a Foundation

For the past several years now, I have been following and (occasionally) posting responses to posts by Henryp Jonson.  I’m still confused if the ‘p’ is actually part of his first name or his middle initial (oh well).  Henryp is a pastor in the Philippines.  I started following him as he was posting photos of the building of his church.  And I do mean – literally – building his church.  He laid the physical foundation for the building, brought in the timbers for the framework, walls, etc.  He and his congregation built the church from the ground up.  Since then, also on Facebook, he has shown the activities and growth of his fellowship.  He’s even brought in special speakers to help his fellowship grow.  Now I didn’t come in as Henryp was building his ‘flock’, but it was indeed, the church members who built the church.

I mention Henryp because before any church can succeed, it has to have a foundation in, of and for the people.  The actual church consists of the body of people who are in attendance but, it is also nice to have a place where we can come and gather together, living in and sharing what Father has done for us – in person.  There’s just something special about being, in unity, with other Christians.     

But first, let’s consider erecting a building.  Any builder knows that before a house can be constructed, it needs a solid foundation.  Before construction can even start, the ground must be settled, solid as a rock, so the building won’t sink into the ground and collapse (Matt. 7:24-27).  He assures that his building surface is level and can support the building he intends to erect.  As example, growing up, my mom decided to covert our front porch into an extension of our living room.  It looked great, inside and out.  But after several years, the ground upon which the extension was situated, began to settle.  It was livable but a crack emerged where the new edition connected to the original.  By the grace of God, it wasn’t a separation of the two sections, yet it was noticeable what had happened.  The house I’m living in now has no such problems, but the house is not level.  Shortly after I moved in, I noticed that if I placed a round 0bject on the floor at one end of my living room, all by itself, the object would start rolling towards the other side of the room until it hit something to stop it.  The foundation may have been sure but it certainly was not level.  When something is placed on the floor, that something should stay put.

Once the cornerstone is laid and the foundation is ‘squared away’, the building can be erected safely and effectively.  That is the house will be square and level, side to side, top to bottom and the floor will be level to gravity.

Now let’s look at how to build a spiritual foundation.  There are many bodies (churches) within the body of Christ so there are many different places where the body gathers.  According to the National Congregational Study Survey, there are an estimated 380,000 churches in the U.S.  There are more than 45,000 Christian denominations globally and more than 200 denominations in the U.S., according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. Most of the denominations came to be after the Protestant Reformation in 1517.  Again, there are over 200 denominations in the U.S.,  which includes, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, other ‘main stream’ (traditional) churches, Pentecostal, Full Gospel, Apostolic plus assorted variations and ‘Independent’ fellowships. 

Not all denominations and/or congregations believe exactly the same so foundation becomes very important.  No, we’re not going to discuss the differences between the 200 denominations, much less the 380,000 congregations (churches) in the U.S.  But consider, on an average, there are 7600 churches in each state of various denominations or non-affiliated churches.  As of June 2023 and according to, 31% of Americans claim to never attend a church while only 20% claim weekly attendance. That leaves about half our nation somewhere in between.  How many churches exist in your town or city?  According to, there are 97 churches in my hometown which has a population of 43,700+.  That means, on average in my town, 91 people attend a church service on a weekly basis.  Yes, some churches are larger and some smaller so this doesn’t mean every church in my town has ninety members.  Getting the picture?

The body of Christ should be in unity.   

So, with so many ‘fellowships’ in the nation or even locally, basic foundation becomes very important.  And that’s what we’re going to talk about – what foundation really is important to us? 

As Christians, we believe that God is (period), end of discussion.  If this isn’t true, then what do we believe in?  The Big Bang?  Evolution?  What do we expect after this life is over.  Anything? 

In the beginning God!  God created the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1). 

There was nothing before Him (Isa. 43:10-11) and He has created all things (Gen. 1:1).

God is Spirit so we worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).  That is our spirit must connect with His and it does through the Holy Ghost (1 Corinth. 2:13-16). 

And God is love and we know this as His Spirit (the Holy Ghost) abides in us (1 John 4:6-13).  Now, love in 1 John is the Greek word agapao (G25), to love in a social or moral sense.  Which would include agape (G260) which is benevolent affection,  to hold dear, or charity.  God explains to Jeremiah that His love is everlasting (Jer. 31:3).  Here, the Hebrew word used is ahba (H160) which is love between friends, within the family, loyalty to and could include romantic.  Nonetheless, God is love!

We also know that God sent His only begotten Son into this world to redeem us back unto Himself because we departed from Him through disobedience (John 3:16, Gen. 3:1-24).

There is no greater love than a man lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13).  Agape is used in this passage.  ‘Lay’, in laying one’s life down, is the Greek word tithemi (G5087) which is effectively taking the place of.  Through Jesus, God took our place on the cross (1 Peter 2:21-25).  And yes, literally over the centuries, many Christians have (literally) died for their faith, but there is another connotation here.  Jesus tells us we must deny (die to) ourselves (Luke 9:23-26).  That is to reject the ways of the world and abide (live in/for) the love of Jesus. 

So, what do we mean by abiding in His love?

Throughout the whole bible, Father explains His love towards us AND how we can return our love to Him.  Practically speaking we show our love towards Father by seeking His will (Matt. 6:33), then applying His will into our lives (James 2:14-26).  We believe.  Praise the Lord!  But Father also wants us to show what we believe by ‘loving’ others.  Doing something good for someone else.

We’ll mention the ten commandments here: love the Lord above else, no statues, don’t use God’s name flippantly (loosely), honor the Sabbath, give mom and dad their due respect and, of course, don’t kill, steal, commit adultery, lie or desire that which belongs to our neighbor (Exod. 20:3-17).  Go back and read all of James 2 and draw a deeper connection.  Jesus summed up love in a single statement which has two parts: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and then love your neighbor as yourself  (Mark 12:28-31, Matt. 22:36-40).  Surpsrise!  Even the Jews knew this (Luke 10:25-27).

Jesus gives us many examples on how to love our neighbor.  The man who had been beaten and robbed and another man (a Samaritan) took the wounded man to an inn, paid for the room and told the innkeeper that, upon his return, he would cover any additional costs (Luke 10:30-37).  Peter and John, at the beautiful Gate at the temple, had no money to give the lame man, so they offered him what they had – “stand up and walk”, and the man did (Acts 3:1-8).  Paul tells Timothy to flee evil things but follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, patience, meekness, don’t ever give up but cling to our eternal promise.  Be willing to share your faith and be accountable to God (1 Tim. 6:11-14).  Some doable suggestions.  We all don’t have to literally ‘die for Jesus’, but in turning away from worldly things and living for Jesus is death to the ‘old man’ and life to the new man in Christ Jesus (Col. 3:1-4, 2 Corinth. 5:14-21).  Keep in mind that we don't do 'works' to get saved.  We do them because we are saved.  Let the new man live in us through the Holy Ghost,

Helping other people helps them to become all that they can be.  Paul tells us that everything we do should be done to edify the body (Eph. 4:15-16 ).  He also tells us to excel in edifying the church (1 Corinth. 14:12, 14:26, read all verses 1-40).

We can go on and on with examples, but I pray that we are getting the picture. 

The Holy Ghost will comfort us because He dwells within us (John 14:16-17). He will lead us into all truth (John 16:13-14) and understanding (1 Corinth. 2:5-16).  He is our teacher (John 14:26). He is our strength to live this life (Eph. 3:16).  He gives us authority (G1849 exousia)  over sickness, disease and over the power (G1411 dynamis) of devils (Matt. 10:1, Luke 9:1).  He will l protect us (Rom. 8:26-28).  To receive the full benefit of the Holy Ghost working in us and through us, we have to give Him free reign in our lives, that is don’t quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19).And Father gives us that direct connection with Him through the Holy Ghost.  He edifies me and yet has His a place in the church (1 Corinth. 14:1-19).

 Our foundation is built on more than just the belief that Jesus has saved us.  We do have an obligation on our part.  And we do have help to accomplish our tasks - the Holy Ghost - and our brothers in Christ.

So what is our foundation built upon? It should be to love our heavenly Father with every ounce of energy we have and then showing that love that through our actions.  We should help others in need.  We should endeavor to help others to be all that they can be.   And knowing the Holy Ghost is in us and will guide us, teach us and protect us and be our strength to accomplish all that Father has laid before us.

We can go into greater detail, but I pray this is enough to get the ball rolling, if it isn’t already on the move in our lives.  

Once the foundation is laid, we have the hope and promise that Jesus will be with us always (Matt. 28:20).  He will help us to become all we can be.

So again, I ask “Upon what is our foundation built?



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