1 Corinthians 3 … Consider Him, Our One and Only Foundation

Originally posted: 6/11/2020

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ, (3:11).

After informing the believers he was aware of the divisions and quarrels centered around their allegiance to human leaders, and emphasizing the wisdom of God as opposed to the wisdom of man in pursuing logical answers to the mysteries of God, Paul now goes on to confront the obstacles facing their allegiances and their maturity.

In his letter, Paul addresses them much like Jesus did, by means of parables. Paul speaks of their relation to God using two allegories: God as the Master Gardener and God as the Master Builder.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building, (3:9).

From NIV Study Bible: “The people are God’s [field]. They are also depicted as God‘s temple (vv. 16-17). Paul’s choice of metaphors accords with the fact that in the ancient world planting the land and building a house (or city or temple) were traditionally the two basic focal points of human industry.”

Paul points out that the Lord establishes His church through two basic focal points: His planting and His building; and both require the same sure and strong Foundation for healthy growth and solid longevity.

I did a brief search on the internet about the necessary requirements of Foundations, for both gardens and buildings. It’s not difficult to understand why Paul incorporated these metaphors in his teaching and correcting the believers about their relationship with their God, Who was to be their One and Only Foundation.

Consider Him, Our One and Only Foundation

Today, as we consider Him, Our One and Only Foundation, we will do so through comparing the essential elements of Foundations for Gardens and Buildings with Scriptures relating to Him as the Master Gardener and Master Builder.

Six Essential Foundations of a Good Garden: (soil, planting/watering; sunlight, handling insects; combatting diseases; fighting weeds…) From: https://www.offthegridnews.com/survival-gardening-2/6-essential-foundations-of-a-great-garden/

In His Garden, Consider Him, Our One and Only Foundation:

  • The Soil ~ He Prepares Our Hearts:
    • He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart… (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
    • “The sower went out to sow his seed; 11 “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God…15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance,” (Luke 8:5, 11, 15).
  • Planting and Watering ~ He Causes the Growth:
    • I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers… (3:6-9).
  • Sunlight ~ He is the Son, the Light of the Word:
    • Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life,” (John 8:12).
  • Handling Insect Visitors ~ He Is Our Barrier Against Distractions:
    • But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her,” (Luke 10:40-42).
  • Combatting Disease ~ He Is the Payment for Our Sin:
    • But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
      He was crushed for our iniquities;
      The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
      And by His scourging we are healed,
      (Isaiah 53:4-5).
  • Fighting Weeds ~ He Is Our Shield Against Worries and Anxieties:
    • Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 4:6-7).

The Importance of Strong Foundations for Buildings: (supporting the entire load; strength and safety from the forces of nature; defending the structure from externals seeping in…) From: https://sahomes.in/blog/the-importance-of-strong-foundations-for-buildings/

In His Building, Consider Him, Our One and Only Foundation:

  • To support the load of the entire building ~ He Is Our Firm Support:
    • “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
      A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
      He who believes in it will not be disturbed,”
      (Isaiah 28:16).
    • having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, (Ephesians 2:20).
  • To keep the building standing while the forces of nature wreak havoc; to keep the occupants of the building safe during calamities such as earthquake, floods, strong winds etc. ~ He Is Our Strength in the Storms:
    • “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall,” (Matthew 7:24-27).
  • To keep the ground moisture from seeping in and weakening the structure ~ He Is Our Defense Against the Influences of the World:
    • Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever, (1 John 2:15-17).

How do we respond to Him, Our One and Only Foundation?

Self-examination time:

  • Are we laying any other foundations? Are we trusting in people, programs, methods or traditions; are we depending on anyone or anything other than Him, Our One and Only Foundation?
    • According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (3:10-11).
    • See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ, (Colossians 2:8).
  • Are we attempting to plant and build on Him, Our One and Only Foundation, with our tools of the flesh?
    • And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly… (3:1-3).
    • But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please, (Galatians 5:17-17).
  • Are we plagued with jealousy and strife, divided in our allegiance, competing against Him, Our One and Only Foundations?
    • …For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? (3:3-4).
    • What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures, (James 4:1-3).
  • Are we deceiving ourselves by our own wisdom, or are we trusting only in Him, Our One and Only Foundation?
    •  Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God, (3:18-19).
    • But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind, (James 1:5-6).

Oh Lord, we want to be fit to be Your fellow workers. Open our eyes to see what You see in us, that we would confess our sins and be cleansed.

For we are God’s fellow workers… (3:9).

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:8-9).

As His field, He is Our One and Only Foundation; He is the reason we live and thrive as He prepares the soil, provides for and protects His planting, and causes the growth. And as His building, He is Our One and Only Foundation; He is the source of our strength and endurance as He supports the entire structure, keeps us standing in the storms and provides our defense against the world’s influence.

As we grow in our faith and love for Him, Our One and Only Foundation, He will be faithful to root us and build us up in Him and provide all we need to live and thrive in His strength and endurance. And as He does, how can we not respond in overflowing gratitude?

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude, (Colossians 2:6-7).

Let’s Grow Together!

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