“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11 NKJV).
God always employs and engages men as co-builders with Him whenever He wants anything built on the earth. However, God always gives to His co-builders a detailed specification, pattern, or blueprint for whatever He has called them to build for Him.
When God wanted an ark to be built on the earth for the salvation of those who would believe and heed His warning before sending a great flood to destroy the earth and its inhabitants, He employed Noah and delivered to him a detailed blueprint or plan for building the ark.
God instructed Noah, saying, “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. “And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. “You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.” (Genesis 6:14-16 NKJV).
Likewise, when God wanted a tabernacle to be built in the wilderness so that He might dwell and walk among the children of Israel, He called Moses up to the mountain and showed Him the pattern of the tabernacle He wanted built on earth.
Having revealed to Moses the divine blueprint or pattern for the tabernacle, God commanded Moses, saying, “And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” (Exo. 25:40 NKJV).
Moreover, God delivered to David the divine building plans for the first temple. David then handed over the building plans to his son Solomon, saying, “Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.” Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things.” (1 Chro. 28:10-12 NKJV).
The Scripture clearly reports that God filled the tabernacle built by Moses and the first Temple built by Solomon with His awesome presence and glory at their completion and dedication because the builders built according to the divine blueprint, plan or pattern God had revealed and delivered to them.
God always shows His approval of the building built according to His revealed and given blueprint, plan or pattern with His awesome presence and glory.
When Moses had finished the tabernacle and set it up according to the pattern God revealed to him, the Scripture records: “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” (Exod. 40:34-35 NKJV).
Similarly, when Solomon had finished building the first Temple according to the divine building blueprint, plan or pattern delivered to him by his father, David, the Scripture reports: “When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’S house.” (2 Chro. 7:1-2 NKJV).
God has not changed His ways of dealing with His co-builders today. He will not send any man to undertake any building project for Him without showing or giving him a clear blueprint, plan, pattern or specification of what He wants. And if the man builds according to the God-given pattern, then God will fill the building with His awesome glory and take over the building completely from men.
Sadly, unlike the faithful men of old who built for God according to His blueprint or pattern, many men who claim to be building for God today are obviously not building according to God’s blueprint and pattern.
While God’s emphasis today is on building His Church (the Ekklessia) as a spiritual temple for Him on earth, their emphasis is on building impressive edifices, cathedrals, or monuments for themselves.
Any wonder God’s awesome glory is evidently absent in our imposing buildings today!
God has a building project going on now on the earth. This building is not a physical temple or edifice, but a company of people redeemed by the blood of Jesus and called out of sin, self and the world to be separated to God.
God’s present building on the earth is the Church (the Ekklessia). The believers, as living stones, are being “built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:21-22 NKJV).
What then is God’s blueprint, plan, pattern or model for building His Church today? Jesus Christ!
First, the only true and divine foundation on which the Church (the Ekklessia) must be built is Jesus Christ.
The Scripture clearly states: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 3:11 NKJV).
The foundation is very crucial to any building. It is the foundation that carries the weight of the building. Therefore, if the foundation is shallow, weak or faulty, the entire building on it will also be weak and liable to a sudden collapse.
Jesus Christ is the only sure and solid spiritual foundation that can carry and sustain the spiritual temple that God will inhabit and fill with His awesome glory!
God will not dwell in, walk among and work through the people we build on mere religious rules and rites, human traditions or customs, vain philosophy or worldly wisdom.
Sadly, many believers today are not being built on pure faith in the person and finished work of Christ on the cross. Rather, they are being built on the Old Testament laws, religious rites, human traditions, vain philosophy, wisdom and words of men.
According to God’s blueprint, His Church must be “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” (Eph. 2:20-21 NKJV).
The Cornerstone is the first stone set in construction of a foundation, and all other stones are then set in reference to this stone. It is the cornerstone that determines the position of the entire structure or building.
Every believer, as a living stone, must be built, set, or aligned in reference to Jesus Christ – the Chief cornerstone (Isa. 28:16).
Building men upon the sure and solid spiritual foundation of Jesus Christ starts with clearly teaching or presenting the gospel truth that salvation is purely by faith in the grace or provision of God for our salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-9, Tit. 2:11).
Salvation that is not entirely based upon pure faith in the person and the finished work of Christ on the cross is not a sure and solid foundation for a Christian life that is pleasing to God.
Second, according to God’s blueprint, His Church must be built with pure, sound and wholesome words, doctrines or teachings of Jesus Christ.
While laying a strong and solid foundation for a building is very important, building with good and right building materials is also very important.
Although the foundation may be very solid and strong, yet if the building is built with fake, inferior or substandard materials; the building will not be strong or stand long before collapsing.
Therefore, God is not only concerned about building His Church on His recommended foundation (pure faith in Jesus Christ). But, God is also very much concerned about the sort of materials (the words, doctrines or teachings) men are using in building His Church.
What are God-recommended building materials for His Church?
The teachings of Christ!
The doctrines of the early apostles of Christ!
The only pure, sound and wholesome words, teachings or doctrines approved of God as the right building materials for building His Church as His spiritual house on earth are those which Jesus taught in person and through the Holy Spirit to His early apostles. This is why they are called “apostles’ doctrines” (Acts 2:42).
The teachings of Christ or apostles’ doctrines consist of Christ’s beliefs, views, perspectives, values, mindsets, principles, ways, or attitudes.
The body of truths Christ delivered to His early apostles to use in building His Church is divine, perfect and complete!
While our understanding of these truths may be progressive, the truths themselves are not progressive but constant; there is nothing to be added, removed, or modified in them.
The Scripture testifies that it “was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3 NKJV).
The word or teaching of Christ on every subject or issue is divine, authoritative, final, complete, perfect, and superior to that of any religious or spiritual leaders.
Any doctrine or teaching that does not wholly conform to that of Christ and His early apostles in the New Testament is a fake, inferior or substandard building material for building God’s Church today.
The Scripture warns: “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” (1 Tim. 6:3-5 NKJV).
Regrettably, many men who claim to be building the Church for God today are only building with fake or substandard materials – enticing words of human wisdom, vain philosophies, and empty deceits, traditions of men, religious regulations, and principles of this world (Col. 2:8).
This is why today’s Church is largely spiritually immature, weak, unstable and carnal!
If God’s people are not being constantly fed with pure and wholesome words of life (the teaching of Christ) we should not expect them to grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Sadly, many believers today hardly bear any resemblance to Christ in their mind, will, emotions and actions. This is simply because our spiritual leaders today are largely building the believers with materials that are not Christ-like in any respect.
Beloved, are you called to be a co-builder with Christ?
You need to be careful how you build and the materials you are using in building the Church.
Paul warns: “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” (1 Cor. 3:12-13 NKJV).
Gold, silver and precious stones speak of wholesome doctrines. But wood, hay and straw are false doctrines.
If you are teaching or feeding God’s people under your tutelage with doctrines that don’t conform wholly to that of Christ and His early apostles in the New Testament, you are building with wood, hay and straw. And when your work is tested with fire, you will suffer a great loss.
Friend, choose to build according to God’s blueprint. Your reward will be great in heaven!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for opening my eyes of understanding today to see and understand Your blueprint for building Your Church. Dear Holy Spirit, help me to be a wise builder who builds according to God’s blueprint, in Jesus’ name. Amen.