Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. (Hebrews 6:1-3)
These six foundational doctrines of Hebrews 6:1-3 are: Repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
"And God permitting, we will do so."
The Bible compares the life of a believer to the construction of a building, For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. (I Corinthians 3:9) and each believer is united in Christ with other Christians to form the Church. The Bible also compares the Church to a building. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)
Whenever men erect a building they must first lay a proper foundation. Since this is a natural principle understood by all people, God used it to teach a great spiritual truth. A believer must have a proper foundation in order to build a good spiritual house, and that foundation must be laid according to the builder's plan. God is the master builder of our lives and He has laid out a blue-print for us in the form of the Bible.
The purpose of our spiritual "building" is to provide a dwelling place for God. His Holy Spirit will dwell in us when our lives are built on the right foundation. Paul asked: Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (I Corinthians 3:16) By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.(I Corinthians 3:10)
God calls us to build our faith upon His rock which is immovable, He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. (Luke 6:48) and that rock is Jesus Christ, Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one. (Isaiah 44:8) He is the only foundation for our spiritual life. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 3:11)
Jesus Christ is the foundation for spiritual life: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” (Isaiah 28:16) so the foundation of our spiritual life is not a man-made creed, a denomination, or a religious ceremony. The foundation is Jesus Christ. Many professing believers try to build great spiritual structures of Christianity in their lives. They become involved in the program of the church and do many good works. The outward appearance of their spiritual building is good, but before long their spiritual building begins to sink and collapse. They become discouraged, defeated, and fall into sin. This is because they are trying to build on the wrong foundation. Just as a good foundation is necessary to properly support a building in the natural world, the right spiritual foundation is necessary to support the building of your spiritual life. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. (I Corinthians 3:11-13) All so called "Christian" works will be tested by God and the structure of your spiritual life will be examined to determine if it is built on the proper foundation. The only foundation of spiritual life which will stand is that which is built on Jesus Christ.
In the natural world if the foundation of a building is not properly laid the whole structure can collapse, and the same is true in the spiritual world. A wrong foundation will result in spiritual disaster. The Biblical record of Haggai stresses the importance of proper spiritual foundations. When Israel was experiencing poor harvests in the natural world, Haggai told them to examine their ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. (Haggai 1:6-9)
To correct the problem, Haggai told Israel they must rebuild both in the natural and spiritual worlds. They had to rebuild in the natural world because Israel had delayed building the house of the Lord. Instead, they had put their own concerns ahead of God’s command and built their own homes and businesses first. But more important, the spiritual foundation of their lives was wrong. They had been offering sacrifices [good works] with unholy hands. Then Haggai said, “‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the LORD. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled. (Haggai 2:14) A right work offered by unholy hands is not acceptable. The spiritual foundation of their lives was wrong and this is why they were not blessed by God. In the natural world Haggai told God's people that the foundation of the Lord's temple must be rebuilt. He said they must also rebuild their spiritual lives on a proper foundation, and from the day that Israel started to build on the right foundation God began to bless them. From the day you start to build proper spiritual foundations, God will bless you in every area of your life.
Jesus stressed the need for building on a good spiritual foundation and He illustrated this truth by a parable of two men who built houses. The Bible has two records of this parable one in Matthew 7:24-29 and the other is in Luke 6:47-49. It’s this latter one I would like to look at today.
As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. (Luke 6:47-49)
The steps for building a good spiritual foundation are given here in Luke 6:47.
1. As for everyone who comes to me,
2. Hears my words,
3. And puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.
All three steps are required. It is not enough to come to Jesus; you must also listen to what He has said. But coming and listening are not enough either; you must also take personal action. A person can come to Jesus, hear what He has to say, but not respond. Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46) You can know the Word and still not act upon it. Jesus is not truly Lord of your life until you respond to His teachings.
A good foundation is based on the Word of God. The man who came to Jesus, heard His Word, and then acted on it is called wise. This man made sure the spiritual foundation of His life was firm; he dug deep removing everything between him and the Rock, Jesus Christ. God's Word is the plan which shows how to build your spiritual life. The Bible must be accepted as the absolute authority and the plan for your spiritual foundation, For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:21) because the purpose of God’s revelation is given to us through it. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (II Timothy 3:16) The Bible contains instruction in the basic doctrines of Jesus. It also provides reproof and correction for failing to follow these teachings.
The man who built on a wrong foundation heard the Word of God but did not take personal action on what he heard. He is called a foolish man and compared to a man who built without a foundation in Luke 6:49. His house was built on the sand instead of the rock. You build on the sand spiritually when you base your life on the traditions or religious beliefs of man. It is thinking you can make yourself spiritual by good works, church attendance, or religious ceremonies.
Jesus' parable of the two builders reveals another great truth. It is the nature of life to be stormy. Circumstances of life result in many personal crises. You must face death, disease, and disaster. Even believers will face problems. Acts 14:22 warns that “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” and Jesus said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) No one escapes the storms. The storms are always the same no matter who you are, but what differs is how people respond to them. If your spiritual life does not have the right foundation you will fall just as the house built on sand. But, if your life is built on the right foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word [doctrine], the storm cannot shake you. When the torrent comes, that which cannot be shaken will remain. Those who stand have built a right spiritual foundation.
As we have discussed, the Bible contains the teachings [doctrine] of Jesus Christ and the words of the one true and living God. It explains how to build your spiritual life on the right foundation. A good foundation is a prerequisite for constructing a sound building in the natural world. The word "prerequisite" means that it is "required before.” A proper spiritual foundation is a prerequisite to spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity is the “superstructure” or the building that is built on the foundation. In Hebrews 6:1-3 we are told we cannot go on to perfection (or maturity) unless the spiritual foundation is properly laid, but; as the parable of the two houses indicates, it is not enough to be informed of these basic doctrines you must make a personal response to God's Word and integrate these truths into the spiritual foundation of your life. If you do not respond to God's Word, you are like the man described by the Apostle James: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22-25) Remember that from the moment you decide to start building your spiritual life on the proper foundation, God will bless you.