Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Solid Gospel Foundation

The house I currently live in was built over 100 years ago. It fits our family well, but structurally has a foundation problem. The foundation is hodgepodge: a mixture of brick, cement and dirt. It looks as if it was put together in phases, using whatever material was available in the late 1800's. So our floors are quite uneven, which I occasionally use for putting practice. 

This phase in my life is foundational. In my early 30's with young preschool/elementary age children, we are building a foundation in our home.  Entering my third year of pastoral ministry, I'm building a foundation in the church. By the grace of God, I want to build a solid foundation of Christ and the gospel. Some of the Christ-centered gospel "material" I'm using is the book of Galatians, which I'm preaching though this fall, and Matt Chandler's book The Explicit Gospel which I'm reading now. Chandler noticed something troubling in his church among those who are in the foundational stage of life:

"What I found was that for a great many young twentysomethings and thirtysomethings, the gospel had been merely assumed, not taught or proclaimed as central. It hadn't been explicit" (p. 13).

It can be easy,convenient and cost effective to build a foundation with hodgepodge materials. But the problems are noticed years later, even a century later, as in the case of our house. The same is true with the foundation we build in our homes and churches now. It can be easy to build a hodgepodge foundation, using only the materials of our culture. A consumer mentality, with extreme self-focus and little thought about Christ is what the average twenty and thirtysomething is building with right now. Sadly, this is true in many of the homes and even churches in our culture. When Christ and the gospel are absent, the foundation will crumble at some point. It may be years down the road, but it will crumble eventually. 

Jesus said this very thing in Matt 7:24-27. A hodgepodge foundation did not work 2000 years ago, or 100 years ago, and it will not work today. Paul also understood the solid foundation was essential to build in life and ministry: 

"But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal 6:14).

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