Jesus stressed the need for building on a good spiritual foundation. He illustrated this truth by a parable of two men who built houses. The Bible has two records of this parable. One is in Matthew 7:24-29 and the other is in Luke 6:47-49. They are reproduced here to allow comparison of the two passages:
“”Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock. Everyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house, and it fell with a big crash.”
When Jesus finished saying these things, the people were amazed at his teaching” – Matthew 7:24-28
“I will show you what everyone is like who comes to me and hears my words and obeys. That person is like a man building a house who dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the floods came, the water tried to wash the house away, but it could not shake it, because the house was built well. But the one who hears my words and does not obey is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. When the floods came, the house quickly fell and was completely destroyed.” – Luke 6:47-49
There are several important principles in these passages:
The first principle is that building a proper spiritual foundation is part of the doctrine [teachings] of Jesus. This passage records that the people were “amazed at his teaching”. Part of that doctrine was the story He told about building on a good foundation.
Paul also refers to building a foundation as part of the doctrine of Christ:
“So let us go on to grown-up teaching. Let us not go back over the beginning lessons we learned about Christ.” – Hebrews 6:1a
Paul then continues to list the content of the doctrine of Jesus.
The RIGHT Foundation:
The steps for building a good spiritual foundation are given in Luke 6:47:
1. …comes to me…
2. …hears my words…
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. 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,’ but 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 “digged 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 because…
“No prophecy ever came from what a person wanted to say, but people led by the Holy Spirit spoke words from God.” – 2 Peter 1:21
The purpose of God’s revelation is given in 2 Timothy 3:16:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right.” – 2 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 WRONG Foundation:
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.
“But the one who hears my words and does not obey is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. When the floods came, the house quickly fell and was completely destroyed.”– Luke 6:49).
His house was built on the sand instead of the rock.
“It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house, and it fell with a big crash.” – Matthew 7:27
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.
The Storms of Life:
Jesus’ story 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 “We must suffer many things to enter God’s kingdom.”
“I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world.” – John 16:33
No one escapes the storms. Stormy circumstances of life are experienced by all people everywhere. The storms are the same, 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, the fall will be great. If your life is built on the right foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word [doctrine], the storm cannot shake you:
“”Once again I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once again” clearly show us that everything that was made–things that can be shaken–will be destroyed. Only the things that cannot be shaken will remain.” – Hebrews 12:26-27
When the shaking experience comes, that which cannot be shaken will remain. Those who stand have built a right spiritual foundation.