Summary: This sermon is about a "building program" that first takes place in the individual life.
(1) "A certain congregation was about to erect a new church edifice. The building committee, in consecutive meetings passed the following resolutions:
1. We shall build a new church
2. The new building is to be located on the site of the old one.
3. The material in the old building is to be used in the new one.
4. We shall continue to use the old building until the new one is completed.
--- Of course that meant they didn’t build anything. I was thinking if you are in a building program, what is the most important thing you need to do in order to build? ------- Maybe one of you would say we need good detailed plans; or another might stree the imortance of fund raising, maybe?... but what about building on a firm foundation? The wise man built his house upon the _____? "rock"; and the foolish man built his house upon the ______? "sand". This little Scripture song reminds us of one of the most important things about building, a rock like, firm foundation.If you don’t put on the right foundation, then anything you build will be of little or no value.
Now you may think I am here to talk about our "Building Program" and the upcoming presentation to be made at Church Conference! And maybe that is the "idea" that got me thinking about this message, but I want to shift our thinking to the "Building Program" that is going on in each of us. This "Building Program" that I am talking about has nothing to do with archetural plans; or physical site development or capital fund campaigns, but has to do with your relationship with Jesus Christ, and lest we build a firm foundation in our hearts with Jesus Christ, then I dare say it is of no value to erect any building to honor God if we do not honor Him in our hearts, and with our minds.
There are three things I want to say today about a building program, they could all relate to actual building, but specifically I want them to speak to the "building program" that should be going on within each of us. Specifically, I think I want to draw your attention to one part of the building, the corner stone. It is a "stone uniting two masonary walls; a stone representing the starting place in the construction of a building; something esential or basic" to the building project". (2)
A) The FIRST is, Christ must be the Chief Cornerstone. Ephesians 2:17-22 tells us "So He came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through Him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. In Him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God."
The foundation laid before us as a Church by the apostle’s and the prophets; the foundation realized in the Word of God we have before us, and when we let Jesus be the cornerstone; the very element that holds or lives together we can be built spiritually into a dwelling place for God, and through Him we have access to the Spirit and to the Father. Sometimes you see when people build a building, and they put the cornerstone in they etch the names of those responsible for the building into it. And I understand the need to honor someone, or a group who have worked hard to build the building, but let me be perfectly clear, the only real cornerstone that can transform our lives and hold it together is eteched with the most powerful name of Jesus Christ.
In fact if you go back to our Scripture text today in Matthew 7, and I don’t know how many times we have probably read that Scripture or sung that little song, but have you ever paid attention to the real key phrase that isn’t found in the song, but is right there in Scripture: "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man...and everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like the foolish man..." Wise, if you hear the word of God and buildupon the foundation. Matthew 5,6 & 7 are filled with Jesus instructions from "The Beatitudes" to fasting and prayer; from "The Lord’s prayer" to messages about how to enter through the "narrow gate".