Summary: “He said to them, ‘but who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (Matt. 16:15-16)
The life of a believer is often compared to the construction of a building in Scripture. The most important part of the building is the foundation and a weak or wrong foundation will only lead to the collapse of the building. It is not wise to build a house on a wrong foundation yet many people are building their lives on one. The Christian life is built on only one foundation, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ”. (1 Cor. 3:11) Today many people are being deceived about the foundation of the Christian life. Some people are deceived to believe it is by becoming a member of a Church, by doing good works, or by living a holy life. Other people are deceived to believe it is by worshiping any god of their choice. Our society has become so tolerant today that they accept the right of everyone to worship the god of their choice. It is therefore not surprising that even so-called Christians avoid the name of Jesus in an attempt not to offend other people or their religion. The truth still remains that the only foundation on which to build a Christian life is Jesus Christ and this is why He is still asking the question “Who do you say I am?”
Step One: The foundation of the Christian life
a) He is the Messiah
Jesus Christ is clearly revealed in the Scriptures as God. The name Jesus Christ tells us who He is. Christ means the “anointed One”. Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
b) He is the Saviour
Jesus Christ gave His life to save the world “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16) “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. (Rom 3:23) We all deserve to die for “the wages of sin is death”. (Rom 6:23) But Christ endured the full judgement of God on sin and died in our place for our forgiveness and redemption.
c) He is the truth
“Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) He reveals the truth about God, about man and about sin. He revealed the truth about His mission after Peter had proclaimed His identity as the Messiah. This was necessary for them to accept His coming rejection, suffering and death.
Most people take great care when building their houses. Architects are paid to design and draw up plans and make sure the buildings are properly constructed. We, however, do not take so much care when it comes to building our lives and we end up building lives that are easily destroyed. The proper foundation for our lives is to respond to Christ as His disciples did. A direct personal confrontation of the disciples by Christ led Peter to acknowledge Him as the Messiah. Every person today is still being confronted in the same direct personal way that Peter was confronted. This confrontation leads to a revelation about the person of Christ from the Father for “no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” 1 Cor. 2:11. Even today no one can come to know Christ without the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the divine, eternal, unchanging Son of God. This same Spirit who gave this revelation to Peter is the same Spirit who reveals Christ to us today.
The foundation of our Christian life is our individual and personal confession of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. What is your answer to Christ’s question “who do you say I am?”
Step Two: The building of the Christian life
a) The Word of God
The plan or design to build the Christian life is found in the Word of God. This detailed plan can only be followed after the right foundation has been laid and that is our confession that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, our Lord and Saviour.
b) The Holy Spirit
God does not want us to make any mistake in the building of our lives and therefore gives us a new spirit when we lay the right foundation and become a new creation. The Holy Spirit then comes to live in us and reveals the Word of God in a way we can understand and apply.
c) The renewed mind
The Holy Spirit renews our way of thinking so that we can act in accordance with the Word of God. He does this by leading us to spend time hearing, reading and studying the scriptures. He also does this by leading us to spend time in worship, prayer and fellowship with other believers.