The bible is a model of good teaching, and it follows various principles of teaching. One in particular is that you start from the known to lead people on to the unknown. One of the ways the bible does this is that you take very simple every day experiences and activities, to give them a spiritual application. There are many examples.
The bible talks about farmers sowing seed, fishermen catching fish in a drag net, its talks about soldiers putting on armor, and a bride preparing herself for a wedding. These are just few examples of this principle. Today we are going to talk about constructing a building. This picture of the Christian life is used at least as many times, and any other picture in the bible.
Jude 1:20 (KJV) 20But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
We are responsible to build ourselves up.
This speaks in the collective community, that WE are to be built together in the Holy Spirit as a place for God to dwell in.
Here we are compared (each one of us) to living stones which are being built together into a holy temple to which the Lord is going to occupy.
Acts 20 32And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Here Paul says the main means that builds us up is the Word of God’s grace, the Bible. He says it is able to build us up and give us an inheritance among all of those who are set apart for Jesus Christ by faith in Him.
I am not a builder, but i know this. In any permanent building, whether brick, stone, concrete, or even wood, the VITAL area is the foundation. And the bible deals specifically with this. Here is an issue of great importance for all of us. its having the right foundation. The foundation sets limits to the building that can be built on it. The foundation sets the limits in both size and weight. This is true in your walk with God. You cannot build more successful lives than your foundation will permit. This is the vital issue. Have you laid the right foundation? There is only one foundation that is all sufficient, and it is a person. The person is Jesus Christ.
There is only one foundation. Its Jesus Christ. Anything that is not built on that foundation, will not stand the test of time and trials. It is important for every one of us, to asses, what our life is built on. Are we built on our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we have a personal relationship, and a personal knowledge of Jesus that makes us able to relate personally to Him.
The question of laying this foundation in Jesus is extremely important. I want to take some time to deal with the issue, on how we can have this foundation.
Matthew 16 13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter (petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Jesus uses this encounter with Peter, to establish the way in which we can lay a foundation in Jesus Christ Himself. Petros is a stone, Petra means a Jagged rock that extends from the bedrock, kinda like a mountain, or cliff. It is part of the bedrock. What is the bedrock? It’s what peter went through.. the recognition of Jesus for who he is, revealed only by the Holy Spirit. No one can know Jesus, who he really is, unless God the Father, by the Holy Spirit, reveals Him to you. So this is the petra, the bedrock on which our faith must be based. It’s a personal encounter, and personal revelation of Jesus. Not as the carpenters son, not as a historical figure, but as the eternal, uncreated son of God.
If we are going to build on this rock, the experience Peter passed must be parallel to ours. We can join churches, go through religions, pray, and not be changed. But if you really encounter Jesus, you WILL be changed. No one encounters Jesus and remains the same. Each of us needs to ask, have we had this life changing revelation of who Jesus Christ is?
There are 4 phases peter passed.
1. Confrontation – Peter and Jesus met face to face. Jesus said, I am the door, by me, if any man enters, he will be saved. He is the door. Not a church, not a religion, but JESUS.
2. Revelation – Flesh and blood has not showed you this. You cannot arrive at it by your natural senses. There has to be a revelation. No one can know Jesus without a personal revelation. You can study theology, go through bible college, but without this personal relation with Jesus.
3. Acknowledgement – We have to make some kind of response to this.
4. Public Confession of our Faith in Jesus
Credit: Derek Prince Foundations