The foundation is the most important part of a building. Foundations can’t be moved without destroying the building. If the foundation lacks integrity, so will the building. If the building is moved and put on another foundation, it will never be as strong or secure. In the book of Ephesians, Paul describes the church as a building, the Household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus as the cornerstone. So who exactly are the apostles and prophets? What does it mean that Jesus is the cornerstone? The apostles were appointed by Jesus to be His personal representatives to the world. Their primary responsibility was to preach the Gospel. The apostles, or a close associate such as Luke, were also responsible for writing the New Testament. The prophets were those who revealed God’s Word. In other words, they spoke the Word of God from God Himself. Prophets were largely an office of the Old Testament and were laying the foundation for the church a thousand years before Jesus’ ministry. The cornerstone is also a concept taken from the Old Testament. The cornerstone was used to square up the rest of the foundation and thus the whole building. The cornerstone was always laid first and so Paul is clearly teaching that Jesus is preeminent to even the Old Testament prophets and that everything is measured according to Him. The gospel of John teaches that in the beginning, before apostles or prophets or anything else, Jesus was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God and all things were made through Him.
Now put this all together. The apostles preached the Word, the prophets revealed the Word, and Jesus is the Word. So in a very practical sense, the foundation of the church is the Word of God, known today as the Bible. And this is why the Bible is constantly attacked and undermined because Satan knows that if you destroy the foundation you destroy the building. Sadly, many churches have crumbled spiritually and institutionally because they moved away from their foundation. As we look forward to a year of building ourselves up in Christ, we must keep our feet firmly on the foundation of God’s Word.
Adam Davis, Senior Pastor FBC Archer City, TX