Build Yourselves Up:
Jude 1:20-22 (ESV): 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Solid Building Plans Incorporate Costs:
Most building projects require many people, specialized equipment, and solid plans. A fundamental part of the plan is ensuring one is willing to pay the costs to achieve it. Jesus expects believers to consider the cost, which involves putting God first above all, including all materialism, all influences, all desires, and all relationships. Likewise, Jesus knew the costs to being the Savior of the world was death upon a cross, and willingly paid that price. Just like a plant’s roots must be deep enough to grow and flourish, so must the pockets with funds be open deep enough to pay the required costs.
Luke 14:28-30 (ESV): 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
in Christ through Terrain:
While buildings that are built to last need a foundation, often engineers are required to understand the terrain to properly lay the foundation upon the underlying rock. In the Christian Faith, Jesus is the foundation. Christ Jesus is the rock upon which our faith in God rests.
Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV): 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Learn Building from Experienced Builders:
Those in areas of the world, and segments of society, where the Christian Faith is just beginning to take root and bear fruit, are specifically advised to learn from those who understand the terrain, and have illustrated how to place a solid foundation in their heart, mind, and soul in Jesus Christ. While that is great if the the opportunity arises. With or without those examples in proximity, scriptures showcase several real lives to imitate.
Hebrews 13:6-8 (ESV): 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” 7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Accept Building Help from The Helper:
Whether you have that opportunity or not to learn from living neighbors in
sent the Holy Spirit, who understands God and us, as a Helper to provide much needed guidance.
John 14:25-27 (ESV): 25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Doctrines as Building Pile Drivers:
Previously when building a building, to get to the rock, builders needed to dig out a cavity to lay the foundation upon the rock. Even today, a hole is dug out to lay a foundational substructure. In modern times, when building tall skyscrapers, specialized pile driver machines vibrate & push steel bars called piles deeply through the ground into firm rock beneath, which is called bedrock. In the Christian Faith, you’ll find several different denominational groups that emphasize different key doctrines. The founders of many of these faithful arms of Christianity effectively picked key doctrinal truths as their building piles and substructure materials. These doctrinal piles and the substructure foundation are supports that hold up entire Church, and its’ fortresses of theology and belief. These fortresses support the Church collectively and personal faith individually.
Luke 6:47-49 (ESV): 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Many Builders Honor One God:
Even when the first apostles were present, the Church leaders all built foundations upon Jesus Christ. The foundational structures of these early apostles are consistent with each other, even though the specific configuration of the building structures had differences, due to differences in the terrain, and the style of the Church leaders when viewed as architects & engineers. Today there are many Christian Church denominations ranging from Catholic groups to Protestant groups like Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian. Even their physical buildings often look different from one group to the next.
Romans 15:18-21 (ESV): 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience- by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God- so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”
Build Sound Doctrine Upon Foundation:
Each Church denomination building design rests upon Christ Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the World, who came to pay the penalty for the sins of many. These Church designs rely upon key doctrines like the Apostle Creed and Church creeds in its’ support structure. It is critically important all doctrine is sound to have proper strength to support the Church and people individually in a world filled with various types of figurative storms, which are allowed by God to separate what is firm & true from what is false.
Titus 2:1-8 (ESV): 1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.’
Buildings Tested by Fire:
As people, our beliefs can have flaws and blind-sides, despite many of efforts by God and others to correct & direct them. When organizations with flawed people exist, corruption can also enter into the picture. The Roman Catholic Church historically embraced many incorrect doctrines due to organizational corruption. The refutation of the most crucial of these incorrect doctrines lead to the Protestant Reformation lead by Martin Luther and several others, as the fire of the truth they proclaimed burned a hole through many organizational structures & practices built upon flawed doctrines. The lesson from this, is to work well to embrace and endorse sound doctrines, so any contributions you and your Church make will remain intact. Church leaders must be cognizant as to whether any doctrine is withstanding the tests God sends.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (ESV): 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Foundations Subject to Gospel Test
There are many Churches that intelligently build upon the Foundation of Jesus Christ and correctly represent the Gospel. Unfortunately, there are also many impersonator religions, which are errant & misguided. These incorrectly deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of the World, who lived a perfect & God honoring life, and died for the sins of true believers. For this reason, it is imperative to know & consult the Bible scriptures, and watch out for those who’d distort the Bible. The Bible is a more credible witness than any individual person, no matter how credible they seem on the surface. Anyone building upon the premises of these false religions, is to have the misconception that of building their foundation upon a rock, when they are not.
Galatians 1:6-10 (ESV): 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Building Yourself Up as God’s Temple:
When you are building yourself up in the scriptures, the goal is to build yourself up as a temple in which for the Spirit of God to dwell. To do that starts with seeking the righteousness of God which is found in Jesus Christ. When done properly, you obey God because you understand God is loving and holy. While you obey God, perhaps at times because you must, you obey God because your heart is in the right place and you want to obey God. Your mind finds delight in God’s wisdom. You put your trust and hope in God, to guide your path through life, a path that often appears confusing, treacherous, and deceiving. You trust God to fill your soul with experiences that are distinctly appropriate for you. You appreciate that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone upon which the apostles and prophets already built-up the foundational structure.
Ephesians 2:19-22 (ESV): 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Foundations by God
While on Earth, it is easy to observe that much of the society’s culture is corrupted by sin & Satan’s influence. In this life our goal is to strengthen our faith and help to others to come to God too. Ultimately, all Christians look forward to the new Heaven, new Earth, and new Jerusalem, which God has designed physically, spiritually, and culturally. We also pray for God’s will to be done on Earth as in Heaven, so our world will be a better place, and more will come to know God through the proper knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 11:8-10 (ESV): 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
Diverse Building Workers from God:
There is so much more that goes into building a building. There are many different types of construction workers, engineers, management, and administrative workers. Likewise, the Church has many different roles for its’ members ranging from teachers, Pastors, deacons, translators, event coordinators, hospitality, child care, theologians, technologists, scientists, engineers, historians, archeologists, artists, singers, dancers, writings, presenters, directors, and many more. As you build yourself up in the Christian faith, take the time to learn from other people that the Holy Spirit has endowed with different talents and missions.
1 Corinthians 12:27-29 (ESV): 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
Building Frames and Floors:
A large building like a skyscraper typically leverages a frame architecture, much like the human body has a skeleton. Just as the skeleton supports the various body parts, the building frame supports the many rooms and floors. The doctrines, parables, letters, prophesies, wise sayings, and lives found in the foundational Biblical scriptures are built-upon as human knowledge and experience are explored and shared. Scriptures covers many knowledge areas like history, finance, creation, the Universe, relationships, knowing God, character, love, faith, wisdom, and more. These foundational Biblical scriptures and topics form the structural frames and floors.
Finishing Rooms Inside the Building:
Inside a large building like a skyscraper, can be many different types of rooms, from rooms for children, to rooms for married, to workout rooms, to business areas. Over the centuries, people reading and understanding and applying the Bible, have mimicked structures to build frames, floors, and then further finish diverse types of rooms. There are well-known Christian authors & books & materials on human relationships that address needs like:
- parenting & instructing children’s hearts
- fostering better married relationships
- ministering to a Church congregation
- serving the needs of the community
- & numerous more books …
Building on Display:
There are aspects of the Church that others see when outside it, and other aspects seen when taking a visit inside the Church. Because the Church is on display, whether internally or externally, the early apostles took care in their conduct to ensure they did what was honorable, and did not take advantage of anyone, nor wrong anyone, nor call anyone to become corrupted based upon their conduct and words. The early apostles knew they were accountable to God, and were expected to imitate Jesus Christ’s character, and knew that others would be looking to see how well they accomplished that.
2 Corinthians 7:2 (ESV): 2 Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one.
Romans 12:15-17 (ESV): 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
The modern skyscrapers buildings often have elevators to quickly navigate to many floors & rooms, which are representative of the various materials & lessons that arise as one is built up in Christ Jesus’ Church. How do you navigate Christian materials and lessons available today? Do you have a media & book libraries that are easily accessible? Do you listen to many Christian preachers? How do you retain important lessons directly learned personally, or indirectly learned from others?
Your Building Yourself Up:
Thinking about the analogy of building yourself up as comparable to what goes on to erect a building, what do you see as important?
- How do you contribute to what others see in & out of the Church as their impressions?
- How can you be building yourself up further, so as to be more useful in God’s church?
- How can you help others to apply themselves more fully?