Our Lord frequently taught lessons of a moral and spiritual nature by the use of parables. One such lesson is found at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew, Chapter seven. He began with these words: "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock: And the descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell'- and great was the fall of it." That's verses 24-27.
Jesus says that life is a process of building. If it stands the test of time and is able to weather the storms, it must be built on a solid foundation. Jesus Christ is that foundation according to I Corinthians 3:11. In addition to a good foundation, quality materials, ingredients and workmanship must go into the building of a good life. Let's briefly consider some of these.
The first ingredient is strong faith or trust in God. The Christian life has its beginning and conclusion in faith. Paul wrote in Romans 1:17: "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: and as it is written, The just shall live by faith." The writer of the book of Hebrews put it this way: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6. Of course the message must be first firmly implanted in our hearts. It is said of the late Nikita Kruschev that he memorized the New Testament in its entirety. But, he admitted he did it for no reason whatsoever. Someone once observed: "He knew the book from A to Z His mind had mastered every part. A fine achievement, but alas! It never got into his heart." Unless the gospel message, by faith, permeates our hearts, it will be of no benefit to us. The second ingredient essential for good building is honesty. The Bible admonishes us to "provide things honest in the sight of all men". Romans 12:17.
The story is told of a wealthy man who employed his brother-in-law to build him a house. He explained that he and his family intended to travel to Europe for the summer. While there, he wanted this dream house built. The brother in-law agreed and set to work. As the building progressed, he decided to cut corners here and there by using inferior materials wherever he could cover them up. After all, the rich man would never know the difference. In time the summer ended and the house was completed. The wealthy man returned home. Immediately he was taken out to the building site to look over the new house. After examining it carefully and admiring its elegance at some length, he said to the builder: "I'll tell you, it's lovely. In fact, you have done such a marvelous job that I'm just going to give it to you." You can imagine the dejected feeling of the brother-in-law when he knew that inferior workmanship as well as -inferior materials had gone into the house.
The Bible says: "And be sure your sins will find you out." Numbers 32:23. How true that is! Eventually somebody will discover our dishonesty to our embarrassment. If not here, then in the hereafter. Honesty always pays because God always knows.
A third ingredient for building a good life is moral purity. Those of us who have lived during the decade of the fifties until the seventies have watched the pendulum of moral values swing all the way into the gutter. Pre-marital and extra-marital sex have become common place. People take trips on narcotics and alcoholic beverages until they are void of reality. Massage parlors, pornographic literature, X-rated movies, and many other forms of fleshly indulgences are the order of the day.
Perhaps you are thinking, "I don't see anything wrong with these things if I want to do them." Well, allow me to let you in on one big secret, that is: "In the Game of Life, God has written the rule book. We either go by His rules or we pay the consequences." The Bible says" "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Galatians 6:7,8. Again Paul wrote: "Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." This is I Corinthians 6:9,10. The he adds: "And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." I Corinthians 6:11.
What kind of builder would you say that you are?