You are here: Home >> Other >> Word and Topic Studies PDF of article

Having a Firm Foundation

A New Testament Word Study based on two New Testament Greek words:

This study is divided into two sections:

ALWAYS CHECK THE CONTEXT OF A VERSE, IN ORDER TO GET AN ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE TEXT SAYS. The word "foundation" may be used with an emphasis that is slightly different, in different passages.

PART 1 - Physical Foundations

A. The foundation of a building (or some other structure)

  1. A good foundation vs. no foundation: Being built on a rock foundation vs. on the sand
  2. A foundation that was never finished
  3. A foundation that was shaken

B. A city's foundation: Part of the description of the "eternal Jerusalem"

  1. This city is worth waiting for
  2. A description of the foundations

C. The earth's foundation: built/laid by God

PART 2 - Our Spiritual Foundation

A. What is the foundation?

  1. The Person: Jesus Christ
  2. The message:
    • The message of the apostles and prophets [with Jesus as the "cornerstone" - the one who holds it all together]
      • Ephesians 2:20 - You are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. [In this passage, God's people are described as the building.]
      • The Old Testament prophets did not understand as much about Jesus, as did the apostles, since he had not yet been born. Some of their writings have direct reference to Jesus (example - many of the prophetical writings); at other times, their focus on Jesus was indirect. But either way, their message would complement - not contradict - the message of the apostles. (The apostles, on the other hand, would reaffirm the message of the prophets - along with revealing what had not been previously made known.)
      • Note: Since the message is Jesus Christ, perhaps this verse could also fit under the previous heading, "The Person: Jesus Christ."
    • The basic teachings of the faith
      • Hebrews 6:1 (+) - The foundation (basic teachings) of the faith... includes the following: repentance, trust in God, baptisms, the laying-on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, eternal judgment. [The focus: We must go beyond these basic teachings: We must grow-up. (See Hebrews 5:12 and following.)]

B. It's integrity- a firm foundation for our faith

  1. Those on this foundation can never be moved
  2. It is based on God's sovereign knowledge: What he knows to be true - such as the identity of those who belong to him - cannot become untrue.
  3. It is based on a specific human response: Turning from evil.

C. An eternal foundation vs. a short-lived one

D. The role of preaching/teaching: a "construction project."

  1. The foundation - the introduction to the good news about Jesus and what he has done
  2. The building - everything after the foundation
  3. Correcting a misconception, concerning the "building materials" - 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

E. Establishing a foundation of faith and love

  1. Faith/trust
  2. Love
  3. In some respects, these two concepts - faith and love - could be considered a summary of the entire Christian life.

F. Being kept on a firm foundation... by God - 1 Peter 5:10

Dennis Hinks © 2000

NOTE: At the end of Section D (The role of preaching/teaching: a "construction project") is a reference to Romans 7 and a Christian's struggle with sin. If interested, an article is available which examines this struggle, entitled "The Civil War Within Us.")