Word of the Month

The foundation of God stands!

February 2010

At the time of the first Apostles, Jesus warned against those who would come and say: “‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’” (cf. Matthew 24: 23), and urged his disciples not to believe such claims. But where is the Lord to be found? What are the distinctive signs of His activity? One indication is that the Lord knows His own and will acknowledge Himself to those who stand upon the foundation of God. The solid foundation of God stands, as Paul wrote to Timothy (cf. 2 Timothy 2: 19). There are many references in Scripture stating that there is no other foundation besides the one already established, which is Jesus Christ (cf. e.g. Acts 4: 12). In another passage Paul speaks of the foundation of the Apostles and prophets (cf. Ephesians 2: 20). It is upon this foundation that the Lord’s church is built, i.e. upon Christ, the Apostles, and prophets. Whatever the conditions may be that cause us difficulty, the foundation of God still stands and will remain standing until the Lord decides it is time to complete His work. His church, which is also built upon the firm foundation of God – i.e. upon Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and the prophets – is not something the Lord will give up. Rather this church is firmly grounded, and will remain so in the future. That is God’s part: He will acknowledge Himself to those who stand upon this foundation, and will permit them to experience Him time and again.

However, we must also do our part. Paul goes on to tell Timothy that those who name the name of the Lord must depart from iniquity. In other words, the Lord expects that those who stand upon the foundation described above will seek to fulfil His will and give up all those things that are contrary to His will.

Endeavouring to live in accordance with His will means avoiding evil and keeping away from that which comes from other spiritual sources. In this context, it bears mentioning that we must never lack in confidence in the Lord. This counts as iniquity in the eyes of God. He inclines Himself to us, He reveals Himself to us, and He acknowledges Himself to us. If, after all that, we still do not have confidence in Him, we are not doing His will. Let us do away with such an attitude and put our confidence in the Lord. Another thing which is incompatible with the will of God is lovelessness. To act without love is iniquity in the eyes of God. Let us renounce such an attitude and follow the dictates of love. This will draw the favour of God upon us. And thirdly, let us avoid unbridled egoism. Egotistical people think that it is not important to serve the cause of the Lord, and that everything will run very nicely all by itself. This does not correspond to the divine will either. Let us depart from iniquity and serve the Lord!

Seen in a positive light, this allows us to derive three pieces of advice. If we follow them we will experience the support of the Lord: let us place our unconditional trust in Him and His ways, let us be filled with love and consideration for others, and let us serve the Lord with joy.

Those who stay away from iniquity and strive to do the will of God will experience that the Lord acknowledges Himself to their conduct. We must create the conditions for this and approach things with a corresponding amount of faith. We stand upon this foundation of God, and upon this foundation we will move homeward. By remaining upon this foundation we will inherit eternal glory. 

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)