The Two Foundations
Jesus was (is) the Master Teacher (Matt. 7: 28, 29). Uncertainties and ambiguities did not characterize Jesus' teaching, He was decisive and authoritative. This is indicated in the supplied reason why the people viewed Jesus' teaching as different: "For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Ibid.). Jesus often taught by presenting a right and a wrong, no in between. There is the strait and wide gate; two masters; and the two foundations (Matt. 7: 13, 14; 6: 24; 7: 24-27). Jesus used the teaching regarding the two foundations to illustrate the fact that "not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 7: 21). Hear Jesus:
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain 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 every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which 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."
Jesus' famous teaching regarding the two foundations is found in Matthew 7: 24-27 and Luke 6: 47-49. Associated with the two different and antithetical foundations are the "wise and foolish man" (Matt. 7: 24, 26). The foundation of a structure has always been of the utmost importance. In fact, the structure is only as good as the underlying foundation. Jesus said the wise man built on "a rock" and the foolish man built on "the sand." The rock foundation was experienced because the wise man "digged deep" to reach the bedrock (Lk. 6: 48). The storms came and the house on the rock stood, but the house on the sand fell "and great was the fall of it" (Matt. 7: 25-27). Beloved, Jesus is the rock that constitutes the lasting and enduring foundation (I Cor. 10: 4). Appreciate the fact that the wise man is presented as active and participating in his condition and security (cp. Jude 21, 2 Pet. 1: 5-11). Also appreciate the fact that the wise man building on the rock is the man "who heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them" (Matt. 7: 24). The doctrine that man is passive and does not participate in his salvation is patently false. The foolish man, conversely, is the man who hears Jesus' teaching, but "doeth them not" (vs. 26).
The house on the rock foundation. The devil seeks to convince men that there is nothing for them to do in order to be saved and maintain salvation. Many believe that saving faith is simply the belief that there is a God and he has done all to insure man's "unconditional salvation." (see "Saving Faith"). While this teaching may be full of false comfort, Jesus never taught such a doctrine. In order for man to be saved, man must maintain the posture of a humble servant. In the setting of the teaching regarding the two foundations, Jesus asked the precipitous question, "And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Lk. 6: 46). Jesus is the author of eternal salvation "unto all them that obey him" (Heb. 5: 9). Such obedience is not tantamount to earning salvation, because after one has done all commanded of him, he is still an unprofitable servant, looking to God's grace (Lk. 17: 10, Eph. 2: 8, 9).
Those building on the rock have surrendered their wills and have formed the attitude of "Speak; for thy servant heareth" (I Sam. 3: 10). The wise love God, heart, soul, and mind (Matt. 22: 37). This love serves as the motivation for their service and acquiescence to God (I Jn. 5: 3, Gal. 5: 6). The wise are they who do not question and attempt to find loopholes to justify their disobedience. It is they who seek God's kingdom and righteousness first in their lives (Matt. 6: 33). They bring forth fruit to the glory of God (Jn. 15: 8; Tit. 2: 14). In short, they were " the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye become the servants of righteousness" (Rom. 6: 17, 18).
The house on the sand foundation. Upon a surface observation, it might appear those who have built on the sand are secure, after all, they have a house. Many outside of Christ appear to be safe, to some. False religion (false foundation) presents a pseudo security, but it will not stand the test. Not a few professing Christians have built on the sand and when the trials and tests of life come, they will not endure.
Those building on the sand foundation are those who are looking for a short cut in life and in salvation. The "easy, less demanding way" is what they seek. It is a fact that a lot more effort is required to "dig deep" to the bedrock. They are often the people who mock and make fun of the dedicated Christian who takes his service to God seriously and seeks to do exactly what God tells him to do in his word (Jas. 1: 18-21). The builder on the sand laughs at the authority of God's word and places his emphasis on "I am saved and pleasing God because I feel like I am." "Doing Jesus' sayings" to him is a trivial matter. He is often heard saying regarding those digging down dip as being legalists and religious fanatics.
Beloved, which will it be for you, the rock foundation or the sand? Remember, when the "rain 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" (Matt. 7: 25). To the converse, the house on the sand "fell: and great was the fall of it" (vs. 27). It takes more effort to build on the rock, but it will be worth it in the end!