How Firm A Foundation?

Luke 6:46-49 states:
"Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house."
Interesting that we traditionally look at this scripture passage and use it to say, "your faith must be in Jesus." Although this is a true statement, this is not the point Jesus is making here. What he is stating is that our foundation is not firm if we do not do what God says. True belief produces the actions of Jesus in our lives. My friend Dave asked recently, "What are we doing? Christians get together in worship services, bible studies, etc. But we never seem to actually do anything." I resonate with my friend. When we look at the four gospels we see a Messiah who was on the go. He was walking the land of Palestine, eating with Pharisees, drinking with prostitutes and tax collectors, healing the sick, having conversations with his close friends and disciples, and raising people from the dead. If faith is a more of a life than it is a belief, then our lives say that we do not have faith, we don't really believe the gospel. So, we come back to this question, "What are we doing?" Indeed, "what am I doing?"


  1. I don't have a new thought of my own... but what you're saying/asking is great. And I agree that we often miss the more important point of that passage.

  2. Careful! Building your life upon good deeds isn't going to get you to heaven. Many will cry "Lord, lord didn't we DO miracles in your name."

  3. what does heaven look like, where anywhere in the new testament is getting into heaven the goal. I think that it is just as dangerous to make that statement, if not more than the one justin made. The afterlife is a tricky issue, and most reference to heaven in the NT is to a present and already existing kingdom of God that we can already be apart of right here and right now. In fact it looks a lot like doing good deeds. Hmmm, I wonder why? What do you think will get you into heaven? What part of you goes to heaven?

  4. Justin -
    You are certainly asking the right questions. What are we doing? Why aren't we doing what Jesus told us and did?

    I understand Andrew's concerns that this might lead toward a works oriented faith, but I believe that works are a completely legitimate part of our faith. Jesus calls us to join him in the work that he started and will complete. We get the awesome opportunity to DO it.

    So what are we doing? Hopefully it is the work and will of God.

  5. Justin,

    Newbigin's book is great so far. More philosophical than I anticipated, but amazing nonetheless. It's a mental workout.

  6. I think we would all do well to read Leslie Newbigin. What a scholar and practicioner. I agree with Andrew that building our life on good deeds doesn't get us to heaven. But isn't that a point that Jesus is making... it isn't about getting to heaven. No, instead, it is about bringing redemption to all of creation. It isn't about being forgiven. No forgiveness is extended to us so that we can extend it to others... and in doing so CHANGE THE WORLD!