Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version of the
Bible © 1979, 1980, 1982, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc
Lesson 1: Building the Right
purpose of this study is to build a foundation IN you so that you can live
the rest of your life pursuing God! Knowing God is the greatest and most
privileged pursuit that human beings can attain to. In fact, you were MADE
and put on earth in order to KNOW God in a real, personal, and meaningful
way. The MORE time you spend building your foundation correctly, the MORE
likely that anything you build on that foundation will not crumble, fall,
or lean in the long run! When you develop a DEEPER foundation in God, it
allows Him to build a TALLER building through your life long term. A deep
foundation also insures that 3 years, 5 years, 20 years, or even 50 years
from now you will still be in love with God and living for His purposes—in
other words, that you will still be “founded” in Him.
Believe it or nor, most new believers in traditional
American denominations are never taught how to develop depth in their
foundation with God. Most foundational teaching series involve lessons on
how to be a “good” Christian, how to witness, how to observe the
ordinances of the faith, how to be a “good” church member, and
understanding doctrines that a church or denomination find to be the most
important. All of these are actually worthy subjects to spend time
studying… but each of these pursuits of knowledge have to be BUILT on top
of some kind of foundation.
What happens when time is not spent properly
developing a foundation?
What happens when something is built on a
If you build a foundation with wrong materials or even
build it skewed, disastrous results can occur! The Tower of Pisa, which
was built in the 1100s, is “leaning” because its foundation went only 3
meters deep and it was built on ground that was unstable in nature. It is
very important that we build or lay the RIGHT foundation for a life that
pursues God. You have not come to a religion, a church, a minister, or a
set of beliefs. You have come to the living God that created the
universe. He is the ONLY true foundation that you can have or should ever
need. If you want to reach your destination in God, you must dig deep
into the person of God—who He is, what He thinks, what He is like, what
His ways are, what His personality is like, and what He thinks and feels
about you as His child.
are three characteristics that Jesus used to describe those who call Him
Do you think the order is important for these steps?
Why or why not?
_____________ to me.
2 Whoever _____________ my
3 Whoever _____________ my
Now that you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, you
have in essence said “Lord, I am willing to follow you and obey you the
rest of my life.” More importantly than that, you have said, “Lord, I am
COMING to you with my life.” This is equivalent to saying, “Lord I am
yours!” Do you notice that Jesus never expects anyone to hear His
sayings or obey them without first COMING to Him? What do you think
happens when people are taught to read the Bible and obey the Bible
without first being taught they have to come to the one who wrote the
People approach the Bible for many different reasons and
with many different motives. The Bible, like some other books, is a
collection of words (from different authors) that are spread over hundreds
of pages. However, unlike any other book, the words on the pages of the
Bible were inspired by God and are without error in terms of truth. The
very Spirit of God and the Author of Life has the ability to take the
words on the pages of the Bible and cause them to give us LIFE when we use
the Bible to COME TO God through His Messiah, Jesus. The problem with
many Christians and theologians is that they approach Bible study as an
end in itself… whereas God has given us the Bible as the primary (and only
error-free) tool with which we can COME to Him and discover Him.
In Luke 6, what does Jesus liken a person to who hears
and does what He says?
What happens if a person hears the Bible but doesn’t really intend to put
it into practice?
Did you know that becoming a believer and follower of
Jesus does not preclude you from experiencing pain, trouble, or storms in
life? Did you notice that when Jesus talked about those who build a
foundation that He made sure to let us know that streams and torrents and
storms will come against BOTH those who hear and obey His words and those
who do not hear or obey as well? In fact, it is very likely that your
trials will increase now that you have decided to follow Jesus as His
disciple [disciple means one who follows a path of “discipline”, a
“learner” or “follower”]. The point is that a person who hears and obeys
Jesus’ words will have a foundation that will prevent their life from
being destroyed long term… they will have a life that stands the test of
time and stands the storms of life. In order to hear and obey, however,
we have to first “COME” to Jesus. That is the beginning of the
You may or may not have an idea of what being a
“Christian” is really all about. That’s OK! Most people who think they
know what being a Christian is really about are most likely very tainted
or influenced by the particular religious tradition that they are in…
which may not be a truly “Biblical” view of being a Christian after all.
Obviously, part of being Christian involves turning from our sin, changing
our minds about how we view the world and how we view God, and then
obeying God and obeying what the Bible commands. God never commands us
just to “stop” doing bad things. His heart is that we would turn from
“doing wrong” to “doing right”. This process, however, does not come
overnight! One of the greatest battles you are going to face as you grow
in maturity in the Lord is the sense of condemnation from your failures
and your sins. Developing the right foundation in the Lord will hopefully
prevent this condemnation from causing you to turn from following the Lord
or from giving up in the race.
What are two things that God considers part of a
1 The LORD ______________ those who are
2 Let everyone who
names the name of Messiah _____________ from ___________.
Do you think that the ordering of these two foundation
elements is important? Why?
It is important for you to understand that a solid
foundation comes from the fact that the LORD (the creator of the universe,
the one who made everything) KNOWS who you are! This fact assumes that
you ARE HIS first. What do you think it means to “be His”? Whose were
you before you were His? Human beings ultimately live our lives for our
own desires and our own purposes. When we give our heart to God, we in
essence say “God, I give my life back to you because I acknowledge it
belongs to you anyway.” Now that you have changed your mind (repented)
and believed in Jesus as your savior, the Bible says that you are a “new
creation” that belongs to Him. We are still humans, but now we are humans
that are a “special” possession of God. God is the master of all
ultimately, but only those who voluntarily say “yes” to Him can be said to
“be His”! We have been and are “reconciled” or “made right” with God by
the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Your faith in
Jesus and what He has done for you has given you access into the very
family of God!
What do you think it means to “be in Jesus”?
What’s the difference between new life versus a life
that is only made better?
It is important for you to realize that in order to depart
from iniquity over the long term of your life, you must first know who you
are and who you belong to. You might actually find it easy right now to
make decisions for God regarding turning from sin because as new believers
there is normally a fiery zeal in your heart for Jesus that is given by
the Holy Spirit. This is normal and almost all believers testify to a
similar experience in the first seasons of their new life with the Lord.
Over the long term, however, you will be confronted with just how weak you
are in your own “natural” self and in your own in-ability to serve and
love God. That is why coming to know WHO you are in God is the greatest
part of the foundation you need to build right now. Someone who is not
founded in the person of God and God’s great love for them has a greater
chance of falling away later on… when it usually becomes “harder” to
follow Jesus and make decisions for Him. This foundation series is
designed to form a Biblically based image of what God looks like to you
and what you look like to God in truth. Unless you take time and effort
to develop this foundation of love, your efforts to turn
from iniquity will eventually fail in the long term. When it does, you
will need to know who you are to God and how God views you in truth.
do you think God wants us to depart from iniquity (stop sinning) so much?
Why do you think God’s greatest enemy (satan), wants
you to sin so much?
You should be aware of this fact: sin will kill you!
Spiritually, emotionally, and physically… sin (which is any type of
disobedience or lack of obedience toward God) has great detrimental impact
on human life. It ruins us, ruins our relationships, and ruins our
purpose for being created! The disobedience of man concerned God so much
that He was willing to become a man and die in our place to deliver us
from sin. On top of this, when you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life,
His greatest enemy has now become YOUR greatest enemy. This enemy (who is
a fallen angel called satan) desires to KILL you and cause you to sin
because he hates God and he knows how MUCH God loves you and values you.
The reason God wants us to depart from iniquity is because
iniquity brings death, suffering, and loss! He does not want to see our
lives destroyed or for us to suffer loss. The world is the way it is
today not because God made it that way but because of our (mankind’s)
sinful choices. Your iniquity separates you from God as well. Some sins
will kill you faster [physically] than others, but in the end, all sin
brings death and separation from God.
God does not want us to turn from sin primarily because He
is afraid we might give Him a bad name if we don’t! He is indeed
concerned that we represent the Kingdom of God well so that lost people
can find the knowledge of salvation in Jesus through us. However, your
Heavenly Father is MORE concerned that you turn from sin so that you don’t
suffer its very real consequences. Many Christians, however, believe that
God is more concerned about how we make Him look. As a result, we focus
on cleaning up ourselves so that God will like us, love us, and
accept us. The very foundation of your faith, however, rests on the fact
that you are ALREADY loved, accepted, and clean in God’s eyes because of
what Jesus has done on your behalf!
condition were we all in when we asked Jesus to be our Lord?
Why don’t we have to be
perfect in order for God to love us?
The great love of God was DEMONSTRATED when Jesus died for
our sins, before you or I ever thought of God or even cared about God.
This foundational truth must remain in your minds as you mature in the
Lord: God loved us in spite of our imperfections and while we were yet
still in our sins with no power to save ourselves.
These verses talk about a paradox in terms of our
relationship with God. The paradox lies in the fact that God by His
righteousness has to judge sin but yet in His great love He has burning
passion and desire for those who are sinners—people like you and me! Some
people refer to this as “hating sin, but loving the sinner”. This is
exactly how God is. He knows sin destroys us and separates us from Him…
He knows that sin breaks us inside and out. Because of His great passion
for us, it is only natural that He would hate the very thing that brings
about and causes our destruction. Never ever confuse His hatred of sin,
however, with His feelings toward you. Based on the fact that you said a
simple “yes” to His Son Jesus, God sees you as the most beautiful and holy
creation there is. He doesn’t see your sin as beautiful and holy
and good… but He does see you that way. This is one of the
paradoxes of “grace”, and something we will explore in greater detail as
part of our foundations study.
The word “sanctify” means to “set apart” or “make holy”.
As you read more of the Bible, it will hopefully become clear that we are
ALREADY sanctified or perfected in God’s eyes because of our faith in
Jesus while at the same time we are BEING sanctified and perfected in our
real every day lives as we obey the truth and follow Jesus more and
more. The point is that we START from a position of being “clean” and
“accepted” before God… we are not “earning” or “working” for our
acceptance or “working” to make ourselves clean. This again, is part of
having a “right” foundation in the Lord.
Don’t worry so much right now that you understand
everything there is to know about words like justification,
sanctification, or perfection. These terms all have to do with how God
sees you through the eyes of His Son Jesus and your gradual growth in
looking more like Jesus over time. Each of these ideas are covered more
in depth as we progress through the foundations study… but the starting
point of your life in God is that you have already been declared
righteous, pure, and clean! Your response (which will take the rest of
your life) is to allow God to possess you so that you become in practice
what He says you already are!
Why does God want you to work on your foundation
before you work on the “building”?
What are examples of things that might be part of the
What did Paul use as a wise master builder in laying
the foundation for new believers?
1 He built according to
the ______________ of God given to Him
2 He built according to
the only foundation one could lay: _________________
Paul used grace to establish people IN Jesus the Messiah.
It was “according to the grace” that God gave Paul that he then laid
foundations in those who heard his message about Jesus. Paul made it
clear that the ONLY foundation that is sure and solid is the PERSON of God
Himself. We see the clearest revelation of WHO God is in the person of
the man Jesus. Jesus the Messiah was and is the express image of the
invisible God and is therefore the BEST object of study you can pursue
initially. The Greek word “Christ” is the same as the Hebrew word
“Messiah” and it means “anointed one”. It is not Jesus’ last name but
rather it is a title given to Him. To many people in our society,
“Christ” is so overused as a curse word that it has lost its meaning. I
use the word “Messiah” because it helps me remember that Jesus was the
unique and anointed One who was God incarnate (God in human form).
That means that when you read and study about Jesus, you are seeing and
hearing and observing the very heart of the invisible God in action.
Many new believers are taught that works of service will
establish them in God.. and this is just not true. You WILL do works of
service, don’t get me wrong. However, works of service must flow out of a
heart of love for God. That is the object of this study and will
hopefully be your PRIMARY goal right now… to develop love for God. Paul
says that we must take heed as to HOW we build on our
foundation in God. We will discuss what it means in depth to have works
that are of a “gold, silver, and precious stones” quality versus those
that are of a “wood, hay, and stubble” quality. Before we even get there,
however, remember that Paul says the foundation that “works” are built on
is the foundation of God Himself---namely Jesus the Messiah. This is
where we must all start and continually come back to. Try not to
get too impatient wanting to “DO” something for God. God wants to DO
something FOR YOU and IN YOU first before you start trying to do things
FOR Him. Let this process take place as long as it needs to … and don’t
rush it. You must learn to BE before you can learn to DO. That is the
essence of building a strong and sure foundation in the Lord Jesus. You
are already accepted and loved by God through the work of Jesus on the
cross: this is the solid and sure foundation that you should build your
life in God upon!
1. To call Jesus “Lord”, a person must be
willing to do what? ____________________ (Luke 6:46).
2. What are three characteristics of someone who
has Jesus as their “Lord”? (Luke 6:47)
3. ____________ will cause you to be separated
from God, which is another way to describe “death” (Romans 3:23).
4. God’s solid foundation for us is based on the
fact that we are ________________ to God as members of His family. (2
5. True or False. The Bible teaches that we must
be perfect first in order for God to love us and accept us (Romans 5:8).
6. One of the primary purposes of Scripture is to
testify about _______________ (John 5:39).
7. The primary way that we are
___________________ or “made holy” is by our faith in Jesus (Acts 26:18).
8. If we want to have spiritual life, we must be
willing to _________ ______ _________ first. (John 5:40).
9. We have already been made ______________ by
the one sacrifice of Jesus on the cross but yet we are being progressively
_____________ in our words, thoughts, and actions as we follow Jesus and
live our lives for Him daily. (Hebrews 10:14).
10. True or False. God is more concerned about
sin’s effect on us (towards destruction) than He is that we might make Him
“look bad” as children of His who still do sinful things.
11. The first priority of the Christian life is
to build a _____________________ based on what ____________ look like to
God and what _____________ looks like to you in truth.
12. Long term, God desires that you would depart
from ______________. In order to do this, however, you must FIRST grow in
your _________________ of Him. (2 Timothy 2:19)
13. ______________ of service for God must flow
out of a heart of ____________ for God.
14. If we want a good foundation in the Lord, we
must dig _____________ into the person of God (set Him as the object of
our affection and the goal of our life) and we must build with ___________
materials (the revelation of who God is and who we are to Him in truth).
15. When we come to Jesus, we are in essence saying “Lord, my ___________
16. The foundation of our faith rests on the fact that we are already
___________ and ___________ by God based on what Jesus accomplished for us
on the cross.