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A Song to the Lord

A Sure Foundation - "The Church’s One Foundation"

Nothing is more important to a building than its support structure; the foundation on which it is built.

If the foundation is solid, the building is sturdy and stable. But if the structural support is faulty, the building may be susceptible to collapse. The same can be said for the Church of Jesus Christ.

How do we know if a building’s foundation is faulty? One indication is that cracks in the interior or exterior walls begin to appear. This indicates that the foundation has dropped or settled at that point and needs to be repaired. 

In this post-pandemic era, we are seeing a lot of “cracks” in churches which may indicate that the foundation needs repair. Loss of vision, prayerlessness, apathy, and lack of unity are some of the indicators giving evidence that the church is no longer functioning on “. . . the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20 NKJV). These indicators show that the church has lost sight of who she is and where she has come from. These “cracks” reveal the need of the church to be reminded of the foundational truths of the faith which are her reason for existence and source of meaning and purpose.

S. J. Stone shows us the right and true foundation of the church in his hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation.” First, the church belongs to Jesus Christ. 

The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
She is his new creation by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.

It was through Jesus Christ that the church came into existence. He took on a human body and suffered and died to redeem a community of people for himself. It was not Peter the man but rather Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus said would be “rock” on which He would build His church (Matthew 16:18).

Second, while the church finds expression in congregations of people in local communities, the church is most fully the worldwide community of those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation: one Lord, one faith, one birth.
One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.

The Church is worldwide. On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), Christ reversed the separation of languages that had happened at Babel (Genesis 11) and birthed a community of believers “. . . out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9 NKJV). This community has only one Lord – Jesus Christ. This community subscribes to only one faith – “. . . the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). There is only one way to enter this community – through the new birth (John 3:3-7). And there is only one food which nourishes this community – the Word of God.

Third, Jesus has guaranteed that the church will never be defeated or destroyed.

The Church shall never perish. Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end.
Though there be those that hate her and strive to see her fail,
Against both foe and traitor she ever shall prevail.

This stanza speaks to the faithfulness of God to his people. No matter the obstacles or the opposition, the Lord Jesus is with his church “to defend, to guide, to sustain, and to cherish.” What encouraging words! Jesus is the church’s defender. Jesus guides the Church through difficult seasons. Jesus gives the Church strength in times of weakness, and Jesus loves and cherishes his Church. He will never abandon her.

Fourth, though beset by trouble and imperfection, the church is not without a faithful “remnant.”

Though with a scornful wonder the world sees her oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping; their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

This stanza encourages us when we see some the cracks appearing in God’s people today. Stone mentions schisms and heresies. How sad it is when congregations divide over petty disagreements. But how much more tragic it is when Christians and congregations must separate from others due to heretical teaching. Jesus warned that the Enemy would sow “tares” in the “wheat;” that false believers and false teaching would invade his church. Yet he promises to preserve a remnant of those who remain faithful “. . . by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony . . .” (Revelation 12:11 NKJV).

Finally, the church has a bright future.

‘Mid toil and tribulation and tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation of peace forevermore;
‘Till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious shall be the Church at rest.

Gloria Gaither once wrote, “God has always had a people. Many a foolish conqueror has made the mistake of thinking that because he had driven the Church of Jesus Christ out of sight, that he had stilled its voice and snuffed out its life.”[1] The Lord of the Church has promised that He will build His church, and nothing will ultimately stand in the way of its “consummation” in the Kingdom of God. There is coming a day when the people of God – the church – will experience full and final victory over the schemes of Satan and hear her Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 NKJV).

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Rusty Rabon

Rusty Rabon has served in vocational Christian ministry in local churches since 1981. He also served as a Christian radio announcer for 15 years. He married his wife Terri in 1978 and they have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren. You can find books by Rusty Rabon here.

Rusty also hosts a book reading program called READING GREAT BOOKS on his Facebook page. You can follow Rusty at, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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