“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain…” Psalm 127:1 ESV
Just as God works through covenants, so must we. Before beginning a work, we must count the cost and resolve to finish it. The work of sanctifying the self begins with conversion and a covenant to Christ in baptism. The work of building a home begins with marriage and a covenant to our spouse in a wedding ceremony. The work of building the church begins with church membership and a covenant to the other members of the church. And even the work of building society often begins with a trade and some form of legal contract. All lasting covenants have Christ as their foundation. However, a man cannot select his own preferred “Christ,” a “pseudo-Christ.” Rather, he must have the Christ of the Bible. In addition to having the “right” Christ, a man must have the “whole” Christ. You cannot choose for yourself certain “portions” of Christ, while discarding others that offend your sensibilities. To avoid building in vain, we must have the right Christ and the whole Christ as our one and only foundation. And if our building is to endure, we must have Christ above and Christ below. We must build “upon” Christ, with faith in his Gospel and obedience to his Law. And we must build “to” Christ, with the earnest desire for his glory and fame. In other words, to have Christ as the foundation of our building is to build in faith. And to build in faith is to build with a reliance upon Christ’s grace and a desire for Christ’s glory.