No Other Foundation
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).
In spite of this clear statement by the Holy Spirit men are trying to lay foundations upon which to build various religious bodies that are unknown in the New Testament. Foundations of denominational names and sectarian spirits are laid upon which to build churches that honor men and human doctrines. The names of men and movements have taken the place of Christ and his word. There are now hundreds of different religious bodies, all claiming divine rights to exist and promote their insidious doctrines.
For example, the name Baptist Church is unknown in the New Testament, yet it is preached and emphasized as a name upon which to build one’s eternal destiny. The name Lutheran Church is unknown in the word of God, but men are encouraged to enter this church and prepare for their eternal salvation. This is the name of a man and is not “the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20). The name Methodist Church is no where found in the word of God; it is derived from a movement to purify the Episcopal Church of England and resulted in such methodical ritualism that it was called “methodist.”
These names and movements as foundations upon which to build are not only unauthorized in the New Testament, they are strictly forbidden in 1 Corinthians 3:11. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Since no man can lay a foundation upon which to build a church but Jesus Christ, all foundations upon which denominational churches rest are unscriptural and worthless. Christ said, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). The context of this statement shows that Christ as the Son of God is that rock. No name but that of Christ will suffice. No church but his church can be built upon this foundation.
Besides trying to build on unauthorized names, many are laying the foundation of tradition and doctrines originating with men. “Once saved, always saved” is a doctrine not taught by Christ or his apostles. In fact, it is opposed to all that is taught in the word of God on the subject. “Salvation by faith only” is another doctrine emphasized as a foundation upon which to build for eternal life. This is a false doctrine.
Even among brethren today there are foundations of doctrines unauthorized in the word of God which have become essentials for their membership. The test of fellowship with many is the “contributing to an Orphan Home by the church from the first day contribution,” “supporting the Herald Of Truth by many churches” and “Believing in and practicing fellowship functions provided by the church” (“The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play” – 1 Cor. 10:7). This doctrine converts the church into a common fun making organization. Now these things are tests of fellowship in many “churches of Christ.” I mean that one has to accept these things to have fellowship with them.
All these foundations will crumble in time, and anything built upon them will pass away. Many brethren are trying to build their eternal hopes upon such works and doctrines of human origin. There is only one foundation that will stand, it is the foundation of Jesus Christ laid by the apostles and prophets. The gospel of Jesus Christ clearly revealed this fact.