It is exciting living in times where the Lord is rebuilding and restoring His church to be established on one foundation; Jesus Christ, “the Cornerstone of the church”. We are all vulnerable and can easily stray away from this simple foundation and exchange it for a man-made, worldly one.
Paul was deeply concerned for the Corinthian church because they were starting to follow men in the flesh, and he encourages the church in 1 Corinthians 3:4-7 to take their eyes off himself, Apollos, Cephas and others, and clearly points them to the right foundation – Jesus Christ. He warns the church to be careful how they build their lives, and reminds them that Paul and Apollos are only servants through whom they came to believe in Christ. One plants, one waters, but only God brings the growth.
It is very dangerous for our lives to be dependent on a man as this will bring much disappointment and discouragement down the road. Man is imperfect but the Lord is perfect, and our eyes must be on Him alone as we give our lives and serve Him in these last days.
The deception evident in the church today is that we have strayed away from this foundation and are now trying to perfect ourselves by human effort and worldly principles that bypass the simple work of the Lord in our lives. Jesus had one message: “take up your cross every day and follow Me”! This daily identification with the cross brings us to a wonderful intimacy with the Lord where His grace is available to change our lives. When death has its place in our lives, a resurrection of God’s life in us follows, and it’s on this road that we are guaranteed to become more like the Lord. As He said in John 12:24, “…unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”
Paul in his epistles urges the body of Christ to follow the Lord and identify themselves with His sufferings. It is this road that will bring us to a place of true submission to the Lord in every area of our lives. It should be mentioned that Paul encourages the church in 1 Corinthians 3:16 to imitate him. He could say this with assurance as he knew he was taking the same road as Jesus did.
Today there are examples before us who are taking the road of the cross, and I personally have no problem to follow men of God who are taking this direction for their lives. Paul again encourages the Philippian church in chapter 3:17-18 to join him in identifying to the cross. This was not a fleshly attachment to a man, but a true link in the spirit as each one identified themselves to the cross.
My encouragement to all of you is to stay on this foundation of Christ and to allow your lives to be built in the spirit.