Touchstones Markers for Measuring Discipleship
Faith is the Foundation Stone
“Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15). This question marks a turning point in Matthew’s gospel and I the disciples’ understanding of who Jesus is. The first question Jesus asked was an easy one to answer: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (v.13). Some today believe Him to be a great teacher, a prophet or religious leader. But what happens when we are confronted with the question of who Jesus is to us personally.
Peter declares, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” Peter declares that Jesus is much more than a prophet or teacher; He is the very “Son of the living God.” Jesus affirms this radical declaration by stating that His Father in heaven revealed this. It is significant that in the very first context where Jesus allows His disciples to profess their faith in Him as King, He declares His intention to build His church upon that stone (v. 18).
Paul comment on this understanding of Jesus as the foundation stone in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. He first warns, “For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.” We can choose to build upon that foundation. Building is not an option for those who confess Jesus as Lord. The only option is the quality of material which we build. Our work will be tested by fire; that which remains will be rewarded by God.
An authentic profession of faith leads to our understanding that Jesus is Lord over every area of our lives. Faithful stewardship of our time, talents, testimony and treasure validates our profession of faith. Paul writes about a great offering being raised for the suffering Christians in Jerusalem. He indicates that this offering will be “proof” that will cause others to glorify God for their obedience to their confession of the gospel of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 9:13).