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Sermon #5795

The Right Foundation

A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 3:11


1 Corinthians 3:11 ESV KJV
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What is the hope for humanity? It was once believed civilization would bring a utopian society. The world developed around the idea that philosophy, education, knowledge, culture, and housing would create harmony among humans. On the contrary, civilizations have produced greater and more violent wars. Civilization has ended not in utopia, but failure. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 3:11 tilted “The Right Foundation,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explores divisions in the Corinthian church. Unity is threatened as a popularity contest ensues. The apostle Paul is compelled to deal with the problem as it affects the cross. The Corinthian problem is found in their cracked foundation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that if the foundation is not right, nothing is right. The right foundation deals with two fundamental questions. First, who is man? And second, who is God? The right foundation is laid, not by humans, but by God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Without this foundation, life becomes completely meaningless, descending into chaos and division. What is the problem with humanity? The answer is not the lack of education, politics, or culture. The human problem is that humanity has built its own foundation on sand. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones proclaims Jesus Christ alone as the adequate foundation.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthians to address divisions that have arisen in the church.
  2. The divisions were caused by certain preachers whose messages deviated from Paul's original teachings.
  3. Paul says these divisions affect the very foundation of the faith, which is why he is addressing them.
  4. Paul says that without a proper foundation, life descends into chaos.
  5. Civilization has ended in failure despite humanity's best efforts because it lacks a proper foundation.
  6. Philosophy, politics, industry, and morals all lack a proper foundation and are in crisis.
  7. The church also lacks a proper foundation which is why Christianity has little influence.
  8. The Bible says that without a foundation, life becomes chaotic. The problems of the world stem from a lack of foundation.
  9. Man cannot provide the needed foundation through his own efforts. "Other foundation can no man lay."
  10. The failure of civilization proves man cannot establish a proper foundation.
  11. Man fails to answer fundamental questions like "What is man?" and "How can we know God?"
  12. Man cannot properly deal with suffering, death, and judgment.
  13. The only adequate foundation is Jesus Christ. He alone answers life's questions and solves its problems.
  14. Christ is the only hope for individuals and the world. All other foundations have failed.
  15. Some may doubt whether the gospel is still adequate today, but Christ is like reinforced concrete, strengthening human nature.
  16. If God had created another perfect man, he would have failed like Adam. Christ succeeds because He is both God and man.
  17. Christ reveals God, deals with sin, enables a new start, conquers the devil, comforts in suffering, conquers death, and secures us in judgment.
  18. We must build our lives on Christ, the one sure foundation, or we will be without hope.

Itinerant Preaching

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.