Five Reasons to Teach Foundationally

When sharing Christ with a lost world, we must remember that no one is a blank page – everyone has preexisting beliefs that typically clash with God’s truth. If God’s truth is going to take root and produce healthy, lasting fruit within the listener, truth must be taught strategically and thoroughly.

This is why Ethnos Canada teaches God’s Word foundationally, both overseas and now in Northern Canada. Foundational truths are revealed from Genesis to Revelation chronologically and are contrasted with the listener’s worldview. Precept upon precept, truth upon truth, from Creation to Christ. This gives them a correct understanding of the good news of Jesus Christ and establishes them in Christ. Here are five reasons why we are passionate about foundational Bible teaching.

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”

Luke 24:27

1. It Lays a Solid Foundation

If every person’s faith is like a building (1 Corinthians 3:9), then the strength of the foundation of their faith is critical to keep their faith from crumbling under pressure. Foundational Bible teaching builds a firm foundation of truth by teaching truth in a chronological sequence, with diligence, and with care to establish believers in the foundational truths first.

In contrast to building on sand, foundational teaching provides the firm foundation that is absolutely essential for the stability and durability of a thriving believer (Matthew 7:24; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Ephesians 4:15-16).

2. It Makes Sense

Foundational Bible teaching also unpacks truth the way God did, from the beginning! His story begins with the creation of the heavens and the earth, and then progresses to reveal His plan of redemption for all mankind. It continues through Christ’s ascension and ends by teaching us how to mature in Christ.

When God’s Word is taught as God designed it, the listener’s faith is progressively established in Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13; Colossians 2:7). This method of teaching within the story of Scripture brings truth alive, makes it memorable, and it makes sense with how most cultures learn — including First Nations culture.

5 Benefits of teaching foundationally

  1. It lays a solid foundation
  2. It makes sense
  3. It matches growth
  4. It demolishes arguments
  5. It establishes authority

3. It Matches Growth

God has designed a system of growth for all life — mentally, physically, spiritually. Children are fed based on their stages of growth. Babies are fed milk, toddlers eat soft foods, and they eventually eat meat when they get older. Children are also taught based on their stages of growth to match their scholastic understanding. First 2+2 then 2×2. In the same way, God has designed how people grow spiritually which means they must be taught based on their spiritual development — first the milk of the Word, then the meat of the Word (Hebrews 5:12).

Foundational Bible teaching recognizes the different stages of spiritual development within each listener and teaches them at their respective level so as to foster healthy spiritual development.

4. It Demolishes Arguments

Because everyone has pre-existing beliefs, those beliefs must be graciously confronted with the truth to avoid compromise and/or syncretism (mixing God’s truth with false beliefs). John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2), Jesus (Matthew 4:17), Peter (Acts 2:38; 3:19) and Paul (Acts 17:30) all took this approach.

Thankfully God has laid out His Word to confront every lie of the enemy within every culture of every era, but we must present it skillfully. As we teach God’s Word foundationally, it “demolish[es] arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God …” (2 Corinthians 10:5) to produce genuine, healthy, enduring fruit. We leave no room for competing alternatives.

5. It Establishes Authority

Everyone, consciously or unconsciously, relies on some authority for what they choose to believe. Foundational Bible teaching graciously engages people with the truth, leading them to submit themselves to God as the source of truth — not the teacher, culture, society, or tradition. Foundational Bible teaching establishes the Word of God as the reliable authority for all of life and practice so that a thriving believer can mature in Christ.

Eternal Impact at a Heart Level

It wasn’t often that my old indigenous friend came to my house. It was a long walk through the dusty jungle. This distance was complicated by his age, the heat, and by his severely bowed legs. So I was surprised to see him walking purposefully into my yard.

Foregoing the typical greetings, he said, “Grandson, I have come to tell you something.” My mind raced. Did he need me to take someone to the hospital? Was he in desperate need of food? What was so important for him to make the effort to come all this way?

I put some chairs in the shade. Normally, we would drink at least one pitcher of tea before he would tell me what he came for. But this time was different. As soon as I sat down, he launched right in…

“You know I have sat through all the teaching you have done. And at the end I understood what you were teaching. You taught us about how the world was created. You taught us about Adam and Eve’s sin. And you taught us about what Christ did for us. But when you taught us that we can only be saved through faith, that is when I didn’t want to believe anymore. I said in my insides that you were wrong. For weeks I was upset at you because I thought you were wrong. But God kept reminding me that they were His words you had taught us and that I was fighting with Him. I came to tell you that I believe now. I am trusting in Christ as the payment for my sin. I am no longer trusting in what I have done.”

Foundational Bible teaching makes an Eternal difference. What part is God asking you to play in reaching the unreached with a clear message?

—Shaun Humphreys
Co-director of Operations, Ethnos Canada

Ethnos Canada is looking for believers that have a heart for the Indigenous people in Canada—believers willing to serve on teams that establish thriving churches in Indigenous communities.