The Solid Rock

TEXT1 Cor. 10:4Phil. 3:9

INTRODUCTION:

A.      A FAVORITE SONG OF MINE WHEN I WAS LITTLE.

          1.       Catchy tune and easy to learn.  We sang it often.

          2.       I thought I understood the meaning.

B.      BACKGROUND:

Words: Edward Mote, circa 1834; first appeared in Mote’s Hymns of Praise, 1836.

Born: January 21, 1797, London, England.

Died: November 13, 1874, Horsham, Sussex, England

Music: William B. Bradbury, 1863

Edward Mote was born in London on January 21, 1797. His background was far from Christian. As a lad he had no interest in Christian values. So ignorant of spiritual matters was he that he did not even know that there was a God. His parents, keepers of a public house, sent their son to a school "where no Bible was allowed." On Sundays he and other wayward boys of the neighborhood played in the streets, giving no thought to church. When Edward became an apprentice to a cabinetmaker, he found himself in regular attendance at church. The reason is not given. In 1813, at the age of 16, Edward heard the noted Reverend John Hyatt at Tottenham Court Road Chapel. The sermon made him "think on his ways," and two years later he yielded his heart to the Lord.

This event, however, did not send Mote immediately into the ministry. He was remained a successful cabinetmaker for another 37 years. Eventually, at the age of 55, he became pastor of a Baptist church in Horsham, Sussex, where he did not miss a Sunday in the pulpit for the next 21 years.  According to Wayne Walker, Mote built the meeting house at his own expense.  He was so well loved that his congregation offered him title to the church building, but he said:

I do not want the chapel, I only want the pulpit; and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that.

 He resigned from this pastorate in 1873 due to ill health, and died the following year at the age of 77.

HIS OWN WORDS:

One morning it came into my mind as I went to labour, to write an hymn on the ‘Gracious Experience of a Christian.’ As I went up Holborn I had the chorus,

‘On Christ the solid Rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand.’

In the day I had four first verses complete, and wrote them off. On the Sabbath following I met brother King as I came out of Lisle Street Meeting…who informed me that his wife was very ill, and asked me to call and see her. I had an early tea, and called afterwards. He said that it was his usual custom to sing a hymn, read a portion, and engage in prayer, before he went to meeting. He looked for his hymnbook but could find it nowhere. I said, ‘I have some verses in my pocket; if he liked, we would sing them.’ We did, and his wife enjoyed them so much, that after service he asked me, as a favour, to leave a copy of them for his wife. I went home, and by the fireside composed the last two verses, wrote the whole off, and took them to sister King…As these verses so met the dying woman’s case, my attention to them was the more arrested, and I had a thousand printed for distribution. I sent one to the Spiritual Magazine, without my initials, which appeared some time after this.

C.      MOTE WAS A BAPTIST, WITH A DEVOTION TO THE DOCTRINES OF CALVIN.

          1.       This is reflected in the lines of this hymn.

          2.       Naturally as we sing, our minds assign the words meanings that are more in keeping

                   with the truth.

          3.       Nevertheless, it is a beloved song with His Grace and Our Hope as its theme.

I.      THE CHRISTIAN’S HOPE AND ITS BASIS.

A.      THE GREAT BURDENS OF ALL.

          1.       DEATH – all must die (Heb. 9:27;  Ecc. 8:8).

                   a.       Our hope is in the resurrection (Acts 24:15;  John 5:28-29).

                   b.       The promise of God and the resurrection of Jesus the source (1 Pet. 1:3).

          2.       SIN – all are under sin’s condemnation (Rom. 3:23;  6:23).

                   a.       Our hope is in justification - dikaioo;  “properly, to make to render

                             righteous or such as he ought to be” (Thayer).

B.      THE FALSE CALVINIST VIEW:

          1.       Quotes that illustrate the Calvinist view:

"From this it is also evident that we are justified before God solely by the intercession of Christ's righteousness.  This equivalent to saying that man is not righteous in himself but because the righteousness of Christ is communicated to him by imputation."

"You see that righteousness is not in us, but in Christ, that we possess it only because we are partakers in Christ... The only fulfillment he alludes to is that which we obtain through imputation."

"To declare that by him alone are we accounted righteous, what else is this but to lodge our righteousness in Christ's obedience, because the obedience of Christ is reckoned to us as if it were our own." (John Calvin, THE INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, vol. 20, p. 350).

It is the personal righteousness of Christ's sinless obedience that is put to our account, on the basis of which are declared not guilty." ( Gordon Clark ).

Baptist Encyclopedia:  "Christ imputes or reckons his righteousness to every one of them, and it becomes their own just as really as if they had wrought it out for themselves.  His perfect earthly obedience... he places to the credit of each member of his elect family.  He gives the righteousness he acquired to every saint.  He has obeyed... for all trusting disciples, and he gives them this divine righteousness.  Paul, the great apostle declares that his righteousness justifies without any of our own works.  Christ's obedience is as much ours as they are his."

Albert Barnes:  "When righteousness of Christ is said to be imputed to us, the meaning is that God so places it to our account, that in the eyes of the law we are held righteous and, therefore, treated accordingly."  "That the righteousness of Christ is imputed to man and that the obedience of Christ becomes man's, thus it is not necessary for man to render full gospel obedience in order to be saved."

"I will stand in judgment only with the righteousness of Jesus." – An erring brother.  Hence the verse,

Dressed in his rightousness alone Faultless to stand before the throne.

          2.       ROBERT TURNER'S ILLUSTRATION: 

                   a.       His clean garment over our dirty clothes( Isa. 64:6 ).

                    b.       It is said God does not regard good in us( Rom. 3:9-12 ).

                    c.       Is that what that passage teaches?

                    d.       ( Acts 10:35 ).  Righteousness is noted by God.

          3.       The implications of this teaching:

John Walvoord: "It is reckoned to the believer at the moment of faith and becomes his forever by judicial declaration of God.  The righteousness thus imputed meets completely the demands of a righteous God and is the sole basis for our acceptance with God."

Gordon Clark:  "… if favor with God depended on our future conduct, eventual salvation would be based on our works … and we could never have assurance of success.  When our position depends of Christ's merits instead of our own, we have no need to fear."

                   a.       In other words, you don’t have to do anything to be saved (James 1:22).

                   b.       Once saved always saved – Nothing you can do to lose it (Gal. 5:4).

                   c.       God will overlook sins of weakness and ignorance (Eph. 5:5Acts 17:30).

                   d.       We may not withhold fellowship from those who teach a different doctrine

                             (2 John 9-11).

C.      Phil. 3:9.  HOW DOES GOD RENDER US RIGHTEOUS?

          1.       We are cleansed by Jesus’ blood (Heb. 9:11-14;  Rom. 5:8-9).

          2.       Jesus cleanses our sin by paying the price (Rom. 3:21-23).

                   a.       A righteousness of God – God’s plan of justifying us

                             (Rom. 10:3, 9-10;  Isa. 56:1;  51:5-6).  Apart from the law….

                   b.       All have sinned (Rom. 3:23;  6:23;  3:5There is a Price to Pay.

                   c.       Jesus cleanses our sin by paying the price (Rom. 3:24-26).

propitiationhilasterion;  “relating to appeasing or expiating, having placating or expiating force, expiatory” (Thayer)

                   d.       The result – justified (2 Pet. 2:24;  2 Cor. 5:14-15, 21;  Eph. 1:7).

          3.       BUT FORGIVENESS IS CONDITIONAL!!

                    a.       For the alien( Acts 2 :38 ).

                    b.       For the erring child( Acts 8:22;  1 John 1:9 ).

                    c.       Both must walk in the light( 1 John 1:6-7 ).

D.      A DIFFERENCE IN THE MEANING.

          1.       We see what Mote meant – that Jesus’ righteous life is imputed to us so that

                   salvation is unconditional.

          2.       What we mean – It is not through merit or personal goodness, but through the

                   forgiveness or washing of sin that we stand righteous before God.

          3.       The Calvinist would have us still in our sin, only covered by his righteousness.

                   The Bible would have us out of sin for the price has been paid.

II.     THE SONG BY STANZA.

A.      VERSE ONE – THE BASIS OF OUR HOPE.

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

          1.       The basis of our hope is the death of Jesus and the justification afforded through it.

          2.       There is no other hope (Eph. 2:12;  Acts 4:12).

          3.       The sweetest frame – those blessings which are temporal.

B.      VERSES TWO AND THREE – HOPE AS AN ANCHOR.

When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on his unchanging grace

In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, his covenant, his blood  Supports me in the whelming flood

When all around my soul gives way  He then is all my hope and stay

          1.       Life is filled with the temptation to doubt.  Our vision of Jesus isn’t always clear.

                             4 lines indicate the turmoil that we face as Christians.

                             Darkness veils his lovely face – high and stormy gale – whelming flood

                             When all around my soul gives way (Job 14:1).

          2.       Then there is the darkness of sin (Rom. 7:21, 24).

          3.       Jesus doesn’t change, he has promised.

                   a.       He is with us throught the turmoil (Matt. 28:19;  Phil. 4:4-5).

                   b.       He will deliver us from the darkness of sin (Rom. 7:25 – 8:1).

          4.       His promise is our anchor (Heb. 6:17-18).  We neither drift or are swept away.

          5.       Jesus is indeed all our hope and stay (Heb. 13:5-6).

C.      VERSE FOUR -

When he shall come with trumpet sound  Oh may I then in him be found

Dressed in his rightousness alone  Faultless to stand before the throne

          1.       Someday Jesus will come with “trumpet sound” (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

          2.       There will be then the resurrection of the dead (John 5:28-29)

          3.       The wicked and the justified will receive according to their deeds (2 Cor. 5:10).

          4.       Oh may we all be found in him – forgiven by his grace, therefore faultless.

Matt. 25:31-34, 41, 46

CONCLUSION:

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand

A.      STANDING ON THE ROCK MEANS HEARING JESUS AND TRUSTING HIM

          ENOUGH TO DO WHAT HE SAYS (Matt. 7:24-27).

          1.       Salvation is by grace.  That is the ground of our salvation.

          2.       Grace is conditioned upon our obedience to his will.

B.      THOUGH WE HEAR AND ACCEPT AS TRUTH, IF WE DO NOT OBEY HIM

          WE STAND NOT ON THE ROCK, BUT ON SINKING SAND.