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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No.01 A Real Rock Of Ages???

 

I love the old gospel songs, and “Rock Of Ages” is one of my favorites.  It was written by Augustus M. Toplady in 1776, and I’d simply like to share its clear gospel message, which has never changed, with you today:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone
.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling
;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee
.

I/we must absolutely come to Jesus with “nothing in my hand”!  It is not by our own righteousness that we receive “everlasting life”, but by faith in the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice of Jesus! It is HIS blood that imparts forgiveness of sin, salvation and righteousness to us!

For he hath made him to be sin

for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness

of God

in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus paid the price of our salvation with His own blood, and when we receive Him by faith, God imparts HIS righteousness to us, all because Jesus took on our sin at the cross.  Yet to receive Him we must come empty handed to God, trusting in what Jesus did for us, not our own goodness or works that we have done.  Paul gives us a clear picture in his message to the young preacher Titus. My pastor reminded me of it yesterday morning in his message, and I thought it a timely reminder to share it with you today.

Put them in mind to be subject

to principalities and powers,

to obey magistrates,

to be ready to every good work,

2 To speak evil of no man,

to be no brawlers,

but gentle,

shewing all meekness

unto all men.

3 For we ourselves also were sometimes

foolish,

disobedient,

deceived,

serving divers lusts

and pleasures,

living in malice

and envy,

hateful,

and hating one another.

4 But after that the kindness

and love of God

our Saviour

toward man appeared,

5 Not by works of righteousness

which we have done,

but according to his mercy

he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing

of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us

abundantly

through Jesus Christ

our Saviour;

7 That being justified

by his grace,

we should be made heirs

according to the hope

of eternal life.”  Titus 3:1-7

God makes us His children, heirs of “eternal life” “through Jesus Christ our Saviour”!  He is our “Rock” of all the ages!  The Psalmist pictures this amazing parallel frequently.

For thou art my rock and my fortress;

therefore for thy name’s sake

lead me,

and guide me.”  Psalm 31:2

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,

when my heart is overwhelmed:

 lead me to the rock

that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

He only is my rock

and my salvation:

he is my defence;

I shall not be moved.

7 In God is my salvation

and my glory:

the rock of my strength,

and my refuge,

is in God.”  Psalm 62:6-7

Jesus also uses this analogy of the ‘rock’ to show us that we must depend on HIM, not self!  He paints a clear picture of the difference that knowing Him will make!  And while we can’t judge where others stand with God, we are to judge ourselves, for Jesus says that His presence in His own will make a difference—not always in the same way, not always in the same time frame for everyone!

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit

is hewn down,

and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits

ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me,

Lord, Lord,

shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;

but he that doeth

the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day,

Lord, Lord,

have we not prophesied

in thy name?

and in thy name

have cast out devils?

and in thy name

done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them,

I never knew you:

depart from me,

ye that work iniquity.”    Matthew 7:20-23

Jesus makes it clear that just “saying so” doesn’t make one a child of God—but the person who does “the will of my Father”!  It is “not by works of righteousness which we have done”, but by the life-transforming salvation that Jesus’ blood provides; yet Jesus makes it clear that when we are born again we are empowered by His Spirit to do God’s will—and we can, because our house is built on the “Solid Rock”! Even as Paul and James both talk about our life-works reflecting the presence of His Spirit within us—that is the proof of whose we are—not depending on what we say/claim that we ‘are’!

24 Therefore whosoever

heareth these sayings of mine,

and doeth them,

I will liken him unto a wise man,

which built his house

upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell not:

for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that

heareth these sayings of mine,

and doeth them not,

shall be likened unto a foolish man,

which built his house

upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell:

and great was the fall of it.”  Matthew 7:19-27

Whether it’s in the construction arena or our spiritual life, a solid foundation is essential to a safe, secure and reliable future!  And JESUS IS the “Rock of Ages” on whom we can depend!  Scripture is replete with references to this very “Rock of Ages”!

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD,

Behold,

I lay in Zion

for a foundation

a stone,

a tried stone,

a precious corner stone,

a sure foundation:

he that believeth

shall not make haste.”  Isaiah 28:16

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners,

but fellowcitizens with the saints,

and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation

of the apostles

and prophets,

Jesus Christ himself

being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly

framed together

groweth unto an holy temple

in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are

builded together

for an habitation of God

through the Spirit.”    Ephesians 2:19-22

To whom coming,

as unto a living stone,

disallowed indeed of men,

but chosen of God,

and precious,

5 Ye also,

as lively stones,

are built up a spiritual house,

an holy priesthood,

to offer up spiritual sacrifices,

acceptable to God

by Jesus Christ.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture,

Behold, I lay in Sion

a chief corner stone,

elect,

precious:

and he that believeth on him

shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe

he is precious:

but unto them which be disobedient,

the stone

which the builders disallowed,

the same

is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling,

and a rock of offence,

even to them which stumble

at the word,

being disobedient:

whereunto also they were appointed.”  1 Peter 2:4-8

My simple question for each of us is, “Have you come to the Rock of Ages for salvation, by repentance and faith in Jesus, or will you be crushed when you face Him?”  While it may seem over-simplistic, the truth is that we can believe and bow before HIM now as Lord and Savior, or we will bow before HIM as judge—with no opportunity to accept the saving grace He is offering you today!

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name

which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow,

of things in heaven,

and things in earth,

and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue

should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.”   Philippians 2:8-11

The question isn’t ‘will you bow?’! The question is ‘when?’ will you bow before Him; now to receive His saving grace, or will you bow before Him at the Great White Throne with no recourse and no excuse!

For the wrath of God is revealed

from heaven

against all ungodliness

and unrighteousness

of men,

who hold the truth

in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God

is manifest in them;

for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him

from the creation of the world

are clearly seen,

being understood

by the things that are made,

even his eternal power

and Godhead;

so that they are without excuse:”  Romans 1:18-20.

God hasn’t changed, nor will He ever change—He “is love” and He has offered you salvation in HIS Son, Jesus; but if you choose to reject Him, there is a day of reckoning coming. While I know this isn’t a very popular truth, it is truth, and I must share it—I pray that you will receive it with all the love that God has intended, as a warning to avoid the judgment for sin! And I offer this warning, as a friend of mine often says, “in His love and mine”!

And I saw a great white throne,

and him that sat on it,

from whose face the earth and the heaven

fled away;

and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead,

small

and great,

stand before God;

and the books were opened:

and another book was opened,

which is the book of life:

and the dead were judged

out of those things which were written

in the books,

according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead

which were in it;

and death

and hell delivered up the dead

which were in them:

and they were judged

every man

 according to their works.

14 And death and hell

were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written

in the book of life

was cast into the lake of fire.”    Revelation 20:11-15

Check out your foundation—the storms will come in this life, and judgment will come for all, and the ‘rock’ or the ‘sand’ will be manifest.  Are you building on “The Rock of Ages”?  Or are you building on the ‘sinking sand’?  The choice is yours, but there is a test coming!

Amen and Amen!