The church has always used hymns to teach great Christian truths. This Sunday we will be singing, The Solid Rock, which teaches the principle of Luke 6:46-49 about building our life on the Rock. Below is an except from my book, Guard Your Soul (available free tomorrow on Kindle), that teaches this principle. As we sing The Solid Rock tomorrow morning at church, let us confess to one another and to God that we want to build our house on the Rock.
Where are you Building?
Jesus finishes his sermon with a practical appeal for action. Luke 6: 46-49,
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’, and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hearts my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.
Jesus has just laid out His ethic of love. He calls His people to love their enemies, to be merciful, to judge not, to forgive, to help their brothers, and to treasure good things. Jesus decides to finish His sermon with a call to obedience. He says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you?” Jesus is saying that He cannot be your Lord if you do not follow His words. If you call Him Lord, but do not follow Him, what you are actually saying is that He is not your Lord. Your actions display your true beliefs. This is why the self-examined life is so important.
We may say we want to obey Jesus, but if we never examine our lives we may never know if we are actually obeying Jesus. It is so easy to fall into a routine and allow complacency to overtake our souls. Look at the fruit of obedience, in verse 47, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like.”
Three things happen in this verse: people come to Jesus, they hear His Words and they follow His words. This is the Christian life. We come to Jesus and hear His Words, and do what He says. And when we do, we will be a like man, who dug down deep and built his house on the Rock.
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.
His Oath, His Covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.
Believers that treasure Jesus Christ will not be shaken during the great storms of life, for they have built well. For they have built on the rock solid foundation of Jesus Christ.
The one who hears and does not do them is like a man that built his house with no foundation. When the flood came, the house fell, and it was utterly destroyed. Jesus is showing that there really are only two options: Stand in the flood or be destroyed. The decision is yours.
Friend, do not be deceived, calling him Lord without doing what He says is no lordship at all. Guard your soul from self-deception. Following Jesus requires us to examine our lives. We must make sure that we are not deceived in believing that Jesus Christ is our Lord when we do not do what He says.
The question is not whether Jesus Christ is Lord? He is Lord, but are you living as if He is your Lord? Everyone will bow their knee to Jesus Christ as Lord. The call that God gives in Jesus Christ is to bow willingly and serve Him as Lord before He makes you bow forcefully in the last day.
The aged bishop, Polycarp, a disciple of the apostle John and bishop of Smyrna, honored the Roman authorities under whom he lived—until they asked for more honor than he gave to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The following is a paraphrased version of the historian Eusebius’s (History of the Church, IV, 15) account of Polycarp’s final hours:
“Are you Polycarp?” the Roman proconsul asked.
“Swear to Rome, and I will set you free. Execrate Christ!”
“For eighty-six years,” replied Polycarp, “I have been his servant, and he has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my king who saved me?”
“I have wild beasts,” said the proconsul. “I shall throw you to them if you don’t change your attitude.” “Call them,” replied the saint. “We cannot change our attitude if it means a change from better to worse.” “If you make light of the beasts,” retorted the governor, “I’ll have you destroyed by fire, unless you change your attitude.”
Polycarp answered: “The fire you threaten burns for a time and is soon extinguished. There is a fire you know nothing about—the fire of the judgment to come and of eternal punishment, the fire reserved for the ungodly. But why do you hesitate? Do what you want.”
The proconsul was amazed, and sent the crier to stand in the middle of the arena and announce three times: “Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian.” The crowd roared in unison that Polycarp must be burned alive.
When the wood was laid around his feet, Polycarp prayed:
O Father of thy beloved and blessed Son, Jesus Christ, through whom we have come to know thee, the God of angels and powers and all creation, and of the whole family of the righteous who live in thy presence; I bless thee for counting me worthy of this day and hour, that in the number of the martyrs I may partake of Christ’s cup, to the resurrection of eternal life of both soul and body in the imperishability that is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Upon his “Amen,” the pyre was lighted and Polycarp gave up his life in submission to the governing authority—after submitting himself to his chief Governing Authority.[i]
Polycarp served Jesus Christ as Lord.
The storm of death came upon him, and he was not shaken because he had dug deep and built his house on the Rock. Serve Jesus Christ as Lord. Build your house on the Rock.