2005-03-06 — On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand

Lent 9:
Date: March 6, 2005

Theme: On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand

ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND
I. Build in straight line with God’s structure.
II. Build, firmly attached to God’s foundation.
III. Build with the support of the cross of Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

– Ude, John

Cached Video:

The Order of Worship:

Liturgy: TLH, p. 5 ff.

Hymns:

TLH 5 : Lord, Open Thou my Heart to Hear Hymnary.org link
TLH 370 : My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less Hymnary.org link
TLH 473 : The Church's One Foundation Hymnary.org link
TLH 306 : Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Hast Prepared Hymnary.org link
TLH 429 : Lord, Thee I Love with all my Heart Hymnary.org link
TLH 313 : O Lord, We Praise Thee Hymnary.org link

Theme: On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand

ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND
I. Build in straight line with God’s structure.
II. Build, firmly attached to God’s foundation.
III. Build with the support of the cross of Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (ESV)

Sermon: 1 Corinthians 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

In the name of Jesus March 6, 2005
A structural engineer brought a shake table to our Grace CDS for a Lyceum. The children got to actually make structures which were put on the shake table which then simulated an earth quake. Some structures had some unique designs. But curves and bends away from the structural support simply could not hold up. One student from the beginning built his structure straight and with great support throughout but did not match the building footings with the shake table’s points of connection so couldn’t get it firmly attached to the foundation. The building held together but toppled and efforts to adapt the two didn’t provide a firm foundation. Another student saw his structure wobble and break where he had used long spans of unsupported materials but redesigned it with support throughout and it held together. The lesson: “On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand.”
Curves away from the structural support simply do not hold up. Paul was dealing with such a structure at Corinth. A group of Christians had joined that congregation, who boasted a superior knowledge of Christianity, a wisdom that set them free to do whatever they desired: So since they could get good deals on meat that had been sacrificed in the idol’s temples, they told those concerned about associating with idolatry: “we know that an idol is nothing.” Thus they ignored the connection to the Devil, the mockery of God and the offense to their neighbor. In puffed up pride they just curved out going their own way. In their exalted knowledge, they also argued that since God created the sexual desire just as the hunger desire, therefore it is just as appropriate to satisfy the one with any person as the other with any food. They even pointed to a case of incest as the proof of their superior spiritual maturity that they were free in Christ, because they could condone such behavior (5:2). Our sinful flesh and Liberalism still boast, contrary to God’s Word, “I’m a Christian,” ( 1:12) “all things are lawful for me” (6:12). God’s grace is blasphemously flaunted as the intoxicating liberty to sin. In contrast to such blatant curving away from God’s structure, we can easily sit back and say, well, I’m glad I don’t do anything like that. But the same sinful nature is at work seeking to exalt itself in every one of us. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (10:12). So the person who thinks, “I don’t have to worry about that,” is already exalting himself and his knowledge in the same self-assertive way. Paul warns V.2 that curving out in our way is always carnal, sinful. In the structure that will stand through eternity, everything (the workers, the ground, the building) is God’s. Build in straight line with God’s structure.
One student remember had problems adapting a strong structure to the foundation. With all the behavioral problems everywhere in the world: children, neighbors, work and self, there are structures for moral behavior of every possible kind. Many provide what they at least think is a complete, straight structure. Freudian Psychoanalysis says the problem is that we are suppressing our desires (Id) and covering up our feelings of guilt (superego). It says that we need to change our behavior by approving (ego) and satisfying our desires and so set our self free from any feelings of guilt and we will have a complete, straight structure. It’s been given a modern face lift, teaching people to take personal responsibility for their lives. Sounds so good, like Satan’s lie to Eve. And they mean the same thing: “You choose what is right for you and then you’ll be a whole person. But just like the hornet’s nest in Corinth this self fulfillment topples because it does not match the foundation of Christ. Skinnerian Behavior Modification says the problem is the environment: “If we surround people with love, acceptance and opportunities with proper rewards they will build a structure that’s in line with society and that’s strong enough to support themselves. If people are provided the things they need, they will become productive citizens supporting society.” But just like the hornet’s nest in Corinth this rejection of God’s standard topples because it does not match the foundation of Christ. And there are structures out there that are morally straight and strong, in line with God’s commandments. Man must lift himself up in moral integrity to live in righteousness. Too easily we revert to this foundation. I asked a preschool VBS class, “If Jesus stood in front of you on judgment day and asked you, “Have you been good?” would you say: “Yes, Jesus I’ve been good.” or “I’m a sinner, Jesus forgive me.” Down the line, they all said, “I’ve been good.” I asked, “Do you mean you have not fought but are always helping, loving and obeying your parents?” “Yes, yes, yes.” “So can I ask your parents?” “No, no, no.” So just like the hornet’s nest in Corinth this elevation of man’s goodness topples because it doesn’t even recognize the real problem, so it can’t match the foundation of Christ. V:11 “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” The strongest, best supported structure if it has only a flimsy attachment to Christ is going to topple when that earthquake shakes that shatters time. Each of us needs to be so completely attached to Christ that we are finding in Him the assurance, “Your sins have been forgiven so you are the very home and temple of the LORD.” So Build, firmly attached to God’s foundation. Another student, remember, saw his structure wobble and break where he had used long spans of unsupported materials. Paul redesigns the Corinthian congregation to support it throughout with the cross of Christ. He will not build V. 12 with the wood, hay and straw of man’s self fulfillment, man’s rejection of God’s standard, or even man’s moral integrity. For they will all burn to ashes. He builds alone with the gold, silver and precious stones of the cross of Christ, the message of sin and grace. This is the support needed through every part of the building of our life or it will not survive that earthquake that shatters time. Standing on the cross of Christ we will cast away the exaltation of our own wisdom as a license to do whatever we desire. Ch 8:11 “because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.” Before “you do these things to your brethren,” by the holy blood of Christ, “why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be defrauded?” (6:7,8) Standing on the cross of Christ reveals that satisfying sexual desires outside of marriage is a mockery of the grace which bought us with the price of the cross, making us members of Christ, participants in the resurrection, and temples of the Holy Spirit. (6:15) “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!” (6:19,20) “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Standing on the cross of Christ moves us to exchange the life of my sinful desires for the life in Christ so that Gal 2:20 “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” He is the rock no flood can wash away (Mt 7:25) that Hell itself cannot overturn. Here is the solid Rock that richly and daily gives you forgiveness and life, creating that new heart that says, “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions and “yes” to sober righteousness, zealously doing good works (Titus 2:11-14) to glorify the cross of Christ. Build your whole life with the support of the cross of Christ. What will
that final shake table reveal about your structure? Are there curves out of line with Christ, weak attachments to the foundation of Christ, or spans unsupported by Christ? Or will it reveal: “On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand?” Amen.