Christ, Our Solid Foundation


TABLETALK DEVOTIONS WITH RC SPROUL

Christ, Our Solid Foundation
============================
Matthew 7:24–29 “Everyone then who
hears these words of mine and does them
will be like a wise man who built his
house on the rock” (v. 24).

Some liberal scholars want us to believe that
the Synoptic gospels (Matthew,
Mark, and Luke) do not share John’s
understanding of Christ’s authority (8:58;
10:30) since the first three
evangelists record few, if any, of Jesus’
self-identifications with Yahweh
Himself. However, this “scholarly” assumption
is false. In particular,
Matthew records several teachings of Jesus that
reveal the evangelist’s high
view of our Lord’s person and work (Christology).
For example, Jesus claims
for Himself the right to determine who will enter
the kingdom of heaven in
Matthew 7:21–23, and in the Old Testament only God
Himself makes such
judgments (Eccl. 12:13–14). Furthermore, in the Sermon on
the Mount, Jesus
presents His interpretation of God’s law as having the final
say (Matt.
5:21–48). Christ is no mere prophet — he does not merely speak for
the Lord;
He speaks as the Lord. “I say to you” is what we hear Him say, and
He expects
us to recognize His right to give the meaning of the Scriptures.
Unlike the
scribes, Jesus does not cite other rabbis to prove His point. He
depends
solely on His own understanding, and the crowd that overhears His
sermon is
astonished at the authority with which He teaches (7:28–29).

Matthew
Henry says, “It is possible for people to admire good preaching, and
yet to
remain in ignorance and unbelief; to be astonished, and yet not
sanctified.”
Amazement at Christ’s authority is not enough, today’s passage
reveals. We
must build our lives on the solid foundation of His teaching. If
we do not do
what He says, we are like those whose houses rest upon the sand
and are swept
away by flash floods (vv. 24–27). Our good works do not merit
salvation, but
real trust in Christ is not present in our hearts without the
corresponding
obedience of faith (Rom. 1:5; James 2:14–26).

Building on Christ, Henry
also says, means that we are always seeking “to
conform to all the rules of
his holy religion, and thus depend entirely on him
for assistance from God,
and acceptance with him, and count everything but
loss and rubbish that [we]
may gain Christ, and be found in him.” May our
confession of Jesus’ authority
translate into the doing of His words.

Coram deo: Living before the face
of God
========================================
“On Christ, the solid
rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand,” wrote
Edward Mote. In
endeavoring to serve Jesus, we see how far we fall short of
His demands,
confessing that our righteousness does not exceed that of the
scribes and
Pharisees (Matt. 5:20). This poverty of spirit (v. 3) drives us to
the cross
where Jesus picks us up, making us more sorrowful for sin and more
ready to
obey. This is what it means to build our lives on Christ’s words.

For
further study:

Job 22:16–17

The Bible in a year:

Joshua
13–14

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