The Rock or the Sinking Sand: Laying a Deep Foundation
Good morning. I would like to thank you for having me here today. If you would, please turn with me to Luke chapter 6 and verse 46. Luke 6:46. [READ LUKE 6:46-49] The context of this passage is that Jesus is giving a series of parables to the people. Having just given the example of the inability of blind to lead the blind in a previous parable, Jesus declares that there will be those who are spiritually blind who will declare, “Lord Lord,” but being blind to the things of God, they will not be able to find the great door to heaven. Just to give each of us a mental picture, imagine a great set of double doors made of the most precious and shining metals. Glorious lights shining upon them, and just for fun, a great big “welcome” sign awaiting the faithful Christian. Now imagine the spiritually blind who will never see this glorious sight. Why is it that they would be blind to such a great and powerful sight? Let’s look to our passage for the answer.
Jesus is pointing out to those who are declaring His name, but are not living the life that God has set in front of | VI. Those who listen to God’s Word and do nothing are the blind that Jesus is talking about a. Message is not for those within reach of voice, but in reach of message VII. Not just listen, but act a. Child example b. Reflect, think, speak, and act VIII. Three little pigs intro |
them, that is, they are hearing and saying “amen” or “yes I agree,” but then sit quietly; when in reality they need to make a decision, stand, or act for Christ; it is those people that Jesus refers to as the blind as there is something wrong with their relationship with the Lord. Or more likely, they may be lacking a relationship to begin with. Now looking to our passage, the people that Jesus is speaking to is not just the person within reach of His voice, but to all who are within reach of His message. Folks, that means you and that means me.
But it is not just listening to His message that He wants us to do. If you tell a child to do something, but they just act like they are listening and give you that glazed over stare, they really haven’t been listening at all. No! Jesus was not speaking to hear His own voice; He delivered a message for people to reflect…to think…to speak…and to do what He has told them to do.
Do you remember the story of the three little pigs? The first pig built his house quickly with straw; the second took a little more time by using wood; but that third pig built his house on a solid foundation made | IX. Building on a solid rock a. Read v. 47b. Responsible to listen and do what God tells us to do, or not to do c. James 2:18-24, 26d. James not talking about works for salvatione. Talks about works in response to salvation |
layer by layer with solid brick. And when the wolf came to trample their houses, it is only the one that built his house on the firm foundation that is safe from that wolf. To the people that do what Jesus tells them, they are the people that are digging deep to find the rock, then build their house on the foundation of that rock.
Let’s work through our passage. First, Jesus discusses the man who builds his house on a solid rock. It is not just a person who listens to what Jesus is telling them, but has action to follow. Look at verse 47. [READ V. 47] Our responsibility to God is to listen to His word and to do what He tells us to do. Or not to do what He tells us not to do as the case may be; such as to lie, steal or fornicate. This reminds me of what we are told in the book of James. Just real quickly, turn to James chapter 2 and verse 18, James 2:18 [READ V 18-24]. Verse 26 [READ V 26]. James does not say that our actions can or do provide salvation. The doing of the works that James is talking about is not a path to salvation, rather, these works are in response to the faith that we have in the salvation of Jesus Christ. In our text, the man that builds his house on the Rock of Jesus Christ, that man will not just hear the Word, but will act upon the Word in faith. To quote the commentator Matthew Henry, “They are like a house built on a rock. These are they that take pains in religion, as they do,—that dig deep, that found their hope upon Christ, who is the Rock of ages (and other foundation can no man lay); these are they who provide for hereafter, who get ready for the worst, who lay up in store a good foundation for the time to come, for the eternity to come.”[i] These are the men and women that will keep their comfort, peace, hope, and joy even through the storms that are to come. And they will come. They have peace because the Rock that they set their life and hope upon is much higher than any storm can reach. The apostle Paul writes, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Their eternal welfare is secure because they believe and trust on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ. They have taken action based on their faith and the promise of God. Have you taken action with God’s Word?
Now for those in the second part of our passage, these are the men and women that hear the Word and do nothing. They prepare for a disastrous disappointment. Verse 49. [READ V. 49] Their house is built on the sand which shifts over time. They place their hope on the things of this world. We see that today with the many issues facing us: from defining marriage to when life begin all the way to those who are attempting to find fault in the Bible. Now let me say that the Word of God is solid and it is indestructible, but there are those who will and do attack it. When the world begins to beat and wear on the person who has built their house after the things of the world that they live in, that is, they have built their house on the sand, they will have no peace. The waters rise and the stream beats on the house, and it is gone. This is the hope of the one who hears the Word of God and does nothing with what they have just heard. This person has had no response. He may gain slightly in this world, but when his days on earth have ended, he now has to face a Holy and Mighty God, and judgment will fall upon him. His foundation in the sand of the world will not sustain God’s ultimate judgment.
Now do you remember our illustration with the three little pigs and the wolf? Each pig can represent a person and where they are in their walk with Christ; and the wolf is the world that we live in that will consume every ounce of our witness and our life if it can. The first and second pigs are a lot alike. They both built a house and declared that house as “good enough for me”. The first pig proclaims, “Oh God, yeah, I believe in Him.” Then he does nothing more. His house is made of straw because his belief is by mere words only. It is the acknowledgment by lip service alone, but there is no fruit in his life, and most likely, there is no relationship at all. The second pig proclaims, “God, yeah I believe in Him, I even pray sometimes.” His house is built out of wood because his belief runs but only skin deep, that is, he proclaims belief in God and occasionally prays, but his prayers are usually based on his needs alone. There is no prayer for others, and a lack of thankfulness to the Lord. He has not had any sort of change in his life and does not repent, or turn from, his sins. He has not really believed on the promise of God any more than the first pig, with the exception that he believes that God will bless him because he prays. Did you know that somewhere around 86% of Americans believe in God? And most of these people pray. But they pray to the god of their own making and do not have salvation because they have not believed on God’s promise, that is, on Jesus.
Looking at the second pig, his house is but one step further than the house made of straw, and both lack a major piece of the puzzle - trust. When the trials of the world trample on through, or the wolf in the story of the three little pigs; the houses built on sand and made of straw or wood will not stand strong. They are the houses built on the sand of philosophy and claimed religion, but with no solid trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. These houses will fall when the rain and storms pass through.
Now for that last pig, he spent time to build his house. He dug deep to find the bedrock. He not only proclaims belief in God, remember that passage in James where James tells us that even the demons believe in God, but he also trusts in Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He stands strong on the foundation that Jesus laid for him. And then he took the time to lay one brink upon the other until he had a solid house that would weather the storms of this world. We call this process sanctification; and sanctification simply means the carrying on of the work that began in you when you accepted Jesus as your Savior. Once you have accepted Christ, you are always saved, but if you do not continue His work through your actions, it is easy to become what one Pastor has referred to as a worthless Christian. And a worthless Christian is one that has been saved by the grace of God, but does nothing with his salvation outside of himself. He is the third pig, but he hasn’t put the roof on the house yet. He does not complete the work that God has set out for him; the work that Jesus told each one of us to do in Matthew 28:19-20. [READ MATTHEW 28:19-20]
But for the one that has laid one brick upon the other building a solid structure, this is the person that spends time with the Lord in prayer; and not just the prayers of “I need this” and “I need that,” but in prayer of thankfulness to the Lord and of genuine concern for others. This is the person that also spends time in devotion beyond Sundays. This is the Christian that heeds the message of Jesus and doesn’t just hear what Jesus has to say, but acts on what Jesus has to say. He takes God seriously and acts upon what God instructs him to do. I’m going to repeat that as I think it is important. The Christian that heeds the message of Jesus and does not just let the message pass through his or her ears, but rather acts on what He has said; it is that Christian that has built his house on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ.
Where is your house built? Have you built your house, your spiritual life, on the sand of this world, or the Rock of Jesus Christ? Maybe you feel that you have been treading in the sand. I invite you today to come and pray, and ask Jesus to rebuild your house on His solid rock. Maybe you have been coming to this church for some time, but have not yet made the decision to join this fellowship of believers. I invite you to come. Please, don’t be the one that hears God’s Word and does nothing, leaving you on the sands of inaction when judgment comes. Build your house on the Rock of Jesus Christ. I invite you to come.
Other passages of reference
God as the Rock: Deut 32:4
Salvation – on the Rock of God: Psalm 62:1-8
Rock and fortress of refuge: Psalm 31:1-5
We will have burdens, but if we cast them to the feet of God, He will bare those burdens: Psalm 55:22
[i]Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996, c1991), Lk 6:37.