“Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; 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. 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; 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.”
In these words Christ presents before us two classes of builders. One class build upon the rock, and the building is proof against the force of the tempest, for the foundation is sure. The other class build upon the sand, and the house is swept away before the fury of the storm. It is important to us to know how we are building. Are we simply hearers of the words of Christ, or are we doers of them? The answer to this question will tell upon what foundation we are building. If we are obedient to the words of Christ, we are building wisely. In order to build securely, we must be like Christ, He said, “I have kept My Father’s commandments.” John writes, “He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.”
The popular teaching of the present day is largely made up of the injunction, “Believe, make a profession,” and that is the end of obligation to God. But saving faith is a working faith; it will accomplish something for our character and life, for it works by love, and purifies the soul. It makes the Lord’s great standard of righteousness the standard of the life, and brings the heart into obedience to the divine precepts. The law of God condemns all sin, and requires all righteousness. It demands not only an outward profession of godliness, but also a pure heart, a spotless character. The law of God is adapted to all men, to the conditions of every nation and period. There are many in this age who cast contempt upon the law of God, even from the pulpit; and many who profess holiness cry, “Away with the law.” But those who turn away from God’s great standard of righteousness, only turn to a standard of their own, which they exalt in self-righteousness. While living in transgression of God’s law, their claims to holiness bring contempt upon the law of God. Those who have this loose kind of religion are represented by the foolish man who built his house upon the sand; they are hearers, but not doers, of the word. The religion that will stand the test is characterized by a living faith that will unite us as closely to Christ as the branch is united to the living vine.
How anxious, how determined, we should be to build upon the right foundation; for we know that every soul is to be tested, and only those will stand the test who build upon the solid Rock, Christ Jesus. When the truth of God has found its way into our hearts, and we receive it in love, we shall be enlightened as to what we must do to be saved. We shall have no self-sufficient spirit. The more we search the Bible, meditating upon its precepts, the more clearly we shall see the reasonableness, the perfection, the beauty, of the divine requirements. We shall realize that the law, holy and just and good, is at variance with selfishness, with deception, with unchaste thoughts and actions, and we shall feel our dependence upon Christ for strength to receive and to fulfill the requirement of God. When we accept the testimony of Scripture, and incorporate its teaching into our life our friends will see a work of transformation in us. We are in this world that through the grace of Christ we may develop a pure character, like unto the Master’s. Such a character will make us successful candidates for an eternal home in the kingdom of glory.
John saw a company in white robes standing around the throne of God, and he says: “One of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb?” This is the work that we must do in this day of preparation. We are to cleanse our characters, and imitate the life of Christ. We must build upon the sure foundation; for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
But every building erected on other foundation than God’s word, will fall. He who, like the Jews in Christ’s day, builds on the foundation of human ideas and opinions of forms and ceremonies of man’s invention, or on any work that he can do independently of the grace of Christ, is erecting his structure of character upon the shifting sand. The fierce tempests of temptation will sweep away the sandy foundation, and leave his house a wreck on the shores of time.
You who are resting your hope on self, are building on the sand. But it is not yet too late to escape the impending ruin. Before the tempest breaks, flee to the sure foundation. “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone of sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste.” “Look unto Me, and be ye saved all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.”1The Signs of the Times, September 8, 1909
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|1.||↑||The Signs of the Times, September 8, 1909|