Christ the Rock

Acts 4:11 “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.”

Often when we think of Christ as a rock we think of him being our cornerstone. That foundation which the church is built upon and will rest on forever. The foundation which when taken away leaves the rest of the building to crumble and deteriorate, to be blown away as dust and forgotten. This is true of course and must never be forgotten, but we must also remember Christ as a rock of offense and a stumbling block to many. Isaiah 8:14 reads: “and he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”

It is God’s justice that determines whether Christ is a stumbling block or a cornerstone to us. We, who have been elected before the world began, have the privilege to have Christ the cornerstone. Scripture is clear that God has chosen others to be in a relationship with Christ the stumbling block.

We are assured we are built on Christ the cornerstone. This picture is so clear even children can understand it. We think of the game of Jenga. When someone pulls out the bottom piece the whole rest of it will come undone. Christ is that bottom piece upon which everything else rests. As those assured that Christ is our rock, we do not have any right to judge others. Sometimes it seems so obvious to us that others stumble at Christ. We never have the right to judge. God alone is the judge. We are quick to find mistakes in others and accuse them, but we must first look at ourselves (Matthew 7:1-5). We must remain humble and pray for others that they might find their mistake and be led to know Christ the rock. We never truly know whether another is elect or not. Paul is the perfect example. Paul, or Saul, was the infamous persecutor of the church. Out of all the people in the world Paul would have been the first about whom people would have said, “He must stumble at Christ, there is no way Christ is his cornerstone.”

Romans 9 connects all the ideas together by speaking of Christ being laid in Zion as a stumbling stone and rock of offense. Whosoever believeth on the stone by faith shall not be ashamed, but those that seek Christ not by faith shall stumble at the stone.

What a boundless joy knowing that we have Christ as our rock. What an immense assurance to be founded on a rock. That rock which took upon Himself all our sins. The rock which was tempted like as we are yet stood firm and could not be rolled away. How blessed we are to have Christ the rock!

Luke Christian Potjer

Assurance for the New Year

When we look at the world there are many things that frighten us. Tornadoes, wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, AIDS, cancer and many other disasters and diseases cause untold amounts of suffering for thousands of people all over the world.  Homosexuality and transgenderism are rising in popularity and their advocates are screaming out for our hearty approval and endorsement of their wicked lifestyle, branding anyone who speaks out against it an “intolerant bigot,” “homophobe,” “transphobe” and worse. Feminists cry out for more abortion funding and call anyone who doesn’t jump on their bandwagon “sexist.” Then there are the problems in the church. Many of the same evils found in the world around us are also found in the church. Then there is our own sin. We all have sins of various sorts whether it be anger, pride, laziness or not putting spiritual matters at the front and center of our lives. As we begin 2018, we may wonder, is there any place for refuge? Is there anywhere we can go to escape from these and other troubling thoughts? The answer is yes. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust” (Psalm 91:1, 2). God provides us refuge in the storms of life. “He shall cover thee with His feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust” (Psalm 91:4). The remaining verses of this Psalm talk about the “pestilence” and “destruction” that rage around us like a tornado, the great wickedness in both the world and the church that seeks to overwhelm us. Despite all of the wickedness and apostasy around us, God watches over us and protects us in His sovereign providence. This doesn’t mean that life will be an easy, affliction-free breeze, but it does mean that somehow, in some way that we won’t always completely understand, He is working all things out for our good. We’ll still get sick, lose our jobs, break bones, and maybe even have family members or friends turn on us and leave the church. There will be great pain in our lives, but when we look by faith at what God has planned for us, we know that He is watching over every step we take and that when we feel alone, He is always there to guide us. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord which made Heaven and Earth” (Psalm 121:1, 2). May God grant us this comfort in the year that lies before us!

Kevin Rau