Isaiah 28:16, “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed”
Hebrews 6:19, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast”
Today I want to share with you another old favorite hymn of mine entitled “The Solid Rock”. It was written by Edward Mote (1797-1874). He wasn’t brought up in a godly home and didn’t have the advantage of early exposure to Scripture. In fact, his parents managed a pub in London and often neglected young Edward, who spent most of his Sundays playing in the city streets. Of his theological upbringing, he said “So ignorant was I that I did not know that there was a God.” However, the testimony of his life is one that should inspire all Christians.
Edward became exposed to the precious Word of God, and was baptized at the age of 18. This event, however, did not send Mote immediately into the ministry. He was apprenticed to become a cabinetmaker, a career which he successfully conducted for another 37 years. Eventually, at the age of 55, he became pastor of a Baptist church in Horsham, Sussex, where he did not miss a Sunday in the pulpit for the next 21 years. He resigned from this pastorate in 1873 due to ill health, and died the following year at the age of 77.
My beloved, this old hymn, penned by the son of neglectful pub-keepers in London, has become one of the most beloved gospel hymns in the Church today. The basic message strongly sets forth Christ’s righteousness as the only requirement for salvation, making it very much a “Hymn of Grace.” I trust you will enjoy this great hymn as much as I do.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
Judson Carlberg, the President of Gordon College, was driving along the ocean near his home in Massachusetts one day when he saw two stately 17th-century sailing ships. They were replicas that were built for a movie being filmed nearby. “The breeze was stiff,” Carlberg reported, “straining the rigging and the crews. Yet, each ship stayed the course and didn’t capsize.” He explained the secret of their stability. “Beneath the waterline each ship had a deep, heavy keel, a part you don’t see.” The keel was essential for keeping the vessel steady in rough weather.
If you are born again, what is it that holds you steady when fierce winds are blowing across life’s sea? What is it that keeps you from capsizing when you’re under stress and tension? What is it that enables you to sail on, despite the strain? My beloved, it’s the stabilizing keel of your steadfast faith in your Redeemer and Savior, Jesus Christ, the solid rock! As He commanded the wind and the waves on the Sea of Galilee, He also controls the storms and squalls of life that threaten to sink and drive you off course. Your faith in Christ Jesus is an “anchor of the soul” that can keep you from ultimate shipwreck.
Do you have that unseen keel of faith, the solid rock, of Jesus Christ and His righteousness in your life? If not, I would urge you to respond by faith to His sacrificial love and accept His invitation to everlasting life, forgiveness, and peace. The ability to love and forgive can only begin after you have been forgiven by God. Have you taken that first step? Have you experienced the joy of a restored relationship with God through the forgiveness of your sins that He offers only through faith in His Son Jesus Christ? If not, humble yourself, acknowledge your inability to pay the debt of your sin, ask Him to forgive you, and accept His forgiveness. Accept and trust Christ today with your life and your eternity. The forgiveness, love, hope, and encouragement that you’ve been seeking are found only in a personal relationship with Him.
We have an anchor that keeps the soul,
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love – Owens
Faith in Jesus Christ will keep you steady in the stormy sea of life.