“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds
blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; and it fell with a great crash”.
This story is probably familiar to most of us. However, I would like to bring us to the attention that the difference between these men did not lie in the tests which their houses were subjected. Each man’s house alike had to endure the storm- the wind, the rain, the floods. Christianity has never offered anyone a storm-free passage to heaven. On the contrary, as we read from John 16:33: “in this world, you will have trouble”. Now, you and I both know that the Bible means serious business: it means what it says and says what it means. Now let’s go on; we see that the real difference between the two men and their houses is that the wise man built upon a foundation of rock, the foolish man built upon a foundation of sand. The wise man built in such a way that his house came through the storm unmoved and secure; the foolish man built in such a way that his house could not weather the storm.
So then we ask ourselves: just what does it mean for each of us Christians, in plain, simple language?
Christ Himself makes this very plain, for he says: “whoever hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock”.
Thus building upon the rock consists precisely in this: hearing and doing the word of God. That is, by diligently studying and applying in our lives the teaching of God’s Word. As we read in Acts 20:32 “Now I commit you to God and the Word of His grace. Which can build you build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” -it is God’s word and God’s Word alone- as we hear it and do it, as we study it and apply it- which is able to build up within us as believers, a strong, secure edifice of faith, laid upon the foundation of Christ Himself.
This brings us to a subject of supreme importance in the Christian faith: that is, the relationship between Christ and the Bible; and, arising out of this, the relationship of each Christian to the Bible. If Christ is perfectly one with the Bible, then it follows that the relationship of the believer to the Bible must be the same as his relationship to Christ.
The keeping of God’s word is the supreme distinguishing feature which marks out the disciple of Christ from the rest of the world. This can be seen in John 14:23: “Jesus replied. “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him”. The keeping of God’s word is the supreme test of the disciple’s love for God, and the supreme cause of God’s love for the disciple. 1 John 2:4-5 “The man who says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is made truly complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: however, claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
We see from the two passages that it is absolutely impossible to overestimate or overemphasize the importance of the place of God’s word in the life of the Christian believer.
And now to present the truth to you in a direct and personal way: the keeping of God’s word is the supreme distinguishing feature which should mark you out from the world as a disciple of Christ. It is the test of your love for God.
In his study guide “Foundation for Faith” Derek Price says:
“Your attitude towards God’s word is your attitude toward God Himself. You do not love God more than you love His word. You do not obey God more than you obey His word. You do not honor God more than you honor His word. You do not have more room in your heart and life for God than you have for His word. Do you want to know how much God’s word means to you? You can easily find out. Just ask yourself, how much does God’s word mean to me? The answer to the first question is the answer also to the first. God means as much to you as His word means to you- just that and no more.”
In closing, we conclude that: we build upon the foundation in our lives by hearing and doing the word of God. Thus, it is God’s word which builds us up.