Hebrews 10:23-27 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (26) For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Last week we looked at New Year’s resolutions and saw that there is nothing wrong with them, but they should focus on the spiritual first before we resolve to do the physical resolutions. Each of us are able to keep New Year’s resolutions if we have Jesus Christ at the center of them. It is only through His influence and guidance that we can accomplish anything worthy in God’s eyes. That is because Jesus Christ is suppose to be our foundation and it is on Him alone that we can truly solidly stand. A short man wanted to drive a nail in a wall to carry a big picture. He stood on a chair, but it was not high enough. His wife set out a small box and, balancing himself precariously, he began to give the nail hesitating taps with the hammer. His wife said, “Why don’t you give a brave blow or two, and settle it?”
He replied, “How can a man give a brave blow or two when he is standing on a foundation like this?”
That settles the question of certainty or uncertainty. It depends upon the foundation upon which the person is standing. The Hebrew prophets never sounded a note of uncertainty, for God Almighty was their Foundation, and they knew that He stood behind their “Thus saith the Lord.”
Every believer should be able to speak with surety about Jesus Christ because they know Him and know who He is. The more time we spend with Him, the better we will know Him. And He must be the foundation of our faith. If we replace Him with any other foundation, we will no longer stand on sure, holy ground.
Matthew 21:42-44 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? (43) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (44) And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
In Matthew 21, Christ calls Himself the measuring stone, or, as it is translated in our Bibles, the cornerstone. He is quoting Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. The cornerstone, in the minds of most Americans, is the stone that tells that a building was erected at a certain time, when a certain person was mayor, and so on. It is merely an exaltation of man. But when the Bible refers to a cornerstone, it refers to the first stone laid for the foundation. The builders would get a stone from the quarry and chisel it carefully to get as near a right angle as possible. They would measure the placement of all the other stones against that cornerstone, that first measuring stone. It was the standard by which all the walls of the building were determined.
When Jesus Christ is called the cornerstone, God is saying, “I measure everything by Jesus Christ.”
Because it is God’s standards that He measures everything by Jesus Christ and that Jesus Christ is the foundation of the believer’s faith, that people should heed the warning Jesus Christ gave in Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. It would be better to be on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ rather than under the foundation. Turn to 1 Peter 2.
1Peter 2:1-8 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, (2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (3) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (4) To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, (5) Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (6) Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (7) Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, (8) And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Jesus Christ is the Rock of all believer’s foundations. People try to replace Him with other things, but they are like shifting sand and will not hold the person up in the long run. The foundation will shift and the person will sink or fall over. Think about the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. The tower was built over a time frame of 177 years and is seven stories tall with a bell tower. After two floors were built, it began to shift in the ground and tilt. The name of the city, Pisa, means “marshy ground” which explains part of the problem. The other problem is that the foundation of the Tower is only about ten feet deep. As they continued to build the Tower, they began to build the walls on the side that was leaning taller to compensate for the lean. If the Tower were made to stand up straight now, it would appear curved. The builders constructed the Tower on a poor foundation and the results are obvious. The top floor of the Tower leans over almost thirteen feet from where it would be if it stood straight.
Likewise, in a person’s life, if the foundation is not Jesus Christ the person will eventually topple over into sin. Why? Because they do not have the right foundation. Jesus Christ is the solid rock on which we are to stand. Look again at verses 6 and 7 in 1 Peter: Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (7) Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,. The person that trusts on Jesus Christ as their foundation will not be confounded. That word “confounded” is interesting: today people define the word to mean “confused or perplexed” but Webster’s Dictionary of 1858 states: “To mingle and blend different things, so that their forms or natures cannot be distinguished; to mix in a mass or crowd, so that individuals cannot be distinguished. To throw into disorder. To mix or blend, so as to occasion a mistake of one thing for another.” Think about that for a moment: Peter wrote, under Holy Spirit inspiration: Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. When Jesus Christ is the foundation, believers will not be confounded. That means than that the believer will not be confused: remember the definition from Webster’s Dictionary: “To mingle and blend different things, so that their forms or natures cannot be distinguished; to mix in a mass or crowd, so that individuals cannot be distinguished.” When a person has made Jesus Christ their foundation, when a person has made Jesus Christ their corner stone, then they will NOT be confused with other people! One person should be able to look at a believer in Jesus Christ and see that there is something different about the believer through their words and actions. It should be difficult to mix up a believer from a non-believer. He or she that believes in Jesus Christ should be distinguishable from the rest of the world! “We are not to be isolated but insulated,” said Vance Havner, “moving in the midst of evil but untouched by it.” Separation is contact with contamination. Jesus was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26), yet He was “a friend of tax publicans and sinners” (Luke 7:34). All believers must be careful about what their words and actions say about Jesus Christ to non-believers. Look at verse 8.
1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Jesus Christ, as the Rock, is the foundation for the believer, but for the non-believer, Jesus Christ is the stone that trips people and offends people. Why? Consider when you are walking across a field, especially one you are familiar with, when you suddenly trip over something unexpected. For the next few moments you are confused and confounded, because you did not expect to trip. That is exactly what Jesus Christ does to the lost, the non-believer: they are comfortable in their own little world until Jesus Christ trips them up through His Word. They stagger at His Word and cannot regain their balance because Jesus Christ is a large rock to stumble over. And think about this Christmas season we just finished celebrating: people have celebrated Christmas and, at the same time, have rejected Jesus Christ! The Apostle John wrote: John 1:10-11 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not. Can you imagine celebrating someone’s birthday and not inviting the one whose birthday you are celebrating? But that is exactly what is happening in the world today. Go back to Hebrews 10.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Note that the writer of Hebrews tells believers to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. That means believers are to grab on and not let go and it also means that the faith is something tangible – someone we CAN grab onto. Remember from last week, it is not the amount of our faith that is first important, no, what IS important is WHO we have our faith in: Jesus Christ. We can sit down in the same chair everyday for year and feel confident that that chair will not break. But if we sit down in that chair every day for twenty years, we probably should not have the same amount of faith in that chair. Plus the chair will not look as good as it did twenty years earlier because of wear and tear. However, Jesus Christ can be trusted everyday forever and He can always be the only object of faith and always looks better the longer we know Him. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
Jesus Christ is the only solid foundation that believers can always trust and believe in. Believers can hold fast onto Him and not waver or have any doubts while doing it. If we would always keep our eyes on Him, then we would not waver or lean. When you have a little child, you teach them to carry their dinner plate with both hands. Why? Because using both hands makes the plate more stable and food is less likely to fall off. But what happens as the child grows older? They want to start using one hand because they believe they are older now and can carry the plate that way. They have faith in their ability, but what happens? At some point the plate tips and loses food, because they were not really ready to carry the plate with one hand. Believers in Jesus Christ are the same way, we grab onto Him in faith with both hands, but then, after a while, we slowly start to let go and our grip loosens and what happens? We have begun to waver. We are no longer holding fast onto the object of our faith and have replaced Him with a different object: ourselves. And we are a poor foundation to build upon. Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Jesus Christ is faithful and true to His promises – it is us that waver and doubt. Hebrews 13:5b, 6 …for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Because Jesus Christ is the foundation, believers should hold fast onto Him. He is faithful and will never forsake His children. He is the Good Shepherd that will go after that one lamb that has gone astray. Believers should never doubt Him, but when we do, we must realize that we have taken our eyes off of Him and realize that we are no longer holding fast to Him. When we have done that and come to our senses, then we must repent and ask God for forgiveness. It is humbling, to be sure, but we must repent and hold fast to Jesus Christ again. Charles Spurgeon wrote this about doubt: There are many who cannot believe in Jesus because they have a besetting sin that they cannot give up. There is the bottom of most men’s doubts. They would not doubt if they did not sin. If they could have their sins and be believers, they would be believers fast enough. But there is that company that must be given up, that company which, instead of sanctifying the soul, depraves it. Salvation is by faith. Damnation comes by doubt. Of all of God’s creations, only one doubts. Do you see the animals ever doubt? No, man does doubt, but when man holds fast to Jesus Christ, he never needs to doubt.
Let me meet you on the mountain, Lord,
You wouldn’t have to burn a whole bush.
Just a few smoking branches
And I would surely be …your Moses.
Let me meet you on the water, Lord,
It wouldn’t have to be on White Rock Lake.
Just on a puddle after the annual Dallas rain
And I would surely be…your Peter.
Let me meet you on the road, Lord,
You wouldn’t have to blind me on North Central Expressway.
Just a few bright lights on the way to chapel
And I would surely be…your Paul.
Let me meet you, Lord,
Just meeting you in the Word is so hard sometimes
Must I always be…your Thomas? – Norman Shirk