devotional

21APR
2012

The rock of salvation

 

       Just before his execution, the Athenian philosopher Socrates (~470-399 B.C.) said, “All of the wisdom of this world is but a tiny raft upon which we must set sail when we leave this earth. If only there was a firmer foundation upon which to sail, perhaps some divine word.”

What will you say just before your death?

       It was said of the crowds who heard Jesus speak that, “They were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes,” Mark 1:22. Jesus does not talk like men talk; I wonder if you know why? In who or what have you placed your hopes? Is it in the words of a philosopher, a scholar, your parents, or yourself?

       Jesus says elsewhere: "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock,” Luke 6:47-48. Let the floods arise, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe,” Proverbs 18:10. I wonder if Socrates would have accepted 1 Corinthians 3:18? I don’t know.

       How about you? Do you trust in the words of men, or in the word of God? Will you sail from this life into the Judgment on a raft of uncertainty, or will you stand on the rock? Oh, the wisdom of God through the cross! It is the great leveling and assurance made plain to the world. “…We speak wisdom…yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,” 1 Corinthians 2:7. Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. Wisdom, dear reader, says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Matthew 3:2.

       Contrast Paul’s closing words with Socrates’: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing,” 2 Timothy 4:6-8.

       If you won’t take my advice, perhaps you’ll take that of Socrates. All of this world’s wisdom is profitless without righteousness. It is the confession of a Christian that we do not trust in anything other than the blood shed for us on Calvary. We broke the law, but Jesus came and paid our fine. We have eternal life, not because of words, but because we have the Son, 1 John 5:11; John 11:26. How wonderful to love the love of God!

 

While I draw this fleeting breath,

When mine eyes shall close in death,

When I soar to worlds unknown,

See Thee on thy judgment throne,

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee. –Augustus Toplady. “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me.”

 

Amen.

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