Preaching Christ as the Immovable Man
It is God’s design for His chosen people to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Rom 8:29; 1 Pet 2:9). Therefore, it is imperative for God’s elect, redeemed people to learn Christ (2 Pet 3:18), in order to know Him (Phil 3:10). This knowledge is not just factual and informative. It is more. It is intimate and experiential, as when Jesus’ chosen disciples walked with Him in the flesh during His earthly ministry (Jn 15:16; Mt 4:19; Jn 8:12; 10:27; 12:26).
According to the Bible, the Christian, today, walks with Jesus Christ by the Spirit (Rom 8:4; Gal 5:16, 25). The indwelling Spirit of Christ is the disciples’ Teacher (Jn 14:17, 26). The Spirit guides Christ’s disciple into all truth, as it is in Jesus (Jn 16:13; Eph 4:21). Truth, by definition, is the standard by which the uncertainty of lies is exposed. Truth cannot change. It is stationary — the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). Jesus is the anchor for the believer’s soul (Heb 6:19), and this makes Him our only hope (Col 1:27).
The sea, in biblical imagery, is the place of uncertainty, doubt, and danger. Calming the sea was a ministry of Jonah and Jesus. The Apostle Paul preached a prophetic Word of hope for solid ground to his fellow sea travelers. The imagery of uncertainty is prominent in the Bible. The nations are in an uproar because Yahweh is not their God (Ps 2). Nations, today, are no different. Any peace among them is tenuous.
There is a remnant from every nation that streams to Jerusalem (Is 2:2), the city of God, in order to worship the one true God (Rev 5:9; 7:9). Here is the city of refuge for sinners to find shelter from the storm of God’s wrath against sin and sinners (1 Thess 1:10). One must humbly present himself at the throne of grace (Heb 4:16), today, or he will soon be arrested in death in order to appear before the throne of judgment (2 Cor 5:10; Heb 9:27; Rev 20:11).
It is the Christian who bears witness to the total depravity of man, “there is nothing good in me, that is, in my flesh (Rom 7:18).” Therefore, the believer puts no confidence in the flesh (Phil 3:3). The natural man adds trouble to trouble by sinning with his whole being. His mind is set on the things of this world (1 Jn 2:16). His eyes are filled with lust and covetousness (Jas 4:2). His mouth is a cesspool of lies and slander (Ps 101:5; Jn 8:44). His heart is inclined to evil, only (Gen 6:5). With his hands he steals (Jn 10:10). His feet are swift to shed blood (Rom 3:15). For this reason, the saint cries, “O wretched man that I am!”
God has made promises that are sure. They are many promises, and these are all apprehended by faith. The believer says, “My trust is in the Lord who made heaven and earth!” He is no fool who trusts in the God who has established His covenant of grace. Within covenant bounds, all His promises are “yes” and “amen” in Christ, the faithful covenant keeper (2 Cor 1:20). Faith is never a leap. It is knowledge gleaned from One who is truth itself (Prv 9:10; 30:3). God’s people are granted this knowledge by having our spiritual eyes, ears, mind, etc. opened to receive it (Jn 1:12–13). Then, we grow in knowledge by further grace (2 Pet 3:18).
When God fulfills His promise to His people faith is rewarded (Heb 11:6). The people of God are strengthened, and in this, their light shines and others ask about the hope within them (Mt 5:16; 1 Pet 3:15). It is a bold witness for the adopted child of God to boast in all that Christ has done (Rom 8:15, 23; 1 Cor 1:31). The maidens’ song spoke of David’s ten thousand kills. Elijah had a pretty definitive day at Mount Carmel, too. The both suffered a quick disposition, however. Sin ruins our good works and makes them filthy (Is 64:6). All that remains is faith in the One who has overcome the world (Jn 16:33; 1 Jn 5:4).
When men and women of faith are weak and being tossed to and fro, this is when Christ is strong (2 Cor 12:10). The wise man preaches Christ because to preach himself is foolish pride and a temptation to lure men into a misplaced trust. To waver in faith is natural, especially if the object of faith is anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:11; Eph 2:20).
The believer hears the imperatives preached from the Bible, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” and “trust in the Lord with all your heart” and “keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.” Because Jesus does not change (Heb 13:8), to draw near to Him is to become steadfast, immovable in one’s faith, work, love, and hope (1 Cor 15:58).
The icon of the unshaken man is the unshaken God-man, who is the icon of the unshaken God (Col 1:15). What a marvel to see the unflinching sheep in the presence of the ferocious wolf. What is the secret of being unmoved by ominous circumstances? It is all about location. The one seeking refuge is humbled by his situation, for which there is no resolution. Our God is an ever-present help in one’s time of need (Ebenezer). Now to Him who is able…we defer.
Who is the man to stand in the gap? Who is the man to face the giant? Who is the man to confront the idolaters? Who is the man to deny himself the pleasure of sin, even for a season? Who is the man to defy the godless edict of the king? Christ Jesus, it is He!
Christian, the imperative may be there for you to be like Christ but the willing and doing are far from you (Jn 1:13; Rom 8:7). It is enough for His sheep to stand in God’s pasture, as a witness to the wisdom and power of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:24), the Great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb 13:20). He alone is the deliverer, the dread champion (Jer 20:11). All that pertains to your life and well-being rests on His shoulders. He cares for you (1 Pet 5:7). The Lord knows those who are His and accomplishes what concerns them (Ps 57:2; 138:8; 2 Tim 2:19).
My dear reader, you must reject the false gospel of human achievement. As an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor 5:20), you simply bear witness of a more excellent King, who is sovereign over His more excellent kingdom (Ps 145:13; Dan 4:3, 34; 7:14, 27). As you draw near to Him and He draws near to you (Jas 4:8), His influence upon your whole being manifests for His glory. This has been His plan from the beginning. It unfolds in you and around you all of the days ordained for you.
In conclusion, we preach Christ, alone, as the immovable man. He alone is never shaken (Ps 15:5). Jesus is steadfast, faithful, and utterly trustworthy. Your failure to achieve all of the biblical imperatives produces exactly what is required of you — to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). And since your confession is that you are sadly moved by much in this world, there is a believable honesty to your testimony that you are nothing…but in Christ you have everything that remains immovable (Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 3:23).
March 20, 2022