CHAPTER 2
Is Peter The Rock

On Which The Church Is Built?


"And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,"
Matthew 16: 17-18


is one of the most controversial passages in the whole of the Bible. It is explained in three different ways, which correspond roughly to the Catholic position, the Protestant position, and the Baptist position. The first interpretation, which is primarily the Catholic position, although there are some Protestants which also hold it, is that the word "rock" refers to Peter, and that the church is built upon him. Secondly, the Protestant position, which is also held by some Baptists, is that the "rock" is Peterís confession as set forth in verse 16. Thirdly, the position that is primarily the Baptist position, though possibly held by a few others, is that the "rock" is Christ Himself.

It is noteworthy that the almost universal Protestant and Catholic application is to other than the Lord Jesus. On the basis of the great weight of evidence to the contrary, which we will shortly introduce, we might wonder why this would be so. The explanation is to be found in the facts that: (1) Rome accounts itself Peterís church, and while Peter never founded any church, this one was founded in his name, and supposedly with his authority (?). (2) Both Catholicism and Protestantism account the day of Pentecost as the birthday of the church, and therefore, they reason, it could not be built by Christ, for He had already returned to heaven. (3) The vast majority of Bible commentaries have been written by Catholics and Protestants, and consequently the two former interpretations have been given the precedence over the Baptist position. IS PETER THE ROCK?

In recent times, many Baptists have been swayed to accept the position that Peterís confession is the rock upon which the church is built because they find so many commentaries setting forth this position, and so, this is the traditional interpretation. But it must be remembered that commentaries are human productions, and so, are often faulty, and only the infallible Word of God can be trusted completely. And it must be interpreted by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus promised that He would do, and He does this by comparing spiritual things with spiritual, (John 16:13-14; 1 Cor. 2:12-14).

What, therefore, is the scriptural position in this matter? To whom or to what does the word "rock" refer in Matthew 16:18? Several things must be considered in this matter, and it will be found that every one of these point to a common conclusion: Jesus Christ is the Rock Upon Which the Church is Founded and Built.

I. PHILOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS.

By this we mean the considerations based upon the language used in setting forth this truth. In the text "Peter" in the Greek is petros, while "rock" is petra. These both come from a common root, but they are diverse in meaning as the following authorities show. Liddell and Scottís Greek English Lexicon is the standard work on classical Greek, and has been for many years the standard lexicon in most colleges. This work says of petra: "A rock, crag, Lat. Rupes, scepulus; petros being a stone, Lat. Saxum: a ledge or shelf of rock (in the sea)." But this work under a separate entry says of petros: "A piece of rock, a stone."

Thayerís Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, which is the standard work on New Testament Greek, remarks on the word petra: "A rock, ledge, cliff; a. prop.: (Matthew 7:24 sq.; 27:51, 60; Mark. 15:46; Luke 6:48; 1 Cor. 10:4) (on which see pneumatikos, 3a); a) projecting rock, crag, (Rev. 6:15 sq.); rocky ground, (Luke 8:6, 13). b). a rock, large stone: (Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:6 [7]). c). metaph. A man like a rock, by reason of his firmness and strength of soul: Matthew 16:18 [some interpp. regard the distinction (generally observed in classic Greek; see the Comm. and cf. Schmidt, Syn. Ch. 51, 4-6) between petra. the massive living rock, and petros, a detached but large fragment, as important for the correct understanding of this passage;]." Here are two standard works, one on classic and the on New Testament Greek, and they agree.

Some, perhaps, would argue that, inasmuch as the meanings of words may change, we cannot observe this distinction. We reply, if the original meaning of words cannot be trusted to show us the basic idea in the word, then whom or what can we trust? Shall we place ourselves in the hands of fallible commentators? If so, we can never have any satisfaction, for even the commentators do not agree. B. H. Carroll has well said that, "I know of no more dangerous method of interpretation than the assumption that a word must be taken to mean something different from its real meaning. Revelation in that case ceases to be revelation. We are at sea without helm, or compass, or guiding star."óEcclesiaóThe Church, p. 28.

Some, at this point, always inject the argument that since the Lord probably spoke Aramaic, in which there is no such distinction in the two cases, that such a distinction cannot be drawn from the passage. How foolish! This is to cast aside a certainty for a mere probability. Who can prove beyond a doubt that the Lord spoke Aramaic on this occasion? And even if it were proven, what difference would it make? Even if He did speak Aramaic, he could still distinguish between Kephos (a stone), the fisherman who stood before Him, and Himself, the great Kephos, upon whom the Church was to be built, by a simple motion of the hand. In such a case, there would be no need for using a language in which there was a distinction made.

However, be that as it may, the Holy Spirit has seen fit to record for our knowledge, this portion of the Scripture in Greek, which does make a distinction between Petros the fisherman, and the great Petra, the foundation of the Church. And if we ignore this Divine testimony, we not only leave ourselves open to error, but we grieve the One by whom we are sealed, and by Whom only we can come to know the truth.

The hearing and doing of the words of the Lord is likened by the Lord to a man who builds his house upon a rock (petra), while he who hears but heeds not is likened to a man who built his house upon sand, (Matthew 7:24-27). In like manner many, by their faulty interpretations of the words of Scripture, would have the Church built upon the sands of humanity, rather than upon the Rock Christ Jesus.

II. PROPHETIC CONSIDERATIONS.

This portion of Scripture, (Matthew 16:18) is not an isolated one, but this teaching runs throughout the whole of the Bible. Jesus is the central Person of this Book, and we need to see Him as such. And, while the Church itself was a mystery which lay hidden in the mind of God in Old Testament times, (Eph. 3:1-6), and was not revealed until Jesus came to earth, yet His Person and work was prophesied and prefigured in many portions of the Holy Writ.

The word of the Lord in Isaiah 28:16 is especially appropriate at this time for our consideration. "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." None but outright unbelievers can doubt the applicability of this to the Lord Jesus, when both Paul, (Rom. 9:33-10:4) and Peter, (1 Pet. 2:6-8) quote it in relation to Christ. Note from this prophecy that the purpose of God is: (1) To lay this Stone in Zion, the place where the Church was founded. (2) The laying of this Stone was for a foundation. (3) This foundation was not to be such unstable materials as constitutes all mankind, but was "tried. . .precious. . . sure" as a foundation. (4) Faith is the primal requisite in the appropriation of this One as the foundation.

This being so, who then can doubt that this is prophetic of that which we find set forth in Matthew 16:18? Who will dare apply this to Peter, or to Peterís confession of Christ? Yet, if it be not applicable to Peter or to his confession, how can its fulfillment be so applied?

And what of the numerous times that David makes mention of the Lord as "The Rock of my salvation," and other expressions, such as: "Who is God save the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God?" (Ps. 18:31). "Be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress," (Ps. 31:2-3). "He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved," (Ps. 62:2). "And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God was their redeemer," (Ps. 78:35).

"And again, what of Psalm 118:22: "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner," which is quoted in the New Testament in reference to the Lord Jesus, (Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11). Or of Isaiah 8:14: "And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem," which is also quoted by both Peter and Paul in reference to the Lord. Here the word translated "rock" is the Greek word petra both in the Septuagint, (Greek version) in Isaiah 8:14, and in the New Testament quotations of it in Romans 9:33 and 1 Peter 2:8.

The Lord Jesus is very commonly pictured in the Old Testament as the "Rock," and so, any Jew who was familiar with His Scriptures would have recognized Jesusí words in Matthew 16:18 as a reference to Isaiah 28:16, and so, He it is upon whom the Church is built. But let us further prove this fromó

III. APOSTOLIC TESTIMONY.

We may certainly expect that the apostles would know upon whom the Church was built, and if the "rock" mentioned in Matthew 16:18 were Peter, he would certainly be recognized and honored as such by the other apostles.

Yet such is manifestly not the case, for Paul quotes a portion of both Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16 as referring, not to a mere man, but to the Lord Himself, (Rom. 9:33). And he goes further by saying, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ," (1 Cor. 10:4). He refers to the Rock that gave forth water to the Israelites in the desert during the forty years of wandering, but he uses the same wordópetraóas is found in Matthew 16:18.

But as to the foundation, he dogmatically says, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which Is Jesus Christ," (1 Cor. 3:11). Is this not clear enough for anyone? It should be, but apparently is not for some. The Church is founded upon a Rock, "and that Rock is Christ," "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." Not only is Christ set forth as the rock that is laid for a foundation, but Scripture declares that there is no other foundation that has been, or can be, laid. Who will controvert this? To even endeavor to do so is to reveal one to have a deep-seated prejudice against the truth that results in knowing rebellion.

It is true that Paul also says, "And [ye] are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone," (Eph. 2:20), But it is clear: (1) That neither Peter as an individual, nor his confession, is in view here. (2) That the apostles and prophets are a foundation only in a secondary and subordinate way. Their teaching and preaching, which came from the Lord Himself, is the doctrinal foundation for the Churchís faith. (3) That Jesus Christ Himself (not by proxy through one or all of the apostles) is the great Rock that underlies the Church as its Divine foundation. "Apostles and prophets go into this temple of God, but Christ Jesus is the chief corner stone (akrogonaios, Eph. 2:20). All believers are living stones in this temple, (1 Pet. 2:5). But there is only one foundation possible."óA. T. Robertson, Word Pictures In The New Testament, Vol. IV, p. 97.

Thus did Paul speak on this subject, but some may presume to say, as others did in the first century, that Paul was not an apostle in the same sense as Peter was, and therefore did not know whereof he spoke. What will Peter say? Will he contradict Paul, and defend the right to the title of founder and head of the Christian Church? Will he declare that the Lord Jesus meant that he, Peter, would be the foundation of the Church? Let us hear what he will say in this matter.

"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. 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. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 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, And a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed," (1 Pet. 2:4-8).

He speaks: (1) Of Christ as a living stone, rejected of mankind as a whole, but still the chosen One of God, and precious in His inherent worth. (2) Of believers as living (the Greek word is a present participle) stones who constitute the spiritual house, but not its foundation. (3) With Divine authority for this statement, for he quotes Isaiah 28:16, where the Lord Himself is speaking. (4) Of the distinction wrought in oneís spiritual condition by his attitude. To the believer, Christ is precious, but to the disobedient, though rejected of them in this life, He will be made head over all things, and every knee shall eventually bow to Him, (Col. 1:15-19; Phil. 2:9-11). (5) Again with authority, for he quotes Psalm 118:22 to substantiate what he has said. (6) Of Christ as the great foundation Rock, for he uses the same words as Jesus did in Matthew 16:18, petraó "rock", verse 8, and oikodomeoó"build," verse 5. He clearly has Matthew 16:18 in mind as he writes this.

Does Peter claim to be the one on whom the Church is built? No! Conversely, he points to Christ as the living Stone, the chief corner foundation upon whom the Church is built, Who becomes a Rock of offence, a stumbling Stone to those who are disobedient. The latter aspect is but a repetition of what the Master had spoken on a former occasion. "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 Lordís doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder," (Matthew 21:42-44).

On an earlier occasion, Peter had also made this same application of Psalm 118:22, and showed that the rejected stone Who became the chief corner foundation was not himself, but was the Christ, (Acts 4:11). Thereby he stands shoulder to shoulder with Paul in his view of who the foundation stone of the Church is. But to proceed, we may also show that it was Christ, and not Peter who was the foundation upon which the Church is built fromó

IV. APOSTOLIC RELATIONSHIPS.

If Peter is the rock on which the Church is built, then we may expect to find him in the character of the head of the Church, and chief of all the Apostles, and subject to none. But such is not what we find. Peter was an impetuous person, and consequently he often spoke out before the others, perhaps even acting as spokesman for the group on occasion. But he had no authority or power over the others beyond that of spiritual leader, or pastor, of the Jerusalem church for a time, to which Jesus appointed him after the resurrection, (John 21:15-23).

This is also clear from Acts 1. Here, instead of authoritatively making an appointment to fill the vacancy of Judas, Peter merely brought the matter up, and the Church, in a democratic way, nominated two men and voted on whither of the two they believed the Holy Spirit would have in that office. There is no popish presumption here.

Again, it is clear that Peter had no more authority than the other apostles, but was, like them, subject to the authority of the Church, when we consider that after preaching the Gospel to the household of Cornelius, he was called to account by the Jerusalem church for his actions in preaching to Gentiles, (Acts 11:1-18). This is hardly congruous if so be that he were the head of the Church, the rock upon which it was built, and the chief authority in it.

Paul did not recognize any primacy upon Peterís part, else he would not have rebuked Peter when he hypocritically withdrew himself from the Gentiles for fear of the Judaizers, (Gal. 2:11-14). Nor did Peter recognize himself as having such authority over the other apostles, else he would not have calmly accepted Paulís rebuke. Who can visualize the Pope of Rome calmly receiving such a rebuke, and then afterward speaking of his rebuker as "our beloved brother," (2 Pet. 3:15). History is replete with instances of Popes not only refusing to receive any criticism of themselves, but actually bringing about the death of their critics. Thus did thousands of Baptists die.

The Lord Jesus clearly set forth the relationship that is to exist between all Christians when He said, "But be ye not called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters, for one is you Master, even Christ," (Matthew 23:8-10). Thereby He rebuked all pride that would exalt one over another in the work of the Lord. Alas, how few recognize and practice this duty.

Peter denied any lordship over others when he wrote, "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed," (1 Pet. 5:1). He does not even stress his Apostleship, but only speaks of himself as being an "elder" like those who were ministers in the churches.

Even in those passages where some of the apostles are mentioned by name, he is not always mentioned first, (Gal. 2:9). Thus, the relationship sustained by the apostles themselves deny that Peter had any greater place or higher authority than any of the rest. Romeís claims fall to the ground under examination, and are manifested to be nothing more than the proud attempt to glorify a corrupt manmade institution.

Another thing of importance to be considered in this matter concerning Christís use of "rock" in Matthew 16:18, and which clearly shows that it could only be in reference to Him as the Son of God, isó

V. THE UNIVERSAL USAGE OF THE WORD IN THE BIBLE.

"Rock" appears somewhat over one hundred and thirty times in the Old and New Testaments, and it is used in two ways only. First, literally, of an actual physical rock, and secondly, metaphorically, as a figure of speech in which the likeness or qualities of a rock are attributed to something or someone else. This is the sense of the word as used in Matthew 16:18. It will be our task to examine other like usages of the word in the Bible.

First, let it be said that "rock" is a very common metaphor for God among the Jews, and by no other metaphor would a Jew have recognized a claim to Deity quicker than by the application of the metaphor "rock" to someone. Thus, Matthew 16:18 is not only a promise that the Church was to have a stable and enduring foundation, it was at the same time Jesusí claim to absolute Deity. By using this word He was claiming to be God the Rock so often referred to in the Old Testament.

Let us look at only a few of the many metaphorical usages of the word. "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. . .then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. . .Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. . .For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges," (Deut. 32:4, 15, 18, 31). "For who is God, save the Lord? And who is a rock, save our God," (2 Sam. 22:32). See also Psalm 18:31 which quotes this. "The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation," (2 Sam. 22:47). "The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me," (2 Sam. 23:3). "Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock," (Ps. 28:1). "For thou art my rock and my fortress," (Ps. 31:3). "I will say unto God my rock," (Ps. 42:9). "He only is my rock and my salvation," (Ps. 62:2). And many other such passages could be cited.

In every metaphorical usage of the word "rock" with one possible exception, the word is in reference to God, or to that which is accounted a deity by men. In numerous instances, in the use of the parallelism that is so common with the Jews, "rock" is put in parallel with, and explained by, that statement that the "rock" refers to God in His character as "salvation." The one possible exception to this is Isaiah 51:1-2. "Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father."

We say that this is a possible exception because, while the word "rock" may have reference to Abraham, at the same time, it may be used in contrast, which is another common form of parallelism. That is, the Lord, the Rock, may be contrasted with Abraham, the hole of the pit whence Israel was digged. Indeed, the fact that Deuteronomy 32:18 refers to Israel as begotten of God, the Rock, strengthens the assumption that even this passage is no exception to the rule that metaphorically "rock" always refers to deity, or else to that which is accounted deity by men. But if this passage is an exception to the rule that "rock" refers to God or to deity, it is the only exception, and the Jews would nonetheless have clearly understood the passage in Matthew 16:18 as a reference to Jesus as God, and the foundation of His Church to be Himself.

As to "rock" ever being applied to a mere man, there is only one possible exception, and that one is not so clear as to warrant being used as a basis for interpretation of other, more clear passages. As to "rock" ever being applied to an intangible thing, such as Peterís confession, the Scriptures are without example whatsoever. What possible likeness could there be between Peterís confession of Christ and a rock? Is it in its steadfastness and endurance? Peterís confession was a marvelous one, but it did not originate with him, but it resulted from a divine revelation, (See Matthew 16:17). Peter the confessor was anything but stable, for in just a short time after this Peterís confession will become a three-fold denial that he even knew Jesus, (Matthew 26:69-75).

No, "rock" is not used in this manner in Scripture, but it is very commonly used of God, and of the Redeemer of Israel, (Ps. 31:2; 78:35; 89:26), and it is used in just this same way in Matthew 16:18. No Jew would mistake this meaning if he was at all familiar with the Law and the Prophets. Without exception, every metaphorical usage of "rock" in the New Testament is applied to Christ, and Matthew 16:18 is no exception, which it would have to be if the foundation of the Church is anything but Jesus Christ.

VI. REASON TEACHES THE SAME THING.

While we are clearly warned in 2 Corinthians 10:5 against allowing anything to exalt itself against the knowledge that God has revealed, and are commanded to cast down reasonings (Greek logismos) and to bring every thought into obedience to Christ, yet sound Scriptural reasoning is our duty. The revelation that God has given of Himself and His will is characterized by the highest reason, and nothing in Godís Word is contrary to sound reason. But sin has so perverted the human mind that it is defiled, as is the conscience by which one feels what is right and what is wrong, (Titus 1:15-16). By nature man has a clinker in his thinker, which is why no dependence can be put upon human reasoning. Often men set their own fleshly reasoning against the revealed wisdom of God. This is when reasoning becomes sinful. For their inwrought bias against God and His will leads them invariably against Divine Truth.

In saying that reason teaches the truth of the divine foundation of the Church, we are not exalting reason over revelation. We are only saying that the present proposition conforms to what God has everywhere revealed in His Word about the matter. It is the person who rejects all the facts already noted in his endeavor to make something other that the Son of God to be the foundation of the Church, that reasons contrary to the revealed knowledge of Christ in this matter. This is allowing the very wise, but utterly deceitful fallen angel to misdirect oneís reasoning so as to rob God of His glory in the church, where His will is for it to be produced, (Eph. 3:21).

The New Testament Church was chosen to be Godís only commissioned agent to represent Him and do His work in this world. As such, if it was to successfully be what God intended it to be, it needed a much more stable and enduring foundation than any fallen and depraved man, or group of such men could be. Even those that are genuinely born again, and striving to live a sanctified life, still tend to be too variable to be a fit foundation for the Church, (See Jeremiah 10:23). As we look about us, yea, as we look within, we are compelled to honestly see that reason demands more in this matter than man can perform. Only a divine founder, a Divine foundation and a Divinely given faith could have kept the churches from coming to naught during the centuries of assault by the Evil One and his hosts.

Even the most scriptural confession of faith, put forth by the most zealous of Christians is of value only at the time that it is put forth. For later people can revise it, and even reprobate it, as has often been done as churches apostatized from their first faith, and forsook it to take up worldly ways and works. Yea, and a church may even retain its original confession of faith, and still hold it in theory when the church has forsaken Christ as its foundation. This was the charge that was lodged against the Ephesian church, (Rev. 2:4). Logically then Christ must necessarily be kept as the foundation of a church from generation to generation because "Jesus never changes," and He alone can stabilize a church, and He does this by regular infusions of grace, (See Hebrews 13:8-9). Only Christ is a sound foundation for a church, for men fail, and even sound confessions may be modified or revoked. But so long as a church rests solely upon Christ, it has the promise that "the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it," (Matthew 16:18) (Greek), but it will have Christís presence "all the days to the consummation of the age," (Matthew 28:20; Greek).

VII. SUMMATION.

How can anyone continue to hold that Peter, or Peterís confession is the rock upon which the Church is built when: (1) Both Classical and New Testament Greek make a distinction between the proper name Petros and the noun petra. To do so requires: (a) The merging of two distinct Greek words into a common meaning. (b) The ignoring of the universal New Testament usage of the word petra. (c) The exalting of a mere man to the position which belongs only to the Lord. The fact that this passage might have been spoken in Aramaic is no argument, for the inspiring Spirit has recorded this in Greek in which there a distinction between the two words. (2) Prophetically, Christ is spoken of as the "sure foundation" upon which believers are to be built, and He is spoken of several times prophetically as the petra, or Rock. Peter is never designated by this word. (3) The testimony of the Apostles is to Christ as the Rock referred to in Matthew 16:18. Even Peter himself denies the common interpretation that he or his confession is the Rock, and he plainly states that Christ is the petra upon which the Church is built. And Paul says that the "Rock" so often referred to in the Old Testament "was Christ." He goes further and states that Christ only is the true foundation, and that the apostles were foundations only in a secondary and limited sense. (4) Apostolic relationships show that Peter never had any more authority than any of the other apostles, nor did he hold any office in the church that entailed more authority than that of pastor or overseer. The Lordís churches have always been congregational in government, and never has there been a scriptural monarchy under a man in the Lordís churches. (5) The universal usage of the word "Rock" is contrary to the Catholic and Protestant interpretations, and the common usage in both Old and New Testaments can be harmonized only by the recognition that the "Rock" in Matthew 16:18 can refer to none other than Christ Himself. (6) Reason and logic both demand that such an institution as Christís church must have something more than the sands of humanity for its foundation.

Catholicism and Protestantism may be content to have churches founded upon man, but I am not. The best mortal man that ever lived is still a man, and therefore, fallible. I want the Lord for my foundation, and for the foundation of the church to which I belong. The sands of humanity shall be washed away in times of trial and adversity. Only the Rock Christ Jesus stands firm and unshakable, (Matthew 7:24-27).

Is Jesus the Rock of your salvation? If not, why not, when He gives such sweet invitations to trust Him? (Matthew 11:28-30; Rev. 21:6-8). Is He the Rock upon which your church is founded? If not, why not? No one has the option, according to Scripture, of choosing "the church of your choice." Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"