August 24, 2012
The Only Place to Take Your Stand
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.” I’m interested in this term “take your stand”
Edward Mote grew up on the streets of London. He was often neglected by his parents who managed a pub in the city. Of his theological upbringing, he said that didn’t even know that there was a God. Eventually, however, he did hear the gospel and was baptized at age 18. He didn’t immediately enter the ministry, but instead was a cabinet-maker for 37 years. At age 55, however, he became a pastor of a Baptist Church is Sussex where he led the congregation for 21 years. While you may not know his name, he probably has penned some of the most beautiful words ever regarding the subject of “taking a stand.” He wrote these words, not as a preacher, but as a cabinet-maker. You know it as the famous hymn: The Solid Rock although her originally called it, The Immutable Basis of The Sinner’s Hope. The words are as follows:
My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood Support me in the whelming flood; When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found; Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.
Refrain: On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.
It seems that people today are “taking stands” on every issue from O’bamacare to gay marriage. The truth about standing, however, is that we can only stand in one place. Where we stand is much deeper than what our opinion is on a given issue. “Take a stand” is a military term that has to do with holding a piece of ground in the face of adversity.
The Corinthian church was facing opposition as Christians were being persecuted for their faith. The stand that they had taken was for the gospel. The Apostle Paul clarifies reminds them of the ground that they have staked their lives on. It was the gospel of Jesus Christ. Specifically that he lived, died, was buried, and rose again. The implication of the resurrection is that resurrection is possible for all of us. Paul encourages them not to give that up, because it is the only ground worth standing on. The place we stand is more than our trivial opinions about the issues of the day. The place we stand is the place we would be willing to give our lives for.
I’m reminded of Martin Luther who was asked to recant his views about the gospel and he said these famous words at the risk of his life, “here I stand, I can do no more, so help me God.” The resurrection of Jesus is the only sure ground on which to take our stand. Any other place to stand leaves us ultimately hopeless. As the pressure is turned up on Christianity, be careful where you take your stand. Our opinions about the issues of the day are not the place for us to take our ultimate stand. The good news that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again so that we could have eternal life is where I am taking my stand. “All other ground is sinking sand.”