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Standing on the solid rock of Christ

Unsplash/Alejandro Tocornal
Unsplash/Alejandro Tocornal

We live in times of great shaking and tremendous uncertainty, times in which it is not hard to wonder, “What is coming next?” In times like this it is all the more important to put all our trust — not some, but all — in the Lord. He alone is our rock, our refuge, our helper, our redeemer. To Him alone do we cry, and He alone is our God.

Coming to faith in 1971 as a Jewish teenager with no prior church background, singing the hymns was a completely new experience for me. What did the words even mean? And why so much talk about blood?

The first time I attended a church service was in August 1971 with the intent of pulling my friends out. They were my fellow band members and druggies, and I didn’t like the change I was seeing in their lives.

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But the people were tremendously loving to me, despite my appearance and attitude, and as I left the service, one of the men said to me, “No matter how close the devil is to you, God is even closer.”

I was impressed with his zeal and energy — after all, I was 16 and he was in his 60s — but what was he trying to tell me? I was really clueless.

Once I came to faith, I began to understand the significance of many of the words we would sing, and they began to make sense to me. (I do recall, though, that I led a friend to the Lord in high school, and for the life of him, he could not figure out why we were always singing about the “cavalry,” which he mistook for the word Calvary. Still, he loved the songs.)

One of the hymns that we sang was written by Edward Mote in 1834.

The HymnCharts website tells us that, “From the unruly streets of London to the pulpits of Baptist churches, Edward Mote’s life was a testament to the transformative power of God’s grace. Born in 1797 to pub-owning parents, young Edward grew up without any knowledge of the Bible or the loving presence of Christ. As he later recalled, ‘So ignorant was I that I did not know there was a God.’”

He came to faith as a young man and, in 1834, wrote the beloved hymn, “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand.”

Singing this as a new believer, I understood that there was nothing good in me that merited salvation or could earn salvation. It was purely the grace and mercy of God through the cross.

And I understood it was that divine grace, embodied in Jesus, that was my only hope, both in this world and the world to come.

As for the words of the chorus, they made lots of sense to me: Christ alone is the solid rock; all other ground is sinking sand.

Today, almost 53 years later, and as I approach 70 years of age, and having passed through the vicissitudes of life, I can grasp the significance of these words much more deeply. How profoundly true they are!

May these words, which have never been truer than today, minister to us again in the midst of so much pain and uncertainty.

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

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

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

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

When He shall come with trumpet sound
O may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Dr. Michael Brown ( is the host of the nationally syndicated The Line of Fire  radio show. He is the author of over 40 books, including Can You be Gay and ChristianOur Hands are Stained with Blood; and Seizing the Moment: How to Fuel the Fires of Revival. Dr. Brown is dedicated to equipping you with hope, engaging your faith, and empowering you to become a voice for Moral Sanity and Spiritual Clarity. You can connect with him on FacebookX, or YouTube.

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