June 26, 2024

The Only Firm Foundation

R.C. Sproul
The Only Firm Foundation

The stakes are too high for us to build our lives on anything but the solid foundation of God’s Word. Today, R.C. Sproul teaches that if we want to ground our thinking and our habits in the truth, we must be diligent students of the Bible.


God doesn’t write retractions. He doesn’t change. His truth is stable. It abides. It’s to be applied in every generation. But it’s easier to float along with our collective ignorance, exchanging ideas among ourselves, hoping that somehow in the midst of all of the confusion, we’ll be able to find out what the truth is and live according to it. Jesus says, “You live like that, when the storm comes, great will be your fall” (Matt. 7:27). Because you have nothing solid, nothing stable, nothing rooted, nothing grounded, nothing secure to stand on. It really scares me. I really think this is the most sensuous age in the history of the church, and Christians are living on the basis of how they feel. I think it’s enormously important that when a person becomes a Christian, he gets grounded in God’s Word, rooted in the Scriptures. That he builds good habits from the beginning, or else he’s going to have to be tearing them down later, having to learn the scales all over again.

The biggest problem I had with that piano business was fingering. I would get myself in a position where I was practically a contortionist in order to get to the next octave. And half the time I couldn’t get there because I was all out of sync and numerical sequence with my fingers. My piano teacher said, “Why are you doing it that way?” I said, “It’s more comfortable.” She said: “Sure, and a couple of the fingers on your left hand, you never use because you’ve never worked to strengthen them and change them. And here’s how you have to do it,” and showed me an example. Well, that really did a lot for me. That’s exciting, isn’t it? Ah, is there anything more boring in all the world?

The first time I wanted to learn Chopin, and Chopin almost gives you an ostentatious display of all of the decorative devices of the musician—the musical turns and the crescendos and all of that kind of stuff that’s like icing on the cake, not just straight solid music. Chopin gets fancy on you. So, she sat down and played one of these Chopin pieces for me. And there was one of these big runs, you know? I said, “I’ll never be able to do that.” She said, “Oh yes, you will.” I said, “Oh no, I won’t.” She said, “Try it.”

And it sounded like Venusian music. I couldn’t do it. And my hands were tripping all over the next. She said, “Alright, do you want to see how you learn that?” And I said, “Yes.” She just ran her fingers up the keyboard and all the way back down, never missed a beat.

She said: “Now here’s how you learn how to do that. The first note here, you hit it with your thumb. And the second note, you hit it with your third finger, and then with the fourth finger, and then turnover with the third.” And she said: “Now you try it. You do it ten times like that, at that speed.” And if you did it wrong, you had to start all over again.

It was amazing to me what the human body could learn to do in terms of coordination. After about a week of that, doing that every day. After about six weeks of that, you were going just like she was. But nobody sits down at piano and goes right away. They have to go through the painful process of training yourself to do it right.

But the average human being, if he’s confronted with the choice between the easy way and the hard way, is going to do it the easy way, which is invariably the wrong way. That’s what Jesus is talking about. You can build a house the wrong way. The only problem is, it won’t stand. It’ll only take you so far. But when the crunch comes, it falls. You can build a life on secular values with a cultural ethic. You can build it on a sort of a simplistic Christian discussion group mentality. And that would be great if life were simple. But when your life becomes complex, you won’t know what to do. And if you’ve trained yourself to always react in the comfortable manner, you will continue to react in a comfortable manner. And it’ll be your ruin. A man who survives the onslaught of the devil and of the world is the man who is rooted and grounded in the Word of Christ.