Are You Rooted and Grounded in Faith, or in Man?

There is an old truism that we are not to put our trust in man, because man will disappoint us in the end. Men are fallible, subject to temptation and often give in to sin. If our faith, our trust, our hope resides in some man or some man-made material object then we will eventually “have the rug pulled out from underneath” us. If our trust is in a man, no matter how noble, how learned, how spiritual, he seems to be he will eventually disappoint.

And when our trust is in the high and mighty in this world and when the mighty fall, what happens to those who have made that person their object of adoration? Do they themselves lose faith; will they stumble and fall as well? This indeed does sometimes happen. When a tall tree in the forest falls, sometimes a few of the lesser trees nearby are knocked down or are damaged by its fall.

The Almighty Oak | Jack McNiel, Evangelist, Oak Grove Church of Christ

Finding Root in Jesus the Son of God

In Romans 1:4, Paul made it clear that the resurrection was the single greatest proof that Jesus is the Son of God, that He was not some mere mortal man. Jesus was, “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul makes the argument that Jesus Christ was in fact raised from the dead. In verses 3-4 Paul stated, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…”

He gives as proof of the resurrection, “He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once… After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also…,” 1 Corinthians 15:5-8.

Jesus’ resurrection was confirmed by many eyewitnesses. Jesus’ resurrection proved that He was no mere man; that He was indeed the Son of God, therefore He is worthy our trust and devotion. Paul goes on to argue that if the resurrection were false, then Jesus was only a man, therefore those who had placed their trust in Him were in a pitiful condition. “

“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty… If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable…” — 1 Corinthians 15:13-14, 19

Paul concludes, “Christ is risen from the dead…,” 1 Corinthians 15:20.

Jesus is the Almighty Oak

Jesus is the Son of God – the resurrection proves it. Jesus is ultimately worthy of our trust. He is above failure. The Bible states, “They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one…,” Psalm 14:3.

Paul states, “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…,” Romans 3:10-12, 23.

This affirms to us that man can and will disappoint us. It reminds us that man can betray our trust; that man can lose heart and thereby cause us to question our faith.

In the movie Braveheart, the father of Robert the Bruce, after Robert’s betrayal of William Wallace, tells him, “All men betray. All lose heart.” Yet by contrast, Jesus is the True Friend who will never betray or lose heart. If our trust is in Him, He will never break our heart.

Jesus is the Almighty Oak, whose roots go deep into rocks of the earth and no matter how viciously the winds blow; no matter how the earth shakes; no matter how many trees are uprooted or broken off – Jesus, the Almighty Oak – never even trembles or loses a single leaf, and provides a safe haven of rest from the tempest to all those planted beneath the protective and sheltering arms of His branches.

— By Jack W. McNiel
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