BROKEN OR GROUND TO POWDER?
By Curtis Pugh
Many saying of Jesus made Him unpopular with the religious people of His day. He is still unpopular today. Most people ignore or distort or try to explain away what Jesus said. For instance, consider these words spoken by the Lord Jesus: “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder,” (Matthew 21:44).
Addressed to those religionists in Israel who had rejected the preaching and baptism of John the Baptist, in this verse the Lord speaks of Himself as a great stone – a cornerstone. He said there are only two alternatives. Either you will fall upon this stone or this stone will fall upon you. Either you will be broken or you will be ground to powder. There is no other alternative: being broken or being ground to powder.
Most everyone wants to go to Heaven: they do not want to go to the other place. So they try turning over a new leaf. They try religion. They go forward in a religious meeting or they try being baptized or praying the magical prayer that is supposed to save them. Some continue in that way for awhile. Some for many years. Preachers assure them that they are saved because they did something. Most religion today is based upon the idea that doing this or that will cause God to save the doer: works religion.
But our text indicates that there is much more to being saved. The thing to remember is this: works has nothing to do with salvation: salvation is “Not of works, lest any man should boast,” (Ephesians 2:9). In our text the Lord Jesus said that whomever falls on Him will be broken. He speaks of a total broken-heartedness over personal sin. He did not speak of mere sorrow over the prospect of going to Hell, but something more and something different than that. Paul wrote about this same thing: he wrote, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death,” (2 Corinthians 7:10). This is a work of God in the sinner.
In order to escape being ground to powder, that is, being judged by Christ for sins, the sinner must experience being “broken” in “godly sorrow.” This is not man made sorrow. This is brokenness or true sorrow worked by the Holy Spirit in the new birth. It is an experience of grace. It is something that God does to the sinner whom He wills to save. It is not the experience of mere religion or religious enthusiasm. It is not the experience of many, but it is the experience of God's elect: those whom He has chosen to save. Jesus also said, “For many are called, but few are chosen,” (Matthew 22:14). What is your relation to the Stone? Have you experienced brokenness over sin? Have you turned to Christ, trusting Him alone?
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726