The Sermon On The Mount: Part Six – Matthew 7:15-29

**This post is the sixth post of an exciting series on the Sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7, as translated in the English Standard Version of the Bible.  You can read the passage online by Clicking Here so that you can gain the most value and context for these posts.  Please subscribe to this blog to receive updates on new posts! You can read the whole series in order by Clicking Here**

Recap – The content in the last section was a little separated, but the theme was as follows:  “Every one of us is on a journey in life, and each one of us isn’t perfect.  We should not lose sight of our own imperfection and judge others, instead, we should pray for help, or pray for any need we have, and we should always treat others as we would wish to be treated.”

In this next section, the theme is best said by: “Do God’s Will if you believe”

Bear Good Fruit – Matthew 7:15-20

Jesus made an analogy of what it means to truly follow Him by using trees that bear fruit.  A healthy tree will bear good fruit, but an unhealthy tree will bear bad fruit.  If a person follows Christ, they will/should bear good fruit; if they do not follow Jesus, they will bear bad fruit.

Trees that bear bad fruit are not good, and they are not healthy trees.  If a persons claims to be a Christian, and their actions and words do not match up…is their faith truly defining their life?  Is their faith really real?

“I Never Knew You” – Matthew 7:21-23

This passage is pretty dramatic. In this passage, Christ says that some who call Him LORD, will not enter heaven; only those who do the Will of God.   These people who Christ says will not enter heaven had prophesied in Christ’s name, had cast out demons in the name of Jesus, have done many mighty works – all in the name of God.  And yet, Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you”.

Why?  Because these people may have called Jesus LORD, but they did not see Him as LORD over their own lives – they did not do what their Lord would have them to do, only religious acts without the heart behind it.

Again, we see that doing the Will of God, following Jesus’ teachings, words, and example, are VERY important for the Christian faith.  Works alone will not save anyone, but if one has Faith in Christ, following HIS Will is important.

A Solid Foundation – Matthew 7:24-27

Most of us have heard the parable of the man who build his house on the Rock, and the man who built his house on sand.  The house on the rock withstood the tests of time and weather, and the house on the sand could not withstand the wind, rain, and floods; it washed away.

What Jesus was saying in this parable was that those who hear His teachings and DO them – they are like the man who built his house on the Rock.  But everyone who Hears, and does not do, builds a house on the sand; therefore having a false sense of security when in reality…their faith rests on only themselves because they do not want to fully commit to the calling of following Jesus.

The Authority of Jesus – Matthew 7:28-29

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,  for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.”(ESV)

Jesus’ teachings were unlike what the crowd had heard before; they knew that something was special about them, and that something was special about Jesus.  Though they did not believe him to be the Messiah at this point, they did see him as someone worth listening to; some even saw him as someone worth following.

Conclusion

Jesus calls us to more than belief; Jesus calls us to Active Faith.

Is your life Centered on Christ, or is only your faith only a belief, and not an Active Belief?

What does it mean to live like Jesus?  How can we follow Jesus in practical and every day ways? Comment below.

 

 

The Sermon On The Mount: Part Five – Matthew 7:1-14

**This post is the fifth post of an exciting series on the Sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7, as translated in the English Standard Version of the Bible.  You can read the passage online by Clicking Here so that you can gain the most value and context for these posts.  Please subscribe to this blog to receive updates on new posts! You can read the whole series in order by Clicking Here**

Recap – We left off with the last section in this series (Matthew 6:19-34), which could be summed up by the following theme:  If we want to follow Jesus, we should know that earthly possessions do not matter as much as trusting the Lord in all of life’s circumstances.

The theme in Matthew 7:1-14 is more like:  Every one of us is on a journey in life, and each one of us isn’t perfect.  We should not lose sight of our own imperfection and judge others, instead, we should pray for help, or pray for any need we have, and we should always treat others as we would wish to be treated.

“Judge Not” – Matthew 7:1-6

People tend to look at the imperfections of others in higher standing than their own.  It is easy to look at the flaws of others while ignoring the prideful and arrogant lenses that we view them through.

Christians have a bad reputation for judging others, both other Christians, and those who are not Christians. This reputation hurts the spread of the true good news of Christianity greatly because instead of one person making a positive impact for Christ, one person could single-handedly blacken the name of Christ to another.

When we judge others, we look past the “log in our own eye” and concentrate on the “speck” in another’s.  Jesus said “Judge not, that you be not judged”, emphasizing that God forgives abundantly, God is the only one to judge anyone, and that if we judge someone, we will be held accountable for the judgement by God.

Ask & Receive – Matthew 7:7-11

The greatness of Christianity is the ability to have fellowship with God; the ability to communicate our thoughts, concerns, praises, and requests, directly to the same God who created life and light.

Jesus tells us to ask of him, and you will receive; seek, and find.  Jesus said this after instructing them to fix their own flaws first, as well as telling them in teh previous chapter to not worry about wealth. We can come to God with anything, and he WILL answer.

The Golden Rule – Matthew 7:12-14

Jesus instructs his listeners here, after talking about judging and wealth, that we should treat others in the way in which we would wish to be treated. Would we want to be judged by others? No. Would we want to be called names? No. Would we want to be looked upon as anything less than a human being? No.

A pastor who I met in college had this saying that he tried to live by:  “Nothing in the Bible permits me to be a jerk”.   Followers of Christ should not have the stereotype of being judgmental, mean, or insensitive.

Directly after Jesus communicated “The Golden Rule”, He made mention that we are to be on teh narrow gate (or go through the narrow gate), for the gate is wide and easy on the path to destruction.  But the narrow road is tough.  The narrow road requires a love that supersedes our natural tendencies; a love that treats others the same or better than we wish to be treated.

How have you made an impact to others?  Have you been a positive image, or a negative one?

There are things that I regret doing, and saying, years later; even after I have sought forgiveness. The key is learning from our failures, and striving to live like Jesus to those around us.