Matthew 7 -- 9
Jesus warned: Beware of false prophets . . . in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15). Teaching is false when it offers eternal life without discipleship. Teaching is also false when it says that good works will qualify one for Heaven.
To clarify the difference between the true prophet and the false prophet and their followers, our Lord said: Not every one that says unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? and in Your Name have cast out devils? and in Your Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity (7:21-23). The evidence of being a true Christian is not doing great things, but loving submission to the Lord, Jesus Christ. Our Lord then proclaimed a parable: Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on the Rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; but it did not fall: for it was founded on the Rock. And every one who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, shall be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell: and great was its fall (7:24-27).
The Rock is not church membership, repentance, or baptism, as important as these things are; but the Rock is our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who cannot be separated from His Word.
The house built upon the Rock illustrates true Christian discipleship through obedience to His Word. The emphasis is twofold: first, hearing these sayings of mine, and then, doing these sayings of Mine.
The wise and the foolish are both giving much thought and labor -- one to lay up treasures in Heaven and the other to achieve human goals that will soon be washed away.
When our desire is to please Christ and His Word is our supreme rule of life, it will lead us to avoid the snares of self-will, pride, and the many deceptions of Satan. Then self-gratification and doing many wonderful works no longer control the direction of our lives. Through His Word alone, guided by the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to discern true holiness and accountability to our Creator-God.
For those who have been building on the sinking sands of time, there is a way of recovery. It is impossible to relive the wasted years, but it is possible to turn from the sinking sand to the Eternal Rock. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie (Revelation 22:14-15).
For Matthew 7:23: See Psa. 6:8. Matt. 8:4: See Lev. 13:49; 14:2. Matt. 8:17: See Isa. 53:4. Matt. 9:13: See Hos. 6:6.
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Memory Verse for the Week: