English Standard Version (ESV)
Build Your House on the Rock46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: The Ultimate Religious Decision
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: The Beatitudes Part 2
Accompanying Matt Chandler sermon: Of Danger and Ditches
Jesus ends His sermon with an illustration of two kinds of lives - one that survives judgment, and one that does not. And so you're left with a decision - which of the two lives do you want to live?
An orthodox Jew is about as close to Christianity as you can get, right? We believe in the same Old Testament, so everything that's in there, we agree with. But they don't believe in Jesus as the Son of God. The Jews are close. But Christianity is not horseshoes - close is not good enough.
Jesus is very clear on this here. These people were calling Him "Lord, Lord" - or master of all teachers, one who speaks for Jehovah. But here's the problem. The problem is they called Him Lord but they didn't do what He said. Jesus is not looking for curiosity driven and fascinated admirers. He's looking for true followers.
a true disciple has had the work of God in his heart so that he hates sin, the work of God in his heart so that he loves his enemies, and the work of God in his heart so that he follows Christ alone. He doesn't follow blind guides. He doesn't follow earthly teachers. He doesn't follow hypocrites who can't get something out of his eye because they have something bigger in their own eye. He doesn't follow fruitless trees, or trees whose fruit is wicked. Jesus is saying that's what all the other false religionists are, they're blind leaders of the blind, they're earthy and they can't take you any further than they themselves can go so their limitations become your limitations. They can't help you with that which is in your eye, that which is destructive in your eye because they've got something so massive in their own eye. And all they ever produce is bad fruit, wickedness and iniquity. And so everything isolates to Christ.
If you're going to go into the Kingdom of God, if you're going to go into the Kingdom of heaven, if you're going to have salvation, if you're going to go to heaven, then God must be doing that work of repentance, that work of producing an unnatural love and isolating you to following the true teacher who is Jesus Christ. And then He comes to the conclusion of the sermon and He says, "You keep calling Me 'Lord, Lord' but the problem is, you don't do what I say." Patronizing Me is not what I'm after. "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord' and not do what I tell you?" It's good to call Me Lord, if you don't call Him Lord you can't be saved, Romans 8:9 and 10, "If yo confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you'll be saved." That's good. First Corinthians 12:3, "No man can call Jesus Lord except by the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit works a work in your heart, brings you to the place where you call Jesus as Lord and you confess Him as Lord and you are saved. That's very good. But don't do that, confess Him as Lord with your mouth, and not obey Him. That's not acceptable.....He says it doesn't mean anything if you don't do what I say. And what I say is, you have to recognize your sin, see that you're poor, prisoners, blind and oppressed, that you are the poor, that you are the hungry, the starving really spiritually, that you are the sad over whose lives there should be endless mourning because of your alienation from God. I'm tell you, you've got to look at yourself and see yourself as a sinner, then you've got to look at Me and see Me as your Lord and cry out to God for mercy. Even before the cross they needed to affirm their sin, cry out for the grace and mercy of God on their sinful lives and not depend on their self-righteousness, which is, of course, what the system did as it does today even now....
It's the pattern of obedience that starts with believing, obeying the gospel. The gospel is a command to believe and be saved and then a continual pattern of obedience. John 8:31, "Whoever continues in My Word is My real disciple," mathetesalethos, real one. If you continue to obey what I say, you're My real disciple. And that's been reiterated all throughout the New Testament. The new child of God is the one who obeys Him, read that in John 15. Read it in 1 John, "If you say you abide in Christ you ought to walk the way He walked." Don't tell Me you're a believer, but you don't obey the Word of God. If you're a believer, the Word of God, the Spirit of God abides in you, you don't continue in a pattern of sin that's unbroken.
And He illustrates this truth with a simple story. If you build you life with Christ and the gospel as your foundation, then the storms of judgment can never move your home. But if your foundation is built on anything else, even if it's something "close" like Judaism, it's not going to survive the judgement.
The houses may even look identical from the outside. We can't see into people's hearts to see on what foundation they've built their lives. We can be fooled by appearances, by people who say all the right things. But God can't be fooled. God sees the heart. God knows what your foundation is built on. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. No one.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 7:1-10
Very good post. This reminds me of that old song "Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe."
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