Seeking God First: A Study on the Sermon of the Mount
Spiritual Discernment Matthew 7:13-20
September 2, 2018
Pastor John Lloyd
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world. This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.
Today’s Passage: Matthew 7:13-20
Big Idea: Choose and continue on the narrow path which leads to life and fruitfulness.
I. There are two gates available to everyone.
Matthew 7:13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
A. The way to destruction is wide.
Matthew 7:13b For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard. (NKJV)
B. Man and his ideas are the gatekeeper.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Psalm 1:1
“The broad way is spacious, roomy with no effort required to practice. One just needs to follow the falleness of our own hearts.” D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
Genesis 3:5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 2 Cor. 11:3
“When we are motivated to please people, we will find that it might not please God at all.” Michael Wilkins
II. The narrow way to eternal life is through Jesus Christ.
Matthew 7:13a “Enter by the narrow gate. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Acts 4:12
I Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
A. Jesus is the gatekeeper.
John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. Matthew 16:24, 5:11,
Revelation 7:9 9After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes. Ephesians 2:8-9
B. The narrow way leads to eternal life both now and forever.
Matthew 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Matt.11:30
On the narrow road, you lose nothing but gain everything! The narrow road is hard at first but leads to everlasting life.
III. Discernment is key to staying on the narrow road.
Mt.7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits.
A. Look at doctrinal fruit.
1. There will be a false emphasis on one attribute of God.
2. There will be an avoidance of the final judgment of God. Heb.9:27, 2 Peter, Jude, I John are not books that are favorable to them.
3. There will be a failure to emphasize the depravity of mankind. Rom.3:23, Ephesians 2:1
4. There will be a deemphasizing of the substitutionary death and atonement of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 9:22
5. There is no emphasis on repentance. Jeremiah 23:16
“There is only one person God has treated worse than he deserved.” John Piper
B. Look at the fruit of character and conduct.
Matthew 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Titus 1:16)
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Psalm 32:5
John 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Acts14:22
Lord, keep and lead me on your path that leads to eternal life.
Give me discernment when I stray from your path.
It’s never too late to join, receive or return to Jesus.
Jesus = eternal life!
Spiritual Growth questions for September 2nd
Icebreaker: Describe a time when you disciplined yourself by practice and it paid off for you in providing freedom and new opportunities.
1. Read Matthew 7:13-20. Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying. Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.
2. Read Matthew 7:13-14. What is Jesus saying? Why is that true discipleship will always be a minority position in this world?
3. Discuss this quote: “God’s revealed truth will impose a limitation on what we believe. God’s revealed goodness will place a limitation on how we behave.” What limitations are placed on the follower of Christ?
4. Read John 14:6, Acts 4:12, John 10:9. What exclusivity does Jesus place on what we believe? Why is the belief in “universalism” (everyone is going to heaven) not a biblical concept? Why is this so critical for a follower of Christ to understand and embrace?
5. Read Matthew 7:15-20, Jeremiah 23:16-17. Discuss the doctrinal tests and character test that is applied to prophets/teachers of the Word. What were the prophets of Jeremiah’s time teaching? Discuss any modern correlation to what Jeremiah is saying?
6. Read I John 4:1-3. What test does the apostle John give to discern between truth and error? What examples have you experienced in our modern times of this error?
“If we believe that everyone is going to be okay in the end, and if we embrace universalism however it is cloaked, then we’re free to live our lives however we want, to sit back as easygoing Christians in comfortable churches, because in the end all these masses are going to be okay.” David Platt
7. Ask the Lord to show you what road you are on. Spend time in prayer for yourself and others who need to be on the road with Jesus.
Verses for Reflection:
Matthew 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Acts 14:22 Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.