Seeking God First: A Study on the Sermon of the Mount
Best Foundation for Living Matthew 7:21-29
September 9, 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 7:21-29
What Jesus says is this: “Try all the ways of life you may, and in the end you will find that nothing comes out as solid reality but this way of mine. Everything else is sand; this way is rock.” E. Stanley Jones
Big Idea: Hearing God’s Word must result in obeying God’s Word. Hearing results in heeding!
I. Our profession of faith must be more than words.
Matthew 7:21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
I John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, (I Corinthians 12:3)
A. Do not be content with intellectual assent.
Matthew 7:21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven
James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
What is Christ referring to? Is this salvation by works? No. In the context of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is referring to the Beatitudes and the deep ethical, spiritual obedience found in God’s kingdom. “The will of my Father” refers to God’s will as Jesus has revealed it in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is referring to a profound heart obedience that is not only on the surface but permeates our inner being. “The will of my Father” indicates the character and the conduct of the kingdom of God. Kent Hughes
B. Beware of false assurances.
Matthew 7:21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Luke 16:15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. I John 2:4, I Samuel 15:19-22
Beware of the trap of just accepting Scripture for what it
says doctrinally and not what it says we should practice.
Matthew 7;22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
These are the most solemn words ever uttered in this world, not only by any man, but even by the Son of God Himself. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
The one thing that matters is our relationship to Jesus!
II. Our hearing must result in doing.
Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” James 1:22
For Jesus is not contrasting professing Christians with non-Christians who make no profession. On the contrary, what is common to both spiritual housebuilders is that they hear these words of mine. So both are members of the visible Christian community. Both read the Bible, go to church, listen to sermons and buy Christian literature. The reason you often cannot tell the difference between them is that the deep foundations of their lives are hidden from view. John Stott
A. Build your life on Jesus Christ, the solid Rock.
Luke 6:48 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.
B. Everyone’s profession of faith will be tested before God.
Matthew 7:26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
“This whole concluding section of the discourse thus leaves us with the uncomfortable demand to consider not just what we profess but whether it is based on a genuine relationship with Jesus and issues in the life of a true disciple.” D.A. Carson and R.T. France
2 Timothy 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” Luke 8:21, Psalm 112:7
John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
There are no regrets when you build on the Rock!
Make the choice of a lifetime and build your life on Jesus Christ.
Spiritual Growth Questions for September 9th
Icebreaker: Describe a time you experienced something you thought was really solid/deep foundation but ended up not being what it appeared to be.
1. Read Matthew 7:21-29. 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 7:21-23. Jesus comes now to his conclusion. What positive features can you identify in those whom Jesus calls evildoers? What is the crucial thing they lack?
3. Read Matthew 7:24-27, I John 1:6, 2:4. Ultimately, there are only two possible responses to this Sermon. What are they? What response was the apostle John urging from his congregation?
4. Can you think of ways in which you have heard the words of Jesus without putting them into practice? What are the dangers of doing this? ‘The Bible is a dangerous book to read … the church is a dangerous society to join.’ Why?
5. Read I Peter 2:1-11. What ideas can we get from this passage on how to build a strong spiritual house for God. List as many as you can from this passage.
6. Read Matthew 7:28-29. Why is Jesus’ teaching so different than that of other religious figures? What was the response of those who heard this sermon?
7. ‘Only when the Christian community lives by Christ’s manifesto will the world be attracted and God be glorified.’ What steps do you need to take in order to align your life more closely with Jesus’ teaching in this Sermon? Pray for one another as you put these into practice.
Verses for Reflection: Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Luke 6: 46“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”