#58 – What the Gospels Teach – Building on the Rock – Matthew 7:24-27

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall." (Matthew 7:24-27 NASB)

Anytime we read a passage of scripture starting with ‘therefore’ or any other linking word it is absolutely critical that the previous text be taken with it.  Jesus had just finished speaking about how not everyone who says ‘Lord Lord’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of the Father who is in heaven will enter.  THEREFORE who ever hears and acts on the words of Christ is wise... but whoever hears but does not act is a fool.  Could it be any simpler?  Does this passage really need any commentary?

The problem is that this text has been taught in the context of getting your ‘best life now’ and we have been led to believe that in order to have a good life Christians must build on the rock, and if a Christian does not build on the rock they will fall.  In context however we see that this passage speaks of the one who hears and acts as the believer who will withstand judgment, and the one who does not build on the rock is the unbeliever who will not withstand judgment.  Realize that this passage is speaking of believers and unbelievers.

The other thing that ought to be noticed here is that both the foolish man and the wise man heard the words of Christ, the difference in outcome was dependent upon action.  The mark of true belief is always a tangible reaction to the truth.  In other words, faith comes by hearing, but does not end with hearing.  Faith comes by hearing, and when faith comes it produces action, and a tangible submission to the commands of Christ.  Attending worship, listening to sermons online, even reading the scriptures, or great books about the scriptures will all prove to be vanity if there is no work producing faith created.

It should be noted that Jesus and John the Baptist both have taught in the Gospel that it is fruit / works of righteousness that differentiates between believer and unbeliever.  (I do not propose that works are the basis of salvation, but they are certainly the evidence.)

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