SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

Matthew 7:21-29

YOUR CHRISTIANITY – HOW VALUABLE? AM 8/24/03

#24 – SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

THIS IS THE LAST OUTLINE IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT SERIES.

 

We all evaluate the value of things in our lives. 

If I asked you to go through your home and evaluate every thing in it, you would place much value on some things, and little value on others.

The same is true of non-tangible things in our lives. 

We place value on our use of time.  Some things we deem as good use of time, other things we consider a waste of time.

 

Without realizing it, we place value on our relationships. 

Some relationships and friendships are more valuable than others.

 

We place value on our Christian faith. To some of you, your faith is very valuable.  To others of you it is not as valuable.

 

Have you ever thought that God places value on things as well?  And what God deems important is not always what we deem important.

Let me ask you – How valuable is your Christianity to God?

The value of an individual’s Christianity in God’s eyes is what Jesus addresses as He concludes the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus tells us of two different kinds of Christianity which vary in their value.

 

God might see your Christianity as of little value.

Some profess but do not possess.

Some listen but do not learn

God might see your Christianity as of great value.

Some receive and respond.

 

Let’s skip ahead for a moment to the last verses of this chapter.  Look at verses 28-29.

 

Those who heard Jesus speak were astonished at His teaching. It was certainly new, revolutionary, different, and exciting.

 

But what really astonished the listeners was that he taught with authority.

The Scribes, Pharisees and Rabies of Jesus’ day would quote others to prove their point. They would sight others as the authority. Jesus, however, taught as the authority.

 

Jesus taught as the authority because Jesus is God! John 1:1-2

 

Because Jesus is the authority, we should want to know what, according to Him, is Christianity of little value and what is Christianity of great value.

 

SOME PROFESS BUT DO NOT POSSESS – Vss. 21-23

   

Vs. 21 – Picture the time of judgment.

              Every person will kneel before the Lord Jesus.

              Every person will name Jesus as Lord. Philippians 2:10-11

 

But calling Jesus “Lord” at the Judgment will not be enough.

Everyone will do that.

There will be those present who called Him Lord while they were in this life. They were “professors”. They professed to know Him, to trust Him, to believe on Him, but they didn’t actually possess Jesus as Lord.   

 

The professing Christian who calls Jesus Lord, but doesn’t do what he says is not a possessor of eternal life. To do what Jesus says begins with the way a person comes to God for salvation.

 

Jesus told us how to come to God.

We come to God through Him.

We enter the straight gate and follow the narrow way of trusting Jesus alone as the one who died for our sins.

We enter the straight gate and narrow way of trusting Jesus alone for forgiveness and eternal life. John 3:16-18, John 14:6

 

It is not enough to say, “I was born into a Christian home, and therefore, I am a Christian.”

That is like saying, “I was born in garage, and therefore I am a car.”

 

It is not enough to say, I’ve been a Christian all my life, without being able to point to a time in your life when you trusted Christ as your Savior.

 

It is not enough to say, “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross, was buried and rose again.”

 

Instead there must be a specific time in your life when you trusted Jesus Christ as you Savior.  This time is called by Jesus being “born again.” John 3:6-7

 

When we are born again, the Holy Spirit of God enters our lives.  When we are born again, Christ becomes a reality to us.   

 

The result is that there is a drastic change in our lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17

A person who is truly born again should have an interest in the things of God.

A person who is truly born again will show it by their behavior and by their works.

 

There is many a professing Christian, who claims to know Jesus, but shows no change of behavior, no interest in the Bible, and no works that would indicate he or she is a Christian.

Being saved costs you nothing. Titus 3:5  

 

But if you are truly saved, you will show it. After telling Titus that Christians are not saved by works, he then says that true Christians will perform good works. Titus 3:8, James 2:14-20

 

Vs. 22 – Jesus goes on.

Some will say, “But Lord, we preached in your name.”

“We cast out demons in your name.”

“We did miracles in your name.”   

   

Jesus will answer, “I never knew you.”

 

Why will Jesus say that?  Because when a person is a professing Christian and not a possessor of Christ, he is pretending to have what he never possessed, faith in Christ.

 

There will be pastors in the group of pretenders.

There will be Sunday School teachers in the group of pretenders.

There will be regular church attendees in the group of pretenders.

There will be those who claimed to be saved in the group of pretenders.

 

Just to profess is not enough!

You must possess Jesus Christ as your Savior.

 

My dear friend, I don’t want you to be one of the people who hears Jesus say, “I never knew you.”

Make sure that you have truly been born-again.

Make sure that you are a possessor and not just a professor.

 

SOME PROFESS BUT DO NOT POSSESS – Vss. 21-23

SOME LISTEN BUT DO NOT LEARN – Vss. 26-27

 

Vss. 26-27 - You probably know the story of the two houses.

One was built on rock, the other on sand.

It is like contrasting Manhattan Island in New York City with Venice Italy.

 

Venice is sinking into the sea, because Venice has no foundation of rock.

Manhattan is thriving because there is rock in the foundation of the Island of Manhattan. That’s why they can build all those skyscrapers.

 

So in this parable, the foolish man built his house on the sand. Why?

 

Sand is cheap.

Sand is plentiful.

 

So who is the foolish man that builds his house on the sand?

He is the one who, according to Vs. 26, hears the words of Jesus but doesn’t do them.

He listens but he does not learn.

 

When has learning really taken place?

Learning hasn’t taken place when the lesson is taught.

Learning takes place when the person can actually do what is taught in the lesson.

 

When have you really learned a sermon?

Not when you walk out the door and say, “Nice message, Pastor”, but when you can say, “I am doing what the Bible says as taught in that sermon.

 

A foolish man hears the word of salvation and never trusts Christ.

A foolish man hears the principles of the Sermon on the Mount taught and does not do them.

A foolish man hears the principles taught in other parts of the Bible and doesn’t do them.

 

The rain, flood and wind represent judgment. What happens when judgment comes?

The person who does not know Christ will not survive judgment. Psalm 1:5, Revelation 20:15

 

And what about the Christian who hears and does not obey? 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

 

Christian, do you want to see the majority of your works go up in smoke and escape “yet so as by fire”? I don’t think so.   

   

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about worthless, Christianity

 

SOME PROFESS BUT DO NOT POSSESS – Vss. 21-23

SOME LISTEN BUT DO NOT LEARN – Vss. 26-27

SOME RECEIVE AND RESPOND – Vss. 24-25

 

Vss. 24-25 - The Christianity that is valuable to God is that which receives the Word of God by faith and responds in obedience.

 

This is like the wise man who built His house upon the rock.

 

First, a person wisely believes what Jesus says about salvation.  Then He does not need to fear future judgment.

 

Second a person wisely hears God’s Word and does it.

James 1:22 - But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

 

In this passage Jesus is thinking of the Words that He just spoke in the Sermon on the Mount.

A wise man hears these words and works at

Practicing the golden rule

Praying

Avoiding hypocrisy, loving His enemies

Turning the other cheek, letting his light shine

Practicing the beatitudes etc.   

 

And when judgment comes the Christian who has worked at receiving the Word of God and responding to it will hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

 

Also, when the wind, rain and floods of earthly trial come, the foolish man will have nothing to stand on.  But if Christ, and His teachings have been your rock, you will have all the resources you need to stand during trials.