Turn with me to Matthew 7:24-29. Today we are winding down the Sermon on the Mount. and we are examining the closing words of Jesus as he wraps up the sermon. As I stated a few weeks ago, we have been walking through the Sermon on the Mount since January 5th. We have soaked in the Words of Jesus. We have meditated on them, and rolled them around in our mouth. At times they have been sweet and at times that have been bitter, but no matter what they have been medicine to our souls.
I want to, once again, invite you to turn back with me and look at the teachings of Jesus that we have drenched ourselves with over the last 9 months. In this sermons Jesus has taught us about the characteristics of the Kingdom, Living as salt and light in this tasteless and dark world, Christ the fulfillment of the law, the issues of anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, the radical love of Christ that pours form our heart onto even our enemies, giving to the needy, God glorifying prayer, fasting for the reward of God's, laying up treasures in Heaven, battling anxiety with God's sovereignty, grace soaked judgment, the good and wonderful gifts of God, the narrow gate of salvation which is Christ alone, the war against false teaching, and eternal treasure of knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. This sermon is overflowing with relevant teaching. There sermon is comprehensive in its scope and covers every area of your life, from eating food to world missions, and everything in between. So how does Jesus wrap it up? Lets read our text and fine out.
- Matthew 7:24-28 – “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 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. 27And 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. 28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes."
The one thing different about these apparently similar houses is what was underneath them, specifically, there foundation? One house was built upon sand and the other was built upon a rock. Everyone here knows how important a foundation is. It is what gives the house strength; the higher the building the deeper the foundation must go.
Currently, there is a building being built in Los Angeles that will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi. This structure will be 73 stories tall and reach 1,100 feet high. In order to have a building this tall that was able to withstand the earthquakes of southern California they had to construct a massive concrete foundation. According to USA today More than 2,100 truckloads of concrete were poured continuously for more than 18 hours. This totaled 21,200 cubic yards of concrete weighing 82 million pounds when dried. Why was this necessary? So it wouldn’t fall over. Therefore, before building up, they had to dig down. They had to dig and dig and dig and dig. This was a lot of work. It took time. It took effort. It took discipline. It took sacrifice, but it was necessary.
Imagine if they would have not dug down before building up. Imagine if 73 stores towering 1,100 feet were built up hastily without counting the cost and sacrifice of digging deep. Shortcuts were made and walls leaned up against each other so as to find their strength not from the foundation but from themselves. Imagine if it was simply a house of cards built upon the beaches of California. Everyone knows what would happen. They next storm or earthquake that would come, would cause everyone to gather not to watch it display it’s strength and withstand the storm, but to watch it crumble. Seems foolish doesn’t it? That is because it is. However, what Jesus is speaking about is far more foolish then what I just described.
For these two builders and these two buildings represent those who hear the word and do it and those who hear the word and ignore it. Jesus has just spent three chapters of Matthew speaking eternal truths into the lives of these listeners and he closes his sermon with a warning. He says if you have sat here and listened to me and you walk away and don't implement this into your life, you are a fool. Why can Jesus say that?
Authority of Jesus
I think the answer lies in verse 28 and 29. The crowds that sat on the side of the Mountain picked up on something fundamentally significant.
- Matthew 7:28-29 – “And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes."
- Colossians 1:16 – “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. “
- John 1:1 - “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not an thing made that was made.”
- Hebrews 1:1-3 – “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
We are Fools
The question is, are you a fool? Do you trust in the Word of Christ? Is your life built upon the rock of God's Word, or are you just fooling yourself?
- James 1:22 – But be doers of the Word and not hearers only deceiving yourselves.”
Absolutely, and amen! There is no doubt that the Bible is crystal clear that it is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. But we want to see evidence of your faith.
- James 2:14-20 - “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? “
Storms and THE STORM
- Matthew 7:27 - “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.”
Lets first talk about the storms. How do you know if your Christian life is built on the rock of hearing and doing God's Word, or on sand? The answer is the storms. The storms of this life are the test of your faith. God sends trials and tribulations into your life to test the strength of your faith in His Words. To see if you really trust what he says.
- James 1:2 - “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
Jesus tells us plainly that in this life we will have tribulations. It is guaranteed, What isn't guaranteed is that you will make it through. Only those who hear the words of God and build their lives upon the Words of God will weather the storm.
Having said that, there is a Greater Storm that is coming. We talked about it last week. There is no rainbow after this storm, for it is the storm of God's wrath that comes at the end of the age. When this day comes, it is too late, for your house is built. The question is, will you be standing in the presence of God or will you be swept into the lake of fire?
Once again, I am struck by the love of Christ in his final words to us. They are words of warning. Proclaiming to us words of life. We have no excuse. We have heard the words of Jesus. He has warned us of the narrow and hard way, they need to know Jesus, the need to hear his Words and build our entire lives upon them. Not just on Sunday mornings, but every moment of our lives. We must be like Peter who proclaimed,
- John 6:68 - “Lord to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
So the question is simple, today as you sit here in this room, are you a fool or or you wise? Underneath the facade of Christianity is their sand or the rock of Jesus Christ and the Word of His power? Do you trust this book? Do you eat this book? Do you treasure this book? For they are all the Words of Christ.
Jesus words today is a call to dig and to examine. Dig around your life and look to see what is underneath the house you have built for you life. When you do, you may find sand. You may find that your Christianity is based on tradition of man, culture, the American dream, a false Gospel. If this is what you find, you will need to tear down your house and start all over.
So how? How do you get this type of faith? How do you get a faith that is alive? A faith that is able to weather storms. A faith that is unshakable?
- Hebrews 12:1-2 - “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.“
- Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is a gift of God, so that no one may boast.