Obedience doesn't always manifest itself in obvious ways, and so the counterfeit Christian may easily pretend to be real.
Scripture: Matthew 7:24-27; Leviticus 26:1-19; 1 John 2:1-6
- Jesus concludes His sermon with four exhortations: 1) Enter the narrow gate; 2) Beware of false prophets; 3) Even religious enthusiasts may be fakes; and 4) Disobedience will lead to destruction.
- Jesus gives words of blessing and cursing as He concludes His sermon, similar to Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 where there is blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience.
- Jesus promises blessing for hearing and obeying His words, and warns of destruction for disobedience.
- Unlike Moses' sermon, Jesus' sermon is the very voice of God commanding obedience and promising blessing and cursing.
- Both the wise and foolish man are in the church, but the wise man obeys Jesus' word and the foolish doesn't.
- This passage is an exhortation to action, calling us to put Jesus' teaching into practice.
- Moses calls the people to listen, to hear, and to do God's commandments (Deuteronomy 5:1).
- The gospel is not a message to which we merely give intellectual assent; it's the hard (narrow) way of daily following Jesus.
- Blessings and curses based on obedience are not unique to the Old Testament. The Lord equally commands obedience in the New Testament. (See Romans 1:5; 15:17-18; 1 John 2:1-6.)
- The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 is the command to disciple the nations, teaching them to obey God's commands.
- Our salvation doesn't depend on our works. Rather, our ability to obey depends on our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10).
- In Deuteronomy 6:20-25, the children are to be instructed that God has saved us and so we are to obey His commands for our good.
- Obedience makes us fruitful individuals, confirming our salvation, and fortifying our faith.
- Obedience doesn't always manifest itself in obvious ways, and so the counterfeit Christian may easily pretend to be real.
- Jesus turns our attention from outward acts of piety and obedience to the inner motivations which reveal the heart.
- Jesus wants to heal our hearts and to change our inner motivations: If you're set on earthly treasure, set it on heavenly treasure; if you're anxious about material goods, seek His kingdom first; if you pray to be heard by others, then pray in a closet; if you fast to receive recognition, then do it secretly.
- Are we focused on our neighbour or on ourselves?
- Who are you when the mask is taken off? Are you meek, a peace maker, do you mourn? Are you salt and light?
- When the world sees the fruit of our obedience, the consequence is that they'll give glory to our Father who is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
- Do we love to merely hear the teaching? If we hear good teaching but fail to put it into practice we're doomed (cf. Ezekiel 33:30-32).
- It was the scholars who were opposed to Christ; true wisdom is applied knowledge.
- Let's be zealous for good works, which is our purpose (Eph. 2:10).
- He who began a good work in us will complete it (Philippians 1:6).
- When we obey Jesus we are not only blessed but we ourselves become a source of blessing.
- Do we seek to receive the Lord's affirmation: “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
- Why is it so important to examine our inner dispositions and motivations?
- What are the results of living obediently?
- What are the consequences of living carnally or hypocritically as a professing Christian?
- Why do both John and Paul insist strongly on obedience in their pastoral letters?
- What is the relationship between our salvation and obedience to God's commands?
- What changes are needed in my attitudes and actions this week to put Jesus' sermon into action?