Sermon Notes: Matthew 7:24-29

At the Tower of Babel, God forcefully scattered the people gathered on the plain of Shinar to rebel against God’s command to fill the earth and subdue it. God confused their languages, and the people were gathered into linguistic tribes and scattered to fill the earth and subdue it. 

But God being rich in mercy chose Abraham to bear the good news to every family of tribes he had just scattered so that they would not be left without a witness to who God is and how to believe and be saved. 

Jesus, the only God, who scattered the nations at Babel, said in Luke 24:44 (CSB) 44 He told them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

This same Jesus’ last words to us are recorded in Luke 24 and Matthew 28:

Luke 24:45-49 (CSB) 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And look, I am sending you what my Father promised (Holy Spirit). As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.”

Matthew 28:18-20 (CSB) 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus has sent us to make disciples of all nations. The nations Jesus scattered from Babel are still on the earth, and Abraham’s descendants have the message (we are those descendants by faith), and our vision is to complete what Jesus commanded in proclaiming his name to all nations by discipling folks into the kingdom of God with this powerful gospel. 

“For the glory of God disciple all nations.” Every disciple released to their vocational domains of society as gospel preachers and church planters. 

Jesus has been teaching us what his kingdom looks like that we are to disciple people into, and he ends the Sermon on the Mount with the basic framework of what discipleship looks like. Let’s read it. 

READ IT: Matthew 7:24-29

Jesus’ teaching has astonished the folks who present and hanging on his words. Listen to verses 28 and 29 again:

Matthew 7:28-29 (CSB) 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.

Jesus’ teaching is astonishing because he is preaching from the Bible he has breathed out, and he is doing so without reference to some other external source that validates his exposition. 

Jesus is teaching from the Bible with his own authority as the one who gave the Scriptures and has the sole authority to comment on their meaning and application with inerrant authority. 

This is either the height of heresy or Jesus is God and we should hear and obey every word with great eagerness and joy. 

Christians believe that Jesus is God and that his first Advent was to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37), die in the place of sinners at the hands of God the Father, be buried, rise on the third day, ascend to the Father, send the Holy Spirit to empower his mission for us, and we believe he will return on the day appointed by the Father when the mission is complete.  

Matthew 24:14 (ESV) 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

One of the ways Jesus astonishes us here is by laying the foundation for Christian discipleship. Let’s take a look. 

  1. Unshakable disciples hear and obey. V. 24-25
    1. Jesus has called his disciples to him all the way back at the beginning of this sermon (5:1), and he started teaching them what it looks like to follow him. 
    2. Jesus uses the metaphor of a house to represent a person’s life. 
    3. We understand Jesus is not talking about literal house building. Jesus is talking about life as his disciple. Remember, he called his disciples to him to preach this sermon to them, therefore, Jesus is telling his disciples how to be unshakable disciples.
      1. Jesus has been teaching us what discipleship in his kingdom looks like.
        1. This is confirmed by Jesus’ first word of this section: “Therefore”.
          1. In light of everything he has been teaching his disciples, and in light of the fact that the fruit of obeying his word will be good and prove where one’s faith is placed, Jesus tells us to make sure as his disciples that we hear and obey his  word. 
    4. What Jesus does here is give us a simple, teachable, repeatable and foundational model of discipleship: Hear and obey.
      1. First things first: What is a disciple?
        1. A disciple is one who has heard God’s call in the gospel and responded in faith (they heard and obeyed the call so that even becoming a Christian is a lesson in how to keep being a Christian). A disciple is baptized and thus enters the kingdom’s fellowship through membership in the local church. Jesus’ disciples are, therefore, on the life-long mission of growing up into maturity in Christ as they follow him, hearing and obeying God’s word. A disciple’s last lesson will be how to die full of the Holy Spirit. Discipleship is done in deep relationship with other disciples.
        2. Personally, I have been discipled and am a disciple under elders here and spiritual fathers in other states and have had a group of disciples that enter my life and launch to their own work since I became a Christian.
          1. My first little crew was a 6th grade Sunday School class that included a future UT football player and discipler of college football players as their academic adviser, a worship leader, and an engineer. 
          2. TRC started with me, Jennifer, Joan Brady, and previous folks who were in my sphere of discipleship in Joan’s living room walking through the Bible. 
          3. This trend continues today, and by God’s grace will continue until I learn that last lesson from others who go before me and from the Lord walking me through the valley of the shadow of death on how to die full of the Holy Spirit. 
      2. How do we hear?
        1. This can be a complicated question. I have read through a book with some young leaders in our church by Dallas Willard called “Hearing God”, and learning to hear God is a lifelong journey with the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and fellow church members to parse out God’s voice from the multitudes of noise around us and inside of us.
          1. This is a journey we all need to pursue maturity in, and you need to do it with Bible open and in fellowship with fellow church members.
            1. There will never be a lack of voices seeking to disciple you into some alternative metanarrative or to a preferred framework or to an idealogy. 
            2. The question is: which voice is the Spirit’s voice, because just about everyone will swear they’ve heard from God.
          2. The simple starting and ending place for hearing God is the Bible correctly interpreted.
            1. The Holy Spirit will speak, according to Jesus, all that Jesus has taught us already (John 14-16).
              1. So, the Spirit will not tell us something Jesus has not already said. 
            2. The primary place we are confident we have Jesus speaking to us is recorded in the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament.
              1. If you want to begin reliably hearing God speak, you begin by hiding the Bible in your heart through reading, study, memorization, and meditation on God’s word.
                1. Psalm 119:11 (CSB) 11 I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.
                2. Psalm 119:105 (CSB) 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
              2. It does not get any more elementary or profound than this.
                1. In Jesus, known from his word, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
      3. How do we obey?
        1. We learn obedience from our love for God.
          1. Because of the work of the gospel, we have deep affections for God that move us toward obeying God.
            1. We want to please God. 
            2. We want to honor God. 
            3. We want our actions to bring the knowledge of God to others. 
        2. We learn obedience by knowing that God loves us.
          1. We don’t obey in fear that God is going to get us. 
          2. We obey because we know that God truly accepts us and that his acceptance is not built on any merit in us or by us.
            1. We are energized by unconditional acceptance. 
        3. We learn obedience through faithful dependence on God in the simple yet profound and challenging things.
          1. There are times the clear and simple obediences will not make sense regarding self-preservation, and yet we have learned that obedience to God does not have to make sense all the time because God works the supernatural when his people walk obediently by faith.
            1. See the battle of Jericho. 
            2. When we depend on God through faith in simple  obedience, we learn deeper obedience.
              1. Example: Husband, love your wife as yourself. 
  2. False disciples hear but won’t obey. V. 26-27
    1. At some point, we have to become convinced, that to hear and fail to act is the essence of unbelief.
      1. Illustration: The parable of the talents. (6k drachmas and was close to 5,600 lbs of gold or silver)
        1. Matthew 25:14-30
          1. The master entrusts his possessions to his servants, and he goes on a journey. Two of the three servants are faithful to put the master’s resources to use and return them to him upon his return having gained more.
            1. One did nothing with his master’s resources because he falsely believed that master to be in the wrong, so he just returned what was given to him.
              1. Jesus’ response? The servant really didn’t know his master, and his house was shaken to the ground because he heard and did not do anything with what he heard and received. 
      2. We understand that a failure to obey God is a sin of active rebellion becasue we really don’t know God and we distrust his good for us.
        1. If we knew God, we’d know that he rewards his people when they obey.
          1. We have to believe that not obeying God wrecks us as individuals.
          2. We have to believe that not obeying God wrecks others around us. 
          3. We have to believe that not obeying God wrecks the spiritual air around us. 
          4. We have to believe that hearing and not obeying will end up in the ruin of our lives (the crashing of the house). 

Application

  1. Get after reading your Bible, studying your Bible, and memorizing your Bible.
  2. Read the Bible together.
    1. Would you all do something amazing?
      1. Join me using the same Bible reading plan. (Attached at the end of these notes)
      2. There are some of us who use the same plan. 
      3. There will be something amazing that happens when every TRC member is reading the same Scriptures daily and having conversations daily about the Scriptures.
        1. It is astounding the good conversations I get to have with folks who join me on this little plan as we read and share together and then make application together.
          1. I have text conversations with SWO staff over Scripture we are reading at the same time, and it’s enriching and encouraging and correcting all at the same time.
            1. For some reason, TRC folks go find something else or some other plan. 
            2. Can we read the same plan together?
  3. Practice obedience before you assimilate more knowledge.
    1. Real knowledge is gained through practicing what we learn from the Bible.
      1. I have a friend in a country I can’t name, for his own security, whose method of Bible instruction involves 30 minutes of reading and study, making sure they are as accurate in their interpretation as they can be, then breaking up to go practice the applications from the text immediately.
        1. They will not come together to learn anything new until they have done anything the text requires them to do when they interpret correctly together. 
      2. Try that for one month in your RL group, and report back to each other on what happened as you obeyed God. 
  4. Let’s pray and wait on the Lord together before we worship. 

3 comments

  1. I may be overlooking it, but I did not find attached the reading plan. Would you mind forwarding it to me?

    Thank you,

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    div>Kelda

    Sent from Kelda’s iPhone

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    Like

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