Gospel Thoughts: Matthew 7

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Nathan A. Hughes

Puritan Board Freshman
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Concerning judgment
Verses 1-6

Here we have one of the Bible’s misquoted and misused passages. Many times people will point to this passage as an approval of their sin. They will say that Jesus would not judge them and will accept them as they are. Nothing can be further from the truth. What Jesus is condemning here is hypocritical judgment. Notice how our Lord said you will be judged by the same measure as you judge. Another way of saying this is we ought to be careful that we practice what we preach. It would be wrong for a Christian to speak against a particular sin when he himself is caught up in the same sin or is having trouble with that same sin.

Jesus is not ruling out all judgment. judgment is important. Right and proper judgment is righteous and fair. In John 7:24 the Bible says, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” Also in 1 Corinthians 6:2, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?”

I am sure you have heard, “Thou shalt not judge” on the lips of the ungodly. I am sure many times you have heard the opening words of Matthew 7 used in this way. As we have just learnt, our Lord never said it is wrong to judge not did he say it is wrong to point out faults in others until we are faultless ourselves. If the opposite was true, then there would be no place for a Judge in a court of law. The role of God’s ministers are to edify and teach the people of God. A key part of this is pointing out error and declaring the truth in love.

Many do not see their need for repentance. In verse 6 Jesus is warning us that it is unwise to continue trying to reprove and rebuke the wickedness of some ungodly people. To these, it is like, “casting your pearls before swine.” It does them no good. It is like your words go in one ear and out of the other. God wisdom is required here. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent.

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Ask and it shall be given
Verses 7-14

Here is the principle of fervent prayer. These three are expressed greatly in the text ask, seek, knock, for everyone that asks shall receive and everyone that seeks shall find everyone that knocks the door shall be opened.

Christ shows the willingness of God to hear the prayers of men and women. Jesus links this to the love and care of our earthly parents. Fathers and mothers being subject to sin and the fall of our first parents Adam and Eve still know how to give good gifts and love to the children. How much more then shall God who is not sinful shall give good gifts to you if you ask him.

If we have never asked to be saved, then we are not saved. If we ask with the Philippian jailer , “what must I do to be saved” or say with a tax collector, “God, merciful to me a sinner.” We shall receive, for everyone that asks of God shall receive.

Treating others as you would want to be treated is a major principle in Scripture. Christian people ought to treat others fairly and respectfully. This is sometimes called the Golden Rule. In the spirit of warning believers Matthew writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the way which leads to eternal damnation is board and wide, and the way which leads to eternal life is narrow, and there are few that are on this path. This does not mean that it is difficult to be a Christian, but rather there is only one way that leads to eternal life. Jesus Christ is the way to the father and no-one can enter except through him.

Walking the path of righteousness may not be easy or popular and your friendships may come to an end, but take heart. For those who walk on the path of righteousness inherit eternal life.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

False and True Prophets
Verses 15-20

We are to be careful when listening to someone who claims to be a teachers or preacher. Not all so-called preacher and teachers are sound. Not all have the best intentions. Not all have the interests of God’s people in heart. Matthew warns us some come in sheep’s clothing but are wolves. This means they appear to be Christians but are not. They appear to be of the truth but are ministers of darkness.

These people are those who compromise on key truth. They will preach only what people want to hear and not the truth as it is in Holy Scripture. They will tickle the ears and dare not preach anything that will cause the ungodly to ponder on the truth. They will appeal to the flesh. They will never say anything that may cause someone to feel uncomfortable regarding spiritual matters.

Christians must watch out for false teachers. Even godly people can be beguiled by their much speaking. Some people claim to be preachers of the gospel and in truth are not. They will offer health, wealth, fame, power, and all manner of things. In reality, they will offer anything apart from the true gospel of Jesus Christ. You can tell who they are because they will preach a false Jesus, who is foreign to Scripture. They will minimise Christ and glorify themselves. Jesus teaches us that you shall know them by their fruits.

A good spiritual leader will have spiritual fruits of faithfulness to the Word of God. The wolf in sheep’s clothing will not have spiritual fruits. They will have only things of the work and to show. Ministers are only to be followed and believed if their doctrine agrees with Scripture and can be proved by Scripture. Sound teachers of truth point to Christ and give glory to him. This is the hallmark of a good preacher. Keep this in mind.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon
that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Be Doers of the Word
Verses 21-29

Jesus moves from speaking about false preachers to speaking about false believers. Men and women can make a profession of faith and take part in the life of the church, but not have a saving faith. Men and women can have head knowledge, but no heart knowledge.

They can be satisfied with their condition and even believe they are Christians, but are not. The question you need to ask yourself is do you do the will of God? This is a question of eternal value. Not everyone who claims to have repented and believe in Christ truly has.

The Christian is one who makes a practice of true faith, not a mere profession. We will do well to test if we are truly in the faith. Search your heart and soul in the light of the truth showed in Holy Scripture. We must ask spiritual questions of ourselves as this does matter. It will be a dreadful fate to hear those words of condemnation, “I never knew you,” Notice how Christ said I “never” knew you. He does not say I once knew you. The soul that has been redeemed by Christ is redeemed eternally. The soul that Christ has saved in saved forever and can never be lost. Those who find rest in Christ are kept by God and thus will be preserved till the end. True faith, saving faith will not fail, it will last forever.

Do not be led astray by feelings and desires. The devil can use feelings and desires to beguile true Christian men and women into falsehood. He also leads the ungodly into a false sense of security. Build your faith and hope in the sure promises of Christ given in Scripture. James 1:22 encourages us to be doers and not hears only. This verse is very helpful when dealing with the passage of Scripture in Matthew 7. Those who are not true believers never go beyond merely hearing. The true child of God is a hearer and a doer. Here concludes the Sermon on the Mount.
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