Passage: Matthew 7:13-27
This passage is intense. To do it justice, it would have to be presented in more than one entry, and I propose at least four:
- Matthew 7:13-14 – Genuine Path
- Matthew 7:15-20 – Genuine Fruit
- Matthew 7:21-23 – Genuine Discipleship
- Matthew 7:24-27 – Genuine Obedience
One cannot approach this passage lightly. Each section or pericope talks about the quality of the characteristic in question belonging to the proclaiming Christian individual, and also the consequence of that. Narrow or broad gate? Good or bad fruit? Doing the will of the Father or doing what you think is the will of the Father, but isn’t? Hearing Jesus’ words and acting on them throughout the rest of your life, or not?
Think carefully, but not without taking action, because there are serious consequences. Life or destruction? Bear good fruit or be cut down and thrown into the fire? Enter the kingdom of heaven or be sorely disappointed, and worse, rejected and denied entrance by its Master? Having your house stand or fall–and a great fall at that?
In future entries we’ll look at each of these sections more closely, but here is some food for thought:
- When all is said and done, at the end of the day or at the end of your life, what will the Lord say? What has He seen? He sees not as man sees.
- If there is “bad fruit” in your life (and I know there are not a few in mine), how do you explain that? Are you walking by the Spirit or the flesh (Galatians 3:3)? Are you a child of God, and therefore, a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)?
- How do I know if I am actually doing the will of the Father, and not just “Christian things” that I think are in His will? Historically, we have proven to be quite the self-deceivers, so we are also at risk of unwittingly adopting a non-gospel in the works-based righteousness (which is no righteousness at all) attitudes like the false teachers and having a false assurance of salvation (Matthew 7:15).
- Do you really want to see your life and everything you’ve built up come crashing down at the end–for eternity, with no looking back and no reparations?
If you’re not sure about your eternal destiny, or if the pattern of your life doesn’t match the pattern of a regenerate person that Christ outlines in this passage, then I have one word for you: Repentance. With humility approach the throne of grace and be in awe that the merciful Lord Jesus Christ would bestow it upon you, a wretched sinner.
This call to repentance is for myself as much as it is for the reader, which is the whole point of this site: Awe and Reverence. Again, to reiterate its purpose, it is not for me to speak from “up here” to you “down there,” but to speak to myself that I actually am “down there” and that I need to stay “down there,” and the only way “up” is through the Lord Jesus Christ.