Sermon on the Mount

Q: In Matthew 7:7-12 why does Jesus tell the people to ask, seek, and knock? Isn’t this where ‘name it and claim it’ comes from?

A: This is part of the Sermon on the Mount, from Jesus to His disciples (though the crowds surrounding the mountain were listening in as we read at the end of chapter 7).  Jesus’ teaching to the disciples here begins in Matthew 6 then on into 7 and He makes these points:

  1. Give humbly to the needy (in secret & not for men to witness)
  2. Pray humbly to God (not loudly before men so you get their approval)
    • Exalt God – He is Creator, Sustainer, Almighty, I AM
    • Pray for God’s will to be done
    • Pray for provision
    • Pray for forgiveness & to forgive others
    • Pray that God would protect you from Satan’s attacks
  3. Fast humbly to God, seeking Him and not reward for what you are doing (& not before men for their approval).
  4. Do not covet and amass great wealth.  Amass great knowledge through the renewing of your mind instead.  Let your eyes land on good rather than evil.
  5. Do not worry about provision, God will provide it because He knows that you need it.
  6. Do not judge others by the wrong they are doing, because you will be judged the same.
  7. Up until now we have learned that a person who seeks after God is humble, meek, and wants to give God the glory.  So in Matthew 7:7-12 we understand that the person who seeks and knocks is asking for what God would want (His will, not ours).  It is because we are asking for good things that God delivers.

Q: Why would we need to seek the narrow gate in Matthew 7:13-14 if we are predestined to be with God?

Verses 13-14 speak of the narrow gate vs. the wide gate.  There are two groups listening as Jesus is talking.  The group addressed is the disciples.  Jesus is telling them that the way of the world is not the right path.  The second group which is listening is the crowd.  Though the topic is addressed to people who have already been chosen by God, we know that Judas and many in the crowd will never be saved.  Several times throughout the Bible we are told to go out into the world and tell others about God and what Christ has done (Deut. 6:7, Matt 28:19, )…

We must all seek to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), which is the narrow gate.  Many – saved though they may be – still seek after the world, and do not move on from the foundations of salvation spoken of in Hebrews 6.  Christ

Q: If you believe that once a person is saved they can never lose their salvation, how do you explain Matthew 7:15-23?

Verses 15-20 discuss false prophets/teachers and that we should stay away from them.  We will know them by their fruit (or lack thereof).  The fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – Galatians 5:22

Continuing along the same lines as false teachers, verses 21-23 talk about false disciples.  Jesus explains that just because someone confesses to be a follower of Christ doesn’t mean they truly are.  Interesting how He says, “I never knew you”, instead of ‘I don’t know you.’  He says it in the past tense, like He has known who were His since the beginning.  Also interesting is that Judas is part of this group who is listening (a bit of foreshadowing!)

Finally, in 24-27 Jesus speaks of those who will take His words to heart and practice them.  Again, He is speaking to the people who have already committed themselves to Him.  Jesus expects us to take these wise words and apply them to our lives, to grow, and to never stop growing until we are glorified in Christ when we reach heaven.  (2 Thessalonians 1)

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