Summary: This message explores the parable of the wise man and the foolish man.

Chico Alliance Church

Pastor David Welch

“A Good Foundation”

Matt 7:15-29

Review of Parable series

Jesus told parables or made up stories in order to illustrate spiritual truth in terms that people could instantly relate both emotionally and intellectually.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan reminded us that we demonstrate genuine love for our neighbor as ourselves with A.C.T.S.

Concerned Awareness

Deep Compassion

Healing Touch

Personal Sacrifice

This parable teaches us what to do when we encounter those in need. It is filled with emotion and conviction about our attitudes toward people in need.

The Parable of the Lost and Found reminded us that all people have value and are worth the effort to bring to repentance…

Must be our priority

Must be our passion

Will take great patience

This parable too is filled with emotion.

The distress of loosing something very valuable to you

The devastation of choosing a wrong path

The delight of finding what was lost

That parable taught us how we must demonstrate a passion for those who have wandered off God’s path and separated from God’s people. The parable also was filled with conviction about our own attitudes toward lost people.

Attitudes come from thoughts.

Watch over your thoughts, they become your attitudes.

Watch over your attitudes they become your words.

Watch over your words, they become your actions.

Watch over your actions, they become your habits.

Watch over your habits, they become your character.

Watch over your becomes your destiny.


This message explores another familiar parable and focus on its main point.

Like the others, Jesus related this parable to illustrate a basic truth which should guide our thinking and our living. The truth emphasized here could be the difference between heaven and hell. Practicing this vital life principle means the difference between a walk that survives the storms of life and one that crumbles in the midst of crisis. As we will see, it is the core of what it means to be a genuine disciple of Christ. It is best known as the parable of the Wise Man and the Foolish Man.

I. The Particular Perspective

Every parable has a context. Listen to the context of this parable. Jesus had been sharing the principles of life in the Sermon on the Mount. He was relating how true disciples feel and live. He just finished urging them to enter through the narrow gate leading to life. Then he issued this warning against false prophets who pretended to be from God but actually were not.

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "So then, you will know them by their fruits.

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

Matthew 7:15-23

He made it clear that it is not an occasional positive work here and there that gains entrance into the kingdom but a fundamental root change accomplished by faith in Christ that becomes evident by spiritual fruit and life change. In fact, those who claim to follow Christ but have not had a fundamental root change are in for a grand surprise when it comes time for the judgment. Even though they pretended to speak for God and even though they invoked the name of Jesus against demons and healed people in the name of Jesus, their heart was still self-centered and rebellious against God. They were never fully surrendered to Him as Lord even though they called him Lord.

They lived a lie. Jesus made it clear that such people will not enter the kingdom.

Such people had never established a personal relationship with Jesus. “I NEVER knew you!” He did not say, “I knew you once but have rejected you.” “I NEVER knew you!”

He used the word to know someone by personal experience. These people never really wanted to bow to God’s will. They never intended to arrange their lives according to God’s law. They had never really surrendered to the authority of Christ over everything in their life.

We have a false gospel being preached today. Today’s gospel promises everything but demands nothing. I am not talking about working for your salvation. These people were willing to work and do certain “good” works that gained them nothing.

I am talking about a fundamental attitude and life change that agrees to let Jesus become the absolute authority and boss of our lives. That is the foundational meaning of faith or trust in Christ. It is to fully surrender our agenda and embrace His agenda on the basis of a fully dependent relationship with Him. It is a reestablishment of the original Creator / creation relationship. That root commitment or lack of commitment eventually shows to those around us. “You will know them by their fruits.”

In this context, Jesus reveals the basis for surviving storms or collapsing in the storms of life. The issue has to do with:

• Hearing and heeding.

• Listening and living.

• Perceiving and practicing.

• Comprehending and completing.

• Observing and obeying.

It is the Aye! Aye Sir from the soldiers of the Kingdom of God. This parable teaches the difference between those who listen only and those who both hear and heed what they hear.

II. The Pertinent Parable

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall." Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49

Luke adds one extra step I want to include in our application. Come! Listen! Obey!

The fundamentals of the parable are not complicated.

Two people

• Both build houses.

• Both encounter storms with torrential rain, frightening floods and violent wind.

• Two different outlooks -- One is wise. One is foolish.

• Two different foundations -- One builds on solid rock. One builds on shifting sand.

• Two different outcomes -- One stands fast. One collapses.

It is not the houses or the storms but the foundation that makes the difference in the outcome. Only those who take His word to heart and follow through will reap the benefit of a stable and fruitful life.

III. The Practical Point

Jesus made the application clear. The foolish person hears the truth and fails to heed and collapses in the storms of life. The wise person hears the truth AND obeys and so withstands the storms of life. The implication in this context is that those who are committed to whole heartedly follow Christ will enjoy the fruit of obedience. Those who listen to and live the words of Christ will stand the tests. The quality of relationship has to do with obedience.

The Point of the parable. Hear and heed the words of Jesus.

Somehow we like to think that we can do our own thing and ignore what He tells us to do and enjoy all the benefits of a close relationship. Ignore the will of your boss and see how far you get. Ignore your spouse’s will and see how meaningful the relationship becomes. Ignore your friend’s suggestions all the time and see how long the relationship lasts. Yet somehow we think we can completely ignore the things Jesus clearly tells us to do and continue to act like everything is warm and wonderful. We feel that somehow it doesn’t affect him when we ignore his instructions. We may even feel He has no right to tell us what to do or how to do it.

I am here to tell you today that that is not scripture. To callously ignore the things that Jesus says and fail to apply them to our life is to demonstrate either a heart that has been hardened or one that has never been softened by repentance. We must cultivate a heart that desires to continually learn what is pleasing to him and ready to constantly confess any failure to obey and please Him. We want a heart sensitive to disobedience in all its forms. That is why we need daily encouragement lest our hearts become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13).

Jesus called people with such hearts His true family.

While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother." Matthew 12:46-50

"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. John 15:10

"You are My friends if you do what I command you. John 15:14

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. John 14:22-24

If there is not your drive to follow the Lord and do His will then don’t fool yourself.

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 1 John 2:3-6

I am not talking about the inability to completely obey or a struggle to live holy.

I am talking about the flagrant disregard of what God calls us to do.

Three of the four gospels record Jesus criteria for coming after Him.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. Matthew 16:24

We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. Hebrews 2:1-4

See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN." This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:25-29

To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

The wise man will build his house on a solid foundation.

Come! Listen! Obey!

A. Abundant blessing and fruitfulness

Jesus calls attention to at least one benefit of hearing and heeding his word. He promises stability in the storm. He didn’t promise a stormless life but a strong life; a blessed life.

Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in His commandments. Psalm 112:1

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked (those who do not obey) are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1:1-6

"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36

One of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Jesus, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." Luke 11:27-28

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

"I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.

"If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:17-18

This only makes sense. If we operate by the manufacturers specifications, we can avoid frequent breakdowns. We will function as originally designed. We will enjoy His unhindered fellowship and develop greater and greater sensitivity to his voice.

Come! Listen! Obey!

B. Personal assurance

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3

This doesn’t say God will know, but WE will come to know by experience.

C. Intimate communion

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:23-24

To go God’s direction indicates that we have put our trust in His way of doing things.

We have committed to walk with Him and we will demonstrate His presence in our life by the greater sensitively to the Holy Spirit whom He has given us to connect with Him. Peter reminded his readers that the time was over to live for self and the flesh.

Since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1-2

James called his readers to both hear and heed the word.

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:21-27

Come! Listen! Obey

IV. Personal applications to the Chico Family


In order to hear you first have to come to the feet of Jesus. You have to first establish a relationship with Him. Then you must continually get in a place where you can hear Him.

1. Come in humility and reverence.

Thus says the LORD, "Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? "For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being," declares the LORD. "But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

2. Come in repentance and submission.

To come to Jesus with no intention of doing what He says is a travesty.

"He who kills an ox is like one who slays a man;

To participate in some religious ceremony to cover sin translates to God as a murder.

He who sacrifices a lamb is like the one who breaks a dog's neck;

To offer a ritual sacrifice translates to God as heartless animal abuse.

He who offers a grain offering is like one who offers swine's blood;

To put money in the offering translates to God as offering Him abominable hard core pornography or something that horrible defiles His altar.

He who burns incense is like the one who blesses an idol.

Prayers translate to God as offering praise and blessing to an idol or a demon.

What makes these normally meaningful expressions of worship so detestable to God?

As they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations… Isaiah 66:1-3

We must come to God in humility and a heart ready to submit to Him as boss.

Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

Come to Him today! Submit yourselves under the might hand of God.

Coming to Him indicates realization of personal need.

Coming to Him indicates recognition of His ability and willingness to meet our need.

Coming to Him indicates repentance and willingness to submit to His authority.


He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9

If hearing and heeding the word of God is the firm foundation for a stable walk and a blessed life, how much time are you spending listening? Do you know when God is talking to you?

"But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:26-28

Are you in a place where you can even hear him or are you too busy with other “important” things to take the time to listen? It is a choice. It is a matter of priority. It is a matter of what value you determine to give to listening. Jesus made no excuses for Martha’s business even when it was done with the best of intentions of serving Jesus.

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42

The top priority in life is to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to what He has to say. Not beg Him for things. Not tell Him all our troubles, but to sit, be quiet and LISTEN.

How much are you listening? What priority does listening take in you schedule?

Daily reading and listening? Bible Study? Radio? Tapes? Book? Videos? Service? SS?


The parable is clear. Come! Listen! Obey! Listening without obedience is foolishness.

James told us to receive the word implanted until it bears the fruit of righteousness.

The Scriptures that talk about obedience are overwhelming.

The promise of blessing for obedience

The promise of punishment for disobedience

Trust and obedience are the foundation of response to God; the definition of saving faith. I suggest that each one agree today to start a spiritual journal. Everyday take time to listen. Read Scripture until God points something out for that day.

Write it down and what you will do about it. Change your thinking, change your living.

Divide your paper in four columns.

In the first column write, “God said.”

In the second column write, “I will.”

In the third column write, “I did.”

In the fourth column write, “God blessed”

Come! Listen! Obey!

• I need you!

• Speak for I am ready to listen!

• Aye! Aye Sir.

When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. Matthew 7:28-29

Application and further Study

First get alone and reread the passages from the message and LISTEN.

What is He saying to YOU from His word?

Get started on your journal establish and practice your spiritual journal. Track your walk with God. Document the changes you begin to see in your life through a conscious effort to come, listen and obey.

Divide your paper in four columns.

In the first column write, “God said.”

In the second column write, “I will.”

In the third column write, “I did.”

In the fourth column write, “God blessed”

Each day practice the three things,

1. Humbly Come.

2. Consciously listen.

3. Intentionally obey.

Try reading Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 and jot down all the blessings for obedience and the cursing for disobedience.

Here are some other passages on obedience you might want to look up.

Exodus 23:21-22; Psalm 81:11; Isaiah 1:19; Jeremiah 7:23-28; Jeremiah 11:8; Jeremiah 26:13; Jeremiah 32:23; John 3:36; Acts 5:29; Acts 5:32; Romans 1:5; Romans 2:8; Romans 5:19; Romans 6:12-19; Romans 16:19; Romans 16:26; 2 Cor. 7:15; 2 Cor. 9:13; 2 Cor. 10:5-6; Ephes. 6:1; Col. 3:22; 2 Thes. 1:8; 2 Thes. 3:14; Philemon 1:21; Hebrews 5:8-9; Hebrews 13:17; James 3:3; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 4:17

Ask God if he would have you share what you are learning with the body.

Let the pastor know God has asked you to share to encourage others.

We NEED to know what God is doing among us.