Summary: Salvation by Grace through Faith is proven by what we become. No one has the right to say that they are born-again if their character doesn’t change.
SERIES Characteristics of Christianity #part 5:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 ¶ “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ 24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Mt. 7:15-29 (NKJV)
1. Char. of Christianity: Metamorphosis / New Clothes / Growth Process / Radiant Life / Character (Who you really are)
2. The Sermon on the Mount is the principles that GOVERN Kingdom life for believers.
3. In the “Kingdom of HEAVEN” there are wise and foolish builders!!! (illustrated in vv. 13-23)
4. Nothing I can do is as important as being sure that my LIFE is built on a sure foundation!
I want to make two comparisons regarding the two builders in Mt. 7:21-29.
1- The Points Where they are Like one another.
1. Both men had the same privilege of HEARING the Words of Christ. (Mt 13)
2. Both saw a NEED to begin building a place of refuge.
3. Both WORKED and evidently had similar skills. (“prophesied, cast out devils, wonders”)
4. Both BELIEVED that their labor was sufficient. (Sincere)
5. Both of the builder’s work was TESTED.
2- The Points Where they are Different. (The Gospel – Three Pigs)
1. They built on different FOUNDATIONS.
2. They had different RESULTS from the tests.
1) Without a firm foundation no house is secure!!! (illus. Ravi Z. see below)
2) Important to notice that occupant would go with the house!!!
Gospel according to the Three Pigs. (Straw – Wood – Brick)
The first two pigs ran from one destroyed foundation to another until they arrived at the brick house!!
Don’t run out of time before the “Wolf” (death) gets you!!!
This story gives us the basic requirements of a good spiritual builder.
1.) He must HEAR the Word of God.
2.) He must OBEY what he has heard.
3.) He must WORK to build his house properly.
Jesus’ words are practical, authoritative, and imperative. You have heard – will you obey?
Ravi Zacharias, a well-known Christian author and teacher did a lectureship at Ohio State University not too long ago. As he was being driven to the lecture, the car passed the new Wexner Art Center. The driver said, “This is a new art building for the university. It’s a fascinating building because it is designed in the post-modernist view of reality.” Zacharias looked at the building and noticed it had no pattern.
Staircases go nowhere. Pillars support nothing. The architect built the building to reflect life. It goes nowhere and makes no sense.
Zacharias says he turned to the man describing it and asked, “Did they do the same thing with the foundation?” He laughed and said, “You can’t do that with a foundation.”