Summary: A look at the foundational importance of understanding the Genesis account of Creation as reliable - illustrated from Jesus’ Words in Matthew 7:15-29.
I’ve titled my sermon this morning, “Foundations”. The reason for this is that God has impressed on my heart the deep-seated need for this generation of Americans to understand a key difference in how we look at things, how we approach our daily lives and the decisions we make. The foundation that I am going to focus on this morning can be illustrated with a question, speaking about literature. Who here can tell me what kind of a book begins with the words, “Once Upon a Time”?
If you said a fairy tale or made up story, you would be correct. I suggest to you this morning that during the generations represented here in this church, our society has increasingly insisted that the book we claim to be the inspired, inerrant word of God actually begins with “Once Upon A Time”. It is that very concept that I want us to consider this morning because the foundation of your Christian religion and belief system hinges on that very subject, does the Holy Bible really begin with the words “In the beginning, God. . . “, or have we determined as a people and society and even as a church that it should read, “Once Upon A Time”? Is your foundation really on the solid rock of God or on a fairy tale?
If you will, please turn with me in your Bible to the book of Matthew chapter 7 where we will focus this morning on a portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount that deals directly with the foundation that we choose to base our faith on. We will begin reading at verse 15 and read through the end of the chapter.
A Tree and Its Fruit
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
I Never Knew You
21 "Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ’I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Build Your House on the Rock
24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."
The Authority of Jesus
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. (ESV)
While laying out the character and beliefs and behaviors of true believers, Jesus took a moment to elaborate on a key principle dealing with foundations. He said that what you build your faith on has as much or more to do with your true identity in Him as does your outward behaviors. I don’t know if you realize this or not, but a person can have all the outward appearance of Christianity and never have a saving relationship with God. A person can demonstrate many of the attributes that Christ talks about in this Sermon on the Mount and never really know Him. He warns his listeners of this fact in verses 21 – 23 and the goes on to tell them that it matters what is at the base of your belief and actions as to whether or not you are truly one of His own. Building a house on the wrong foundation will ultimately result in a broken house.
If you’ve kept up with the local news you may have read about a local concrete company who was using some inadequate materials in their mix. Because of this, the people buying concrete from this company were building foundations for houses and lots of other things with defective concrete. After a while, many of the unsuspecting customers began to notice that their foundations were cracking and that some of their walls were settling and cracking in their house. Are you beginning to see how important a solid foundation is?