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Summary: Our lives must be built on the solid foundation of faith in Christ.

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How To Know Who You Are

Matthew 7:21-29

INTRODUCTION

A. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s definition of salvation.

1. German theologian aware of the deception and delusion of the Lutheran church of his day.

2. Described their teaching as “cheap grace.”

3. Profession of faith was carried out and taught that good works should be done.

4. Many of the people were simply not born again.

5. They were taught about grace but not about the conversion experience.

6. The Cost of Discipleship, “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

B. Also said, “They bring their bodies to the house of prayer but not their souls; they worship with their mouths but not ‘in spirit and in truth.’ They are sticklers for immersion or early morning communion, yet take no thought about keeping their hearts with all diligence.”

C. Many today are self-deluded concerning salvation.

1. Many think they are on their way to heaven but are not.

2. Many think attending church is enough or making sure their good works outweigh their bad.

3. They have been born in a Christian nation or home.

4. They suppose God will just overlook their sin in the end.

D. The testimony I once heard from an older gentleman.

1. In a previous church during testimony time.

2. Testimony not about repentance or faith in Christ, but how at a certain age he walked the aisle and joined the church.

3. Many associate church membership with salvation, but they are not identical.

E. Those Jesus speaks to have been deceived in two ways.

1. Through a mere verbal profession and through intellectual knowledge.

2. Those to whom Jesus speaks are not pagans.

3. The Bible gives high standards by which to judge the Christian lifestyle.

4. It also warns us against self deception.

F. Several things that can lead people into spiritual self deception.

1. Some have a false doctrine of assurance (they have walked a church aisle, taken a preacher’s hand, asked to join the church, said a prayer, been baptized or performed some other act).

2. Some have failed to examine themselves (have not examined their inner motives, standards and desires to see if they bring glory to God. The Bible says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves.” II Corinthians 13:5).

3. Some concentrate on religious activity (attend church, read the Bible, pray, and do many good religious things).

4. Some are deceived by the idea of fair exchange (If I do enough good things they will balance out and hopefully outweigh the bad things I have done).

LOOK AT THE VERBAL PROFESSION

A. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 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 deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’”

B. Explanation of the term Lord.

1. It was used for honor and respect.

2. As used here, it was probably a substitute for Yahweh, the name for God that was too holy to speak.

3. That they had done so many things in his name implies that they did more than just respect him.

4. Jesus is speaking of those who have made a verbal profession.

5. They claim to be his followers, which is evident by the many works they claimed to do in his name.

C. What is the picture before us?

1. A multitude is standing before Christ claiming to know him.

2. He is the judge and they are boasting about the many good things they have done.

3. There are two groups: some tell what they have done and are accepted, but some are not.

4. Not all who call upon him will be acknowledged by him.

5. Those not accepted have entered the broad gate and walked the broad way.

6. The works are impressive, but their lives don’t bear out what their lips profess.

D. Verbal profession does not necessarily equal faith in Christ.

1. How many times have we heard testimonies where someone tells of how they said a prayer but realized later they were not Christians.

2. Obedience is at stake, for a faith relationship with him involves this.

3. Salvation and obedience go hand in hand.

4. Those whose verbal professions have no substance will be told that they are not known.

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