Summary: Now for the rest of chapter 7 we have what I think is the most important summary in the entire Bible, showing us exactly what the future holds for us and the basic choices we have to make.
Jesus has just spent probably several hours on this hot hillside teaching his disciples what a Christian is, what effect they are to have on the world, what his role was in coming to earth, and then giving many illustrations of Christian attitudes and behaviours that define us as Children of God and citizens of the Kingdom found in the Book of Life.
Now for the rest of chapter 7 we have what I think is the most important summary in the entire Bible, showing us exactly what the future holds for us and the basic choices we have to make. In this summary he reviews five points beginning with the most important. I want to remind you also that these are all in the present imperative which means they are ongoing, keep asking, keep seeking keep knocking. So let’s begin with:
Before anything else can take place we must ask to be forgiven. This is the simplest yet maybe the most profound statement in all the Bible. Ask and it will be given you. By now in this teaching, we know we’re sinners, we know we need Christ as our saviour, and because of this we simply have to ask Jesus to save us. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
How many times have you presented the Gospel to someone, pleaded with them to accept Christ’s invitation, and they sit there either silently, or outright refusing? Nothing can happen until the sinner asks Jesus to forgive them. To meet the most basic need that anyone will ever have. The Lord will not turn anyone down who asks for this from a place of humility and honest awareness of the need. And nobody can make us saved until we ask for it.
Remember back in chapter 6 verse 30 when Jesus said you have such little faith after addressing worry about food and clothing? This section describes in more detail what he means. He didn’t say you have no faith, he said little, or insufficient faith. Does it really take much faith to ask for forgiveness and be saved?
He’s talking in these verses about people who have a saving faith but that’s where it stops, and that’s why they experience very little life in their Christianity. It actually takes more faith to turn down, or not ask for God’s forgiveness if you really think about it.
Here’s a question for all of us to ponder as we continue through these verses today. Do I have anything more than a saving faith? Have I totally committed all my life to His Lordship? Does my faith extend beyond the salvation of my soul and into the rest of my life? Because saving faith is essentially no more than belief or agreement with Scripture. In this regard the only difference between saving faith and the belief of the hell bound demons, is that they didn’t ask for forgiveness. They believe all the same stuff about Jesus, but chose not to accept what he offered.
If we still worry often, if we still seek assurance and security from the world, we have a weak faith that has not moved beyond asking for forgiveness and getting our “get out of hell free” card. Our faith has not overtaken our lives.
A man once said, the trouble with many Christians is that we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but we do not believe him. In other words we believe on Him for salvation of souls, but we don’t believe him when he says our Father will provide for us, or that we have the full power of God available to us through the Holy Spirit.
But still, all it takes is this little faith to ask and it will be given. If that’s good enough for you, you can begin your nap now, because the rest of this sermon will not apply to you.
Seek and you will find. Find what? Obviously in this context, find God. Just because you have accepted forgiveness doesn’t mean you know God. After being saved we are to seek God with great effort. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness for they shall be satisfied, and those who are pure in heart, for they shall see God.
We don’t necessarily have that vital relationship with the Lord when we’re saved. That’s just like meeting Him. Like any other relationship it develops over time and we are to seek Him once we are saved. In fact forgiveness/justification is what makes it possible to even begin this relationship and desire to seek Him. But see how the seeking now requires a little more faith and action than simply the asking.
Not only will we find Him, but as the Lord’s Prayer alludes to, we will find His will if we truly seek it. Part of what keeps our faith small is that we don’t think. We don’t consider who God really is, we don’t consider that we are literally his children and he wants the best for us, and part of our inheritance is that He lives in us.