Inside: In Matthew 7:24-27, we find a contrast between the wise man who builds his house on the rock and the foolish man who builds his house on the sand. The only solid foundation for our lives is Jesus Christ and His teachings.
Building on the Rock or Sand?
Are you a wise builder? Will you hear the words of Jesus and act upon them as a wise person and build your house on the rock? When the storms of life come, will your foundation stand firm in the midst of them?
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.”
In Matthew 7:24-27, we find a contrast between the wise man who builds his house on the rock and the foolish man who builds his house on the sand. The foundation on which we build our lives is critical when the storms of life come. The wise man hears and practices the words of Jesus, building his house on the Rock, which is immovable. In contrast, the foolish man hears but does not practice the words of Jesus, building his house on sand, which is unstable, and in the end, he will fall. The only solid foundation for our lives is Jesus Christ and His teachings.
Profession to Christ without obedience to Christ is worthless.
We must examine our hearts in light of this text to see if we are truly in Christ. The true test of our foundation will come on the day of judgment. When the storms of life hit upon the foolish man, his foundation will not hold. He will sink. He will fall. It will be revealed in the final judgment that he was never a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will hear those words:
“Depart from me. I never knew you.”
If we are in Christ, we will desire to live a life of obedience to God’s Word and trust in His grace, goodness, and love for us amid life’s trials and difficulties. We will all face winds, rain, and floods in our lives, but if we build our lives on the Rock of Christ, we will weather the storms of life by clinging to the truth of God’s Word.
“The mark of true discipleship is not simply hearing and believing, but believing and doing. The true disciples of Jesus Christ, the only true converts of the gospel, are those who are “doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. In other words, a person who professes to know Christ but does not obey Christ, has no lasting image of what the new life is all about. He glimpses Christ, and glimpses what Christ can do for him, but his image of Christ and of the new life in Christ soon fade. His experience with the gospel is shallow, superficial, and short-lived.”John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 (New Testament Commentary)
Our proof of salvation—not the cause of our salvation because we are saved by grace alone, by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone—but the proof of that salvation is a life of obedience to God’s Word. If we have repented of our sins and trusted in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation, we are now under His Lordship, and now, being in Christ, we desire to live a life that pleases Him.Profession to Christ without obedience to Christ is worthless.
Throughout this whole sermon—all three chapters of Matthew 5-7—Jesus has been telling us that a house built on the rock is a life lived in obedience to God’s Word. It is a life that desires to be right internally—in our hearts and not externally—it’s not a life of self-righteousness but of God’s righteousness.
If a person lives according to the principles of the Sermon on the Mount, the world calls him a fool; Jesus calls him a wise man. The world considers a wise man to be someone who lives by sight, who lives for the present, and who lives for self; Jesus calls such a person a fool.William MacDonald
Everything is new. Our thoughts, attitudes, motives, deeds, love for one another, serving one another, and desire to honor our Heavenly Father in all things. Honor to our Heavenly Father who has saved us and bought us and changed us and takes care of us and who loves us with an everlasting love.
Listen to EP 150: Build Your House on the Rock:
Resources & Links Mentioned in this Episode:
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Martyn Lloyd Jones
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“The truth on which Jesus is insisting in these final two paragraphs of the Sermon is that neither an intellectual knowledge of him nor a verbal profession, though both are essential in themselves, can ever be a substitute for obedience. The question is not whether we say nice, polite, orthodox, enthusiastic things to or about Jesus; nor whether we hear his words, listening, studying, pondering and memorizing until our minds are stuffed with his teaching; but whether we do what we say and do what we know, in other words whether the lordship of Jesus which we profess is one of our life’s major realities. This is not, of course, to teach that the way of salvation, or the way to enter the kingdom of heaven (21), is by good works of obedience, for the whole New Testament offers salvation only by the sheer grace of God through faith. What Jesus is stressing, however, is that those who truly hear the gospel and profess faith will always obey him, expressing their faith in their works.”
~ John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount
“We are all in one of two positions; we are either like the wise man or the foolish one; we are either, as we saw earlier, doing our utmost to put into practice the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount, or else we are not; either we are Christians, or we are deluding ourselves into thinking that we are Christians, and picking and choosing the things that please us out of the gospel, and saying, ‘This is quite enough. You need not take these things too seriously; you must not become narrow. All is well as long as you believe things in general.’ But our Lord teaches here that if we are in the wrong position, our supposed belief will not help us at all; indeed, it will let us down completely when we need it most.”
~ Martyn Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
“Certainly read your Scripture, and certainly pray; but not in any mechanical sense, not because you have been told to do it. Do it because the Bible is God’s Word and because He is speaking to you through it. But having read and prayed, stop and meditate, and in your meditation, remind yourself of the actual teaching of the Sermon on the Mount. Ask yourself if you are living the Sermon on the Mount, or really trying to do so. We do not talk to ourselves sufficiently; that is our trouble. We talk too much to other people and not enough to ourselves. We must talk to ourselves, and say:*
‘Our Lord said, in effect, I preach this Sermon to you, but it will be of no value to you if you do not do what I say.’ Test yourself by the Sermon on the Mount. Remember these pictures at the end of the Sermon. Say to yourself: Yes, I am here now; I am young. But I have to die sometime, and am I ready for it? What would happen to you if you suddenly lost your health, or lost your good looks, or your money or possessions? What would happen to you if you became disfigured by some disease? Where are you? What are you going to rest upon? Have you faced the inevitability of judgment beyond death? That is the only safe way. It is not really enough just to be reading the Bible and praying; we have to apply what we learn; we have to face ourselves with it, and hold it before us. Do not rely on activities. Do not say: I am so active in Christian work, I must be all right.’ Our Lord said that you may not be all right, though you think you are doing it for Him. Just face these things one after another, and test your life by them; and then make certain that you are really keeping this teaching in the forefront and at the very center of your life. Make quite sure that you are able to say honestly that your supreme desire is to know Him better, to keep His commandments, to live for His glory. However enticing the world may be, say, `No; I know that I, as a living soul, have to go to meet Him face to face. At all costs, that must come first; everything else must fall into the background.’*
It seems to me that that is the whole purpose of our Lord’s picture at the end of this mighty Sermon, namely, that we should be warned against and made aware of the subtle danger of self-delusion, and that we should avoid it by thus examining ourselves daily in His presence, in the light of His teaching. May He grant us the grace to do so.”
~ Martyn Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
- Matthew 7:24-27
- James 1:22-25
- 1 Corinthians 3:9-11
- 1 John 2:3-6
- Revelation 20:12, 15
- Romans 8:28
- 1 Peter 1:6-7
- Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Martyn Lloyd Jones
- Sermon on the Mount The: Matthew 5-7 Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice
- Matthew 1-7 MacArthur New Testament Commentary by John MacArthur
- Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew by J.C. Ryle
- The Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom (ESV Edition) by R. Kent Hughes
- Sermon on the Mount by Sinclair Ferguson
- The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 by Thomas Watson
- The Message of the Sermon on the Mount by John Stott
- Sermon on the Mount Teaching Series by Sinclair Ferguson at Ligonier Connect
- Logos Bible Software
- Bible Memory App
- Study Guide for Sermon on the Mount