Peninsula Community Church
Sermon on the Mount – Knowing that We Know
September 4, 2011
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God’s message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!’ Then I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!’
In our study two weeks ago, we saw that Matthew 7:15-20 speaks of false and unsound professions while our passage today, Matthew 7:21-23, speaks of unsound hearing and actions. We saw those who used there positions and there words to control and to use people for their own good. The wolf in sheep’s clothing is one that is all about deceiving others for personal gain and to improve their self-esteem.
While the last passage was about deceiving others for personal gain, the theme of the verse before us today speaks of a self-righteousness that leads to self-deception. In essence, this passage deals with the subject of professing one thing when in reality there is no fruit or evidence that one is who they say they are. This is one of the saddest passages in the Bible for me. It signifies those who were busy doing great things for God without ever establishing a relationship with God. There are those who believe they are doing right but they have never accomplished the one thing that is most important and that is receive Christ as their Savior.
Deception is always a difficult issue to deal with as we honestly believe that we are walking in truth and what we believe about ourselves is true.
As we pursue this discussion it is important for us to determine the reasons we become deceived:
- One of the first reasons we are deceived is that we have a false assurance in our salvation because of an easy-believism and an acceptance of a cheap grace. 2 Cor. 7:9-10. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. What do I mean when I say an easy believism and cheap grace? I simply mean that we have received what Christ can do for us without receiving Christ. We have confessed but we have not repented. Detriech Bonnhoffer has written extensively about cheap grace. He says that a conversion experience that does not bring change is no conversion experience at all.
- We come to Christ for the wrong reason because we misunderstand all that Christ has done for us. Eph 1:7, Eph2:7-10. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. In this regard we must understand that just because we were born into a Christian family does not guarantee that we are a Christian and yet so many pursue Christianity without ever developing a personal relationship with the living God. A second consideration here is that too often we want the gifts and benefits of God without the commitment to Christ that is needed.
- We fail to do self-examinations. 2Cor. 13:5 – Paul calls the Corinthian church to do a self-examination of themselves. How has your life changed since coming to Christ?
- We have a fixation on religious activity. One final problem that presents itself is that too often we are fixated on doing things for God rather than being something for God. Those in our passage were effect in what they did but they never had a relationship to the one that they were doing the stuff for.
How do we know we are believers?
- We have made a confession of faith and there is an assurance in the heart that God has raised Christ from the grave. In other words there is a belief that Jesus is who He said He is. Romans 10:9-10 – But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
- For a true believer there is an ongoing process of personal evaluation of one’s self. A part of this comes from the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the other comes from the desire to know that all issues of the faith have been dealt with. 2 Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
- There is a confirmation from the spirit of God. When you are around those who have Christ in their hearts there is a confirmation of this truth. Romans 8:14-17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
- A true believer will follow God’s commands and where they fail they will make every effort to bring change and allow God to transform that part of their life. 1 John 2:3-6 – And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
- A believer will not only hear the words of God but will seek to make application of those words into their lives. They will find their place in the body and then begin to full their calling. James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.
The call of Christ is to be obedient to God’s Word and to do His will.