Matthew Seven – 2010

Chapter ★7:

★7:1“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. This verse is not implying that any act of judgment is bad as it has sometimes been read. Keeping in mind scriptures tell us that God is a just & righteous judge, we may ask, what is the difference between righteous judgment and the judgment this verse warns about? I would say that the difference is the heart position of judgment. Example: 1. That person on the street is probably hungry, I might take them a sandwich; this judgment came out of a position of compassion, sympathy, brokenness, and selflessness.  2. That person on the street is dirty, and they’d probably try and steal my money, given the chance; this judgment came out of selfishness, pride, hatred and fear. Ultimately the 2 differences are 1. Humility and 2. Pride. Judgment made out of humilty are accompanied by compassion and selflessness, judgment made by pride is accompanied by fear and bigotry. A good verse to remember here is: ★ James 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

★7:3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. If you are judging through pride, you will appear to be hypocritical.  Example: 1. Humility. Brother, I can see that you are suffering just like me.  But both of us would rather be better, so let us remind and encourage each other in grace as we grow and rise above our suffering. 2. Pride. Brother, I can see you are suffering because you are so prideful.  You should stop giving people advice until your pride issues are dealt with.

★7:6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. Don’t waste time on people or ideas that desire fighting over finding truth.

★7:7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! In the light of verse 6, verse 7 says, if you genuinely desire God you will find him! God wants you to seek him and he considers it a joy, like the joy a father has to give his son a gift. Trust that when you want to know God, despite the difficulty he desires to reveal himself to you!
This is a good time to remember this verse ★John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. If you do have a genuine heart to seek God, it is not of your own merit, but the product of the Father drawing you. That is so no-one can boast and say “I was smart enough to make a decision to follow Christ”. All of us have sinned, all of us chose death. It is God alone who called you to him, not your conscience, not your better judgment. It was only the loving hear of a merciful God that decided to call you.

★7:12“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. We are thankful that God ould give us good things though we don’t deserve it. And because of his spell binding mercy we are compelled to do the same to others. After all it is an easy thing to forgive of a little after you have been forgiven of so much. This is the Law and the Prophets: Sigh of relief.  Reading through the law and the prophets can be hard work! It can sometimes seem dry and meaningless.  Luckily Jesus gave us an overall purpose to seek out in the Law and the prophets, and that overall purpose is The Golden Rule!

★7:13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easya that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. In light of verse 7-10 we do know that God will honor our genuine desire for him.  But our genuineness may be tested before our father gives to us according to his plan. This verse, 1314, helps us to remember that God desiring God is not a skip hop and a jump, but a road of testing our heart.  This testing of our heart is not for God’s benefit but for ours!  As we become more aware of what we are made of, it helps us realize just how merciful God’s grace is, and the weight of sin that Jesus bore for us on the cross. God did this in the old testament to the Israelites as they walked through the desert God (★Deut 8:2-3). Jesus even gives us insight into the testing in this chapter in verses 25-27.

★7:15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? How do you tell the difference between a false prophet and a genuine prophet? Signs? No! Miracles? No! Foresight & wisdom? No! Fruits! It is by their fruits you will recognize them! It may take time for their fruits to come to bloom, but when their fruits begin to show your will use their fruits to tell whether they are false or genuine.  Yes, you will use their fruits to judge them!
It is interesting to note that in the same chapter that Jesus has said, Judge not, that you be not judged, he has stated that we should judge whether someone is a false prophet by their fruits.  This further confirms that the judgment Jesus is speaking of in this verse is directed at the position of the heart of the one passing judgment.  He then re-affirms his position on the judgment of false prophets in verse 20.

★7:19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. God takes false prophesy very seriously, and God takes the issue of not bearing good fruit very seriously!

★7:21“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. 22On 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?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Does calling Jesus ‘Lord’ get you into heaven? No! Do miracles, signs, ‘gifts’, wonders, prophesies confirm your salvation?  No! The man obeys the law will enter the kingdom. The law draws the line between who will come and who will go and only one man was able to obey the law, Jesus. Therefore this verse is not saying “try harder to fulfill the law”, it is saying “submit to Jesus, he is your only chance of righteousness, he is the only one worthy of salvation.

★7:24“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Two steps for qualifying for wisdom. 1. Hear these words of mine. 2. Do them!

★7:25And 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. 26And 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. 27And 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.” Your wisdom will be tested in the storm. Therefore if you are listening to Jesus’ words & doing them, expect the storm and be ready.

★7:28And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. Astonishing preaching is defined by it’s source of authority.

Continue to Matthew Chapter 8  ➜

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