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Devotionals Sermon on the Mount

Christ the Rock of Ages

A helpful preacher will always have an application to his teaching. One of the helpful tools in sermon building that comes out of the Reformed and Evangelical world of years ago is sermon application. It is one thing to teach a Bible passage accurately but without an application the speaker will leave his congregation hanging. As listeners to the Word of God, we need to be told … “here is the teaching, now you go and do what was taught … and this is the way you do it.” I recall being on a “Pastors Conference” many years ago where the main speaker told us something like this … “If I preach for an hour I will be fired. If I preached for an hour and 15 minutes I will be severely reprimanded. My congregation expect an hour and a half sermon.” He went on to say that he spends 30 minutes expounding the text and 60 minutes applying the text. Good teaching fails without application. From verse 7 of chapter 7, our Lord is applying His teaching we call “The Sermon on the Mount”. Today we start considering His last applicatory point:

Mt 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Without doubt Jesus is not only the Master Teacher, He is the Master Applier of the Word of God.

1) He is very pointed, saying … Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine. He is speaking to all those following Him, whether they were disciples (even Judas Iscariot), genuine followers or hangers on to see what they could get out of Him. At this point He excludes those who are not hearing what He has to say … only those who do.

2) He is very encouraging.

Mt 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man.”

Jesus is saying that those who put His teaching (The Sermon on the Mount and All of Scripture) into practice are like “a wise man”.

(1) The wise person is the person who hears the Message of the Bible and does what it says. What is the message of the Bible? It is the message about Jesus, Messiah! In other words, the message is the Gospel … and what does the Gospel require of a person?

Mk 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Ac 26:20 “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.”

The wise person is the one who receives God Gospel Invitation and surrenders to Jesus through faith and proving this faith through repentant living.

(2) The wise person is the person who is satisfied because of the Word of God.

Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple

Ps 107:43 Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.

The Child of God is able to grasp God’s love for him or her and then arrives at the place where he or she is spiritually comfortable and satisfied, knowing nothing else is needed to grant a happy soul.

(3) The wise person is the person who nourishes the soul in the Word of God.

Pr 9:9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

Such a person eagerly eats spiritual manna from the pages of the Bible and becomes even more knowledgeable (wiser) about God and how He wants the saved soul to live life loving Him.

(4) The wise person is the person open to advice, especially God’s advice in the Bible.

Pr 12:15 The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.

Some think they are clever and need no guidance in life. Of them the proverb is true:

Pr 12:15 The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.

The wise person who has found salvation in Jesus is always eager to follow good counsel, especially when it is Biblical counsel.

(5) Are you a wise person?

2) There is no getting away from building upon a solid foundation … built his house on the rock. Look what has happened recently in KwaZulu-Natal and along slops dropping towards a river anywhere in the world. When the rainy season arrives, all too often homes are washed away and lives lost. This picture needs to be translated into the spiritual arena. The rock is God! David wrote Psalm 18 under inspiration after God had saved Him so many time from his enemies and especially Saul. See whom he says his rock is

Ps 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Why would he say this? Because:

Ps 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

The slimy pit filled with mud and mire was the way of the world of evil and sin. God in His grace transferred David from that slippery slope leading to hell and punishment and established him firmly upon God who is his rock. The word “rock” in the Psalms is a metaphor for God … and Jesus is God. Therefore He, Jesus is our Rock. It is upon Him and His Gospel that we build our life for today and for eternity.

We will get to the rest of this passage, but for right now you need to establish in your heart … “Is Jesus Christ my Rock? Did He rescue me from that slippery slope that leads to eternal ruin? Do I have the assurance that Jesus is my Lord and Savior? Am I trusting Him and Him alone for pardon and heaven?”

In 1776 Augustus Toplady wrote the hymn “Rock of Ages”. The last stanza is …

“While I draw this fleeting breath,

when mine eyes shall close in death,

when I soar to worlds unknown,

see thee on thy judgment throne,

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

let me hide myself in thee.”

Building your life on the Lord Jesus assures you that when you die, you die in Christ and are delivered from this planet to His glorious abode. He and He alone is the Rock of Ages that wise people throughout the ages have trusted. Many don’t today because they are not wise.

Father in Glory, our hope of eternity, thank You that we are able to place our eternity in Your hands because You are our Eternal Rock. Amen.

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