24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
The Sermon on the Mount is packed with understanding of what it means to live out our Christianity faithfully, and surely much more could be written and discussed about what Jesus taught.
To wrap up this discussion, I want to revisit some questions posed within the introduction article to this series: The Parables of Jesus: Building on Rock and Sand.
“How do these saying of Jesus keep us grounded in the faith so that we are not carried away into the spiritual captivity and service of false christs?”
I compare what Jesus mentions as a flood in this parable to the flood in Revelation 12. It states that the dragon cast “water as a flood out of his mouth” after the woman in Revelation 12, which I believe to be a representation of those faithful to Jesus Christ. I also believe that this flood is symbolic of anti-Christian ideas and movements, false prophets, and false christs throughout all history of Christendom. In the final days, I believe this to be related to the army of the false christ and all who follow him in persecuting the saints of God.
I believe that all who are insincerely following Jesus (or not all all) will be swept away by these floods because they do not keep the words of Jesus. The ways of Jesus and the ways of false christs and anti-Christian ideas are in direct opposition. Therefore, if we keep His ways, then we will refuse the wicked ways by default.
That being said, it is the grace of God towards us that makes this possible. It is His grace that opens our hearts to understanding the teachings of Jesus and provides us with a sincere desire to live according to His ways. The grace of God also provides us with the Holy Spirit who will work on us, conforming us to the ways of Jesus over time.
“How do these teachings provide us with a rock foundation?”
We can consider each of the key points that Jesus made then look to the opposite, anti-Christian idea and perhaps understand how His teachings keep us in the righteous way. Here are some examples for quick consideration:
- Jesus declares blessing over the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, the merciful, and the peacemakers (to name a few). Anti-Christian ideas declare blessing over the proud and puffed up in spirit, those who seek their own happiness, the self-serving, the vengeful, and those who do violence against opposition.
- The righteousness of Jesus goes deep, even to the issues of the heart. Jesus encourages us not to do good to be seen, but to do all things for the glory of God out of a sincere heart. Anti-Christian ideas of righteousness look to the outer things, like appearances, wealth, social status, and personal identity in the realms of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. Anti-Christian ideas encourage virtue signaling and seeking glory for the self at the expense of others and out of hatred for the natural order and true things of God.
- Jesus teaches us to turn the other cheek, think of others before ourselves, and to love our enemies. Anti-Christian ideas teach us to avenge ourselves, put our needs first, and destroy our enemies.
“How does failing to keep these teachings provide us with a sand foundation?”
If we do not have a strong foundation of moral authority, then we will fall for the moral authorities of man, which are anti-Christian in nature. The morality of man is ever-changing and consuming of all who oppose because failure to adhere to the morality of man is considered a punishable offense.
In reality, failure to adhere to the morality of Jesus is punishable, even worthy of death. Therefore, we need the gospel of Jesus Christ that promises forgiveness of sins for all who put their faith in Him. This is why we need the grace of God to teach us, send us the Holy Spirit, and make us strong in the righteousness of God that is so contrary to the righteousness of man.
We want to be as the woman in Revelation 12 who “brought forth the man child who would rule all nations with a rod of iron.” We want to have Christ formed in us fully enough that our lives are as those who are bringing the ways of Jesus out and into this world—and not in a weak, “reed shaken in the wind” manner, but in a manner that is as a “rod of iron” that will not be moved. His ways are righteous. Period. Whether we like it or not and whether the world likes it or not.
There will come a day when Jesus returns to avenge those who were slain by the moral authorities of man. We can rest on His sure teachings in peace, knowing that vengeance is His and He will repay. We can also know that we are rewarded if we are faithful to these teachings of Jesus.
His sacrifice provides the atonement, but out of due respect for His sacrifice, we who sincerely love Jesus and have received the grace of God and forgiveness of sins will naturally grow in fruitful faith that is faithful to His ways as the Holy Spirit works in us. We will not be moved by the floods of false morality, anti-Christian ideas, or any form that the Adversary and his false prophets might take.
Instead, we will stand strong on the Rock of our Salvation, who is Jesus Christ only, and we will build one another up in Him.
For the final article within this series, I want to take another look at the Sermon on the Mount as described in Luke 6. There are some variations from what we read and considered in Matthew 5-7, and I want to take the time to look at those ideas as well.
This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series.
PREVIOUS POST IN THIS SERIES: Beware of False Prophets
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