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Previous sermon in this series This sermon is number 27 in a series of 27 This is the last sermon in this series

The Sermon On The Mount - Part 27

"Building For Eternity"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2002 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

So, at the end of these studies in the Sermon on the Mount you've got a house to build: are you going to build it?

'Preach The Word''Building for Eternity' - Mark Twain, you will know him as the author of Tom Sawyer's books and so on, on one occasion he encountered a ruthless businessman from the town of Boston on his travels. He found that this ruthless businessman continually boasted that nobody ever got in his way, and once he had determined to do something - well, everybody was just wiped out of his path. This wealthy businessman said these words: 'Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and I'm going to climb Mount Sinai, and when I'm up there I'm going to read the Ten Commandments aloud at the top of my voice!'. Unimpressed, Twain responded: 'I've got a better idea: stay in Boston and live by them'.

The Lord has asked us in this Sermon, and especially in the conclusion that we're reading together today, not just to be professors of a religious form, not just to stand up from high heights and profess what we believe in spiritual things, but be doers of the same. Have the word of God, read the word of God, study the word of God, preach and talk about the word of God, but only those - the Lord Jesus says - who do the will of My Father in heaven will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Now, to just make us absolutely sure if we couldn't be already of the theme and the purpose of this Sermon, the Lord brings a parable at the very end of this conclusion. Like many preachers He ends his message with an illustration, if you like, and here we have it. Telling us that we need not just to be professors, but we need to be possessors of the life of God which is manifest and evidenced in a life of true obedient righteousness.

Look down at this parable again, He tells us of the first man who is a hearer and a doer of the word. He likens him to a wise man who built his house upon a rock, and when the storm came the house stood firm because the house was built upon the rock. Then He tells us about a contrasting man who is a hearer also of the word, but he is not a doer, he is a hearer only. Our Lord likens him to a foolish man who builds his house upon the sand, and the storms come and the house falls, and the Lord says: great is the fall of it. Guy King, who is a commentator in the Scriptures and has an excellent book on the Sermon on the Mount, a bit like John Bunyan in Pilgrim's Progress, likens the Christian walk to an ordinary walk in the countryside. The Christian is walking along and he finds a little gate, he passes the small gate and then he goes back on his tracks and decides that he will enter that gate. But Guy King makes the remark saying: 'Of course a gate always leads to somewhere, a gate is never an end in itself. It may be the beginning of an end of sinfulness and worldliness, but it is yet an entrance into a path. It may be the end of the old life, and we have to leave all our sin and iniquity behind us and forsake it, but it is also the beginning of a new life'.

If we have entered through the gate, if we believe ourselves to be on the narrow constricted way of righteousness, we are irrevocably obliged to build this house - you can't get out of building it!

We found in verse 13 the entrance onto that life, that narrow constricted gate, and that narrow constricted way. So the gate is an entrance, but it is an entrance that leads onto a path, the narrow way - and that path leads to an edifice. The gate is not an end to itself, but it leads onto the road; and the road is not an end unto itself, but it leads to a great house. But the Lord is telling us in this parable, and indeed in this Sermon, is that you cannot enter the gate and not be on the road; you cannot be on the road and not enter into the house - the entrance leads to the edifice eventually. The gate is not an end in itself, it may be the end of the old life, but it has to be the beginning of the new life - and you cannot build this house without entering the gate and without walking on the road.

So what the Lord is telling us right throughout this Sermon, and indeed in this end illustration and parable, is: we are irrevocably obliged to build this house. If we have entered through the gate, if we believe ourselves to be on the narrow constricted way of righteousness, we are irrevocably obliged to build this house - you can't get out of building it! Let me say this: the Bible knows nothing, as far as I can tell reading it and studying it, and the more I study it and read it I find this to be more true, the Bible knows nothing of people who just get saved from hell. I don't find that anywhere - I know of men who have deathbed conversions, and we can all look at the thief on the cross and see that, but we must believe that there was a change wrought in his life, and if he had time to live after that event on the cross he would have manifested the change in a godly, righteous, holy life. In fact the word 'saved', and the word 'salvation', in the Bible I would believe, in the New Testament especially, primarily refers not to being saved from hell, but being saved from the world! Delivered from the world system and all the corruption that is in it, of course that eventually leads to hell, but the Bible teaches us that if we enter through the gate, if we're on the narrow way, that inevitably there will be a house, a building built. This parable teaches us that the building the Lord speaks of is a building of obedience to Christ's words. This house is a building of obedience to Christ's words, and therefore if it's a building of obedience it must be built on a solid rock, and we find that the Lord says: 'That rock is My word itself'.

The house is obedience to Christ's word, and it is built, of course, upon the word of Christ. So what I want to say to you in our concluding message today is very simple, and it's what our Lord is telling in this parable. The first thing is this: you have a house to build, you have a house to build. Now there are five things that we're told about this house in this parable, if you like, and right throughout the whole Bible. I've likened it to the blueprint, the specification, the hardware, the cost, and the contractor. If you look first of all at the blueprint you see within the word of God, especially in 1 Peter 2 verses 21 and 22, the Lord Jesus is given to us not only as a Saviour, but He leaves us an example: 'that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth'.

What a blueprint we have of the life of godliness in Christ in this Sermon!

I hope that over these weeks studying the Sermon on the Mount you have realised, as we've looked at all the things the Lord has taught, that He Himself as the preacher - as this new lawgiver, if you like - is a perfect, complete and absolute illustration of His own teaching. Have you seen that? Apart from those aspects that relate to repentance and failure in sin, in every other aspect of holiness and righteousness our Lord Himself, who is teaching these truths, is the exact epitome and fulfilment and illustration of everything that we find. 'Blessed are the meek', is there anyone more meek than our Lord Jesus Christ? 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God', and there is our Lord Jesus Christ who was separate from sinners, pure and absolutely undefiled. 'Blessed are the peacemakers', and our Lord Jesus is said to be in the New Testament the great Peacemaker, the One who has brought reconciliation between us and God. He is the Light of the world, we are told to be a light set on a hill. We are told to be the salt of the earth, but how could He not be the greatest Salt that has come into humanity and purged out its depravity and sinfulness through His death on the cross? We're told to love your neighbour as yourself, and we see Him on the cross praying: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'. We find even in our own salvation that before we were saved we were enemies to God, Romans 5:10: 'When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son'. He instructed us to pray to our heavenly Father in secret, and as we go through the gospel records we do not find another who prayed more than our Saviour, spending nights on the mountaintop in prayer before His heavenly Father. He tells us: 'Be not anxious', and we find in His life - right throughout all the trial and turmoil and persecution that He underwent - that there was no other that had such a perfect rest and dependence upon His heavenly Father than our Lord.

Then I come to this objection again that I have analysed week after week after week again, for there are people - even yet - who say that this Sermon isn't for Christians today. Well, I don't know what Bible you're reading, but I know this: that within this Sermon all that you find is pure Christlikeness. Surely you're not telling me today that, as followers of Jesus Christ today, we are not to follow Jesus Christ today, by the Spirit's help we're not try and emulate His example? And what greater example do we have in all the Scriptures than the Sermon on the Mount? These men, I believe, do seriously err not knowing the Scriptures. One verse that settles this whole matter categorically for me, and I believe for any questioners, is this - 1 John 2 verse 6: 'He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked'.

The building that we have, that we say is our Christian testimony and profession, what is it made up of? Is it just made up of doctrines, traditions, rituals, habits? Or is it made up of these acts of positive righteousness - not just negative things, what we don't do, but what we do do that is a manifestation of God's life in us?

What a blueprint we have of the life of godliness in Christ in this Sermon. That is the building that we are to build, that's the blueprint for it, the words that the Lord has given to us. But secondly there's a specification within it: God, when He directed Moses in the book of Exodus to build the tabernacle, said to him these words: 'See that ye make all things according to the patterns showed to thee in the Mount'. God could well say to us, after looking into this Sermon: 'See that you build your life and this building in every specification showed to you in the Sermon on the Mount'. We're not just to be Bible-lovers, we are to be Bible-livers. The spec of our godly life is outlined in this Sermon, and we ought to build according to everything that God has given to us.

There's a blueprint, there's a specification, and thirdly there is the hardware given - the materials that we're to use, we've found as we went through this Sermon, are acts of righteousness. Let your acts of righteousness be greater acts of righteousness than the righteousnesses of the Pharisees and the Scribes. True righteousness, practical Christianity and holiness - and He's gone through actions, words and thoughts, and all sorts of motivations within this great Sermon. The question we need to ask ourselves today, at the end of it all, is: what are we building with? The building that we have, that we say is our Christian testimony and profession, what is it made up of? Is it just made up of doctrines, traditions, rituals, habits? Or is it made up of these acts of positive righteousness - not just negative things, what we don't do, but what we do do that is a manifestation of God's life in us?

Fourthly there is a cost. You all know that you can't build something for nothing, and this building of God that's built on the truth of Christ costs everything. The Master Builder has stipulated right throughout this Sermon that the Master Builder's account is always a full payment, you can't pay half-price with regards to this Christian life - it is a full surrender, for no man can serve two masters or serve two builders. We must give ourselves absolutely, unreservedly to Him.

There's a blueprint, a specification, the hardware, the cost, and finally the contractor. Although it is us that is said to build this building, this house, you know that if people say to you usually: 'I'm building a house', you'll realise that they themselves probably aren't building it with their own hands - they've employed a contractor or a builder. In the Bible we find these words, Philippians 1 verse 6: 'He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ'. You didn't start the work of this house yourself, it was started through grace in your salvation, and neither will you continue it or finish it. The Sermon on the Mount, although it is the truth of God, is not the whole council of God - we could say that it is the 'what' of the Christian life: what your Christian life ought to be, but it is certainly not the 'how' of the Christian life: how you're saved, how you go on, and how you will finish. But one thing's for sure: all these precepts and principles and instructions in the Sermon on the Mount can only be executed through the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of God, the grace of God, and the enablement of God - for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

God is the builder. You have a house to build, God has given you His blueprint, the Lord Jesus Christ - His illustration, His life. The specifications are all outlined to do it according to this Sermon. The hardware of acts of righteousness are to be what we use to build this house. The cost is absolute, we've to give everything. And we are to trust ourselves to the Great Master Builder, God Himself, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and His blessed Holy Spirit. Now, here's the point: you have a duty to build - to build! Not just to know how to read the plans; not just to understand the specifications; to be able to measure and to convert all the specifications into reality; you're not to be just able to discern between what is good and bad materials to build with, what we've been doing all these weeks; you're not to be able just to get your spiritual calculator out and be able to evaluate the cost and talk about the cost, and try to encourage others to pay the cost - you've got to start building!

The foolish man thought that the sand was good ground, the foolish man - as far as he was concerned - could see that the sand was hard, it was safe ground to build on

Don't just read the plans, use them to build! Don't just play with the figures of the measurements, but measure the things, dig the holes, cut the wood, construct the building! Don't just discern good materials from bad, but the Lord is saying that you've got to use the good material, put it into your building and don't just calculate the cost and discuss it and negotiate a lower price - pay it in full, for Christ demands that we build, and the true building in this parable is nothing but obedience to the word of Christ. Not just hearing, but hearers and doers of the word!

So, at the end of these studies in the Sermon on the Mount you've got a house to build: are you going to build it? Secondly you have a foundation to build on, for we find that the wise man built his house on the rock - it doesn't say 'a rock', it's better 'the rock'. The foolish man built his house on 'the sand'. The definite article there is not specifically to signify 'the Lord' or anything like that - although it may be interpreted that way - but more particularly for the people in this environment, in Palestine, when it says 'the rock' and 'the sand' it's peculiar to them. In other words, the rock that they knew and the sand around them that they knew.

We tend to imagine this scene and conjure up that there was this rocky area on the left-hand side, and there was this sandy area of land on the right-hand side - and the builders each chose according to their preference. I believe that is far too simplistic, and in fact loses some of the impact of the truth behind this parable - I'll tell you why. The geology of the area where the Lord was preaching on this particular Mount, the geology of the area was the first stratum of the ground, the top surface, the top layer that everybody could see, was a layer of sand. Underneath the first stratum was the second stratum, the second layer, which we're led to believe was made of rock.

Now we might be excused in a casual reading, thinking: 'Now this foolish man certainly was foolish, how could anybody be so foolish to build on sand? Surely he would know that when the storm came his whole house would be wiped away?'. But the point is this: the foolish man thought that the sand was good ground, the foolish man - as far as he was concerned - could see that the sand was hard, it was safe ground to build on. At the time the Lord delivered this Sermon we know that it was the height of the summertime, and the soil and the sand would have been hard, it would almost have been like iron, like rock and stone! So it's not the case that there was one bit of rock here and one bit of sand here, but there are two layers of ground, there's sand on top and then there's rock below - but the foolish man believes: 'Well, it's enough to just build on the soil and the sand that is baked hard'. It appeared good, and you know how we have gone through this Sermon and we've seen how we've got to beware of appearances, externalities. We can't just judge by an outward appearance of ritualistic righteousness, but there has to be a deep, holy relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

We all know how the story went: the rain came, the floods came, the wind came, and the foundations dissolved! The rain dissolved them! What appeared to be good ground was absolutely decimated, and the house fell. Incidentally, the house on the sand may have looked better than the house on the rock. Also, the house on the sand may have looked better for the fact that there was more money spent on the house, because that builder didn't have to dig down deep for rock foundations. It may have been more luxurious, but what we've got to see today is that fundamentally, in the depths and bowels of that house it was flawed.

The big question is this: what should the man that built on the sand have done? Most people think: 'Well, he should have moved to the rocky ground, he should have moved round the corner to the avenue where all the houses are built on the rock'. Well, that is wrong: because the rock was under him!

The big question is this: what should the man that built on the sand have done? Most people think: 'Well, he should have moved to the rocky ground, he should have moved round the corner to the avenue where all the houses are built on the rock'. Well, that is wrong: because the rock was under him! The rock was underneath the sand, but he was satisfied to live on the sand, hard though it may be, but if he had dug deep enough he would have got to the rock. Now this is the very point that the Lord is making: he should have dug deeper until he hit the rock, and then built on it! Now I know that there are some of you think I make these things up as I go along these Sunday mornings, and they're all fairy tales coming out of David Legge's head and study. But if you turn with me to Luke's gospel chapter 6, you find this same story, and this proves that this was what the Lord was teaching. Luke chapter 6 and verse 48, verse 47: 'Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep', not moved it, 'digged deep and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock' - it was dug deep.

Now my question, obviously, to you today at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, knowing the point that the Lord is making in this parable, is this: if you're a shallow Christian, you're in big trouble! Have you got it? If you profess the name of Christ, but you have a shallow spiritual experience, you need to beware! My next question is: what is the rock? Of course Christ is the rock Himself, Paul said: 'Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ'. We know from Matthew's gospel chapter 16, the conversation between Peter and the Lord Jesus, that Christ - and indeed the confession of Peter concerning Christ - upon this Rock He would build the church. Peter was the stone, but on this Rock - Christ, and the confession that He was the Son of the Living God - the church would be built. 'On Christ the solid Rock I stand', we've just sung - but do you know something? In the context of this particular parable in Matthew chapter 7, specifically the rock is not the person of Christ, but the words of Christ. The Lord says that Himself, verse 24: 'Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them' - it is obedience to Christ's words. The house that you're meant to build is obedience, but that obedience is according to the rock, these sayings of Mine.

Now note: it doesn't say those who quote My sayings, those who hear My sayings, but those who do My sayings. Now I'm going to finish this Sermon today, I'm determined to - for your sake as well as mine! We've got to move on to other things, but let me say this: there has never been a text that could be more applied to the Christian church today, and condemn evangelicalism, than this particular one - particularly fundamental evangelicalism. Those who know the truth, love the truth, talk about the truth, but are not walking in the truth. A generation of sermon tasters and debaters of theological tweedle-dees and tweedle-dums, Christian infants who amuse themselves in their church playpens debating over theological 'i's dotted and 't's crossed. We need to realise that there's more to it than that! As Vance Havner said: 'Our Lord bade us go not merely to teach them all things whatsoever I have commanded you, but to teach them to observe all things that I had commanded you. You have not really learned a commandment until you have obeyed it' - and he goes on to say this remarkable statement - 'The church suffers today from Christians who know volumes more than they practice'!

As Vance Havner said...'The church suffers today from Christians who know volumes more than they practice'!

The rock here, primarily, is a life of continual obedience to the word of God, built on the words of Christ. Now, people - [shaking hands at] the door is a very interesting experience for me at times - but people throughout this series particularly have commented to me: 'These are awfully high standards you're preaching every Sunday morning. You're hard on us'. I would remind you that it's not my Sermon, it's the Lord's Sermon. But others say: 'No-one really lives up to the Sermon on the Mount today, how could you expect people in this world to live like this - none of us are perfect'. Of course none of us can live up to this standard in the sense of perfection, because the Lord Himself is only that! But the point of it all is this: if you are living a so-called Christian life to low standards, if you completely disregard the righteousness that is found in the Sermon on the Mount, if you don't have any trace or any semblance to the precepts that are given to us here, if you're not striving to be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect, you're building on sand! That's what the Lord teaches, and I'm not going to water it down for any of you! He teaches that, and if you're not living with that aspiration and that goal, I would wonder whether you're saved at all!

The parable teaches us that one thing is coming that will prove what our lives are really built on, and that is the storms. Let's look thirdly and finally: you have to build a house, and you have a foundation to build on - the words of Christ - but thirdly you have a storm to build for. The Greek says that 'the rain and the floods and the wind' came - in other words, the wind, the rain, and the floods the people were used to in Palestine, but also there's a directional thing here because the rain comes from above, the floods come from beneath, and the wind comes across. What the Lord is saying here is that it's coming from every direction, the trial and tribulation and problems. So these winds, in winter time now the Lord is talking about, that these people would have been used to would have brought heavy sudden storms. The rainclouds would have driven over from the Mediterranean, they would have turned that bone dry ground that had been calloused during the summer seasons into a wet, marshy, boggy sand - like a quicksand. The dry riverbeds would have flooded into raging torrents, pouring down the valleys and overflowing the banks, bulldozing buildings and anything else before it that came in front of it.

During this event houses would have had to weather the storm, and if they weren't built on that second stratum layer of rock they would have been decimated. Now, another question - we've asked what is the rock, we've asked what is the house, and now we're asking: what are the storms? Of course many people and preachers apply these to life's difficulties - and there's no doubt about it, that we need to stand on the rock when life's difficulties come: temptation, sorrow, poverty, pain, persecution. If your life is not built on obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ you will find, when the hardships come, that your life will be decimated, you'll buckle underneath the problems. Young people who have compromised inwardly - they might be coming to church, might be reading the Bible even - but when they go to university, how many times do we see that their life caves in because there wasn't that internal obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

If your life is not built on obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ you will find, when the hardships come, that your life will be decimated, you'll buckle underneath the problems. Young people who have compromised inwardly - they might be coming to church, might be reading the Bible even - but when they go to university, how many times do we see that their life caves in because there wasn't that internal obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ

There are many people, many people, who are very vocal in their faith - but when sorrow and trouble comes they go to pieces because it was an outward conformity, but not an inward reality, and obedience and a righteousness. It's a bit like the parable of the sower. The Lord said: 'He also that receive seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful'. But John says, 1 John 2 verse 17: 'And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever'. We all need to beware of those who are extremely vocal and opinionated in their so-called Christianity, but there is no real tangible righteousness, internal holiness in their life. I say to you today: beware it's not you. Beware, because these people believe that they are saved, they believe that everything is right in their life. A false builder is not a man who denies God and God's truth, he's not a man necessarily that lives an overtly immoral life, but he is a man who names the name of Christ but does not have a vital obedience.

Obedience! If anything is told in the Sermon on the Mount and in this parable it is that obedience is the evidence of true faith, and not a professional building or having a building! Faith without works is dead James, the half-brother of our Lord, said - a plain allusion to these words of Christ. You can see in this parable that these two men had much in common: they both had a desire to build houses, and both houses looked sturdy and looked impressive and good - but the externals didn't matter, all that mattered was the foundation. This is what this parable is saying above all: professing Christian, one who is naming and claiming the lordship of Christ, there is a day coming when all of our professions will be tested! All of them! Now, we ought not to read the distinction of judgements that we find later on in the New Testament epistles, they are of course there and we can read into them in one sense - but these would not have been in the mind of the disciples, the Judgement Seat of Christ and the Great White Throne. But what the Lord is bringing to them, the main point is this: whether now by trials in your life or later on in a judgement, your professional will be proved by Christ Himself - that's the point!

If you're at the Judgement Seat of Christ it will be proved positively, it will be clear that you're His. But if you're at the Great White Throne, it will be proved that it was a false profession - He will say: 'Depart from Me'. Now listen, if you're a backslider here, or if you've confessed Christ as a child and you're still harping back to that, I'm not denying that you could be saved at all - God knows those that are His. I'm saying that according to His word, He says that the evidence that you have to testify to yourself and others is faith in Christ, a confession of faith, and a life of righteous obedience - so backslider beware! You can't sit, whether in Protestant Ulster or not, saying: 'I was saved when I was a child, I know I'm saved', and you have a life of absolute ungodly idolatry and unholiness!

We can build our lives upon church, upon doctrinal preference, upon dogmatism, upon a hobby horse, we can even build it upon our friends, Christian fashion, emotional experience, religious habits - you name it - but Christ says that the only thing that will weather the storm is the life of a holy, blameless child of God, and that will be proved by Christ Himself. A life of internal righteousness, a life of obedience - don't miss what this parable is pointing out. Let me, as we spend the next few moments closing all this Sermon up, let me ask you and plead with you: don't miss what the whole of this Sermon is about, because in the context we've come in verse 13 from the gate; we've moved into the fruit, the progress - the start at the gate, and then the progress in the fruit - then we've looked at the profession in the building. I showed you how the Lord is coming from the start of the life of faith, to the continuance, the growth of the life of faith, and then He's ending at the finish of the life of faith where it's all proved in judgement - our profession and our building. The Lord is saying above all things, not about the trials and tribulations of life, but there is as storm coming to everyone who names the name of Christ, and it will be a judgement that will discern whether they are true professors or not.

The Lord is saying above all things, not about the trials and tribulations of life, but there is as storm coming to everyone who names the name of Christ, and it will be a judgement that will discern whether they are true professors or not

What a storm that will be, to prove false professors from true, they will be judged - as verse 21 says - they will be judged whether their profession is genuine or not by one thing: 'those who do the will of My Father in heaven'. In this parable that is exactly what's being taught, verse 24. What a storm that will be! Do you not believe me? First Timothy 6 verses 17 to 19, listen to this: 'Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation' - what for? - 'against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life'. You can explain that away if you like, but I'm not going to. You can be saved and you can be sure of it, and I believe 'once saved always saved', but the way of being sure before the Throne of God is a life of righteousness that has been wrought in your heart through the grace of God and the Holy Spirit of God.

I heard a preacher say recently, and I can honestly say this: there are some so-called Christians, maybe even here, and I wouldn't like to be chained with them when they die. Salvation, we do not rest in our doing, but our safety rests and our assurance in our doing. Now listen, the Lord's conclusion is going to be our conclusion today. In verses 28 and 29: 'And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes'. The Scribes taught from authorities, the Lord Jesus taught with authority. He spoke as the divine lawgiver, as the expounder and the final Judge. The hypocritical Jews were shown up, and if we read this Sermon on the Mount and are not astonished like they were, and are not challenged: we're either spiritually dead and blind, or we haven't grasped what it's really teaching. The people recognised the difference between the old Jewish religion and this true Christianity, and we've got to recognise today the difference between hypocritical profession and the real thing! Do you recognise the difference? Christ had to be noticed, and Christ demanded a response then and He still does now. Do you know what is our duty to do at the end of this great Sermon? It is to bow before Christ and submit to His authority, and if we do not we may find in a day to come that because we could not we will be condemned!

My greatest fear deduced from these sermons is that there will be many people in hell who made Christian professions; who came to prayer meetings; who broke bread; who made external and verbal conformity to a form of godliness, but never knew the power, never knew the Christ, never knew a true, inward, positive obedience - never knew the Lord. I warn you: if all you're sitting in this morning is a profession, flee from the wrath to come

The challenge we are left with is an uncomfortable one to most people, but Christ demands that we consider not just what we profess, but whether our profession is based on a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ that issues forth with a true life of discipline and holiness. Professor, one who professes Christ, are you really saved? Salvation is, of course, based on what Christ has done for us, but the positive proof of it in the life is the change that His work at the cross has done and wrought in you - that is the proof. The great question today is this: in a court of law, could you be convicted by the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount of being a Christian in this age? My greatest fear deduced from these sermons and the privilege of studying them in these weeks is that there will be many people in hell who made Christian professions; who came to prayer meetings; who broke bread; who made external and verbal conformity to a form of godliness, but never knew the power, never knew the Christ, never knew a true, inward, positive obedience - never knew the Lord. I warn you: if all you're sitting in this morning is a profession, flee from the wrath to come.

Let me just say that I have some booklets for those who are not sure whether they're saved or not, you've got to be sure. Make your calling and election sure today all of you, for we're all instructed to do that. Why not speak to me this morning, if you feel that you haven't really trusted Christ at all and there's no evidence in your life?

Let us pray: Father, we have been instructed over these weeks to make our eye single, to serve one Master, to seek first the kingdom. Father, we know that from these studies, we thank Thee for them, but we know this: where our treasure is there our heart will be also. Lord, be our treasure, take our lives, and make them what You want them to be, in all holiness and godly conversation - for Christ's sake, Amen.

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins,
Preach The Word.
June 2002
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the twenty seventh tape in his 'Sermon On The Mount' series, titled "Building For Eternity" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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