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The Radical Choice

Matthew 7:21

We do love the ability and the freedom to make choices. Sometimes we make good choices sometimes not so good. But what about important foundational decisions. I have a good friend who is very intelligent, has common sense and thorough in his thinking. He will spend a longtime and study a situation in detail before making an important decision. Mostly this process is followed by him making a poor decision. It is hard for me to understand. What about the decisions we make in our relationship with the Lord? What choices do we have and what can be the consequences of these decisions? These are the most important choices we make and as followers of Christ and we need to understand. In his wonderful book Through the Year With John Stott, Dr. Stott offers wise counsel from God’s Word.

Jesus sets before us, in the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, the radical choice between obedience and disobedience. Not, of course, that we can be saved by our obedience but that, if we have truly been saved, we will show it by our obedience.

Firstly, Jesus warns us of the danger of a merely verbal profession (vv. 21-23). To be sure, a verbal profession is essential. “Jesus is Lord” is the earliest, shortest, simplest of all Christian creeds. But if it is not accompanied by personal submission to the lordship of Jesus it is useless. We may even hear the last day the terrible words of Jesus: “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.” (v.23).

Secondly, Jesus warns us of the danger of a merely intellectual knowledge. Whereas the contrast in verses 21-23 was between saying and doing (vv. 24-27). Jesus then illustrates it by his well-known parable of the two builders. It features a wise man who constructed his house on rock and a fool who could not be bothered with foundations and built is house on sand. As both got on with their building, a casual observer would not have noticed any difference between them, for the difference was in the foundations, and foundations are not seen. Only when a storm broke and battered both houses with great ferocity was the fatal difference revealed. In the same way, professing Christians (both the genuine and the spurious) look alike. Both hear Christ’s words. They go to church, read the Bible, and listen to sermons. But the deep foundations of their lives are hidden from view. Only the storm of adversity in this life and the storm of judgement on the last day will reveal who they are.

The Sermon oh the Mount ends with the solemn note of radical choice. There are only two ways (narrow and broad) and only two foundations (rock and sand). On which road are we traveling? On which foundation are we building?


What does your road and foundation look like? Are there improvements that need to be made?

Take a look

Matthew 7:13-29


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