Myth 25: call Jesus Lord and not do what he says to do. Luke 6:46; Titus 1:16; 1John 2:4
Part 1: Luke 6:46 The parable of the wise and foolish builder.
The one thing I love about the grace gospel is that it allows me to be honest. What I mean is that it allows me to face up to the fact I still fail, I still sin occasionally and that I can be me and not what people expect me to be. Why do I say that?
I have seen pastors and elders preach on their pulpits how we are required to be “holy and blameless” but how no idea, when pursued personally, how to do it. Worse, when in their privacy contradict what they preached. Even the very best of them. Thus, all of us at times live with the prison of hypocrisy. It is a prison without wall and one built with our conscience.
Of course there are those who love it. Those are those who say “we must be holy and righteous as He”. “We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Our salvation is secure only if we toe the line!” They say if you live a life of sin after knowing Jesus you will perish. Here’s where I don’t get it… You ask them “so it is very difficult to enter heaven?” They will answer “yes! As hard as a rich man through the eye of a needle and only a remnant will find salvation!” Then, if you ask them “how to be among the remnant?” They will tell you to fast pray. Eventually when you get to it “Are you among the remnant?” Inevitably and surprisingly they would say “Yes” (well at least in their heart).
I remembered a conversation I had myself (when I was such a person) with a young boy which bothered me for years. It went something like this:
Boy (B): Uncle Simon, how do we go to heaven?
Me (M): By believing in Jesus!
B: After that?
M: Well you have to do what he commands you.
B: You mean not to sin?
B: Uncle Simon, do you still sin?
M: Er, yes once in a while.
B: What happens when you sin?
M: Well you say you are sorry when you do.
M: Otherwise God won’t forgive you and will cut off his fellowship with you.
B: I have a question. Pray tell me did God love me before I accept Jesus?
M:Yes, the Bible says “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
B: Interesting! Uncle Simon. I don’t want to believe in Jesus.
M: Why? !!!!
B: You see, you tell me before I become a Christian, Jesus wants to be my friend. After believing in him, you tell me, if I sin, he doesn’t want to be my friend anymore!
M: Er… but that’s only when you sin willfully.
B: Uncle Simon, you mean to tell me when you sin, you sin accidentally? You don’t know what you are doing?
M: Er… what I mean is you live a sinful lifestyle!
B: Uncle Simon, what do you mean by that?
M: Er… when you sin everyday?
B: Uncle Simon, I am living a sinful lifestyle.
M: How can you be you are only 11?
B: Because I sin everyday. I lie, I worry, I forget my promises, I let my friends down, I borrow things I don’t return, I lose my temper. Worst thing is I always want the toys friends have. What about you?
Dear friends, let’s be brutally honest with ourselves. We DO live a sinful lifestyle. We worry, we covet other people’s things, we forget our promises and etc and etc. You may one of them who say well I am faultless. Let me just ask you a question, “when was the last time, you forgot about a pledge you made? when was the last time you looked at a colleague’s promotion and not ask, why him and not me? When was the last time you were on facebook at working hours?”
Hence when we read about injunctions such as “if you do not do what Jesus tells you, you will go to hell!”, we think it is not for us but for others. So we rely on 1 John 1:9 as our escape clause. Let me ask you something: When was the last time you ask for forgiveness for lack of faith in his providence, or when you were surfing the web when you are on your employers’ time, took advantage of a friend?
Heck, one of things I always say to myself is “how nice would it be if I am richer off!” or “how nice if I could be, if I had grown up if I had better parents, better teachers and etc and etc. Folks, when was the last time you confess that you coveted.
What then is the parable of the builders about?
Why did you get me to read a long gibberish meanderings before you come here?
It is because of this. The parable of the builders has nothing to do with obeying the 10 commandments. One must understand that it is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount.
The key to understanding the Sermon on the Mount is this key verse: “20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20.
Note that the Sermon on the Mount thereafter continues by Jesus contrasting “what they (the teachers of the Law) say” and “what I say”?
Here is an example:
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
Dear friends, you must understand that what Jesus is teaching is that the teachers of the law has made the Law “keepable” by lowering down the unreachable standards. Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount is restoring the glory of the Law! I mean whom among us has never call another person an idiot. If you drive in Kuala Lumpur, you will know what I mean. If you see that standards Jesus set in the Sermon on the Mount, you will know that the Law is unkeepable. To be frank, the teachers of the Law did set high standards, Jesus however set impossible standards.
Now the Sermon continues to Matthew 6 and to this passage:
“25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
The question here is this. What has this passage got to do with what Jesus is teaching about “righteousness that is surpasses that the teachers of the Law?” You see dear friends, if you had been on that Mountain, and if you were a Jew, you would be trembling in fear and worry. Just imagine you had followed the Pharisees for years and thought you were doing OK. Then someone says “Nope its not good enough!” How would you feel?
Now you probably know why I told you about my conversation with the kid. I had a moment of illumination. Dear friends, few fail to appreciate the gravity of the situation here. This is because we are not Jews. If you are a Jew, you would in deep trouble. Here’s why, Deuteronomy 28. Reading from verse 15:
However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:
16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.
18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.
20 The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.[a]21 The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess.
22 The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24 The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.
25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.
27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29 At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.
30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them.
32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34 The sights you see will drive you mad. 35 The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.
36 The Lord will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors.There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. 37 You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you.
38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. 41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. 42 Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land.
43 The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44 They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.
45 All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst,in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.
49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagleswooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young.
51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or olive oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.
53 Because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. 54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55 and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities.
56 The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57 the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For in her dire need she intends to eat them secretly because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of your cities.
58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name —the Lord your God— 59 the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you.
61 The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.
64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known.65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68 The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
Now wouldn’t you be worried? Now Jesus had just said that their righteousness had to surpass the teachers of the Law. Note here something very important, Jesus then said “your heavenly Father knows what you need… and he said “seek first his kingdom and HIS righteousness!” His Righteousness. Not the righteousness of the Sermon of the Mount which came from the Law. The Father’s Righteousness! That is ONLY righteousness that surpasses the righteousness of the teachers of the Law!
And guess what? Your heavenly knows YOU NEED IT! And here’s the best thing. It is absolutely free!
Here’s what Paul says in Romans 3:
“19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. (That is what Jesus set out to do when he preached about the Sermon on the Mount. The next part is about the Father’s righteousness!)
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (the righteousness of the Father) has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood —to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
This is what our Lord asks us to obey. To reach out for the Father’s righteousness! It is Jesus!
1 Corinthians 1:30-31
New International Version (NIV)
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
As such when you read the parable of the wise and foolish builders note the following:
The Wise and Foolish Builders
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.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Our Lord is actually asking us to seek for a righteousness that surpasses the Pharisees and not the Law. He is actually telling us if we seek after the righteousness of the Law, we are the man building on sand. If we realized that our righteousness is Jesus and we obey and believe it, we are building a foundation that is solid!”
1 Peter 2:5-7
New International Version (NIV)
5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”[b]
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
Some of you may argue but Simon, he was referring to “bearing the right fruits” and “never knowing you earlier”. I have written about these subjects. They speak about the same things. You can refer to the following:
For an explanation of Matthew 7:15-20 go here: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/the-wolves-are-already-in-the-church-2/
For an explanation of Matthew 7: 21-23 go here: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/when-jesus-says-i-never-knew-you-and-when-jesus-says-i-will-never-cast-you-out/
So you see, it’s never about you. It is about the Father. His gifts are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29) Be at rest!
Also you can follow the refutes of 70 ways of losing your salvation by just click to this link:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/tag/70-ways-to-lose-your-salvation/)
The article I am refuting: http://smashingidols7.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/70-ways-a-believer-can-fall-away/