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Foundational Truths (Matthew 7:24-29)

First Baptist Church http://fbcbartow.org

“Foundational Truths”

(Matthew 7:24-29)

Series: God’s Fulfilled Promise [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

February 24, 2019

The Passage

Read Matthew 7:24-29

24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.

Introductory Comments

Today we are concluding Jesus’ Sermon on the Mountainside. This passage is very appropriate for the conclusion of His sermon. 

In this passage, Jesus is going to challenge His hearers to make a decision regarding His words. 

Virtually all religions around the world claim that Jesus was a good teacher. However, Jesus challenges the idea that He is merely a good teacher. Jesus wants us to put into action what He has said. 

So, let’s hear what He has to say from Matthew 7:24-29.

Before we do so, let’s go to God in prayer and ask Him to speak to us. 

(Prayer)

One of the most important parts of any home is its foundation. 

Illustration: When we lived in Kentucky, we lived in a very old house. The house was built in 1900. The house had a brick foundation. When you went into the basement, you could see the brick foundation. One day when we were down there with someone who knew something of old homes we noticed that the mortar between a lot of the bricks had turned into powder. You could simply touch it and the mortar would fall to the ground. So, my handy wife tuck-pointed those brick foundations. Tuck-pointing is when you replace the mortar on a brick structure. She did a great job. It’s basically like decorating a cake! By doing that, she saved us a lot of money, and she may have very well saved the future of that home. You see, the foundation is very important!

In our study of Matthew 7:24-29 we’re going to hear about three foundations. So, let’s look at these foundations and learn what God has for us. 

First, . . .

I. The wiseman’s foundation (24-25) [on screen]

Look at verses 24 and 25. 

24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock.

Remember, this is Jesus speaking at the end of His sermon. When Jesus says, “these words of mine,” He’s talking about all of His words from the Sermon on the Mountainside; everything that’s been said in Matthew chapters 5 though 7. 

It’s so crucial that we catch the fact that Jesus doesn’t say that we are wise if we merely hear His words. He doesn’t say we are wise if we read His words. He doesn’t say that we are wise if we study His words. He doesn’t say we are wise if we have advanced degrees which research His words. He doesn’t say we are wise if we preach His words. 


What does He say? He says the person is wise, “who hears these words of mine and acts on them.”

We must be obedient to what Jesus has told us!

He then gives us a metaphor of what this obedience is like. This obedience is like a wise man who built his house on a solid rock foundation. 

The rock foundation is what you want. The rock foundation is safe, secure, and strong. 


In ancient Palestine, homes were not made with poured concrete foundations. So, people who built homes would try to find solid pieces of ground, or best yet bedrock, on which to build homes. The stones for the home would then be placed on this solid foundation. 

When rain, wind, and floods hit the house that is built on the rock foundation, the house will stand. 


Make no mistake, the rain, wind, and floods will come! Hard times will come your way. You will encounter unexpected difficulties. 

If your spiritual house is built on a solid foundation, it will stand. If you build your house on the foundation of Jesus and His teachings, you will be blessed!

Here’s a refresher on some of the things that Jesus teaches us in the Sermon on the Mountainside. 

Jesus shared with us how people are truly blessed. 

Jesus taught us to be salt and light in our world. 

Jesus taught us not to hate (it’s like murder), and not to lust (it’s like adultery). 


Just taught us about divorce.  

Jesus taught us to tell the truth and keep our commitments.

Jesus told us to turn our other cheek to someone if they harm us. 

Jesus taught us to love our enemies. 

Jesus taught us how to give, pray, and fast. 

Jesus taught us to store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. 

Jesus taught us not to worry about anything. 

Jesus taught us not to judge others according to our standards. 

Jesus told us to ask, seek, and knock on the door for His blessings. 

Jesus taught us to take the narrow path and to watch out for false teachers. 

He’s taught us so much just in these three chapters. So, we must seek to obey.

This is the culmination of that which Jesus has been teaching us throughout the previous three chapters. He’s told us again and again and again how to live. Now He is calling us to obedience. 

Will you obey that which Jesus has commanded you?

Jesus also tells us of another foundation: 

II. The foolishman’s foundation (26-27) [on screen]

What happens when we don’t obey the teachings of Jesus?

Listen to the words of Jesus in verses 26 and 27. 

26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.”

Jesus doesn’t beat around the bush here. He says that if we don’t obey His words we are like a foolish man. 


He follows the metaphor of building a home the way a foolish man would build it.

The foolish man builds his home on the sand. Sand is not solid! Sand is shifty! Sand sinks! Sand does not remain constant!

Jesus says when the rain fell on the house built on sand, when the rivers rose around the house built on sand, when the winds pounded the house built on sand, the house collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash. 

That’s not good!

At first, everything may look good on the sandy foundation. Our house may be beautiful, we may enjoy the location of the home, we may have a beautiful garden near our home, we might even live next to the popular neighbors. But in the end, the storms will bring it crashing down!

Here’s the obvious correlation to our lives: if we don’t obey the words of Jesus, if we don’t faithfully follow His teachings, we are like the foolish man. We will not stand! Our lives will come down with a great crash!

Listen, church: not following the words of Jesus is spiritual foolishness!

Everything that we depend upon besides Jesus is ultimately like sand. It is not completely unshakable and solid, as Jesus is. 

Just as Jesus last time spoke about the narrow road and the broad road, so also, now He speaks of the solid foundation and the sandy foundation. We are forced to consider this choice. On which foundation will we build? Two roads, two kinds of fruit, and two foundations. What is our choice?

The final foundation we see in this passage is . . .

I!I. The foundation of Jesus’ teaching (28-29) [on screen]

Jesus did not teach as other teachers taught. 

Listen to what Matthew says in verses 28 and 29:

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.

Verse 27 concludes Jesus’ Sermon on the Mountainside. After He finished teaching, the crowds were astonished at His teaching. 

They hadn’t heard people teach as He taught. 

Matthew tells us the key ingredient in Jesus’ astonishing teaching was that Jesus taught with authority. 

That was the foundation of Jesus’ teaching: authority

The other Jewish teachers, for generations and generations, appealed to the teachings of other people for their authority. They appealed to other rabbis, other experts in the law, other traditions, and other Pharisees. Jesus appealed to Himself for authority!


Remember, Jesus repeatedly said, “You have heard it said . . . but I say!” 

The fact that Jesus appealed to His own authority underscored the fact that He taught with the very authority of God. 

The Gospel of Matthew, again and again, points to Jesus as the Messiah who has come from God. 

Jesus was not teaching like the scribes and the teachers whom the people were used to hearing. He was teaching as one who had authority because He did have authority! He had the authority of God!

(pause)

Even though Jesus’ listeners were astonished at His teaching, astonishment was not what He was going for; He was going for obedience!

That brings us to a consideration at the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mountainside. 

Concluding Thoughts:

It’s not enough to call Jesus a good teacher. It’s not enough to call Jesus a great prophet. It’s not even enough to be astonished at Jesus. We must be obedient to Jesus! We must faithfully follow Him!

This has been the message throughout His sermon. He’s not just trying to give us a list of rules; He’s trying to make us new people because of the love of God, through the power of God, by the grace of God, and for the glory of God. 

He’s calling us to change. He’s calling us to choose.

Make a choice today about where your foundation will be built. 

Bottom Line: Build your foundation on Jesus and His teachings[on screen]

(repeat)

There is no other foundation that will last. 


On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand!

You can build your foundation on other things, but is will one day come crashing down. 

Even if everything in this life goes perfectly for you (which it probably won’t), one day you will stand before God at His judgment seat and you’ll have to have a good foundation to stand on when you face Him. You better be standing on the foundation of Jesus!

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Examine your foundation[on screen]

Do a little inspection. 

How’s your foundation?

What is the strength that holds your life together?

  1. Make a decision[on screen]

Jesus ends His Sermon on the Mountainside with these polarizing choices: narrow road or broad road, good fruit or bad fruit, rock foundation or sandy foundation. 

Make a decision about where you will be. 

Will you faithfully follow Jesus? Will you be a faker? Will you be undecided? Jesus leaves no room for indecision. Make a decision!

Closing:

If you’re here today and you want to make a decision to follow Jesus, you can do that in just a minute.

If you’ve given your life to Jesus, be sure that you’re following Him. 

His grace is there to get you back on track! Go to Him now!

(Gospel Presentation)

(Closing Prayer)

Invitation Song – Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Benediction:

If you have any sort of spiritual decision that you would like to make, you can contact me or Pastor Richard and we would be glad to talk to you anytime.

Tonight we will be back in our study of world religions and cults. Tonight we will be looking at Mormonism. 

As we dismiss, please be sure not to walk through the fellowship hall in the Ministry Center building as we have our friends from Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church using the fellowship hall for a special worship service today. We don’t want to disturb their service. 

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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