[SW342] 09/01/2018 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018
The Will of My Father
Text: Matthew 7:13-29
Jesus Christ says, “The one who does the will of My Father is the one who will receive eternal life.” What is the will of His Father? First, that you believe into His Son, per John 3:16, and then, that you stay and wait for His promise, per Acts 5:1-4, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so you are able to keep the eternal life He has given you.
Verse 13 —
Jesus commands that you enter through the narrow gate (the one that has obstacles standing near it). Enter the gate that seems hard to enter. Enter the unlikely gate, the unattractive gate, the one that is going to restrict you from bringing in anything that is not of Him.
Verse 14 —
Why enter this obstacle-studded, unattractive, restrictive gate? Because the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction (eternal ruin), and there are many who enter through it because they do not do His Father’s will. It grieves Him, and it grieves all who are filled with Him.
Many enter through the wide gate — abundant and plentiful crowds continually pass through it. They love the easy words spoken by those who lead them in the broad way, who proclaim another Jesus — one who neither calls believers and unbelievers to turn from their sin and repent (2Corinthians 11:4), nor command believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Father’s righteousness.
Passionately seek the small gate, the one that has obstacles standing near it, the one that is so narrow you must surrender yourself and drop all that you have in you that is not of God! It leads to eternal life (zoe) here and now, and in heaven! But there are only a few (a puny number) who find it, who perceive it and then follow it.
How shocking! There are four billion people today who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord, but only a puny number of them will enter eternal life! Why so few?
The broad way looks so much easier, so much more pleasant. It requires nothing of you.
Those who teach the broad way encourage you to continue just as you are. Jesus loves you, even though you continue to willfully disobey Him after you have believed. They soothe your conscience, saying you can’t help but sin, and they say that the more you sin, the greater His grace. May it never be (Romans 6:1-2)!
Those who teach the broad way tell you that God wants to bless you with wealth and success.They urge you to tell God that He is required to make you rich and successful, because it says so in His Word! They urge you to “speak into existence” whatever you crave! It surely pleases the ears and stimulates the greed and selfishness of those whose sin natures are alive and well, for they think God will give them the earthly treasures they greedily seek!
So, nearly all believers flock to teachers who point to the wide gate and the broad way. And they are led to destruction, eternal perishing.
You may say, But I was saved at an altar! Or, I raised my hand while everyone had their eyes closed! You received eternal life, when you believed into Jesus Christ. But have you obeyed His command to wait for the promise of His Father, so you continue in His eternal life and are filled with His Holy Spirit, or are you still sinning against Him? No sinner will enter the kingdom of heaven —
1Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Jesus says, if you are truly His disciple, you will continue (dwell) in His word, which is the small gate by which you enter the narrow way. It is living and active, able to penetrate even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It will judge the thoughts and attitudes of your heart (see Hebrews 4:12). It was not comfortable for me, and it will not be for you, but beloved, let His Word do its work. Why?
If you continue in His Word, you will know the truth — that if you cry out for Him to change your heart, He will do just as He promises (again, Acts 1:4-5) and you will be filled with His Holy Spirit and His love and His divine nature and His righteousness. Then, you will have done and will always do the will of His Father! Your heart will be pure, and you will no longer be a slave to sin, but free, indeed (see John 8:31-36)!
Verse 15 —
Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing. They are the ones who call out for you to enter the broad path that leads to destruction. Outwardly, they look like you, O sheep! They look righteous on the outside, like the scribes and Pharisees. But inwardly, they are ravenous wolves — ones who suddenly seize you and rob you of eternal life!
Verse 16 —
But how will you identify the false teachers and prophets? Jesus says, You will know them by their fruits. Just as you cannot gather grapes from a thorn bush, or figs from thistle plants, you cannot gather good from them. Their fruit is revealed by what they seek — money, fame, success, acceptance by the world.
Their fruit is revealed by what they do, behind closed doors and even openly, as they feed your greed, saying, “Give to me, and you will get a hundredfold in return!”
Verses 17-20 —
Every good (worthy, spiritually valuable) tree bears good fruit, but the bad (worthless, corrupt) tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Why? The good tree is filled with goodness, and the bad tree is filled with corruption.
A tree can only produce what is inside of it. If you eat of a bad tree, you will be filled with its corruption and bear its fruit. Beloved, every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (John 15:6)! He is the Righteous Judge, and He is speaking of hell, beloved!
So, then, you will know them by their fruits. You will be able to fully perceive them and discern whether they are good or bad trees, because you will look at their fruit and see either worthiness and spiritual value, or corruption and immorality and greed. Thanks be to God, He is merciful and exposes many bad trees, for there is no discernment among most of those in today’s church!
Verse 21 —
Referring to the false prophets, Jesus says, Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven. Many say His name, but they do not know Him, because their hearts are corrupt.
Who will enter the kingdom of heaven? Jesus says, only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven! Heed His words, see the poverty-stricken condition of your heart, and cry out for Him to change it! He will! Then, supremely blessed will you be!
Verse 22-23 —
Jesus says, Many will say to Me, on the day of judgment, Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy and cast out demons and perform many miracles in Your name? We used your name! We exhibited miracle-working power, we cast out demons and prophesied. We “declared and decreed!” Look at all we did!
But He will declare to them — for He alone declares and decrees — I never knew you! The Greek means never, not ever, not at any time, not at all did I have any kind of relationship with you.
He will say, Depart from me — begone — you who practice (do) lawlessness (wickedness, things contrary to the will of My Father, unrighteousness, sin). He judges them, and sentences them to hell.
So, you may ask, by what power did they do miracles and cast out and prophesy? It cannot be by His power, for He never, ever knew them. Beware!
Verses 24 -25 —
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them (does them) will be compared to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and slammed against that house. And yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on a rock! The rock is Jesus Christ, and you will stand, in all circumstances, if your foundation is His Word!
Verses 26-27 —
Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great (exceedingly big) was its fall!
Is your foundation the truth which is in Christ, or are you foolish, believing the sandy words of false prophets? I tell you the truth, a storm is coming, one that will shake everything that can be shaken, so nothing remains but that which cannot be shaken —
Hebrews 12:27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Beloved, you will stand or fall, based on what you are believing. Follow Jesus’ words! Enter the small gate, go the narrow way, and you will not be shaken!
Verses 28-29 —
When Jesus had finished His words for that occasion, the crowd was amazed (astonished, struck with amazement) at His teaching. Why?
He taught them as One having authority, and not as their scribes. He taught with the power of God, because He is God the Son! The scribes spoke by the authority (teachings) of others; Jesus spoke on His own authority, for He is God the Son.
Jesus spoke in the first person (“But I say”), not as an interpreter of Scripture, but as its Author. Jesus said He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, because He is God the Son, the Messiah sent to us by His Father. He determines who enters the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is the Judge appointed by His Father, and He banishes the wicked.
Beloved, do not just hear His words — heed them! Remember that His words are addressed to His disciples who believed in Him, to the multitude of Jews and others who were being drawn to Him, and to the scribes and Pharisees who thought they could work their way to heaven by outwardly obeying the Law of Moses. Your righteousness must exceed theirs, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven!
Blessed are the poor in spirit who realize the poverty-stricken condition of their hearts, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
Blessed are you when you mourn over your condition, for you shall be comforted by the Lord by being filled with the Comforter, the Holy Spirit!
Blessed are you when you are humbled by your condition, for you will inherit the earth!
Blessed are you when you hunger and thirst for righteousness, for He will fill you with His Spirit, His righteousness, His love, and His nature, and purify your heart! Then you will be one who does the will of my Father! Hallelujah!
I pray that many hear and heed, Lord Jesus, for surely, a day of judgment is coming, when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. When they cry out, I know you will make them ready, and unshakeable. Amen.