Lesson 113—May 8, 2016
Audio Commentary by Billy Redd
Known by Many but Not by Jesus
Happy Mother’s Day! In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers. The idea for Mother’s Day had been trademarked in 1912 by Anna Jarvis who had a memorial service for her mother at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church, in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908. This is the first known celebration of Mother’s Day in the U.S., although Anna Jarvis had tried to campaign for a national holiday to recognize mothers beginning in 1905, the year her mother died.
Today we honor the mothers of our congregation and church family, along with all the ladies who have blessed our lives in countless ways. We express our thankfulness and gratitude to all of you. Thank you for showing us God’s special love. May God bless each one of you. May we each, in our own way, remember the special gift of our moms today.
Scripture: Matthew 7:21-23
Lesson Goal: To understand that simply saying and doing is not enough to gain entrance into the Kingdom.
Matthew 7:21—“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” “At this point, Jesus is not concerned to add further instruction, but rather to ensure a proper response to the instruction he has already given” (Stott). J.C. Ryle tells us: “The Lord Jesus winds up the Sermon on the Mount by a passage of heart piercing application.”
Stott writes concerning Jesus’ words of verses 21-23:
So Jesus confronts us with Himself, sets before us the radical choice between obedience and disobedience, and calls us to an unconditional commitment of mind, will and life to his teaching. The way He does it is to warn us of two unacceptable alternatives, first a merely verbal profession (21-23), and secondly a merely intellectual knowledge (24-27). Neither can be a substitute for obedience; indeed each may be a camouflage for disobedience. Jesus emphasizes with great solemnity that on a thoroughgoing obedience our eternal destiny depends.
Please explain this statement: We are not saved by faith plus works, but we are saved by a faith that does work.
Please complete this statement: True salvation in a person’s life leads to…
John Phillips writes: “To call on the name of the Lord continually, but never to do what He says is the essence of a false profession.”
Please read Luke 6:46. If Jesus asked you this question, how would answer?
Please explain the following statement: Obedience to Jesus is the greatest witness of my salvation.
(VV21-22) Many in Jesus’ day used the word “Lord.” It simply meant to respect or to honor. “Lord” was used in reference to people of royalty, military leaders, political rulers and teachers. But notice Jesus’ words in verse 21: “Lord, Lord.” These words, followed by His explanation in verse 22, help us to understand that these people had given to Jesus more than just respect. They had, in some way, recognized and acknowledged Him in a supernatural way. They would claim to be followers of Jesus.
Today, there are many who claim to be followers of Jesus. They proclaim that they have made a profession of Him. They would use the terminology “saved,” and they would point to a time when a profession was made. But the evidence of life (the narrow road in verses 13-14 and the fruit of their lives in verses 15-20) gives no evidence of a changed, repentant heart.
In verse 21b, what does Jesus say is the real evidence of His lordship in a person’s life?
Before anyone questions my biblical doctrine concerning salvation by grace through faith, let me make clear that I am not teaching a works-based salvation. The work of salvation was completed when Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins. I am not teaching a works-based salvation, but I am teaching a “works as a result of” salvation.
No matter what denomination, or lack thereof, we want to pledge our allegiance to, the fact of Scripture is that there will be evidences in the life that has truly been saved. Genuine salvation and repentance lead to genuine evidence that what one claims to believe in is actually true. Followers of Jesus follow Jesus!
Please read Colossians 2:6.
As we study today’s lesson, these questions will arise: Can a true Christian (follower of Jesus) not stray away? Can a true Christian not choose the wrong path?
How do we answer these questions?
What is the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the life of the true follower of Jesus Christ, when that follower begins to stray—when that person chooses the wrong path?
Please read John 8:31, John 6:66-69; Matthew 24:13.
Is there a desire to follow Jesus deep in the heart of every true believer?
How do satan and the forces of evil come against this desire? Please answer prayerfully and honestly.
What is the objective, the goal, of satan? See John 10:10.
Once a person has surrendered his/her life to Jesus Christ through faith and by God’s wonderful grace, repenting of sin, believing in Jesus as Savior, receiving God’s gift of salvation, where do satan and the forces of evil turn their attention in that person’s life? Please answer prayerfully and thoughtfully.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus, the battlefield and the battle objective change. It is no longer a battle for the soul; it now becomes a battle for the testimony (the witness) of the follower of Jesus Christ.
What does satan seek to kill, steal, and destroy in the life of the believer?
“Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name and done many wonders in Your name?’” Jesus speaks of “that day,” referencing a judgement day.
Many on “that day” will speak with knowledge of spiritual things; many will speak of accomplishments and achievements; many will testify to their attainments and advancements; many will say! These have lived life impressing others with their vast treasures of articulated knowledge. They will have garnished the applause of multitudes with their spiritual verbiage and religious credentials. They will present resumes of outstanding spiritual accomplishments, lavished with the praise and adoration of countless intellectual admirers. They will have been known by the world of academia and intellectual philosophers. They will have been known by those who have sat at their feet spellbound by their utterance of individual expressions to the highest degree. They will have been known by those who followed in their selfish, yet vast, pursuits of knowledge and so-called ministry. They will have been known by many. But they will not be known by Jesus! (V23)
How is it possible to sound spiritual but not be spiritual?
How is it possible to speak with great knowledge of the spiritual disciplines of life but not be a disciple of Jesus?
How is it possible to reach great heights of theological pursuits through academic and scholarship but miss the most important truth of all?
(V23) “I never knew you.”
Many will be known by man, having declared to know Jesus by the evidences demonstrated by their profession (saying) and their professional scholarship (knowledge), only to hear Jesus say: “I never knew you.” The most important question in all of life is not: “Do you know Jesus?” but rather: “Does Jesus know you?”
Does Jesus know you?
To claim to have said and done all such things (V22), they have convinced others, but they are not known by Jesus.