Series: Student Ministry: The Sermon on the Mount
- The Blessings of Christ’s Kingdom (Matthew 5:1-12)
- The Blessings of Christ’s Kingdom: Blessings One and Two (Matthew 5:3-4)
- The Blessings of Christ’s Kingdom: Blessings 3-7
- The Blessings of Christ’s Kingdom: You Will Be Persecuted, But Yours Is The Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:10-12)
- Sermon on the Mount: Be Who You Are In Christ (Matthew 5:13-16)
- God’s Word Will Always Stand And It’s All About Jesus: Matthew 5:17-20
- The True Meaning of Adultery (Matthew 5:27-30)
- Adultery and the Seriousness of the Marriage Commitment (Matthew 5:31-32)
- Be People Of Truth (Matthew 5:33-47)
- Giving Grace Instead Of Vengeance (Matthew 5:38-42)
- What Does It Mean To Love Your Neighbor? (Matthew 5:43-47)
- Our Only Hope Is Jesus (Matthew 5:48)
- The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father
- The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father In Heaven, Hallowed Be Your Name
- The Lord’s Prayer: Your Kingdom Come
- The Lord’s Prayer: Your Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven
- The Lord’s Prayer: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
- Forgive Us Our Sins (Matthew 6:12)
- The Lord’s Prayer: Lead Us Not Into Temptation
- The Lord’s Prayer Activity
- Forgiven People Forgive (Matthew 6:14-15
- Fast Toward God, Not Others (Matthew 6:16-18)
- Live For What Will Last (Matthew 6:19-34)
- Judge Not, But Do Judge (Matthew 7:1-6)
- God Gives So That You Can Give (Matthew 7:6-12)
- Which Gate Have You Gone Through? Which Path Are You On? What Is Your Eternal Destination? (Matthew 7:13-14)
- Beware the False Prophet (Matthew 7:15-18)
- You May Think You Know Jesus, But Does Jesus Know You? (Matthew 7:21-23)
- All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand (Matthew 7:24-27)
I have finally lived long enough to see this text begin to come to fruition in the lives of people my age. It seems to have taken a while for me to notice, but I have looked around to see calamity after calamity tear the lives of people my age apart. They built their lives on structures that could not last and person after person is found to be in horrible situations brought about by their own foolishness. I’m not trying to be judgmental. I am attempting to make sense of things. Hardships arise in the people’s lives and those who have Christ as their foundation seem to weather these storms quite well. Other people do not.
You may be able to see this as you examine the landscape of your life. You might be able to look and see the downfall of people you know because they have chosen to live for those things that will only let them down. You may be able to see some future disaster that will happen because of their rejection of Christ. Or, maybe, it is you that has the downfall coming.
There is a popular hymn that is sung Sunday after Sunday called “The Solid Rock”. In it the hymn writer declares “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” If you’ve attended church much at all then you’ve likely sung those lyrics. And this is the idea seen here.
The Christian builds their life on Christ, every other foundation leads to destruction.
The Christian Builds His Life On Christ
Here, at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells a story that illustrates the warnings that we read over the past few weeks. He differentiates between those who hear His words and does them and those who hear His words and don’t do them. He then pictures this as a wise man building his house on a rock and a foolish man building his house on the sand. This story is very connected to Jesus’s discussion of the tree and its fruit and the discussion of the Narrow Gate and the Narrow Way. The ideas are the same. The Christian is the person on the Narrow Path who has entered the Narrow Gate and he bears good fruit. This person’s foundation is Christ. He trusts Christ and follows Him. This warning goes out to all people. The foundation you are building your life upon matters. If you are building it upon Christ then it will last. If you are building it upon whatever society says that you should build it upon then it will crumble.
Those people who are truly believers will build their lives upon Christ. The Christian, then, does a few things. First, they trust in Christ as their Savior. He accomplished salvation for them by coming to Earth, paying the price for their sin and rising from the dead. It is Jesus who accomplished salvation, not us and the Christian trusts in Him to be united in fellowship with God. But it doesn’t end there. When we trust in Christ, we trust in the whole Christ. This means that we also follow Him. We do what He says. The Christian will mold their lives after Christ’s teaching.
The question before us is this. Are you building your life upon Christ? When you decide how to treat other people, does treating other people how you want to be treated enter your mind? Do you consider what Jesus has to say about lust before you decide whether or not to look at pornography on your phone or computer? Does Scripture play a part in you deciding who you will befriend? Date? Whether you should date anyone right now? Whether you will wake up and go to Church on Sunday? Are you building your life upon Christ?
The Christian builds their life upon Christ. We must be a group who loves Christ, not just in word but in deed. This is what the Christian does and this becomes even more obvious as we move through this text.
The Wise Person Builds Their Life On Christ And It Will Last
Jesus here differentiates between the person who builds their life on the sand and the person who builds their life on the rock (Jesus and His teaching). And he begins with the person who built their house on the rock.
My parents’ home has a messed up foundation. The main foundation is okay, the outside portion that holds the brick is messed up. This means that the house is still standing, but the bricks are falling off in huge chunks. As the foundation crumbles the wall falls off. That’s the point of the story here. The inside of my parents’ home is okay because it rests on a solid foundation. The outside is not the same. If a strong storm blows through, the main structure of the house will be okay. All the brick may fall off. The Christian is the person who builds their house on the Rock, that is Christ.
A Christian builds their life upon Christ. He is the reason for their existence. They live for Him and they will not be put to shame. God is holy, righteous, and just. And, it is by grace alone that He decided to create. He did not need anyone or anything but He created anyway. And, this creation rebelled against Him and brought sin into the world. He could have left mankind alone after the fall to deal with the problem their self and die in their sin but He did not. God the Son came to Earth and lived perfectly, achieving all righteousness. Then He laid down His life as a substitute for sinners. He bore God’s wrath in our place. Then three days later, He rose from the dead. The Christian trusts in Christ as His righteousness and His sin-bearer and is declared righteous before God. But, things don’t end here. The person who truly trusts in Christ will also follow Christ. The faith that trusts in Christ is exemplified in the following of Christ’s teaching.
It seems to me that the WWJD bracelets and discussion from my era simply didn’t examine things in the right way. It is more important to say WDJD (What did Jesus do?) and understand the salvation that He accomplished for me. And then I needed to understand WDJSTWSD…I guess that wouldn’t fit on a bracelet. It would be What did Jesus say that we should do? This would be following Christ’s teaching. This would be doing what is pleasing to Christ.
Again, the question becomes, Have you trusted in Christ? Have you turned from ruling your own life and trusted in Him? Is that evidenced in a life built upon Christ?
The believer will walk in the narrow way and bear good fruit because their lives are built upon the foundation of Christ.
The Life Built On Any Other Foundation Leads To Destruction
Jesus ends this sermon rather dramatically. The person who hears Christ’s words and does not do them is building their house on the sand. Only a fool would build their house on an unsolid foundation. Large concrete structures hold up our homes, and if it were not so they would fall apart. It is the same when we discuss a person’s life. The person that builds their life on an unsure foundation will fall apart. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but it will at least happen on the Day of Judgment.
The winds and rains batter both homes. There is no indication that one home receives more battering from the storms than the other. But one home stands tall while the other collapses in a mighty manner. This happens in many people’s lives. They claim Christ and as the hardships fall upon them they crumble because their lives were not built on the foundation of Christ. It was built upon something else. It may happen that some people can live their whole lives without crumbling, but in the end, their foundation will be found wanting and it will crumble on the Day of Judgment as they are cast out from the presence of Christ. Sand of any sort is unable to hold our lives. It is a great and terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.
Remember my parents’ home. The one that has bricks falling off it. The foundation was not laid properly on the outside. My Dad remembers the day that it happened. Someone decided that everything would be alright and it is not alright. There are bricks falling off 37 years later. There will come a day when the storms batter your life enough that the wrong foundation will cause you to crumble. It does not matter that all of society seems to be building upon a foundation that is completely and utterly opposed to Christ. It will not stand. Any life that is not built upon Christ will be destroyed. In the end, only those who have trusted Christ…who have built their lives upon Him will last.
Are you building your life upon Christ? This is a terrifying passage due to its dramatic nature. It forces us to look upon ourselves and ask the question, am I building my life upon Christ?
This is the end of the Sermon on the Mount. It left the hearers amazed at Christ’s teaching, and well they should have been. If they were paying attention it left them asking the question, am I building my life upon the proper foundation? It is the question that we should be asking as well.