“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”
Thought: today as we read the teaching of Jesus, not just paying lip service but actually following through creates a firm foundation.
When our beliefs and our lifestyle don’t match it creates more than an unbalance in our lives, things don’t line up, using the words of Jesus here not only to hear his words but believe them and act upon them, this scripture in context he is talking about how we know what kind of tree it is by the fruit that it bears.
Talking to someone recently bought up to have faith in God and follow Jesus teaching, heard the message at Sunday school yet didn’t live a life that showed they were acting upon it. There' are many teaching of Jesus where he strongly suggests that those who follow him, are prepared to follow through. Which makes us ask the question if we are not producing the kind of fruit in our lives that shows we belong to Christ are their some changes we need to make, then how do we make the necessary adjustments.
Outline: three points this morning.
2. Faith and works
3. Grace and faith
Scripture says one must
come to God must believe that he exists and he is a rewarder of those for diligently seek him.
Our approach to God is one of steadfast faith, our belief in him is rock solid and out of this belief flows faithfulness and good works, however it’s importance that we understand it's also one of grace, our belief he rewards those who seek him. if we think we somehow earned the right to be in his presence, we have fallen from grace.
The fall from grace is not taking about into sin but into self effort.
Sinners always received favour from Christ, the self righteousness his distain.
Point 1 being steadfast
this morning the scripture is from acts 11 the context is when the church in Jerusalem sent a chap called barnabus to Antioch to investigate these new follows of Christ.
When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion;
He saw the evidence in their lives, he saw grace was upon them and called them to remain steadfast and devoted.
Steadfast reminds me of the rock the house is built on that a Jesus was referring to, when the storms rise we have something to anchor on to.
The psalmist writes this waiting for God delivering
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.
Point number 2 Faith and works
James writes extensively on the life of a follower of Christ should be evident in their faithfulness
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works.
The true faith we have in Christ means that he has a life of abundance for us, a life worth living, it’s a life poured out and open for God to use us, the call to those first disciples was not to believe in Jesus, that came later, brut to follow him. To put you trust in him enough to leave all behind and literally walk with him as he went about doing good works healing those who needed healing, setting free those oppressed, opening blind eyes opening deaf ears and making the lame walk. Following Jesus is a life of good works works of restoration, seeing imperfect humanity and restoring it to what God intended, these are the kind of works, greater works Jesus said to his followers these good works we were created for.
Final point is Grace and faith that go hand in hand.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2. 8-10)
How do we receive anything from God?
The scripture says we should ask and we shall receive.
Scriptures says you don't have because you don't ask.
We come from the point of view that god is the source of all life.
All we have in life is a gift from God. So we give from the attitude that we are stewards that it all belongs to him.
We give a tenth of our income not out of law or obligation but as a representative of the whole.
We don't just do good works while people are watching.
We don't just do things to get the praise from others.
We do good because goodness overflows from our hearts.
We love cause we have been loved so much
We forgive because we have been forgiven.
We show grace because God is so gracious to us.
We give because we have been given.
What God has planned for us only comes through His grace, His grace also teaches how to live and enables us to do good works.
Take time to read the words of Jesus, his teaching has stood the test of time and context
someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built.
When our beliefs and our lifestyle match it creates a perfect balance in our lives, things line up, using the words of Jesus here not only to hear his words but believe them and act upon them and bear fruit.
Jesus said those who love me listen and obey to my commands, the commands he takes from Deuteronomy 6, to love God with all our heart mind and soul and Leviticus 19 to love others as you love yourself.