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The Gospel of Matthew: Chapter Seven

A verse-by-verse commentary by Max Klein

7:1-5: The carnal believer judges.

7:6-12: The spiritual believer understands doctrine.

7:13-27: The unbeliever rejects salvation.

7:28, 29: The unbelievers were amazed, but did not believe in Him.


7:1. Stop judging so that you might not be judged [not receive triple discipline from the Lord].


Μὴ κρίνετε, ἵνα µὴ κριθῆτε·


The Greek word “krino” when used of people means to judge, criticize, gossip, malign and slander. In this verse, we have the negative “me” (µὴ) with the present active imperative of “krino” (κρίνετε). This is the imperative of prohibition which means to stop doing something you are doing. The durative present is an action which began in the past and continues into the present. These believers began judging, criticizing, and maligning other believers in the past and are continuing to do so in the present. So, God the Holy Spirit via Matthew is commanding them to stop.  


No Christian has a right to critically evaluate another Christian unless he is in some position of authority which requires his doing so. For example, as an employer one would have the right to gather information on a person applying for a job at his company for he has a right to know if this prospective employee is an alcoholic, full of bitterness, a thief, anti-authority etc. However, if one is not in a position of authority which requires the evaluation of another person, then only the Lord has the right to evaluate that Christian.


Being a pastor or a deacon does not give that person the authority to interfere into the private lives of the members of the congregation.  The Lord is able to handle the successes as well as the failures of any member of any congregation.  The only time sin should be brought before the deacons is when that sin is directly impacting a member or members of the church such as gossip, sexual harassment or when some con artist is trying to swindle the members of the congregation etc.   


Just to anticipate verse two, the Christian who judges another person, will be disciplined for three sins.  First, he will be punished for judging.  Second, any Christian who judges another Christian is motivated by arrogance which has many manifestations such as self-righteousness, jealousy, bitterness etc.  So, the Christian will be punished for the mental sin which motivates judging.  Third, the believer will be punished for the sins mentioned in judging such as drunkenness, fornication, adultery which sins the self-righteous Christian enjoys discussing with others.  So, in summary the Christian involved in judging others will receive triple compound discipline.   


Not only does the Christian receive triple discipline when he judges, but also at the same time he makes himself miserable under the natural law of self-induced misery. This explains why so many morally degenerate Christians are miserable.


Please, note the following statement: whenever we say that a person is being disciplined by God for a certain sin, we mean that the person is being disciplined for issues related to that sin. Actually, no believer is ever punished by God for the actual penalty for sin itself for that penalty has already been judged on the cross, “and he himself bore our sins on his body” (1 Peter 2:24a). The Justice of God does not punish two persons for the same sin.  In eternity past, the righteousness of God demanded that every sin in human history be punished.  At the cross, God the Father punished the human nature of Jesus Christ for every sin.  This completely satisfied the Father’s perfect righteousness. Thus, though a Christian may be punished for certain consequences of sin, no Christian pays the penalty of that sin, a penalty which has already been paid on the Cross.    


So why do we receive punishment for sin? First, if the Lord did not punish us when we sinned, we would probably never stop committing those sins.  Secondly, punishment motivates the believer to get back into fellowship and to continue the spiritual life, and lastly it tends to prevent the Christian from entering into guilt.  


7:2. For by what judgment, [condemnation: slander, gossip, maligning] you judge [others], you will be judged [punished for slander, gossip, maligning], and by what measure you measure it out [the sin you mention regarding another], it will be measured back to you [you will be punished for the other person’s sin which you mentioned].  


ἐν ᾧ γὰρ κρίµατι κρίνετε κριθήσεσθε, καὶ ἐν ᾧ µέτρῳ µετρεῖτε µετρηθήσεται ὑµῖν.


Furthermore, every verbal sin (sin coming from the tongue) is motivated by some mental sin of arrogance.  For example, anger, hatred, jealousy, and self-righteousness all motivate verbal sins. A person full of hatred may want to slander; a jealous person may want to malign his rival; a self-righteous person assuming he is perfect may want to gossip or criticize another believer especially if that believer has committed some overt sin such as drunkenness, or some sexual sin.  The point is that all verbal sins have a source.  


All verbal sins produce quadruple punishment. Let’s illustrate using Christian A and B.  Christian A hates Christian B, so he slanders B.  He slanders B by spreading the rumor that B is unfaithful to his wife. Thus, Christian A will suffer in the following ways:   


1.  He is punished by God for hatred.

2.  He is punished by God for slander.

3.  He is punished by God for adultery the sin he mentioned regarding B “by what measure you measure   it out, it will be measured back to you.”

4.  He is punished by the law of self-induced misery. (All sinning makes the person miserable.)  


Nota bene: Remember that a Christian never pays the actual penalty of any sin.  That penalty has already been judged on the cross. So, when we say that a Christian is punished for hatred, slander, adultery etc., we mean that the individual involved is being punished for consequences related to those sins such as failure to execute the spiritual life; consequences related to grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit etc.


This explains why moral Christians who like to gossip in a Church have a difficult time (Morality has a dark side when corrupted with self-righteous arrogance). Almost every Church has some woman or man who is a skilled gossiper. These Christians think they are sinless as a result of rationalizing away their mental sins and so fashion themselves into statues of perfection, and having convinced themselves that they are perfect, they judge and gossip about others.  Under triple compound discipline and self-induced misery, these religious Christians suffer much.    


Usually, these self-righteous Christians portray themselves as martyrs for the Lord. In their delusion they assume that their quadruple suffering is undeserved. (Triple discipline from the Lord combined with their own self-induced misery.)  In their lust to be recognized as martyrs, they will explain in detail all their sufferings to others and request prayer on their behalf.  These self-righteous believers have martyrized themselves!


One should understand that God is fair and so his punishment is fair.  Let’s say that some person fornicates. Now, the discipline related to fornication is severe (Any attack upon marriage will bring severe punishment from the supreme court of heaven).  Now, even though God doesn’t need any help in disciplining a believer, you decide to help God in punishing this individual through gossip. You in effect are adding to God’s perfect punishment. Adding to perfect punishment makes it imperfect as well as unfair. God will not allow you to tamper with perfect justice. So, he will place upon you the punishment that he was giving to the fornicator. Sometimes the gossiper maligns a person who is innocent. In that case, God will not only punish the gossiper, but will provide extra blessing for the victim of gossip. This is how perfect justice works.       


7:3. Why do you [the believer of the above two verses] scrutinize [inspect critically] the splinter [the toothpick] in your brother’s eye, but you do not consider [because of blindness from arrogance] the log [self-righteous arrogance] in your own eye?  


τί δὲ βλέπεις τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλµῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου, τὴν δὲ ἐν τῷ σῷ ὀφθαλµῷ δοκὸν οὐ κατανοεῖς;


Most Christians do not take responsibility for their own sins and thus see themselves as perfect and qualified therefore to judge others. How can this be so? Well, some rationalize away their sins by saying to themselves, ‘I have a right to be bitter’ or ‘how can I not worry.’  Others do not know about mental and verbal sins and so worry and gossip etc. with abandonment; still others push their sins into their subconscious psychologically by repression followed by projection.


Regarding repression and projection, the best case in history involving a large group of believers would be the Exodus Generation.  They accused Moses of hating and wanting to murder them when in reality, it was they who hated and wanted to murder Moses.  


7:4. Or how will [how dare] you say to your brother, let me pull the splinter out of your eye [some sin or failure] and behold there is a log in your eye [a complete failure in the spiritual life]?  

ἢ πῶς ἐρεῖς τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου, Ἄφες ἐκβάλω τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλµοῦ σου, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἡ δοκὸς ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλµῷ σοῦ;


This believer with the log in his eye (great arrogance) is offering to help the believer with a splinter in his eye (a little arrogance). The principle is that the more one concentrates on other people’s sins, the less he sees of his own.


This principle can apply when a believer concentrates too much time, thought, discussion on the sins, human good and evil regarding people in his city, state or nation.  He understands and sees well their failures, but loses control over his own spiritual life.




7:5. “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly [how] to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.


ὑποκριτά, ἔκβαλε πρῶτον τὴν δοκὸν ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλµοῦ σοῦ, καὶ τότε διαβλέψεις ἐκβαλεῖν τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλµοῦ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου.


How to remove the log out of the eye of a self-righteous believer?  That believer must learn to confess his sins to the Father by using 1 John 1:9 as often as necessary (applying this verse to the Church Age believer).  Secondly, he must put himself under the authority of a qualified communicator of God’s Word who studies diligently and teaches accurately. Thirdly, as this believer grows spiritually the log will become smaller and smaller. (He will understand better the spiritual life and so spend less time in arrogance.)


How a believer can help another believer remove the speck from his eye is explained as follows:


1.  He may pray that the Lord will make the believer aware of the splinter in his eye.  


 2.  If the believer with a splinter in his eyes seeks help from an advanced believer, that advanced believer may explain the mechanics of 1 John 1:9 and the necessity of learning God’s Word on a consistent basis.


3.  Just leave the matter in the Lord’s hands for the Lord knows perfectly how to handle believers.


The Spiritual Believer: verses 6-12


7:6. “Stop giving what is holy to dogs [gentile unbelievers: Psalm 22:6; Mark 7:28; Revelation 22:15], and stop throwing your pearls before swine [religious Jewish unbelievers: Matthew 13:45, 46; 2 Peter 2:22], with the result that [or] they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.


Μὴ δῶτε τὸ ἅγιον τοῖς κυσίν, µηδὲ βάλητε τοὺς µαργαρίτας ὑµῶν ἔµπροσθεν τῶν χοίρων, µήποτε καταπατήσουσιν αὐτοὺς ἐν τοῖς ποσὶν αὐτῶν καὶ στραφέντες ῥήξωσιν ὑµᾶς.


Since the unbeliever does not possess a human spirit, he is not able to comprehend spiritual information designed for the believer only.  So, the believer should not explain to an unbeliever anything in the Bible other than information regarding the gospel or establishment. (The aorist tense of the Greek word “didomi”(to give) is the point of time when the believer is talking to an unbeliever. “That which is holy” and “pearls” refer to Biblical information designed for the believer only.) For example, don’t talk to unbelievers about angels, the Indwelling and Filling of the Spirit, the Rapture, The Great Tribulation, The New Jerusalem etc. for he is unable to understand such Biblical subjects.


Many times when the unbeliever listens to Biblical truths which he cannot understand, he will obscure and distort these truths (“they will trample them under their feet”) and even use them to ridicule and defame the believer (“turn and tear you to pieces”).


7:7. “Ask, and it will be given to you [addressed to the disciples only!  Ask for the ministry of the Spirit; possibly a reference to the Filling of the Spirit as John the Baptist, the Lord’s herald had received at his salvation: Luke 1:15, “… he will be filled with the Holy Spirit at some point out from his mother’s womb”], seek [continuous Bible study], and you will find [discover truth]; knock [application of one of the Problem Solving Devices] and it will be opened to you [it will be solved].


Αἰτεῖτε, καὶ δοθήσεται ὑµῖν· ζητεῖτε, καὶ εὑρήσετε· κρούετε, καὶ ἀνοιγήσεται ὑµῖν.


This is not a prayer promise, but a command to the twelve disciples to ask for the ministry of the Spirit, then to seek and knock. He wanted his disciples to come down from that mountain under the power of the Filling of the Spirit in order that they might operate under a higher concept than “to do unto others as you expect them to do unto you”.  Under the power of the Spirit, the grace concept is to do onto others as the Lord has done unto you.  (Luke 11:9-13 is a parallel passage. “. . . how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those [disciples] who ask Him” (Luke 11:13b)). After having asked, they were to seek and knock. In effect, they were commanded to execute the spiritual life under the Filling of the Spirit.


7:8. For everyone [of the disciples] who asks receives [the powerful ministry of the Spirit]; he who seeks [the Word of God], discovers [truth]; and to him who knocks [application of one of the Problem Solving Devices], it will be opened.


πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν λαµβάνει καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται.


7:9. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  


ἢ τίς ἐστιν ἐξ ὑµῶν ἄνθρωπος, ὃν αἰτήσει ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἄρτον ñ µὴ λίθον ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ;


7:10. Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?


ἢ καὶ ἰχθὺν αἰτήσει ñ µὴ ὄφιν ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ;


All normal fathers love their children, and desire to provide the best for them.  So, if a child is hungry and asks for some food, the loving and responsible father will certainly provide that food.


7:11. If you, then, though you are evil [in the sense of possessing sin natures], know [instinctively] how to give good gifts to your children [provide for their needs], how much more will your Father in heaven give good things [the Filling of the Spirit, doctrine and other blessing related to the spiritual life] to those who ask him [seek and knock]!  Then God [the Father] who is perfect will certainly provide these things for you.


εἰ οὖν ὑµεῖς πονηροὶ ὄντες οἴδατε δόµατα ἀγαθὰ διδόναι τοῖς τέκνοις ὑµῶν, πόσῳ µᾶλλον ὁ πατὴρ ὑµῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς δώσει ἀγαθὰ τοῖς αἰτοῦσιν αὐτόν.


7:12. So, in everything do to others what you would have them do to you for this sums up the Law and the Prophets [the Old Testament].


Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑµῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, οὕτως καὶ ὑµεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς· οὗτος γάρ ἐστιν ὁ νόµος καὶ οἱ προφῆται.


The above verse defines the so-called Golden Rule which both believers and unbelievers can execute since it requires only human determination. Thus, the golden rule (Matthew 7:12) does not require any special or supernatural power. The Lord wanted the disciples to have something greater than the golden rule namely to function under the full power of grace.  So, if these disciples had the Filling of the Spirit (Matthew 7:11), they would have been able to function under the higher law of grace through the Filling of the Spirit. “Just as the Lord forgave you so also you should” (Colossians 3:13b)  (By the way, even though the Lord told them that they could ask for this power (Matthew 7:7), they never did.)       


7:13. “Enter [believe in the Lord Jesus Christ] through the narrow gate [the cross] for the gate is wide and the way is broad [many religions and other alternatives to the cross] that leads to destruction [eternal judgment of the unbeliever], and there are many who enter through it.


Εἰσέλθατε διὰ τῆς στενῆς πύλης· ὅτι πλατεῖα ἡ πύλη καὶ εὐρύχωρος ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν, καὶ πολλοί εἰσιν οἱ εἰσερχόµενοι διí αὐτῆς·


The narrow gate is God’s way of salvation; the wide gate is Satan’s way leading to eternal judgment. The aorist tense of “Εἰσέλθατε” meaning ‘enter’ is the point of time the unbeliever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ. The narrow gate doesn’t mean that it is very difficult or too narrow to enter, but that there is only one way of entering heaven, only through faith in Jesus Christ. John 14:6, “Jesus said to him [Thomas], I am the way [to heaven] and the truth and the life [eternal life]; no one comes face to face with the Father except through Me.” Acts 4:12, “And  salvation is not by any other person [than Jesus Christ] under heaven who has been given among men by whom we must be saved.” On the other hand, the wide gate includes all religions, all atheists, all those depending on human good and relative righteousness as opposed to God’s grace plan of salvation. All the religions of the world can line-up, side by side and still get through. In conclusion, there is only one way of salvation, but many ways of rejecting Christ and his work on the Cross.   


7:14. “Because small is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life [eternal life], and there are few who find it [the mechanics of God-consciousness and gospel hearing followed by faith in Christ].


τί στενὴ ἡ πύλη καὶ τεθλιµµένη ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν, καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν.


Religion is the greatest hindrance to the gospel and so explains why so few enter the gate of salvation. Religion hinders by giving a pseudo confidence in life after death. It hinders by providing a system of works and good deeds which appeals to the Area of Strength of the Sin Nature.  (The Area of Strength encourages the tendency of self-righteousness.)  Having acquired a mountain of self-righteousness and good deeds, they see no need for God’s gracious gift of imputed righteousness. Some religions hinder the gospel message by giving vent to the Area of Weakness of the Sin Nature. (The Area of Weakness motivates to sin.)  These religions incorporate lying, stealing, rape, murder and terrorism etc. into the modus operandi of their religion. The license to lie, steal, rape, murder appeals to a lot of people. In short, religion blinds more unbelievers to the gospel than any other factor.


Man’s responsibility toward God begins at awareness of God which awareness is called God-consciousness. When a person is cognitively able to understand Romans 1:20, he is responsible before God to make a decision. Does he want to learn more about God or not? If he desires to learn more, then God is responsible to provide gospel information to that person.


Romans 1:19, “because what may be known [evident, plain] about God in them [the basis for knowing about God] is revealed [at the point of God consciousness]; because God has made it plain to them. (20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly perceived, being perspicuous through things He has created, namely, both His eternal power and His divine nature, so that they [the entire human race] are without excuse.”


So, this answers that blasphemous question about those who have never heard the gospel due to geographic, linguistic and other barriers. There are no barriers to God. If a person after reaching God-consciousness wants to know more, God will provide that person with the gospel.


In verses 15-23, we have the hindrance to the gospel.  


7:15. “Beware [constantly be on your guard] of the false prophets [teaching a false gospel and spiritual life] who come to you in sheep’s clothing [pretending to be harmless], but inwardly are ravenous wolves.


Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν, οἵτινες ἔρχονται πρὸς ὑµᾶς ἐν ἐνδύµασιν προβάτων, ἔσωθεν δέ εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες.


One has to be constantly alert with regard to false teachers who always approach the unsuspecting, the naïve person. These false teachers approach with helpfulness, sweetness and pseudo kindness, but their false teaching motivated by evil will lead the person away from the truth and destroy him (Keep the unbeliever from the gospel and the believer from executing the spiritual life).    


Sheep’s Clothing (the counterfeiting of Christianity by religion):


1. Counterfeit doctrines: 1Timothy 4:1, “But the Spirit explicitly teaches that in latter periods of time [the Church Age and the Tribulation] some [believers] will withdraw from doctrine, concentrating on deceitful personalities and doctrines from demons [demon influence via cosmic 1 & 2].”  


2. Counterfeit worship and communion table: 1 Corinthians 10:21, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord [the Communion table requires fellowship and knowledge of the pertinent doctrines] and the cup of demons [living in the cosmic system]; therefore you cannot partake of the table of the Lord [worship requires the spiritual life] and the table of demons [demon influence and degeneracy; idolatry and the phallic cult].” The Christian cannot serve and worship the Lord and at the same time serve and worship Satan.


    3. Counterfeit ministers: 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, “For such ones are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) Did not even Satan marvelously transform himself into an angel of light? (15) Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.”

4. Counterfeit gospel: 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4, “But I am concerned that just as the serpent completely deceived Eve by his craftiness that your thinking may be corrupted [spiritually seduced by the Judaizers] from the integrity and purity of devotion toward Christ. (4)  For if one [a Judaizer] comes and proclaims another [allos: another of the same kind] Jesus [the same historical Jesus with a different message] whom we have not proclaimed, or if you receive another [heteros] type of life [legalism], which you did not receive [from us; Paul and his team taught grace], or another [heteros] gospel, which you did not welcome [before], you patiently endure with honor [have a pseudo love for these legalistic teachers].” 

5. Counterfeit spirituality: Galatians 3:3, “Are you so foolish?  Having begun by the Spirit [the Filling of the Spirit] are you now being brought to completion by means of the flesh [operating out of fellowship and so using human strength and functioning under the sin nature]?”

6. Counterfeit righteousness: Matthew 19:16-22, “Now behold a man came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good shall I do to obtain eternal life? (17) And He replied to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good [What good shall I do]?  There is only one [Jesus, the only person born without a sin nature and so without the imputation of Adam’s sin] who is [intrinsic, absolute] good [a reference to both his deity and humanity and so qualified to provide salvation].  If you desire to enter into [eternal] life [through your righteousness], and you do [an implication of the first class conditional sentence], then keep the commandments [impossible for any member of fallen mankind to keep the Mosaic Law perfectly] (18) The man inquired, “Which ones [in response to the command in verse 17]?  Jesus replied, “You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness [in court]; (19) you shall honor your father and mother, and you shall love your neighbor [those in your periphery; the ones a person has contact with on a daily basis] as yourself. (20) And the young man answered, “All these, I have guarded. What do I still lack? (21) And Jesus said to him, “If you desire to be perfect and you do [though it is impossible since you are not God], go and sell your possessions and give them to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven then [return after you realize that you cannot be perfect] here and follow Me [in regeneration: Matthew 19:28]. (22) After the young man heard the instruction, he departed grieving for he possessed a lot of property.” (He grieved because he wanted to be saved by his own good deeds.)

7. Counterfeit power: 2 Thessalonians 2:9, “whose presence [the dictator of the Revived Roman Empire] shall be according to the modus operandi of Satan by means of all power and by means of miraculous signs, even by pseudo wonders.”

8. Counterfeit gods: 2 Thessalonians 2:4, “who opposes [the Lord Jesus Christ] and exalts himself [the dictator of the Revived Roman Empire] above every so called God, or object of worship, so that he is installed in the temple of God [the Jewish temple of the Tribulation], proclaiming himself to be God.”


7:16. “You [the disciples, persons with Bible doctrine] will know them [false teachers representing thorns and thistles] by their production.  Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes or figs from cactus [thistles], are they? Of course not. [This question expects a negative answer.]


ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς· µήτι συλλέγουσιν ἀπὸ ἀκανθῶν σταφυλὰς ἢ ἀπὸ τριβόλων σῦκα;


7:17. “Even so every healthy tree bears good fruit [divine production], but every diseased tree [religious leaders of Israel] produces worthless [degenerate, evil, spoiled] fruit. [This is a principle.]


οὕτως πᾶν δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς καλοὺς ποιεῖ, τὸ δὲ σαπρὸν δένδρον καρποὺς πονηροὺς ποιεῖ·


7:18. “A good tree [a person positive at God-consciousness and gospel hearing] cannot produce diseased fruit [rather he produces the fruit of salvation] nor can a diseased [corrupt] tree [analogous to rejection of the truth] bear good fruit [salvation].


οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ποιεῖν, οὐδὲ δένδρον σαπρὸν καρποὺς καλοὺς ποιεῖν.


7:19. “Every tree [the unbeliever] that does not produce good fruit [salvation] is cut down and thrown into the fire [the Lake of Fire]. (Revelation 20:11-15)


πᾶν δένδρον µὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται.


7:20. “So, then, you will recognize them by their production [a principle].  


ἄρα γε ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς.


The unbeliever’s production is human good and relative righteousness.  The believer receives the produce of absolute imputed righteousness at salvation (Romans 3:22).  This is how an unbeliever is distinguished from a believer.


Verses 21-23: The judgment of unbelieving false teachers at the 2nd Advent:


7:21. “Not everyone [a reference to the unbelievers who are analogous to goats as per Matthew 25:31-33] who says to Me [Matthew 25:44] on that day [the 2nd Advent], ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven [as per Matthew 25:46], but he who does the will of My Father [enter the narrow gate through  believing in the Lord Jesus Christ: Matthew 7:13; 1 John 3:23a] who is in heaven will enter [into the kingdom of heaven].  


Οὐ πᾶς ὁ λέγων µοι, Κύριε κύριε, εἰσελεύσεται εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν, ἀλλí ὁ ποιῶν τὸ θέληµα τοῦ πατρός µου τοῦ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.


The only person who can use the vocative ‘Lord’ with meaning is the advanced believer in fellowship.  1 Corinthians 12:3b tells us that ““No one [an unbeliever or Christian out of fellowship] can say, “Jesus is Lord [with meaning], “except by the Holy Spirit [except a very advanced believer filled with the Spirit].””  


7:22. Many will say to Me on that day [2nd Advent], ‘Lord, Lord did we [religious unbelievers] not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many supernatural powers?’


πολλοὶ ἐροῦσίν µοι ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡµέρᾳ, Κύριε κύριε, οὐ τῷ σῷ ὀνόµατι ἐπροφητεύσαµεν, καὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόµατι δαιµόνια ἐξεβάλοµεν, καὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόµατι δυνάµεις πολλὰς ἐποιήσαµεν;


During the Tribulation, these religious unbelievers will use the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in their pseudo prophesies, in their casting out of demons and in the performance of supernatural powers. In reality, it will be Satan who will support these religious unbelievers in their deceitful acts to gain power. At the 2nd Advent, the Lord will separate these unbelievers from the believers (Matthew 25:31, 32), and so these unbelievers will be removed from the earth and consigned to Torments until the end of the Millennial reign of Christ at which time they will be resurrected to stand before the Great White Throne Judgment.    


7:23. “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you [The unbeliever has no personal relationship with the Lord.]; depart from Me [this command removed them from the earth and identified them with fire in Torments], you who practice lawlessness [the unbeliever is lawless in that he refuses to obey the command to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior as per Mark 1:15]’


καὶ τότε ὁµολογήσω αὐτοῖς ὅτι Οὐδέποτε ἔγνων ὑµᾶς· ἀποχωρεῖτε ἀπí ἐµοῦ οἱ ἐργαζόµενοι τὴν ἀνοµίαν.


7:24. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine [the gospel] and does them [believes in the Lord Jesus Christ] may be compared to a wise man [analogous to the unbeliever who believes in Christ] who built his house on the rock [the foundational boulder (petra)  which is the Lord Jesus Christ].


Πᾶς οὖν ὅστις ἀκούει µου τοὺς λόγους τούτους καὶ ποιεῖ αὐτοὺς ὁµοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ φρονίµῳ, ὅστις ᾠκοδόµησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.


The foundation of a building is extremely important.  If a person builds on a strong foundation, the structure will be secure. If on the other hand, he builds on a weak foundation, the structure will not endure. When a person believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, he establishes himself on a permanent foundation.

7:25. “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 the rock [salvation based on the person and work of Christ].


καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταµοὶ καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεµοι καὶ προσέπεσαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ οὐκ ἔπεσεν, τεθεµελίωτο γὰρ ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.


Nothing is able to remove the believer from the secure foundation which is our relationship with Him.  Romans 8:38, 39 presents eternal security, but from our position in Him i.e. the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  “For I have confidence that neither death nor life [nothing in death or life], neither angels [elect and fallen] nor principalities [angelic organizations], neither present things nor future things, neither power [systems of tyrannical human powers], neither height, nor depth [one cannot go too high in the atmosphere or too low into the heart of the earth], nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us [the Christian] from the love of God [the Father] which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”


7:26. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine [the gospel] and does not act upon them [does not believe in Christ] will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand [something other than the salvation work of Christ].


καὶ πᾶς ὁ ἀκούων µου τοὺς λόγους τούτους καὶ µὴ ποιῶν αὐτοὺς ὁµοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ µωρῷ, ὅστις ᾠκοδόµησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν ἄµµον.


Sand by analogy, is any thinking related to arrogance, any religion, any philosophy or anything else that deceives the person into believing that these things will provide him with security.  If the unbeliever thinks that sand is a sufficient foundation, he will reject the Rock.

7:27. “The rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and it fell and great was its fall [analogous to the judgment of the unbeliever].


καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταµοὶ καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεµοι καὶ προσέκοψαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἔπεσεν, καὶ ἦν ἡ πτῶσις αὐτῆς µεγάλη.


7:28. When Jesus had finished these words [the end of the Sermon on the Mount: chapters 5-7] the crowds were astonished at His teaching [amazed, but no converts];


Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοὺς λόγους τούτους ἐξεπλήσσοντο οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ


People have free will, and free will chooses to accept or reject truth.  If a person does not want the truth, he will reject even the most accurate and eloquent communicators of God’s Word even he will reject the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ himself.  

7:29. for He was teaching them as one having authority [dogmatically], and not as their scribes [the Jewish theologians].


ἦν γὰρ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐξουσίαν ἔχων καὶ οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραµµατεῖς αὐτῶν.


Jesus Christ knew this doctrinal subject of the Sermon on the Mount perfectly.  Therefore, he was able to teach dogmatically with authority in contrast to His contemporary Jewish unbelieving theologians who taught in a wishy-washy way: maybe this or maybe that.  


The Bible is God’s Word and absolute authority. When a communicator learns God’s Word, he will teach with authority. When a communicator or theologian rejects God’s Word, he rejects the absolutes of God, and in so doing, he cannot teach dogmatically.  

Ultimately, the unbeliever is relying on some system of human good and or righteousness to qualify him for eternity.  For this reason, he sees no need to obtain the imputed righteousness of God which is received at the point of faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 3:22, “Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all who believe.”  Unfortunately, for the unbeliever at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15), it will be demonstrated that his good deeds and righteousness  is a house built on sand.  

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