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1 John 2:4 - He Who Says I Know Him - Part 3

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The Wise and the Foolish Builder, 7:24-27

Jesus Christ was a Carpenter by Trade and Profession 

Some things to be noted about building a House.

1.    Hearing instructions. This is critical, for a person must follow the blueprint in order to know how to build the house.

a.       A person must hear and follow (obey) the instructions.

b.       A person must hear and build upon what he hears.  Builders must always be “laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come....” (1 Tim. 6:19).

2.    Selecting the foundation. This is also critical, for selecting the site and material determine the future of the house.

a.       A person must build upon a solid foundation. There is only one foundation which to build: the rock (1 Cor. 3:11).

b.       A person must make his calling an election sure (2 Peter 1:10).

c.        A person must know that building upon rock takes time and skill Illus. Two men building a house

3.    Counting the cost.  Beginning and not finishing the house brings mockery and shame (Luke 14:28-33).

                The point of the two parables is clear:

A man must pay the ultimate price. He must forsake all, renounce and give up all that he is and has; or else “he cannot be my disciple.”

                When a man counts the cost of following Christ, he needs to think about two things.


1)       It will cost him all he is (Romans 12:1-2 cf. 1 Cor. 6:19-20)

2)       It will cost him all he has (Philippians 3:7-8 cf. {Moses} Hebrews 11:24-26)

Jesus illustrated the exchange in this way: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-46).

1.       Jesus wants wholehearted commitment not halfhearted (Luke 9:57-62).

2.       A desire for Him at any cost (Matt. 6:33 seek first the kingdom of God).

3.       Unconditional surrender.

4.       A full exchange of self for the Savior.    

Application is clearly seen in this picture of house building.

1.    Every person has a house—a life—to build. How he builds his life determines his destiny, not just for this life but for eternity.

2.    There is only one Foundation for every life: Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11).

3.    Everyone either builds his life upon this world or upon Christ & obedience to His Word (heaven itself).

4.    Jesus teaches that there are two kinds of builders.

A wise builder: hears the instructions and obeys them (Matthew 7:24-25).

A foolish builder: hears the instructions and does not obey them (Matthew 7:26-27).

a.       Both are building a house.

b.       Both choose a foundation: there is one supreme difference—the foundation.

c.        Both experiences rain, floods, and winds beating upon their house.

d.       Both heard the instructions.

1)       One heard and obeyed: experienced a great deliverance.

2)       One heard and did not obey: experienced a great fall.

C.      Jesus now expands on the danger of the coming judgment.

1.       This is the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount

2.       This is the final appeal to people in danger of judgment.

Jesus challenges them to act on His sayings:

Whether they do or not will be the test of whether they are wise or foolish

Ultimately their response will determine if they hear the words  “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (7:23)

The Wise Builder (v.24-25)

The Wise Builder is building a House


Every person is building a house.

1.       Jesus Christ instructs us on how to build our house (life).

2.       Jesus’ sayings, instructions, & words are the material, which determine the structure and fate of our lives.

·         Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

·         Luke 9:26  "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.

·         John 6:63  "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

3.       Our lives & our destiny depend upon how we respond to the sayings of Christ!

Thought 1 Both Builders hear and receive the instructions

                Christ is talking about people who…

·      are in the church.

·      have Christian parents.

·      have Christian friends.

·      have a source of some Christian influence.


“In the same way professing Christians (both genuine and the spurious) often look alike.  You cannot easily tell which is which.  Both appear to be living Christian lives.  For Jesus is not contrasting professing Christians with non-Christians who make no profession. 

On the contrary, what is common to both spiritual house-builders is that they hear these words of mine.  So both are members of the visible Church community.  Both read the Bible, go to Church, listen to sermons and buy Christian literature. 

The real question is not whether or not they hear Christ's teaching, nor even whether they respect it or believe it, but whether they do what they hear.”

The Wise Builder Builds Upon a Rock

What does it mean to “build on the rock”!

1.       O.T. God is called a rock (Psalm 18:2).

2.       Paul referred to Christ as the only foundation (1 Cor. 3:11).

3.       We are building our “spiritual house” upon a “living stone” (1 Peter 2:1-5)

Obeying the Words of Christ is equivalent to building on solid rock.

Let the passage speak for itself:

·         “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them (acts upon them), I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: (Matthew 7:24).

·         Colossians 1:21-23 – And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled… if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast.”

·         James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

·         1 John 2:3-4 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.   He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

·         Titus 1:15-16 – To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.   They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

All these passages teach that genuine believers receive Christ & continue in Him.

They hear His Word & do it!

·         “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. (John 8:30-31 NKJV)

The Wise Builder Digs Deep (Luke 6:47-48)

…He is like a man building a house who dug deep repentance, denying yourself

1.       This builder deliberately chose the rock for the foundation (footing).

2.       This builder dug deep wanting to make sure his house was secure a possible.

3.       The builder was willing to put time, & effort, & cost into digging rock.


The Wise Builder Faces Storms (Matthew 7:25 cf. Mark 6:45-52)

The wise builder is not exempt from the storms of life

Mark 6:45-52

1.       Their labor was long.

The Lake of Galilee was only four to six miles across. They had been rowing against a headwind for some six to nine hours and had progressed only about three miles.

2.       Their fear was horrifying.

The disciples were physically exhausted and mentally drained from using all the seaman's skills at their disposal. Their lives were at stake; they were struggling for survival.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, they saw a figure, an apparition (ghost) walking on the water. They were scared, frightened, perhaps bordering on going into shock—perhaps thinking that the death angel or a premonition of their death was at hand.

3.       Their cry was desperate.

They were all toiling and rowing to save their lives (Mark 6:48); and “they all saw Christ, and were troubled [agitated, terrorized]" (Mark 6:50).

Thought 1. Note two significant points.

1)       The disciples desperately needed help. They did exactly what they needed to do to get help: they cried out to Jesus.

·         “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”  (1 Peter 5:7)

·         “You called in trouble, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder” (Psalms 81:7)

·         ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3)

2)       The disciples were doing God's will when the storm came (v.46)

·         They were doing exactly what Christ had told them to do, cross the lake and get ready to minister there.

·         The storm was part of God's will.

·         They had to confess their need for Him before… He could endure against the storms of life…To trust through all, no matter how terrifying.

The Foolish Builder (v.26-27)

The Fool is Building a House:

He Hears the Instructions of the Master Builder

He is in a Dangerous Place


1.       This means he is in church and hears the Word of God (Matt. 13:4)

2.       He knows how to build but he chooses not to build according to the instructions!

“So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. (Ezekiel 33:31)

The Fool Builds Upon Sand (v.26)

Heads full of knowledge but hearts empty of faith.

It contrasts those who obey & those who do not.

Jesus is talking about those who say they know God but their lives do not reveal the character of the King.

1.       No regard for spirituality of the soul, purity of the heart, or for integrity of behavior.

2.       Hypocrites concerned only with appearance, not with obedience to God.

Remember, both builders think they are on the road that leads to life, both are spiritual people.

To the casual observer both appear to be headed in the same direction—It is the Foundation that cannot be seen.

1.       Some hear & act upon the message & some hear but do not act upon it.

2.       Obedience is the only possible proof that a person knows God (1 John 2:3)

3.       If one does not obey Christ as a pattern of life, then his words are empty.

4.       The difference between the two is a matter of eternal consequence (Revelation 20:11-15)

The Fool Heeds Quick Evangelism

Quick Evangelism Piles up Fools

Building on Sand Matthew 13:18-23 cf. 1 John 2:15-17

Quick evangelism preaches “fire insurance.”

                Many who name the Name of Jesus have foolishly built on the shallow, shifting sand of hearing but not obeying

1.       Sand requires no preparation

2.       Sand requires no sweat & discipline it is a shortcut.

3.       Sand requires no endurance

4.       Sand brings quick results but not lasting ones

The Fool Will Face the Storm (v.27)

… The rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell (v.27)

                It will take a storm to manifest the true character of a person.

1.       Every man & woman will face the storms of life (Acts 14:22)

2.       The man who builds on sand is hopeless

For what is the hope of the hypocrite…If God takes away his life? (Job 27:8)

The hope of the hypocrite shall perish… He leans on his house, but it does not stand (Job 8:13, 15)

And Great Was its Fall (Revelation 20:11-15)

Thought 1.  When do we need a solid house the most?

Isn't it when the winds begin to blow and the storms come?

But note: when the storm begins, it is too late to build the house.

                    How tragic: to build and then experience the collapse of our lives when the storms come!

Thought 2.  Storms can come anytime, anywhere.

                    They can come today: through accident, through some bad news, through some tragedy—whatever.

                    The day is coming when it will be too late to build.

Thought 2.  A terrible storm is coming at death Hebrews 9:27and in the Great Day of Judgment

(Joel 2:31; Matthew 24:51; Matthew 25:30, 46). 

                    This is a storm against which no man can stand unless Christ holds him up (psalm 1:1-6)

The Ending of the Sermon (v.28-29)

              All that is said about the people is that they were astonished.


1.       There is a big difference between being astonished and doing what Jesus says.

2.       Between hearing and doing, between profession and true discipleship.

Astonishing the audience was not what Jesus was after.

1.       He had already conquered the threat of this temptation  (Matthew 4:5-7).

2.       He was after their lives, their commitment, a change of behavior (Matthew 7:21-23; cp. Matthew 7:15-20).

3.       Being astonished just is not enough. We must follow Christ.

4.       There is nothing wrong with being amazed at the teaching of Christ; most people are. But the point and purpose of His teaching is obedience to God's will (Matthew 7:21).

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