SERMON SERIES:

GROWING FAITH: PRACTICAL BIBLICAL TEACHING

3/8/2020



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We continue our Lenten series, Growing Faith with Andy Stanley’s first point of Practical Biblical Teaching.  Every Christian struggles to connect knowledge and action, or to put it another way to “walk the walk.”  Through the all the scriptures, this is a grand problem in our relationship with God.  We are saved by grace, but we are in danger of ignoring the “good works” God has prepared for us to do.  The other extreme is that we become legalistic and we define salvation by doing a set of works.  As long as we color between the lines, then everything is good with God!  God wants us to take obedience seriously so that we do not become “actors” of faith (hypocritical) or raging legalist (Pharisees).  This is obedience based upon being loved by God and wanting to love God in return.  In Matthew 7, at the very end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uses an amazing illustration of the wise and foolish builders.  It is a simple story with a very direct meaning.  The storms impact both the wise and the foolish, but the conclusion of each house is dramatically different.  How do we begin to walk this tightrope of trusting God and not find our house collapsing around us?  This simple story is instructive, especially if we look at the rest of Matthew 7.  As you read these verses, you may sense the waters rising at your doorstep, or the wind howling at your door, but be comforted!  The Rock of Salvation, Jesus Christ, will hold in the most desperate storm!  Matthew 7:24-29: Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.  (NIV)