BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 5: Matthew 7:21-29

Summary of passage:  Not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven; only those who do the will of the Father, whose heart is His.  The rest is merely an act.

Everyone who hears the Gospel and puts them into practice is like a wise man who builds his home on rock, protected because of its strong foundation.  Those who hear the Gospel and do not act on it is like a foolish man who builds his home on sand, which will fall and tumble because the foundation is weak.

Jesus finishes his Sermon on the Mount.

Questions:

11a)  Matthew 7:23:  A knowledge of Him and/or a heart for Jesus

Luke 6:46:  A will to do what Jesus said

John 5:40-43:  A love of God in their hearts, an acceptance of Jesus

John 6:29:  A belief in Christ

Hosea 8:2-4:  Following God’s laws.  They rejected Him by setting up kings and princes without God’s consent and making idols to worship.

b)  They believed they were doing the will of God when in reality they were doing their own will.  Their heart was not God’s heart.  They accept praise from one another (John 5:44) instead of attempting to gain God’s praise.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  No one is coming to mind right now.  Truthfully, I don’t know a lot people all that well in order to say.  It’s hard to tell if they are following God’s will for their lives because it’s between them and God.  I guess you could look at the fruit to get a clue.

12)  That Jesus is Lord.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Come to Jesus, hear his words, and put them into practice.

b)  When disaster strikes, their lives crumble around them.  By not following God’s commands.  By living out of self-reliance and self-pursuit.  By being hypocritical.  By pursuing the world instead of pursuing Him.

c)  Isaiah 28:16:  It is a tested stone laid in Zion, a precious cornerstone, built on trust in God.

1 Corinthians 3:11:  The true foundation is belief in Jesus.

1 Peter 2:4-8:  The true foundation is Jesus as we ourselves are being built into spiritual houses and we sacrifice for him.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus.

Conclusions:  The underlying message of this day is we must accept Jesus as the Son of God.  And once we do, our foundation for life will be strong and sturdy and our eternal life will be with Him.  Once we truly accept Jesus as our Savior, we cannot help but act upon His words for the Holy Spirit within compels us.  If we do not act upon Jesus’ words, then we have not accepted him yet.  We still have work to do.

Our actions must coincide with our words.  Otherwise, Jesus warns, “I never knew you.”

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 4: Matthew 7:13-20

Summary of passage:  Jesus says to enter through the narrow gate for it is the one that leads to life.  The wide gate leads to destruction.  He warns against false prophets whom you can recognize by their bad fruit for only good trees produce good fruit.

Questions:

9a)  Wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing (verse 15).  Grapes and thornbushes and figs and thistles (verse 16).  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and vice versa (verse 18).

b)  Figs from thornbushes and grapes from briers.  Good must come from good and bad from bad.

10a)  Do not be fooled by outward appearances or pretenses as inside may lurk darkness and evil.

b)  Not a fan of how this question is phrased.  Everyone is sincere in whatever belief they hold and they are misguided if their belief is not adherent to the Truth.  Paul says in Acts men will distort the truth for the sole purpose of gaining disciples.  2 Peter is even stronger language, saying they will secretly (meaning purposefully and deceitfully) introduce destructive heresies in order to turn you from God.  Verse 3 uses the word “exploit” you.

The Bible is clear that there are false teachers, powered by the devil, out to turn us from God.  It seems that BSF is not so clear about that.  They are definitely misguided and corrupted and sincere in their beliefs which is not the belief in God.  “Possibly” needs to be stricken completely and misguided needs to be strengthened to deceitful.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We cannot judge people by outward appearances only by their actions will their heart be revealed.  Most people live fake lives for all to see but inside they may be hardened.

Conclusions:  This whole lesson has been hard for me to draw conclusions I think because it is self-explanatory.  Here, we learn we cannot trust what people project or say; only what they do.  Their heart will be revealed in their fruit.

It is also prudent here to ask ourselves:  “What kind of fruit am I bearing?”  For our own fruit will reveal our heart as well.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 3: Matthew 7:7-12

Summary of passage:  Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  We give our children what we ask for as the Father gives good gifts to those who ask as well!  Do to others what you would have them do to you as the law says.

Questions:

6a)  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  We ask God, then we seek Him, and then we persistently knock until we receive.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes.  For clarity in terms of what I’m supposed to be doing in my life and to quell my conscious.

7)  Luke replaces gifts with the Holy Spirit in the last verse.  We are promised if we ask, He will give us the Holy Spirit.

8a)  No.

b)  No.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It gives me great comfort to know that God does answer my prayers.  That He hears me.  That as I pursue Him, I will find Him.  As God pours out His gifts upon us, so we should do the same.  For we are all equally unworthy.

Conclusions:  I had high expectations for this lesson but it seems to have fallen short in terms of the questions.  Either that or it’s self-explanatory as in my answer to question 6a.  You really can’t explain that or put it better than Jesus did.

Notes on the Golden Rule:  The Golden Rule has been around for centuries before Jesus, most notably promoted by Confucius.  However, Jesus was the first to put this in the affirmative, saying do unto others instead of don’t do unto others.  This strengthens the rule and broadens it, desiring us to go above and beyond for others instead of just not doing one thing.

If we treat others how we want to be treated, we wouldn’t break any other law of God.  Hence, it’s the summation of the Law.  Of course, it doesn’t make it any easier to follow for we are all human and fail.  But keeping it in the back of your mind, behooves us all.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 2: Matthew 7:1-6

Summary of passage:  Jesus says to not judge for you will be judged in the same manner you judge others.  He admonishes hypocrites.  Be wary of those not prepared to receive Christ for they will turn and tear you to pieces.

Questions:

3a)  Judging, according to Webster’s Dictionary, means:  “to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises”.

Galatians and Ephesians say love one another and don’t speak unwholesome to others (only words of encouragement).  Philippians says to help others, put others first, and don’t complain so that you shine.  Basically, we are allowed to judge others, to say what they are doing is right or wrong, only in a spirit of love and helpfulness, and one by which we hold ourselves to as well.

Often, we form an opinion without careful weighing of evidence.  We jump to conclusions about others and therefore treat them differently than we should; not with a kind heart or spirit of love.

b)  That we will be judged in the same way that we judge.  Judging people from a standard we ourselves do not abide by is hypocritical and wrong.  We often attempt to correct others’ faults instead of our own.  Yet we must be discerning and recognize those hardened towards the message.

c)  “Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you.”   If you do that, you will receive a good measure.  If you are judgmental, you are unable to lad anyone and both of you will fall.

4a)  Matthew 18:15-17:  Other believers

Galatians 1:8:  Those who pervert the gospel of Christ (see verse 7)

Galatians 6:1-5:  Other believers

2 John 7-11:  Deceivers and unbelievers

c)  First deal with your own faults.  Then go and speak to that person alone about his fault.  If that person is still being obstinate, then take one or two other believers along.  Finally, take that person to the church.  If they refuse to listen, treat them as a pagan or a tax collector (which back then was horrible so I wouldn’t recommend this).

Galatians says to restore that person gently but be careful you are not drawn into that sin.  Help with others’ burdens but be careful of your actions as well.

5)  We must be careful not to give what is sacred to those who would only trample upon it (unbelievers who will never be open to Christ or who are openly opposing Christ).  Hypocritical believers also must not be given what is sacred.  We must correct in a Godly manner and preach pearls to those who are ready to receive the message.  If they are hardened to Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4), then we should not waste our time (Acts 19:9).

I found Acts 13:44-51 the most helpful.  It basically says if people (here the Jews) reject the message of Christ, move on and tell others.  Some are false prophets and will lie and try to deceive you.  Be wary.

Conclusions:  I have mixed reactions to this lesson.  I actually stopped and came back because I just was not feeling the message or the questions.  Sometimes I’m in the mood to go all over the Bible and sometimes I’m not and today was an “I don’t feel like working” day.  Hence, my judgement (yes, read irony here) becomes cloudy.

In essence, we are all called to share the Gospel but we ourselves must be careful and loving.  If people are not prepared to receive the word, move on.  Don’t batter or judge them because of it.  Give them time and then approach them again but continue looking for prepared hearts–all out of love and kindness.

We must remember God chooses those who will ultimately receive Him (John 6:44; 15:16 & 2 Thessalonians 2:13 & 2 Timothy 1:9).  We must wait on His time and try again later.