Now we come to the fourth and concluding section of the King’s manifesto. In this part we have the Golden Rule, the key that unlocks the treasure chest of the Sermon on the Mount. It is the essence of His kingdom principles. “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Jesus was saying that when you practice the Golden Rule, you are fulfilling the Law and the Prophets.
On a later occasion, a certain lawyer tested Jesus by asking Him this question, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” (Matthew 22:36). Jesus knew that the intent of the lawyer was to trap Him and destroy His influence with the masses. He had taught earlier in His ministry, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Had Jesus named any one of the laws as the greatest, He would have degraded the other nine commandments. They could then have accused Him of being an unreliable teacher of the law. However, they were not ready for His answer. He did not name just one law as the greatest, but He divided the ten laws into two sections and answered them by saying, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37, 38). He then went on to say, “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:39, 40).
When you love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, you are obeying the first four of the ten commandments; and when you love your neighbor as yourself, you are obeying the last six of the ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). When you reach that spiritual plateau where you truly love your neighbor as you love yourself, you are practicing the Golden Rule. It will be a joy, day after day, to do unto others as you would have other do unto you (Matthew 7:12).
At the conclusion of the King’s manifesto, the multitudes were astonished at His teaching; it is no wonder that they were amazed, for He taught them as one having authority (Matthew 7:28, 29). He contradicted almost all the traditional interpretations of the scribes and Pharisees, while in His life and teachings He fulfilled all the Law and the Prophets.
43-1 Prayer is Asking, Seeking, and Knocking
(Matthew 7:7-I 1)
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you” (v. 7). This is a precious, positive promise for all of God’s children. It should motivate every believer to become bold in prayer, knowing that our heavenly Father has promised to give good things to all those who ask Him.
Before you ask the Father for anything, however, examine your motives. James said, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). If your motives pass these tests, you will not be asking amiss:
1) Are you obeying His command, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33)?
2) Are you adhering to the principles of the Golden Rule, “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12)?
3) What are your Christian ethics in your relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you treat them, in all matters, as you would have them treat you?
4) Do the Beatitudes determine your daily Christian walk or practice?
Verses 7-11 are not a carte blanche promise for all who cry, “Lord, Lord” (Matthew 7:21). It is one thing to understand mentally the Sermon on the Mount, but quite another to practice it. If you are a hearer of the Word but not a doer, you are deceiving yourself (James 1:22-25). Jesus gave us the Sermon on the Mount to help even the weakest Christian to know and walk in the will of God. When your life reflects the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount, you can ask and receive, you can seek and find, you can knock and God will open wide the door.
43-2 The Key to the Kingdom
The Golden Rule is the summation of the Sermon on the Mount. It established the Christian’s ethical relationship with other believers, and revealed the purpose of the manifesto, which is to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (v. 12). Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves, to make His righteousness available to all believers. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4). Now that we are “made righteous” (Romans 5:19) with the righteousness of Christ, we are to do to others every good thing to help them reach their highest spiritual goals, because this is what we would have other believers do for us.
The Golden Rule is the most concise, most inclusive ethical statement ever written or spoken. If it were obeyed by all of mankind, there would be no need for armies or law-enforcement officers; there would be heaven on earth. Make the Golden Rule your standard of ethics and you will make the world a better place in which to live.
43-3 Two Ways: The Broad and the Narrow
(Matthew 7:13, 14)
The Sermon on the Mount presents two paths – the way to heaven and the way to hell (vv. 13, 14). The choice is yours – and not to choose is itself a choice, the wrong choice (John 3:18). You are already on one of these two ways:
1) The broad way is the way of Satan, “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The broad way appeals to “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:15-17).
2) The narrow way is the way of Christ, “which leads to life” (v. 14; John 14:6). You enter the “narrow gate” by faith in Christ (John 3:36), and you walk this difficult way by following Christ (Mark 8:34¬-38).
You may travel on the broad way, but it will narrow down to death. “There is a way that seems right to a man,” a broad and easy way with no restraints, appealing to the carnal nature; “but its end is the way of death,” or eternal separation from God (Proverbs 14:12).
If you have entered the narrow gate, by faith in Christ, you are on the narrow way. The way is difficult, but as you follow Christ, the way will widen out into abundant life (John 10:10).
Thank God, you can leave the broad way to enter the narrow gate by faith in Christ, and follow Him. His promise is, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).
43-4 Two Prophets: The False and the True
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd,” the True Prophet (John 10:14). In the present verses He warned the sheep, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing” (v. 15).
He added, ‘By their fruits you will know them” (v. 20; cf. James 3:16, 17). By their teaching you will know the true from the false. Paul said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6-10). The curse of God is on anyone who preaches any gospel other than the gospel of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Paul defined this gospel when he said, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). As we approach the end of the dispensation of grace, false prophets will multiply until the time when the church is raptured, the Antichrist is revealed (1 John 2:18), and Christ the True Prophet comes to establish His kingdom (Matthew 25:31-46).
43-5 Religious but Lost
Anyone who cries, “Lord, Lord,” (v. 21) but does not believe that Jesus is the God-Man, the only Savior, has a false religion. At the Great White Throne judgment Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (v. 23).
It is difficult to know the false from the true, because man has a finite, and corrupt mind. How can he know the heart of another person, when he does not even understand his own heart (Jeremiah 17:9, 10)? Only the omniscient God has the capacity to understand the true relation of the human heart to His kingdom (1 Samuel 16:7). One may act the part of a Christian and cry, “Lord! Lord!” and even preach in His name, cast out demons in His name, perform miracles in His name, and do wonderful works in His name, deceiving many Christian—but such a person cannot fool the Lord, who knows the heart.
43-6 Two Builders: The Wise and the Foolish
There are two foundations, the false and the true (vv. 24-27). In these verses Jesus taught that there are two builders, the wise and the foolish. The foolish builder builds on sand, a false foundation. The materials may be good, but when the storm comes the house will fall because of its weak foundation. The wise builder erects his house on the Rock; and when the storm comes, it will stand because of its solid foundation. Christ is the true foundation of His church (Matthew 16:18) and kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:11). The prophet Isaiah said, “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily’ “ (Isaiah 28:16). The church and kingdom stand upon Christ, the solid Rock. All other ground is sinking sand.
43-7 Two Authorities: Sovereign and Human
(Matthew 7:28, 29)
In this chapter we have briefly examined the two ways, the two prophets, the two religions, the two foundations, and now we consider the two authorities. This is the epilogue of the King’s manifesto: “The people were astonished at His teaching” (v. 28). After almost two thousand years, people are still astonished at the supreme authority with which He taught.
Unlike the scribes and Pharisees, whose authority was merely human, Jesus taught by His own divine authority. And so the people, not at all accustomed to this kind of teaching, were astonished. Jesus’ authority is by virtue of the fact that He, the God-Man, has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).
His authority was, is, and always shall be, absolute.
Master Outline 43 – Entering the Kingdom
 What key unlocks the treasure chest of the Sermon on the Mount?
 What did Jesus know about the intent of the lawyer who asked the question, “Teacher which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
 If Jesus had named anyone of the commandments as the greatest, what would have happen?
 On what two (2) commandments did Jesus say, “Hang all the law?”
 When do you know you are practicing the “Golden Rule?”
 Prayer is what three (3) things?
 Before you ask your Heavenly Father for anything, what should you do?
 What four (4) questions should we ask to check our motives?
 It is one thing to understand _____________________ the Sermon on the Mount, but quite
another to ____________________ it.
 If you are a hearer and not a doer of the Word, what is happening?
 What establishes the ethical relationship with other Christians?
 What is Christ for everyone who believes?
 Describe the two (2) paths given in the Sermon on the Mount?
 Describe those who are on the broad way.
 How did Jesus tell us we would know a false prophet?
 What did Paul say to the Church at Galatia when they began to follow false prophets?
 What has God put on them who preach any other gospel?
 Describe a false religion?
 Why is it difficult to know the false from true?
 Just like there are two builders, so there are two ________________________.
 How did the prophet Isaiah describe the proper foundation?
 In the 7th chapter of Matthew, we study five (5) sets of “2’s”. Name them.
 The Pharisees and scribes authority was based on _________________ _______________
and Jesus taught by ___________________________ _______________________________.
 His authority ______________________, ______________________ and always shall be