“Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-49)
A children’s chorus comes to mind as I read this passage: “the wise man built his house on the rock”. But what is the rock? “So build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ” concludes the chorus, but Jesus is NOT here referring to Himself as the rock but His teaching. In this instance He is referring to what WE ARE TO DO not what He has done on our behalf. Hence, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I say? HE WHO HEARS THE LORD’S SAYINGS AND DOES THEM IS THE ONE WHO BUILDS ON THE ROCK (v47).
Such is the obedience of faith and our participation in it. Not (as I once tended to express the matter) “resting in the Saviour’s merits” or “looking to the finished work of Christ and applying it to myself, believing that He died for me” or suchlike. That per se is not what makes a man or woman a Christian. And in terms of our participation –
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS!’ (Matt7:21-23)
Such people will have imagined they had built their life on the LJC – His name was ever on their lips and He was at the heart of what they perceived to have been their ministry, yet THEIR hearts were far from Him. That is because they disregarded His teaching – unaware they were expected to fulfil what James refers to as “the royal law” – to love one’s neighbour as oneself (Jam2:8). This may appear to some to contradict the teaching of Paul as they understand it, but as I endeavour to show in my book* such is not the case. Once Paul has been rightly understood both he, James, Peter and the rest will be seen to affirm the teaching of the Master, the spiritual Rock that is indeed the Christ (1Cor10:4).
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Related post: The demands of Christian life