He that will not ask for it deserves to go without it. Have you ever
asked for it? If not, whose fault is it that you have it not?
Matthew 7:7. Seek, and ye shall find;
How can you hope to find if you do not seek? Have you never found it?
Have you never sought it? And if you have never sought it, how do you
excuse yourselves for your neglect?
Matthew 7:7. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Is that all-knock? Is the gate of heaven not opened to you? Have you
never knocked? Do you wonder, therefore, that the door is shut? Take
care; for the time may come when you will knock, and the door will not
be opened to you; for, "when once the Master of the house is risen up,
and hath shut to the door," then knocking shall be in vain. But at
present this verse is still God's gracious word of command and promise;
let me read it to you again: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and
ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
Matthew 7:8. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
When you are dealing with men, this is not always true. You may ask,
and not receive; you may seek, and not find; you may knock, and not
have the door opened to you. But when you deal with God, there are no
failures or refusals. Every true asker receives; every true seeker
finds; and every true knocker has the door opened to him. Will you not
try it, and prove for yourself that it is even so?
Matthew 7:9-11. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread,
will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a
serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your
children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good
things to them that ask him?
You not only give, but you know how to give so as not to disappoint the
asker. It is most blessedly so with the great Father in heaven. He will
not give you that which will mock and disappoint you: he will give you
bread, not a stone; fish, not a serpent; nay, more, he will give you
the bread of life, and the water of life, that you may live for ever.
Matthew 7:12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do
to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
This is rightly called "the golden rule." Christ says of it that it is
"the law and the prophets." It is the essence of them, it is the sum
and substance of the highest morality. What you would that others
should do to you, do that to them. Do not let that golden rule remain
merely as a record in this Book, but take it out with you into your
daily life. If we did all act to others as we would that others should
act to us, how different would the lives of many men become! Ours would
be a happy world if this law of Christ were the law of England, and the
law of all nations. God send us the Spirit by whom alone we shall be
able to obey so high a rule!
Matthew 7:13. Enter ye in at the strait gate
The narrow gate
Matthew 7:13-14. For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth
to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat because strait is
the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there
be that find it.
Do not try to go with the majority; truth is usually with the minority.
Do not count heads, and say, "I am for that which has the most on its
side;" but prefer that which is least liked among men, choose that
which is most difficult, most trying to flesh and blood, that which
gives you least license, because "strait is the gate, and narrow is the
way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." You will
not hit upon it, then, in a "happy-go-lucky" sort of style. Heaven's
gate is not found open by accident; there never was anybody yet who was
saved by accident. No: "few there be that find it," is still true. God
grant that we may be among the few! And why should we not be?
Matthew 7:15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
There are always plenty of them about; there is nothing of the sheep
about them but the skin, and there is no connection between that skin
and those that wear it.
Matthew 7:16-20. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes
of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth
forth-good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good
tree cannot bring forth-evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring
forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn
down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know
You may judge men as well as trees that way; and you may judge
doctrines that way. That which gives a license to sin cannot be true;
but that which makes for holiness is true; for, somehow, truth of
doctrine and holiness of life run together. We cannot expect holiness
to grow out of falsehood, but we may expect all manner of evil to come
out of false teaching.
Matthew 7:21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father,
which is in heaven.
Practice is the true test, not words. Not he that saith, "Lord, Lord,"
but "he that doeth the will of God;" not he that merely has good words
on his tongue, but he that has the will of God laid up in his heart,
and wrought out in his life, that is the man who "shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 7:22-23. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in
thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
If our lives are evil, it does not matter to what denomination we
belong; we may be clever preachers, or mighty teachers, we may fancy
that we have had dreams and visions, we may set ourselves up to be some
great ones; but if we have not done the will of God, we shall at the
last hear Christ say to us, "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Matthew 7:24-25. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and
doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house
upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds
blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded
upon a rock.
He was a good man, and a practical man; yet he was also a tried man.
His house was built on the rock, but that did not prevent the rain
descending, and the floods coming, and the winds blowing. The highest
type of godliness will not save you from troubles and trials; it will,
in some measure, even necessitate them. But, blessed be God, here lies
the gem of the parable or narrative: "It fell not: for it was founded
upon a rock." It could stand the strain and endure the test, for it had
a good foundation.
Matthew 7:26-27. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and
doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his
house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and
the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was
the fall of it.
He was a great hearer, but he was a bad doer; yet he thought that he
was a good doer, for he built a house. Alas, the house was on the sand!
There was no real obedience to Christ, no true trusting in him; and so,
when the time of trouble came, and trouble will come even to the
hypocrite and to the false professor, we read of his house, "It fell:
and great was the fall of it," because it could never be built up
again. It fell hopelessly; it fell forever; therefore, "Great was the
fall of it."
Matthew 7:28-29. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings,
the people were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one
having authority, and not as the scribes.
There was a force and power about what Jesus said, he spoke from the
heart, he spoke with the accent of conviction; whereas the scribes and
Pharisees only spoke magisterially and officially, with no heart in
their utterance, and there was therefore no power about it. God give to
all of us the grace to know the power of the words of Christ! Amen.