Matthew 7:21 MEANING

Matthew 7:21
(21) He that doeth the will of my Father.--The continued stress laid on the ethical side of religion, on the nullity of the confession of a true faith (as embodied in the "Lord, Lord") without doing the will of God, more than confirms the interpretation of Matthew 7:16 above given. A further development of the same thought is found in John 7:17, and we are taught that it is by doing the will of God ourselves, or rather by willing to do it, that we gain the power to distinguish, so far as we need distinguish, truth from error, man's teaching from God's.

The previous words imply that the disciples had already begun to use the title Lord (??????) in speaking to their Master (comp. Luke 5:8); but as that word was at the time in common use as one of courtesy (Matthew 8:2; Matthew 8:6; John 20:2), it would not necessarily follow that they had used it in all the later fulness of its meaning.

Verses 21-23. - These verses stand in close connexion with vers. 15-20. Seeing that external actions are the result of internal life, it is they, not words nor even miracles (since these may in themselves not be dependent on the inner life, though permitted by the Divine power), by which the true followers of Christ will be finally distinguished from others, and which therefore will alone secure admission to abiding with Christ in the kingdom of heaven. To these verses Luke 13:23-28 have many resemblances (cf. also vers. 13, 14, supra). St. Luke thus omits the warning against false teachers. (For ver. 21, cf. also Luke 6:46.) Verse 21. - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord. Professing obedience (Matthew 6:24). Observe the indirect claim to this title of reverential submission and the implied expectation that it will be given him by many. Shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. The final goal of our hopes. But he that doeth the will of my Father. Not "of me," but of him whom I represent, and to whom I stand in a unique relation (observe the claim). This man also says, "Lord, Lord" (Winer, § 26:1), but not merely says it. Such a man enters into family relationship to Christ (Matthew 12:50). Which is in heaven. Since you desire to enter the kingdom of heaven, be now obeying the will of him who dwells in heaven. (For the thought of the verse, cf 1 John 2:4.)

7:21-29 Christ here shows that it will not be enough to own him for our Master, only in word and tongue. It is necessary to our happiness that we believe in Christ, that we repent of sin, that we live a holy life, that we love one another. This is his will, even our sanctification. Let us take heed of resting in outward privileges and doings, lest we deceive ourselves, and perish eternally, as multitudes do, with a lie in our right hand. Let every one that names the name of Christ, depart from all sin. There are others, whose religion rests in bare hearing, and it goes no further; their heads are filled with empty notions. These two sorts of hearers are represented as two builders. This parable teaches us to hear and do the sayings of the Lord Jesus: some may seem hard to flesh and blood, but they must be done. Christ is laid for a foundation, and every thing besides Christ is sand. Some build their hopes upon worldly prosperity; others upon an outward profession of religion. Upon these they venture; but they are all sand, too weak to bear such a fabric as our hopes of heaven. There is a storm coming that will try every man's work. When God takes away the soul, where is the hope of the hypocrite? The house fell in the storm, when the builder had most need of it, and expected it would be a shelter to him. It fell when it was too late to build another. May the Lord make us wise builders for eternity. Then nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. The multitudes were astonished at the wisdom and power of Christ's doctrine. And this sermon, ever so often read over, is always new. Every word proves its Author to be Divine. Let us be more and more decided and earnest, making some one or other of these blessednesses and Christian graces the main subject of our thoughts, even for weeks together. Let us not rest in general and confused desires after them, whereby we grasp at all, but catch nothing.Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord,.... Not every one that calls Christ his Lord and Master, professes subjection to him, or that calls upon his name, or is called by his name; or makes use of it in his public ministrations. There are many who desire to be called, and accounted Christians, and who make mention of the name of Christ in their sermons, only to take away their reproach, to cover themselves, and gain credit with, and get into the affections and goodwill of the people; but have no hearty love to Christ, nor true faith in him: nor is it their concern to preach his Gospel, advance his glory, and promote his kingdom and interest; their chief view is to please men, aggrandize themselves, and set up the power of human nature in opposition to the grace of God, and the righteousness of Christ. Now not everyone of these, no, not any of them,

shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is to be understood not of the outward dispensation of the Gospel, or the Gospel church state, or the visible church of Christ on earth, in which sense this phrase is sometimes used; because such persons may, and often do, enter here; but of eternal glory, into which none shall enter,

but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. This, as it may regard private Christians, intends not merely outward obedience to the will of God, declared in his law, nor barely subjection to the ordinances of the Gospel; but more especially faith in Christ for life and salvation; which is the source of all true evangelical obedience, and without which nothing is acceptable to God. He that seeth the Son, looks unto him, ventures on him, commits himself to him, trusts in him, relies on him, and believes on him for righteousness, salvation, and eternal life, he it is that does the will of the Father, and he only; and such an one, as he is desirous of doing the will of God in all acts of cheerful obedience to it, without dependence thereon; so he shall certainly enter the kingdom of heaven, and have everlasting life; see John 6:40 but as these words chiefly respect preachers, the sense of them is this, that only such who are faithful dispensers of the word shall enter into the joy of their Lord. Such do the will of Christ's Father, and so his own, which are the same, who fully and faithfully preach the Gospel of the grace of God; who declare the whole counsel of God, and keep back nothing that is profitable to the souls of men; who are neither ashamed of the testimony of Christ, nor afraid of the faces of men; but as they are put in trust with the Gospel, so they speak it boldly, with all sincerity, not as pleasing men, but God, and commend themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God: such as these shall have an abundant entrance into the kingdom and glory of God. The Vulgate Latin adds this clause, "he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven", and so does Munster's Hebrew edition of the Gospel according to Matthew.

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