The Lesson of Discipleship and the Commitment Involved

Bible Book: Matthew  7 : 1-29
Subject: Discipleship
Series: Discipleship

In “Becoming A Christ-Centered Disciple-Making Church” Let’s Consider...

“4. The Lesson Of Discipleship And The Commitment Involved”

Text: Matthew 7:1-29

Theme – Purpose - Introduction

Theme: How do we become “A Christ-Centered, Disciple-Making Church”? We must receive and apply the teachings of Christ, and there’s not another section of scripture that more comprehensively presents the teachings of Christ, especially those relevant to discipleship, than the “Sermon on the Mount” found in Matthew 5 thru 7. From this mountaintop message, we have studied “The Cost Involved” in being a disciple, “The Consecration Involved” in being a disciple, and “The Considerations Involved” in being a disciple. We’re closing chapter 7 by looking at “The Commitment Involved” in being a disciple of Jesus.

Purpose: Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man” (Matthew 7:24). A simple principle of Bible interpretation is that whenever you see the word “therefore,” meaning “because of what has already been stated,” you look at the context to see what it is “there for.” Because Jesus has presented these principles or “sayings,” we are wise to be obedient and committed “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). Our purpose is to reveal some areas in which our commitment to Christ should be exhibited.

Introduction: Matthew chapter 7 is a lesson in contrasts. In this chapter we find the contrast between two types of judgment (critical and conscientious), two paths, two trees, two men, and two foundations. Then the chapter closes with a contrast between the astonishing, authoritative teaching of Jesus and the weak, unreliable teaching of the scribes. Then this chapter is also a list of commandments as Christ says, “Judge not...” (vs. 1), “Give not...” (vs. 6), “Ask... seek... knock” (vs. 7), “Enter...” (vs. 13), and “Beware...” (vs. 15).

The contrasts are created by the hearers’ response to the commandments. On the one hand we have the response of commitment as Jesus declared, “whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man” (vs. 24). On the other hand, we have the response of carnality and willful ignorance as Jesus stated, “every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man” (vs. 26). As disciples of the Lord Jesus, we should desire to be committed to Christ’s teachings in every area of our lives. From Matthew chapter 7, let’s consider three of these areas.


Main Message

A. Our Commitment To Christ Is Exhibited In Our Discernment (vs. 1-6)

The only verse that some people know is Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” However, Jesus is not prohibiting us from forming an opinion based upon careful consideration; but as Albert Barnes reminds us, “This command refers to rash, censorious, and unjust judgment.” Christ is teaching that we must have discernment in our assessment of others. He said in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” Before attempting “to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5), we must know our process of judgment is righteous and our heart is pure. We must also know that the person wants the mote removed, because the impenitent “dogs” will “rend you” and the profane “swine” will “trample” your pearls of wisdom. Consequently, we must have discernment in our assistance of others.

B. Our Commitment To Christ Is Exhibited In Our Direction (vs. 7-14)

How can we know the difference between dogs and hogs, and sheep or potential sheep? Christ points us in the right direction in our praying. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (vs. 7). We can turn to God when we need perception or provision; for just as a man gives bread and fish to his hungry child, our heavenly Father will “give good things to them that ask him” (vs. 11). In verses 13 and 14, Christ points us in the right direction in our path. In both salvation and service, “the strait gate... leadeth unto life,” whereas the wide gate “leadeth to destruction.”

C. Our Commitment To Christ Is Exhibited In Our Distinctiveness (vs. 15-29)

There are so many gems that could be mined and mentioned from Matthew 7:15-29 as Jesus discusses the false prophets (vs. 15-23), and the fraudulent professions (vs. 21-23), and the foolish people (vs. 24-26). But in the course of these verses, Jesus also presents two word pictures to magnify how His disciples are different than these. You’ll notice that “every good tree bringeth forth good fruit” (vs. 17), so our fruit must be different. Do you remember these lyrics from your childhood: “The wise man built his house upon the rock – and the house on the rock stood firm”? So then, our foundation must be different.



In Matthew 7:28-29, the Bible says, “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.” The scribes were known for their hypothetical teaching and hypocritical living, but Jesus’ sayings were not merely theoretical – they were transformational. His teaching was not abstract and academic, but it was astonishing and authoritative.

Over the years, I’ve heard about different cults and groups, and I’ve been shocked by what some of them believe. It’s even more shocking to know that so many people follow those absurd teachings. In Jesus’ day, “the people were astonished at His doctrine.” I wonder if our adherence and obedience to His doctrine are visible enough for them to also be astonished at His disciples? Are we committed to Christ and does it show?