by Jules Cseszkó
PARALLEL SCRIPTURE: Luke 6:46-49
The reality is, is that we all struggle in one way or another to apply the teachings of God's word to our lives. Or on the other hand, we forget, as in James 1:22-27- looking at face in mirror and forgetting = reading and not applying the Bible to your life - and forgetting. Christianity is not like a dishwasher, "set and forget", but a conscious, ordered process of personal application and ongoing maintenance. The more we look into the mirror of His word in studied observation, the more we find out what we are like inside. The more we closely examine our Lord's word, the more we take in and are influenced by it (see the process of Christian growth, 2 Cor. 3:18). Have you ever found it hard to transfer His words found on the page, into the heart of your Christian walk? Have you considered the process involved applying the Bible to your life? Here are some principles to consider.
v. 24 Therefore - This particle in Greek is an inferential conjunction," i.e., "in view of what I've just said" (in the previous verses 21-23). This parable becomes a graphic description of the coming judgment (see also Lk. 6:46).
Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, although specifically referring to the Sermon on the Mount, but in a wider sense the principle also holds true - all that He has commanded us (Mt. 28:20), whether through His apostles (Mt. 10:19, 20) or in the Old Testament which He inspired (1 Peter 1:11), is all His words, therefore necessitating obedience.
and doeth them, The essential element of obedience is what establishes the rock solid foundation of faith and salvation in the individual (Matthew 21:28-32; James 1:22-27; 2:14-26).
I will liken him unto a wise man, The Lord contrasts the wise and foolish - (a recurring theme in Proverbs, 1:7; 10:1,14; 11:29; 14:1,3; 15:7,20; 21:20; 29:9) a continuation of the teachings starting in Matthew 7:13, 14.
which built his house upon a rock: Luke 6:48 adds, "like a man which
built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock" Because
there was a lack of good land in those days (as all good land was used for
farming), people used to build anywhere else they could (even near creeks, hence
v. 25, "floods"); in building a better class of house, it is usual to dig down
until the solid rock is reached, in order to have a sure foundation for the
building (one case read of a man who dug 30 feet, "Manners and Customs of the
Bible", p. 413) The spiritual parallel of creating solidness suggests diligence,
fastidiousness, as well as a faithful action, to build on a solid spiritual
foundation of Christ's words - this is the pattern for us to imitate today, to
build on a firm foundation of faith. There is work involved, a conscious
spiritual process - not by osmosis! How then can we go about this? As our Lord
expounded upon the famous parable of the sower and the four soils, He
spiritually interprets the fourth case for us in Luke 8:15, "And the seed in
the good ground, these are the ones who have heard the word in an
honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit
with perseverance." Note the process involved in being that "good soil"
where the seed of God's word germinates. We can learn from what Jesus says:
"these are the ones who have ...
To "hear the word" today means looking at God's word for yourself - in some form of personal Bible Study "faith cometh by HEARING..." Rom. 10:17 (1 Pet. 2:2). There is no replacement in the Christian life for spending time with God and His word. The faith we grow in must be our own - we must develop our own personal relationship with God - so study for yourself, don't just listen to the preacher (Acts 17:11). You have to know what's in the book before you can apply it to your life.
o Must study correctly (2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:16). This necessitates diligence (Jn. 5:39; 2 Pet. 3:16). What is it? Diligence is single-minded persistence, and the inner strength to endure the distance.
ii) in an honest and good heart, We must have the right heart before God to truly receive it.
o Be "Honest" with God and with self. How? Humility (Jas. 1:21; Pro. 15:31-33). Remember who God is - and who we are in comparison, recognising our spiritual need for God above everything else. Realise these are His Words (1 Thess. 2:13), He has given for our good (1 Jn. 5:3). However, honesty is not enough; we can be honest enough to see that we are in sin and that we need God, but not have the good heart to change their ways and submit to God...
o "Good Heart" -refers to accepting the word, and submissively;
a willingness to receive the good things that God teaches. Be like a child
(Matthew 18:3) - willing to learn. Respect God and His wisdom (Ps. 111:10; Pro.
1:7 - The arrogant don't learn because they don't think they have to). We need
to realise that the word He gives applies to us. PRAY - God is the one who
causes the growth (1 Cor. 3:6). See Jas. 1:5-8, a Scripture that doesn't only
apply to those taught by God's miraculous wisdom back at the beginning of the
church, but the principles are clearly applicable to us also:
iii) "Hold it fast" Thayer says it means, "to hold fast, keep
secure, keep firm possession of" (& 1 Cor. 11:2; 15:2; 1 Thess. 5:21; Heb. 3:6;
10:23). K.J.V. translates as "keep it" = grasp it - hold it down and hold tight!
Meditate on the Scripture (Ps. 1:2, 3) in question, and:
iv) "Bear Fruit" (means to produce something that comes from the word put into the obedient heart - action, as in Matthew 7:15-20) Once we know the truth, we must DO IT - put it into action! Don't just have a mental comprehension (Jas. 2:14). This is the building a house on a rock: to 1) "Hears these words of Mine", 2) "Does them" is the only thing that will fulfil God's will for us. Then bear fruit and reap the blessings! (John 15:11)
v) "with perseverance" - KEEP DOING IT! The ongoing, determined
maintenance (continual focussed application) of your resolution is what
strengthens your resolve (Jas. 1:3 "endurance" ), and will mean the difference
between becoming the victor or the vanquished. This is why we have trials - for
our learning (Hebrews 12:5-13); God teaches us life's valuable lessons through
this process. The struggle with the sinful self takes time (Romans 7:14-25) - so
be patient with yourself: as God is patient with us. Remember that just as the
fruit bearing process on a tree does not happen overnight, same with the
Christian! Understand that we have limitations and that we are learning,
growing. But we must keep at it, like anything worthwhile in life that we want
v. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine,
Although it is essential to hear the word of God in order to be saved (Rom.
10:17), it is clearly not enough on its own here.
Are any of these excuses valid? Some things become so big in life that we cannot overcome them; it is at this point that we must surrender ourselves to God (Prov. 3:5, 6) - truly trust God, then forget the seeming immensity of the task before us, focus our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:1, 2) and do the will of God by faith (2 Cor. 5:7).
v. 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds
blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: Luke 6:49 adds, "and
immediately it fell"