The Book of Matthew

Thursday: “The Old Gospel”

Matthew 7:24-27 In this week’s lessons, Jesus teaches us that we must build our lives and eternal destinies on Himself as our only foundation.
Theme
“The Old Gospel”

Yesterday we concluded by saying that those who build on the Lord will survive whatever troubles and hardships we face.

That is true. It was true for Job. It was true for Moses and David and Isaiah and Jeremiah and all the other great Old Testament figures. It was true for Peter and James and John and Paul. Let me give you a more contemporary illustration.

Dr. Joseph Parker of London, the noted English preacher, who for many years proclaimed the Word of God in the great City Temple, tells in his autobiography that there was a time when he gave too much attention to the modern theories of his day. Men were reasoning and speculating and undervaluing the Word of God, and he found himself, as he read their books and mingled in their meetings, losing his grip intellectually upon the great fundamental doctrine of salvation alone through the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. But he tells us that there came into his life the most awful sorrow that he had ever had to bear. His devoted wife, whom he loved so tenderly, was stricken and in a few short hours was snatched away from him. He was unable to share his grief with others, and walking through those empty rooms of his home with a breaking heart, his misery felt for some footing in modern theory. And there was none.

“And then,” he said, addressing a company of his Congregational brethren, “my brethren, in those hours of darkness, in those hours of my soul’s anguish, when filled with doubt and trembling in fear, I bethought myself of the old gospel of redemption alone through the blood of Christ, the gospel that I had preached in those earlier days, and I put my foot down on that and, my brethren, I found firm standing. I stand there today, and I shall die resting upon that blessed glorious truth of salvation alone through the precious blood of Christ.”1

On Christ, the solid rock I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

Now there is one last point here, and it is a point for Christians. What are you building? Oh, you are on the foundation all right. Christ is your Savior. But do you know that it may be possible for Him to be your foundation and yet for you to go through life building things that are worthless and that will not remain as fruit for eternity, even though you will be saved personally? Listen to Paul, “Now if any man build upon this foundation [Jesus Christ] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

Study Questions
  1. Just as Dr. Parker became interested in ideas of his day that pulled him away from sound doctrine, what are some of today’s popular but wrong ideas that some Christians are either endorsing or at least accommodating toward, rather than standing up for what the Bible teaches?
  2. From Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, what worthless things might a Christian construct?
Application

Application: Is your foundation that of the Lord Jesus Christ, or something else? And if it is on Christ, are you constructing a building that honors Him as your foundation?

For Further Study: Download for free and listen to James Boice’s message, “Foundation of Biblical Authority.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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