IN or OUT?

Read: Luke 6:46-49

Seven weeks ago we celebrated the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been telling you that the resurrection is the foundational truth of the Christian faith. In fact, our Savior’s resurrection puts demands on our lives. And one of those demands is that we either embrace Jesus as the Savior/King, or we do not.

There are a lot of people who identify themselves as Christians these days. Listen to talk shows and casual conversations. Many people are inclined to say, “Well, I wouldn’t do anything like that, because I’m a Christian.” Or someone else will say, “My Christian beliefs lead me to say this is wrong, but I have no right to force my views on anyone else.” People identify themselves as Christ-followers, but how would we know for sure? How do we know if a person is in the Kingdom or not?

In the final section of what is called His “Sermon on the Plain” (Luke 6:46-49) Jesus gets to the heart of identifying the real from the counterfeit. He says in verse 46, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say?’” Then He answers His own question with a parable. He describes two men—two homebuilders. One works very hard at digging down to bedrock and then building the foundation of the house on an even stronger foundation. Jesus shows the intensity of the man’s efforts by literally saying, “He is like a man who dug down, who dug down deep!” He combines two different words for “digging” to show the serious-minded effort put into the construction. And because the foundation of his house was built on an even stronger foundation, the first man’s house remained standing after severe flooding.

And then Jesus describes another man. This man built a house without any foundation at all (v. 49). The image reflects a man who is careless and indifferent to his building practices. And when flooding occurred around this construction project, the house collapsed! 

It is obvious that Jesus was not talking about home construction. No, He was talking about discerning whether one is a true believer or not. You see, in the previous sections of the sermon Jesus was saying in so many words, “So you believe I am the Messiah and you are going to participate in my Kingdom? Ok, if that’s true, here are the ways you will want to live.” Jesus then went on to talk about being faithful in persecution, about rejecting a self-satisfying life, about loving those who hate us, and about not judging others.” But life in the Kingdom wasn’t limited to four or five commands given during His Sermon on the Plain. What Jesus was really saying was this: REAL CHRIST-FOLLOWERS ARE THOSE WHO LISTEN AND OBEY ALL THAT JESUS ASKS THEM TO DO.

So hold the mirror of this sermon up against your own life right now. What do you see? Are you inclined to dismiss what Jesus says because His words are ancient in their origin? Are you ready to cast aside what He says because what He asks of us seems impossible to do? Or are you digging down into the depths of what Jesus has revealed and building your life around every principle, every command, and every warning He ever uttered? 

Christians are not identified by the fact that they are card-carrying members of a local church. It has nothing to do with how articulate or how “blessed they are” with the things of this life. You will know a true Christ-follower by the fact that they obey the will and ways of Jesus. Is that the kind of life you are building for yourself?

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