Building on a Rock




“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Matthew 7:24-27


  1. This is the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7); we only want to survey it today while considering its conclusion.
  2. The doctrine that is according to godliness must be constantly repeated to save you (Phil 3:1; II Pet 1:12-15).
  3. This Sermon is despised today, when men want a form of godliness and to hear fables (II Tim 3:1-5; 4:3-4).
  4. A great antidote for the perilous times of the last days is to preach this Sermon boldly (II Tim 3:15-17; 4:1-2).
  5. We believe Jesus Christ is the Rock of our salvation, but this sermon is about building on His sayings; it deals with practical righteousness to prove eternal life, not the imputed, legal righteousness of Christ that saves us.

The Context (Matthew 7:13-29)

A. Our Lord began His conclusion by identifying the choice every man must make in his life (7:13-14).

1. The way of holiness that leads to heaven is strait and narrow – restricted, tight, binding, difficult.

2. The way of carnality that leads to hell is wide and broad – easy, comfortable, loose, relaxed, etc.

3. The way of holiness is found and followed by only a few; the way to hell is followed by most.

B. He then identified the criterion by which all teachers are to be judged, to avoid deception (7:15-20).

1. These false teachers would present a standard of righteousness far below that of Jesus Christ.

2. Jesus warned about false prophets, because there will be many (II Corinthians 2:17; 4:2; 11:3-4).

3. They look like ministers of light and righteousness, but they are Satan’s men (II Cor 11:13-15).

4. While looking like ministers of righteousness, they devour saints with carnality (II Peter 2:1-22).

5. They must be measured by Bible doctrine and spiritual results, called “fruits” in this metaphor.

6. What does a man produce by his ministry? Holiness or carnality? Truth or error? Light or confusion? Growth or dependence? God’s glory or man’s? Love of Scripture or love of learning?

7. Do not judge by appearance, by feelings, by popularity, by presence, or by any other criteria.

8. There is another Jesus, gospel, and spirit; they are avoided by demanding apostolic tradition.

C. He then identified the horrible eternal consequences for false teachers and false professors (7:21-23).

1. Many who claim the name of Jesus Christ are not His and will be rejected in the coming Day.

2. It is a horrible lie to think a silly decision for Jesus indelibly put your name in the Book of Life.

3. The measure of a man is personal righteousness, not faith, not profession; salvation is by works!

4. False teachers are ever so proud of their works rather than dependent on His grace. Beware!

5. What a man claims about knowing or serving Christ is irrelevant. Does Jesus Christ know him?

D. He then identified how to build a good foundation for yourself for here and the hereafter (7:24-27).

E. When He concluded His sermon, the people knew Jesus was not like their weak ministers (7:28-29).

1. Jesus spake with authority they had not heard before, for He was truly called by God (John 7:17).

2. He condemned the notions of the religious leaders of His day without hesitating or apologizing.

3. He set the standard much higher than they had ever imagined, and He did not try to soft sell it.

4. He derived His doctrine from the God of heaven and from a holy interpretation of holy scripture.

5. He laid down a holy standard for righteousness and then made hellfire the punishment for sin.

6. He did not allow any possibility of success here or hereafter for any compromise with carnality.

7. The educated, refined pulpiteers of any generation do not have the authority of Christ’s servants.

8. It is the form of godliness without any power that is such a threat to saints today (II Tim 3:1-5).

9. The people of God must pray for more men of God to go forth and save saints from pulpiteers!

The Text (Matthew 7:24-27)

A. Observe the first word, “therefore,” which draws a definite conclusion from the previous 11 verses (7:13-23).

1. The house-building simile is designed to apply the gate choice, the character issue, and Judgment Day.

2. Your gate choice, character, and outcome on Judgment Day are known by your response to His sayings!

3. The principal storm we must prepare for is the judgment of the great day, when we shall all give account.

4. It was this terrible event that made Paul persuade men to humble themselves to holiness (II Cor 5:9-11).

5. It was for preparation for this great day that Jesus gave the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-15).

B. For those who get silly by the word “whosoever,” get a load of this invitation describing men by their actions.

1. The religious world today, corrupt by Arminian theology, think that whosoever makes a decision is saved.

2. But the word of God requires much more than that for evidence of salvation, as the context shows (7:21).

3. Jesus Christ did not care who believed on Him; Jesus taught men to continue in His Word (John 8:31-32).

C. It is hearing and doing, not just hearing, as is plainly repeated in this very important conclusion to preaching.

1. The wise man building on a rock is the man who hears Christ’s sayings and does them in his life (7:24).

2. The foolish man building on the sand is the man who hears Christ’s sayings and does not do them (7:26).

3. Preparation for the storm of the great day of judgment is based on doing Jesus Christ’s commandments.

4. It is not what you hear that counts, so reject any comfort in your church: it is what you do (Jas 1:21-25).

5. And to add to your fear, it is not what you believe or what you profess that counts (Jas 2:14-26; I Jn 2:4).

D. It is “these sayings of mine” that are under consideration, which shows a definite conclusion to this sermon.

1. The sayings began at the beginning of Matthew 5, where Jesus sat down and began to teach (Matt 5:1).

2. There is in the Sermon on the Mount a synopsis of the religion of Jesus Christ, which you should learn.

3. The Lord Jesus Christ does not care what you think, feel, believe, assume, or desire about righteousness.

4. The Lord Jesus Christ rejected the corruption of His sayings by the interpretation of scribes and Pharisees, as you can read throughout: educated men have been corrupting Scripture from His day (II Cor 2:17).

5. This sermon would definitely offend those false churches promising, “We won’t throw the book at you.”

6. The sayings of Jesus Christ are not limited to this sermon; Paul assumes more (I Cor 11:1; I Tim 6:3-5).

7. How well do you hear the preaching of Jesus Christ and His doctrine? He warns you about it (Luke 8:18).

E. The simile is clear – your response to Christ’s doctrine is compared to choosing a foundation for a house.

1. We should not literalize the building project, the house, or the foundation farther than our Lord intended.

2. A house is only as good as its foundation; for no matter how well built, it must rest on something solid.

3. When building a literal house, you must take into account future weather possibilities for wise protection.

4. Civil engineers for highways and bridges will multiply the potential risk by a factor of 3 or 4 for safety.

5. The wise man is prepared for severe storms that will arise; the foolish man presumes there are no storms.

6. Though you may think everything is fine today, there are storms coming both in this life and in the next.

7. Storms will come in this life i.e. heresies, temptations, afflictions, trials, dilemmas, fears, pain, troubles.

8. The guarantee of safety in this life from these storms is to have your heart fixed solidly on Bible doctrine.

9. God’s Word must be repeated often to make actions and reactions instinctive (Phil 3:1; II Peter 1:12-15).

10. Storms will come in the next life i.e. when you are arraigned before the high tribunal of God Himself.

11. Leading to that day and in that day, your soul will be assaulted by fears, threats, worries, and dread.

12. The guarantee of safety in the next life is to have your works following after (Rev 14:13; 22:14), which prudent men will make sure of to guarantee their eternal habitation with God (Luk 16:1-15; II Pet 1:5-11).

13. Though most today believe that a silly little decision saves your soul, the Bible requires much more.

14. A proper foundation is righteousness (Psalm 15:1-5; 24:1-10; Matt 5:19-20; Jas 2:14-26; II Pet 1:5-11).

15. It is not contrary to the grace of God in Christ to speak of laying your own foundation (I Tim 6:17-19).

The Illustration

A. What are the sayings of Jesus Christ that we should hear and obey to lay a rock-solid foundation?

B. What are the sayings of Jesus Christ that we should repeat and repeat to lay foundational stones?

C. Consider just a few examples from this sermon that give us a synopsis of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1. The character of the righteous is described in simple statements in twelve verses (Matt 5:1-12).

2. Your righteousness should be visible to the world, so they can see your Father (Matt 5:13-16).

3. Your righteousness must greatly exceed the righteousness of the Fundamentalists (Matt 5:17-20).

4. Godly relationships are required or you are guilty of the Sixth Commandment (Matt 5:21-26).

5. Sexual sins by any means, fantasy or divorce abuse, must be keenly avoided (Matthew 5:27-32).

6. Honesty and truthfulness in all your dealings with care for God’s name is due (Matt 5:33-37).

7. Personal offences are to be ignored and suffered without thoughts of revenge (Matt 5:38-42).

8. Personal enemies are to be loved, blessed, treated well, and prayed for to be His (Matt 5:43-48).

9. Giving is to be without fanfare as a sacrifice to God only without regard for men (Matt 6:1-4).

10. Pray in a private, simple way including the forgiveness of those offending you (Matt 6:5-15).

11. Fasting is a private act of worship; others should not know when you fast (Matt 6:16-18).

12. Have one mind about serving God and keeping worldly pursuits a distant second (Matt 6:19-34).

13. Judge carefully in respect to others so that you are neither harsh nor hypocritical (Matt 7:1-5).

14. Judge strictly in respect to fools and scorners you meet that do not deserve the truth (Matt 7:6).

15. Be of great faith in trusting God to be better than an earthly Father in giving to you (Mat 7:7-11).

16. The law and the prophets as pertaining to others may be condensed to the golden rule (Mat 7:12).

The Application

A. Every day you must ask, “Has my righteousness today exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees?”

B. The way to build your rock-solid foundation is first hearing and reading the Word of God – by two sermons on Sunday, by Proverb commentaries daily, by Wednesday nights, and by your own study.

C. The way to build your rock-solid foundation is then applying the Word of God to every situation, for every action and reaction must be determined by the Word of God and no other criteria.

D. Repetition is good (Phil 3:1; II Pet 1:12-15). Desire it; require it; practice it. You learn by repetition.

E. Consider repetition in Psalms (II Sam 22; Ps 18) and Proverbs (22:3; 27:12). Redundant? No, wise!

F. Paul, in his effort to perfect saints, held back nothing, but preached the whole counsel of God and illustrated all righteousness (Acts 20:20,27,35; Eph 4:12-13; Col 1:28-29).


  1. The doctrine that is according to godliness must be constantly repeated to save you (Phil 3:1; II Pet 1:12-15).
  2. This Sermon is despised today, when men want a form of godliness and to hear fables (II Tim 3:1-5; 4:3-4).
  3. A great antidote for the perilous times of the last days is to preach this Sermon boldly (II Tim 3:15-17; 4:1-2).

For Further Study:

  1. Sermon Outline: “Few There Be that Find It,” which deals exclusively with the two verses, Matthew 7:13-14.
  2. Sermon Outline: “Doers of the Word,” emphasizes the doing of God’s Word, not just hearing, from James 1:21-25.
  3. Sermon Outline: “Parable of the Sower,” deals with our Lord’s warning about using great care in hearing preaching.
  4. Sermon Outline: “Salvation By Works,” condemns the modern heresy of decisional salvation without holy living.
  5. Sermon Outline: “The New Bible Economics,” which opens the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-15).
  6. Sermon Outline: “The Judgment Seat of Christ,” describes Paul’s concern and conviction about coming judgment.