Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 24, 2007

Matthew 7:28-29
And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

When the Lord spoke, people listened. He spoke graciously (Luke 4:22), but He also spoke with authority. When we take our car to a mechanic with an intermittent problem where the engine loses power, we like to hear the mechanic say that he knows exactly what is wrong and that he knows how to fix it. We don’t like it when the mechanic says that he is not sure what the problem is but that he thinks a new fuel pump will fix it. The first mechanic speaks with authority. The second does not. The Lord’s listeners could sense that He knew what He was talking about while the scribes only knew what they had been taught. Their teaching just didn’t carry the same weight as the Lord’s teaching.

The Lord was a carpenter and the son of a carpenter. He grew up in humble circumstances and was not educated (John 7:15). How could He speak with authority when the scribes (those who knew how to read and write) could not? The answer is that the Creator knows more than the people that He created. The Lord was the Creator. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3).” That is why that when we depend on Him and on what He says we are founded upon the Rock that gives us safety when the storms of life come (Matthew 7:24-25). However, some people who think they are founded upon the Rock are not (Matthew 7:21-23). They do all the right things for all of the wrong reasons. When they come to the Lord at the end of their lives, they tell the Lord about all the miracles and wonderful things that they have done, and they believe that they deserve to be in heaven. But the things we do for God in order to be saved are nothing but sinking sand. The person who is saved will be telling the Lord about how they are depending on what He did for them. They will know that they are saved based upon verses like Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth (or demonstrates) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” They will do good works because they are saved not in order to be saved (See Ephesians 2:8-10). When we try to substitute our good works for the blood that the Lord shed at Calvary to save us, then those good works are works of iniquity.

Satan has a way of twisting things. Christians should be baptized after they are saved. So Satan tells us that if Christians should be baptized, then baptism must make a Christian. But it doesn’t work that way. Satan says that if Christians should take the Lord’s Supper to remember the Lord as an act of worship, then taking the Lord’s Supper must make a Christian. But it doesn’t work that way. Satan says that if a Christian should do good works because he has a new life and is a new creation, then doing good works must make a Christian. And it doesn’t work that way either.

We need to listen to what the Lord says. He speaks with authority. Some day the storms are going to come and we need to be prepared before that happens. There are many people who think they are Christians who are building on the sands of their own works and on what they think will please God.

I am confident that when the Lord says “it is finished (John 19:30)”, that the work that saves and satisfied God on our behalf is in fact finished. That is a foundation that will stand the test of any storm that comes.

Bruce Collins

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