Ask God for the life He has promised and you will receive it. Seek the good things that He has promised and you will find them. Knock on the door to the kingdom of heaven and it will open to you. These words are powerful because of the difficult battle they represent. Believing and acting on these promises is the central struggle of the Christian life.
The entire Sermon on the Mount has been about one topic: Who will be accepted by God and receive a place in His kingdom?
- Matthew 5:1-16: Jesus tells us those with saving faith are blessed who will receive a place in the kingdom (the Beatitudes).
- Matthew 5:17-48: Jesus says your righteousness must be different than the kind the Pharisees have to enter the kingdom of heaven (the Antitheses).
- Matthew 6:1-7:11: Using several examples, Jesus warns his listeners to avoid the self-deception of the Pharisees.
- Matthew 7:12-29: Jesus concludes there are 2 paths. One path leads to life and the other to destruction. You must be the type of person described in this Sermon to be on the right path.
In 7:6, Jesus began transitioning conclusion by urging us to embrace the truths he has just taught. Don’t be the kind of fool who throws away what is precious. That raises the question: Will it work? Can I really trust God and the words of Jesus of Nazareth that God will in fact forgive me and give me a place in His kingdom? Jesus addresses that kind of doubt in Matthew 7:7-11.
4 Foundational Truths
Four foundational truths put Matthew 7:7-11 in perspective.
- God is our Creator; we are His creatures. God does not owe us anything. God does not give good gifts to those who ask Him because He is required to do so. God answers our cries because, like a loving compassionate Father, He wants to.
- We are sinners who have earned nothing but condemnation from God. God gives good gifts in spite of the fact that we have earned rejection, because He has chosen to be merciful.
- God’s definition of “good gifts” is not the same as ours. God gives us what we truly need.
- The kind of request Jesus has in view is a necessary expression of saving faith. Asking, seeking, knocking are things that believers do as they turn to the God that they trust.
7Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:7-11
- God will not turn away those who come to Him with saving faith (as just described in the Sermon on the Mount).
- Like our earthly fathers, God gives us life, and He cares for us as good fathers care for their children.
- The child in the analogy asks for the fundamental needs of life (bread and fish), things which he can count on his father to provide.
- As God’s children, we also request the fundamentals that will sustain our souls, things which we can count on our heavenly Father to give us.
- Just as an earthly father wants his children to eat, God wants His children to have saving faith and hope.
- We can have confidence that we are asking for something our heavenly Father wants to give us.
- Unlike earthly fathers, our heavenly Father will not fail us. He is completely trustworthy.
- Ask God for the life He has promised and you will receive it.
- Seek the good things that He has promised and you will find them.
- Knock on the door to the kingdom of heaven and it will open to you.