Don Carson says some wise and insightful things on scripture. Praise God for the gift of this man to the church.

I’ve been reading the above little commentary as part of a sermon series preparation on the Sermon on the Mount. This week we finish up with Matthew 7:13-29. Here’s a short line from Carson on the believer-who-actually-isn’t-one from 7:21-23:

One of the most tragic ingredients to this scenario is the way these people take themselves to be genuine believers. They clearly expect admission to the consummated kingdom.

Carson isn’t saying that we can therefore never have full assurance of our faith. But this is a warning from Jesus that there are some among us who are not living obediently, doing the will of the Father (cf v21), and fooling themselves into thinking they are safe.

It is true, of course, that no man enters the kingdom because of his obedience; but it is equally true that no man enters the kingdom who is not obedient. It is true that men are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ; but it is equally true that God’s grace in a man’s life inevitably results in obedience. Any other view of grace cheapens grace, and turns it into something unrecognisable. Cheap grace preaches forgiveness without repentance, church membership without rigorous church discipline, discipleship without obedience, blessing without persecution, joy without righteousness, results without obedience.


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