Matthew, Chapter 7
Matt. 7:7, 8
Matt. 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh
receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it
shall be opened."
Obviously, the above passage has some limitations as far as what we are
to seek, ask, or knock for. If there were no limitations, then I could
covetously ask for things and receive them, though the Lord has said
that we should not covet. The things that we are to ask, seek, and knock
after pertain to the understanding of God's word and kingdom.
James tells us that we "have not, because ye ask not." Further, he tells
us "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume
it upon your lusts." There are multitudes of God's people today who do
not understand the basic bible doctrines of God's grace. They do not
understand it because they have not asked the Lord to give them
understanding of his precious truths. Many assume that they already know
the truth and therefore they never find the truth.
God's people should be like the Bereans: Acts 17:11 "These were more
noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with
all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those
things were so." The Bereans sought for the truth and they found it.
They, no doubt, asked for the truth and it was given unto them. They
knocked that it might be opened unto them and the Lord opened it unto
It is almost impossible to get someone to believe the truth who is not
seeking after it. Yet it has been my experience that when someone is
seeking the truth, he readily embraces it when it is preached unto him.
The Lord made precious promises unto his people in the above passage.
These were not maybes. These were definitive promises made to those who
sought, asked, and knocked. The Lord keeps his promises. When it comes
to the word of God and the things concerning his kingdom, if we seek, we
will find. If we ask, we will receive. If we knock, the Lord will open
it unto us. How do I know this? I know it because the Lord promised it.
Matt. 7:9 "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will
he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your
children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good
things to them that ask him?"
It is important to remember that the Lord is addressing the disciples.
While there may be some wicked men that would give their children a
stone or a serpent, the Lord is not addressing unregenerate men, but
rather his disciples.
The disciples of the Lord, even though we have a sinful nature in the
flesh, know how to give good gifts unto our children. The Lord's people
know the needs of their children and will do what they can to meet those
needs. When our children ask us for bread or ask us for fish, we are
most ready to comply with their requests. We are also glad to be able to
give them good things when they ask. We do this even though we have a
wicked nature in the flesh.
How much more does our Heavenly Father delight to give good things to
them that ask him? The Lord by his very nature is good and does good at
all times. This should be a great encouragement to us that, especially
in time of need, we can go to him and ask him for the things that we
need and he will give it to us. Our Heavenly Father is the perfect gift
giver. He knows our needs better than we do and delights to give us
those things we need when we ask him. Furthermore, he often gives us
even better than what we ask.
Matt. 7:12 "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do
to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
Many refer to the above verse as the "golden rule." We should live our
lives by this wonderful guidepost. We should constantly strive to do
unto others in the exact same manner that we would have them do unto us.
We all want people to treat us right; therefore, we should treat other
people right. We want people to be honest with us; therefore, we should
be honest with them. We want people to be kind unto us; therefore, we
should be kind unto them. We want people to be longsuffering with our
faults; therefore, we should be longsuffering with their faults. We want
people to forgive us; therefore, we should be forgiving of them.
The above does not say that we should do unto others as they do unto us,
but rather we are to do unto others, as we would have them do unto us.
Thus, we are not to treat others as they treat us, but rather we should
treat them, regardless of how they treat us, in the manner, we would
want them to treat us.
Some have a misconception of the law and the prophets. They only see the
"thou shalt nots" of the Old Testament. Actually, the Old Testament (law
and prophets) teaches us of the love of God and how we should love one
another. Directly, the Old Testament teaches us:
1. Deu. 6:5 "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
2. Lev. 19:18 "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the
children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I
am the LORD."
When asked what the greatest commandment in the law was, the Lord
responded: Matt. 22:37 "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is
like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two
commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Love toward our neighbour is the fulfilling of the law:
1. Rom. 13:9 "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not
kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou
shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly
comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the
fulfilling of the law."
2. Gal. 5:14 "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this;
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
3. James 2:8 "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well."
Finally, the way that we fulfill the royal law is to do unto others even
as we would have them do unto us.
Matt. 7:13 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and
broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which
go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
A companion verse is found in Luke 13:24 "Strive to enter in at the
strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall
not be able."
The word "strait" means "restricted or narrow." A gate is an entryway.
It controls access. If a gate is locked you cannot enter. If a gate is
open you may enter but your manner of entry is limited to the size of
the gate. A restricted or narrow gate is a limited entry. A wide gate
allows for an unrestricted entry. It is very easy to enter through a
wide gate. There are almost no restrictions in entering a wide gate.
One of the meanings of the word "way" is "a road." Travel over a narrow
road is much more difficult than travel over a broad road. A narrow road
like the strait gate is restrictive. A road is a way to a destination.
Journeys are made over roads. Thus, roads lead somewhere.
A strait gate and a narrow way lead unto life. A wide gate and a broad
way lead unto destruction.
Knowing what the "life" and the "destruction" refers to is the key to
our understanding of the above passage.
Many mistakenly believe that the word "life" in the text refers to
"eternal life" and the word "destruction" refers to "eternal
destruction." By making life and destruction, eternal in the passage
would make the obtaining of eternal life based on a system of works
performed by the individual. This is not consistent with other teachings
of the bible:
1. Tit. 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and
renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
2. 2 Tim. 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling,
not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,
which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
3. Eph. 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should
boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good
works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
4. Rom. 9:11 "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done
any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might
stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)"
5. Rom. 4:2 "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to
glory; but not before God."
6. Rom. 11:5 "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant
according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no
more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works,
then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
7. Gal. 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the
law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus
Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by
the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be
8. Gal. 3:10 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the
curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all
things which are written in the book of the law to do them."
Thus, the life and the destruction in the text cannot be referring to
eternal life and eternal damnation. Rather than referring to eternal
life, the text is referring to the more abundant life in the Kingdom of
God: John 10:10 "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill,
and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might
have it more abundantly." It is this more abundant life that Jesus came
that the sheep might have. We have a more abundant life in God's church
kingdom here in time than we would have if we did not enter into that
By entering through the strait or restricted gate and walking the narrow
way of discipleship, we have a more abundant life in the Kingdom of God.
We have an abundance of joy, peace, comfort, rest, contentment, and
close fellowship with God when we walk in humble obedience unto the Lord
and worship and serve him in Spirit and in truth. Entering this strait
gate and walking this narrow way does not entitle us unto heaven's glory
world; Christ paid the price for our living in heaven's glory world and
we will live there by God's grace. Entering the strait gate and walking
the narrow way greatly enriches our lives as we live in this world.
Entering the wide gate and walking the broad way only leads to personal
destruction in our lives. We live without the close fellowship of the
Lord and the spiritual direction of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We
live our lives in spiritual darkness and walk after the flesh to many
personal destructions in our lives. As we walk after the flesh, we reap
destruction in the flesh. Entering the wide gate and walking the broad
way will not keep us out of heaven, but will lead us to the personal
destruction in our lives.
To enter the strait gate into discipleship, which only a child of God
can do, requires repentance, belief of the gospel, confession, and
baptism. Once we have entered the strait or restricted gate, then we
walk the narrow way of discipleship by living according to the teaching
of God's word.