Matthew 7 Notes
.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. I was asked the following question: "Could
you please tell me what the Bible says about identity of the "self" in a philosophical sense? Right now I'm thinking about people's quest for a true definition of the self in different cultures in the light of the Lord."
    We begin to see the importance of ourselves when we realize that the God of heaven sent His own Son to take what we deserve so we can have what He deserves (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8). The price paid is beyond our understanding. On the cross, Jesus faced eternal hopelessness, disconnected from the Father. Of course heaven will be a place of purity so people who choose evil won't be there (Rev. 22:15). This seems like a great obstacle but we find that God not only holds a high standard but he helps us commit to it (Phil. 4:13). Will we be perfect in the sense that God is perfect? No, but we may be perfect in human nature as God is in divine nature (Matt. 5:48). And we are even promised a portion of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). And our unintentional imperfections are covered by the privilege of forgiveness (1 John 1:9; 2:1). Of course we have a part in our salvation (Eph. 2:8-10). Although we do not earn it, faith in the gift opens the way for God to give it to us. We may claim divine strength (Isa. 27:5) to lay aside those habits that make us unfit for heaven (Heb. 12:1; 1 Peter 2:1) and we must keep our thoughts on Christ. We consider others more highly than ourselves (Phil. 2:3; Mark 9:35) Then, in humility, we carry our cross as Jesus carried His to Calvary (Luke 9:23). That means being willing to die rather than knowingly disobey our Lord.
    Finally we are expected to feel the importance of our privilege to walk with Christ, not in conceit but in humility, while feeling good about ourselves (Matt. 7:12). In God's great love and justice, those who would not be happy in the pure atmosphere of heaven will not be there. They will die the second death never to be resurrected. This is different from what most Christians believe but it's what the Bible teaches (Mal. 4:1; Rev. 20:9; "forever" does not mean "without end" Jude 7; Ex. 21:6; Jonah 2:6; 1 Sam. 1:22). All this shows us the greatness of the creator God.  Ted
Matthew 7 Matthew home Commentary home