Matthew 7:21-23 NIVUK
21 ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” 23 Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
As one who says ‘Lord, Lord’ this is one of those passages that causes anxiety; is this talking about me?!
A surface read makes it sound like it is our obedience that makes us good enough to be part of God’s salvation. If it is, I’m in trouble, I’m no where near good enough.
But look closer and remember yesterday’s reading. This is talking about relationship not deeds, ‘I never knew you’ (23). Those deeds Jesus refers to here, we were told yesterday are an expression of what is within us, our heart. In other words, if we are God’s children through faith in Jesus, then we will naturally do the deeds God wants of us as an outworking of this, and God will welcome us. This is not an instruction or warning to us to make sure we’re good enough.
Father, thank you for your Son Jesus who brings us to you! Help us to live as your children with confidence.