The Scriptorium

The End of Christian Life

Christians live toward the end in all things. Matthew 7.1-29

Matthew 7: The Sermon on the Mount: Live toward Life’s End (7)

Pray Psalm 15.1, 2.
Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart…

Sing Psalm 15.1, 2.
(Arlington: This Is the Day the Lord Has Made)
Lord, who may dwell within Your tent, or on Your holy hill?
All those who keep Your covenant and walk within Your will.

All they who with integrity work peace and righteousness,
forever in God’s house shall be forgiven, kept, and blessed.

Read and meditate on Matthew 7.1-29.

Prepare.
1. How do you see this part of the sermon pointing to the end of the Christian life?

2. How does Jesus liken the Christian life to a journey in these verses?

Meditate.
We may think of the end of Christian life in three ways.

First, end refers to the terminus of our lives, our final disposition and estate. The sermon on the mount begins with those who enter the Kingdom (the beatitudes) and ends with all people coming to the judgment throne of the Lord. Having entered the Gate of the Kingdom through Jesus, we travel all our lives the difficult path of seeking the Kingdom and righteousness of God, building everything on the solid Rock of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At all times, the end of life in the Kingdom is to participate in God – to know Him and be known by Him – which we do through His Word and prayer. The sermon on the mount teaches us how to pray so that we may connect truly with our Lord (Matt. 6.1-10), and instructs us to pray continually in order to maintain that participation (Matt. 7.7-12). Only by thus abiding in the Lord will we know Him working in us for true righteousness.

For true righteousness is the end of our lives – our purpose, goal, and defining motif – as citizens of the Kingdom of God. We expect to see increasing fruit of righteousness in our lives as we continue along the difficult path that leads to our eternal dwelling with God.

Christians live toward the end realization of their calling to the Kingdom of God in everything. We are always seeking to abide in the Lord, to bring forth the fruit of righteousness in all our ways, and to keep looking forward to the day of our standing before the Lord and, because of Jesus, finding our eternal dwelling place with Him. Thus, the sermon on the mount provides a precis and overview of what it means to know, love, and serve Jesus – to be His disciples to the end (Ps. 119.112).

Reflect.
1. What can you do to keep the ultimate end of the Christian life more continuously before your mind?

2. How can you improve on the end of abiding in the Lord more consistently?

3. How are you growing in the end of Christian life, which is righteousness?

He said “whoever does the will of my Father” shall enter, not whoever does my will. Why? Nothing is insufficient if they do the will of the Father. What he did say was itself a very difficult thing to accept in view of their weakness. He implied that to do his Father’s will is to do his will. There is no other willing of the Son than the will of the Father.
John Chrysostom (344-407), The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 24.1

Help me always, Lord, to keep the end of my life in sight, so that I…

Pray Psalm 15.1-5.
Today you will walk the difficult path that marks the course of your journey in the Kingdom of God. Seek Him to help you keep the end of your life in view throughout the day ahead.

Sing Psalm 15.1-5.
Psalm 15.1-5 (Arlington: This Is the Day the Lord Has Made)
Lord, who may dwell within Your tent, or on Your holy hill?
All those who keep Your covenant and walk within Your will.

All they who with integrity work peace and righteousness,
Forever in God’s house shall be forgiven, kept, and blessed.

Let truth from every heart proceed, and slander disappear:
Thus shall we know God’s grace indeed and feel His presence near.

No evil to your neighbor speak, nor turn against your friend:
Thus shall you know the end you seek – God’s presence without end.

Let every sinner be despised; but those who fear the Lord
Shall honor have before our eyes, according to God’s Word.

All they who keep their word in faith, though suffering may ensue,
Shall know the favor of God’s grace, His presence ever true.

No greed and no injustice shall they do who seek the Lord;
But on His mercy ever call and stand upon His Word.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore