Bible Study Guides – Rock or Sand—Your Choice

March 14, 2010 – March 20, 2010

Key Text

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 1, 416, 417; The Faith I Live By, 314.


“Here is the greatest deception that can affect the human mind; these persons believe that they are right when they are wrong.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 417.

1 Who will enter into the kingdom of heaven? Matthew 7:21.

Note. “Christ declares that those who do His words are like a man who built his house upon a rock. This house the tempest and flood could not sweep away.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 368.

“Christianity is simply living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. We are to believe in, and live in, Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. We have faith in God when we believe His word; we trust and obey God when we keep His commandments; and we love God when we love His law.” The Review and Herald, March 25, 1902.

2 Those who profess to know God but deny Him in works are described in what way? Titus 1:16; I John 2:4.

Note. “These may profess to be followers of Christ, but they have lost sight of their Leader. They may say, ‘Lord, Lord’; they may point to the sick who are healed through them, and to other marvelous works, and claim that they have more of the Spirit and power of God than is manifested by those who keep His law. But their works are done under the supervision of the enemy of righteousness, whose aim it is to deceive souls, and are designed to lead away from obedience, truth, and duty.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 975, 976.

3 What ground did the wise man, who heard the Lord’s words and did them, build his house upon? Matthew 7:24.

Note. “To a great extent everyone is the architect of his own character. Every day the structure more nearly approaches completion. The Word of God warns us to take heed how we build, to see that our building is founded upon the Eternal Rock. The time is coming when our work will stand revealed just as it is. Now is the time for all to cultivate the powers that God has given them, that they may form characters for usefulness here and for a higher life hereafter.

“Faith in Christ as a personal Saviour will give strength and solidity to the character. Those who have genuine faith in Christ will be sober-minded, remembering that God’s eye is upon them, that the Judge of all men is weighing moral worth, that heavenly intelligences are watching to see what manner of character is being developed.” Child Guidance, 164, 165.

4 What ground did the foolish man, who did not follow the Word of God, build his house upon? Matthew 7:26.

Note. “With some the knowledge of their true state seems to be hidden from them. They see the truth, but perceive not its importance or its claims. They hear the truth, but do not fully understand it, because they do not conform their lives to it, and therefore are not sanctified through obeying it. And yet they rest as unconcerned and well satisfied as though the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, as token of God’s favor, went before them. They profess to know God, but in works deny Him. They reckon themselves His chosen, peculiar people, yet His presence and power to save to the uttermost are seldom manifested among them. How great is the darkness of such! yet they know it not. The light shines, but they do not comprehend it.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 406, 407.

5 The result of professing to keep the law of God, yet walking contrary to the principles of that law is seen in which house? Matthew 7:26, 27.

Note. “Those who do not do Christ’s words are like the man who built his house upon the sand. Storm and tempest beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. It was an entire wreck. The result of professing to keep the law of God, yet walking contrary to the principles of that law, is seen in the wrecked house. Those who make a profession while failing to obey cannot stand the storm of temptation. One act of disobedience weakens the power to see the sinfulness of the second act. One little disregard of a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ is sufficient to stop the promised blessing of the Holy Spirit. By disobedience the light once so precious becomes obscure. Satan takes charge of the mind and soul, and God is greatly dishonored.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 368, 369.

6 The foolish virgins and the stony ground hearers that had no root are parallels with the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. Matthew 13:5, 6. How would you explain a plant with no root in comparison with the foolish virgins and the foolish man?

Note. “Jesus explained this part of the parable as referring to a certain class of hearers. He said: ‘He that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended’ [Matthew 13:20, 21]. This class of hearers is again represented by the parable of the foolish builder. Jesus says, ‘Every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it’ [Matthew 7:26, 27].

“The seed sown upon stony ground finds little depth of soil in which to take root.” The Review and Herald, June 7, 1892.

7 A fool is not obedient to the Laws of God, is lacking in discernment or comprehension which comes from God and so describes a foolish virgin or a foolish builder. What does the Word of God say about a fool and what they have become? Psalm 53:1–3.

Note. “He who would build up a strong, symmetrical character must give all and do all for Christ. The Redeemer will not accept divided service. Daily he must learn the meaning of self-surrender. He must study the Word of God, getting its meaning and obeying its precepts. Thus he may reach the highest standard of Christian excellence. There is no limit to the spiritual advancement that he may make if he is a partaker of the divine nature. Day by day God works in him, perfecting the character that is to stand in the day of final test. Each day of his life he ministers to others. The light that is in him shines forth and stills the strife of tongues. Day by day he is working out before men and angels a vast, sublime experiment, showing what the gospel can do for fallen human beings.” In Heavenly Places, 148.

8 A hearer of the law will listen and enjoy all that is said but has not been rendered just, or justified and therefore his house is built on sand. Why has he not been set free or rendered just? Romans 2:13.

Note. “In the lives of many whose names are on the church books there has been no genuine change. The truth has been kept in the outer court. There has been no genuine conversion, no positive work of grace done in the heart.” In Heavenly Places, 148.

9 A doer of the law is a performer, or accomplishes in thoughts, words and actions, what he has heard. Has the doer been rendered just or set free? Where is his house setting? Romans 2:13.

Note. “We should bear in mind that it is not the hearers of the law that are justified before God, but the doers of the law. If the principles of God’s law rule in our hearts, we shall have the spirit of Christ; we shall manifest in our daily life that mercy which is better than sacrifice. Every Christian must be a learner in the school of Christ; and there is need of diligent and persevering effort to reach that standard of righteousness which God’s word requires.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 232.

“The question of deepest interest to each one should be, Am I meeting the requirements of the law of God? … Only by a close examination of self in the light of God’s Word can we discover our deviations from His holy rule of right.” Lift Him Up, 342.

10 Wouldn’t it be terrible to think our foundation is all right when it is not? Our thoughts, words and actions are fruits flowing from our foundation. Matthew 7:20. On what foundation is your house sitting?

Note. “No stronger delusion can deceive the human mind than that which makes them believe that they are right, and that God accepts their works, when they are sinning against Him. They mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof. They suppose that they are rich, and have need of nothing, when they are poor, wretched, blind, and naked, and need all things.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 406, 407.

Additional Reading

“Those who obtain eternal life must give evidence to the world that they love God with all the capabilities that He has given them. They are to obey the two supreme commands, which embody all the whole law, acknowledging by their course of action that they are doers of the law.” The Upward Look, 367.

“The end of all things is at hand. The Lord is soon coming. Already his judgments are abroad in our land. We are not only to talk of Christ’s coming, but in every action, we are to reveal the fact that he is soon to be manifested in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Have we the wedding garment on? Have we personal piety? Have we co-operated with divine agencies, in a whole-hearted, unreserved manner, in weaving into our life’s practices the divine principles of God’s holy law? It is one thing to talk the law, and it is another thing entirely to practice it. It is the doers of the law that shall be justified before God; for those who do the law represent the character of God, and lie not against the truth.” Special Testimonies to Ministers and Workers, vol. 3, 12.

“Those who claim modern sanctification would have come boastingly forward, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, do you not know us? Have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works’ [Matthew 7:22]? The people here described, who make these pretentious claims, apparently weaving Jesus into all their doings, fitly represent those who claim modern sanctification, but who are at war with the law of God. Christ calls them workers of iniquity, because they are deceivers, having on the garments of righteousness to hide the deformity of their characters, the inward wickedness of their unholy hearts. Satan has come down in these last days, to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. His satanic majesty works miracles in the sight of false prophets, in the sight of men, claiming that he is indeed Christ Himself. Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep’s clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf cannot be discerned only as we go to God’s great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1087, 1088.

Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at .