Tuesday, March 03, 2009

40FP(4): Matthew 7.21

Continuing the theme of 'doing' from yesterday, a single verse from the Sermon on the Mount - which we will return to several times in this sequence!

"Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven."

Why is this a favourite passage?

I love this verse because it stands over against the exclusivist emphasis that sometimes dominates Christian thinking, especially the ones which quote 'there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved' - which might qualify as a least favourite verse! Jesus is explicit that the naming is not the essential thing; it is the doing which is essential. I believe that it is possible to do the will of God using all sorts of different religious languages - the different forms of Christian language, but also Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist etc. To say otherwise is, to my mind, to recklessly restrict God's gracious activity and borders on saying that there is a realm of creation from which God is absent. Which is bonkers.

Of course, if you want to know precisely what doing the will of the Father entails, please see the previous passage in this sequence!!

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