Sermon Notes



  • Our portion for today is Matthew 7:7-11. However, before we go there, there’s still some more that I want to unpack from he verses prior.
  • As I mentioned last week when we began our study of Matthew chapter 7, Jesus is now focussing on interpersonal relationships in His famous sermon on the mount. About how you and I, as brothers and sisters in Christ, ought to pursue that relationship with one another.
    One of the main thrusts in His sermon is that your teachers may teach you many things for many reasons (like the pharisees and scribes did), but you are bound to God’s word, not man’s word. He contrasts the popular teachings of these leaders against the Scripture and shows why they do not stand, why they are false.
    And so interpersonal relationships in Christian fellowship is simply not possible without a love for truth. If we bypass what the word of God teaches, we cannot have the fellowship that the word of God promises.
  • You must understand that God’s word (even in Matthew 7) has no room for unbelievers in the fellowship of the saints. And sadly that is one of the greatest plagues in many churches, even in this city. Unbelieving members in a local church is a contradiction.
    You see, I start here this morning because there is an understanding that many people have of what it means to behave Christian. As to how we must treat one another, what we must say, and how we must say it. But the truth is that if we pursue Matthew 7 diligently, it cannot be fulfilled by good morals or decisive principles. It can only be fulfilled by one in whose heart dwells the Spirit of God because these actions are the overflow of the Christian person, not the hypocrite.
  • So, when Matthew 7:1-6 talks about judging one-another, it is talking about believers engaging one another in accountability, correction and repentance. It’s your brother’s eye, not a stranger’s eye.
    • And as we engage one another this way, we are to be wary about those who claim to be our brothers and sisters. How? By being careful to watch if they trample underfoot the Gospel that you give and turn to attack you.
      Matthew 7:6 – 6 v“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
    • Now, I want you to picture this verse in your mind. Here is a man who takes all the pearls that he has, walks out to the pigsty and begins to throw them in. Tell me, who would you criticise, or who would you judge, the pigs or the man throwing the pearls.
    • So you see, this verse is not saying that we shouldn’t give the Gospel to unbelievers, because that would completely undo evangelism. However, our evangelism shouldn’t look as though we are men throwing pearls to pigs. We have to discern when to pull away, and all the more if any such circumstance were to arise within the church itself. So, if people within the church behave like pigs and dogs, they are behaving not just like unbeliever, but like the worst of the unbelievers.
    • Matthew 15:22-28 – 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
    • Why should I give you pearls, you who have trampled on the truth of God’s word with your unbelief and denial all your life?
    • 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
    • O this woman was no dog, for even the crumbs she would have with delight. This was a heart that yearned for God, and she stood the test of her faith.
    • Beloved, you will forgive my figure of speech here as I use it contextually to say that many churches are severely tempted to stay relevant to the culture by turning their pews into pigsties.
  • Therefore, the church is not a community that can incorporate unbelievers in its membership. To do so would be to put yourself in a position of being someone who throws pearls to pigs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that unbelievers are not welcome to our church services or our open meetings. But they will always remain visitors, never members.


  • Why is all of that important? Well, again, like I said last week, Matthew 7 has many verses that people often misquote. And the text that we are about to look at is one of them,
    • Matthew 7:7-11 – 7 y“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him ca stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
  • v1 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
    • Now here are words I’d longed to hear as a kid when my father took me to the toy store. Or think about how you would feel if a rich man were to take you to the city mall and tell you these words.
      • There’s no denying the fact that Jesus makes it sound boundless or without constraint when He makes this offer. It’s not ask and I’ll think about it. It’s ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, and knock and it will be opened. Everyone who asks receives, seeks finds, and knocks will find it opened to them, everyone.
      • Such a boundless promise is a temptation for many Christians who love money to use it as a promise of worldly prosperity by Christ Himself. The prosperity preachers of this age would quote this verse as a matter of fact and leave many immature Christians mesmerised.
        But they’re terribly wrong. Why?
        Because this verse is not meant for unbelievers, and by the very definition of a believer that Jesus portrays in the verses prior to chapter 7 is that believers do not share the treasure of Gentiles, the unbelievers. They seek after earthly treasures but the Christian seeks for heavenly treasures.
        We are not meant to be a people taken up by what we must eat, drink or wear, but by how we can bring glory to God with our lives
      • Therefore, this promise of verse 7 completely changes in its implication depending upon who it is meant for.
    • So, I believe and agree with many prosperity preachers that this is a boundless declaration of Christ, but I disagree on who it is meant for. It is meant for believers whose hearts are taken up by heaven and not by earth. For what such a person asks, seeks and knocks for, is not passing earthly pleasures, but treasures of eternal weight.
      What I also fear though, for those who stand with us on this understanding, is that many of them, in the process of opposing the unhinged proclamation of prosperity preachers, have a tendency to take away from the magnitude of the promise of this verse. No, Jesus is not talking about giving you anything you want if your heart is set on this world. But he is talking about giving you anything you want if your heart is set on His glory.
      A heart that is set on Christ will desire to do all things for the glory of Christ.
    • Such a reality will determine what is being asked for, sought after, and what doors are being knocked on. We’ll come back to this in a bit.
  • v9-11 – 9Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
    • Here again, the analogy assumes a son asking his father. Only a true Christian is a child to his heavenly Father.
    • Jesus is bringing a parenting analogy. When the son asks for bread, which father will give him a stone, or a serpent when he asks for a fish?
      That’s not just absurd, it is evil. It is unloving for a father to act in this way.
    • Here again, look at what the son is asking for – bread and fish. Not a Ferrari and a playstation.
  • v11 – 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
    • And now we see Jesus make the ‘how much more’ comparison. If God would care for the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, how much more would He care for you? Now, if you as imperfect earthly fathers have the impulse to do what is best for your children, how much more would the perfect heavenly Father do for you what is best.
    • Good gifts – There is an understanding here that what is being asked for, and what is being given are good things. So, coming back to the point of what is being asked for and sought after, is not just anything under the sun. Suddenly, there seems to be a certain constraint on Jesus’ boundless promise to give you whatever you ask for – that you have to ask for what is good.
      But that’s the thing beloved, I do not see this as a constraint. I see this as the natural inclination of someone who is saved. The Christian heart is not set on earthly treasures but heavenly ones. For the believer, this is sanctification – it is the purest joy to be stripped of worldliness and filled with true spirituality.
      James 4:2-4 – …You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
  • Ask – Seek – Knock
    • Now that we’ve understood the underlying meaning of the text, let us turn our attention to the three things the Lord encourages us to do. To ask, to seek and to knock.
      You ask when you are in need of something.
      You seek when you want to find out something.
      You knock when you want a way out of something.And in all these things, Christ promises to give. When the righteous man asks
      for good things, he receives, seeks for good things, he finds, and knocks, he is
    • However, one thing does seem odd does it not that in a passage on interpersonal relationships, there is suddenly a personal promise. But that is the thing beloved, I do not believe that in the given context this passage is a lone island. Though in principle I agree that this passage is talking about God’s unhindered care for His children, I see here that Jesus is explicitly applying this principle in the context of Christian fellowship. One main reason for that is v12
  • v12 – “So ewhatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    • Because of the word ‘so’. In some translations it is rendered ‘therefore’.
      Look at the summary of the verses we just studies – do unto others what you want them to do for you.
      How does this even relate with asking, seeking and knocking?
    • As a Christian, I want to live for the glory of God, but I’m a sinner and temptations are everywhere. Therefore, when I deal with unbelievers and I apply the principle of v12, I treat them with respect, fairness, and with dignity just as I would want them to treat me.
      • But when I deal with believers, I go many steps beyond to even reprove, correct and exhort, to share in their pain, to walk with them in their struggle, and to hold their hands as their brother when they need me; just as I would want them to do for me.
      • In such a context, when i am offered the promise that God will answer my prayer, then my asking, seeking and knocking will be for my fellow believers.
      • “Lord, I want to help my brother with this situation. Please give me the wisdom from above that I may counsel not according to my flesh, but according to your will” – That’s a prayer Jesus just promised to answer.
      • “Lord, I know my sister is struggling to make a decision on what to do next. Help me help her seek out your will for her that she may glorify you in all that she does” – That’s a prayer Jesus just promised to answer.
      • “Oh Lord, we as a church have been unable to meet physically for over a year because of COVID. Now, as things improve around us, open a door for us to be able to meet again as a church, gathered together to worship you.” – That’s a prayer Jesus just promised to answer.


  • So if we were to summarise what we’ve seen so far in this chapter, it would go like this.
  • As Christian we ought to love one another in such a way that we are able to correct one another when we sin. However, just as how we are not to worship God hypocritically as we saw in chapter 6 in order to be seen by others, we are
    not to fellowship hypocritically in correcting others when we ourselves drown in sin. We ought to be removing the log from our eyes to help our brothers remove the speck from theirs.
  • And such interpersonal unity and accord exists only within the community of saints. But when we find that certain so-called believers behave like unbelievers by rejecting the counsel of God and trample His word under their feet, we are to pull back. Matthew 18 gives us a practical picture of what this would like.
  • And whatever we ask, seek and knock will be given, in such a community. God is at work in such a community where we treat others the way we want them to treat us. If we love them less by not exposing their sin, then they will love us less by letting us live in ours.
Michael Teddy Fernandez

Author Michael Teddy Fernandez

More posts by Michael Teddy Fernandez