Hearing and Doing
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:24-26, NKJV).
You’ll notice in this familiar illustration that the wise man is not one who “hears these words and understands them,” or even one who “hears these words and believes.” As vital as those things are, it is the person who “hears these words and does them” who is building on the rock. Likewise, the foolish man is the one who “hears these words and does not do them.” Even if he has understood and believed them, by failing to put them into practice he is building on sand.
The only kind of faith that builds on a solid foundation for life and for eternity is one that listens to God, trusts Him, and does what He says. I need to remember that whenever I open the Scriptures and whenever I hear them taught. “It is worse than useless to hear and not to do; such hearing only aggravates guilt; the more the hearer knows of his duty, the more guilty is he if he obeys it not” (H. Leo Boles, Matthew 184). Or, as A.T. Robertson put it, “Hearing sermons is dangerous business if one does not put them into practice” (Word Pictures in the New Testament 1:63).