The Gospel According to Matthew. By Leon Morris. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992. 781 pp. Cloth, $39.95.
Here is a well written, scholarly, thorough treatment of Matthew’s Gospel. However, it is flawed by a strong and consistent Lordship Salvation position.
Concerning Matt 5:20 Morris followed a statement concerning God’s grace in salvation with these words: “This does not mean cheap grace, for the words of this verse bring out the truth that those who have been touched by Jesus live on a new plane, a plane in which the keeping of God’s commandments is important” (p. 11).
In his exegesis of Matt 7:13–14 he answers the question, How does one enter by the narrow gate?, in this way: “We commit ourselves to follow Christ” (p. 175).
Matthew 7:21–23 receives this comment: “Verses 21–23 are a dreadful warning: the most orthodox avowals of faith have no value in the eyes of God if they are not translated into concrete obedience to his will. One may with his lips loudly profess his faith in God, and even invoke Jesus as Lord, yet deny him by thoughts, words, and acts” (p. 181).
Likewise, according to Morris, Jesus taught in Matt 10:32–33 that confessing Him “signifies an open declaration of allegiance” (p. 264) and that this is required for eternal salvation (pp. 264–65).
His conclusion from Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler was that: “God demands undivided loyalty from those who would be his” (p. 492).
Due to its Lordship Salvation bias, this commentary is not for new or untaught believers. Only well grounded believers should use this work. However, for such persons this commentary can provide helpful exegetical insights if read critically.
Robert N. Wilkin
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society