The Meaning of Matthew 7:21 Explained

Matthew 7:21

KJV: 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.

YLT: 'Not every one who is saying to me Lord, lord, shall come into the reign of the heavens; but he who is doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens.

Darby: Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he that does the will of my Father who is in the heavens.

ASV: 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 who is in heaven.

What does Matthew 7:21 Mean?

Study Notes

kingdom
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Context Summary

Matthew 7:13-23 - Seeking Life Testing Leaders
The world is full of shams. Counterfeit coins circulate; paste jewels are worn. Let us take heed against a counterfeit religion. It betrays itself thus:
(1) It does not involve the denial of self. Our Lord compares this to entrance by a strait gate and walking on a narrow path. It is the way of the Cross. We must say "No" to the "I" life which is seated in our soul and which must be ruthlessly denied. We must say of it as Peter did of Jesus, "I do not know the man." The way of self-indulgence begins on a primrose path and ends in a wilderness. The path of self-denial is steep and difficult at the start, but leads to a paradise of joy.
(2) It does not produce good fruit. The worth of the gospel has been attested all down the ages by the characters which it has produced and which have been the world's salt and light. No other teaching has produced such results. Here is the supreme test. There are many new systems of theology, many nostrums are being loudly advertised, but the one test of them all is in the fruit they bear. [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 7

1  Do Not Judge
7  Ask, Seek, Knock
13  Enter through the Narrow Gate
15  A Tree and Its Fruit
24  The Wise and the Foolish Builders
28  Jesus ends his sermon, and the people are astonished

Greek Commentary for Matthew 7:21

Not - but [ουαλλ]
Sharp contrast between the mere talker and the doer of God‘s will. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 7:21

Romans 11:25 Wise in your own conceits [εν εαυτοις προνιμοι]
“Wise in yourselves.” Some MSS. read παρ εαυτοις — par' heautois (by yourselves). Negative purpose here Late word from πωροω — pōroō (Romans 11:7). Occurs in Hippocrates as a medical term, only here in N.T. save Mark 3:5; Ephesians 4:18. It means obtuseness of intellectual discernment, mental dulness. In part Goes with the verb γεγονεν — gegonen (has happened in part). For απο μερους — apo merous see note on 2 Corinthians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 2:5; Romans 15:24; for ανα μερος — ana meros see note on 1 Corinthians 14:27; for εκ μερους — ek merous see note on 1 Corinthians 12:27; 1 Corinthians 13:9; for κατα μερος — kata meros see note on Hebrews 9:5; for μερος τι — meros ti (adverbial accusative) partly see note on 1 Corinthians 11:18. Paul refuses to believe that no more Jews will be saved. Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in (αχρι ου το πληρωμα των ετνων εισελτηι — achri hou to plērōma tōn ethnōn eiselthēi). Temporal clause with αχρι ου — achri hou (until which time) and the second aorist active subjunctive of εισερχομαι — eiserchomai to come in (Matthew 7:13, Matthew 7:21). For fulness of the Gentiles (το πληρωμα των ετνων — to plērōma tōn ethnōn) see Romans 11:12, the complement of the Gentiles. [source]
Romans 11:25 In part [απο μερους]
Goes with the verb γεγονεν — gegonen (has happened in part). For απο μερους — apo merous see note on 2 Corinthians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 2:5; Romans 15:24; for ανα μερος — ana meros see note on 1 Corinthians 14:27; for εκ μερους — ek merous see note on 1 Corinthians 12:27; 1 Corinthians 13:9; for κατα μερος — kata meros see note on Hebrews 9:5; for μερος τι — meros ti (adverbial accusative) partly see note on 1 Corinthians 11:18. Paul refuses to believe that no more Jews will be saved. Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in (αχρι ου το πληρωμα των ετνων εισελτηι — achri hou to plērōma tōn ethnōn eiselthēi). Temporal clause with αχρι ου — achri hou (until which time) and the second aorist active subjunctive of εισερχομαι — eiserchomai to come in (Matthew 7:13, Matthew 7:21). For fulness of the Gentiles (το πληρωμα των ετνων — to plērōma tōn ethnōn) see Romans 11:12, the complement of the Gentiles. [source]
Romans 11:25 Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in [αχρι ου το πληρωμα των ετνων εισελτηι]
Temporal clause with αχρι ου — achri hou (until which time) and the second aorist active subjunctive of εισερχομαι — eiserchomai to come in (Matthew 7:13, Matthew 7:21). [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 7:21 mean?

Not everyone - saying to Me Lord will enter into the kingdom of the heavens but the [one] doing the will the Father of Me who [is] in the heavens
Οὐ πᾶς λέγων μοι Κύριε εἰσελεύσεται εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀλλ’ ποιῶν τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς

πᾶς  everyone 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: πᾶς  
Sense: individually.
  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
λέγων  saying 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: λέγω 
Sense: to say, to speak.
μοι  to  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
Κύριε  Lord 
Parse: Noun, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root: κύριος  
Sense: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.
εἰσελεύσεται  will  enter 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εἰσέρχομαι  
Sense: to go out or come in: to enter.
εἰς  into 
Parse: Preposition
Root: εἰς  
Sense: into, unto, to, towards, for, among.
βασιλείαν  kingdom 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: βασιλεία  
Sense: royal power, kingship, dominion, rule.
τῶν  of  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
οὐρανῶν  heavens 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: οὐρανός  
Sense: the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it.
  the  [one] 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ποιῶν  doing 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ποιέω  
Sense: to make.
Πατρός  Father 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: προπάτωρ 
Sense: generator or male ancestor.
μου  of  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
τοῦ  who  [is] 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
οὐρανοῖς  heavens 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Plural
Root: οὐρανός  
Sense: the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it.