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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Matthew 5

Verses 1-3

  1. Intro:
    1. This sermon of Jesus goes all the way till the end of ch.7.
    2. I really don’t like the title Sermon on the Mnt because it is not descriptive.
      1. It’s like, my message today is...Sermon from my Pulpit?
      2. It’s actually a sermon on a rolling hill.
        1. It’s located near the edge of the shore of the sea of Galilee, in a natural amphitheater.
      3. Maybe, A Mountain of a Sermon; or Sermon of the Monarch; or The Kingdom Manifesto; or The Constitution of His Kingdom; or The Portrait of Jesus.
    3. It's not the do attitudes it's the be attitudes. It’s who we should be, more than we should do.
      1. We also see how they are progressive as they unfold.
    4. When Jesus opens His mouth, we open our ears & hearts.
      Pray: Like Samuel we declare, Speak, Lord, your servant is listening. And in our listening...may we understand. And in that understanding...may we have wisdom to live. Lord, we will go w/You, live w/You, Follow You...wherever You lead.
    5. ​​​​​​​This is not...God’s plan for Salvation. Nor a charter for world peace. Nor is it only applicable for the future in the literal 1000 year millennial kingdom.
      1. If it’s only for the Millennium than what about vs.10,11?
      2. See Jesus’ own ending, in whom He says it’s for. Mt.7:24-27
        1. Not just those that heard His words, but those that’ll hear His sayings. 7:24
      3. It is certain that this Sermon has definite application for us today.
        1. These truths are all repeated in the N.T. epistles for the church today.
    6. This is not...a 2nd Law or a 2nd set of commandments. It goes much deeper than the law because it deals with internal attitudes as well as outward actions.
      1. Note also, the demands of the sermon on the mount are much more difficult than those found in the law of Moses. Only the true believer in Jesus Christ can put the sermon on the mount into practice. See Rom.8:1-8
  2. THE BEATITUDES (1,2)
    1. ​​​​​​​Luke gives us Beatitudes also in Luke 6:17-23 but it seems different than Matthew’s.
      1. Contradiction? No. Differences include location/occasion (mount vs. level place). Content (both have diff content, the other doesn’t have). And also listeners (disciples vs. disciples + many others).
    2. If the world wrote these they’d sound more like, Blessed are the healthy. Blessed are the wealthy. Blessed are the beautiful. Blessed are the always tanned. Or something like that.
  3. BLESSED (3) Blessed
    1. ​​​​​​​Blessed - happy (because I’m Happy, Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof)
      1. Jesus’ 1st year teaching, probably 1st sermon. So, His 1st word of His
      2. µακάριος(ma-Kar-ios)1st found in the 5th centbc by Pindar ancient Gk Lyric poet/Thebes
      3. At first, it was only used of the GK gods (Homer uses µάκαρ only 8x’s of men).
      4. Slide16 Homer said, it denotes the transcendent happiness of a life beyond care, labour and death. (Theological Dictionary of the NT, Hom. Od., 5, 7.)[It denoted the state of godlike blessedness]
        1. Later it it meant to be rich. It becomes a leading philosophical term for inner happiness. It has nothing with your outward circumstance.
        2. It hast to do with the weather inside. What is the coldest place you’ve been?
          Mine was w/Jeff Thompson in Ukraine. I never remember being colder than that winter there. But in every car & room we were in it was warm, climate controlled.
          1. Good example of the believer in Jesus. It doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, if it’s controlled on the inside.
    2. Everyone is pursuing Happiness (Even the last Ted Radio Hour show was on Simply Happy)
      1. Our constitution guarantees the pursuit of happiness.
        Jesus’ constitution points out the pathway to happiness, as He describes the attitudes which lead to happiness.
        1. True happiness is our birthright as members of the family of God.
      2. Christians should be the happiest people on earth [NOT the worlds superficial happiness which depends on circumstances]
    3. Let’s look at this 1st step to Happiness. We’ll look at The Role & The Reward on each.
  4. THE ROLE (3a) Blessed are the poor in spirit
    1. ​​​​​​​What poor in spirit is not...
      1. He doesn’t start with be Self-assertive. Aggressive. Confident. Esteem yourself. No! but poor in spirit. Not those poor in pocketbook, but those who realize their own spiritual poverty.
      2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Luthern Pastor, philosopher, theologian. His opposition of Hiltlerism led to his death by the Gestapo April 9th,1945)
        Dietrich said concerning the disciples, “They have no security, no possessions, no real estate, no earthly society to claim their absolute allegiance, no spiritual power, experience, knowledge, they were unlearned and ignorant, they lost all, everything that could make them rich, they even lost their own selves! They have no other hope but in Him who called them!”
      3. Poor in Spirit is not the attitude of, I’m not worth anything, or I can’t do anything. Nope, that’s False Humility.
        1. Poor in Spirit is the opposite of being prideful in spirit.
        2. King Saul said to Samuel, “...honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.” His pride made him a slave. He was not the King over Israel, Israel was King over him.
        3. Blessed are the poor in pride. Those who aren’t proud of ancestry (Jews then), aren’t proud of social status, aren’t proud of their nobility, aren’t proud of their class.
    2. This beatitude speaks of emptying, while the rest are a manifestation of a fullness.
      1. We can’t be filled unless we’re emptied. Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones said, This one is first because it is obviously the key to all that follows.
    3. What poor in spirit is... (humility)
      1. ​​​​​​​Poor in spirit is the tax collector who dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ Lk.18:13
    4. How we walk with the broken speaks louder than...how we sit with the great.
      1. See its when I realize I don’t have it in me to make it, to be accepted by God. I don’t have it in me to change this thing I see inside of me. I don’t have the love I need. I don’t have the strength I need. I don’t have the faith I need. And I have calculated everything, and you know what, I come out a zero.

        So since nothings here...I better look up to HIM for everything. Jim Cymbala
        1. Oh how happy is that person. Pre-Jesus I idolized Brian but Brian doesn’t make it in himself. That emptying of ourselves is the only way to get into His kingdom. The kingdom is for those who have gotten tired of themselves, have given up on Slide25a themselves and realized...I need to run to Jesus!
        2. So, this speaks to one who realizes their own spiritual poverty and then puts all their trust in God’s ability to supply their spiritual need.
          1. ​​​​​​​It’s being aware of your spiritual poverty & of your need of divine help.
      2. Maybe we can say, Happy are the beggars (sp) because whatever they need their father is going to give it to them.
        1. We are just one beggar, telling another beggar, where to find bread.
      3. Do you want to have everything heaven has?
        1. God says, What! you’ve come to the end of your rope, end of your wealth, end of your health, end of yourself...and you only have ME? :) I’m going to give you everything you need.
          1. You need wisdom, a job, healing, & you’re going to trust Me for it because you’re at the end...Beautiful!
        2. Remember the Israelites in the wilderness...when they went into the land, God said, I’m going to bless you and your land, and your crops are going to be abundant, you’re going to have milk and honey and a lot more...but please don’t forget...I’m the One who gave you everything. Otherwise the very blessings of God will be come a trap. And you will trust in them instead of Me. You’ll lose poverty of spirit.
        3. When you were in the wilderness you didn’t know where to go...and I brought you through the Red Sea. I led you with a cloud by day, fire by night, you had nothing. And I sent you manna every day. Every morning you woke up with nothing, and you depended on Me and look how I took care of you. And now watch it...because as I give you other things, other blessings...they may become a substitute for Me. And instead of trusting Me and having poverty of spirit, you’re going to walk around saying, look at my farm, look at my land. No, you’re going to say, look at my God, look at my Provider.
          1. ​​​​​​​How many want to live their, every day, at the end of themselves?
  5. THE REWARD (3b) For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven
    1. ​​​​​​​This isn’t for salvation...theirs IS the kingdom of heaven. (present tense)
    2. Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven - We’ll reign as kings when we submit as servants.
      1. ​​​​​​​This is the Paradox of the Christian life: We surrender that we might reign.

Verses 4-7

  1. Slide5 Intro:
    1. Last week we looked at the overview of Jesus’ 1st sermon on the mount/hill top (from ch.5-7)
      1. It's not the do attitudes it's the be attitudes.
    1. We looked at the 1st beatitude Blessed are the poor in spirit For theirs is the kingdom of heaven
      1. Or, blessings (a godlike happiness) upon the one who realizes their own spiritual

poverty/emptiness & then puts all their trust in God’s ability to supply their spiritual need.

      1. You must enter the kingdom of heaven...lowly, poor, bankrupt (sp)
        1. If you send a sinner to school, you’ll have an educated sinner.
        1. If you send a sinner to a psychologist, you’ll have a well adjusted sinner.
        1. If you give a sinner money, you’ll have a wealthy sinner.
        1. If you give a sinner religion, you’ll have a religious sinner.
        1. But send a sinner repentant of his sins to the cross, and you'll have a forgiven sinner. [Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to the cross I cling] Rock of Ages
    1. Slide6 The Sermon on the Mount describes the way in which we are free to live when we commit ourselves to the kingship of Jesus.

2

      1. When we realize that in Jesus the kingdom is near to us, we are free to abandon ourselves totally to God’s will, confident that, as we obey, He will act to shape events.
      1. Note: 1st, these are 8 character traits that identify true servanthood. 2nd, these traits open the door to inner happiness.

3rd, attached to each character trait is a corresponding promise.

    1. Slide7 Msg vs.3,4 You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
  1. Slide8 HAPPY ARE THE SAD (4) Title
    1. Blessed are those who mourn - What a strange paradox!
      1. Who wants to congratulate someone because they carry a heavy burden, or an aching heart? What has been your deepest darkest grief?
    1. Blessed are they who mourn someone they’ve lost recently. Blessed are they who mourn a previous marriage. Blessed are they who mourn a wayward son/daughter that hasn’t come back yet. Blessed are they who mourn a dream that is fading quickly.
      1. We need to mourn over the absence of holiness in our lives/world. We need to mourn when we don’t even blush at evil.
    1. Someone said, If you want to know someone’s character, find out what makes him laugh & what makes him weep.
      1. What we laugh at & what we weep over indicates our values of life & values are a part of maturity.

IV. Slide9 BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN (4a)

  1. What is it to Mourn? πενθέω (pen-theh-o) To lament, to grieve, to mourn for the dead.
    1. Slide10 Trench, To grieve w/a grief which so takes possession of the whole being that it cannot be hid.
    1. Kittels, In most instances it is a sorrow which is outwardly expressed in some way. By tears, by laments, or that which is at least associated w/such expressions.

3

    1. Augustine, Mourning is sadness at the loss of things held dear.
      1. When pain is kept inside it poisons the emotional system in the same way an infection spreads thru the bloodstream.
  1. The main thrust of this Beatitude is a supernatural sorrow.
    1. Jesus is talking about repentance of sin. 2 Cor,7:10nlt For the kind of sorrow

God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation.

      1. This is the logical response to the 1st beatitude.
  1. Slide11 When a person sees his spiritual bankruptcy he can respond 1 of 4 ways:
    1. He can deny his sp bankruptcy exists, like the Pharisees, & put up a front.
    1. He can admit his sp bankruptcy & try to change things himself.
    1. He can admit his need & so despair over it that he gives up completely.
      1. eg. Judas, when he saw he was a sinner, committed suicide.
    1. The logical thing is to admit your own spiritual needs & turn to God for what that need is.
      1. A person truly poor in sp will mourn over himself & his sin, & thru this mourning, experience the comfort of God.
  1. Slide12 We must distinguish between regret, remorse, & repentance:
    1. Regret is when my conscience of sin rests only in my mind, Then its’ regret.
    1. Remorse is when it affects my mind & heart, it is remorse. And remorse left here is dangerous.
    1. Repentance is when that concern for my sin brings me to the place where I am willing to turn from it & obey God. When my concern affects my will as well as my mind & heart...then I have experienced true repentance.
    1. Slide13 eg. In the Prodigal Son story, he involved his mind, heart, & will.
      1. His Mind told him his fathers servants were better off than he was.
      1. His Heart made him sick of his situation, I perish w/hunger.
      1. His Will motivated him to arise & go to his Father. (He didn’t stay sitting in the pig pen)
  1. Slide14a MOURN FOR WHAT? Mourn over Sin & Despise it.

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      1. What’s your attitude toward sin? Do you see it the way God does & seek to treat it the way God does?
        1. If you try to cover sin or defend it...you certainly have the wrong attitude.
    1. Slide14b Mourn for Himself in what he HAS DONE
      1. Are you able to say, O, wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death?
      2. Ps.38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
    1. Slide14c Mourn for Himself in what he DOES
      1. Ask yourself, What is it in me that makes me behave like that? Why should I be Irritable? Why should I be bad tempered? Why am I not able to control myself? Why do I harbor that unkind, jealous & envious thought? What is it in me?
        1. Blessed is the man who is not only conscious of his failure, but who grieves over it, who takes it to heart.
        2. Blessed is the man who is so grieved over his moral and spiritual lack that he turns his face towards Him was able to supply his need.
    1. Slide14d Mourn for the sins of OTHERS
      1. Like Jeremiah (Israel's captivity). Jesus (Jerusalem). Paul (churches he ministered to)
      1. Mourn over the wife who left her husband for another. For the man who has bailed on his responsibilities. For your friends child who is so rude to his parents. Mourn over your backslidden friends.
        1. Blessed, therefore, is the believer that shares with Jesus the pain and anguish of a world gone wrong. Blessed is the believer who enters into the fellowship of His suffering. Blessed is he that fills up that which is lacking of the suffering of Christ his own body. Blessed is he who struggles under the weight of a friend’s pain/agony/woe
  1. Slide15 FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED (4b)
    1. One of life’s major mistakes is being the last member in the family to come down w/the flu - after all the sympathy has run out. :)
    1. What type of Comfort? (God’s) - Sorrow that is turned into Joy.
      1. Comfort - comes from 2 Latin words meaning w/strength. To encourage, give strength.

5

    1. Our mourning puts us in touch w/the eternal resources of God, & the result is God’s comfort.
      1. Ps.138:3msgThe moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large w/strength
  1. What 4-Ways do we find Comfort? Through God, the Scriptures, the HS, His people.
    1. Those who enter into the fellowship of Christ suffering do find comfort.
    1. They find it not only later in the by & by, but in the here & now.
    1. They find it in all circumstances, in all situations.
  1. Slide16 Tears are investments in future Joys.
    1. Ps.30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
  1. When we learn how to mourn, we’ll have a deeper understanding of the sinfulness of sin

& the graciousness of God.

  1. Whose mourning leads to Comfort?
    1. Well, everyone whose mourning leads them to Jesus Christ.
    1. Whenever your sorrow, Whenever your burden, whatever your heart ache, if it turns your missteps towards Him, you are sure to find consolation & comfort1
    1. Would you not now exchange your bitterest sorrow for the world’s rarest joy?
  1. Slide17 Robert Louis Stevenson tells of a storm that caught a vessel off a rocky coast and threatened to drive it and its passengers to destruction. In the midst of the terror, one daring man, contrary to orders, went to the deck, made a dangerous passage to the pilot house and saw the steerman, lashed fast at his post of holding the wheel unwaveringly, and inch by inch, turning the ship out, once more, to sea. The pilot saw the watcher and smiled. Then, the daring passenger went below and gave out a note of cheer:

“I have seen the face of the pilot, and he smiled. All is well.”

    1. Have you seen the face of Jesus?
  1. Slide18 Eccl.7:1-4
  1. Your death-day, is better than your birth-day (1)

1

Clovis Chappell, The Sermon on the Mount, pg.27.

6

    1. If you have a good name, your death will be better than your birth “because nothing will be able to hurt your name.”
    1. On the day of your birth you were given a name. On the day of your death, that name will be either putrid or fragrant, depending on how you lived.
      1. You have heard it said, we will all have on our tombstone 2 date’s and a dash in between. It’s the dash that matters.
  1. Funerals are better than Feasts (2)
    1. Solomon not saying let’s go hang out at a funeral home.
      1. He answers why he makes this statement after the word for.
    1. Memorial services usually get everyone’s attention regarding life & death.
      1. But that is helpful…why? It reminds us there is still time to change; time to examine; time to confess; time to forgive; & time to plan ahead.
    1. So Jesus said, Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
  1. Slide19 Sorrow is better than laughter (3,4)
    1. Sorrow can teach us lessons that will not be learned any other way.
    1. (3b) The wizard in The Wizard of Oz says to the Tin Man, "As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart! You don't know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.
      1. We know that quite the opposite is true. It is the fact that hearts are fragile which makes them practical.
    1. In sorrow, If only we can remember these 2 things:

[1] There is a lesson to be learned [2] And a work to be accomplished.

  1. I walked a mile with Pleasure; She chatted all the way; But left me none the wiser For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow, And ne’er a word said she;

But, oh! The things I learned from her, When sorrow walked with me. Robert Browning

Verse 5

  1. Slide8 Intro: The Meek are not Weak
    1. We continue with Jesus’ recipe for happiness...in the beatitudes.
      1. So far we’ve had #1 The poor in spirit are blest, not the proud #2 The comfort Christ promises is for those who 1st mourn over their sins & the sins of others. NOW, He goes on to show that the way of blessing is also through Meekness, not by being haughty, forward, arrogant, or aggressive.
    1. Slide9 I heard about a guy named J. Upton Dickson who started an organization called DOORMATS or Dependent Organization of Really Meek and Timid Souls.
      1. Their motto was The meek shall inherit the earth - if that's OK with everybody.

Their organizations symbol was the yellow traffic light.

2

      1. Slide10 In our society, people associate meekness with weakness. We think they are indecisive, pushovers, cowardly, milquetoast.
      1. Today we don't look upon meekness as a desirable quality. Can you imagine someone listing meekness as an admirable quality on their resume?
      1. Slide11 But contrary to this popular view, Jesus listed meekness as one of the chief qualities for a kingdom citizen. It is a quality He looks for in those who name His name and associate themselves with His kingdom.
    1. We need to be careful that we don’t associate meekness with a certain kind of personality. Moses, Jesus, and Paul were not pushovers.
      1. A person could have a very strong personality and still demonstrate meekness. On the other hand, a person could be very quiet and unassuming and lack meekness.
      1. Meekness in our lives will reveal that our hope & sufficiency is Christ and not ourselves.
  1. Slide12 BLESSED ARE THE MEEK (5a) The Role
    1. Πραυς / Praus - 1 way it was used in secular Gk in Paul’s day was to Tame wild animals.

To calm those that are irritated or excited. TDNT

    1. Meekness is Power under control
      1. Prov.16:32 Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. Thats Power under Control
      2. Prov.25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Thats Power out of Control
        1. Someone said, Temper is such a wonderful thing that it’s a shame to lose it.
          1. Slide13 We temper steel to make it stronger (heat up to higher critical temp, then rapid cool down/quenching, repeat). It’s a long process till it meets the requirements of its maker.
        1. Slide14 Aristotle said, Anyone can become angry, that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way - This is not easy.

3

    1. A lady once told Billy Sunday, There is nothing wrong w/losing my temper. I blow up, then it’s all over with. The Evangelist replied, So does a shotgun, but look at the damage that’s left behind.
  1. Slide15 Meekness is not weakness - Moses coming down off mnt & finding golden calf. Jesus doing a little Spring cleaning in His Father’s temple.
  1. Meekness is the opposite of someone strutting their stuff. It is the opposite of self-assertiveness & self-interest.
    1. Slide16a Bonhoeffer described this meek person, When reproached, they hold there peace. When treated w/violence they endure it patiently. When men drive them from their presence, they yield their ground. They will not go to law to defend their rights, or make a scene when they suffer injustice, nor do they insist on their legal rights. They are determined to leave their rights to God Alone! Their rights are in the will of their Lord.
  1. Slide16b Moses was known as the meekest man in Num.12:3. Interesting, the context was when his older sister & younger brother (Miriam & Aaron) were complaining about him thinking himself to be more important than others (i.e. themselves). He was Meek thru this

whole ordeal.

  1. Jesus - Mt.11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    1. This is Jesus’ only autobiographical description of his temperament/ personality, I am Meek/gentle & Lowly/humble in heart.
    1. Matthew only uses Meek 3 times (Mt.5:5; 11:29(just read) 21:5) All are Jesus words.
      1. The 3rd is, Mt.21:5 Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble/meek, riding on a donkey. The entry of Jesus is that of a non-violent, non-warlike king of Salvation & Peace (which was radically opposite of the Zealots).

(1) Are you meek? Ask yourself, Are you exercising self-Control?

  1. Paul - 2 Cor.10:1 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ - who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.
    1. 1 Thes.2:7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.

4

  1. Slide17a Here’s a 6-fold test of meekness (Wiersbe)
  1. What is our attitude toward the circumstances of life?
    1. The Old Testament Context for Meekness – Psalm 37 [almost identical to Mt.5:5]
      1. Psalm 37 shows us several qualities of meekness: Doesn’t fret over evildoers or envy them. Trusts in the Lord and does good. Delights in the Lord. Commits his/her way to the Lord. Waits patiently for the Lord in the face of the wickedness and scheming of men. Refrains from anger against the evil. Hopes in the Lord.
    1. Meekness is the grace of the Spirit at work in our lives to keep us from angrily seeking revenge or promoting our own cause or harboring resentment toward others. Instead, we trust in the Lord, delight in Him, commit our way to Him, hope in Him, and leave the outcome in His hands. Meekness is about faith and self-restraint.
      1. ILL: A.W. Tozer said, The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything.

That is his motto!

  1. Slide17b What is our attitude toward God’s Word?
    1. James wrote to a group of Christians who were at war w/each other (4:1).

They weren’t receiving God’s word w/Meekness.

    1. Remember how David received God’s word spoken thru his Chaplain Nathan, Thou art the man [David received it as a meek man - no arguing - no excuses - no defending himself. He said, I have sinned against the Lord]
  1. Slide17c What’s our attitude toward one who sins against us?
    1. Gal.6:1 msg If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out.
      1. When you have a Christian brother/sister fall, you have the power to hurt them, but meekness is power under control. You have the power to help them.

5

    1. Restore - To set a broken bone. [A doctor has the power to help or hurt]
      1. It also is in the continuous present tense, suggesting the necessity for patience & perseverance throughout the process.
  1. Slide17d What is our attitude toward division in the Church?
    1. There are people always wanting to take sides & divide God’s people.
    1. A Christian who exercises meekness isn’t interested in taking sides, but in taking time to follow Eph.4:3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
      1. Follow Abraham’s example, Please let there be no strife between you and me...for we are brethren.
  1. Slide17eWhat is our attitude toward people who disagree w/us?
    1. 2 Tim.2:24,25 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.
      1. It is possible to win arguments, & lose friends, & even souls.
      1. Don’t be a Christian that uses a machine gun on full auto...to kill a mosquito.
      1. Even one who opposes the word of God has a better chance of being convinced if we have a meek & gentle spirit.
  1. Slide17f What is our attitude toward the unsaved?
    1. 1 Pet.3:15 if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.
    1. Don’t beat them w/your Bible club.
    1. He told us to be witnesses not Prosecuting Attorneys.
    1. High pressure salesmanship methods to win souls, is power out of Control.
      1. Jesus could have overpowered Nicodemus, or crushed the woman at the well, but instead He patiently led them into the truth of the word of God.

IV. Slide18 FOR THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH (5b) The RewardA. Inherit/posses the world’s goods? No, Jesus possessed little of the world’s goods.

6

    1. Spurgeon said, He has the best of this world who thinks least of it, & least of himself.
    1. Those who now possess it by violence & injustice shall lose it, & those who here have utterly renounced it, who were meek to the point of the cross, shall

rule the new Earth. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  1. Slide19 God does not forsake the earth: He made it, sent His Son to it, & on it He built His Church.
    1. When the Kingdom finally comes, the meek shall possess the earth. The face of the earth will be renewed, & it will belong to the flock of Jesus.
  1. Slide20 Old Testament Roots - Ps.37:10,11 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
    1. Slide21 Possessing the land was important to the Jews. It was the fulfillment of God's blessing promised to Abram. [see 9,11,22,29,34]
    1. This Psalm speaks about the world's way vs. God's way of possessing it:
      1. World’s way is by evil deeds, plotting, power, devious dealings, taking advantage of others.
      1. God's way is to trust Him, delight in Him, commit to Him, wait on Him, live rightly. In other words, to display meekness.
      1. World's plan will end in withering like grass, being cut off, perishing, passing away.
      1. Righteous (meek) will inherit the land, have plenty, be upheld, protected, delivered.
        1. Contrast is clear. Those who humbly trust in the Lord will inherit the land and God's blessing. Those who proudly grasp and do evil will perish.
    1. Future fulfillment - The ultimate inheritance of the land will be realized in a new heaven and a new earth.
      1. The meek don’t have to strive and claw for their Inheritance. As John Piper put it

You don't need the vain pleasures of one-up-manship because God has already made you an heir of the world? Would I feel the need to brag that my house is

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bigger than your house if I knew that my Father owned the city and I was the beneficiary in his will?

  1. Communion:
    1. Bread
    1. Cup

Verse 6

  1. Slide7 Intro: Thirsty Souls & Hungry Hearts
    1. We continue to probe inside of a happy heart to discover what’s there.
      1. So far we saw the poor in spirit are blest not the proud. Next the comfort Christ promises is for those who 1st mourn over their sins & the sins of others. Next, the way of blessing is also through meekness, not by being haughty, arrogant, or aggressive.
    1. In most countries, in the biblical times and now, people are mis-ruled by their governments. Exploitation of the poor and injustice prevail everywhere. Heavy taxes and extortion by government officials make people hunger for righteousness. To console

2themselves they dream of kind Kings and honest officials to replace their harsh rulers.1

  1. Slide8 In Eccl.3:11 Solomon says He(God) has put(planted, nlt) eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
    1. So God has placed in man’s heart this restlessness & longing for Himself.
    1. St. Augustine said, Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it rest in Thee. Restlessness & longing are universal traits of the human heart.
    2. Slide9 The Pulley Poem (George Herbert, from John Piper study)
      1. When God at first made man, Having a glass of blessings standing by - Let us (said He) pour on him all we can; Let the world's riches which dispersed lie, Contract into a span. So strength first made a way; Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure: When almost all was out, God made a stay, Perceiving that, alone, of all His treasure, Rest in the bottom lay. For if I should (said He) Bestow this jewel also on My creature, He would adore My gifts instead of Me, And rest in nature, not the God of Nature: So both should losers be. Yet let Him keep the rest, But keep them with repining restlessness; Let him be rich and weary, that at least If goodness lead him not, yet weariness May toss him to My breast.
    1. Since God planted eternity into man’s heart w/it’s insatiable restlessness & longing...we’ve tried filling it with illegal drugs, sexual exploits, scenic vacations, stunning cinematic productions, everything/anything but HIM. But the longing remains.
      1. Slide10 Isaiah asked, “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink - even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk - it’s all free!

Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good?(Del Taco) Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. Is.55:1-3

  1. Slide11a Our hypothalamus controls our body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep, and circadian rhythms (those 24 hour rhythms of our biological or internal clocks)

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George Lamsa, Gospel Light, pg.27.

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      1. When organisms are thirsty, they have a tendency to seek water. When they find water and drink, they are no longer thirsty, and the thirst drive is reduced.
      1. I believe this scripture is about a drive also.
    1. Slide11b Do you have thirsty souls & hungry hearts this morning? Do you have an insatiable longing for something. A restlessness? Where, the grass seems greener...

wherever you’re not standing. Where, the thrill of lust...just keeps turning to guilt & loneliness. Where, medicating away your pain feels pretty darn good...until you wake up to the reality of this world again. Where, soaking your hurts in alcohol finds a sweet escape...until awaking to find the same messed up relationships still there. Where, your new toy is pretty boring after a few weeks.

      1. Slide12 CS Lewis was right when he said, if I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
      1. Jesus has something to say about this universal experience this inconsolable longing.
  1. Slide13 BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER & THIRST FOR RT (6a)
    1. Nkjv Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
    1. Nlt God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
      1. Justice is treating people equitably, by giving people what they are due.

Punishment to the evil doers, or protection or care to the vulnerable. And living a life of right relationships w/God & fellow man. [combo rt & justice]

    1. Msg You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
    1. Slide14 What does He mean by righteousness? (it comes up 5 x’s in this sermon, 5:6,10,20; 6:1,33)
      1. Slide15 It will help to look at the beatitudes structure. [8 of them, vs11 expands vs10]
      1. Slide16 The 1st & last beatitude (vs.2,10) give the same assurance, for theirs

is the kingdom of heaven.[sandwiched together like 8 jellybeans, inside a plastic easter egg]

      1. Slide17 2 groups of 4. End of the 1st 4 & end of the last 4, close w/a ref to righteousness

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    1. Note with the 1st set we’re told to thirst after it, but in the end they not only have it, but it’s overflowing, they are being persecuted for having it.
      1. The 1st set points to the emptying of ourselves (poor in spirit, mourn over sin, they are meek & don’t retaliate).
      1. The 2nd set points to our filling. This person is overflowing with mercy, purity in heart & isn’t just peaceful but a peacemaker. They are merciful, pure, peacemakers.
      1. This is the righteousness that exceeds the religious leaders, see vs.20.
  1. Slide18 6 things follow vs.20 that define this righteousness that exceeds...
    1. We must not only not kill, but we must not sustain anger (21-26).
    1. We must not only not commit adultery, but we must not look upon another lustfully (27-30).
    1. We must not only not condone divorce just cuz there is legal provision for it in the OT, but we can exceed the righteousness that can make peace w/the hardest of hearts & keep our covenant commitments (31,32).
      1. Like a young lady who has just decided to thirst after righteousness instead of thirsting after retaliation even though her marriage covenant was radically violated.
    1. We must not only keep our oaths, but we need to be the kind of people who don’t need to make oaths in order for people to believe us (33-37).
    1. We must not only not poke out an eye, but turn the other cheek & return good for evil (38-42).
    1. We must not only love our neighbor, but love our enemy & pray for our persecutors (43-48).
      1. So this righteousness is obviously the righteousness that God provides.
    1. Slide19 We are to seek first the kingdom of God & His righteousness. Mt.6:33 or Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need(nlt). or, Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met (msg).
  1. See, the great stories of the future will be written of real men & women who were passionately committed to one thing...the righteousness of God.

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    1. Make it the passion and the hunger and thirst of your life to do great acts of righteousness. Don’t settle for the little halfhearted satisfaction of being a millionaire. John piper
  1. Slide20a Ok, how do I start fresh? Well, it’s never too late to change your diet: Eat & drink righteousness.
    1. We pursue food and drink, day after day, with great regularity and perseverance and strong urges. So, Go after God’s righteousness the same way.
      1. Slide20b Not casually snack after righteousness. Not a lil Rolo-of-Righteousness. Are we snacking or starving for it?
        1. As hunger and thirst are the keenest of our appetites, our Lord, plainly means those whose deepest cravings are after spiritual blessings.
        2. Whats your attitude when you hear about righteousness? (ho hum/yawn)

I wouldn’t mind being a little more righteous today.

  1. Righteousness
    1. This word is not limited, restricted, to the sinners justification before God. Instead it denotes that spiritual & entire conformity to the instructions of God.
      1. Slide21 Jer.23:5,6 Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE

LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

    1. These are righteous people who want, more than anything else, to see the worlds evil (including what is wrong in their own lives) overcome by God’s righteousness.2
      1. Jesus promises these people that God’s righteousness will prevail, and their desire for it will be satisfied.

IV. Slide22 FOR THEY SHALL BE FILLED (6b)A. Filled - to feed, to fill, to satisfy. Also, to fatten, to gorge.

2

Shepherd’s Notes, Matthew, pg.15.

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    1. Is.41:17,18 The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, Their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in desolate heights, And fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, And the dry land springs of water.
  1. Slide23a In Ps.17:13-15 we realize awaking to God’s face is what will satisfy completely.
    1. Arise, O Lord! Stand against them, and bring them to their knees! Rescue me from the wicked with your sword! By the power of your hand, O Lord, destroy those who look to this world for their reward. But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones. May their children have plenty, leaving an inheritance for their descendants. Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.
      1. Our mind will be satisfied w/His Truth. Our heart will be satisfied w/His Love. Our will will be satisfied w/His Authority.
    1. Slide23b We need nothing else. Poem: This life’s a dream, an empty show; But the bright world to which I go. Hath joys substantial & sincere:

When shall I awake, & find me there?

  1. When I awake in Your likeness – God has in mind this goal when He permits you to go through trials.
    1. He goes w/us into the furnace (Shad, Mish, Abednego) so that we may be more like Him when we come out of it.
    2. He wants to make you more like His Son. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Rom.8:29
      1. Don’t wait for your future resurrection, we can be changed/conformed daily through his word & prayer.
      1. God’s purpose is to make His children like His Son…And He will succeed.
    1. So the purpose of prayer is ultimately to accomplish the will of God…(i.e.) for us to become more like Christ.
      1. When pain comes your way, just see it as another blow of the sculptor’s chisel, another knocking away of sin & hard edges from your life, in order for you to be

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made in the image He has in His mind…in His image.

  1. Slide24 John Piper: "If we don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great."

Verse 7

  1. Slide7 Intro: Men of Mercy
    1. Slide8 A South American minnow-like fish is called four eyes because it knows how to make the best of two worlds. The Creator designed its large bulging eyes with an air lens on the upper half and a water lens on the lower half. As it cruises along the surface of the water, it is able to look at the world above and the world below. [believers in Christ must be like this little fish]
      1. As we go through life, we need to look above to heaven and also below to the world around us.
        1. The heavenward look enables us to focus on what God says is true and right, and The earthward look helps us see opportunities to demonstrate Christlike compassion to people who are entangled in sin. Mercy
    1. Slide9 The reference here is to Ps.18:25 With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful
    1. Not that our mercifulness comes absolutely first. On the contrary, our Lord Himself expressly teaches us that God’s method is to awaken in us compassion towards our fellow men by His own exercise of it. So, God rewards those who imitate His goodness and mercy.
      1. Slide10 Spurgeon said, Followers of Jesus Must be men of Mercy; for they have found Mercy, & Mercy has found them.
      1. These famous lines from The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare are true in every way. Mercy always comes down. It starts with God and moves to man, it begins in heaven and ends on earth. You don’t bargain for

2mercy because to make a bargain you’ve got to have something to offer, and we have nothing to offer God.

        1. A ragamuffin knows he’s only a beggar at the door of God’s mercy.
  1. Slide11 MERCY DEFINED
    1. This is similar to, Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
    1. Mercy is connected with those who may be easily ignored...the crippled, the sick, the deformed, or the aged.
    1. Merciful embraces the characteristics of being generous, forgiving others, having compassion for the suffering, and providing healing of every kind.
    1. The blessing lies not only in doing a merciful act, but in being merciful in disposition.1
      1. It's better to give others a piece of your heart than a piece of your mind.
    1. Slide12 Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
      1. Mercy & Grace are actually forms of nonjustice, but they are not acts of injustice.
      2. Mercy is always Voluntary [If its is obligated, then its justice, not mercy]
    1. Mercy is the outward manifestation of Pity.

IV. Slide13 MERCY LIVED OUT

  1. Mercy is one of the special bridges God has built so that He can relate to you & me. And Mercy is a bridge you & I must build if we are going to relate lovingly to others.
    1. Slide14 Mercy was 1st shown to Lot, his wife & daughters, as the angels led them by hand out of the city before destruction.
      1. Gen.19:16 And while he lingered (Sodom & Gomorrah), the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
    1. Abraham to Lot - He could have let Lot get his just do & left him in Sodom, when the kings attacked.

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Spurgeon Quote

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  1. Slide15 Joseph to his bro’s - He had them under his mighty power down in Egypt
  1. Slide16 David to Saul - Twice had the power to kill Saul, but showed his real power by showing Mercy.
    1. What about YOU? Ok, your right & they’re wrong. What are you going to do? Show your power to retaliate or show your power to show mercy?
    1. Saul reigned in malice & hatred, David reigned in love & mercy. Matter of fact, when Saul was killed, David sang a song of Lamentation w/no mention of Saul’s hatred. 2 Sam.1:17-27. Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights. How the mighty have fallen.
  1. Slide17 Jesus to the Woman caught in Adultery (Jn.8)
    1. 1st taught how not to deal w/it. Find the sinner, expose the sinner, & use the sinner to accomplish your own selfish acts.
    1. Jesus in one fell swoop annihilated this egotistical approach in vs.7 He who is w/o sin among you, let him throw a stone at her 1st.
    1. How did He deal with it? (vs.11) He didn’t deny the fact she sinned. (He knew she was a sinner, she knew she was also) But mercy & truth met together that morning, & the result was a forgiven sinner.
        1. Ps.85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
      1. Think of what that cost Jesus to say those words in vs.11, neither do I condemn you; go & sin no more. Think of the suffering He would endure on the cross to make that cleansing possible.
        1. There can be no mercy w/o suffering, no pardon w/o pain.
  1. Slide18,19 MERCY’S CHAIN
    1. Pain - The Mercy chain starts when someone hurts us unjustly (whether phys. or emotionally). We must respond to this hurt.
    1. Power - If you have no power, then you can only give in; but if you have the power to retaliate then you must decide what to do. [so, you cannot show mercy, unless you have the power to hurt]

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  1. Truth - Suppose the person deserves it. You feel you must teach them a lesson. You have the power to hurt them back...but should you use it?
  1. Love - Now, Love enters the picture, not to cancel truth, but to control it.
  1. Faith - Because of God’s love, we don’t give to the offender what he deserves.
    1. This demands Faith; we must leave the offender & his offense in the hands of God.
  1. Growth - What’s the result of this painful experience? Growth. [we share in the fellowship of His sufferings & become more like Him]
    1. Lesson: Use your power for growth not retaliation. When you show mercy you are practicing one of God’s attributes.

VI. Slide20,21 IF NO MERCY, THEN WHAT?

  1. Tell the story of the unforgiving servant in Mt.18:21-35
  1. He didn’t show mercy so he found himself in prison, because he wouldn’t forgive a friend
    1. This might be the most miserable prison we will find ourselves in, the prison of unforgiveness...the prison of no mercy.
    1. Where our thoughts become shackled, our emotions are chained, & our will is almost paralyzed.
    1. When we do show mercy all the bonds are broken. We enter into a joyful liberty which is one way to receive mercy as we show mercy.

VII.Slide22 MERCIES PROMISE

  1. Be sure you’ll always be opportunities to show Mercy. We never grow out of this privilege. Put on Jesus’ merciful eyes.
    1. Mercy in the abstract means nothing. It must be incarnate in human flesh.
    1. The world cannot see mercy apart from the people who experience & share it...We are those people!!!!
  1. Slide23 Micah 7:18,19 Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.

5VIII.Slide24 SHOULD WE ALWAYS SHOW MERCY?

  1. God's will is that sometimes we repay people with what they deserve, whether punishment or reward (i.e.justice). And God's will is that sometimes we repay people with better than what they deserve (mercy).
    1. In upholding the claims of justice, we bear witness to the truth that God is a God of justice. And in showing mercy we bear witness to the truth that God is a God of mercy.
      1. A biblical parent will usually follow the wisdom that sparing the rod spoils the child (Prov.13:24; Eph.6:4). But there will be times when a child's fault will be forgiven w/o punishment to teach the meaning of mercy & woo the child to Christ.
      1. A biblical judge will usually be scrupulously just by impartially sentencing criminals according to the grievousness of their crimes (Rom.13:4). But there will be times when he will dispense clemency for some greater good.

IX. Slide25 HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN TO SHOW ONE OR THE OTHER?

  1. I would answer, by getting as close to Jesus as you possibly can.
    1. I know of no hard and fast rules in Scripture to dictate for every situation, and I don't think this is an accident.
      1. The aim of Scripture is to produce a certain kind of person, not provide and exhaustive list of rules for every situation.
    1. Slide26a The beatitude says, Blessed are the merciful, not, Blessed are those who know exactly when and how to show mercy in all circumstances.
      1. Slide26b We must be merciful people even when we act with severity in the service of justice.
  1. So should a merciful person always show mercy? is a qualified no.
    1. No, you will often support the claims of justice and recompense a person the way he deserves, in order to bear witness to the truth of God's justice and to accomplish a greater good for greater numbers of people.
    1. But it is a qualified no because if you are a merciful person, then even the way you spank a child or prosecute a criminal or dismiss an employee will be different. The mercy will show. The parent may cry. The attorney may visit the

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criminal and his family. The employer may pay for remedial training.

Slide26c The heart of mercy will show.

  1. Maybe the Christian community can show mercy on Starbuck’s w/their Red Cups?

Remembering, It is not Starbuck’s job to share the love of Jesus. It’s our job. Ed Stezer

Verse 8

  1. Slide7 Intro: Pure Hearts See God
    1. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
      1. Slide8a Msg You’re blessed when you get your inside world, your mind and heart, put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
      1. The converse of this beatitude is in Heb.12:14, Pursue (peace with all people, and) holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.
    1. Slide8b It’s not enough to clean up your life on the outside...What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy - full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
      1. I think we forget that Jesus wasn’t/isn’t after a society that has no acts of adultery, & no acts of murder. Yet so often that seems to be what Christians

2are after politically. A more moral society. Jesus said, its way deeper than just not committing adultery or murder, its a matter of the heart.

      1. Jesus’ aim is not to reform the manners of society, but to change the hearts of sinners like you and me. That changes a society...literally from the inside out.
  1. Slide9 BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART (8a)
    1. Slide10,11 Heart? - kardIA. The Heart is the Inner Man w/his many functions.
      1. The Heart has emotions, let not your heart be troubled. Jn.14:1
      1. The Heart refers also to the intellect, Why reason these things in your heart?
      1. The Heart also refers to the will, But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.
        1. The Heart is the Master Control area of life. Solomon said, Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
      1. The heart, the center of the inner life of the person where all the spiritual forces & functions have their origin. TDNT
        1. The heart is what you are in the secrecy of your thoughts & feelings.
        1. What you are at the invisible root matters as much to God as what you are at the visible branch. John Piper
      1. So Jesus didn’t come into this world to help us reform some bad habits, but to purify dirty hearts. Not to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive. To swap His rightness for our wrongness.
    1. Slide12a Pure - katharOs, clean & undefiled/unmixed.
      1. Clean: We get an English medical term from katharOs...
        1. A doctor uses a cathartic, which stimulates evacuation of the bowels; a purgative or laxative.
        2. A Psychiatrist uses catharsis on the emotional level to cleanse the patient of hostilities & other destructive attitudes. [or crying is a cathartic release]
        3. There is also a spiritual catharsis, a cleansing of the inner man.
      1. Slide12b Undefiled/unmixed: the 2nd meaning refers to straight, undiluted, consistent, homogeneous, plain, pure, unadulterated.

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      1. Examples: Milk w/o water added. Gold w/the dross removed. Wheat w/the chaff

removed. The basic idea is integrity, singleness of heart, as opposed to: duplicity, a double heart, or a divided heart.

      1. In the OT we heard the contrasts between ritual suitability or unsuitability before God, or the states of being either holy and profane. Which allowed or denied someone access to God in the OT.
    1. Jesus’ original audience would have made no distinction between having a heart pure from sin (in general) & a heart free from ritual impurity (in particular)
  1. Slide13 When God cleanses the sinner he does more than wash away sin, He puts w/in him a New Heart that wants to focus wholly on Him.
    1. Jer.32:38,39 They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.

IV. Slide14 FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD (8b)

  1. Well, the opposite of seeing God would be spiritual blindness.
  1. See God - Likely an allusion to the temple entrance liturgy of Psalm 24. (esp.3-6)
    1. Choir would sing v.1,2. A voice would respond with v.3. Then another voice would answer with v.4.
    1. Slide15 vs.3Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His

holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol(to what is false), Nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.

  1. Note: clean hands (rt actions) & pure hearts (rt attitudes). Or purity of conduct/character.
  1. Clean hands – that’s the outward life.
    1. What monarch would have servant’s w/filthy hands to wait at His table?
    1. 2 questions: How to get them clean? How to keep them clean?

(1) Wash them in the basin of Jesus’ blood. Then, keep washing them.

  1. Pure heart - that’s the inward life.

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      1. Slide16 God brings the hands & the heart together because...We do what we do because we are what we are.
      1. True religion is heart-work. Dirt in the heart throws dust in the eyes.
    1. Slide17 James 4:8 Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
      1. Double-minded is when we try to be a friend w/the world & a friend of Jesus. 4:4
      1. It’s a women in love with 2 men...it doesn’t work.
      1. Purity of heart is when we give our full & total allegiance to God.

It’s when we love God with all our heart. Not with part. Not w/a double or divided heart. It’s a heart with no deception. No double-mindedness. No divided allegiance.

  1. Slide18a To see God is to be admitted into His presence.
    1. eg. In the same way that you call to see your doctor. You don’t mean you want to see him/her from a distance, or see a picture of them, you mean you want an appointment to be with them. To see God is to be admitted into His presence.
  1. Slide18b To see God is to be awestruck by His glory.
    1. Job said, I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, & I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance. 42:5,6
    1. Our spiritual sight in this life is mediated to us through the Word of God or the work of God in providence. We see images and reflections of his glory. We hear echoes and reverberations of his voice.
    1. But there will come a day when God Himself will dwell among us. His glory will no longer be inferred from lightning and mountains and roaring seas and constellations of stars. Instead our experience of him will be direct. His glory will be the very light in which we move (Rev.21:23) and the beauty of his holiness will be tasted directly like honey on the tongue. Piper
  1. Slide19a Eventually we know we will see His Face [Rev.22:4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads]. Yet Jesus is promising us the vision of God here & now.

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    1. It’s the Principle, we See what we Love. And If what we Love is God, we will live in a world thats filled w/God.
      1. Ex: David did - Read Ps.29:3-10
      1. Jesus did - He saw God’s providence in the fall of a sparrow. He saw the generosity of God in the beauty of a lily. He saw in a farmer sowing his seeds the Word of God planted in mans heart.
    1. God’s Fingerprints/Footprints are clearly seen by the saint who has a pure heart.
  1. Slide19b Seeing God thru the eyes of the Heart is not a momentary thing; it is constant & growing
    1. Winston Churchill, To build may have to be the slow & laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.
      1. Moses built that relationship w/God, before he asked to see His glory.
  1. Slide19c Lastly, When you start to see God, you also start to see what God see’s.
    1. You see yourself in the light of God’s Glory
      1. Job 42:5,6 I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, & I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.
    1. You see others in a new light
      1. The Scribes & Pharisees saw tax collectors & sinners as rebels; Jesus saw them as lost coins, lost sheep, & lost sons.
    1. The Eyes see what the Heart Loves. If the heart loves God & is single in this devotion, then the eyes will see God.

Verse 9

  1. Slide7 Intro: Pure Hearts See God
    1. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
      1. Slide8a Msg You’re blessed when you get your inside world, your mind and heart, put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
      1. The converse of this beatitude is in Heb.12:14, Pursue (peace with all people, and) holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.
    1. Slide8b It’s not enough to clean up your life on the outside...What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy - full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
      1. I think we forget that Jesus wasn’t/isn’t after a society that has no acts of adultery, & no acts of murder. Yet so often that seems to be what Christians

2are after politically. A more moral society. Jesus said, its way deeper than just not committing adultery or murder, its a matter of the heart.

      1. Jesus’ aim is not to reform the manners of society, but to change the hearts of sinners like you and me. That changes a society...literally from the inside out.
  1. Slide9 BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART (8a)
    1. Slide10,11 Heart? - kardIA. The Heart is the Inner Man w/his many functions.
      1. The Heart has emotions, let not your heart be troubled. Jn.14:1
      1. The Heart refers also to the intellect, Why reason these things in your heart?
      1. The Heart also refers to the will, But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.
        1. The Heart is the Master Control area of life. Solomon said, Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
      1. The heart, the center of the inner life of the person where all the spiritual forces & functions have their origin. TDNT
        1. The heart is what you are in the secrecy of your thoughts & feelings.
        1. What you are at the invisible root matters as much to God as what you are at the visible branch. John Piper
      1. So Jesus didn’t come into this world to help us reform some bad habits, but to purify dirty hearts. Not to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive. To swap His rightness for our wrongness.
    1. Slide12a Pure - katharOs, clean & undefiled/unmixed.
      1. Clean: We get an English medical term from katharOs...
        1. A doctor uses a cathartic, which stimulates evacuation of the bowels; a purgative or laxative.
        2. A Psychiatrist uses catharsis on the emotional level to cleanse the patient of hostilities & other destructive attitudes. [or crying is a cathartic release]
        3. There is also a spiritual catharsis, a cleansing of the inner man.
      1. Slide12b Undefiled/unmixed: the 2nd meaning refers to straight, undiluted, consistent, homogeneous, plain, pure, unadulterated.

3

      1. Examples: Milk w/o water added. Gold w/the dross removed. Wheat w/the chaff

removed. The basic idea is integrity, singleness of heart, as opposed to: duplicity, a double heart, or a divided heart.

      1. In the OT we heard the contrasts between ritual suitability or unsuitability before God, or the states of being either holy and profane. Which allowed or denied someone access to God in the OT.
    1. Jesus’ original audience would have made no distinction between having a heart pure from sin (in general) & a heart free from ritual impurity (in particular)
  1. Slide13 When God cleanses the sinner he does more than wash away sin, He puts w/in him a New Heart that wants to focus wholly on Him.
    1. Jer.32:38,39 They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.

IV. Slide14 FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD (8b)

  1. Well, the opposite of seeing God would be spiritual blindness.
  1. See God - Likely an allusion to the temple entrance liturgy of Psalm 24. (esp.3-6)
    1. Choir would sing v.1,2. A voice would respond with v.3. Then another voice would answer with v.4.
    1. Slide15 vs.3Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His

holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol(to what is false), Nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.

  1. Note: clean hands (rt actions) & pure hearts (rt attitudes). Or purity of conduct/character.
  1. Clean hands – that’s the outward life.
    1. What monarch would have servant’s w/filthy hands to wait at His table?
    1. 2 questions: How to get them clean? How to keep them clean?

(1) Wash them in the basin of Jesus’ blood. Then, keep washing them.

  1. Pure heart - that’s the inward life.

4

      1. Slide16 God brings the hands & the heart together because...We do what we do because we are what we are.
      1. True religion is heart-work. Dirt in the heart throws dust in the eyes.
    1. Slide17 James 4:8 Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
      1. Double-minded is when we try to be a friend w/the world & a friend of Jesus. 4:4
      1. It’s a women in love with 2 men...it doesn’t work.
      1. Purity of heart is when we give our full & total allegiance to God.

It’s when we love God with all our heart. Not with part. Not w/a double or divided heart. It’s a heart with no deception. No double-mindedness. No divided allegiance.

  1. Slide18a To see God is to be admitted into His presence.
    1. eg. In the same way that you call to see your doctor. You don’t mean you want to see him/her from a distance, or see a picture of them, you mean you want an appointment to be with them. To see God is to be admitted into His presence.
  1. Slide18b To see God is to be awestruck by His glory.
    1. Job said, I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, & I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance. 42:5,6
    1. Our spiritual sight in this life is mediated to us through the Word of God or the work of God in providence. We see images and reflections of his glory. We hear echoes and reverberations of his voice.
    1. But there will come a day when God Himself will dwell among us. His glory will no longer be inferred from lightning and mountains and roaring seas and constellations of stars. Instead our experience of him will be direct. His glory will be the very light in which we move (Rev.21:23) and the beauty of his holiness will be tasted directly like honey on the tongue. Piper
  1. Slide19a Eventually we know we will see His Face [Rev.22:4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads]. Yet Jesus is promising us the vision of God here & now.

5

    1. It’s the Principle, we See what we Love. And If what we Love is God, we will live in a world thats filled w/God.
      1. Ex: David did - Read Ps.29:3-10
      1. Jesus did - He saw God’s providence in the fall of a sparrow. He saw the generosity of God in the beauty of a lily. He saw in a farmer sowing his seeds the Word of God planted in mans heart.
    1. God’s Fingerprints/Footprints are clearly seen by the saint who has a pure heart.
  1. Slide19b Seeing God thru the eyes of the Heart is not a momentary thing; it is constant & growing
    1. Winston Churchill, To build may have to be the slow & laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.
      1. Moses built that relationship w/God, before he asked to see His glory.
  1. Slide19c Lastly, When you start to see God, you also start to see what God see’s.
    1. You see yourself in the light of God’s Glory
      1. Job 42:5,6 I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, & I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.
    1. You see others in a new light
      1. The Scribes & Pharisees saw tax collectors & sinners as rebels; Jesus saw them as lost coins, lost sheep, & lost sons.
    1. The Eyes see what the Heart Loves. If the heart loves God & is single in this devotion, then the eyes will see God.

Verses 10-12

  1. Slide6 Intro: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
    1. (msg) “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. “Not only that - count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens - give a cheer, even! - for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
    1. Slide7a Since the beginning of time...man has dealt w/religious persecution:
      1. The 1st boy named in scripture (Cain) slew his brother over a religious matter.
      1. Slide7b 2 Tim.3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
        1. This seems to be based on the nature of Christianity & the nature of the sinfulness of man.
        2. There is a tension between the message and way of life of Christians on the one hand and the mindset and way of life of the world on the other that conflict is inevitable.
        1. This conviction is rooted in the nature of fallen man and the nature of the new creation in Christ.

2

        1. Sooner or later a deeply God-centered Christian will be mistreated for the things he believes or the life he lives.
      1. Slide8 J.C.Macauley said, If the world had nothing better than a cross for Jesus, it will not have a royal carriage for His followers.
    1. Slide9-12 Relevant for today? Show Stats
      1. Let’s admit...We live in the Disneyland of the world, but most don’t.
    1. Lets look at 3 areas of Persecution: Reasons for Persecution. Responses to Persecution. Rewards of Persecution.

III. Slide13 REASONS FOR PERSECUTION

    1. We must distinguish between Persecution & Punishment.
      1. We are punished by good men for doing evil, and...we are persecuted by bad men for doing good.
        1. Illustration: As a new believer, at Dal Rae Restaurant/Pico Rivera, Richard went into Catholic Church yelled out how evil they were from the back, & got kicked out. We were persecuted for righteousness sake! - No, I think it was for stupidity sake.

(1) We are to suffer for the sake of goodness, not for the guilt of wrongness.

    1. Jesus names 2 Reasons For Persection: For Righteousness Sake & For His Sake.
    1. Slide14 For Righteousness Sake (vs.10)
      1. We will be persecuted for upholding God’s standard of justice, truth, & goodness
      1. It is the result of believer’s daring to live the beatitudes.
      1. The root of righteousness is to divide, to be different.
        1. Jn. 15:19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
        1. If Jesus caused division while on earth & we seek to be like him, then no doubt we will produce the same results. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.Jn15:20
      1. True righteousness as defined in vs.20 always involves a relationship with Jesus. So, true righteousness is not done for its own sake. It is done for

Jesus' sake...

3

    1. So, right living or daring to live the beatitudes will be persecuted or reviled or at least be spoken against & ridiculed.
      1. Slide15 If you stand for abstinence before marriage, your life will be an attack on people hooking up before marriage.
      2. If you embrace sober living, your life will be a statement against a party lifestyle.
      1. If you pursue self control, your life will indict excess eating, excess hoarding, & excess living.
      2. If you live simply & happily, you will show the folly of luxury & overabundance.
      1. If you walk humbly w/your God, you will expose the evil of pride.
      1. If you walk diligent & honest in your dealings, you will lay open the inferiority of laziness & negligence.
      2. If you speak with compassion, you will turn callousness on its head.
      1. If you show empathy, you will lay bare apathy.
      1. If you are spiritually minded, you will expose the worldly-mindedness of those around you.

(1) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.

  1. Slide16 For Jesus Sake (vs.11) My sake
    1. We are also persecuted for His Name Sake.
      1. Jesus told them, they will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. Jn.15:21
    1. We are persecuted by the world because they don’t know God nor His Son.
      1. This Ignorance always breeds Suspicion, & Suspicion breeds Fear, & whatever a person Fears...he Attacks.
    1. Phil.1:29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.
    1. Persecution is when your seeking to do his will & honor His name, & as a result you suffer.
    1. So, the 2 reasons for persecutions is because of Right Living & For His Name.

IV. Slide17 RESPONSES FOR PERSECUTION

4

  1. We must Respond to it, Not React to it.
    1. We need to be prepared w/the rigth attitude of mind. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise w/the same mind. 1Pet.4:1
  1. Jesus gives 3 proper responses: We Reign, Rejoice, & Release Love
    1. Slide18Our 1st Response is to Reign(Mt.5:10) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
      1. The believer reigns in the midst of persecution (act like a king)
      1. The more Saul persecuted David...the more David reigned in life thru faith in God.
        1. David knew he was the rightful king, so he acted like a King.
      1. When you know your a king, it is beneath your dignity to retaliate, because that only makes you like other people.
    1. Slide19 Our 2nd Response is to Rejoice (5:12) Rejoice & be Exceedingly glad
      1. Yea right! What a shocking piece of counsel. We’re belittled, mocked, or even tortured or killed. HOW do we rejoice & be exceedingly glad?
      1. The disciples did when they were persecuted. Acts 5:40,41 when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
      1. What can justify this counsel to people in pain? Rejoice & be Exceedingly glad
        1. I see two possibilities: either this is the talk of an insensitive, sophomoric, ivory tower theologian who has never known what it is to scream with pain, or this is the talk of One who has seen something and tasted something and knows something about a reality that most people have never tasted or glimpsed. John Piper
        1. Jesus can say it because he knows beyond any shadow of a doubt that the reward of heaven will more than compensate for any suffering we must endure in the service of Christ.
          1. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
          1. There is a mystery here...the mystery of joy in the midst of agony; the mystery of gladness in the midst of misery and groaning. And this mystery

5is contained in a miracle, namely, the miracle of faith - the bedrock assurance that heaven is a 100-fold compensation for every pain.

            1. To the degree that...you believe what Jesus sees in heaven.
        1. Slide20 It’s what gave Bishop Ridley, Rowland Taylor & John Bradford the

impulse to kiss the stakes at which they were burned [Zach Taylor 12 pres/Lady Bird Johnson, liz Taylor]

        1. Slide21 It’s what moved Obadiah Holmes, after 90 lashes that turned his back to jelly for Jesus, to say to the magistrates, “You have struck me with roses.”
        2. Slide22 It’s why Thomas Hardcastle said that persecution is "a precious season of grace"? [Bloody Mary/Queen Eng]
        3. Read - Jesus Freaks opening, pg.17. [17yr old, Rachel Scott’s story at Columbine HS] Rachel’s Challenge
      1. Slide23 Our 3rd Response is to Release Love (5:44 read)
        1. This is the result of reigning & rejoicing.
        1. Love -not shallow sentiment. It is a settled attitude of the mind & heart that leads to definite actions of the will.
          1. Simply, we should treat our enemies the way God has treated us.
          1. We shouldn’t pray for fire from heaven to Consume our enemies, but pray the Spirits fire to Convert our enemies.
  1. Slide24 REWARDS FOR PERSECUTION
    1. One reward is named in vs.10, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
      1. Not entering it, but enjoying it...now. Right here & now we can live like Kings.
    1. Another Reward is our identification w/Christ & the Prophets vs.12.
      1. What a Holy Band of Saints to belong to.
      1. Here were believers of whom the world was not worthy. Heb.11:38
    1. Today we can enter into the riches of the kingdom & the Fellowship of the Martyrs; but there is also a Future Reward, for great is your reward in heaven.
      1. Never minimize the present power of a future reward. (It is encouragement)
      1. Slide25 Rom.8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

6

    1. Heb.11:26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
    1. 2 Cor.4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
      1. It is easy for the comfortable saint to despise promised rewards; but let him go into the fires & he might change his mind.
  1. Slide26 Someone said, Life on earth is the womb of eternity.
    1. We don't remember anything in the womb.
    1. But think of this world compared to that watery-world. We would never have known bacon & coffee, walking barefoot in sand at the beach, or seeing the blue of the sky, or experiencing love & relationships.
    1. So, what will the next world be like? Nothing compared to this one.
      1. Never minimize the present power of a future reward.
  1. Slide27 Jesus wills for his disciples to desire the reward of heaven more than we desire the reward of the world. Jesus wills for us to have our treasure in heaven not on earth. Jesus wills for your heart to be so set on heaven that to leave this earth is a cause of rejoicing. Jesus wills for us to have our hearts primarily in heaven, our hopes primarily in heaven, our longings primarily in heaven, our joy primarily in heaven.
    1. How shall we rejoice and be glad when these things are taken from us if we have not loved heaven more?
  1. END
  1. It is difficult to believe that man would persecute people who are: Humble, Meek, are Seeking after Righteousness, are Merciful, & are trying to make Peace, but they do.
  1. This world welcomes a compromising Christian, but it hates the Christian who does the will of God.
  1. Slide28 Consider the children of John Rogers. He was burned alive because of his faith in Christ. His wife and children, being 11 in number, and 10 able to go, & 1 at her breast, met him by the way as he went towards Smithfield. His children called out encouragements to him through their tears that he might be strong and not turn back and dishonor Christ.

7

  1. Rev.2:10 (msg) Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer - but stay on guard! Fear nothing! The Devil is about to throw you in jail for a time of testing 10 days. It won’t last forever. Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown, sized and ready for you.
  1. Look to the prophets. Look to the disciples. Look to the martyrs. Whatever you must do, get your heart in heaven & eyes off the world.
  1. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

Jim Elliot

Verse 13

  1. Slide3a Intro: White Gold aka salt
    1. Slide3b You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out & trampled underfoot by men.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

    1. Slide4-6 Jesus uses 2 important elements in their day (salt & light) to paint a picture of what it is to be a faithful christian witness. Remember, the Beatitudes are impossible to live out in private, they are powerfully social & outward.
    1. Jesus didn’t tell us we should Be salt & light. He tells us we Are salt & light (ie. believers)
      1. Eph.5:8, For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
      1. We cannot CHANGE what we are, but we can WASTE what we are.
        1. The Salt can lose its saltiness, & the Light can be dimmed. [not salv issue, Witness issue]
    1. Salt & Light balance each other
      1. Salt is hidden...it works secretly & slowly.
      1. Light is seen...it works openly & quickly.
        1. As salt you’ll convict unbelievers, as light you’ll show them good works of love.
        1. Salt must make contact...Light must be seen.
        1. Salt is symbolic of the believer’s inward character.

While light is symbolic of the believer’s outward testimony.

    1. Slide7 So Jesus speaks this truth forth from the land of Salt. (Dead Sea Facts)
      1. Even today, Israeli companies generate around $3 billion annually from the

sale of Dead Sea minerals (primarily potash & bromine).

      1. Salt in the Dead Sea is 10 times higher than our oceans salinity.

2

      1. Its tremendous reserve is estimated at 22 thousand million tons of magnesium chloride, 12 thousand million tons of common salt, 6 thousand million tons of calcium chloride, two thousand million tons of potassium chloride, and one thousand million tons of magnesium bromide.
      1. It was one of the world's first health resorts for Herod The Great (Masada winter home)
    1. Slide8 Today we’ll take salt the 1st of the 2 metaphors...next week we’ll take light.

[Christmas theme this year: Kelly’s, Jesus brings light to the night. Gilbert/Johnny Anne’s The Glorious Light of God. My Loves Pure Light]

      1. (msg) Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
  1. Slide9 SALTS VALUE
    1. Salt/light are commodities that we take for granted, but in bible x’s they were greatly valued
    1. Slide10 Salts uses and values?
      1. Salt is an essential element in the diets of human, animals and even plants. Not only does it flavor our food, but it aids in digestion.
      2. Salt can’t be destroyed by fire or time.
      1. The oceans contain 50 million billion tons of salt.
      1. It was used by ancient Egyptians to preserve mummies.
      1. In China in 2700 BC, Peng-Tzoa-Kan-Mu wrote a treatise about salt. He discovered that there were (at that time) more than 40 different kinds of salt [14,000 uses now!] and that there were 2 methods of extracting salt: Sea water is evaporated, and rock salt is mined.
      1. Salt served as money at various times and places. We get the phrase not worth his salt from Ancient Greek practice of buying slaves in exchange for salt.
        1. Roman soldiers were given Salarium Argentum or salt rations. Where we get our word salary. [why superstitions developed about it being bad luck to spill your salt]
      1. When Leonardo da Vinci painted the last supper, he put an overturned salt cellar in front of Judas.

3

  1. More wars have been fought over salt than gold.
  1. Thousands of Napoleons’ troops died during his retreat from Moscow because they didn’t have enough salt to treat their wounds.
  1. In the US, during the Civil War, Northern Armies cut off the supply of salt to Confederate troops by encamping near salt deposits near New Orleans.
  1. There are 30 references to salt in the Bible.
  1. It was used to destroy (fields) in Judges 9:45.
  1. It was for covenant making in Numb.18:19.
  1. Job gives my life verse, Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? 6:6a
  1. Lots wife looked back as Sodom was being destroyed and was turned into a pillar of salt.

16.When Elijah sweetened the waters at Jericho he cast salt into them to demonstrate the purifying power of salt.17. All sacrifices be salted before they were offered to God. Lev.2:13 18.Newborn babies were rubbed with salt. Read Ezek.16:419.A grain of salt placed in a tooth cavity was the usual remedy for a toothache.

  1. There was no refrigeration in those days, meat and fish were packed in salt to draw blood and moisture from them.
    1. So when Jesus said, You are the salt of the earth, He was saying that, you as His follower have Value. You are Important to God. You possess something that the rest of the world needs for life.

IV. Slide11 LOSING OUR TASTE or desalination [like Carlsbad plant, 50 mill. gallons a day]

  1. Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? Mark 9:50
    1. Salt is good only as long as it contains the characteristics of saltiness.
    1. What do you do with gum that loses its taste? (it goes rt under your chair)
    1. When a thing loses its essential quality, & fails to perform its essential duty, it is fit for nothing but to be thrown away.
  1. Salt/tang (a sharp strong taste) the quality of discipleship - Risk was of insipidity (dull, bland, w/ o flavor).

4

      1. The Christian by his courage, his hope, his cheerfulness, & his kindness, brings a new flavor into life.
        1. If Christianity was an Ice Cream flavor what flavor would yours be? Vanilla? Rocky Road? (B/J hazed & confused, Phish food, coffee coffee buzz buzz, save our swirled)
    1. He is looking for those with salty character who will help Him influence this decaying world.
    1. His point is to show that disciples who fail to live a kingdom lifestyle are akin to something tasteless or devoid of light - undesirable and of no value.
    1. Slide12,13 Salt a.k.a. Sodium Chloride - Sodium is an extremely active element found naturally only in combined form; it always links itself to another element.
      1. Chlorine on the other hand, is the poisonous gas that gives bleach it offensive odor. When sodium and chlorine are combined, the result is sodium chloride - common table salt - the substance we use to preserve meat and bring out its flavor.
        1. In forming the bond, sodium becomes a positively charged ion, by giving up its valence electron to chlorine, which then becomes a negatively charged ion.
        1. For Sodium to become Sodium-Chloride it must give part of itself up.
  1. Slide14 OUR WORLD IS DECAYING
    1. The world is decaying & is in darkness so God sends us into the world as salt & light.
      1. You & I are the antidote for its corruption.
    1. History is not an account of Evolution, w/man climbing higher & higher...It is a sad tale of Devolution, w/man falling lower.
    1. When things decay, they fall apart.
      1. When a living creature dies, it can no longer support its cell structure, so the body begins to decompose - it falls apart.
      1. We are seeing Society fall apart: Marriages, Families, Law & Order. The Basic Institutions of society are on the Extinction list.
        1. Slide15a We don’t own culture, and we don’t rule it. We serve it...with brokenhearted joy and longsuffering mercy, for the good of man and the glory of Jesus Christ.

5

    1. Being Christian in present day American culture does not end our influence; but it should take the swagger strut/stride out of it.
      1. We shouldn’t get cranky that our country has been taken away. We shouldn’t whine about the triumphs of evil. We shouldn’t get hardened with anger. We understand. This is not new. This was the way it was in the beginning: Antioch, Corinth, Athens, Rome. The Empire was not just degenerate, it was deadly. For 3 explosive centuries Christians paid for their Christ-exalting joy with blood. Many still do. More will, even as we read last week. [It was time for influence...as it is now]
  1. Slide15b Christian, we need to be a preserving influence in a decaying world.

VI. Slide16 DEALING WITH DECAY

  1. The fact the world is Decaying should not encourage the Christian to isolate & insulate himself, nor to stand on the sidelines & wait for the great collapse.
    1. Look at this Contrast - Jonah sat outside the city & hoped that judgment would fall, whereas Jesus looked upon the city & wept over it because judgment was inevitable.
    1. Sometimes we as Christians not only hate Sin, but we seem to hate Sinners.
    1. Joseph in Egypt & Daniel in Babylon both acted as Divine Salt in the midst of a corrupt society, & God used them.
  1. If the world is as corrupt as it is w/Christians present in it, what will civilization be like when the Christians are gone?
    1. Ex: Remember Sodom & Gomorrah when the last bel.’s were taken out?
    1. One day God will judge this present world system, but He must call His own out of it before that judgment can fall.
  1. Meanwhile - our responsibility is to exert all the power we can to prevent decay, & to win people to Christ.

VII.Slide17 SALT SEASONS/FLAVORS WHATEVER IT TOUCHES

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  1. I love salt on my steak, when I put it down, I don’t say "That was great salt." No, I say,

"That was great steak." Why? Because the job of the salt is not to make you think how great the salt is, but how great the thing is with which it has come in contact with.

    1. (msg) Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.
  1. Salt is different than the food you put it on. Thus, if salt became just like the food, it wouldn’t be useful or used.
    1. If we as Christians become just like the world, and loose our positive influence, we’ll loose our usefulness.
      1. The world is a better place because of the presence of Christians, whether the world admits it or not. [spiritually/point way to salv. & Physically: hospitals & schools, generosity]
  1. Slide18 But if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (pic: bad salt)
    1. Back in Jesus’ day they didn’t have the technology we have to refine salt, so it doesn’t lose its taste.
    1. In fact it was difficult for them to tell the difference between the salt and the sand on the shores of the sea. What they called salt was really a mixture of sand and salt - sometimes more salt than sand.
    1. Slide19 When it was more sand than salt, it had lost its flavor and therefore wasn’t good for anything but to be thrown out.
      1. Likewise if we, as believers become self-centered & start becoming no different from the world. We’re mixing His love salt with our sand of selfishness.
  1. This world lives in spiritual dehydration. So we are to create a thirst for them to know...

who God is.VIII.Slide20 SALT MAKES PEOPLE THIRSTY

  1. Its been said, You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Actually you can if you rub his tongue w/salt.

1. How do we create a thirst for them to know...who God is!

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  1. If we are the salt of the earth than people will see in us what they are seeking for themselves & will want to take hold of it.
    1. The Pharisees repelled the publicans & sinners, Jesus attracted them.
      1. Jesus made them Thirsty for His very own private water supply.
    1. The more we are like Him, the more sinners will be attracted by our life & witness as we are the salt of the earth.
  1. Each one of us believers individually are God’s Salt to a Thirsty world.
  1. Slide21 Col.4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
    1. I take this to mean that what we say about Christ and about the Christian life should be made as appetizing as possible. When food is not salted, its taste is bland. People don't want to eat it. It's unappetizing. Our speech is not supposed to be like that.
    1. How can you develop the ability to speak about Christ so that there is an appetizing flavor to it? How do you learn to talk about Christ in a way that makes people's mouth water? I think the answer is simply remind yourself daily why the gospel tastes good to you. Why do you enjoy Christ.
      1. Prepare to be an advertisement for the satisfying taste of Jesus by enjoying him yourself. Every day we should go to the Bible and look for reasons why knowing Christ is the greatest thing in the world. It’s making our hearts happy in him.
  1. Slide22 The salt of the earth does not mock rotting meat. Where it can, it saves and seasons. And where it can’t, it weeps. And the light of the world does not withdraw, saying good riddance to godless darkness. It labors to illuminate...just not dominate.
  1. I just hope you don’t take this sermon with a grain of salt...but take it with all seriousness. May each of us in our character...be found worth our salt.

Verses 14-16

  1. Slide5 Intro: You Are God’s Light The value of light is illumination
    1. Slide6 Last week we took You are the Salt of the earth. But I have one more incredible picture to show you from the famous Salt Artist Rob Ferrel.
      1. This week You are the light of the world. And I thought this would be apropos for our text this morning. Slide7 :)
      1. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. NIV TY Jen
    1. Slide8 The Protestant Reformers cried, Post tenebras lux (After darkness, light) - to signal and celebrate the release of the gospel of grace.
      1. No longer would they labor in the gloom of performance-based salvation.
      1. No more anxious hopes that merit would accrue.
      1. Now they shone self-forgetfully, as do new creations in Christ.
    1. Slide9 Jesus did not speak these words to the philosophical intelligentsia gathered on Mars Hill in Athens. Neither was He addressing the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem nor the

Senate in Rome, though they would have surely considered themselves the light of the world.

      1. No, He preached this Sermon on the Mount to ordinary folks gathered near the shore of Galilee. They were undistinguished in intellect, power, & wealth.

They were, however, distinguished in the way that counts - they were enthralled by Jesus. [And Jesus didn’t wait to give them this title till they had 3 yrs of teaching, but at the very beg of ministry]

    1. Us & them (believers & unbelievers).
      1. Not, this group is better or more important, than that group.
      1. But, Jesus was saying I AM different, thus my people are different & distinct.

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    1. Problem in the 2nd verse of the bible/Gen1:2 Darkness. Solution, next verse, Let there be light.

III. Slide10 YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (14a)

    1. You is emphatic. The bible always seems to give us Identity before behavior...You are...
      1. A light bulb that has power running to it doesn’t try to shine...it just shines.
        1. Not by effort...it just burns.
    1. Slide11 Light is electromagnetic radiation w/in a certain portion of the electromagnetic

spectrum. [Pink Floyd Album, Dark Side of the Moon]

      1. By light we are usually referring to visible light, which is visible to the human eye and is responsible for the sense of sight.
      1. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range between

the infrared (with longer wavelengths red) and the ultraviolet (w/shorter wavelengths blue).

    1. Slide12a Light - φς phos - where we get photo, photograph.
      1. Jesus is saying, you are My image/photo/exposure of Me to our world.
        1. Slide12b Photography: a picture made in which an image is focused onto light-sensitive material & then made visible and permanent by chemical treatment, or stored digitally.
    1. Light is described as a form of energy it is always moving. “When light energy ceases to move, because it has been absorbed by matter, it is no longer light”.
      1. Slide13 Here in this diagram, a beam of light is depicted traveling between the

Earth and the Moon in the time it takes a light pulse to move between them: 1.255 seconds at their surface-to-surface distance. The relative sizes and separation of the Earth–Moon system are shown to scale.

      1. Lights of the world we should be always moving.
    1. What a Compliment - This is a distinctive title which our Lord appropriates to Himself.
      1. Slide14 Jn 8:12 I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
      1. Jn 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
      1. Jn 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. vs.9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

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    1. Jn 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    1. Slide15 It was a title that seemed to be unsuitable even to the highest of all the

prophets (Jn1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light)

      1. It must be applied here by our Lord to His disciples only as they shine with His light upon the world.
      2. Nor are Christians anywhere else so called. As if to avoid the august title which the Master has appropriated to Himself.
    1. Oh Christians are said to shine - not as lights (phos) as our translators render it, but as (phosteres) luminaries in the world (Php 2:15 that you may become blameless & harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world)
    1. And John the Baptist is said to have been the burning and shining (not light, as in our translation) but lamp of his day (Jn 5:35 He(Jn) was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light).
      1. Slide16,17 Jesus said, He was the light of the world...and now He says WE ARE!!!
  1. It Is Nothing for us to Boast in - because it is not our light.
    1. It is even still His light given to us when we get to heaven. Rev.22:5 (last mention)

They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.

      1. Illust: Jesus is the Sun. We are the Moon. We only reflect light.
      1. Slide18 Lunar Eclipse. What casts darkness upon the moon, is the earth getting in between the Moon & the Sun. It’s when we let the world get in between us & Jesus.

IV. Slide19 DON’T HIDE YOUR LIGHT (14b,15)

  1. Again the context (just like the salt losing its savor), A lamp put under a basket has nothing to do w/losing your salvation, the context is your witness (that they may see your good works).
  1. Slide20 NOT UNDER A BASKET
  1. Hide it under a bushel...NO! - Reveal who you are. Reflect Whom you see.
    1. Why are we often tempted to hide our light, rather than let it shine? [fear, embarrassment, shame, awkwardness, being self-conscious, shy, inhibited]

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  1. If it was covered, the flame would be extinguished, & it would be no good to those around it. And, it would make us a basket case :)
    1. Light is to be seen: There is no such thing as a secret Christian. We need to be a light at all times. - A lamp that is hidden provides no benefit.
  1. Only we can hide our lights
    1. Science has proved that light can’t be put out by darkness; and Christian History has proved that our light can’t be put out by those of darkness.
      1. The more the light is threatened, the brighter her blaze.
      1. Jn.1:5 (J.B.Phillips Trans) The light still shines in the darkness & the darkness has never put it out.
  1. Slide21 The Value of Light is Illumination.
  1. Slide22 A CITY SET ON A HILL
  1. It’s not for us to lie or hide in concealment. God intends His grace and His gospel to be conspicuous. Built & set up on the mountains brow.
  1. Jewish tradition considered Israel & Jerusalem(as well as God & the law) the light of the world
    1. The city here may be speaking of Jerusalem; or it may be any elevated city at night, whose lights would make it visible to the surrounding countryside.
  1. Slide23 A LAMP ON A LAMP-STAND
  1. In order for a biblical lamp to give light...the lamp had to use itself up (i.e. the oil).
    1. Be refreshed often with more oil...a fresh filling of the HS.
      1. You can’t give out unless you’ve received.
    1. Warren Wiersbe said, unless the wick of witness is fed by the oil of the H.S., the light will go out.
  1. Here is the hard part...exposing/revealing your light in your house. It gives light to all who are in the house. [even your dog should know you are a Christian]
    1. He has lit us & set us on a candle stick.
  1. Slide24 Functions of Light
  1. To Expose darkness: Light exposes & reveals Darkness [You & I are light revealers & darkness exposers]

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      1. Our lives expose the darkness of ignorance & sin in our world.
      1. Darkness is expelled as soon as you turn on the lights. People are not aware of the darkness they live in if they don’t see the light.
      1. The question is does my life help people see more clearly?
    • Slide25 Paul tells us...Eph.5:8-14 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
    1. Slide26 To serves as a guide:
      1. I remember years ago I went up in a small plane out of Winchester airport with a friend, just to cruise around. I remember flying over Hemet at night. My friend said watch this...he hit his intercom mic twice & it lit up an airport I couldn’t even see was there. Airport runways helps planes see their runway by the lights. We are guides to people who are in darkness.
    1. Yea but what can one lil Light do in such a dark world?
      1. When the world was its darkest (the flood) God called 1 man, Noah.
      1. When human history was at its darkest, after the flood, God called 1 man, Abraham.
      1. When Israel was at its darkest day down in Egypt, God called 1 man, Moses.

V. Slide27,28 SHINE B4 MEN (16)

    1. THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS
    1. 3 x’s the possessive word your. [your light - your good works - your father in heaven]
    1. 3 places Light of the world, Light to all in your house, Light so shine before men.
      1. It’s allowing God’s light to be on full display in your life.

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  1. Our light shines not so much that people may see the light as that they may see other things because of the light.
  1. Our light shines not that people will be attracted to us but to the light Jesus Christ.
    1. We are to dispel darkness. Arise; shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be see upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isa. 60:1-3)
  1. Slide29 We are not called to save the world, we are simply called to shine on men. Revealing to them the truth concerning human life, the possibilities of human life, & the principles that underlie human life. It’s showing them what life may be.
  1. Acts 17:27 so that they(mankind) should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope (i.e. in darkness) for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
    1. Grope was used once in Homer’s Odyssey, when the hero Odysseus blinds the Cyclops, and the poor monster is left to grope around. [only few other x’s in all Gk lit]
    1. What an interesting picture the Holy Spirit gave to the Athenians.
      1. They were searching for God, but like a blinded Cyclops, they were groping around in the dark for him.
      1. In the gospel, the Athenians had the opportunity for real sight.
  1. Slide30 THAT THEY MAY GLORIFY YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN
  1. Shine & dispel the darkness with loving service.
    1. Make your influence as a Christian felt in the world.
  1. Don’t feel you have to put a Jesus fish on your good works.
    1. Don’t worry/spaz if someone pays you a compliment. You don’t have to say,

It wasn’t me watching your kids, it was the Holy Spirit??? (then it’s all awkward)

    1. They’ll recognize your works are from a different source, diff origin, diff quality.
      1. He is the source of our good works. He’ll take care of it.
  1. Father - how Jesus commonly refers to God; it indicates their relationship & God’s authority

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    1. The Fatherhood of Yahweh was a commonly held view throughout Israel’s history before and after the time of Christ. But here, Jesus extends this metaphor to members of the kingdom (see especially v. 45).
  1. (Msg) You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
  1. Has the light of Jesus turned on in your soul?
    1. Have you ever seen windows that haven’t been washed in years?

Maybe that’s a accurate picture of your soul. Do you feel dull in your soul? Allow Jesus to place His light inside you today.

Verses 27-32

  1. Slide5 Intro: Pandemic [from Greek pandēmos from pan all + dēmos people] adultery/divorce/lust
    1. A Rabbinical saying, “The eye and the heart are two brokers of sin.”
    1. Since, hatred of the heart is murder...then, lust of the heart is adultery.
      1. 1st Jesus dealt w/the sanctity of Life. Now He deals w/the Sanctity of Marriage
      1. He moves from the 6th now to the 7th commandment.
    1. Anger & Lust are 2 very powerful things, they both really reach down & touch the core of our being.
      1. And from the disciples sitting in front of Jesus on the wild grass of Galilee’s hillside to each of us sitting on gray chairs today...none of us can fit yourself into His kingdom. Jesus set the standard far too high. (we must come thru HIS Rt)
      1. Jesus has a more exacting standard for His followers than what the Jewish Law demands.
    1. Again, Jesus deals with the present day misconceptions, misinterpretations, & bad rabbinical explanations.
    1. Slide6 True story...in 1631, Baker & Lukas published a Bible in England now called the Wicked Bible, because the little word not was omitted in the 7th commandment, “Thou shall commit adultery”. The printers were heavily fined by the High Commission & the whole edition destroyed. [Today it it would probably become a best seller]

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    1. I read, 1 in 6 couples met online this last year. 1 in 5 blame divorce on FB.
      1. I say that only to point out that today we have even more challenges to face on the topic of marriage, lust, divorce & remarriage.
  1. Slide7 ADULTERY/LUST (27-30)
    1. THE 7th COMMANDMENT (27)
    1. Adultery - is a consensual sexual relationship between one or more married persons with someone other than their spouse.
      1. It is not enough simply to refrain from the act of adultery. Lust, too, is sinful & is the beginning point for actually committing adultery.
    1. THE INTENT (28)
    1. Lust - To have sexual desires or urges toward a person who is not one’s spouse.
      1. Thoughts as well as actions constitute sin. Jesus focuses on the source of the problem by dealing with sin where it starts: the mind.
    1. Slide8a Divine Law not only refers to the act of a sin, but even to the very desire, imagination, or passion of it.
    1. Jesus says mental adultery is sin.
      1. Not Looking at a woman (for we must do this daily), but to look w/lust at her.
    1. Slide8b If the Act is wrong, so is the Intention.
    1. Jesus again touches vice at the fountain-head, & forbids uncleanness in the heart.
      1. If sin were not allowed in the mind, it would never be manifest in the body.
    1. Slide8c What sign hangs on your minds-door?
      1. “Open for business”. “Come one come all”. “Vacancy”. Do you have a welcome-matt in front of your minds-door? Or, Does your sign say, “Closed”. “No Trespassing”. “Keep out”.
      2. Couples: Are you as faithful to your spouse w/your mind as w/your body?
      1. Singles: Do you use...well if I was married, this temptation wouldn’t be as great, as an excuse?
    1. While desire is not as dangerous an action, it is just as damaging to righteousness.

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    1. Left unchecked, wrong desires will result in wrong actions & turn you away from God.
  1. Slide8d Lust is: The craving for salt of a man who is dying of thirst (only makes u more thirsty)
    1. Slide9 Lust is like the Leach in Prov.30:15, that has 2 daughters, Give, Give.
      1. Four things are personified as never satisfied: the grave wants to take in more of the dead. The barren womb longs to give birth to a child. The land always wants water. And fire wants to continue to consume.
        1. Death and fire are destructive, and the womb and water are life-giving.
        1. Greed always wants more.
      1. Leeches are incredible animals. Leech has 32 brains. They can survive loss of 9/10 of their body weight and exposure to heavy chemicals. Although leech pierces skin and sucks a huge amount of blood, process is not painful at all. Leech produces anesthetic which reduces the pain and allows undisturbed extraction of blood.
      1. A leach can consume 3 times its body weight. It can get 16” long. It also has 2 sucking disks at each end. [Lust is similar, it never gets satisfied]
    1. If we give sin reign, you will find your self controlled, rather than “in control.”
  1. Slide10 Jobs view on lust - Job 31:9-12, also 1.
    1. 9 If my heart has been seduced by a woman, or if I have lusted for my neighbor’s wife, 10 then let my wife serve another man; let other men sleep with her. 11 For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. 12 It is a fire that burns all the way to hell. It would wipe out everything I own. vs.1 I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.
  1. Slide11a WHAT TO DO? (29,30)
  1. If your right eye/hand causes you to sin...
    1. Causes = σκανδαλίζω is the bait stick in a trap, that springs the trap.
  • This is the call for radical action to prevent and eradicate sin.
    1. He was speaking hyperbole and shouldn’t be taken literally.
    1. He maintains that we should be cautious concerning the avoidance of sin, making every effort to remain pure.

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  1. Literal?
  1. Slide11b Origen (185-254) an outstanding church father, was so convicted of his own

sinfulness by reading these verses that he made himself castrated (too which later he said...opps!)

  1. Whats the problem of a literal right eye removal? You still have a left eye. And if you removed that one too? As a blind man from our church a long time ago shared with me...

a blind man can still lust in his heart.

  1. So then, whats Jesus saying?
  1. Examine your life for anything that causes you to sin & take necessary action to remove it
    1. Nothing, no matter how precious it seems to us at the moment, should be allowed to doom our glorious destiny.
  1. Slide11c Sin must not be pampered, it must be put to death.
    1. Col.3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
  1. Dillydallying is definitely Deadly.
    1. Deal with that sin today. The obscene websites - delete them. The flirty relationships - break them. The sinful habits - shake them into the fire.
    1. Make that decision right here at church, don’t wait till later. Come up with a game plan (I need to tell someone. I need help. Accountability. A group to be apart of).
    2. In the fight against sin you must fight against it, not shadow box.
  1. When you have made your eye the instrument of impurity, you cannot see God w/it.
    1. Picture making a clear glass of water mirky...then trying to look through it.
  1. To be cast into Hell/Gehenna is too great a risk to run, merely to indulge the evil eye of lust or curiosity.
    1. Slide11d Better a blind saint than a quick-sighted sinner.
  1. Spurgeon prayed, Lord, I love thee better than my eyes & hands: let me never delay for a moment to the giving up of all for Thee.
    1. How do I love Jesus more than my eyes & hands?

IV. Slide12 DIVORCE/EXCEPTION (31,32)

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  1. Slide13a DIVORCE CERTIFICATES (31)
  1. Let’s remember a man could divorce his wife, but a wife could not divorce her husband back in Moses’ day.
    1. To give some protection to wives, the Law required a husband to provide the wife he was divorcing with a certificate of divorce. Deut.24
  1. Slide13b 2 Rabbis Divorce views: [Jesus’ life overlapped both. Shammai died 30ad. Hillel 10ad]
    1. Shammai - Conservative (Sexual Immorality only).
    1. Hillel - Liberal (The requirement for divorce was simply say to your wife 3 times, “I Divorce you.”) clicking heels was optional.
      1. If this was true today many would already be divorced the way threats of divorce are thrown around so much.
      1. With this hasty divorce going on in Moses day, he insisted on a Writing of Divorcement so that angry passions might have time to cool.
        1. It in theory is similar to California’s 6 month cooling off period for divorce
  1. Slide13c EXCEPTION CLAUSE (32)
  1. Except for her infidelity - Not, a 100 reasons to divorce.
  1. Jesus seems to indicate that sexual infidelity is an acceptable reason for divorce; all other reasons render subsequent marriages adulterous. (biblical divorce vs. non-biblical divorce)
    1. Slide13d Actually, there is 1 more in 1 Cor.7:15 that Paul gives, we call it the abandonment clause. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. (thus free if no longer in bondage)
  1. If God’s word has given you the permission, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

But also even as the Word gives general permission, stop & ask for specific permission, your own personal green light through prayer.

  1. Slide14a God hates divorce. Malachi 2:16 For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence.
    1. Of course He does. Who doesn’t? It destroys families, individuals, children...no matter their age.

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      1. Divorcees hate the embarrassment. They hate the stigma. They hate feeling that they failed the marriage. They hate the loneliness. They hate putting their friends or family members in the place of having to choose sides.

(1) Slide14b But it doesn’t say, I hate the divorced!

      1. We should be happy He hates divorce, otherwise we’d have been divorced from Him long ago.
      1. He hates drunkenness, He hates lewdness, He hates them for what they produce. i.e. ruined lives, loss of faithfulness, collapse of hopes.
  1. Malachi is a prophet speaking w/absolute clarity the divine displeasure when divorce has become run-of-the-mill routine in a declining society.
  1. A divorce reform movement took place in the early 1970s in Great Britain and the US. The movement was initiated by a group, assembled by the archbishop of Canterbury, who proposed a single, no-fault (blame is assigned to neither party) ground that required a judge to grant divorce if he or she finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
    1. The notion of irretrievable breakdown was promoted in the U.S. by the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act.
    2. Slide14c States offering no-fault divorce in 1957: 1

States offering no-fault divorce in 1995: 501

      1. What this country needs is more, no-fault marriages.
  1. Let’s clear up one thing: Pollster Louis Harris has written, "The idea that half of American marriages are doomed is one of the most specious pieces of statistical nonsense ever perpetuated in modern times." It all began when the Census Bureau noted that during one year, there were 2.4 million marriages and 1.2 million divorces. Someone did the math without calculating the 54 million marriages already in existence, and presto, a ridiculous but quotable statistic was born. Harris concludes, "Only 1 out of 8 marriages will end in divorce. In any single year, only about 2 percent of existing marriages will break up."2
    1. Slide15a Those who live together before marriage, separate and divorce in significantly greater numbers than those who go directly to the altar.

  1. USA Today (1/25/96). "To Verify," Leadership.

  2. J. Allan Petersen in Better Families. "To Verify," Leadership.

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  1. Cover one’s garment with violence – As we use a wedding ring, ancient Israel used their garment to cover whom they would marry (i.e. Boaz w/Ruth).
    1. If they divorced, instead of having a garment that symbolized love, it would symbolize violence.
  1. Slide15b My Thoughts:
    1. As we tackle this subject it is not my desire to pick at scabs. I understand the sheer numbers of those who have been, or are right now being affected by divorce.
    1. At age 27 when I took over the church, I knew everything...now at age 54

I know I no longer do. Meaning, the individual situations of divorce/remarriage are complex, involved, & some are like untying the legendary Gordian knot.

      1. I know, God hates divorce & God permits divorce in certain cases.
      1. I know then, He deems some biblical divorce & some unbiblical divorces.
      1. I believe, that just dwelling at the same address isn’t the answer if the problems aren’t being dealt with.
      1. I believe, those of us who officiate weddings (bigger in our day than our CM pastors) have a high accountability to whom we marry (don’t take that lightly if you are asked to officiate someone’s wedding ceremony).
      1. I believe, divorce is so high because we have forgotten how to leave our parents, cleave to our wives & understand the importance of intimacy of oneness, in our day & age.
      1. I believe, we can miss the whole point here if we are comfortable keeping our marriages in tact w/o keeping our lust at bay.
  1. Slide16 Statistics from a video from rescuefreedom.org.
    1. 85% of young men & nearly half of young women watch porn on a reg basis.
    1. When you click on a image, even a free image of pornography, "your fantasy...is that girls nightmare."
    1. You don't know what she's been through, what she was promised, or how she was trapped into doing it. You only see her smiling and looking like she's enjoying everything.

8

    1. Pornography is integral to human trafficking and prostitution.
      1. In 9 countries almost half (49%) said that pornography was made of them while they were in prostitution.
    1. This generation fights sex trafficking more than anyone ever has...More than anyone ever has, this generation consumes porn.
      1. Fighting human trafficking and then watching porn is like protesting a corrupt politician and then donating to his campaign.
    1. You can come and view at your pleasure, but she is stuck in this life because you click.
      1. Each click. Each link. Each URL visit & play button is the currency of porn. This is the price of her life.
    1. The $100 billion pornography industry is fueling the appetite for children as well
      1. Teenage girls now make up the biggest slice of viewable porn, which by definition is considered trafficking.
    1. The demand for porn fuels the trafficking industry and you can take away that demand. You can cut the cord on this machine. You can bankrupt the system. You can empty the pimps pocket. You can free Anna by simply refusing to click. [Rescuefreedom.org]
  • Slide17 Marriage & sexual immorality are both serious business w/God.
    1. Heb.13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
    1. We shouldn’t even hint at sexual immorality. Eph.5:3niv But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Verses 33-48

  1. Slide7 Intro: Spiritual Germination
    1. These are not absolute commands but illustrations of loving one’s enemies and dealing with others as one would desire to be dealt with.
      1. They are stark and concrete examples of the general principles of non-retaliation, impartiality, generosity, and graciousness.
      1. The examples are radical and thus intended to shock the audience to consider the radical nature of Jesus’ ethic.
        1. They were not intended to be applied unthinkingly. Each rule is balanced by other scriptural commands.
      1. eg. Eph.5:24 Wives subject to their husbands in Everything. What about if asked to lie or murder? Balance is in Col.3:18 (same context)...as is fitting in the Lord.
  1. Slide8 MY WORD IS MY BOND (33-37) Integrity, not oaths
    1. Swearing Oaths to affirm that what is said is true.
      1. Slide9 (Spurg) A bad man cannot be believed on his oath, & a good man speaks the truth without an oath.
    1. What about in court? Yes, an oath in court is ok. Jesus was placed under oath.
      1. Mt.26:63,64 I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God. Yes, it is as you say.
    1. What is an Oath? Bonhoeffer defined it as...appeal made to God in public, calling upon Him to witness a statement made in connection w/an event or fact, past, present, or future.

2

  1. Slide10 Moses said regarding performing oaths, When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. Num. 30:2
  1. Slide11 By letting your Yes be Yes & your No be No this is a reminder that every word we utter is spoken in His presence, & not only those words which are accompanied by an oath.
    1. One who always speaks truth & nothing but the truth there is no need of an oath
    1. Practice truthful transparency & absolute integrity rather than swearing oaths or taking vows.
  1. Jesus taught that our conversation should be so honest, & our character so true, that we would not need to use an oath to persuade people to believe us.
    1. Words depend on character & oaths cannot compensate for a poor character.
      1. Prov.10:19 says, In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
    1. The more words a man uses to convince us, the more suspicious we should be

IV. Slide12 NON-RESISTANCE (38-42) Going the Xtra Mile

  1. (38) The Law of an Eye for an Eye, as administered in the proper courts of Law, was founded in justice, & worked far more equitably than the more modern system of fines; for that method allows rich men to offend w/comparative impunity. (slap on the wrist)
  1. Slide13 This Lex Talionis (law of retaliation) is from Ex.21:23-25 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.(context, woman w/child hurt men were fighting)
    1. This law kept people from taking the law into their own hands.
    1. Martin Luther King, Jr. later used this phrase in the context of racial violence:

"The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.”

  1. (39) Jesus replaces this law w/an attitude. Be willing to suffer loss yourself rather than cause another to suffer.
    1. Our 1st reaction is to react. To get even. Plan vengeance.
    1. While the rights of the innocent were protected by the Law, the righteous need not necessarily claim their rights.

3

      1. Instead of retaliating he would do the opposite, and would also commit his case to the Lord who will one day set all things in order.
      1. Slide14 Peter gave a great example of this in Jesus, who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. 1 Pet.1:23
  1. Non-Resistance & Forbearance are to be the general rule among Christians (every-time? ok no). They are to endure personal ill-usage w/o coming to blows.
    1. They are to be the anvils when bad men are the hammers, & thus they are to overcome by patient forgiveness.
    1. Yet, how many regard this as fanatical, utopian, & even cowardly?
      1. The Lord would have us to bear & forbear, & conquer by mighty patience.
    1. Can we do it? How are we thus the servants of Christ if we have not this spirit?
      1. But this isn’t Natural. Exactly...it’s Supernatural!!! It is such an unnatural response that obeying it proves we belong to God.
  1. Turning the cheek actually puts one in control.
    1. Slide15 Ghandi read this verse & put it into practice. He inspired a whole nation to turn the other cheek & it blew the British away. What can you do if somebody doesn’t fight back? Eventually, the British got on their ships & went home.
    1. Slide16a Cheek Turning involves faith to stand & not run. Love to endure. And it also means we’ll have to suffer hurt.
      1. It is the strong man who can love & suffer hurt. It is the weak man who thinks only of himself & hurts others to protect himself.
  1. Slide16b (40) Better lose a suit of clothes than be drawn into a suit of law.
  1. (41) The Roman soldiers could demand from them service.
  1. (42) Be generous - A miser is no follower of Jesus!
    1. Discretion is to be used in our giving; lest we encourage idleness & beggary; but the general rule is, give to him who asks you.
      1. Sometimes a loan may be more useful than a gift.

4

      1. Our spirit is to be one of readiness to help the needy by gift or loan, & we are not likely to err by excess in this direction. :)
  1. Slide17 BEYOND NON-RESISTANCE (43-47) Love Does
    1. Slide18a hate your enemy - This is a parasite to God’s word (like head lice). It is nowhere in OT
      1. The verse is Lev.19:18 Do not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
      1. Slide18b It was a rabbinical inference towards outsiders which Jesus repudiates bluntly. [backstory: they considered their neighbor as only a fellow Israelite or a proselyte/Gentile convert; not Samaritans, not Gentiles]
      1. Jesus here destroys the distinction between neighbor & enemy all together. Jesus is the 1st to draw these commands together...love of God & love of neighbor into a beautiful symbiotic relationship. [sum/together - biosis/living]
      1. The OT also taught the love of enemy Prov.25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. Also Ex.23:4,5 If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, & you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it.
      1. Slide18c/d In Jesus’ time their question wasn’t how to treat a neighbor but instead who is my neighbor? Insert Good Samaritan Story here (Lk.10).
    1. (44) NIV omits parts (not in Nestle-Aland text) they believed is was inserted from Lk.6:27,28. Either way it’s Inspired because it is there in Luke’s account.
    1. We are not to merely cease to hate, & then abide in a cold neutrality; but we love where hatred seemed inevitable.
      1. Slide19 Here love is used 1st time in Sermon on the Mount. And it sums up the whole of the Sermon.
      1. The only way to overcome our enemy is by loving them.
    1. Jesus Defines our enemies as: Those who curse us, hate us, & exploit us selfishly.
      1. Since Christian Love is an act of the will & not simply an emotion, He has the right to command us to love our enemies.

5

  1. How do we show this Love? by blessing those, by doing good, by praying for.
    1. Slide20 When we Pray for our enemies we find it easier to love them. It takes the poison out of our attitudes.
      1. Jesus is calling us not just to do good things for our enemy, like greeting them and helping supply their needs; he is also calling us to WANT their best, and to express those wants in prayers when the enemy is nowhere around. Our hearts should want their salvation and want their presence in heaven and want their eternal happiness. So we pray like the apostle Paul for the Jewish people, many of whom made life very hard for Paul, My heart's desire & prayer to God is for their salvation. John Piper
    1. What if they don’t respond rightly to this? (uhh...bless them, do good to them, pray for them)
  1. Slide21 Remember that Love asks nothing in return, but seeks those who need it.
    1. Who needs love more than the one who is consumed w/hatred for us.
    1. Who in other words deserves our love more than our enemy?
    1. Where is love more glorified than where she dwells in the midst of her enemies

(Bonhoeffer)

  1. But this isn’t Natural. Exactly...it’s Supernatural!!! [Note: This is a good marriage counseling vs.]
  1. (45) Jesus lists reasons for this admonition.
    1. It is Godlike (45)
      1. The Father shares good things w/those who oppose Him.

Love is like the sunshine & rain that the Father sends so graciously.

    1. It is a Testimony to others (46,47)
      1. Even a dog will salute a dog. (Spurg)
      1. Slide22 What do you do more than others...is a good question...to the whole subject of christian love. Ask yourself the question.
        1. God expects us to live on a much higher plane than most people of the world, who return good for evil, & evil for good.
        2. As Christians we must return good for evil as an investment of Love.
    1. Love is a mark of maturity (48)
      1. This proves we are sons of our Father who does the same.

6b) Rom.5:8 While we were still sinners (His enemies) He died for us.VI. Slide23 MATURATION (48) [Maturation - the action or process of maturing]

  1. Perfect ≠ sinlessly perfect. (yet that is our goal)
  1. Slide24 Teleios = Totality, whole, w/o blemish. Fully developed. Mature in mental & moral character. Full development, growth into maturity of godliness.
    1. We spiritually don’t grow all at once, as we don’t physically.
      1. 1st we’re a baby, then child, then young adult, then adults. Be adults. Be grown up. Be Mature in these areas discussed.
  1. It’s moving from ignorance (baby stage), to self centeredness (child stage), to God & other centeredness (young adult). to intentionality & strategy (parent stage).
  1. Slide25 Maturity to me is when a person moves from church & their christianity being all about them. Them enjoying the service, appreciating the worship song selection, getting ministered to, being fed, them getting. Maturity moves to them giving.
    1. Them identifying their gifts to be used for the edifying of others. Them doing

their all to make sure others are getting something out of the service (eg. nurseryhelper, so parents can here message w/o distraction). Them giving of their time, talent, &treasures. Them connecting to God & others & not waiting for someone to connect them. Them self-feeding & not waiting to get fed. Them moving from just doing to being.

  1. Them deciding their yes means yes & no means no. Them turning cheeks, them suffering themselves to be defrauded, them going the 2nd mile, them giving or loaning to those in need. Them loving enemies & not just friends.

Them blessing, doing good, & praying for not so nice people. Them showing love & greeting even evil men/women. Maturity’s mark is emblazoned upon one who is growing & not remaining stagnant in their faith life.

  1. It is moving from being needy, from seeing all what I can get, to noticing that there are others whom I can serve.
  1. The final and real act of maturity is when one comes alongside to disciple someone, helping them to learn how to form there life around Jesus.

7

Love like Jesus. Minister grace to all people like Jesus. They are then parenting new believers. They are mature disciples.

Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Matthew 5". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/matthew-5.html. 2017.