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Sermon on the Mount lessons 1-5 SS

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·         Lesson 1

·         The Sermon on the Mount     Matthew 5-7

·        Introduction and Overview

·        The Sermon on the Mount isn’t something we apply or something we do – it is more accurately a description of what we are”

·         D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

 

·         “The Sermon on the Mount is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His way with us.”  Oswald Chambers

·         Why was the Sermon on the Mount given?

Matthew  4:18-22

18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, …

 25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

—  4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men

—  4:25 And there followed Him great multitudes of people…

—  New followers, new converts who had been steeped in Jewish legal tradition

—  Their understanding of this “new gospel” was non-existent or superficial at best

— Jesus instructed them in view of His announcement of the coming kingdom 

Matthew 4:17   From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

— Natural questions on the heart of every Jew would have been:

—  What is this kingdom?

—  “Am I eligible to enter Messiah’s kingdom?

—  Am I righteous enough?

—  The only standard of righteousness the people knew was that laid down by the current religious leaders, the scribes and Pharisees.

—  Would one who followed that standard be acceptable in Messiah’s kingdom?

—  Jesus’ sermon must be understood in the context of His offer of the kingdom to Israel and the need for repentance to enter that kingdom.

— The sermon did not give a “Constitution” for the kingdom nor did it present the way of salvation. 

The sermon showed :

—  In the Beatitudes ( Matthew 5:3-12) the attributes of a believer

—  In Matthew 5: 13 – 7:29 how a person who is in right relationship with God would conduct their life.

— Jesus began His sermon with “the Beatitudes,” statements beginning with Blessed are.

—  “Blessed” means “happy” or “fortunate”

—  The qualities Jesus mentioned in this list, “the poor in spirit,” “those who mourn,” “the meek,” could not be products of Pharisaic righteousness.

—  These come only when one is properly related to God through faith, when one places his complete trust in God.

—  Is the Sermon on the Mount relevant today?

—  Is the understanding of the Gospel superficial in our society and our churches today?

—  In 1959 D. Martin Lloyd-Jones in Studies in the  Sermon on the Mount stated  “I do not think it is a harsh judgment to say that the most obvious  feature of the life of the Christian Church today is, alas, its superficiality.”

—  What is the underlying cause of this superficiality?

—  Our attitude toward the scriptures – they are our only source of authority  - we know nothing about God and the Christian life apart from the Bible - Merely reading the Bible is not enough – that is superficial and mechanical

—  Our approach to the Scriptures is vital – do we meditate on what we  read?  Does it change our way of thinking and acting?  Does it change who and what we are?

—  The Sermon on the Mount was given to teach us  what it means to be a Believer.  It describes what a believer is and what we do because of what we are.

—  We are taught in Matthew 5:3-12 what we are

— We are taught in Matthew 5:13-7:29 what we are to do 

Matthew 5:17-20  17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

— But that sounds pretty legalistic, aren’t we under grace?

— YES – But grace doesn’t remove the requirement placed on us to be obedient

—  Luke 6:46 And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

—  Following the Scriptures is not “legalism” - it is obedience!

—  No man can live the Sermon on the Mount in and of himself, unaided so God sent a Comforter, the Holy Spirit as our Guide

—  There is no teaching in the Sermon on the Mount that is not also found in various New Testament books

—  Lesson 2

The Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 5-7

The Sermon on the Mount isn’t something we apply or something we do – it is more accurately a description of what we are”

       D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

General Outline of The Sermon on the Mount

—  Chapter 5

—  Matthew 5:3-10 The Character of the Christian is described before we get to conduct

—  Matthew 5:11,12 Character is proven by the worlds reaction

—  We see in verses 3-10 the kind of person we are and in 11-12 we see what happens to him

—  Verse 13-16 outlines our role in the world

—  Verses 17-48 we have the Christian facing the law of God and its demands

—  Chapter 6 focuses on the Christian living their life in the presence of God and in active submission to and dependence on Him

—  Chapter 7 is a general account of the Christian who lives and keeps the law of God

Matthew 5:1-2

1  And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him:

•     And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying,

Matthew 7:28-29

•     And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine:

•     For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

The Beatitudes

—  The basis for the Sermon on the Mount is the Beatitudes

—  They were presented first, deliberately, because there is a logical progression from the first to the last – from getting saved to spiritual maturity

—  We need to learn what we are to be so that we can seek and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives to mold and make us into a people who are known by these attributes.

—  The Beatitudes are attributes or characteristics of the Christian – they are not something we do but something we are.

—  Blessed  - happy

—  Happiness is sought by the world – Man seeks after anything to make us happy

—  True happiness is defined by the Beatitudes

—  Jesus says “Blessed are…” or “truly happy are…”

—  General Principles

•                    All  Christians are to be like this – all Christians are meant to exemplify everything that is contained in the Beatitudes

•                    None of these are gained naturally  – they are only produced by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives

•                    These define the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian

—    The glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world she invariably attracts it

Christian versus the non-Christian

—  The Christian’s desire is to be like Christ – the more we are like Him the less we are like the world

—  We are different in what we admire

—  Christian admires the “poor in spirit, the meek, the thirsty, the peacemaker…”

—  The world makes heroes out of the strong, the proud, the rich

—  We are different in what we seek

—  Christians hunger and thirst after righteousness – being right with God

—  The world pursues money, wealth, power, prestige,  status, publicity

—  We are different in what we do

—  The things that we admire and seek define our actions

—  The Christian and the non-Christian belong to different realms

       “You will notice the first and last Beatitude promise the same reward, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  What does this mean?  Our  Lord starts and ends with it because it is His way of saying that the first thing you have to realize about yourself is that you belong to a different kingdom.  You are not only different in essence; you are living in two different worlds.  You are in this world but you are not of it.  You are among those other people, yes; but you are a citizen of another kingdom.  This is the vital thing that is emphasized everywhere in this passage.”  D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

       “The vital questions we are to ask ourselves are these:

       Do we belong to this kingdom?  Are we ruled by Christ?  Is He our King and our Lord?  Are we manifesting these qualities in our daily lives?  Is our ambition to do so?  Do we see that this is what we are meant to be?  Are we truly blessed?  Are we happy? Have we been filled?  Have we got peace?  I ask, what do we find ourselves to be?  It is only the man who is like that who is truly happy, the man who is truly blessed.   D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

       “My immediate reaction to these Beatitudes proclaims exactly what I am.  If I feel they are harsh and hard, if I feel that they are against the grain and depict a character and type of life which I dislike, I am afraid it just means  that I am not a Christian.  If I do not want to be like this, I must be “dead in trespasses and sins’.  But if I feel unworthy and yet I want to be like that, well, however unworthy I may be, if this is my desire and my ambition, there must be new life in me, I must be a child of God, I must be a citizen of the kingdom of heaven and God’s dear son.”  D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

       “But if by being born from above we know Him first as Savior, we know that He did not come to teach us only: He came to make us what He teaches we should be.  The Sermon on the Mount is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His way with us.” Oswald Chambers

       “Is it possible to carry out the Beatitudes?  Never.  Unless God can do what Jesus Christ says He can, unless He can give us the Holy Spirit who will remake us and bear us into a new realm.”           Oswald Chambers

Matthew 5:3

•                      And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him:

•     And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying,

•     Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

—  Of all the virtues Christ commended in the Beatitudes, it is significant that the first is humility, being “poor in spirit.” That underlies all the others:

—  You cannot mourn (5:4) without appreciating how insufficient you are to handle life in your own strength. That is humility.

—  You cannot be meek (5:5) unless you have needed gentleness yourself. Knowing that need is humility.

—  You cannot hunger and thirst for righteousness (5:6) if you proudly think of yourself as already righteous. Longing to fill that spiritual appetite demands humility. In a parable that Luke recorded, a humble tax collector prayed, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” He went away justified, unlike a proud Pharisee who boasted of his righteousness (Luke 18:13).

—  You cannot be merciful (Matt. 5:7) without recognizing your own need for mercy. Jesus said that it’s the person who is forgiven much that loves much (Luke 7:47). To confess your sin and ask God and others for forgiveness takes humility.

—  You cannot be pure in heart (Matt. 5:8) if your heart is filled with pride. God promises to exalt the humble, not the proud (James 4:10).

—  You cannot be a peacemaker (Matt. 5:9) if you believe that you are always right. To admit your own fallibility takes humility.

—  Identifying with Christ no matter what the reaction of others (5:10–12) demands a certain death to yourself and a renunciation of your own rights. Standing up under persecution demands Christ-like humility.

— Romans 3:9-25

9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

•     As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

•     There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

•     They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

•     Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

•     Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 

15   Their feet are swift to shed blood:

•     Destruction and misery are in their ways:

•     And the way of peace have they not known:

•     There is no fear of of God before their eyes.

•     Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

•     Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

•     But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

•     Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

•     For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

•     Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 

•     Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

—     In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was speaking to new followers, steeped in Jewish tradition and law.  Teaching them that their view of the kingdom, riches and national pride was all wrong.

—     The poor in spirit are those who consciously depend on God, not on themselves; they are “poor” inwardly, having no ability in themselves to please God

              “…to be “poor in spirit” is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty, indeed our spiritual bankruptcy, before God.  For we are sinners, under the holy wrath of God, and deserving nothing but the judgment of God.  We have nothing to offer, nothing to plead, nothing with which to buy the favor of heaven. “                     John W. Stott

— Lesson 3
June 15, 2008

The Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 5-7

Matthew 5:3-9

The Character of the Christian

 

Matthew 5:3-9

3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5   Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

 

—  5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is  the kingdom of heaven

—  What is the kingdom of heaven?

—  When Christ physically was here

—  When He comes again

—  When He reigns in our hearts

—  4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

—  “that mourn…”  - to grieve, mourn or bewail

—  Webster: To express grief or sorrow; to grieve; to be sorrowful. Mourning may be expressed by weeping or audible sounds, or by sobs, sighs or inward silent grief.

—  Does not refer to mourning because of the difficulties of life.

—  It is the sorrow which one experiences because of fellowship with the Lord Jesus.

—  It includes, not only sorrow for one’s own sin, but also sorrow because of the world’s appalling condition, it’s rejection of the Savior, and the doom of those who refuse His mercy.

—  Happy are the unhappy –

       “It is one thing to be spiritually poor and acknowledge it; it is another to grieve and mourn over it…The Christian life, according to Jesus is not all joy and laughter…The truth is there are such things as Christian tears, and too few of us ever weep them.”   John Stott

—  Psalm 119:136  Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.

—  “…the poor in spirit” and “…those that mourn”

       “It is our poverty of spirit that says, “I am undone”; and it is the mourning this causes that makes it break forth in lamentation. The spiritual life, according to the Bible, is neither a set of intellectual convictions nor a bundle of emotional feelings, but a compound of both, the former giving birth to the latter. Thus closely do the first two beatitudes cohere.”      Albert Barnes

—  …They shall be comforted.

       “Every one flies from sorrow, and seeks after joy, and yet true joy must necessarily be the fruit of sorrow…Only such persons as are deeply convinced of the sinfulness of sin, feel the plague of their own heart, and turn with disgust from all worldly consolations, because of their insufficiency to render them happy, have God’s promise of solid comfort.”   Adam Clarke

—  Isaiah 61:1-3 1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

—  Matthew 11:28 Come unto Me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest (comfort)

—  Mourners shall be comforted in the coming day when “God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 21:4). Believers do all their mourning in this life; for unbelievers, today’s grief is only a foretaste of eternal sorrow.  

—  5   Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

—  Webster : Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.

—  Meekness is the opposite of high-mindedness and a quarrelsome and revengeful attitude.

—  Meekness never implies weakness. In contrast to weakness, meekness is controlled strength. It is an attitude of heart in which all  our energies are brought into the perfect control of the Holy Spirit

—  The meek… By purposefully taking Christ’s spirit on them, they become meek or gentle

—  Meekness implies acceptance of one’s lowly position.

—  The meek person is gentle and mild in his own cause, though he may be a lion in God’s cause or in defending others. 

       “Meekness is essentially a true view of oneself, expressing itself in attitude and conduct with respect to others…the man who is truly meek is the one who is truly amazed that God and man can think of him as well as they do and treat him as well as they do.  This makes him gentle, humble, sensitive, patient in all his dealings with others.” D. Martin Lloyd-Jones/John Stott

Matthew 11:29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

—  Lowly - Having a low esteem of one's own worth; humble; meek; free from pride.

1 Peter 3:4  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

—  Meekness here is spiritual meekness, an attitude of humility and submission to God.

—  For they shall inherit the earth.

—  “…the earth,” which the meek are to inherit  is not held out as an arbitrary reward but as having a kind of natural fulfillment.

—  “…the earth” – phrase is all encompassing and can mean “all things”

—  The meek do not now inherit the earth  but they will literally inherit the earth when Christ returns and  reigns for a thousand years in peace and prosperity. 

Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

—  6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

—  The hungry and thirsty God satisfies are those who “…hunger and thirst after righteousness.”

       Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

—  These future possessors (the meek) of the earth are its presently-installed rightful heirs and even now they hunger and thirst after righteousness.

“They experience a deep desire for personal righteousness which is, in itself, a proof of their spiritual re-birth. Those who are poor and empty in their own spiritual poverty recognize the depth of their need and hunger and thirst for that which only God can give them.”  John Stott

—  What is Righteousness?

—  Three views:

—  Legal righteousness is justification, a right relationship with God – can only be attained by grace not by works

       Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved (justified) through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

—  Moral righteousness is the character and conduct that pleases God.

—  It is more than a personal and private matter

—  Our character and conduct affects how we live in society

—  Social righteousness is concerned with seeking man’s liberation – setting men free. 

       “The command to you is not to crawl into a corner or into a desert, but to run out, if that is where you have been, and to offer your hands and your feet and your whole body, and t o wager everything you have and can do.  What is required is a hunger and thirst for righteousness that can never be curbed or stopped or sated, one that looks for nothing and cares for nothing except the accomplishment and maintenance of the right, despising everything that hinders that end.  If you cannot make the world completely pious, then do what you can.”  Martin Luther

—  They shall be filled

—  Refers to a complete filling and satisfaction.

       Psalm 107:9 “He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness”

—  This filling comes from God, who is the total source of satisfaction of His people. It comes now and it will continue to come throughout eternity to those who hunger and thirst

—  These people have a passion for righteousness in their own lives; they long to see honesty, integrity, and justice in society; they look for practical holiness in the church… they have “a thirst no earthly stream can satisfy, a hunger that must feed on Christ or die.” These people will be abundantly satisfied in Christ’s coming kingdom: they shall be filled.

—  This hunger  and thirst is the kind that is insatiable on this earth…Rev 7:16  They shall hunger no more,

— Lesson 4


June 22, 2008

The Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 5-7

Matthew 5:3-9

The Character of the Christian

 

Matthew 5:3-9

3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5   Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

 

6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…

—  “The trouble with mankind is not any one particular manifestation of sin, but rather sin itself.” (DMLJ)

—  Proverbs 14:34  Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

—  Acts 10:35  But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.

—  “The greatest need in the world now is for a greater number of Christians, individual Christians.” (DMLJ)

—  If righteousness exalts a nation – we need to understand what righteousness means

—  Blessed – or happy - According to the scriptures happiness is never something that should be sought directly; it is always something that results from seeking something else

       “The world is seeking for happiness.  That is the meaning of its pleasure mania, that is the meaning of everything men and women do, not only in their work but still more in their pleasures.  They are trying to find happiness, they are making it their goal, their one objective.  But they do not find it because , whenever you put happiness before righteousness, you sill be doomed to misery … they alone are truly happy who are seeking to be righteous.  Put happiness in the place of righteousness and you will never get it.” (DMLJ)

—  We are not meant to hunger and thirst after experiences

—  We are not meant to hunger and thirst after blessedness

—  To be truly blessed (happy) we must hunger and thirst after righteousness

What is righteousness?

—  Proverbs 14:34  Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

—  Righteousness is:  The removal of sin, the absence of sin

—  To hunger and thirst after righteousness is to have a desire, as strong as hunger and thirst, for the removal of sin from our lives, to be free from the power of sin

       “It means a desire to be free from the very desire for sin, because we find that the man who truly examines himself in the light of the scriptures not only discovers that he is in the bondage of sin; still more horrible is the fact that he likes it, that he wants it.  Even after he has seen that it is wrong, he still wants it.” (DMLJ)

       “The desire for righteousness is a desire to be right with God, a desire to get rid of sin, because sin is what comes between us and God, keeping us from a knowledge of God, and all that is possible to us and for us from God.” (DMLJ)

Psa 42:1  As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

       John Darby  “To be hungry is not enough; I must really be starving to know what is in His heart towards me.  When the prodigal son was hungry he went to feed upon the husks, but when he was starving, he turned to his father.”

—  Why are they blessed or happy?

—  “…for they shall be filled.”

—  They shall be given what they desire!

—  When we know our need, this hunger and starvation, then God will fill us.

—  There are really two stages or types of filling

—  Immediate:

         1John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

—  Through Christ’s shed blood and our confession  - God declares us  righteous – we are filled

—  Continuing process:

—  The Holy Spirit begins His work of delivering us from the power of sin

—  We hunger and thirst for it

—  He molds and makes us through a maturing process

—  “The man who hungers and thirsts after righteousness is the man who knows what it is to say with Paul, ‘In me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing’.  If we still want to pat ourselves on the back, and feel a sense of satisfaction in the things we have done, it indicates perfectly clearly that we are still trusting and holding on to our own righteousness.  If we are in any sense prone to defend ourselves, well, that means that we are just holding on still to some righteousness of our own.  And as long as we do that we shall never be blessed.  We see that to be hungering and thirsting in this sense is, as  John Darby puts it, to be starving, to realize that we are dying because we have nothing.  That is the first step, seeing all false righteousness of our own as ‘filthy rags.’ (DMLJ)

7  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

—  MER'CIFUL - Having or exercising mercy; compassionate; tender; disposed to pity offenders and to forgive their offenses; unwilling to punish for injuries; applied appropriately to God.

—  It is that benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant.

—  The closest word in our language to mercy is grace - It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders.

—  Grace is associated with men in their sins; mercy is associated with the consequence of their sin, with man in his  misery

—  In the Sermon on the Mount we are not called to be gracious but merciful

—  Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of  God.

       Exodus 34:6  And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

—  Blessed are the merciful

—  Those who demonstrate or do – “merciful” is the action of a person who knows  that they, though unworthy, have received mercy

—  I receive it  -  I give it

—  I give it – I receive it

—  But I don’t give it to receive it. 

       Matthew 10:42 “Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only, in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you he shall in no wise lose his reward.”

—  Nowhere do we imitate God more than in showing mercy.

—  God delights in the exercise of mercy, 

—  Eze 33:11  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways ...

—  1Timothy 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

—  2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

—  God has shown His mercy to us:

—  By giving His Son to die for us

—  By expressing His willingness to pardon and save us

—  By sending his Spirit to renew and sanctify our hearts.

—  Each day of our life, we experience His undeserved mercy.

—  Being merciful to others shows that we are like God, that we have His spirit and His Spirit is in control.

—  When Jesus hung on the cross, before He died, He said Father forgive them for they know not what they do.

—  They were under the control of Satan – they knew not what they did

—  We are to have the same attitude as Christ

Next week:

8  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

— Lesson 5
June 29, 2008

The Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 5-7

Matthew 5:3-9

The Character of the Christian

 

Matthew 5:3-9

3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5   Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

 

—  Blessed are the pure in heart…

—  Pure - Without blemish, clean, undefiled. The word describes physical cleanliness, ceremonial purity, and ethical purity

—  Heart: In the scriptures heart refers to our mind, our, will and our emotions. – all three.   The center of our personality

—  A pure-hearted person is one whose motives are unmixed, whose thoughts are holy, whose conscience is clean.  Sin pollutes and defiles, but the blood of Jesus washes the stains of sin away

—  A  pure heart is a heart that is single – focused, undistracted, free from hypocrisy

—  Mat 6:22  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

—  Single and pure  -  without folds, open, nothing hidden, no shadows or dark spots

—  How many of us live a “single” life?

       “We are tempted to wear a different mask and play a different role according to each occasion.  This is not reality but play-acting, which is the essence of hypocrisy.” (John Stott)

—  Jeremiah 17:9 declares The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

—  A pure heart is not something man can create – Remember man was in paradise when he fell.

—  David prayed in Psalm 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

—  Purity of heart requires a “conscience purged from dead works”

       Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

—  The Holy Spirit is continually working to conform us into the image of Christ

       Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

—  For they shall see God.

—  To “see” means to literally “see and know” God

—  The pure in heart see God now through fellowship in the Word and the Spirit.

—  They shall see God in the Person of Jesus when He comes again

—  They shall see God in eternity.

       John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see (experience, participate in) the kingdom of God.

       “Those that stood in the king’s presence … those that saw the face of the king; were his favorites and friends.  So here, to see God, means to be His friends and favorites, and to dwell with Him in His kingdom.” (Alfred Barnes)

 

—  Blessed are the peacemakers…

—  They are the ones who are themselves at peace with God

—  Are ambassadors of God’s message of peace to a sinful world.

—  They live in peace with all men

—  The phrase “live in” is an action word not a pacifist word

—  Our responsibility is to be peacemakers  - we should never seek conflict or be responsible for it

—  Jesus is not speaking about people with a peaceful disposition or those who love peace. He is referring to those who actively intervene to make peace - Peacemakers show others how to have peace with God

 

—  For they shall be called the children of God.

Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mat 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

—  Children of God - Those who resemble God, who manifest a spirit like His.

—  The peacemakers are called the children of God because they strive to follow their Father’s example.  God through His Son made peace with man – humbled Himself and sacrificed for peace with man who rejected Him.

       “It is the devil who is the troublemaker; it is God who loves reconciliation and who now through His children, is bent on making peace.”  (John Stott)

 

—  A peacemaker is not an appeaser – peace at any price is not peace

—  He is the Author of peace

 1Corinthians 14:33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…

—  Those who endeavor to promote peace are like Him, and are worthy to be called His children.

—  Throughout the Beatitudes Jesus clearly underscores that only those who have the life-changing qualities herein described are citizens of His kingdom

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