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Sermon on the Mount Lesson 8

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Slide 8 •The first four Beatitudes reveal spiritual progress – each step leads to the next and presupposes the one that has gone before.•To be poor in spirit we acknowledge our complete and utter spiritual bankruptcy before God•Next we mourn over the cause of it – our sins, the corruption of man and his fallen nature and the control sin and death has over this world•We are to be meek, humble, and gentle toward others allowing our spiritual poverty to condition our behavior to them as well as to God•We are to hunger and thirst for righteousness – what good does it to confess if we don’t hunger – we replace our sin with a desire for righteousness•Next we turn from our attitude toward God to our attitude toward others•Merciful – Pure in heart – peacemakers•We will be reviled and persecuted and we are to rejoice and be exceeding glad!•These are character traits  - we don’t act like Christians – we are Christians and our actions are an outcome of that.We are not meant to control our Christianity – our Christianity is meant to control us.So far Jesus has spoken of Christian CharacterHe began with 3rd person grammar –”Blessed are….”Continued in the 2nd person – “you are the salt….And now in this section the 1st person “I say unto you…”  He shifts gears and ties His ministry into the Old Testament – links to the Laws and the Prophets
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Slide 10  the substance of his message (5:17-20).5:17-20. This section presents the heart of Jesus’ message, for it demonstrates His relationship to the Law of God. •Jesus was not presenting a rival system to the Law of Moses and the words of the Prophets, but a true fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets— which was in contrast to the Pharisees’ traditions. •“The Law and the Prophets” refer to the entire Old Testament – the laws and principles – religious laws and moral laws•This section is divided into two parts:Christ and the Law (17-18) The Christian and the Law (19-20)The ultimate call – we are called to a life of righteousness.Christ taught us what we are to do – positive teachingChrist taught that others were wrong – negative teaching   
Slide 11 Christ and  the Law 17-18 Having laid the foundation of His message in the Beatitudes’ Jesus now proceeds to show the relationship of His message to that of the law of Moses. •He makes it clear that He had not … come to destroy the law. For He had come to fulfill the law and its fullest implications. •Think not that I am come to destroy:The New Testament gospel is not contrary nor contradictory to the Old Testament law; rather it is the ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual intention of the law. •Where the law had degenerated into legalism by the Pharisees, Jesus now takes the law beyond mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God. •Jesus rejected the Pharisees’ charge that He was nullifying the law. •Gal 4:4  But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. •I am not come to destroy but to fulfillThe word fulfill means “to carry out or complete.” It does not mean to bring to an end. •Jesus fulfills the law in several ways: He obeyed it perfectly and taught its correct meaning He will one day fulfill all of the Old Testament types and propheciesHe provides a way of salvation that fulfills all the requirements of the law (Rom. 3:21, 31). •Bonhoeffer – “He has in fact nothing to add to the commandments, except this, He keeps them.”   
Slide 12 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. Literally - I tell you the truth is literally, “Surely (or Verily, kjv) I say to you.” “Surely” renders the word “Amen” (Gr. amēn, transliterated from the Heb. ’āman, “to be firm, true”). •This expression, “I tell you the truth,” points to a solemn declaration that the hearers should note. •It occurs 31 times in Matthew alone. (In the Gospel of John this Gr. word always occurs twice: “Amen, Amen.” Cf. comments on John 1:51.) •Verily I say is a unique form used by Jesus throughout His preaching to draw attention to the authority of His message. It is used as a designation of authority One jot or one tittle refers to the minutest marks and letters of the Hebrew alphabet. He explained that even the smallest statement in the law must be fulfilled. •A jot is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, called yodh. It functions as a “Y” in English and looks similar to an apostrophe. •A tittle is a small projection on the edge of certain Hebrew letters to distinguish them from one another. For example, the Hebrew “D” differs from the “R” only by the use of the tittle.  •Jesus’ fulfillment would extend to the smallest part of a letter• the “jot” (lit., yôd), and even to the smallest stroke of a Hebrew letter, the “tittle.” In English a jot would correspond to the dot above the letter “i” (and look like an apostrophe), and a tittle would be seen in the difference between a “P” and an “R”. The small angled line that completes the “R” is like a tittle. These things are important because letters make up words and even a slight change in a letter might change the meaning of a word. •Jesus said He would fulfill the Law by obeying it perfectly and would fulfill the prophets’ predictions of the Messiah and His kingdom. •In his earthly life Jesus accomplished this by meeting its strictest demands and going beyond its mere outward requirements. •As our Saviour, Jesus not only bore our sins, but He has also established a perfect righteousness which is given to us as a gift of God. •Our sin was thus imputed to Him and His righteousness was imputed to us ( J. Murray, The Imputation of Adam’s Sin).God’s Law is absolute and eternal
Slide 13 The Christian and the Law (19-20)Because of the seriousness of the law, Jesus emphasized the importance of keeping even its smallest details. However, in the ultimate plan of God, the law was not to become an extra burden on the souls of men. Rather than pointing the way to salvation, the law convinced men of their need of the Saviour.  •19a Whoever shall break on of these least commandments and shall teach men so shall be made least in the kingdom of heaven. John Gill  - the Sanhedrim had power, when it was convenient, for the time present, to make void an affirmative command, and to transgress a negative one, in order to return many to their religion; or to deliver many of the Israelites from stumbling at other things, they may do whatsoever the present time makes necessary: for so, adds he, the former wise men say, a man may profane one Sabbath, in order to keep many Sabbaths. "if a prophet, whom we know to be a prophet, should order us "to transgress anyone of the commands", which are mentioned in the law, or many commands, whether light or heavy, for a time, we are ordered to hearken to him; and so we learn from the former wise men, by tradition, that in everything a prophet shall say to thee "transgress the words of the law", as Elias on Mount Carmel, hear him, except in the case of idolatry.''  "it is lawful sometimes to make void the law, and to do that which appears to be forbidden.''  If a Gentile should bid an Israelite transgress anyone of the commands mentioned in the law, excepting idolatry, adultery, and murder, he may transgress with impunity, provided it is done privately.•A person may be saved and a member of the kingdom of heaven, yet be hypocritical in his attitude toward the law.   •19b But whosoever shall do and teach them (the principles and precepts of the law) shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. This simply means that God will reward obedienceThe faithfulness and effectiveness of our lives will be rewarded There will be varying degrees of blessing and reward in the kingdom (some great – some least)
Slide 14 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. •  The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was essentially external adherence to their definition of the rules. •God demands more than this. •Jesus’ words must have shaken His disciples, since the meticulously righteous deeds of the scribes and Pharisees were regarded as being far above those of the average person.•However the only righteousness that satisfies God’s standard is believing faith in Jesus Christ (see Rom. 3:21, 22).•The responsibility of the people was made clear. The righteousness they were currently seeking—that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law—was insufficient for entrance into the kingdom Jesus was offering. •The righteousness He demanded was not merely external; it was a true inner righteousness based on faith in God’s Word (Rom. 3:21-22).   
Slide 15 The righteousness He is talking about is not man’s effort but that which comes by salvation and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  It is the conforming to the image of His Son by the Holy Spirit It is the manifestation of the Beatitudes in our life It is having  a heart with the right intent and motives It is having a heart that can only be God givenIt is the righteousness that springs out of this heart that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees and it can only be demonstrated by those who are truly born again.  It is not religion – Matthew 7:21 - 23 says  21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?   23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.   
Slide 16 Pharisee means a “separatist” We are to separate ourselves from the world to a life of obedience to God for the worldThe kind of righteousness that Jesus is describing is very simply  - obedience to the will of God.    
Slide 17 Next weekA Christian’s Righteousness:Matthew 5:21-30Avoiding anger and lust 
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