Faithlife Sermons

Men's Bible Study, July 26, 2022

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Scripture and intro

Introduce and tell part of my story
Scripture:
Matthew 7:13–29 NIV
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Chart:
Moses
Out of Egypt
through the red sea
into the wilderness
Mt. Sinai to receive the law
Jesus (Matthew’s Gospel)
Out of egypt in the birth narriative
through the waters of baptism
into the wilderness
up the mountain to deliver the sermon on the mount
(fulfill the law)
5 blocks of teaching. 5 books of the torah. Or 5 blocks of teaching in Deuteronomy.
Why all of these connections? Why is this important?
Answer:
new Exodus
Greater Exodus
The law and Moses pointing to what is being fulfilled in Jesus.

Two Ways Theologies

Let’s look at the first part here. Jesus brings a binary option here in the beginning with two roads and two gates and then at the end with the two homes:
Matthew 7:13–14 NIV
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:24–27 NIV
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
The first church saw things like this: the Didache, possibly written in the first century as a manual for the church
The Apostolic Fathers: English Translations The Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

The teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles by the twelve apostles.

1. There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between these two ways.

(2) Now this is the way of life: first, “you shall love God, who made you”; second, “your neighbor as yourself”; and “whatever you do not wish to happen to you, do not do to another.”

Can you think of other places where this is the case in Scripture?
1 John is full of it. Light and Darkness.
Luke and the parables of the lost. Lost and found, no in between.
Proverbs
Psalm 1… the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked
John Wesley believed in original sin and total depravity. He even wrote a sermon called Almost Christian that seems to present a grey area but it really isnt there.
Why use this stark contrast?
Is it helpful?
Are we losing something by confusing this a bit or nuancing this?
Two writers we include in the Apostolic Fathers, Ignatius and Polycarp, were publicly executed because they would not renounce their faith in Christ. To many of their day, it must have seemed such a small thing… “Make sacrifice to the genius of the Emperor…. That’s all you have to do. You can still say prayers to Jesus if you want, hang around with your Christian friends, engage in your strange rituals…. Just work with us on this one small detail….” But the early Christians knew: there could be no compromise in their devotion to the Christian God. It was all or nothing. There are two ways.

Building on solid ground

So at the end of this sermon he talks about the difference between the person that lives according to Jesus’ teaching and the one who does not.
teaching
practice
community
why is so much of the church stuck with teaching. Learning and exploring Christ. (Marvin graph… Exploring Christ, Growing in Christ, Close to Christ, Christ Centered)?
How can we translate this to practice? Creating a culture of it in our communities?
How well is this happening at FMC?
End with my story and calling to help people to awaken....
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