Sermon: Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart Matthew 5:43-48

Truth Taught- We are called to love God with all our heart 

and our neighbor as ourselves 

Introduction

For the last 5 weeks or so we’ve been looking at the false interpretations of God’s Law by the Scribes and Pharisee of ancient Judaism.  Literally, how these apostate Jewish leaders had so mishandled and twisted God’s Word for their own benefit that what God had intended as a real benefit to others had been all but lost.  They were apostate and had drifted away from God and His Law.  

In order to not be bound by God’s overarching desire that His people are loving and kind toward all people they took a verse from the Old Testament that was written with the Nation of Israel in mind and applied it too narrowly and reduced the strength of the love they were to show.  Here, the issue was in both understanding God’s desire and a faulty application.

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Sermon: God’s Glory is Far More Important Than Our Rights Matthew 5:38-42

Truth Taught- Christ’s followers must never resort to revenge but trust God in all things.

Introduction

The section we come to today is, as many have called it, the highest point of Christian counter culture.  If you remember from the Beatitudes that they are Jesus’ teaching on how His followers are to be different from the world around us.  Here is the pinnacle of this idea.  

Before we launch into Jesus’ words of instruction we should set the stage and have the context in mind in order to better understand what our Lord desires from His people.

Exodus 20 contains the Ten Commandments, which were the foundation for the Nation of Israel.  These were given to her at the very beginning of her formation as a nation.  The subsequent chapters in Exodus teach how these commandments are to be applied in the life of Israel.  It is from this section Jesus quotes today.

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Sermon: To Tell the Truth is Better Than Making a Vow or Swearing and Oath Matthew 5:33–37

Truth Taught- Christians must be people who are honest and tell the truth

Introduction

We’ve been looking together, over the past few weeks, at Jesus’ comments in the Sermon on the Mount concerning God’s law. We’ve discovered that His followers are to be characterized by righteousness according to God’s law that exceeds even the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20).

Matthew 5:20 (ESV) 

20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 

In Chapter 5, Jesus has given us six examples of how it is that the righteousness of His followers can and must exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees…

He began with Murder and taught us that being angry with someone is murder from the heart.  He then taught us about Adultery and then spoke about lust being just as bad.  He taught us about the high view of marriage.  It’s important to also note that in each area the religious leaders had twisted what God had originally intended by His Law and they created loopholes so that they could be seen by others as righteous when in reality they were not.

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Sermon: Purity in Thought and Deed Matthew 5:27-32

Truth Taught- Jesus is concerned with the genuine purity of His followers.

Introduction

If Jesus were to give us His truth taught for the rest of Chapter 5 it would probably be verse 20.

Matthew 5:20 (ESV)

20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

He spends the rest of the chapter showing us how our righteousness can exceed theirs.  He taught us last week about the full impact of the 6th Commandment.  Jesus freed that command from the trash of the Pharisees.  He taught us that anger is the sinful heart emotion, which brings forth murder.  If we follow God’s Law the way He intended we would deal with our anger quickly before it is conceived and gives birth to murder.

Today, our Lord will address another Commandment.  The 7th Commandment was one that had been greatly corrupted by the carnal teaching of the Pharisees.  So, our Lord, with great authority as the Lawgiver, corrects the false teaching about adultery.  He also is comparing the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees with the righteousness of God’s Kingdom.

Here is the 7th Commandment found in Exodus 20…

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Sermon: The Antidote for Anger Matthew 5:21-26

Truth Taught- The 6th Commandment is far more reaching than murder.  It also includes being angry with someone else.

Introduction

Last week we saw Jesus build a wonderful case on how His coming affected the Old Testament Law of God.  His words, I did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but fulfill them speak of finality and filling up or finishing the Law.  His authority as God’s final Word where the Law is concerned can be seen as He teaches and interprets the Law of God correctly for us in the Sermon on the Mount. 

Also remember from last week as we closed we looked at Jesus’ command that if we are even to see the Kingdom of God our righteousness must exceed the Scribes and Pharisees…

Matthew 5:20 (ESV)

20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

For I tell you is key in looking at these next sections because they all start out with the here’s what you’ve heard but I tell you phrase…

So, Jesus is telling us how our righteousness can exceed the Pharisees’ righteousness.

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Sermon: Jesus Came to Fulfill the Law Matthew 5:17-20

Truth Taught- Christians must seek to understand and by faith live by God’s law.

Introduction

There are many debates today, as in Jesus’ day, about the Law of God.  Should the Christian seek to live according to the Law of God?  Is the Law of God binding today?  If it is, why don’t we teach and practice certain things contained in the Law of God? 

We live in a day and age in which the law of God is not loved or honored or regarded as it should be by people, even Christians. That probably doesn’t come as a great surprise though; because almost every age of human history has been an age in which the law of God was not loved, honored or regarded as it should have been. But what is, perhaps, most unusual about our time is that there are so many today who profess a faith in Jesus Christ, and yet believe that the law of God is something that – for this present age – is to be set aside.

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The Art of Divine Contentment (PART 6) THOMAS WATSON

(NO AUDIO)

In our last section covering Thomas Watson’s book I want us to see how we stack up and whether or not we have learned to be content in whatever situation or state God has for us?  The plain truth is we will never know whether or not we are content with what God has given and/or our current life situation until we experience a trial.  It is in those times we are shown the reality of our hearts.

1.  A content spirit is a quiet spirit

Here Watson writes about a content person showing contentedness by being silent in a trial.  A person still prays and asks God questions but is silent in regard to complaining or grumbling.  This godly person does not have one word to say against God.  Like David in Psalm 39:9…

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Sermon: Putting the Beatitudes to Use Matthew 5:13-16

Truth Taught-  We are called to influence society by being salt and light.

Introduction

The Beatitudes of Jesus have shown us the essential character of a Christian.  We are to be all those things our Lord told us about.  There is a tension with each of these character traits. The tension is found in the fact that these The Beatitudes are very odd to the world around us but normal in the Christian life.  They make no sense to the lost.  Why would anyone choose to be poor in spirit and a mourner on purpose?  It is in their supposed strangeness that Beatitudes find much of their potency.  

Matthew 5:3–10 (ESV) 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Now our Lord moves forward in His sermon to encourage us in using these character traits for the glory of God and good of others.  We are to be those who influence the world around us.  Our Lord wants us to take these truths He has presented and use them to be an influence with others.

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The Art of Divine Contentment (part 5) Thomas Watson

Chapter 11: Divine Motives to Contentment

In this Chapter (which is by far the longest) Watson presents the Christian with motivation toward Divine Contentment.  He does this by means of, what he calls, arguments to quicken contentment with us.

Argument 1.  Consider the excellency of contentment.  

Contentment teaches us how to abound in the midst of want.  It’s the antidote against poverty.  Too often we think that we would be content if we just had more wealth but the reality is it’s not the amount of money but the love for God and the thankfulness toward Him for giving us what He has given that brings us peace, joy and yes contentment.  So, in a very real sense, contentment is the remedy against all our troubles.  It calms the raging sea within our hearts that is always tossing and turning within us longing for more.  The secret is this: we have had exactly enough the entire time.  

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Sermon: All Who Live Like Jesus Will Be Persecuted Matthew 5:10-12

Truth Taught-As we seek to imitate Christ we will be persecuted because He was persecuted. 

Truth Taught-As we seek to imitate Christ we will be persecuted because He was persecuted. 

Matthew 5:10–12 (ESV) 

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 

Introduction

As we have worked our way through the Beatitudes, we have discovered that they are full of surprises and to expect the unexpected. What Jesus tells us often doesn’t make sense at first.  His teaching seems strange at times.  The reason this is so is because we are accustomed to thinking like the world thinks and responding like the world responds.  So, when we hear pure truth from our Lord we have to pause and think it through.  The final Beatitude is no different; Jesus tells us that persecution is a blessing not a curse and that if you’re persecuted for righteousness you’re doing something right not wrong. 

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