Sermon: Are we really ready to pray? (Continued) Matthew 6:9-15

Truth Taught- God desires that His Kingdom come and His reign seen on all the earth as it is currently in heaven. 

Introduction

Prayer

Matthew 6:5–15 (ESV) 

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: 

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Sermon: Are we ready to really pray? Matthew 6:9-15

Are We Ready to Really Pray?

Our heavenly Father, Hallowed Be Your Name

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:9-15

Truth Taught-Jesus teaches us the greatest prayer begins with petitioning that God’s name be hallowed. 

Introduction

I need to begin today with a confession to you.  I’m not entirely sure what God is going to do here today?  There are times when God’s Word impacts me to such a degree that I stand in awe and ask God to do the work that He did in me in all of you.  This is one of those times.  I had planned to go through the Model Prayer systematically in a cohesive and planned way and then God in His power blew that out of the water.  I don’t know what God is going to do today but I believe He’s up to something amazing.  Are we ready to really pray?

Last time we looked in depth at the right attitude one should have while praying.  If you remember, the Scribes and Pharisees prayed only to be seen by people and to be praised for their impressively worded prayers.  Jesus called them hypocrites, just actors on a stage.

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sermon: When You Pray Matthew 6:5-8

Truth Taught- God desires our prayers to be genuine and sincere not for the purpose of being seen by others

Introduction

Last time I told you that we have entered into another section of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount.  This section was marked by Jesus making this divine statement:

Matthew 6:1 (ESV)

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Our Lord is concerned with right doctrine and right practices.  Many will say it like this: Jesus is concerned with orthodoxy (right belief) and orthopraxy (right practices).  Both orthodoxy and orthopraxy are required in us, Jesus’ followers.

Also, if you remember, Jesus here addresses three examples of right practices and all three examples deal with our worship of God the right way…giving, praying and fasting.

Last week we looked at how it is Jesus desires us to give in contrast to how the Pharisees gave.  They gave as hypocrites wanting to be seen and stealing the praise that was due God alone.  In contrast to them, we are to give in a way that we are not after the praise of man but out for God’s glory.  We saw that giving is an act of worship highlighting God’s provision and glory.  Today, we are going to look at the second act of worship, namely Christian praying.

There are a few things we should notice before we get underway…

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Sermon: Practicing Your Righteousness Before God Matthew 6:1-4

Truth Taught- Do not practice your righteousness for the praise of men but for the glory of God. 

Introduction

As we work our way through the Sermon on the Mount we discover another piece of the puzzle pointing to the superior righteousness that Jesus desires His followers to possess. 

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.  

I want to first remind everyone that the righteousness that far surpasses the Scribes and Pharisees is the imputed righteousness that Jesus has given all His followers.  So, at salvation we are flooded with true God accepting righteousness of Jesus.  Have you considered lately that when God the Father looks at you, as His people, He sees a born again forgiven sinner with as much righteousness as Jesus?  

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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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