Sermon on the Mount

Sermon on the Mount

Fast Approvals

Matthew 6:16-18 Like many other spiritual disciplines, fasting can, unfortunately, be a means to gain the approval of others. Jesus taught that fasting should only be something directed to and noticed by God. Fasting is the predetermined abstaining from essential nourishment for a spiritual purpose. In the Bible, fasting is often used to intensify mourning, repentance, or prayer. Fasting Should Be Regular (6:16) Jesus didn’t say “if you fast” but “when you fast.” Fasting is one of many spiritual disciplines…

When They’ve Hurt You So Deeply

Matthew 6:14-15 When others cause emotional pain in your life, forgiveness is the only restorative option. Jesus explained that our forgiveness of others is tied to God’s forgiveness towards us. Common Responses to Deep Hurt When others hurt us deeply, our common response indicates our spiritual health. Bitterness – Have you allowed past hurt to cloud your present attitude? Revenge – Do you seek to repay others for the hurt they caused you?  Isolation – Do you withdraw from others…

Learning How to Talk to God

Matthew 6:5-13 Jesus taught us how to pray but not what to pray. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gave a template by which we can learn how to talk with God. Prayer Cautions (5-8) If you don’t pray in private, you don’t have any business praying in public. If your motive is to impress people, then your prayer doesn’t actually address God. Prayer isn’t imploring a distant God, but it is seeking your approachable Father. Prayer Considerations (9) The Lord’s…

Don’t Be Needy When Giving to the Needy

Matthew 6:1-4 Jesus expects us to give, but he desires that we not give with a need to be noticed. The only recognition that a generous heart should seek comes from God. Don’t be needy when giving to the needy; rather be a giver, who needs to give. What’s your motivation for giving? (6:1) Jesus gives caution to practicing our righteousness with a motive that seeks the praises of people. When the applause of others is at the heart of our actions, the condition of our heart is exposed. Action on your part, that…

Don’t Give Them What They Deserve

Matthew 5:38-48 Our tendency is to repay people for any negative words or harmful actions, but Jesus taught quite the opposite. The way of the kingdom is counter-cultural and yet life-giving. Don’t give others what they deserve; give them what they need. When They Deserve Payback (5:38-42) Jesus values justice, but He doesn’t expect us to be responsible for it. If we cannot transcend above juvenile retaliation, we reveal the grace of Jesus has yet to transform us thoroughly. Don’t…

Losing Credibility One Empty Promise at a Time

Matthew 5:33-37 Each of our reputations are defined by our level of credibility. Instead of exaggerating with empty promises, simply stay reliable with a trustworthy life. Our credibility is determined by the trustworthiness of what we say. Little White Lies (5:33-36) Jesus paraphrased Old Testament teaching (Lev. 19:12; Num. 30:2; Deut. 23:21; Zech. 8:17) regarding the importance of empty or misleading promises. We can easily justify misrepresenting the truth in order to support an agenda. Jesus condemned the use of…

Avoiding Divorce

Matthew. 5:31-32 While divorce is permitted in the Bible, it is never promoted in the Bible. Learn what Jesus had to say about those considering dissolving a marriage union. Preliminary Considerations Divorce is not the unforgivable sin. Just because a sin can be forgiven does not mean that it should be casually committed. Shaming a person for a divorce is not honoring to God or helping anyone else. Biblical Expectations (5:31-32) The Original Law (5:31) God’s original provision for divorce…

Lured by Lust

Matthew 5:27-30 Adultery always begins far before the act. We must be careful what we look at and what we think about if we are to remain faithful to our commitments. External actions reveal internal attitudes. Sin is often meeting a right desire in the wrong way at the wrong time. The Price of Adultery (27) Adultery is grave disobedience against God. Adultery is irreversible damage against a family (even if it can be forgiven). Adultery is putting temporal feelings over lifelong commitments. The Danger of Lust (28) What we see leads to what we consider, which leads to what we do. You may…

If Thoughts Could Kill

Matthew 5:21-26 Jesus taught that just because your anger may not lead to murder does not mean that your thoughts are unclassified as sin. Unaddressed anger must be confronted in our lives. External actions reveal internal attitudes. Each of us is known by what makes us angry and how we handle it. Address Anger (21-22) Murder is a symptom; anger is the sickness. Insulting others is attempting to empty them of their worth. Judging another’s spiritual condition is actually an…

The Fulfillment We Need

Matthew 5:17-20 The coming of Christ was the fulfillment of the Old Testament expectations and the requirement for our own righteousness. Jesus came from heaven so we could go to heaven. How much claim did Jesus practically have on your life this week? The Christ Fulfillment (17-18) Literal: Jesus fulfilled at least 300 Old Testament prophecies given hundreds of years before he was born. Lifestyle: Jesus lived a perfect life and never disobeyed any of God’s commands. Lasting: We can trust in the promises of God because of the Bible’s unrelenting reliability…

What? In the World?

Matthew 5:13-16 Christians are to avoid being influenced by the world; instead, we are called to be influencers of the world. As salt and light, we are expected to transform the culture around us. What Does Salt Do? (v. 13) What Does Light Do? (v. 14-15) What Do We Do? (v. 16)

How to Be Truly Happy

Matthew 5:1-12 As Jesus began the most quoted sermon in history, he explained what the blessed or happy life looks like. Living according to the principles of the kingdom is a pivotal yet promising paradigm shift. The content of the Sermon on the Mount is to be the Kingdom standard in a confused culture. Jesus’ words are the standard to which disciples should ultimately strive. #1. The poor in spirit receive the kingdom of heaven. You don’t have to have it all together to be accepted by God. #2. Those who…