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27: The Sermon on the Mount – Part 2

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 5:17-48

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 5:43-48              Luke 6:27-39;32-36

Outline:

  1. The Rules for Godly Living                      Matt. 5:17-20
  2. The Examples for Godly Living               Matt. 5:21-47
  3. III. The Standard for Godly Living               Matt. 5:48

Context/Discussion/Comments:

In the previous lesson we were given some general guidelines with the Beatitudes.  In this lesson we are given specifics relating to the Law and the Beatitudes.

Jesus states that He has come to fulfill the Law and not abolish it.  So we know immediately that Jesus will have much to say regarding the Law.  He says it will be around forever and that it is important.  Obedience to the Law is to be taught.  It has an important purpose.  To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, one’s righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees.  They were not good enough even though they emphasized the law, their laws and their interpretation.  Unfortunately what they enforced had little to do with following the Law.  This is validated when Jesus explains His interpretation of the Law.

The Law says “do not murder” but Jesus says do not be angry.  Reconcile before worshipping God.  Settle your civil disputes outside of the courtroom.  The Law says “do not commit adultery” but Jesus says anyone who looks lustfully on another woman commits adultery.  We are to exercise control over our eyes and hands so we do not sin.  Jesus teaches that divorce causes adultery unless it is caused by marital unfaithfulness but marital unfaithfulness is adultery.  Jesus teaches “keep your word”; let it mean something.  The Law teaches “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” but Jesus says we are to show mercy and compassion toward others.  The Law says “love your neighbor” but Jesus says love your enemies and pray for them.  Jesus has given six examples defining what Godly living means.  They all involve “loving your neighbor”.  They promote love, honor, respect, integrity, faithfulness, trustworthiness, honesty, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

Then Jesus states the final criteria; we are to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.  It is now clear that the Standard for Godly living is beyond reach of any human.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. We are saved by grace through faith AND we are called upon to obey the
    Law. We who place our faith in Jesus Christ are under Grace and not under
    the Law. We are free from the consequences of the Law, death, and we are free
    to obey the Law without fear of condemnation. We can now be all that He wants
    us to be in Him.
  2. Adhering to these six principles will set us apart from the culture in which
    we live. They will enable us to be "salt and light" to others.
  3. Jesus makes the case that no one has or can live up to the standard set
    by the Law because God’s standard is perfection. It begs the question, ‘How
    then can we be saved?" The answer to that question [see #1] will be made
    clear later to those in attendance.

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