Thursday, October 17, 2013

Matthew 5:1-16

Matthew 5:1-12 – The Beatitudes

Jesus begins teaching His disciples on the mountainside - “The Sermon on the Mount”, which reveals the standards that Christ requires of all those who belong to Him.   Once we have repented, our sins are forgiven by Christ on the cross and we are a new creation in Him.  Now He teaches the secret of the Christian life.  We call it the Beatitudes.  These 8 attitudes bring about God’s blessings and are the character traits of Gods’ people.  Matt. 5:1-10 -

1.      Blessed are the poor – Those who can’t please God on their own, they are spiritual poor before Him.  It is the opposite of being self-centered.

2.     Blessed are those who mourn – Those who are sad and grieve over their sins and come to true repentance.  They are aware of their spiritual poverty.

3.     Blessed are the meek – Those who are humble, those who submit and are obedient to God.  To be meek is not a weakness.

4.     Blessed are those who hunger and thirst – Those who constantly seek God and want to do what is right.

5.     Blessed are the merciful – Those who are gracious to the underserving and don’t judge them, those who are forgiving like Christ was.

6.     Blessed are the pure in heart – Those who have proper motives and thoughts. Their purpose is to love God and serve Him in love to others.

7.     Blessed are the peacemakers – Those who reconcile relationships.  Jesus was known as the “Prince of Peace” and we want to be like Him.

8.     Blessed are those who are persecuted – Those who are courageous and endure adversity with unshakable convictions.  Jesus teaches that His followers will never get away from persecution and trial.  It should be a joy to share with Him in His suffering.

Jesus goes on to say “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matt. 5:11-12.

Blessed means fortunate, favored, happy, having good fortune.  Which of these traits is true of you?  How are they a blessing?

We learn about receiving rewards from these texts:
Matt. 5:12 – when we are persecuted because of Jesus, great is our reward.
Matt. 6:3-6, 16-18 – if we give in secret, we will be rewarded.
Luke 6:22-24 – when we suffer because of Jesus, great is our reward in heaven.
Luke 19:11-27 – we are to be productive and not lazy Christian to get our reward.
1 Cor. 3:8-14 – if our work survives, we will receive a reward.
Col. 3:23-24 – work as if working for the Lord and you will receive an inheritance from the Lord.
Heb. 10:35; 11:26 – don’t lose your confidence and regard disgrace for the sake of Christ for future reward.
Heb. 11:6 – He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
 
Will you receive a reward from Christ?
Do you follow what the above scriptures say about rewards?

Matthew 5:13-16 – Salt and Light

Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  "You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and tramples by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." - Matt. 5:13-16.

How is salt used?  It is used as a preservative and makes food taste better. 
One grain of salt changes the taste of food.  Salt gives savor and it hinders corruption.  We are committed to the whole truth of God, which is the salt that hinders corruption.  Jesus said the whole world is salted by you.

How can you be salt in the world?  We are an example to others.  We can forgive instead of taking revenge.  We can speak up when we see something is wrong.  When we hear an off-colored joke, we can put salt on it.

How is light used?  Light is invisible, yet powerful.  It helps you see in darkness, shows your path, warns you of danger, helps you see clearly.

How are Christians the light of the world?  We can be a witness for Jesus.  Our lives should reflect Jesus.  We can do good works and acts of kindness.  We can volunteer and help those in need.  We can be kind and forgiving.  We can be non-judgmental, slow to anger and show understanding toward others.

What must take place within the believer before God’s salvation can work outwardly in every situation?  Phil. 2:12-16 – We are to continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling and do everything without complaining or arguing.

Christ is the "light of the world" - John 8:12.  He calls you to be the light of the world by witnessing for Him.  There are lonely and troubled people in the world.  Have you given yourself in friendship talking with them about their concerns in order to bring them to Christ?

Principles:
Because Jesus experienced temptation and suffering, He is able to sympathize with us when we suffer.
Jesus is the perfect substitute for us and proves to be the perfect Savior.

See you next week with more on Matthew 5.

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