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A New Way of Living

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A New Way of Living

Matthew 5:1-10

5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek,

    for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

    for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful,

    for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart,

    for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,

    for they will be called children of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:1-10)

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)

Matthew is the gospel that gives the discourses of Jesus- Mark is the action, Matthew is the long teachings. 

The sermon on the mount is Jesus teaching on how to live the Christian life.  It is so rich that you almost always do an extensive study of it.  We will spend 7 weeks on it.  There are some things however that need to be flown over. So I want us to look at some of the general insights that are more seen by looking at the forest than by looking at the trees.  

1. A New Way of Life 

The first thing that grabs you about the sermon on the mount is that this is the way that Jesus wants you to live as a Christian.  

Be salt and light to a needy world.  Find the brokenness and get in.

See the value in every human being

Have sexual integrity. Do not do anything with your body you won’t back up with your life

Have integrity with your words. Let your yes be yes and no be no. Be transparent. 

Care for the poor without feeling superior 

Put your treasure in the right place

Do not worry or be anxious. Christians should have a deep poise and rest despite circumstances.

Make forgiveness and reconciliation your objective in life

Use discretion and humility  in your judgements 

Pharisees kept 613 rules. They were professional holy guys.  They worked extremely hard at it and Jesus says unless your righteousness exceeds those guys, you can't get into the kingdom of heaven.  Jewish scholar Steve Benneisten makes this observation:

So for the Pharisees, they not only tried to follow the 613 commandments of the Mosaic Law, but the literally thousands of new commandments that were created to clarify the original 613 commandments. For example, in the Mosaic Law, one of the commandments is to keep the Sabbath holy, which means that Jews were not supposed to work on Saturdays. But to clarify this, the Jewish scholars created 39 separate categories of what “work” means, and within those 39 categories there are many sub-categories. So to follow the rule of not working on the Sabbath, there are literally thousands of sub-rules to follow, including how many steps you can take, and how many letters you can write on the Sabbath. (Steve Benneston) 

2. Why this New Way of Life is Important 

When we live this way, our life takes on a radiance that is attractive to the world. 

3. How to Find this New Way of Life 

The natural thing that happens when we read the sermon on the mount is that we go from feeling inspired to feeling utterly in despair.

A Christian is only capable of this kind of life because something has happened in you that has convinced you that you are incredibly valuable to God.  IF you've never seen your infinite value then you can never live this way.  Something has to happen.  The commands of Christ are not the ways to attain it, but ways to work it out. The laws assume that something has happened on the inside. 

The key to understanding the beatitudes is to look at verse 6:

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

    for they will be filled.

  • A Christian is someone who hungers for something more than blessing.  
  • A Christian is someone who hungers for all that God has in store. 
  • A Christians sees all that is offered in righteousness and realizes he can’t do it on his own.  

Jesus is saying “I am the sermon on the mount”.  It will not be true in your life until you come to me. 

  • He is the one who turned his cheek
  • He is the one who loved God with all his heart
  • Jesus became poor so we could be brought in the kingdom of heaven.
  • Jesus mourned so we could be comforted.
  • Jesus became meek so we could inherit the earth.
  • Jesus hungered and thirst so we could be filled.
  • He was merciful so we could be shown mercy
  • He was pure in heart so we could see God
  • He was the peacemaker so we could be God’s children

Jesus  was persecuted because of righteousness so we could enter the kingdom of Heaven.

Discussion Questions:

  1.  How does this sermon show us a new way of life?
  2. What makes these commands so different?
  3. What is the significance of this teaching to you personally?
  4. Why do you believe Jesus emphasizes what happens in the human heart?
  5. How does this way of living impact the world?
  6. How does a person live this way?



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