We are getting to the end of the Sermon on the Mount. We have moved pretty slowly through this just because it’s such a powerful set of texts. Next week we are going to continue on in Matthew, of course, but this is the last bit of the Sermon on the Mount and it says this (starting with verse 24):
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
Alright … Matthew, chapter seven.
We are going through the book of Matthew and we are in the Sermon on the Mount, getting closer and closer to the end of the Sermon. We are going to start in verse 21.
We talked a couple weeks ago about the narrow and wide gates. Last week we talked about the idea of prophets and fruit-bearing, and I took that to mean beyond just the prophetic realm to leadership in general. And with that, I wanted to make a couple quick clarifications before we read the text. One: somebody was concerned because they know people that are struggling in the church and I want to clarify again – I think I tried to make it clear last week, but maybe not clear enough — there is an expectation on leadership that is not on everybody else. By the way, as a leader, I have an expectation of you; but God puts a greater stress upon leadership in any church or city or whatever the case may be. There is a judgment for leadership that is going to be greater, according to the Scripture; and I take that seriously. So when we were talking last week, I wasn’t talking necessarily about the people who are coming to hear the Gospel, or people that are newly born again, or anything like that. I realize we are all going to struggle; we are all going to miss it. We are hoping, though, as we grow in Christ, we get better and better at walking out the Chrsitian walk. And more important than that, just better at loving Jesus Christ. Read More
We’re going to start in chapter 7, verse 13. We had an aside last week when we talked about baptism. The week before, Chase talked about verse 7-12 I believe it was, and so we are going to jump in on verse 13 and we will read that first and then go from there.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.”
We are going to move away from Matthew, to talk about baptism. Yesterday, when I decided to do this, I was thinking that I wish I would have gave Chase the option to talk about baptism or what he talked about last week. If I would have been paying attention, I would have done that, because it would have been nice if Chase chose baptism; to hear his take on it and what it is. But instead, you guys are going to hear my words again on baptism.
We are going to actually be covering a little bit of ground, so we will move kind of fast through some sections, and hopefully that won’t be a distraction to anybody. I want to talk a little bit about the history of baptism, and then we’ll talk about some of the scripture surrounding the baptism, etc.
First of all, the word baptizo means “to immerse, to plunge under, to die.” And because of those words, it became to mean “to be overwhelmed.” The idea, of course, is to be covered.
… But, anyway, we are kind of re-hashing because this is getting towards the end of the Sermon on the Mount and just to kind of review where we have been and what brings us to this point, starting in chapter 5- the Sermon started before that- but starting in verse 17, He starts to give this exposition of what righteousness is and how we can be righteous and how we can fulfill the law and whatnot. He has covered a lot of different topics; He has talked about different sin issues like adultery and murder, and He has talked about different interpersonal relationships- loving those around us, and loving those who hate you, and being generous to people, and whatnot; and then different motivations of what you should be seeking after – attaining wealth versus treasures in heaven – those types of things.
And kind of a big theme, or similarity, that runs through the whole thing is this heart issue and that a lot of it is based on your motives and not necessarily the very thing that you are doing. And so, I’ll get into that a little bit here on prayer today, but just kind of a background, remembering that that is what is kind of the focus throughout much of this sermon that He is giving is: what is going on in the heart rather than the actual actions or the words that you say, or things like that. Read More
We are going to talk about judging others today. So, we will read the text and I think what we are going to do is we are actually going to start in six, which is kind of- in some ways it’s not a stand-alone text actually, but we are going to actually start there and then we are going to go back to the other one.
It says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
And verse six says, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Read More
All right, you can turn over to the book of Matthew, chapter 6. I seriously, for a few moments, considered having Than play the Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” as the intro, but I chose not to do that. Nonetheless, I did listen to it this morning. I was thinking about how, whenever I think about worry, that’s one of the things that comes into my mind. And I realize that it’s not biblical, some of the things that he talks about – not worrying about things that we should not even be interested in. But nonetheless, the point is that idea that Jesus is trying to get his disciples to see: the value of Him towards them and therefore, how they don’t really have to consider a lot of the things that we do consider.
So, we’ll start with verse 25. It says, “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Read More