THE TWO SAYINGS
INTRO: The Sermon on the Mount is a study in contrasts. From beginning to end we see one contrast after another. It becomes very obvious that the cultural or world view of things is not Gods. And if one wants to be a kingdom citizen, his view of things must change dramatically. In our lesson this morning we will look briefly at the passages which begin, Ye have heard that it was said, compared with, But I say unto you. Two sayings ... one is what conventional thinking is saying ... the other what heaven is saying.
I. MT 5:20 THE THESIS PASSAGE
A. Scribes, Pharisees had a tradition rooted system
1. all tradition is not evil - we need to know that
2. but tradition which nullifies, circumvents Gods law is evil,
3. Mt 15:1-3,7-9
B. A vast body of rabbinic writings became authoritative
1. at rule keeping the Pharisees were experts
2. at neglecting the spirit of Gods revealed law in favor of narrow rabbinic interpretations which gave huge loopholes the scribes, Pharisees were without peer
3. note Rom 10:1-3
II. THE SAYINGS?
A. Mt 5:21,22 Murder ... or more?
1. Pharisees? do not murder ... the act is what is forbidden
2. but Jesus clearly disagreed with their viewpoint
3. Jesus taught that contempt, anger which lead to murder are forbidden
4. He taught that relationships had to be healed! and quickly; debts - even to enemies - had to be settled! and quickly
B. Mt 5:27,28 Adultery ... or more?
1. Pharisees? do not commit act of adultery
2. that narrow view left open a broad permissiveness ... a permissiveness which violated the law!
3. but Jesus taught that the spirit of the law went to lust which leads to the act is Gods intent in the seventh commandment! and the Pharisees totally overlooked that
4. note 5:29 ... the eye leads to the act! get rid of the eye
C. Mt 5:31,32 Divorce for any cause ... or not?
1. while dealing with adultery, Jesus notes this
2. from Mt 19:3ff its obvious that marital integrity was a matter of debate, dispute, discussion (2 primary schools)
3. current view? as long as you meet the legal stipulations, marriage could be dissolved
4. but Jesus corrects that view and states Gods law
D. Mt 5:33,34 An oath ... or more
1. Pharisees? only certain oaths required keeping them
2. only vows including the divine name were truly binding - otherwise a person could have flexibility in keeping vows
3. but Jesus taught that a formula was not the important thing - keeping the vow was vital
4. Gods view? if you give your word (commitment, promise), you are bound to keep it
E. Mt 5:38,39 Retaliate ... or more?
1. Pharisees? personal revenge is permitted by this law
2. but, conveniently, they had overlooked Lev 19:18
3. Jesus clearly teaches exactly that which the law specified .. no personal retaliation, vengeance
4. Rom 12:17 - 1 Thes 5:15 excellent commentaries
F. Mt 5:43,44 Love your friends ... or more?
1. Pharisees? my neighbor is one who loves me
2. this is exactly the point in Lk 10:29!
3. and Jesus further reinforces the law by noting that loving ones enemies requires action (5:44)
4. the worlds view is only interested in itself! we need to be careful that our behavior takes heavens view into practical consideration
CLOSE: To whose sayings are you listening?
Cecil A. Hutson
18 August 2002
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)