TEXT: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth,that shall he also reap.” GAL 6:7
Every act is a seed. Negative acts bring negative harvests, while positive acts generate positive harvests. What you sow is what you reap. “Even as I have seen ,they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same”. Job 4:8
“….neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”Gen 8:21-22. God was saying, I have dealt with everybody collectively, I destroyed all living, but no more from now on ,each one will get whatever he deserves. “Give them according to theirdeeds,and according to the wickedness of their endeavours:give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.” Ps 28:4.”But let everyman prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” Gal 6:4-5. In other words every one will prove himself,every one will bear his own burden. Gal 6:8-10. What you sow is what you reap, so make good use of any opportunity, because that will determine what you will find tomorrow. The ways of every man is before the eyes of the Lord to reward every one according to the fruit of his doings. Jere 32:19.,Pro24:12. Ezk 14:14. Many are stagnated today and many destinies have been destroyed because of the evil seed they have sown in time past, either with their tongues or their actions.Eccl 10:8.
SCRIPTURAL REALITIES : PETER openly rebuked Jesus.Mark8:31-32. He must have done this in his ignorance, never the less ,in his own time too Paul rebuked Peter openly for his hypocritical attitude.Gal2:11-12. What you sow is what you reap. Every act is a seed that earns you a harvest of either blessing or curse.
DAVID sent Uriah to the war front to be killed, and took his wife Bathsheba . 2Sam 11:1-27. Quiet, often many are quick at condemning others, but you will discover that in condemning others you have been condemning yourself.2Sam12:1-8.There will always be a reward for what you do.2Sam12:10-14. What sword is in your house?, How often has your actions brought shame to the name of the Lord?. There is always a harvest time. Rape was found in the house of David.2Sam13:14.Murder was a constant threat in the house of David.2Sam13:26-30,2Sam18:14-15,1Kings2:23-25.His household rebelled against him 2Sam15:13-14.His wives were given to another in public view.2Sam16:20-23.Evil advisers helped to destroy his household.2Sam13:4-5,2Sam20-21.What you sow is what you reap.
SAUL(Paul the Apostle), before his conversion put many Christians through a lot of suffering. Acts 8:1&3,Acts 9:1-2,so after his conversion ,his first calling was to suffering. Acts 9:10-16.Every act is a seed.it was a harvest time for Paul.
JACOB supplanted Esau, his elder brother, tricking him out of his birth right.Gen27:5-10.Before,they were born God had already chosen Jacob as the family leader.Gen25:23,So Jacob didn’t need to cheat to see it come to pass. It was his mother that organized the cheating, and he accepted it.She resorted to doing something wrong to try to bring about what God had already said would happen. For Rebekah, the end justified the means. No matter how good we think our goals are ,we should not attempt to achieve them by doing what is wrong. Would God approve of the methods you are using to accomplish your goals? Although Jacob got the blessing he wanted.Gen 27:27-29 but deceiving his father cost him dearly. He never saw his mother again, his brother wanted to kill him.Gen27:41,his family became torn by strife, he was exiled from his family for years.Gen27:42-45.he in turn was supplanted for 14 years.Gen31:41 and for six years suffered in the hands of Laban who changed his wages ten times.Gen31:7. Harvest of evil. What you sow is what you reap. Many people are under self-imposed curses, things they have brought upon themselves. Jacob suffered so much, he had to run away from Laban’s house, that’s why when he met the angel he said, “I will not let thee go ,except thou bless me”.Gen31:26.Because he had been under a curse all these years. The angel changed his name from Jacob to Israel to deliver him from the curse.
No matter how miserable guilt makes you feel or how terribly you have sinned, you can pour out your heart to God and seek His forgiveness as David did.
A father’s mistakes are often reflected in the lives of his children. In Absalom David saw a bitter replay and amplification of many of his own past sins. David’s sins took him away from God ,but repentance brought him back 2Sam12:13.During this incident David wrote Ps51 and to express the joy he felt after he was forgiven, he wrote Ps32. In contrast Absalom sinned and kept sinning. Absalom wasn’t able to say “I am wrong, I need forgiveness. “Can you identify with Absalom “Do you find your self on the fast track towards self-destruction?. What you do to your neighbor, what you do to your boss/leader, what you do to your subordinate, what you do to your spouse matters to God. There is a reward for everything you do Eccl 10:7-9.Rev22:12.
However the time of ignorance ,God has waved, but He commands every man everywhere to repent.Acts17:30.
Now go to God in prayer: “Lord every evil seed I have sowed into any man’s life at any time in the past, oh blood of Jesus rescue me from the bondage of that seed, rescue me from the harvest of evil, let no evil return upon me, for I did not know it was a seed, help me Lord in the name of Jesus.”
CONCLUSION: One by one we shall appear before the judgement seat of God.2Cor5:10,Rom14:10.Let us be careful therefore what we sow. either with our tongues or by our actions. Pro24:26-28. Always Remember the golden rule.Matt7:12.
Ask the Lord now: “Lord help me to sow good seeds all the days of my life in the name of Jesus”.
FIRE BIBLE STUDIES
TOPIC: Why is the birth of Jesus Christ through a VIRGIN important to our Christian faith?
Jesus the son of God had to come as a human being. John1:14. Both fully human and fully divine.
As man He fully understands our experiences and struggles. Heb4:15-16, Heb2:18. We can tell Jesus all our thoughts, feelings, and needs because He has been where we are now as human and He has the ability to help.1Pe5:7.
As God, He has the power and Authority to deliver us from SIN. Col2:13-15. That is the reason Jesus had to come. Matt1:21, Luke1:31, Luke2:11&34. Those who believe will rise, those who do not believe will fall. John3:16-21.
So, Because He had to come as human, He had to be born of a woman and had to be free from the sinful nature passed onto all human beings by Adam,
Therefore, the woman had to a virgin. (A person who has never had sexual intercourse) who has never known any man. Luke1:34.
A virgin is considered spiritually pure, undefiled Rev14:4
So, Jesus, the son of God had to come through a clean, pure, and undefiled vessel to stand free of human sin before taking away the sin of the world. John1:29.
Jesus was born without any trace of human sin. He is the lamb that takes away the sin of the world. John1:29. He knew no sin 2Cor 5:21.
His birth through a virgin is important because it is a kingdom of purity.1Tim5:2,1Tim4:12 ,2Tim2:21.He was free of any human sin.
FOCUS: (1) Purity 2Tim2:21(2) Righteousness and Holiness 1Thess4:7,1Thess3:13, Eph4:24, Heb12:14.
CONCLUSION: We are called to be Holy in the way we live our lives and in all our conversations in life and to show ourselves Holy just as our God is Holy. 1Peter1:15-16. Always Remember that you are called to be Holy.1Tim4:7
Ask the Lord now: “Lord help me to live a Holy life in the name of Jesus”.
TOPIC: HANDLING UNEXPECTED SITUATION.
VS18 before they came together, she was pregnant with the child of the Holy Ghost. How would you feel? VS19 Joseph was faced with a difficult choice after discovering that Mary was pregnant. To marry her could be humiliating to him. As a just man, he did not want to make the matter public, he wanted to deal with it privately.
Making it public will bring scandal and tradition into it. Deut24:1. He had the option of sending her away quietly or have her stoned according to tradition. He chose not to conform to tradition. Rom12:2.
Verse 20. He thought on these things. Pro21:5. He did not act hastily. He did not take the course which the law would have permitted him to do. Though it was lawful but he would not bring himself under the law. 1Cor6:12. Because it does not edify .1 Cor10:23. he was not hasty, violent, or unjust. Pro29:20. It was a matter deeply affecting his happiness, his character, and the reputation and character of his chosen companion.
God will guide the thoughtful and the anxious. Pro3:5-6. when we have looked patiently at a perplexed subject or situation, and know not what to do, then God, as in the case of Joseph, will intervene to lead us, and direct our way, Ps 25:9.
God will direct the steps of the righteous. Ps37:23. God often shows us that there are more options available than we think. You may seem to be doing the right thing like Joseph who was doing the right thing by breaking the engagement, only God’s GUIDANCE helped him to make the best decision. Pro21:2, Pro16:2. God gave him a third option – MARRY HER VS20. When our decision affects the lives of others, we must always seek God’s guidance. Jeremiah acknowledged this important fact. Jere10:23.
QUALITIES in the life of Joseph. – (1) RighteousnessVS19, Pro14:34. (2) Discretion and sensitivity VS19.despite his knowledge of the issue, he did not make it public. Pro17:9.he bear each other’s burden, Gal 6:1-2, Rom15:1-3 (3). Responsiveness to God.VS24. He did as he was told. Gen22:1-3 (4) Self-discipline. VS25.He controlled and restrained himself. Temperance Gal 5:22. Gen39:9.
FOCUS: (1) Depend on God. Pro3:6. When you put your dependence upon Him and seek his direction, you shall not be left to perplexity or error. Pro 16:3; Ps 37:5; Jere 9:23-24.
(2) Let God decide everything. Eph3:20, Rom16:25, Jude1:24.
CONCLUSION: We are encouraged to hope for anything from God, for with God all things are possible. Mark9:23. Always Remember to bear one another’s burden and always allow God to guide you. Gal6:1-2, Ps25:9.
Ask the Lord now: “Lord guide and direct my ways and help me to bear the burdens of the weak around me in the name of Jesus”.
TOPIC: THE WORD OF GOD IS SURE
TEXT: MATT 2:1-23
The birth of Jesus Christ and the place of His birth was foretold by the prophets. Micah5:2, Isaiah9:6-7. The word that was spoken and written eventually came to pass. Matt2:1-6, John7:42. The word of God can not lie. This shows that the coming of Christ and all his ways were appointed by God from all eternity. The word of God is faithful, true, and tested without mixture of false hood. Ps12:6, Pro30:5
When God speaks, His word must surely come to pass, but the enemy will also try to attack it. Matt2:7-8. Herod did not want to worship Christ, he was lying and deceiving them to believe him. Rom16:17-18, Eph4:14, Gen3:1-4.it was a trick to reveal the whereabout of the new born King. We must not be ignorant of the devices of the enemy. 2Cor2:11. His plan was to kill Jesus whom he perceived to be a future threat to his position. Matt2:13. He was furious when he discovered that the wise men did not report back to him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under. Matt2:16. The enemy will do anything to destroy the plan of God for your life. John10:10. But God will not let him. Isaiah14:24.
When God speaks, He watches over His word to fulfil it. Isaiah55:11, Isaiah34:16, Matt5:18. HOW?
- By divine direction. He gives you direction on how to escape the trap of the enemy. After finding Jesus and worshipping Him, the wise men were warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod. Matt2:12. Finding Jesus may mean that your life must take a different direction. Are you willing to be led a different way? They met Christ and changed their way. 1Cor5:17.2Cor6:14.
Joseph was also told in a dream to take the child and the mother and escape to Egypt.Matt2:13. Taking Jesus to Egypt was a way of protecting and keeping Him safe. Ps41:2. Egypt was a hiding place. Ps 27:5. It was also to fulfil the word of God by the Prophets.Hos11: 1, Matt2:15. God will always protect and keep you safe till the fulfilment of His word in your life, if we obey Him and follow His directions.
After the death of Herod, Joseph was again told in a dream to return to Israel with the child and the mother for those who are after the child’s life are dead. Matt2:20. He returned to the land of Israel and followed the leading of God to the city of Nazareth in fulfillment of the word of God.Matt2:21-23. Divine guidance comes only to prepared hearts and Joseph remained receptive to God’s guidance.
FOCUS: (1) No one can prevent God’s plan from being carried out. Isaiah14:24&27, Ps33:9-11. Herod tried it and paid with his life. Matt2:19, Ps63:9, Luke19:27.
(2) Responsiveness and obedience to God’s word. Ability to adjust to God’s demand. Matt2:13-14, Luke5:27-28. Are you willing to respond to the urgent call and instructions of the Lord?
CONCLUSION: Do not be afraid to give Christ the throne of your life. Do not be like Herod who was afraid that Jesus will take his Throne. Jesus wanted to give Herod eternal life We must understand the reason for Christ coming. Some are afraid that Christ wants to take things away from them, may be their time or money? No, He wants to give you real freedom, peace, and joy. John14:27. Always remember that obedience to divine direction is key to the fulfilment of God’s word. Isaiah 1:19, Isaiah48:17-18.The word of God is sure.2Peter1:19
Ask the Lord now: “Lord help me to be responsive to God’s leading as I continually yield my life to Christ and obey His directions in the name of Jesus”.
TEXT: MATT 3:1-10
Repentance is an absolute necessity for salvation. Salvation depends on repentance. Matt3:2.
In other words, turn from your sins and turn to God, because the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The theme of John’s message was ‘Turn from your sins.’ A relationship with God begins with repentance. Preparing the way for Jesus in your life. This is the central message of John. There is no forgiveness of sin without repentance. Matt3:6. Repentance is more than just a change of mind but a change of behaviour with a deep remorse for doing wrong. Luke3:3,10-14. Luke15:18&21. Turning from sin toward God and turning from sin requires change of behavior.
We need to repent, make a turn from the kind of self-centeredness that leads to wrong actions such as lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, taking revenge, abusing, and indulging in sexual immorality. A person who turns from sin, would stop rebelling, and begins following GOD’S way of living as prescribed in His word. 2Cor5:17. Turn to God, live in His ways and turn off the old ways by putting on the new man. Eph4:24-32.
John the Baptist preached repentance. Matt3:2. He also warned about hell fire for refusing to repent. Matt3:7-10. Jesus at the start of His Ministry preached repentance. Matt4:17. He warned people that unless they repented, they would perish. Luke13:3&5. The disciples preached that men should repent. Mark 6:12. After His resurrection, Jesus told the twelve disciples to take the message of repentance to the whole world because it is the key that opens the door to forgiveness. Luke24:46-47. Repentance and Remission – repentance for forgiveness. The Apostles in the early Church preached repentance. Acts2:38, Acts3: 19, They also preached the need to do things appropriate to repentance. Acts26:19-20.
So, the first step to turning to God is to admit your sin. Luke15:18&21 -22, Acts2:37- 38. In other words, sins will not be wiped away without repentance. Acts3:19. God is now declaring that all men everywhere should repent and those who have not repented will be unprepared for the appointed day of judgment. Acts17:30-31.
FOCUS: (1) Acknowledge the need for repentance. There must be a conviction of the heart with a feeling of remorse for doing wrong. Acts2:37. Luke15:17-19. Acknowledge and confess your wrong. Ps32:5, Ps51:3-7, Jere14:20.
(2) Understand Repentance opens the door to forgiveness. The Key that opens the door to forgiveness is repentance. Luke24:46-47,1john1: 9,2Chro7:14. Do not cover your wrong. Pro28:13. If any say, I have sinned; repent and forsake his sins his life shall see the light. Job33:27-28.
(3) Show the Fruits of repentance. Matt3:8. What fruits have you in the life of sin but death? Rom6:21-23. Repentance requires Change of behaviour. Acts26:19-20, Luke3:10-14,1Kings21:27-29.
CONCLUSION: Turning from sin require change of behaviour. Have you turned from sin in your life? Can others see the difference it makes in you? A changed life with new and different behaviour makes your repentance real and visible.2Cor5:17, Eph4:24. Always remember that God’s grace offers you temporary opportunity to repent, not an opportunity to continue sinning. Rom6:1-2. it is damnation to believe that one can be saved without repentance.
Ask the Lord now: “Lord help me to acknowledge my wrong and to turn from it, so that I can live the new life in Christ Jesus in the name of Jesus”.
TOPIC: WATER BAPTISM
To be baptized with water unto repentance, presupposes that you have repented and turned to God and you have decided to live according to His ways. Water Baptism is an out-word sign of commitment to Christ and accompanied by an inward change of attitude leading to a changed life, which is the work of the Holy Spirit. Matt3:11. Mark1: 8. Everyone will one day be baptized, either now by the Holy Spirit or later by the fire of God’s judgement. Unrepentant people will be judged by fire and those who repent and believe will be saved and used by God. Matt3:11-12.
John was preaching that the baptism of Jesus would be much greater than his, but was surprised when Jesus came forward to be baptised by him. Jesus told him, we must do everything right in fulfilment of the word of God.Matt3:13-15. We all have a role to play towards the fulfilment of God’s word. Are you willing to play your roll? It was a test of John’s integrity, but he passed the test by publicly baptizing Jesus and even declared that Jesus must become greater and greater and he will become less and less. John3:30. Can we like John put our ego and profitable work aside in order to point others to Jesus? Are we willing to lose some of our status so that everyone will benefit? How are you playing your role? At the water baptism of Jesus, the trinity were present and active. Prayer at baptism opens the heaven. God the son was baptized, God the Holy Spirit descends, God the father speaks. Luke3:21-22, Matt3:16-17, This is the mystery of God.Matt28:19,1John5:7, Acts8:16.
THREE TYPES OF BAPTISM Mark16:15-16
- Baptism into the body of Christ. When a person is born again, he is automatically baptized into the body of Christ. He becomes a member of Christ’s body, the church.1Cor12:13, Rom6:3, Eph1:22-23, Col1:18&24.
- Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is an experience after salvation, and this baptism can and should be received by every believer. Acts2:1-4, Acts8:14 -17.
- Baptism in water. It is a baptism of repentance. Acts19:4-5.A sign of identifying with Christ in death, burial and resurrection.Rom6:3-4. Every believer should be baptized in water as soon as possible after he repents and believes in the Lord Jesus. it should be the first act of obedience of the new believer. Acts2:37-41, Acts8:12-13&36-39, Acts9:17-18.
He who receives not this baptism has neither right nor title to the kingdom of God; nor can he with any propriety be termed a Christian, because that which essentially distinguished the Christian is that you must be born again and be born of water and of the Spirit. John3:3&5.
FOCUS: Understand the underlying meaning of water baptism.
- Represents that our sins are washed away. So, we stand clean before Acts22:16. Therefore, we must have our life conformed to the precepts of God.
- Identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Once we have been born again and placed into the body of Christ, God considers us to be in Christ from that point on. Because Jesus was our substitute. God attributes all that Jesus did to our accounts. So, In Christ we have died, buried, and have been raised from the dead to live as new persons. Rom 6:3-5, Col2:12.
CONCLUSION: Every new believer should be baptized in water as soon as possible after he believes. Acts10:44-48, Acts16:31-33, Acts18:8, Acts19:1-5. Always remember, Water Baptism is an out-word sign of commitment to Christ with an inward change of attitude leading to a changed life for the kingdom.
Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to maintain my commitment to Christ, walking in the newness of life in the name of Jesus”
Satan’s temptations are real, and he is always trying to get us to live his way or our way rather than God’s way. Temptation is defined as “pressure applied to one’s thinking with the aim to create wrong emotions which will eventually lead to wrong actions.” Satan applies pressure to your thought to create wrong emotions that will eventually lead you to take wrong actions.
AREAS OF TEMPTATION: The devil’s temptation focused on three crucial areas.
- PHYSICAL NEEDS AND DESIRES. Matt4:3 Jesus was tempted in the wilderness where He was hungry and weak after fasting. The devil, often tempts us when we are vulnerable. Satan often takes advantage of our circumstances to tempt us. The poor, and hungry, and naked, he often tempts to pressure them to complain, and be dishonest pretending to supply their necessities. Reject pressure, have faith in God for your needs. Matt6:30-34, Phil4:19.
- EMOTIONAL NEEDS.Matt4:6. Satan used scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin. He often attempts to fill us with pride, and make us to begin to form ideas and questions, would God really protect? He endeavours to urge us to do something which may bring us low, and lead us to sin. He dares you with misapplied scripture. Ps91:11-12. Sometimes friends will present attractive and convincing reasons why you should try something you know is wrong. They may even find bible verses that seem to support their viewpoint. Be careful. 1Cor15:33. Ps1:1-2.
- POSSESSIONS AND POWER. Matt4:8. Satan was trying to distort Jesus’ perspective by making Him focus on worldly power and not on God’s plans. Satan offered Jesus the whole world if He would only kneel and worship him. Matt4:9. He often attempts to offer us the world by enticing us with materialism, power, and fame. The desire for quick power and easy solution will aways be exploited by Satan. Do not be carried away. 1John2:15-16, Pro28:21—23.
FOCUS: Overcoming temptation.
- Depend on God.Matt4:4. Focus on God’s purpose. Heb12:2. Jesus was in the wilderness to fast and to prove His sonship to God and not to eat. Satan wanted Him to prove His sonship to him. Matt4:3. Jesus was more focused on the purpose of God. Matt4:4. Luke4:4. Not by bread alone, simply means focus on God’s purpose. Life is not only about physical needs and desires but about living according to the purpose of God. Wilderness is a place where God proves you to know what is in your heart. Deut8:2-3. God can sustain our lives without food if he chooses. We shall live if God wills it, bread, or no bread; Matt 6:25-27. God can support our lives independent of our body Matt 10:28-30.
- Do not test God. Matt4:7. Focus on God’s plan. God wants us to live by faith not by magic. To expose yourself to any danger that is naturally destructive, with the hope that God will protect and defend you from the consequences of your careless conduct, is to tempt God. Do not jeopardise yourself without the command of God. Do not try to manipulate God’s word by asking for signs, focus on God’s plans and His commandments. Duet 6:16-17.
- No compromise with evil. Matt4:10. Focus on God’s person. You must worship the Lord your God, serve only Him.Deut6:13, Jos24:14,1Sam7:3. By serving God, Jesus obtained all the earthly authority which the devil offered him, and in addition to heavenly authority. Matt 28:18. So much better are the rewards of God than Satan’s.
CONCLUSION. The weapon which our Saviour made use of to repel the temptation, and to vanquish the tempter is the word of God, it is written. Learn, that the scripture, or the written word of God, is the only sure weapon with which to vanquish Satan, and to beat back all his fiery temptation. Eph6:17. Satan himself dose not have what it takes to oppose scripture: Not only did Jesus know the scripture, He also obeyed it. Satan, had memorized the scripture but failed to obey it, so he has no right to oppose the scripture. Always remember, God knows how to deliver the Godly out of temptation. 2Peter2:9. When you are tempted, turn to Him for strength.
Ask the Lord now: “Lord, save me now and lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil in the name of Jesus.” Matt6:13.
TOPIC: RESISTING TEMPTATION
Temptations are real. Eve was tempted in the garden of Eden.Gen3:1-7. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. Matt4:1-10. Satan, constantly tempts and fights against those who follow and obey God. Your true obedience is not known, if you have never had an opportunity to disobey. Temptation is a possible opportunity to disobedience. Resisting temptation is the Strength of your obedience to withstand the pressure of temptation. God led the children of Israel into the wilderness to humble and test them. God wanted to see if His people would really obey Him. Deut8:2. We too, will be tested, but your obedience can only be strong if it can withstand pressure. Joseph withstood and resisted the pressure of the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. Gen39:8-9.
DANGER OF FALLING INTO TEMPTATION:
- A Sin which leads to suffering. Gen3:16-19.to destruction.1Cor10:9. and to death.Pro.8:36, Ezk18:4 &20.
- God’s purpose hindered. If Jesus had given in to Satan’s temptation, His mission on earth would have been lost. So, every time you consider giving in to temptation, remember that Satan is trying to block God’s purpose for your life or for someone else’s life. Ps78:41.
LESSONS FROM THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS:
- Jesus was human. Luke4:2, John1:14, Isaiah9:6. we too, are human and will be tempted.
- Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. where He was tired, alone, hungry. Matt 4:1-2. Satan often takes advantage of our circumstances and wants to tempt us.
- It gave Jesus the opportunity to reaffirm God’s plan for His Ministry.Matt4:4 God’s purpose is more important than food or anything else.
- It gives us an example to follow when we are tempted. 1Peter2:21, 1John2:6, Heb6:12.
- Demonstration of His sinlessness Heb4:15,1Peter2:22. You can be tempted, but do not sin.
- Demonstration of consistent power of resistance. Matt4:4,7,10. James4:7
- Demonstration of Satan’s persistence. Matt4:3,6,9. Gen39:7-12. Temptation is persistent.
IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT TEMPTATION
- It is not a sin. To be tempted even to the greatest abominations, if you resist, it is not sin, for Christ was tempted to worship the DEVIL. Matt4:9. We sin when we give in and disobey.
- No man is exempted from temptation. No matter how holy, for God manifested to the flesh, was tempted by the devil. John1:14, Matt4:7,1Cor10:12
- There is no temptation that cannot be resisted. No matter the circumstances, God has promised to bruise even Satan under our feet. Rom16:20. when God permits a temptation or trial to come, He will give grace to bear or overcome it. 1Cor10:13.
- Do not be afraid of temptation. The fear of being tempted may become a most dangerous snare. Job3:25.
- It is part of the refining process. 1Peter1:7. It prepares us and helps us grow into the kind of person God wants. It advances our spiritual growth. James1:2-4.
FOCUS: How to resist temptation.
- Watch and pray. Be alert and pray so that temptation will not over power you. Matt26:41, watching, means being aware of the possibilities of temptation.,1Thess5:17. You become spiritually equipped to fight temptation when you stay in prayer. Luke18:1
- Study/ Meditate on the word. 2Tim2:15, Jos1:8, Know the word and obey it. James1:22, Ps119:11.
- Be vigilant. Be alert and ready, take firm stand against him and be strong in your faith.1Peter5:8-9.
- Live and Walk in the spirit Gal5:16-17&25. Avoid lust. Do not crave the things that the world James1:14-15,Ps78:18 ,1Tim6:9,1john 2:15-16.Beware of lust of the eyes. 2Peter3:17, Gen3:6.
CONCLUSION: Resisting temptation depends on how strong your obedience can withstand pressure. We will all face temptation, but we should not give in to temptation. Always remember that Jesus has gone through it and He is able to help us when we are tempted. Heb2:18.
Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to continually yield myself to you and strengthen me to continually resist the devil. James4:7.
TOPIC: STEP INTO YOUR PURPOSE
Every one created by God and sent into the world has a purpose. Gen1:26-28. Man was created as God’s representative to have dominion and be fruitful on the earth. Ps8:6. Purpose is the end for which something is done, is made or exists. The reason for existing. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. Luke19:10. To proclaim the truth. John18:37, To destroy the power of the devil. Heb2:14- 15,1John3:8. To experience humanity so that He could sympathise with us. Heb2:16-18, Heb4:15. John came to prepare the way of the Lord.Matt3:3. To prepare God’s people ready for the Lord.Luke1:17.
As soon as the purpose and Ministry of John ended, by his arrest and imprisonment, Jesus immediately stepped into His own Purpose and Ministry. Matt4:12-16. The end of John’s Purpose and Ministry did not stop Him. Jesus stepped into His own purpose and Ministry with the same message like John. Matt3:2, Matt4:17. The message is the same today as when Jesus and John preached it. “Turn from your sin. “Everyone born of God has a purpose. The same message Jesus committed to us at the end of His ministry. John20:21, Matt28:19-20. Have you stepped into your purpose? To teach others the ways of God as ambassadors for Christ.Matt28:19-20, 2Cor5:20-21. To bear fruit. John15:16&8. To be a praise and honour to God. Rev4:11,1Peter2:9, Ps69:30 -31.
LESSONS FROM HOW JESUS STEPPED INTO HIS PURPOSE.
- The arrest and imprisonment of John did not stop Jesus. Matt4:12. Let nothing stop you. Luke9:59-60.
- Jesus was focused on the purpose. Matt4:17. To seek and to save the lost. Luke19:10 Kingdom advancement was His passion. Matt6:33.
- Jesus went anywhere He could find people including the sea side. Matt4:18., Luke14:23.
- Jesus Helped others to find God.Matt4:18-19&21. He was calling them from their productive trade to be productive spiritually. They had jobs but they believed that following Jesus will change their lives. Elisha was a wealthy farmer before Elijah found him.1Kings19:19. May you help others to find God, and may you be able to find God even with your job.
- Jesus discipled others. Matt4:19&21, Matt9:9. You need others for the tasks associated with the purpose. You cannot do it alone. Matt10:1, Matt14:19. You need co- labourers. Matt9:38.
- Prompt response to service. Matt4:20&22. There was no hesitation but immediate service with promptness.1kings19:20, Mark1:18, Luke19:6. After the conversion of Paul, he started preaching immediately. Acts9:20.
- Family ties did not prevent them from serving God.Matt4:22. Luke14:26. They proved themselves as worthy disciples. Matt10:37, also worthy of reward. Mark10:29-30
- Their Job did not prevent them serving God. Mtt4:18&21. The Conditions for a true disciple include; Self-denial. matt16:24, Leaving al Luke14:33, Luke5:27-28, steadfastness john8:31.
Elisha was a wealthy farmer before he followed Elijah.1Kings19:19. May nothing hinder you.
- A focused Purpose brings fame. Matt4:23- Teaching shows His concern for understanding, Preaching shows His concern for commitment and Healing shows His concern for wholeness.
- Impact attracts more followers. Matt4:25, Mark3:8, Acts13-44.
FOCUS: How to step into your purpose.
- Arise and take responsibility. Matt4:12&23. Went about all Galilee focused on purpose.
- Stay focused on the purpose. Matt4:23, Matt6:33. Preaching the gospel of the kingdom, repentance. Luke13:2-3,2kings17:13.
- Be impactful. Matt4:23-24. Jesus was teaching, preaching, and bearing the burden of others. Matt8:17. Let your life and purpose touch lives. 1Thess2:8, Luke3:11.
CONCLUSION: Everyone born of God has a purpose. Let nothing stop you from taking steps to fulfil your divine purpose. Always remember to stay focused on purpose. Matt6:33.
Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to take the right steps towards fulfilling my divine purpose.
TOPIC: DIVINE BLESSINGS (THE BEATITUDES)
Christ began his sermon on the Mount with blessings, for he came into the world to bless us. Acts 3:26, He began by describing the traits He was looking for in His followers. Those who lived out this trait, He called blessed. “Divine Blessings or the Beatitudes is the blessings given by Jesus to those with certain character.” The word “blessed” means more than “happiness“. Happiness comes from earthly things; blessedness comes from God to those with certain character.
CHARACTERS OF BLESSED PEOPLE:
- Poor in Spirit.Matt5:3. Luke6:20. To be poor in spirit is to have a humble opinion of ourselves. Isaiah57:15. To be sensible that we are sinners, and have no righteousness of our own. Phil3:9. To be willing to be saved only by the rich grace and mercy of God; to be willing to be where God places us, to bear what he lays on us, to go where he bids us, to be willing to be in his hands. Ps 51:17; Pro 16:19.
- Mourn. Matt5:4. Isaiah61:1-2. To lament the iniquity that separated us from the fountain of blessedness. Jere5:25, 2Cor7:10. 2Sam 12:13; Matt 26:75.
- Matt5:5. Matt11:29. Those who are of a quiet, gentle spirit Gal5:23,1Peter3:4. The meek are those who quietly submit to God; who can bear insult; are silent, or return a soft answer.1Peter3:15. who, in their patience, keep possession of their own souls.
- Hunger and thirst after righteousness. Matt5:6, Isaiah55:1. Those who feel strong desire for righteousness before God.Ps42:1, Ps63:1-2. Ardently desire to be and do right because it is right.
- Blessed are the merciful. Matt5:7. Ps41:1. The tender-hearted, those who are so affected by the sufferings of others, as to be disposed to alleviate them. Matt 10:42. those who feel for the sufferings of others, and are disposed to relieve them.
- Blessed are the pure in heart. Matt5:8, Ps15:2, 1John3:2-3. The pure in heart are those who are free from evil desires and purposes. Their heart is sanctified and their life is like divine life which excludes all uncleanness. They love God with all their hearts.
- Blessed are the peacemakers. Matt5:9. Gal5:22. Those who strive to prevent contention, and strife, and war. Who use their influence to reconcile opposing parties, and to prevent lawsuits, and hostilities, in families and neighbourhoods. 1Cor6:5-7, Eph 4:1.
- Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: Matt5:10,2Cor4:17. To vex, or oppress one, because they are righteous, or are the friends of God. Those who suffer because of their loyalty to the kingdom of heaven are blessed by being bound more closely to that kingdom for which they suffer.
- Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Matt5:11, Luke6:22. This involves all outward acts of violence —all that hand can do, all calumny, slander, all that the tongue can affect. Ps31:13.
HOW TO DEVELOP THIS CHARACTER.
- Humble yourself before God. Yield to His authority and will. Commit your life to Him and to His control and be willing to follow Him.1Peter5:6-9
- Let there be sorrow and deep grief for your sins. Do not be afraid to express deep heartfelt sorrow for what you have done. Bow down before God.James4:9-10 Godly sorrow leads to repentance and forgiveness, but worldly sorrow leads to death .2cor7:10. Example of worldly sorrow Matt27:3-5.
- Accept and love other Christians despite their faults, when you see faults, be patient and gentle. Should anyone’s action annoy you, do not find fault or dwell on the persons weakness. Pray for the person and or spend time together and learn to like them. Build unity. Eph4:2-3
- Consider your values. To know Christ, should be our goal. Do not place anything above your relationship with Christ. Be careful of your priorities, do not let them stand in the way of your relationship with Christ. Trust in the righteousness of God and not in your own righteousness. Phil3:7-11,2Cor5:21, John16:5-11.
- Follow God’s example. John3:16. Our love for others should be of the same kind. A love that goes beyond affection to self-sacrificing service. Eph5:1-2.
- Without honesty, a relationship with God is impossible. Ps24:3-4. God greatly values honesty. As children of God, we are reflections of God and this should motivate us to keep pure and straight forward. 1John3:1-3.
- A right relationship with God leads to right relationships with fellow believers. As we become more like Christ, we become more empowered to pursue peace with everyone. Heb12:10-11&14.
- God is the only one you need to please. Do not be surprised when people misunderstand, criticize, and even try to hurt you, what you believe and how you live. Do not give up.2Tim3:12.
FOCUS: Ways to understand the Characters of blessed people.
- it is a standard code of conduct for all believers. John15:14, Jos1:8
- They describe what we should be like as Christ followers. Heb2:17, John14:23
- Each character trait tells us how to be blessed. John13:17
- It does not promise laughter or pleasure, John15:20.
- CONCLUSION: If you want to live for God, you must be ready to say and do what seems strange to the world. You must be ready to give when others take, to love when others hate, to help when others abuse, by giving your own rights in order to serve others. Always, remember, you will one day receive everything God has in store for you. Luke6:22-23.
Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to develop the required traits for divine blessings.
TOPIC: LESSONS FROM THE BEATITUDES
TEXT: MATT 5:1-12
- Develop the attitude of Humility. James4:7-10
- Sorrow should make us look for the heart and hand of God and so find the comfort latent in the grief. James4:7-10, Ps51:1-19.
- He who is of a meek or gentle spirit, is ever ready to associate with the meanest of those who fear God, feeling himself superior to none. Rom12:16. Eph4:2.
- Hunger and thirst for justice. Our desires of spiritual blessings must be earnest, trusting not in our own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ, which is of God by faith to all them that believe. Ro 3:22. Phil3:9.
- We must not only bear our own afflictions patiently, but we must do all we can to help those who are in misery. We must have compassion on the souls of others, and help them; pity those who are in sin, and seek to snatch them as brands out of the burning. Matt 25:34-40. God requires us to exercise the compassion towards others which we need to have exercised towards us. Eph5:1-2.
- The heart must be purified by faith, and kept for God. Ps15:2. Create in me such a clean heart, O God Ps51:10. None but the pure can see God.
- The peace-makers are happy. Heb12:14. They love, and desire, and delight in peace; and study to be quiet. They keep the peace that it be not broken, and recover it when it is broken. Ps 34:14 Long and most deadly quarrels might be prevented by a little kind interference in the beginning. Rom12:14-21.
- Great opposition for doing right. We are to consider this as a blessing. It is all evidence that we are the children of God, and that he will defend us. All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, 2Ti 3:12. Yet there is nothing in our sufferings that can merit of God; but God will provide that those who lose for him, though life itself, shall not lose by him in the end. Luke9:24.
- For my sake. Because you are attached to me; because you are Christians.Matt5:11. Revile you. Reproach you; call you by evil and contemptuous names; ridicule you because you are Christians. All manner of evil–falsely. It is not blessed to have evil spoken of us if we deserve it; but if we deserve it not, then we should not consider it as a calamity. We should take it patiently, and show how much the Christian, under the consciousness of innocence, can bear, 1Pe 3:13-18. Because you are attached to God, because you are Christians. We are not to seek such things. We are not to do things to offend others; to treat them harshly or unkindly.
THE BEAUTY OF PERSECUTION
- It takes our eyes off earthly rewards. Luke6:22
- It takes away superficial belief.2cor4:17 `1Peter4:12-13
- It strengthens the faith of those who endure2cor2:12
- Our attitudes through persecution serves as example to others who follow.2Tim3:12
- Because theirs will be the kingdom of heaven Matt5:3
- Mourning goes before comfort. comfort shall follow mourning. Godly sorrow for our own and others’ sins shall end in everlasting joy and comfort. Matt5:4, 2Cor1:4-7, John 16:20.
- Meekness promotes wealth, abundance, comfort, safety, even inherits the earth. Ps37:11, Ps 22:26; Ps25:9.
- He will not forsake the work of his own hands they shall be filled. PS 34:19; Isaiah 65:13. John4:14. And receive what they desire, and be satisfied. Ps 17:15, Luke6: 21.
- Whatever mercy a man shows to another, God will take care to show the same to him. 2Sam 22:26-27, Ps 18:25-26. The forgiving is forgiven Matt 6:14-15.
- The pure in heart are happy; for they shall see God. Holiness is key. Heb12:14.
- God is the Author of peace.1Cor14:33. Those who resemble God, who manifest a spirit like his, all those who endeavour to promote peace are like him, are worthy to be called his children.1Peter3:9.
- For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.1Peter3:13-14 They shall be brought to heaven for righteousness’s sake
- Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matt5:12,1Peter4:13-14, Luke6:22-23
CONCLUSION. Kingdom people seek different blessings, always remember to let your attitudes reflect the humility and self-sacrifice of Jesus.
Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to develop the required traits for divine blessings.
TOPIC: THE SALT OF THE EARTH
TEXT: MATT 5:13
There are three parts to Matt 5:13.
1.WHAT A CHRISTIAN SHOLD BE: Ye are the salt of the earth: Our Lord Jesus Christ shows here what the preachers of the Gospel, and what all who profess to follow him, should be; the salt of the earth. We are designed to preserve the world from rot and destruction. Christians are the salt of the earth. The value of a seasoning is the flavour or taste. The value of a Christian is his impact or influence. Matt28:18-20, Acts11:19-26
- WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN TO A CHRISTIAN: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? Ps11:3., Mark9:50. Luke9:62. If a seasoning has no flavour or taste, it has no value. If a Christian makes no effort to affect the world around them, they are of little value to God. Heb 10:38, To lose your taste signifies deterioration. Isaiah1:22, Lam4:1. To lose your taste signifies backsliding. Hos11:7, Matt24:12, Gal1:6. If we are too much like the world, we are worthless. Christians should not blend in with everyone else.2cor6:14. Rom12:2. Instead, we should affect others positively, just as salt or seasoning brings out the best flavour or taste in food.
- THE CONSEQUENCE: it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. It is a dangerous thing to lose your taste Heb 6:4-6; 2Pe 2:20-21. If you lose your taste, you become worthless and a cast away. John15:6. Matt 8:12; Matt 22:13.
QUALITIES OF SALT: Salt renders food pleasant and palatable, and preserves from rot or decay. Salt was required in all the sacrifices in the old covenant to preserve it. Lev 2:13. So, Christians, by their lives and instructions, are to keep the world from entire moral corruption. By bringing down, by their prayers, the blessing of God, and by their influence and example, 2Cor1:4,2Cor3:2. Christians are designed to save the world from universal vice and crime. Salt is a preservative, so are Prophets, Servants of God, and Christians, they are preservatives. Hos12:13,2Sam3:18.
SALT AND THE GOSPEL: The tenet of the gospel is like salt. What salt is to food is what the gospel is to life. John6:63, Pro4:20-22. it is penetrating, quick, and powerful Heb 4:12; it reaches the heart Acts 2:37. It is cleansing, and preserves from decay. John17:17. It manifests the savour of the knowledge of Christ 2Co 2:14. An everlasting covenant is called a covenant of salt Num 18:19; and the gospel is an everlasting gospel. John5:24.
FOCUS (1) DO NOT LOOSE YOUR TASTE: Christians, and especially ministers, are the salt of the earth. A wise man said; Without salt human life cannot be sustained. Christians are themselves to be seasoned with the gospel, with the salt of grace; thoughts and affections, words, and actions, all seasoned with grace, Col 4:6. Have salt in yourselves, else you cannot diffuse it among others, Mark 9:50. Christians must not only be good but do good. Gal6:10. (2) IT IS DANGEROUS TO LOSE YOUR TASTE: To be trodden underfoot. Matt5:13.
it is really an ill omen to have the salt fall from us. If you, who should season others, are yourselves of bad taste, of questionable character, void of spiritual life, and vigour; if a Christian be so, especially if a minister be so, his condition is very sad; Because;
(1.) He is irrecoverable: Wherewith shall it be salted? Salt is a remedy for unsavoury meat, but there is no remedy for unsavoury salt. Christianity will give a man a relish; but if a man can take up and continue the profession of it, and yet remain flat and foolish, and graceless and insipid, no other doctrine, no other means, can be applied, to make him savoury. If Christianity do not do it, nothing will.: Heb 6:4-6.
(2.) He is unprofitable: It is thenceforth good for nothing; what use can it be put to, in which it will not do more hurt than good? As a man without reason, so is a Christian without grace. A wicked man is the worst of creatures; a wicked Christian is the worst of men; and a wicked minister is the worst of Christians. Mark 8:36.
(3.) He is doomed to ruin and rejection; He shall be cast out– -expelled from communion of the faithful, to which he is a blot and a burden; and he shall be trodden under foot of men. Eph5:11,2Thess3:6.1Cor5:2.
CONCLUSION: The preacher, or Christian, who has lost the life of Christ, and the witness of His Spirit, out of his soul, may be likened to this salt. He may have the sparks and glittering particles of true wisdom, but without its unction or comfort. Matt7:15, Matt10:16. Only that which is connected with the rock, And the soul that is in union with Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit, can preserve its savour, and be instrumental of good to others., Col 4:6. Have salt in yourselves, else you cannot diffuse it among others, Mr 9:50. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to remain salted, so that I will not be a castaway in the name of Jesus. 1Cor9:27
TOPIC: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
TEXT: MATT 5:14-16
This topic can be broken down into seven parts
- Ye are the light of the world.: WHAT A CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE Matt5:14a. A Christian is the light of the world by virtue of the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them Ps36:9,and the same mind being in them which was in Christ Jesus. Phil2:5. We shine with the light of Jesus upon the world. Matt4:16, John8:12, John9:5. A Christian should shine as light to the world. Phil2:15. Christian light shines continuously and progressively. Pro 4:18.
- A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.: A CHRITIAN LIFE IS AN EXALTED LIFE. A Christian cannot be hidden. Matt5:14b. You cannot hide a city that is sitting on top of a mountain. At night its light can be seen from miles. If we live for Christ, we will glow like lights, showing others what Christ is like. Acts4:13. We are the instruments and the means of diffusing the light of life throughout the world. Acts1:8.
- Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel.: A CHRITIAN LIFE MUST BE PROPERLY POSITIONED.Matt5:15a. When men light a candle, they do not conceal the light, but place it where it may be of use. A Christian must be properly positioned to show himself visible. the very design of God in giving you this light is that it might shine. Mark 4:21. Only those who have bad designs hide a candle under a bushel; that, in the dead of the night, when all are asleep, they might rise up, and have light at hand to help them to effect their wicked purposes.
- but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.: A CHRITIAN LIFE IS FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS: Matt5:15b. Jesus is showing us here that the very reason why we were enlightened is, that others might also see the light, and be benefited by it. Luke 8:16; Luke11:33. A Christian show himself when he sheds light on a surrounding wicked world.
- Let your light so shine before men: A CHRISTIAN MUST WALK IN THE LIGHT AND BY THE LIGHT: Matt5:16a. it is not sufficient to have light-we must walk in the light, and by the light. let your holy life, your pure conversation, and your faithful instruction, be everywhere seen and known, Always, in all societies, in all business, at home and abroad, in prosperity and adversity. 1Peter2:12. 1Thess 2:12;1John 1:5-7.,1Thess5:5, Eph5:8.
- that they may see your good works: A CHRISTIAN MUST SHOW THAT HE IS REALMatt5:16b. let it be seen that you are real Christians by what you do. Our whole conduct should be a perpetual comment on the doctrine we have received, and a constant example of its power and truth. Acts 9:36; Eph 2:10; 1Tim 2:10;1Tim 5:10; 1Tim6:18, Titus 2:7; Titus3:4,7,8,14; Heb10:24.
- and glorify your Father which is in heaven.: A TRUE CHRISTIAN SHOULD ACT TO GLORIFY GOD: Matt5:16c. It is not right to do a thing merely to be seen by others, for this is pride but we are to do it that, being seen, God may be honoured. Glorify your Father. Praise, or honour God, or be led to worship him. Seeing in your lives the excellency of the power and purity of the gospel, others may become Christians also, and give praise and glory to God for his mercy to a lost world. John 15:8; 1Cor 14:25,1Peter 2:12; 1Peter3:1,16.
FOCUS: HOW DO CHRISTIANS HIDE THEIR LIGHT? (1.) By being quiet when we should speak. John12:35 (2) By going along with the crowd.2Cor6:14,1John2:15-16. (3). By denying the light.2Tim3:5 (4). By letting sin dim our light.1John3:8, (5) By not explaining our light to others. John4:29. (6.) By ignoring the needs of others. Matt25:35-36.
LESSONS FROM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
(1.) that if the light in you exists, it cannot be concealed.
(2.) That where it is not manifest in your life, it does not exist.
(3.) That Christians, who live like other men, is evidence that they have never been renewed.
(4.) That to attempt to conceal or hide our Christian knowledge or experience is to betray our trust, and injure the cause of mercy, and render our lives useless. And,
(5.) that good actions will be seen, and will lead men to honour God.
CONCLUSION: Be a beacon of truth, do not shut your light off from the rest of the world. If we have no other way of doing good–if we are poor, and unlearned and unknown–yet we may do good by our lives. No sincere and humble Christian lives in vain. The feeblest light at midnight is of use. So, arise and let your light shine. Isaiah60:1. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to shine for the world to see and glorify your name in the name of Jesus.
TOPIC: CHRIST AND THE LAW
TEXT: MATT 5:17-18
God’s laws are given to help people love God with all their hearts and minds. This is the original purpose, and that is what Jesus came to fulfil. He did not come to destroy it, but to accomplish what was intended in them. To complete the design; to fill up what was predicted, Col 1:25. He came to tell us about a new way to understand God’s laws which is Grace and truth John1:17.
WHAT IS THE LAW? It is the word of God. Deut17:19. It is the instruction to obey. Jos1:8, Jos23:6. It is the five books of Moses, called the law. Luke 24:44. John1:17. If Jesus did not cone to abolish the law, does that mean all the Old Testament laws still apply to us today? The process may be different, yet the purpose remains the same. Mark12:30-31. Rom8:4.
There are three categories of law in the Old Testament.
1.THE CEREMONIAL LAW: This relates specifically to Israel’s worship of God. God placed emphasis on sacrifice. Lev1,2,3. God designed sacrifice to seek forgiveness and restore a relationship. He instructed people to kill animals as sacrifices for sin. The animal symbolically took the sinner’s place and paid the penalty for sin and the animal’s death represents one life given so that another life could be saved. A person who had sinned will bring an animal with no defect to the priest, and lays his hand on the head of the animal to symbolize the person’s complete identification with the animal as his substitute. The animal is killed and the priest sprinkled the blood. He symbolically transferred his sins to the animal and thus his sins were taken away. But in the New Testament Christ’s death became the last sacrifice needed. He took our punishment once and for all. Isaiah53:4-5. Animal sacrifice is no longer required. While we are no longer bound by ceremonial law, the principles behind them still apply-, that is, to worship and love a holy God.John4:21-24. Rom12:2. Jere31:33
- THE CIVIL LAW: This applies to daily living in Israel.Deut24:1-22. The law was to make people think twice before devoicing, it does not support devoice. Newly married couples were to remain together in their first year, to avoid excessive burden on the new marriage and to give it chance to mature and be strengthened. The poor was to be treated with justice. It is the law that should guide the daily living of the people. Because Morden society and culture are so radically different from that time and setting, all these guidelines are no more specifically followed. But the principles and purposes behind the laws are still very relevant and should guide our conduct. Jesus demonstrated these principles. Matt19:9, Matt5:42 -48, Mark12:33.
- THE MORAL LAW: This is a direct command of God such as the ten commandments, and it requires strict obedience. Ex20:1-17. The moral law reveals the nature and will of God, and it still applies today. Jesus obeyed the moral law completely. Matt3:15. Faith in Christ dose not wipe out the Old Testament. When we understand the way of salvation through faith, we understand why Abrahm was chosen, why the Law was given and why God worked patiently with Israel for centuries. So only when we have faith do, we truly fulfil the law. Rom3:31. Christ accomplished the whole purpose of the law by fulfilling the purpose and goal of the law as he perfectly exemplified God’s desires on earth. Matt5:17. He is also the termination of the law because in comparison to Christ, the law is powerless to save. Rom10:4. The law was to lead us until Christ came. The law teaches us the need for salvation. God’s grace gives us that salvation. The Old Testament still applies today, in it God reveals His nature, His will for humanity, His moral laws, and His guidelines for living. But we cannot be saved by keeping that law, we must trust in Christ.Gal3:24-27.
- No more animal sacrifices.
- Jesus is the true and final sacrifice
- Certain laws in the Old Testament are still relevant today. because it is still the word of God, though times and cultures may have changed, yet the purpose and goal remain the same.
CONCLUSION: Matt5:18. Till all be fulfilled. Or, accomplished. Though all earth and hell should join together to hinder the accomplishment of the great designs of the Highest, yet it shall all be in vain-even the sense of a single letter shall not be lost. The words of God, which point out his designs, are as unchangeable as his nature itself. Every sinner, who perseveres in his iniquity, shall surely be punished with separation from God and the glory of his power; and every soul that turns to God, through Christ, shall as surely be saved, as that Jesus himself hath died. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to live the life of faith in Christ and let the word of God be fulfilled in my life in the name of Jesus.
TOPIC: THE PATH WAY TO TRUE GREATNESS
TEXT: MATT 5:19-20
Obeying God’s word is better than explaining them.1Sam15:22. it is much easier to study the word of God and tell others to obey them than to put them into practice. Matt23:2-4, Rom2:21-24. HOW ARE YOU DOING AT OBEYING GOD YOURSELF?
For better understanding, this topic shall be divided into three:
- BREAK AND TEACH OTHERS=Least in the kingdom. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, Matt5: 19a, Matt5:18. Christ teaches that in His kingdom, those who Shall break, violate, or disobey the least of His commandments and those who teach that any word of God might be violated with impunity, James2:10, Matt23:23. shall be called least; “he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven”. Matt5:19c, Matt3:2. In other words, he that breaks the least of these commandments shall not be regarded as a proper Christian teacher. People often pick and choose what to obey and what not to obey by their traditions. Matt 23:23; Matt15:1-6. Jesus says, that in His kingdom all this vain division and tradition should cease. He that attempted it should be the least of all.
- DO AND TEACH OTHERS=Great in the kingdom: “but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt5:19d., James1:22. In other words, He that shall do and teaches that all the word of God is binding, and that all of it should be obeyed, without attempting to specify what is most important, shall be a worthy Christian and teacher worthy of his office, who teach the truth, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt 7:21; Luke 6:46; Luke11:28.
- EXCEEDING RIGHTEOUSNESS=Kingdom of Heaven 1John3:7 “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matt5:20. Jesus means, that unless we have more real holiness in our character, conduct and lives than the scribes, we cannot be saved. The righteousness of the pharisees was external, and was not real holiness. Their righteousness consisted of outward observance of the ceremonial and traditional law. They offered sacrifices, fasted often, prayed much, were very meticulous about ablutions and tithes and the ceremonies of religion, but neglected justice, truth, purity, holiness of heart, and did not strive to be pure in their motives before God. Matt 23:1-9,23-28. But, the righteousness of true Christians is seated in the heart, and is therefore genuine. 1John3:7-10, Mark7:2-23. The righteousness that Jesus required in his kingdom was purity, chastity, honesty, temperance, the fear of God, and the love of man. This righteousness is pure, eternal, teaching the motives, and making the life holy. Phil3:9.
- That all the WORD of God is binding on Christians. James 2:10
- That all the commands of God should be preached, in their proper place, by Christian ministers. Matt28:19-20.
- That they who pretend that there are any laws of God so small that they need not obey them, are unworthy of his kingdom. Luke9:62.
- That true Christians has respect to all the commandments of God, and keeps them, Ps 119:6.
- That those who honour the word of God shall be called great. 1Sam 2:30
- That the kingdom of heaven is the glorious prize or reward set before a true Christian. Matt5:19.
- That the means required to obtain this prize, and laying hold of this reward; is that we must be holy and righteous persons: Matt5:10.
- That the special qualification for that righteousness, which will entitle us to heaven and salvation is a righteousness which exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees.Mathh5:20.
- That Service is the true path way to greatness in the kingdom of heaven. matt23:11.
- That holiness of heart, and righteousness of life, which God’s word requires of us, is absolutely and indispensably necessary to salvation. Heb12:14.
- That the quality of our goodness should be greater than that of the Pharisees, they look pious, but they are far from the kingdom of heaven. Matt5:20.
- That God judges our heart as well as our deeds, for it is in the heart that our real allegiance lies.1Sam16:7, Matt15:8.
- That We must be more concerned about our attitudes that people do not see as much as our actions that are seen by all. Matt5:16
- That obedience Come from what God does in us, not what we can do by ourselves. Phil4:13.
- That we should be God cantered, not self -cantered. Matt6:33.
- That our obedience should be based on reverence for God, not approval from people. Mark7:9.
- That we should Go beyond keeping the word of God to living by the principles of behind the word. James2:10. James1:22.
- That Disobeying God and Teaching others to disobey brings you low. Matt5:19.
CONCLUSION: You are not a great Christian, because you know Christ, you are a great Christian, because you practise the word of God.James1:22. YOU are not a great Christian, because you go to church, you are a great Christian because you truly serve God with your heart. Deut11:13, Matt 22:37, Jos22:5,1Sam12:24, Eph6:6, Matt15:8. You are not a just Christian because you hear the word of God, you are a Justified Christian because you do the word of God.Rom2:13. The weakness of so many like the pharisees is that they are satisfied to obey outwardly the word of God without allowing God to change their hearts or attitudes. Rom 9:31, Rom10:3. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, by the Spirit of your word, change my heart and attitude, let me obey your word from my heart in the name of Jesus.
TOPIC: DEAL WITH ANGER
TEXT: MATT 5:21-26
Jesus teaches us to avoid the sin of anger which we regularly commit. Many people often try to avoid extreme sins, but regularly commit the sin of anger. Anger itself is not a sin. Eph4:26. But we must make dealing with anger a priority Otherwise, bitterness or the desire for vengeance can grow, leading to more sinful thoughts and actions. Gen4:6-8.
WHAT IS ANGER? A strong feeling of displeasure, hostility or antagonism towards someone or something, usually combined with an urge to harm, often stemming from perceived provocation, hurt, or threat. (English dictionary)
Anger can be a good thing.it can give you, a way to express negative feelings Eph4:26, God expressed anger Ex 4:14, Num11:10, Ps7:11, or it can motivate you to find solutions to problems. Mrk3:5, John2:13-17, Matt21:12. But excessive anger can cause problems. Uncontrolled anger quickly leads to doing wrong. This is the anger that Jesus teaches us to avoid, the anger that leads to sin and separates us from God. It is not meant to be lived in, but to be dealt with. Num20:8-13.
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.” Matt5:21. God cares about actions, but He cares most about the heart. The reason for the command not to kill is given in Gen9:6. if being made in the image of God makes it wrong to murder, it also makes it wrong to call a person “worthless.” Matt5:22.
“But I say unto you,” Matt5:22a in other words, God intends mankind to focus their obedience to these commands, because obedience to the commandment against murder begins with eliminating anger for one’s brother.
“That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment”: Matt5:22b. This is improper attitude. To be un-righteously angry with another person makes one subject to God’s judgement. Can you honestly claim you have never been angry towards someone else? Or that every unhappy thought was perfectly justified?
“And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the Council.” Matt5:22c. Jesus acknowledges that someone who insults another risks judgement from other men, meaning that someone who is angry enough to insult another must answer not just to God but to authority.
“But whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire”. Matt5:22d. Being angry enough to insult another makes a person liable to hell fire. Attitudes of hatred do not just lead to acts of violence Gen4:6-7, they are sins in themselves. So, we should reject anger, insults, and name-calling for the same reason we reject murder. Eph4:31. Every person is made in the image of God.Gen9:6.
“Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against three.” Matt5:23. Jesus is saying, when one realises that one has offended some other person, when a true believer realises, they have done something to make another person angry, they ought to act quickly to make things right. Matt5:9.
“Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matt5:24. Jesus stressed the importance of seeking to resolve conflicts., that even spiritual actions should be set aside until reconciliation can be made between two people in angry conflict. Do not wait, leave what you are doing, make things right as soon as possible, then come back and finish what you are doing. Our hearts are not right with God if they are not right with each other.1John4:20.
“Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.” Matt5:25. If you have truly wronged another person, you are in danger of judgement, so the proper response is to make things right quickly, have a right spirit, a good relationship with people to avoid judgement and prison.
“Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.” Matt5:26. Someone thrown into prison may never get out until they have paid for their wrong doing, so make things right with everyone as quickly as possible.
- We are commanded not to kill. taking the life of another, with malice, or with intention to murder. Killing is a terrible sin. Ex20:13.
- Anger is a great sin, because it violates God’s command to love.1Jojn3:14.
- We shall be in danger and shall be held guilty, and be punished. Num35:31.
- Anger is not the same thing as murder, but excessive anger is a sin and murder is a sin that we must put away. Col3:8.
- Anger may lead to murder. Gen4:5-8,1John3:15.
- Self-control is good, but Jesus wants us to practice thought control, because we will be held accountable for our attitudes. Matt5:22.
- Our attitudes towards others reflect our relationship with God.1John4:20.
- The responsibility to reconcile rests on the person who realises they have given another person cause to be angry. Matt5:23-24.
- Broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God.1John4:20
- We should resolve problems as soon as possible before anger causes more trouble. Pro25:8-10
- We are hypocrites if we claim to love God while we hate others.1John4:20.
- Our attitudes towards others reflect our relationship with God.1John4:20.
- Get things right with our brothers and sisters before we stand before God.Matt5:24.
WHAT YOU NEED IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH ANGER
- PATIENCE: Ecc7:9, Ecc5:2, James1:19-20 Pro 14:17; Pro16:32
- THE WORD OF GOD PS119:11.
- HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, John14:26, Gal5:22, Rom8:26-27
- PRAYER AND FASTING.Luke18:1,1Thess5:17, Matt17:21
CONCLUSION: Anger can be a helpful emotion, but it must be handled carefully and quickly to avoid sin. We are not to live in anger, we are to deal with anger. Eph4:31. It is not enough to avoid killing, we must avoid anger and hatred.1John3:15. It is not enough to offer regular gifts, we must have right relationships with God and others.1John4:21. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, deliver me from the spirit of anger and make my heart right towards other people in the name of Jesus.
TOPIC: AVOID LUST
TEXT: MATT 5:27-30
This teaching is meant to explain the reality of sin, and to highlight the need for grace and faith in salvation and not good works.
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Matt5:27. This is the seventh commandment. Ex20:14, Deut5:18. In the old restatement it is wrong for a person to have sex with someone other than his or her spouse. Ex20:17. Pro6:25-29. You are taken for an adulterer before God, whoever you are, that covets or desires another man’s wife. Deut5:21. For example, King Daivid 2sam11:2- 5 &27,2Sam12:9-12. Potipher’s wife. Gen39:7-12. But in the New Testament it goes beyond the act. The thought of it is as sinful as the act. Jesus said that the desire to have sex with someone other than your spouse is mental adultery and it is a sin.
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matt5:28. In his heart, means that the laws of God extend to the thoughts; and men may violate them in their hearts without manifesting their feelings in outward conduct. You may think in your heart and not act, but the fact that you did not act does not mean you have not sinned. Pro6:25,2Peter2:14, James1:14-15. The heart is the source of your actions, and it is the factory where evil desires are conceived. Luke6:45. What we think in our hearts leads to what we do. Pro4:23. Therefore, examine your life for anything that causes you to sin, and take every necessary action to remove it.
“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell” Matt5:29. We should blind ourselves by taking care not to look with evil eyes. Job31:1. we should discipline ourselves by absolutely refusing to go to forbidden resorts. Col 3:5. It is better to experience the pain of getting rid of a bad habit than to allow the sin of it to bring judgement and condemnation to you. Matt 18:8-9.
“And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matt5:30. Our Lord Jesus, here emphasizes the seriousness and sincerity with which we should seek a sinless life by letting the terrors of hell constrain us, and the joys of heaven encourage us to seek righteousness. The right eye and hand and foot were regarded as the most precious Ex 29:20, Mark 9:45 but it is better to lose the dearest thing in life than to lose one’s self. Matt16:26. It is better to be deprived of all earthly advantage than to be cast into hell.
LESSONS: Acting out sinful desires is harmful in several ways
- Lust is absolutely a sin, even if it never results in physical action. Matt5:28.
- It makes people to give excuse for sin rather than to stop sinning. Rom6:1
- It destroys marriages and relationship. To be faithful to your spouse with your body, but not your mind is to break the trust so vital to a strong marriage and relationship. Rom12:9
- It can be a deliberate rebellion against God’s word. Luke16:15.
- It always hurts someone else in addition to the sinner. Pro6:25-29.
- Sinful actions are dangerous and sinful desires are damaging to obedience.
- Wrong desires if unchecked will result in wrong actions and will turn people away from God.Luke21:34.
- The eye, the right hand is the instrument of outward action.1John2:16
- The heart is the instrument of the inward action. PS66:18, Luke6:45.
- What you think in your hearts leads to what we do with our bodies.
- God intent is for people to control what happens in their hearts and minds well before the opportunity for physical action. James4:8.
- True righteousness is not merely about what a person does but includes what they think and feel. James3:14.
HOW TO AVOID LUST:
- DISCIPLINE YOUR BODY. Rom 8:13; 1Cor 9:27; Col 3:5.
- DISCIPLINE YOUR EYES. Job31:1. Ps 119:37; Pro 4:25; Pro 23:31-33; 1John 2:16
- WALK IN THE SPIRIT.Gal5:16
- PUT ON JESUS CHRIST. Rom13:14, Eph3:17.
- DO THE WILL OF GOD. 1John2:16-17.
- AVOID ALL OPPORTUNITIES THAT MIGHT MOVE YOU TO EVIL, NO MATTER WHAT IT COSTS YOU. 1Thess5:22.
- DEPEND ON GOD FOR GRACE.Eph2:8-9, Phil4:13.
CONCLUSION: Examine your life for any thing that causes you to sin, and take every necessary action to remove it. It is not enough to avoid adultery; we must keep our hearts from lusting and be faithful. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, let Christ be formed in me and help me to a overcome the spirit of lust in the name of Jesus. Gal4:19.
TOPIC: AVOID DIVORCE
TEXT: MATT 5:31-32
God did not intend divorce in marriage, God intends marriage to be a life time commitment. Gen2:24. In other words, these two shall be one flesh, shall be considered as one body, having no separate or independent rights, privileges, cares, concerns, each being equally interested in all things that concern the marriage. Meaning that these two shall be for the production of one flesh; from their union, a posterity shall spring, as exactly resembling themselves as they do each other. God hates putting away. Mal2:16.
Our Lord Jesus Christ emphasized this mind of God. Mark 10:6-9. Apostle Paul also stated the mind of God. Eph 5:31. This is the original plan of God concerning marriage, permanent marriage was God’s intention.
“It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.” Matt5:31. Jesus referred to the Law of Moses in other to emphasize that divorce is not an option. Deut24:1-4. Because of the sinful human nature divorce was inevitable, and so Moses made a law to help the victims, that a man could no longer just throw his wife out, he had to write a formal letter of dismissal. Jesus maintained that it was not so from the beginning, that Moses gave this law only because of the people’s hard hearts. Matt19:3-8. God designed marriage to be indissoluble, but man put it asunder against the plan of God, because of the hardness of man’s heart. And so, He warned that any one that divorces his wife except for fornication exposes her to commit adultery.
”But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery “ Matt5:32. In other words divorce is not permissible except for unfaithfulness, a sexually immoral life style and this is dangerous. 1Cor6:9-10. Our Lord, Jesus went further to say that anyone who marries the divorced woman is committing adultery. Matt 19:9, Luke 16:18.
CONSEQUENCES OF DIVORCE
- It is hurtful and destructive.
- It leads to sin. Matt5:32, Matt 19:9, Luke 16:18.
FOCUS: FORGIVENESS.Eph4:32, Matt5:7. Jesus said that divorce is not permissible except for fornication. Matt5:32. This does not mean that divorce should automatically occur when a spouse commits adultery. When a spouse commits adultery and confesses and repents of the act, we should make every effort to forgive, reconcile and restore relationship. James5:16. Matt18:15-17 &21-22. We are always to look for reasons to restore the marriage relationship rather than for excuse to leave it. When two married people are genuinely born again and both are following Christ, divorce will not be an option. However, when adultery becomes a life style, then that would be a matter of serious concern. 1Cor6:9-10.
- Marriage is sacred and binding, we should avoid divorce.1Cor7:10. Do not consider divorce as an option when entering marriage. Heb13:4.
- When one party to the divorce is dead remarriage is permitted. Rom 7:2-3.
- When you divorce, remain unmarried or try reconciliation 1Cor 7:11. Do not use divorce as a means of solving problem or a way out of a bad relationship.
- It may be a permanent and final act for the couple. Once divorced and remarried to others, they could never be remarried to each other. Deut24:2-4
- People must think twice before divorcing. Deut24:4, Matt5:32
CONCLUSION: Divorce is as hurtful and destructive today as in the days of Jesus and Moses. God intends marriage to be a life time commitment. Mark10:6-9. It is not enough to be legally married; we must also live our marriage commitments. We should always look for reasons to restore it rather than to leave it. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, give me the grace to obey your word and to live according to your word for my life in the name of Jesus.
TOPIC: LET YOUR WORD BE YOUR BOND
TEXT: MATT 5:33-37
Our Lord Jesus is here emphasising the importance of telling the truth. Christians must understand the importance of telling the truth, rather than using the name of God as a token to seal a promise. Ex20:7. We should avoid making vows and the practice of adding some qualifier to our words to declare honesty, such as “cross my heart “or “I promise. “The bible condemns making vows or taking oaths by giving your word when you know you will not keep or by swearing falsely in God’s name. Jesus is reminding us that in the old covenant it is commanded that we should not swear.
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:” Matt5:33.
“Thou shalt not forswear thyself”, In other words, do not swear falsely in God’s name. Lev 19:12, Deut. 5:11. Do not misuse the name of Lord less you become guilty.
“but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:” Secondly do not say what you cannot do, but you must keep your word. You must do what you say. Deutt23:23, Num 30:1-2.
“But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne”: Matt5:34.
“Swear not at all:” Jesus Christ does not forbid judicial oaths. For example, God sometimes swears by himself Gen 22:16-17. Jesus himself made a prophetic vow or declaration before the Sanhedrin Matt 26:63-64. The Apostle Paul made a vow before the Corinthians 2Cor 1:23. Jesus forbids us from all profanity and idle vows, such as were common among the Jews, and still so defile the mouths of men. Jesus is talking about idle word Matt12:36, James3:2. Swear not at all in the manner which is the common and profane ways customary with the world.
THINGS NOT TO SWEAR BY
- By Heaven: for it is God’s throne. To swear by that means swearing by Him sitting thereon. Matt 23:22. James 5:12.
- Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: Matt5:35 Swearing by that is really swearing by what belongs to God and by inanimate objects; who has no power to take vengeance. we have no right to pledge, or swear by, what belongs to God; and, a footstool is that on which the feet rest when sitting. The term is applied to the earth, to indicate how lowly and humble an object it is when compared with God.
- neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.Matt5:35. That is, city of God; called the great King because he was the King of the Israelites, and Jerusalem was the capital of the nation, and the place where he was peculiarly honoured as King. Matt 2:1. Ps 48:2.
- Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. Matt5:36. To swear by the head is the same as to swear by the life; or to say, I will forfeit my life if what I say is not true. God is the Author of the life, and to swear by that, is the same as to swear by Him. God commands us not to do it. You have no control or right over your own life. You cannot even change one single hair. God has all that control; and it is therefore improper and profane to pledge what is God’s gift and God’s property; and it is the same as swearing by God Himself.
Therefore, think before you vow, let your word be true.it should be either yes or no according to our Lord Jesus.
“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matt5:37. In other word, let your word be your bond without further explanations. Whatever you affirm, affirm it alone, and whatever you deny, deny it alone without any more words. Anything, more than that becomes doubtful and devilish.
- Keeping vows and promises is important, because it builds trust and makes committed human relationships possible
- Using the name of the Lord in vain attracts punishment from God Deut5:11
- To Swear by heaven or earth brings you into condemnation. James5:12
- Let your yes be your yes and your no your no. James5:12
- It is better not to vow or make a promise, than to vow and not fulfil it. Ecc5:5-6
- To vow and not fulfil it destroys the works of your hand, so think and be sure before you vow. Ecc5:6.
CONCLUSION: Are you known as a person of your word? Truthfulness seems so rear that we feel we must end our statements with “I promise.” If we tell the truth all the time, we will have less pressure to back up our words with an oath or promise. It is not enough to keep your vows; we must also avoid casual and irresponsible commitments to God.col4:6. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to keep my word and make me a trust worthy person in the name of Jesus.
TOPIC: AVOID REVENGE
TEXT: MATT 5:38-42
God is a God of mercy. Jesus referred to the law in the old covenant which was not a guide for personal revenge, but was given to limit vengeance.
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” Matt5:38: Ex21:23-25, Lev24:19-20, Deut 19:21.
When we are wronged, often our first reaction is to get even. Instead, Jesus said we should do good to those who wrong us.
“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” Matt5: 39. In other words, our desire should not be to keep score, but to love and to forgive. Do not revenge evil. Pro 20:22; Pro24:29; Isaiah 50:6; Lam 3:30; Luke 6:29; Rom 12:17&19; 1Cor 6:7; 1Thess 5:15; 1Peter 3:9. This is not natural, it is supernatural. Only God can give us the strength to love as He does.
“And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.” Matt5:40. Be ready to give up even that which by law cannot be taken. Luke 6:29; 1Cor 6:7
“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” Matt5:41.
We are here exhorted to patience and forgiveness: Matt 27:32; Mark 15:21. Luke 23:26
First, when we receive in our persons all sorts of insults and affronts, Matt 5:39.
Secondly, when we are spoiled of our goods, Mt 5:40.
Thirdly, when our bodies are forced to undergo all kinds of toils, vexations, and torments, Matt 5:41. Mark 15:21.
The way to improve the injustice of man to our own advantage, is to exercise under its meekness, gentleness, and long-suffering, without which disposition of mind, no man can either be happy here or hereafter; for he that avenges himself must lose the mind of Christ, and thus suffer an injury ten thousand times greater than he can ever receive from man. Revenge, at such an expense, is costly indeed.
“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” Matt5:42. Deut 15:8 &10; Luke 6:30, &35.
This is the general rule. It is better to give sometimes to an undeserving person, than to turn away one really in need. It is good to be in the habit of giving. At the same time, the rule must be interpreted to be consistent with our duty to our families.
- Matt5:41 when we receive in our persons all sorts of insults and affronts Janes1:4
- Give Pro3:27, Luke6:38
- Do not take the law into your hands. Rom12:19,1Thess5:15.
- Vengeance belongs to God Deut32:35, Isaiah63:4,
- God revenges Nahum1:2-3 Ps94:1, Heb10:30
CONCLUSION: It is not enough to seek justice for ourselves, we must also show mercy and love to others. By telling us not to retaliate, Jesus keeps us from taking the law into our hands. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me and give me the grace not to take vengeance against those who offend me in the name of Jesus.
TOPIC: LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
TEXT: MATT 5:43-48
The command to love our neighbour was a law of God, Lev 19:18. That we must, therefore, hate our enemy, was the interpretation of the Jews. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy”. Matt5:43. They thought that if you loved one, you must, of course, hate the other. They thought that they should love only those who love in return as meaning that they should hate their enemies. Ps139:19-22. They were total strangers to that great, law of Love, which requires us to love both. Lev19:18. A neighbour is literally one that lives near to us; then, one that is near to us by acts of kindness and friendship. Luke 10:29-37. But God is love 1John4:8 and so commends His love to us Rom5:8. And Christ does not wish any one to perish 2Peter3:9.
” But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matt5:44
Love your enemies: This is the most humbling piece of morality ever given to man. Has it appeared unreasonable and absurd to some? It has. And why? Because it is natural to man to avenge himself, and plague those who plague him; and he will ever find abundant excuse for his conduct, especially in the repeated evils he receives from others; for men are naturally hostile to each other. This is therefore one of the most reasonable precepts in the universe. But who can obey it? None but he who has the mind of Christ. Phil2:5. If you love your enemies and treat them well, you will truly show that Jesus is Lord of your life. This is possible for those who give themselves fully to God, because only God can deliver people from natural selfishness. We must trust the Holy Spirit to help us show love to those for whom we may not feel love. This is that kingdom of heaven which Christ came to establish upon earth. Matt3:2.
Bless them that curse you: give them good words for their bad words. Rom 12:20; 1Cor 4:12-14; 1Peter 2:23, 1Peter 3:9.
Do good to them that hate you: Give your enemy every proof that you love him. We must not love in tongue, but indeed and in truth. Luke 6:27&35.
Pray for them which despitefully use you: Luke23:34; Acts 7:60.
Those who are making continual war with you, and constantly harassing and falsely accusing you Pray for them-This is another humbling instruction. In other words, I cannot change that wicked man’s heart; and while it is unchanged, he will continue to harass me, since God alone can change it: then I must implore Him to do that which will at once secure the poor man’s salvation, and contribute so much to my own peace.
And persecute you: Those who press hard on and pursue you with hatred and malice accompanied with repeated acts of enmity, pray for them. Rom 12:14.
“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matt5:45 We are God’s children when we have the spirit of our Father. We are not if we have the spirit of the world.1John3:9-11. Our Father above sends blessing, the rain, and the sunshine, on the just and the unjust. Job 25:3. He loves all, and even sent his son to die for a wicked world because he loved. John 3:16
“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” Matt5:46. He who loves only his friends, does nothing for God’s sake. He who loves for the sake of pleasure or interest, pays himself. God has no enemy which he hates but sin; we should have no other. Luke 6:32.
“And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” Matt5:47. You have not done anything extraordinary if you greet only those close to you.? You just acted like the unbelievers.
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matt5:48, Gen 17:1; Lev 11:44; Lev19:2; Luke 6:36; Eph 5:1; Col 1:28; James 1:4; 1Peter 1:15-16 God himself is the grand law, sole giver, and only pattern of the perfection which he recommends to his children. To be perfect you shall be filled with the spirit of that God whose name is Mercy, and whose nature is love. He calls himself LOVE, to teach us that in this consists that perfection, He has made it our duty and privilege to attain this perfection.
FOCUS: 1. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR. To inherit Eternal life, love your neighbour as yourself. Luke10:25-28.
2.PERFECTION. That the best evidence we can have of our divine sonship, is our conformity to the divine nature, especially in those excellent properties of goodness and forgiveness.
- A man may be our enemy in three different ways. First, in his heart, by hatred. Secondly, in his words by cursing or using terrible words against us. Thirdly, in his actions, by continually harassing and abusing us.
- The way to behave to those who hate us is to show love.
- The Way to behave to cursing or evil words is to meet with good words and blessings.
- The Way to behave to the repeated injurious acts of people is to meet them with continual prayer to God for their salvation.
- We overcome evil with good by praying for our enemies
- To inherit Eternal life, love your neighbour as yourself. Luke10:25-28
- You are miserable when you hate. Pro16:7
- You are known to be the children of your Father which is in heaven, by your likeness to him, and imitation of Him in loving your enemies.
- That the best evidence we can have of our divine sonship, is our conformity to the divine nature, especially in those excellent properties of goodness and forgiveness.
- That God does good to them that are continually doing evil unto him.
CONCLUSION: We can be perfect if our behaviour is appropriate for our maturity level which the perfect Christ calls us to excel, to rise above mediocrity and to mature in every area and become like Him. Those who strive to become perfect will one day be perfect, even as Christ is perfect.1john3:2-3. Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to love my enemies and help me to be perfect as you are in the name of Jesus.
TOPIC: GIVING TO THE NEEDY
TEXT: MATT 6: 1-4
In the foregoing verses our Lord Jesus Christ is talking about the nature of inward holiness. In other words, He is talking about purity of intention and motives, that without these none of our outward actions are holy. Simply, this verse is talking about the right intention and manner of giving alms, Mt 6:1-4.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” Matt6:1. Our Lord Jesus is saying we must be careful not to do your good deeds publicly to be admired, because you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. Matt 16:6; Mark 8:15; Ps 112:9.
“Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward”. Matt6:2. When you give a gift to someone in need do not shout about it, like the hypocrites do. When you do so, surely you have received all the reward you would ever get. Rom 12:8.
Hypocrites in this regard, are people who do good acts for appearances only, not for compassion. John 7:18; Pro 20:6.
“But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” Matt6:3. Our Lord Jesus is saying that our motives for giving to God and to others must be pure, because it is easy to give with mixed motives, to do something for someone if it will benefit us in return. So, believers should avoid all scheming and give for the pleasure of giving and as a response to God’s love. Matt 8:4; Matt 9:30; Mark 1:44; John 7:4.
“That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” Matt6:4. In other words, to be sure our motives are not selfish, we should do our good deeds quietly or in secret, with no thought of reward. Give your gifts in secret and your Father who, knows all secrets, will reward you. Luke14:14.
FOCUS: MOTIVES. We should check our motives in giving. WHY DO YOU GIVE? Do you give with the intent for a benefit in return? Or you give in response to God’s love and compassion for others? Our giving should not be self-cantered but God cantered. Our giving should not be done to make us look good but to make God look good and glorified. Matt25:34-40. It is the right and good motives that God rewards and not the act. Matt6:4
- No reward for hypocrites. People who do good acts for appearances only, not for compassion. Matt6:2.
- Do not blow your trumpets for the good done to another.
- Your actions may be good but when your motives are hollow there is no reward
- God will reward those who are sincere in their faith
CONCLUSION: The reward God promises is not material and it is never given to those who seek it. Luke14:14. Doing something only for ourselves is not a loving sacrifice. With your next good deeds, ask yourself, Would I still give if no one would ever know I did it? Matt6:4 Ask the Lord now: “Lord, help me to give in response to God’s love and compassion and not for selfish reasons in the name of Jesus.