Monday, July 26, 2010
**In This Issue**
- The Sermon On the
- What Does the Bible Say About...?
Welcome to the
Reflections Newsletter from Reflect His Glory. RHG is a co-ministry
with Creation Science Ministries. Feel free to send this to your relatives
The Sermon On the Mount
Sermon on the Mount is the manifesto of our King and the platform of the Prince
of Peace... and it is the Law! It goes vastly beyond the Law of Moses. It is
the Ten Commandments amplified and expanded. As the Law of the Kingdom, it is
the highest principled teaching in the Bible. Christ will reign on earth in person
and will enforce every word of it. The Sermon on the Mount will finally prevail
when He, whose right it is to rule, shall come.
The Sermon on the Mount is the longest discourse recorded in Scripture and it
was addressed to believers! It was, and is the source of condemnation to the
unsaved. Do not let the familiarity of this passage lure you into thinking that
you have mastered it. The discourse is tough ground, and one of the most
misunderstood portions of Scripture.
The word beatitude is not found in the Bible. The word simply means "blessing"
and comes from the Latin word for "blessed." Note that these verses deal with
attitudes, what we think in our hearts, and our outlook on life. "Beatitudes"
are the attitudes that should to be in our lives as
true believers in Christ Jesus. The first 16 verses of Matthew 5 describe the
true Christian and
deal with character. The rest of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew Chapters 5,
6, and 7, deals with the conduct that grows out of character. Character
always comes before conduct.
This is because what we are determines what we do.
There is a definite progression in these verses. They show how the person
begins with his or her own sense of sin and finally becomes a child of God and
the results that follow:
"Poor in spirit"
(v. 3): This is our attitude toward ourselves, allowing us to
realize the necessity of humility in our lives, professing it
toward others, and toward God.
4): This is our attitude toward sin, feeling
a true sorrow for our sin.
5): This is our attitude toward others.
We are teachable.
not defend ourselves when we are wrong.
"Hunger and thirst"
(v. 6): Here, our attitude toward God is expressed; we receive
His righteousness by faith because we ask for it.
(v. 7): We are to have a forgiving spirit and love others.
"Pure in heart"
(v. 8): We keep our lives and motives clean. Holiness is
happiness to us. There are no substitutes.
(v. 9): We should bring peace (comfort), between people and God, and
between those who are at odds with each other.
(v. 10): At some time in our lives, all who live godly lives will suffer persecution.
It is interesting that there are eight beatitudes listed.
The number 8 in
Scripture is believed by some scholars to represent a new beginning.
Now, there is an unwritten
9th Beatitude: "Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be broken." The
rest of the Sermon on the Mount shows the results of the new life in the
Salt of the Earth
You are the salt of the earth: but
if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is
thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot
5:13 KJV ER
Salt was used as a preservative; it preserves materials
from corruption. It
also creates thirst and introduces flavor.
speaks of inward character that influences a decaying world. As
the "salt of the earth", our task is to keep our lives pure that we might
''salt'' this earth and hold back corruption so that the Gospel can
Light of the World
You are the light of the world.
A city that is set
on a hill cannot be hid... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see
your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 5:14, 16
Light speaks of the outward testimony of good works that points to God.
works must accompany our dedicated lives as we let our lights shine.
These are not 'good works' of salvation, as there are none. These are
works that glorify the Lord.
The Higher Righteousness
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least
commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the
kingdom of heaven... For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall
exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter
into the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:19a, 20
What a blow to the Jew! He knew the extremes
to which the professional Law-keepers
resorted! What was to become of them? This is the
main point of the passage.
We cannot break the commandments and get away with it.
But we cannot keep them
in our own strength either. What a conundrum!
The only way we can keep them is to come to
Christ Jesus for salvation, power, and strength.
The commandments are not a way of salvation but
a means to show us the way to salvation,
which is through the acceptance
of the work of our Lord and Savior.
The scribes and Pharisees were not insincere: they tried to adhere to the
keeping of the Law. Although misguided, they were zealous and sincere.
that tries to reconcile himself to God by his works, his rules, or his legalism
is pharisaical. Is there any other way to heaven other than by Christ
there is, Jesus' own prayers were not answered when was in Gethsemane,
as He pleaded
with the Father three times for an alternative.
What are "these commandments" being referred to in Matthew 5:19?
The ones we
find in the remainder of Matthew 5 and continuing in Chapters 6 and 7.
His call was to obedience (John 14:15,
21, 23; 1 John 5:3). Does
the believer need to "keep the Law?"
The fact of the
matter is that the Law is still a standard.
It reveals to me that I cannot
measure up to God's standard. This,
in turn, drives me to the cross of Christ. The only
way I can fulfill the Law is by accepting the only One who could fulfill it,
and that is Christ
Jesus Fulfilled the Law
Jesus became our sacrifice and shed His own sinless blood on our behalf.
offered Himself once for all for the sins of all mankind (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12,
26, 28, 10:10, 1 Peter 3:18). Everything was fulfilled just before Jesusí death
on the cross when He uttered His last words: "It is finished!" (John 19:30)
The Greek word is tetelestai, which
means "paid in full." The second way He fulfilled the Law is that He
taught and commanded what Godís will is under the New Covenant for those who
would enter the Kingdom of God. He gave us a new set of rules. Paul called those
rules "the law of Christ," found in
Galatians 6:2. Some of those were the same as
God the Father gave in the Old Testament
Law. The Old Testament Law was not
changed by Christ Jesus. It was fulfilled and clarified.
"For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to
every one that believes."
New Testament believers are not under the Law,
but are to live up to the standard. Christ Jesus
effectively abolished the Law through His sacrifice on the cross.
The Purpose of the Law
Through the Law we become conscious of our
sin. (Romans 3:20)
The Law was added so that the trespass might increase.
It was added because of transgressions until the Seed, the Lord
Jesus Christ, to whom the promise referred,
had come. (Galatians
The Law was put 'in charge' to lead us to Christ, that we might
be justified by faith. (Galatians
Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision
of the Law. (Galatians 3:25)
Paul was the writer who most discussed the question of the Old Testament Law and
its applicability to the New Testament Christian. He was in a unique position to
do so, having been a Pharisee who had been taught by Rabbi
Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), an
esteemed teacher of the Law. The Law said, ''You shall not kill [murder]'' (Ex
20:13). But Jesus said, ''Donít be angry with others.'' Anger is like murder in
the heart and it can lead to evil words and actual murder.
adultery is far worse than inward lustful fantasies, the inner desires can
quickly lead to this forbidden sin (Ex 20:14). We must deal ruthlessly with
ourselves and not encourage the imagination to ''feed on'' these sins.
and the hands (seeing and touching) must be kept under control.
In Matthew Chapter 5, the Lord speaks of the righteousness His subjects must
possess. It must be a righteousness to exceed the righteousness of the scribes
and Pharisees, and that comes only through trust in Christ
Jesus. Matthew Chapter 6
deals with the external part of religion: the righteousness that the subjects of
the kingdom are to practice. The internal motive, of course, is the important
thing in what you do for God. Chapter 7 deals with judging others, prayer, and
what we call the "Golden Rule."
The Law of Christ
Jesus did not set aside the Law of Moses, He fulfilled it! He
took the Law of
Moses, interpreted it in the extreme, and in an absolute sense.
absolutely fulfilled it! Remember,
our salvation does not accrue because of our ability to fulfill Matthew
Chapters 5, 6, and 7, but because
Christ Jesus did. You and I can
appropriate His achievement to our benefit.
If you have not done it yet, do it now, in the privacy of your
What Does the Bible Say About...?
In this section of the
Reflections Newsletter we answer questions that have been asked.
If you have a question that you would like ask, and do not mind having
it printed in the newsletter, (your name will not be mentioned), feel free to
send your question in an email to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, you may call me
anytime by phone at 801-302-1111.
The question for this issue is,
you explain the "whole armor of God" that is spoken of in Ephesians Chapter
The armor is
listed in the following passage found in Ephesians 6:14-17.
Stand therefore, having your loins
girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of
righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of
the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of
faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery
darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Several pieces of equipment and armor are
mentioned within these four verses. They aid us in the
spiritual battles that we all face during our walk with God.
- Truth, which girds our loins.
Truth acts in the form of a belt, or binding, to keep our
other equipment in its' proper place. Honesty and
integrity are to be identifying characteristics of the
soldier who is for Christ Jesus.
- The breastplate of righteousness.
A breastplate protects the vital organs from attack.
We are not only to be honest, we also are to be inherently
good, deal fairly and righteously with everone, directly or indirectly. This is because we
all have the ability to influence others.
- The preparation with the Gospel of
peace. This is how our feet are to be covered.
The meaning here is that our steps must be firmly controlled
and ready to bring the message of the Gospel to those who
ask, and to share it whenever the opportunity presents
itself. Romans 10:15 talks of the feet that preach the
Gospel of peace.
- The shield of faith. Our
faith shows our total dependence on God for His presence and
power when we are under attack. It is spoken of in the
Bible as a shield, a large defensive weapon. Faith
will deflect 'Satan bullets, spears and arrows' when he
attempts to cause us to doubt the goodness of the truth of God.
- The helmet of salvation.
Salvation is God's gift to all who have accepted Jesus as
Lord and Savior. Satan uses a variety of
tactics against our minds. These are designed to weaken our
faith, ruin our discernment,
corrupt our thoughts and sway us through
false teaching. If successful, these
will make it easier for Satan to captivate our minds to do
- The sword of the Spirit.
This is the Word of God. This piece of armor, the last
named in the passage, is the only offensive weapon. It
is provided by the Holy Spirit. When it is used by the
believer, it exposes the attitudes and actions of others,
bringing them under conviction. This is emphasized in
Hebrews 4:12. Jesus used the Word of God when He was
being tempted by Satan in Matthew 4:1-11.
God has provided us with this armor to
equip us for spiritual battle. Failure to use it
makes us ineffective in our walk with the Lord. But if we
use the full armor that has been given to us by God, it will
make us a strong, determined defense force for Christ Jesus.
**MEMORY VERSE OF THE
For we have not a high priest which cannot be
touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like
as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need.
We solicit your prayers and support of this ministry. God Bless.
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