Summary: They say that the greatest, most impacting sermons are those that are not preached, but are lived. No one lived a better sermon than Jesus.
They say that the greatest, most impacting sermons are those that are not preached, but are lived. No one lived a better sermon than Jesus.
In Matthew 5, Jesus continues his Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus teaches how to develop great character in your life.
A. We must realize why we are here. (Matthew 5:13-16)
We are here to display the glorious light of Christ in our lives.
We are to be like a city on a hill.
I always loved driving to Cincinnati and seeing the wonderful lighted cross up on the hill. The lighted cross was on the campus of the Cincinnati Christian University. A place that trains people to be a light in the world.
We are to be like a light in a house that gives light to everyone.
B. It begins with your mind. (Matthew 5:21-30)
The world says murder is wrong.
Jesus says unchecked anger in our lives is wrong.
It keeps us from loving like we should.
It keeps us from living like we should.
If we having a problem with a brother we are to go to them before we come to worship God. With anger or resentment in our lives we cannot worship God the way he deserves to be worshiped.
The world says that adultery is wrong.
Jesus says that having impure, lustful thoughts about another person is just as dangerous. So dangerous in fact that we better do whatever it takes to keep our minds and lives pure for him.
When Jesus says to gouge out your eye or cut off your hand, he is stressing how important it is to keep our lives pure for Christ. It all starts with the mind.
C. Building character continues through our relationships. (Matthew 5:31-48)
The relationship with our spouse.
Jesus hates divorce. The bond between a man and woman is so strong and has been put there by God so that it shouldn’t be broken.
Jesus also knows how destructive infidelity is and how it can destroy the marriage bond.
Divorce is not the unforgivable sin that the Church has made it.
Divorce is not the easy solution that the world has made it.
Jesus is not condemning those who have been through divorce to eternal destruction. Rather he is lifting up the wonderful blessing of marriage and imploring us that if we want to be people of light in a dark world, then we must be people of character who honor the marriage bond.
The relationship with associates:
As we are dealing with others and working with others, our word should be good. We should not need to swear on heaven or earth or our mother’s grave. When we say yes, others should know that is what we mean and our word is good.
The relationship with enemies:
We are not to seek revenge. That belongs to the Lord.
The world seeks and approves of revenge. The bad guy gets it in the end.
Jesus says that our character should be different.
If we love only those who love us, then how are we different from the world?
Since Jesus loves all, and we want to be like Jesus, we must show love to all.
It does not mean we have to be a doormat for others.
It does not mean that we have to tolerate evil acts against us.
It means we are to respond to our enemies like Christ would.
How we handle our relationships with spouses, associates, and enemies really reflects how we handle our relationship with Christ. When we stand before God our relationship with Christ is the only thing that will matter.