Summary: When you live out the second greatest commandment, to love your neighbour, you will truly become a high impact believer and we will become a high impact church
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us an equation for high impact living. And the equation is this: Deep love = High Impact
Jesus teaches us that “When you live out the second greatest commandment, to love your neighbour, you will truly become a high impact believer and we will become a high impact church.”
1. A High Impact Believer/Church will replace hatred with love (Matt 5:21-26)
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment (Matthew 5:21-22a).
For Believers, sinful anger is like hiding your light under a bowl. And when a believer displays sinful anger that makes them no different to the world around them and so the believer loses their distinctiveness – their saltiness. Jesus is saying here is that to hate someone is to commit murder in our hearts. 1 John 3:15 says …
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer (1 John 3:15a).
A high impact believer/church has learned that they must go to their brother or sister to settle the matter between them quickly. A high impact believer has understood and practices Matthew 18:15-20.
2. A High Impact Believer/Church loves and regards all people as precious and not as objects for personal use (Matt 5:27-30)
Sexual impurity begins in the mind and an undisciplined thought life left unchecked can lead to adultery. So, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about adultery and how you can avoid it …
"You have heard that it was said, `Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell (Matthew 5:27-30).
A High Impact Believer/Church is different because they love and regard all people as precious and not as objects for personal use.
The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to ‘stand up for your rights.’ Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out (1 Corinthians 7:5 Msg).
We may need to take extreme action to avoid sexual impurity. And this is why Jesus says “…. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away … And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away” (Matthew 5:27-30). What he means is that “drastic times call for drastic measures.” So if you want victory in this area of your life then there is only one way out of it and that is to burn the bridges across which temptation comes.
3. A High Impact Believer/Church loves to keep their word (Matt 5:31-37)
Honesty is an essential commodity if you want to be a high impact believer and a high impact church. So in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks about keeping your word.
Keep your word in your marriage.
"It has been said, `Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery (Matthew 5:31-32)
Church, we need to model strong marriages to the world. Many don’t have any model of a good marriage. And the most powerful witness for Christ is the different quality of Christian relationships.
Keep your word in all your relationships.
"… you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: … Simply let your `Yes’ be `Yes,’ and your `No,’ `No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one (Matthew 5:33-37).
Jesus is saying that our conversation should be so honest that we shouldn’t need to prop up what we say with a promise to get people to believe us.
4. A High Impact Believer/Church loves to see people at their potential best (Matt 5:38-48)
a. An eye for an eye
"You have heard that it was said, `Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matthew 5:38-39).