Sermons

Summary: The Jews were very troubled with grace, because they needed laws to follow; particularly as the message of the New Testament suggested that they were above the law. They were very confused just like many Christians today. So let us put Grace into context.

  Study Tools
  Study Tools

Word Count: 2347

Ecclesiastics 15:15-20 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 Matthew 5:21-37 Psalm 119:1-8

Prayer: In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; let these words bring honour to you. Amen.

Summary: The Jews were very troubled with grace, because they needed laws to follow; particularly as the message of the New Testament suggested that they were above the law. They were very confused just like many Christians today. So let us put Grace into context.

This sermon was delivered to the congregation in St Oswald’s in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 13th February 2011: by Gordon McCulloch. (A Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).

Introduction:

Today's Gospel lesson is a continuation of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Sermon that we have been listening to for the last two weeks.

Now in today’s message, we are going to delve into some heavy, difficult material and I was a bit worried about putting it together but once I started you will see the message becomes much simpler, and clearer; but note it is a very much solid food as Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians; “it is certainly not milk for infants; but the beginning of solid food”.

So let us start, with the background. The audience in this occasion was the Jewish Christians, Jews who believed in Jesus, but Jews who were being persecuted by the other traditional Jews for heresy and expelling them from the synagogues: hence the verses at the beginning of the Sermon "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” Jesus goes on “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Most of these Jews, were beginning to doubt themselves that they were no longer Jews as they had abandoned the Law; the Torah of God; the observance of which made a Jew a Jew. They were therefore very troubled in that they needed laws to follow, as the Christian message of the New Testament suggested that they were above the law. They were very confused indeed just like many Christians today. So let us put this into context.

First let us consider the good old Pharisees. When in doubt, have a go at them. Jesus did, and he did so on a regular basis. Now why did Jesus pick on them? Well we are very inclined to be very negative about the Pharisees, but we need to give them some credit because they were totally committed to the laws of God, not just the ten laws given to Moses on the Mount Sinai, but over 600 other laws as stated in the book of Leviticus.

We could never accuse the Pharisees of being slack, in fact we heard the other week past of a pious man in the temple who “fasted twice a week and give a tenth of what he got”. That is more than we do, these guys were serious about God and Jesus never ever criticised their devotion; but He criticised them because they went about things the wrong way, and they were not showing any kind of God’s promises here on earth.

The Pharisees were basically interested in the outward process of worshiping God; and in doing so they were actually promoting themselves. Their whole attitude was wrong and Jesus used them as an example of what not to do.

Jesus tells his congregation that the Laws of God are still valid, more so than ever, and should never be ignored. In fact Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.”

Jesus wasn’t tearing down the precious gift of God’s law, which he had given to Moses all those centuries ago; instead throughout his life; he showed us how the law of God should be lived; that it should be lived from the inward heart and not from any outward manifestation of holier than thou.

Now following God’s law isn’t a matter of not committing the “big sins” and hoping that the “little sins” will not be noticed. Here Jesus emphasises the fifth commandment. “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder’ ’’ This was said to Moses by no less than God himself. So it’s the authoritative word of God. ‘But I tell you’ says Jesus ‘There is more to this commandment than you’ve been taught. It’s not just the act of murder that’s the problem, but the attitude that leads to murder.’

Now the Jews, being very manipulative of the law rarely committed murder, however much scheming went on, that revenge on someone was always ongoing. To stop this Jesus said “Anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement.”

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media


Cleanse Me 2
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Grace Never Ends
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion