Summary: Be careful how you rate sin because Jesus has a different scale than you do. Make sure to follow His scale and not yours!

Theme: 12 in 2012 - the second challenge for the year.

Illustration: Have another rock placed next to the spiritual mile marker rock on stage as our second visual spiritual mile marker for the year. Point out the rock by the tree.

Our next spiritual mile marker we are challenging you with this year is to spend 12 minutes a day reading the Bible. If you do then over a year’s time frame you will be able to read the Bible thru in a year according to my Bible reading plan in Glo Bible.

Highlight the reading plans that are electronic and free:

• Glo-Bible

• U-version

• E-sword

Series: Cliff Hangers

Jesus teaching from the Sermon on the Mount:

These teachings were risky, some would even say very dangerous, they would be teachings that would be opposite of what the religious leaders of the day were teaching, and they would become points of dissension and points of exhilaration. Some people would rejoice and others sigh. Some would be happy and others angry.

What Jesus was teaching them put them all on the edge of their seats. His teachings made people nervous and yet it changed the way people of His day thought or perceived what the Kingdom of Heaven was. Jesus’ teaching along with their acceptance by the crowd would change the course of history between God and mankind. The people would be blown away by what Jesus taught and the religious leaders would pick up a Spirit of offense against Jesus and seek His life for these teachings.

Summary of first three sermons from series:

Matthew 5:1-12 – “Who does God Bless?” In our text according to Jesus it’s those who follow the 8 be-attitudes of verses 3-11. These are the types of people God blesses and these are the kind of people who are part of the Kingdom of Heaven and therefore will receive the accompanying promises.

Matthew 5:13-16 – “Salt and Light” Jesus tells the crowd that because His Kingdom lives by the beatitudes then they will become a preserving force in their villages, families and cities just like salt preserves food from spoiling. He lets them know that the people who are part of the Kingdom of Heaven will keep this society from totally rotting away. He then switches gears from talking about something that is done behind the scenes like the way salt works to something that everyone sees “Light.” He tells this crowd that those who follow His teaching will also be a light in the midst of the darkness of this world. These light bearers will help lead people out of the darkness of sin into the light of God’s love and into His divine light.

Last week - Dave’s message “Old vs. New” from last week

Matthew 5:17-20 - The Fulfillment of the Law

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Last week Dave shared with us that Jesus makes it clear in this passage that His teaching – His new spiritual insights will be given not to do away with the Law but to fulfill the Law and the teachings of the Prophets. If you study the books of the Old Testament you discover that each book points to Jesus as the Messiah, the Savior of the Jewish nation and of the world. Jesus tells the crowd how important, how essential it is for them to follow the teachings of the Law, the 10 Commandments and also His authoritative teachings from this very message. He tells them that if they follow the beatitudes, the charge to be salt and light and abide by His spiritual truths then they will be called “Great” in the Kingdom of Heaven. But He makes it real clear that if their righteousness does not surpass that of the religious leaders then they will not be able to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus throws a grenade into the audience right here and says, “The religious leaders of Israel are lost and unrighteous and they are not going to make it into the Kingdom of Heaven!” Now that ruffled a few feathers in the crowd. This reference tells us and the crowd that day that we can never earn our way into Heaven – we can never make ourselves righteous enough for God – we have to embrace and accept Jesus and His righteousness to get into Heaven.

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