This week in Bible study a friend from pickleball, quite new to study,
came in and began our study with:
I hated this study on the Sermon on the Mount. I didn’t think of myself as a sinner. I hadn’t murdered anyone or committed adultery.
But I was biking when it all came clear. I was religious. I hadn’t grasped the gospel. Indeed, I was a sinner — but I could be completely forgiven through Christ.
I wanted to do cartwheels across the room!
My friend got it!
And there is nothing quite as AMAZING & WONDROUS as a brand new baby.
So now we start a hugely important preface to a the rest of
The Sermon on the Mount, so it is important we get it!
The Pharisees didn’t think of themselves as sinners,
so Jesus shocked Pharisees and listeners alike, saying:
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surprasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Pharisees, Calvin said, “Obscured the law,” concentrating on outward appearance and ignoring the heart.
The very first thing we must do, which the Pharisees would not do,
is acknowledge our poverty of spirit.
On our own, we cannot have the kind of heart God calls us to have.
But Jesus can both cleanse us and begin our transformation of the heart when we call upon Him in our need.
It takes me back to the days when my daughter Sally was so jealous of her
newly adopted sister.
I was in that awkward stage with braces — and she was this little doll everyone adored.
I felt rudely displaced,
I didn’t want to be with her.
Even her breathing bugged me.
First, Sally needed medical help with a full blown depression.
Then she needed help with her heart.
At a Christian concert, the leader said, “If you have yuk
in your heart toward someone and cannot get rid of it,
come up, for Jesus can help you.
Sally ran to the front and got a new heart.
How dramatic was the change of attitude toward her little sister!
It’s all about the heart, the heart, the heart!
It isn’t enough not to murder, we must put away the yuk we may harbor in our hearts toward others.
It isn’t enough not to commit adultery, we must put away the lust we have in our hearts toward others.
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- Where do you a heart change?
Monday: Jesus Came To Clarify and Restore the Law
Calvin said: “The Pharisees had obscured the law; Jesus restored it to its integrity.”
Jesus says anger and scorn for our brother is the seed of murder, and lust is the seed of adultery. He is concerned with the heart.
3. Read Matthew 5:17-19
A. Concerning the law and the prophets, what did Jesus come to do? (verse 17)
B. How important is the moral law, according to verse 18?
C. What will happen to the one who breaks the least of His commandments?
D. And to the one who keeps and teaches his commandments?
E. What does this teach you about levels in heaven?
4. Meditate on Matthew 5:18
A. How did Jesus make us righteous in God’s eyes?
B. How is transforming our hearts to make us truly righteous? (Eager to hear your answers)
Tuesday: Going Deeper
5. What does Exodus 20:13 teach?
6. How does Jesus go deeper in Matthew 5:21-22?
7. “Raca” means empty, or “of no worth.” Think about all the reasons it is wrong to view a
brother or sister like this.
8. What does Jesus warn about calling someone a fool?
Early in the summer we studied many proverbs about the fool. So we are taken aback now
with this dire warning about not calling someone a fool. John Stott is helpful in explaining that
the word here means rebel or apostate — someone going to hell. He quotes Tasker: “The man
who tells his brother that he is doomed to hell is in danger of hell himself.”
9. Why is only God the accurate judge of someone’s eternal fate?
Wednesday: Practical Applications
10. What does Matthew 5:23-24 say?
John Stott says it would be legitimate to translate Jesus’ illustrations into slightly more modern
If you are in church, in the middle of a service of worship, and you suddenly remember that your brother has a grievance against you, leave church at once and put it right. Do not wait till the service has ended. Seek out your brother and ask his forgiveness. First go, then come. First go and be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your worship to God.
11. Comment on the above?
12. What does Jesus tell us in Matthew 5:25-26?
Thursday-Friday: Sermon by R. C. Sproul
This 21 minute sermon on the passage is enlightening on what Jesus truly meant. Please listen and share your notes and comments:
13. What notes and comments do you have?
Keller also has a very good sermon on this passage. It costs 2:50. You can find it here if you are interested.
14. What is your take-a-way and why?