OceanSide church of Christ

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God’s Beautiful Attitude - Matthew 5

Wayne Rodgers

Lesson #1 (Sermon on the Mount series.)

Introduction:

A.       A great and favorite study of many is the Sermon on the Mount.

1.       So for the next few weeks, I would like for us to read, study and do our best to apply the great teachings from Jesus as recorded in Matthew 5, 6, 7.

2.       Our goal in this study is to cover (at least contextually) all three chapters.

3.       If applied properly these lessons will help each of us be the people God would have us to be.

B.       The title of our lesson is…God’s Beautiful Attitude.

 

C.       To begin, let us look to the first two verses of chapter 5, often overlooked, but so valuable for context and a great lesson in itself setting the stage for Jesus’ teaching.

         

D.       Verses 1-2 (READ) – the stage is set!

          1.       Note by introduction that Jesus did three things:

                    a.       (vs. 1) He went up on a mountain – why?

1.       If I were to compare Luke 6, I will learn that the night before, Jesus had been in the mountain praying all night.  He had selected 12 apostles and then came down to a level place or the valley and then, He began to preach or address the social needs of the people, healing all their diseases.

2.       After dealing with their social needs, He elevated Himself back up to the mountain to address and deal with their spiritual needs.

 

3.       Luke tells us that the people came to Jesus for two reasons:

          a.       To hear what He had to say.

          b.       And to be healed of all their problems.

 

4.       So after Jesus healed them, He went back up onto the mountain to address their spiritual needs.

 

5.       I believe this is a powerful lesson to preachers and elders – yes we should feel compassion and be willing to fill the social needs of those around us, but not to the neglect of the spiritual needs.

 

6.       This is what is behind verse 1 of this great sermon – He went up on the mountain so that He could finally get to His purpose at hand, deal with the spiritual needs of those at hand.

         

          2.       From these verses, we see that Jesus elevated Himself as one who had a message, and it was a message with authority.

a.       Look at verse 21 – “You have heard it said by them of old time…”

          (22) “But I say unto you…”

b.       (27) “You have heard that it was said of them of old time…”

          (28) “But I say unto you…”

c.       (31) “It hath been said…”

          (32) “But I say unto you…”

d.       And on and on and on…

 

          3.       So what is Matthew’s summation of these three chapters?

                    a.       It says that the people were amazed at what Jesus had to say.

                    b.       Because He spoke as one who had authority.

 

E.       What did He teach them? (I believe this section can be summarized into 2 words:

          1.       Jesus focused attention on Attitudes (PART 1.)

          2.       Jesus focused attention on Authority (PART 2.)

 

F.       With this introduction in mind, let us open our Bibles to Matthew 5 and notice how Jesus gave His attention to:

          1.       The attitudes we should be – “Beatitudes”

          2.       Then the authority to which we are to yield.

 

G.      Let us begin our study by looking at the attitudes we should be – the Beatitudes.

1.       In reality, when you study the Beatitudes, you need to focus on Matthew chapter 5 verse 3 through (not verse12) but through verse 16.

2.       (Most stop at verse 12).  We should continue through verse 16 to see the influence we have.

 

Discussion:

Illustration:

A little boy went to the circus and there he saw a clown selling helium filled balloons. The clown to draw attention to the balloons would ever so often let a balloon go and it would drift off high into the air and into the clouds. To the child’s amazement, he would watch one balloon disappear and then another and another. The clown would let go a white balloon, then a red balloon and a green and yellow. Finally, this little boy of dark complexion went up and pulled on the clown’s pants and asked, “Sir, if you let that black balloon go, will it too fly as high as the others?”  With that the clown replied, “Oh yes, son…it is not the color of the balloon but what is on the inside that determines how high it flies.”

 

A.       It should be of no surprise to us that Jesus begins this sermon by addressing what is on the inside.

1.       Prov. 4:23 – Keep your heart (what is on the inside) with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”

2.       Prov. 23:7 – “For as a man thinks in his heart (what is on the inside) so is he.”

3.       Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart (what is on the inside) the mouth speaketh.” (Mt. 12:34)

4.       What is on the inside is how Jesus began this His great Sermon on the Mount.

 

B.       If we study the beatitudes carefully, we will notice that each beatitude is made up of three basic components:

          1.       There is a claim

          2.       There is a characteristic

          3.       There is a consequences that hinges on the characteristic

 

C.       Every beatitude begins with the same claim – “Blessed”

          1.       The word blessed literally means – “O how happy”

          2.       When you focus on the beatitudes you get insight on what Jesus said is the key

to being able to rejoice in the Lord always.

          3.       There are even some authors today that titles these the “Be happy attitudes”

          4.       So we see that each beatitude has a claim – then we notice that…

 

D.       Each beatitude has a characteristic or a trait of heart (this is where we need to give most of our attention to this morning.)

 

E.       Then every beatitude has a consequence:

1.       Look at the first and last beatitude and notice that they have the same consequence.

2.       “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

 

F.       So, we can see these three major components of each of the beatitudes, but now let us focus our attention on the characteristics of each of them and the attitudes we should have.

(Attitude #1)  – An attitude of HUMUILTION:

          1.       (vs. 3 – READ)

a.       Notice that Jesus did not say – “bless the poor” that would exclude the middle class and rich.

b.       He did not say, “bless those with a spirit” – that would automatically include everybody, because we are all spirits housed in bodies.

c.       But Jesus did say, “blessed are the poor in spirit” – I find it interesting that the Greeks had two major words that described “poor”:

          1.       One meant – he who had very little but could survive.

          2.       The other – he had absolutely nothing and had to beg to even exist.

 

3.       It is the second one of these that Jesus used in His message - the concept is of an individual that sees themselves as totally impoverished in spirit without God.

 

4.       The idea of humbling yourself in the sight of God, and He will lift you up.

 

d.       The first step to happiness is that I must learn the art of humility.

1.       Jesus leaves us a great example of humility in Phil. 2:4-8 READ

2.       Humility is not to hide ones face or to be a door mat, but to serve your fellow man.  

3.       Matthew 20:28 – “Jesus did not come to be ministered to, but to minister, and gave His life a ransom for many.”

4.       We are to follow His examples –

(Attitude #2)  – Attitude of CONTRITION – “blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.” (vs. 4)

1.       On the surface that makes no sense whatsoever – “O how happy are those that cry.”

2.       Yet the word “mourn” that Jesus uses here – is the same word that is used in many passages in the NT - and carries the idea of one mourning over a broken heart because they just lost someone very near to them.

3.       It is one who knows the pain and the agony of spirit.

 

4.       This may not make sense to some when you think of how happy is one who is crying – but the Lord has a special tear in mind hear.

          a.       This is a tear of contrition.

          b.       In other words the weeping over the sin in our lives.

 

c.       The morning that Jesus has in mind here is that illustrated by Jesus in His description of the Publican and the Pharisee.

1.       Where the Publican would not so much as lift his eyes to heaven but would beat upon his chest saying, “Lord be merciful unto me a sinner.”

2.       The tear that Jesus is speaking of here is the same that Paul stated in 2 Cor. 7:10 – concerning godly sorrow that worketh repentance in order to obtain salvation.

 

5.       If you want to be happy, then make sure that the sin in your life always disturbs you.

a.       Never become calloused by your sins/mistakes.

          b.       Let us always be sensitive to our transgressions. (remember Godly sorrow)

(Attitude #3) – SUBMISSION of heart–“blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. (vs. 5)

          1.       The word translated “meek” here was used in three different ways:

a.       When used in reference to medicine – it was the medicine that went down smoothly.

b.       When used in reference to animals – it was the animals that would come under control of their master.

c.       When used in reference to people – it carried the idea of individuals who had learned to be gentle in dealing with others.

d.       Put all three meanings together and you get the picture or the concept of what Jesus was saying –

e.       You and I with a spirit of meekness are to as a wild stallion allow ourselves to come under control of our Lord and Master. 

f.        Even to the point that we find ourselves with a very gentle attitude toward others and very sensitive to their needs.

g.       In other words, the Lord is in control of my life and that controls how I interact with your life.

h.       As a Christian I need to remember that – I have known of many Christians who say things to individuals that hurt – even preachers who preach the truth, but not in love …

i.        Friends, this is not a spirit of meekness – this is not what the Bible teaches.

 

Paul a preacher writing to Timothy a young preacher stated…

2 Timothy 2:24-25 – “And the servant of the Lord must not strive (quarrel), but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. In meekness instructing (correcting) those that oppose themselves…”

 

2.       If you want to  be happy – begin to see yourself as a servant and knowing that you make mistakes you can help others – learn to be gentle.

Gal. 6:1 – “Brethren, if any man be over taken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou be tempted.”

Attitude # 4 – “blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness” – an attitude of PASSION for doing what is right. (vs. 6)

          1.       David said, “…for all thy commandments are righteous.” (Psalm 119:172)

          2.       Hunger and thirst after the commands of God so that we can apply them to our

lives so that we can be right before God who gave us those commands.

 

3.       None of us have ever been so hungry that we would buy a donkey’s head or dove’s droppings to satisfy our hunger – but that happened in Old Testament times when there was a great famine in Samaria (2 Kings 6:25)

 

4.       None of us have probably ever been so thirsty that we cried to have just on drop of water to quench our thirst, but that is what Jesus said concerning the rich man in torment recorded in Luke 16.

 

5.       Yet I should have this hunger and thirst for the word of God and not just as a student but as one who says, “I want my life molded by what God says.”

 

6.       That is what it means to hunger and thirst after a desire of being right by the righteousness of God.

 

7.       Psalm 119:11 – “Thy word have I hid in my heart…”

 

8.       We must have a passion for the word of God and when I feel that way guess where I am going to be at 10:00 am Sunday morning during Bible class hour?

a.       I am going to be in Bible class – not home, not on my way, not in the parking lot, not in one of the empty class rooms – but in class.

b.       Guess where I am going to be at 6:00 on Sunday evening – when it comes to Sunday night worship?

c.       Guess where I am going to be Wednesday night during Bible class time?

 

d.       I am not going to be here to punch a time clock  and be sure I am right with God come day of judgment – I am going to be here in Bible class hour, Sunday evening worship and even Wednesday Bible class – regardless of how tired I am – WHY?

 

e.       Because I have an all consuming, unquenchable passion to know what God says to my life – and I want to be right with Him.

Attitude #5 – COMPASSION - “blessed are the merciful” – (vs. 7)

          1.       The concept of mercy in the Bible carries the idea of compassion.

          2.       When you study the concept of the word mercy – and especially in the Old

Testament it carries the idea of stepping into the skin of another human being – and experience life from their perspective.

3.       So before we ever respond to something someone says – we need to step inside their shoes – what would I want to hear if we traded places?

 

4.       Before I ever react to a tragedy in your life – I need to ask myself – How would I want to be treated?

 

5.       Luke 6:36 – “Be ye therefore merciful as your father also in merciful”

 

6.       May we all strive to be merciful one to another, walking in others shoes and witness life from their experiences. (It just may change your attitude toward that person.)

Attitude #6 – SANCTIFICATION – being set apart from the world – “blessed are the pure in heart.” (vs. 8)

          1.       “Be ye holy even as Him who called you is holy” (1 Peter 1:16)

                    a.       Be ye separate.

                    b.       It was the four living creatures in Revelation 5 – that worshipped God by

saying – “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty”  in other words – “separate, separate, separate, Lord God Almighty.”

 

          2.       We are to be separate – we are to be different:

                    a.       We should be different in the way we dress.

                    b.       We should be different in the way we speak.

                    c.       We should be different in the way we in the way we treat others.

                    d.       We should be different in the way we respond to anger.

                    e.       We should be different in the way we function as husband and wives, sons

and daughters, mothers and fathers.

 

          3.       Immediately people should say – “That is a child of God!”

 

4.       Rom. 12:2 – “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

          a.       Our problem is we are not renewing our minds.

          b.       We are stagnate in our minds and allowing the world to encroach in our

minds and beginning to think like them and not renewing our minds.

         

          5.       Phil. 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you, which is in Christ Jesus.”

                    a.       Think like Him - Act like Him - Be pure like Him.

                    b.       “Be holy even as He who called you is holy.”

 

Attitude #7 - COOPERATION – getting along with others – “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (vs. 9)

1.       Notice that it is spelled – PEACE and not PIECE. (There is a huge difference although they sound the same.)

a.       We all know that there are some who make up the PIECE makers and split and divide the church and are trouble makers.

b.       But we are to be PEACE makers –

 

c.       I think it is key to realize that peace is made and not a product of just happenstance or chance.

 

2.       Rom. 14:19 – “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”

         

3.       Are we not told in 2 Cor. 13:11 – “…to live in peace…”

4.       Are we not to keep the “unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3)

          a.       Friends there will never be unity, where there is no peace.

          b.       Paul told the brethren to endeavor – be diligent, do whatever it takes.

 

5.       “blessed are the peacemakers – for they shall be called the sons of God”

Attitude # 8  - “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake” – this is the attitude of CONVICTION.  (10-12)

          1.       A conviction that is do deep, that it is willing to suffer because of its beliefs.

 

2.       I find it interesting that when you consider the 8 be-attitudes in Matt. 5, this is the only one that Jesus specifically addressed to His initial audience.

 

3.       He goes on to say – (Read vs 11-12)

 

4.       Rejoice because of your convictions – How strong are your convictions?

 

These are the 8 attitudes that distinguish us as followers of Jesus!

 

1.       We should not stop at verse 12 but press on to verse 16, because in verses 13 – 16 we see the influence we can have if we work on having and maintaining this set of attitudes.

 

2.       Verse 13-16 (READ)

          a.       How do we season the world around us – by these attitudes.

          b.       How do we shine and give light the world around us the direction to pursue – thru this    set of attitudes.

 

3.       How are you on the inside?

          What kind of attitude do you have?

          By you being here – this shows you have an interest in spiritual matters.  APPEAL

 

Part II

1.       In our previous lesson, we focused our attention on what Jesus taught about attitudes:

          a.       An attitude of humiliation (poor in spirit – have we humbled ourselves before God?)

          b.       An attitude of contrition – (weeping over our sins and make sure they disturb us.)

          c.       An attitude of submission – ( meek – making myself a servant and being gentle.)

          d.       An attitude of passion – (do we hunger and thirst after God’s commands.)

          e.       An attitude of compassion –(step into the skin of another person experiencing life)

          f.        An attitude of sanctification – (be ye separate – be different)

          g.       An attitude of cooperation – (PEACE not PIECE)

          h.       An attitude of conviction  - (how deep is our convictions?)

          i.        Our influence – because we have and maintain these attitudes.

 

Let us consider the rest of the chapter:

A.       (Verses 17 – the end of the chapter) Jesus gives His attention to AUTHORITY.

 

B.       He begins by explaining Himself and His deep respect for the authority of the Scriptures, the word of God.

 

C.       That is because He was going to put what He was saying relative to God’s will against what others were saying about God’s revealed will (Many were twisting it to say things that it never said.)

 

D.       (vs. 17-18 - READ)

1.       (vs. 17) “fulfill” – like pouring a coke into a glass and it crest, one more drop would cause it to over flow – that is what Jesus did in fulfilling prophecies–Lk. 24)

 

2.       (vs. 18) – “jot” – was reference to the Hebrew alphabet letter the “yode” (iota) and if you look at the Hebrews alphabet, the yode (iota) looks like a comma or apostrophe suspended in mid air.

 

3.       (vs. 18) – “tittle” – (last stroke of the pen) it was a part of a Hebrew letter that distinguished it from other letters that looked almost the same –

a.       We might illustrate it with our capital “C” as opposed to our capital “G” – they both look the same.

          b.       Except for the horizontal and vertical line that makes it look different – that        illustrates the “tittle”.

 

4.       Jesus said, not the smallest letter, not the smallest letter from your Old Testament will be done away until I fill it up to the over flowing point.

 

5.       Can you see the respect that Jesus had for the Bible to which He yielded and should we not feel the same way?

 

E.       There were some who did not feel that way – (vs. 20 – READ)

1.       “Scribes” – would be the lawyers who spent much time debating the OT scripture interpretation – to the point of coming about with some crazy interpretations:

          a.       Concerning Sabbath keeping – they might say…

          b.       You could only carry enough milk on the Sabbath for one swallow or you would violate

the Sabbath.

c.       They would debate that if a women who was a seamstress, was sewing on Friday and became distracted and stuck her pin in her garment and forgets that it is there but then the Sabbath comes and she carries the pin – has she carried a burden, has she violated the Scriptures?

d.       They would even wonder if a man could wear his false teeth on the Sabbath without carrying a burden.

2.       “Pharisees” – they were the “separate ones” – they did not look so much as to what God said but what the scribes said about what God said.

a.       They measured everyone’s faithfulness to God by their faithfulness to these man-made traditions.

3.       Jesus was saying that we must be more righteous than these men – some of us who are harder on our brethren than God is – would do good to go back and study this.

 

F.       Note some of the areas that Jesus gave His attention to relative to what God wants in our lives:

1.       (vs. 22) the way that we interact with others that anger us to the point of having no bad feelings toward them.

2.       (vs. 32)–Jesus took His respect for God’s word and applied it to marriage.  (READ)

3.       (vs. 38-42) with the respect of revenge – “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” – NO – you go the extra mile in trying to get along with others.

4.       (vs. 44-45) how we are to deal with our enemies – we are to love them and pray for them.

ˇ  (vs.21- 22) – anger

ˇ  (vs. 27-28) – adultery

ˇ  (vs. 31-32) – marriage

ˇ  (vs. 33-37) – flippant oaths

ˇ  (vs. 38-42) – revenge

ˇ  (vs. 43-45) – enemies

 

G.      Authority for the Scriptures – no doubt this is something that is missing in many congregations and in individuals today.

 

Let us conclude with this thought:

A man came to a watch repair shop and he asked the owner – do you think you can repair my watch?  I think I can, said the owner. And so this individual placed the hands of his wrist watch on the counter.  The owner said, “Sir where is the rest of the watch?”  The man replied, “there is nothing wrong with the rest of the watch, it is just the hands that will not work.”  And the repair man said, “O no sir you do not understand, it is not the hands, but what is on the inside that needs fixing.”

 

Could I suggest that if we put to practice the attitudes we are to be and have the same respect for the Scriptures that Jesus had –

 

It will go a long way in helping us with what is on the inside.

 

·       How are you on the inside?

          Why not obey God and come and be washed and cleansed on the inside.

          Why not come and lay your sin at the foot of the cross?