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What the World Needs Now - Authentic Difference-Makers, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
February 25, 2022 5:00 am

What the World Needs Now - Authentic Difference-Makers, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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February 25, 2022 5:00 am

There’s no shortage of expert advice on what the world needs now - opinions abound and division increases. The question is: What would Jesus have us hear in the midst of the confusion and chaos? In this program, Chip goes to the book of Matthew for the answer.

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What do you think really needs to change in America, and why?

How do you think Jesus would answer that question? Well, stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Gruen, and I think we'd all agree there's a lot that needs to change in our world. The trouble is there are so many opinions and experts on how to fix what's wrong, so where's the common ground?

How do we prioritize what matters most? Well, Chip tackles these tough questions as he begins his series, What the World Needs Now. Over the next few programs, Chip will share Jesus' method of fostering unity and how his perspective will radically change our society. As a quick reminder, if you miss a portion of this program, let me encourage you to catch up through the Chip Ingram app. It's a great way to listen to Living on the Edge anytime. Now, if you have a Bible, open it now to Matthew chapter 5.

Let's join Chip for his talk, Authentic Difference Makers. We're going to be teaching out of Matthew chapter 5, and what I want you to know as we study this passage is the context here is Jesus has come into a world much like ours. I mean, it's broken. It's difficult. There's violence. There's brutality. Eighty percent of the world are slaves. Women are marginalized.

Children, I mean, don't even matter. Slaves are treated like pieces of property. Mercy wasn't even a value. It was brutal. It was violent.

Entertainment was watching people get chopped up. I guess things haven't changed much. And on the front of your notes, I ask a list of questions that I'd like you to think about because as you listen to pundits and television and talk shows, you would really think there really isn't any hope or the way a lot of people would answer those questions like what the world needs now, more and better education, better wages, eliminate corruption.

I mean, all these things have been around forever, and I'm sure we need all those things. But historically, what has brought a difference? What really changes things? You know, this group's in power for a while, and another group says how wrong they are, and as soon as they get in power within 10 or 20 years, all the same corruption, the human heart of man constantly repeated, oppresses people, hurts people, greed rules.

Then there's violence. What the world needs, Jesus is going to speak into. And what I want you to know is that he would answer the questions on the front of that page today exactly like he did then. Is there a bright future for America?

It depends on how his people respond. What would you change? If we ask 100 people what really needs to change, we'd get 90 different answers, and we'd blame 89 different people. So I want you to open your notes, and I want you to imagine if we could invite the Lord Jesus on a separate stool to say, Lord, you've seen all this before, and at the lowest time in human history, you spoke, and you launched actually a movement. The movement is literally the Jesus Creed. Jesus ministered, he loved people, and then he was asked, what really matters?

And the Jesus Creed is love the Lord your God with all your heart, your mind, your soul, and your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. He does amazing miracles that gives him credibility. He heals every disease, and he casts out demons. So he comes with this revolutionary thought, not mamby pamby ooey gooey love, but a love that's transformative, and he heals people demonstrating his power. He confronts evil casting out demons, and then he teaches there is a kingdom of heaven. There's a new way of doing life.

People have been waiting on it. The kingdom of heaven is among you. He's shown up, and he launches the kingdom, and after he spends all night praying he chooses 12 that will be the key leaders, and then he will sit down, and he will give what's commonly called the Sermon on the Mount, and he will describe the character qualities necessary to join this movement, and then he'll talk about the strategy of this movement will not be education or technology.

It won't be a change in government or political parties. It'll be what this group actually does and how they live, and then he'll go on to describe to them how does this movement fit in with all they've learned about the law of Moses, and then finally he'll talk to them about what it really takes to please God is far more than difficult. It's supremely impossible, and so you'll need to be dependent, and the way to practice righteousness is different than you've ever heard before, and as you do this a little mustard seed of life is going to be planted in each and every little network of relationship, and as you keep living out these be attitudes, not do attitudes, that all around you change will occur, and he'll collect a society of people, and this society of people as they are changed will literally change the core of systems, and politics, and institutions, and whenever the kingdom of God, not just church or religion or politics within the church, but whenever the kingdom of God and the Sermon on the Mount has been followed empowered by the Holy Spirit, then slavery begins to disappear, and people's value and dignity regardless of where they're coming from or what their gender, it begins to come up, and instead of corruption you get integrity, and we've seen different season in different countries, and if we ever needed a dose of the Sermon on the Mount, I think what the world needs now is Jesus' words lived out by Jesus' people. So open your notes, and as you do the setting is Matthew chapter 4 verses 23, I'd like to read that for you, and he went through Galilee teaching in the synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, notice that's his message, healing every disease and every affliction among the people, so his fame spread throughout all of Syria, and they brought to him all the sick and those afflicted with various diseases and pains and those oppressed by demons, epileptics and paralytics, and he healed them all, that'll get a crowd, and great crowds followed from Galilee and the Decapolis and from Jerusalem and Judea and beyond the Jordan, do you get it, I mean people are coming from everywhere, so what you need to get the context is two things, the world is woefully broken, I mean it is flat out messed up, immorality is at epic proportions, making even what we have today look very righteous, brutality, prejudice, racism, pain, human life disregarded, and Jesus is wildly popular, he teaches like one who has authority, he solves problems and heals people, and then he confronts evil head on casting out demons, and after he prayed all night, notice what happens, chapter 5, seeing the crowds he went up on the mountain and when he sat down, that's the position of a rabbi speaking with authority, he sat down and he began to speak to his disciples, the primary group are those people that are serious, it's his followers that he's chosen, now the crowd gets to overhear a lot, and so this is a sermon for people like us, this is people like come to a building together to say we want to please God, we've been singing about God, we've been worshipping God, we've told Jesus that we love him, he says this is for you, and I think it's interesting when he launches his revolution, he doesn't give them a program or a game plan, he begins with who, what kind of people, what kind of characteristics, what kind of attitude, what needs to be a part of you in order for the favor of God to be upon you, he opened his mouth and taught them saying blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted, blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied, blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God, blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, notice now the repetition, he starts with the kingdom of heaven, ends with the kingdom of heaven, blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you with all kinds of evil against you, falsely on my account, rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets who were before you, notice the elevation of himself, the prophets of Yahweh, the great king, the creator of all life, they were persecuted, now you will be persecuted because of me, he's clearly been doing all this teaching that he's God incarnate, he's the son of God, he's the Messiah, Old Testament passages have predicted for hundreds and hundreds of years an anointed one, the word Christ means an anointed one, a king is going to come and set up God's kingdom and the world is not like God wants it but this new king is going to usher in God's way, God's values so that people treat one another and they honor God in ways that are best for them and give honor and glory to him and he's just given us the eight characteristics of that kind of person. As I prayed and as I just studied this, he's going to take each one of these Beatitudes and he's going to show this group of people what it looks like in their world, in their context of what it means to be poor in spirit, what it means to mourn and why, what it means to be meek, what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness and he's going to implant it in their experience in a way that when he gets done, all the lights are going to come on and they're going to go, oh, this is the kind of follower, this is the agenda, this is what it means to follow this king and so that's how I'm going to teach it.

So with that you'll need sort of an overview of what's going on and as you look at the whole passage, question number one was this, how can we share in this revolution? I mean, can you get out of your sort of, I've been a Christian forever or I go to church or I grew up in the 20th or 21st century and just realize, imagine a 30 year old teacher comes on the scene, he's doing these miracles, your brother was paralyzed, now he can walk, you've seen 5,000 people fed, you don't know what it is about him, but this guy's from God and you want to be a part of what he's doing and he says, okay, number one, here's the character qualities and you kind of scratch your head and then what he says, the strategy, the strategy, we're going to change the whole world. There's going to be a revolution of love and the kingdom is going to start and it's going to be here already, but not yet, but one day I will come back as the reigning king and believe me, this kind of world is going to be forever and ever and ever, but until then we're going to start it and then look at verses 13 through 16. He doesn't say try to be the salt of the earth, doesn't say try to be the light. The strategy of Jesus' movement isn't something or someone.

It's not technology, it's not education, it's not politics, it's his actual people living out their life like those Beatitudes describe in ways that literally transform like salt tasting and infecting things, like light penetrating in all areas of darkness. And then the next question is not only, you know, what will we do as the salt and light, but how does this jive, I'm not sure Jesus would use those words, but how does this jive with all that we've learned in the Old Testament? In other words, they would say, we know the law is from God and from Moses.

We know the prophet spoke, you're from God, but would you help us understand what's your relationship and this new movement, this revolution of love, how does it fit? And so follow along as I read verses 17 through 20. Do not think that I've come to abolish the law or the prophets.

I've not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes 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 does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Now verse 20 is the key to the Sermon on the Mount.

Verse 20 is where he is going to rock their world, and I hope it rocks mine and yours. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Unless your righteousness, your behavior, your attitudes from the heart, how you live, your rightness with God and rightness with people, unless it exceeds the scribes and the Pharisees, you can't even get in. Now if you're a good Jewish boy, and all these were good Jewish boys, they grew up in the synagogue. At a minimum they all had the first five books of the Old Testament memorized and many of them many more.

It was an oral learning. They had scores and scores of the Psalms. They know the prophets and their heroes, if you will, the people that taught them in the synagogues were the Pharisees, and the Pharisees are squeaky clean. You blow a trumpet and they pray out loud, and they got these long things with all these verses they've memorized, and they tied their money, they tied their time down to their herbs and spices. I mean these guys were morally squeaky clean externally. They were religious over the top.

And I'm a good Jewish boy following this young radical rabbi, unless I'm more holy than them I can't even get in, yi yi yi. And then he said, well what's that mean? And so notice in your Bible here it says anger, then lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, love your enemies. I've put it on your handout. But what he's going to do is he's going to say murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, retribution, and enemies.

He's going to take those hot topics and is going to say, you've heard it said, but I say to you. You've heard it said, Old Testament, and then how the Pharisees say, this is what it looks like to be righteous, but this is what I say. And so you've heard it said, you shall not murder. I say, internal, if your anger is in your heart towards your brother, if you say rock out to him you fool, you're in danger. You've heard it said, don't commit adultery.

I say, no, no, no, it's not just the action in your heart when you look at a woman if you lust in your heart. You've heard it said, and he goes through each of these hot topics. You've heard it said, be good to your friends and hate your enemies, but I say to you, love your enemies.

Pray for them. I mean, if you're a good Jewish boy and you're following him, for whatever level of spirituality you had, you're getting crushed. In fact, I put the little chart, what he does with each one of these things all the way through the entire chapter. Basically he says, what you've heard about is external righteousness. I'm talking about that with those internal from the heart. You've learned it's about doing, doing, doing. I'm telling you it's being, it's who you really are. You've had this sense of duty, you gotta do all this stuff and all this religious requirements. I'm talking about devotion, love, loyalty. You've lived in a world where righteousness is your performance. If we translate it today, I make it to church three out of every four weeks, I give at least 10%, I go on a missions trip, one every three years, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I have family devotions three out of five nights. All those things are good things, but you can do all those things in your heart in the wrong place. He says you've been living in a world that's guilt driven. I'm talking about a world that is grace driven. You've learned about the letter of the law of righteousness.

I'm talking about the spirit. You have had your head filled with the knowledge about God. And I want your heart full with the knowledge of God. Now here's what I want you to get, okay? We started with the Beatitudes. You've got to get your mind into the heart and the mind of a 20 something dedicated zealous Jewish boy or girl.

And when he gets done with chapter five, here's what I can tell you. However close you thought you were to God, the distance has now infinitely increased. And what you're feeling right now is, I'm undone. I don't even remotely measure up. Translation, what does it mean to be poor in spirit?

To be poor in spirit needs to, I sense that I'm spiritually bankrupt before God. I bring nothing to the table. I could never earn your favor unless you help me, I'm doomed.

See he's taught them. It's in your brokenness. It's in the relinquish of your pride. It's in you seeing your need. And second, if they were honest, I mean, are you kidding me?

These are young guys. I'm not committing adultery, but you're saying if I just think it, I'm undone. I'm undone. And so now they move from a poor in spirit.

And so if they're honest, they're going, oh God, I thought it was so much farther along. I do lust. I do have envy. I do have jealousy. And they mourn over their sin, and they go, oh God, I'm so far from you.

I'm so sorry. They'll be comforted. Remember the Pharisee and the sinner in the gospels, and the Pharisee comes in and says, I thank God that I'm not like that sinner, and the sinner, oh God, have mercy on me.

I don't deserve anything. And Jesus said, this one leaves justified, this one not. See what he's done in chapter five is he's taught the first to be attitudes. And he's saying to you, and he's saying to me, if you think you're doing okay, and you think that you compare yourself to other people, and you think your religious activity is kind of getting you where you need to get, you are not, you're not even up to bat, let alone on first base, spiritually.

In fact, notice in your notes, I summarize chapter five. Jesus condemns external righteousness, spiritual activities, when it doesn't flow from an authentic relationship with God. Jesus condemns, doesn't say it doesn't quite measure up, he condemns it.

The harshest words of Jesus aren't for Romans that are brutal. He didn't talk about the politics of the day. He didn't talk about all those things shouldn't be happening in the gladiators.

He didn't talk about all the terrible things of slavery. He went after who? The people who thought they were righteous. He launched a movement of people that owned their own stuff and loved radically first. You've been listening to part one of Chip's message, authentic difference makers.

He'll be right back with his application for this teaching from his series, what the world needs now. Turmoil, division, political corruption, prejudice, these are just a few of the serious issues we're dealing with in our society today. But did you know the early church and Jesus's disciples faced similar problems? In this three part series, Chip shares the guidance Jesus gave to his followers some 2,000 years ago and how that wisdom relates to us today. Don't miss the ways to build better relationships, handle injustice, and live your life like never before. For more information about what the world needs now or our many resources, just go to or call us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or

App listeners, tap special offers. Well, Chip, before we get to your application, would you take just a minute and share with us your thinking behind this series and why you decided to air it now? Well, Dave, I really thought and prayed as we look at what's happening, especially in America, but also around the world, what would Jesus say? You know, we've got so many opinions, so many experts, we're so divided, and we're so divided inside the Christian community, I think we need to pause. I mean, just call a big, big time out and step back and say, okay, yes, there's major issues that need to be addressed, and there's very, very divergent views of what the answers are. But of all times, I feel like we need to pause and say, Lord Jesus, what do you want to say?

How would you speak into this? And the fact of the matter is that the first century world is amazingly parallel in the issues and the problems then as today. And so I really wanted to bring the words of Jesus at this season at a time where I think we would all say America is in crisis. Thanks for that, Chip. Well, I hope you'll make plans to be with us for this entire series. And if you happen to miss a program, you can always listen on the Chip Ingram app or at

Well, now here's Chip. As we launch this series together, I'd like you to really think about what you heard. I don't know many people that just naturally like to think of themselves as poor in spirit. We live in a country of independence, of strength, of might makes right. And when we're very honest, we all tend to see what's wrong with other people, right? It's what's wrong with that other group. It's what's wrong with that other political party. It's what's wrong with that other denomination. It's what's wrong with those Christians who believe this or don't believe that. And if we're not very careful, we can fall into the very trap that Jesus was speaking to a group of people whose fundamental problem was they thought they were okay.

They were self-righteous. This is a moment in time for you and for me as followers of Jesus to pause and humble ourselves and come bankrupt before the Lord and say, Lord, I have a war perspective. I have a bias. There's issues in my life. You've warned me not to judge other people and not to come down hard on them. You've asked me first and foremost to examine my own heart, to humble myself and come to you. And so as we launch this series, could I ask you to do that? Could I ask you today to dial down the anger and the hate and the vitriol and the posting on Facebook and to pause and ask God?

And I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm not saying there aren't issues that need to be addressed, but could you start with whatever issues you have and I'll start with the ones that I have and let's just start a journey where we pray for the people right now that we feel most angry toward, that we think they're so wrong and that's where the change needs to happen. Jesus would say to us, the poor in spirit, the people who recognize the needs they have is where you begin. And so Father, I ask you to help me to be honest with myself and I pray for my brothers and sisters that you might give them a humble, contrite, poor spirit where we'd be open to hear what you want to change in us before we go looking to what needs to change in others.

In Christ's name, amen. As we wrap up, I want to thank those of you who make this program possible through your generous financial support. Your gifts help us create programs, purchase airtime, and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians. If you've been blessed by the Ministry of Living on the Edge, would you consider sending a gift today? Call us at 888-333-6003 or go to App listeners tap donate. Your support is greatly appreciated. We'll be with us again next time when SHIP continues his series, What the World Needs Now. Until then, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-30 01:50:00 / 2023-05-30 02:00:22 / 10

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