This broadcaster has 363 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
March 30, 2020 2:23 pm
The call is direct, urgent, uncompromising on personal follow me the call of Jesus is to follow him in a life of continuous commitment. The call of Jesus is to follow him, not on our terms, but on his and in the cities of Matthew we been learning who Jesus is. He is King Jesus.
He is conceived of the virgin he's given the name Jesus, which defines his very mission is called Jesus because he will save his people from their sins is also Emmanuelle God with us that Jesus is the God man is a long promised Messiah and John the Baptist calms and prepares his way and preaches this message of repentance that people must confess their sins and then live lives and keeping without repentance and at the end of chapter 3, we saw an amazing scene where John the Baptist baptizes Jesus and then that never to be forgotten. Scene as Jesus is being baptized.
The heavens opened, and God the father speaks and says this is my son, my well beloved, in whom I am well pleased at the spirit of God descends like a dog and rests upon our Savior, who is then led into the wilderness where he is tempted by Satan and their magnificent Lord demonstrates that he is victorious over Satan victorious over the forces of darkness and of hell itself. He is the light coming to those who dwell in darkness there is none like him, nor will there ever be anyone like him and then at the end of Matthew chapter 4 we had the clarion call of Jesus to four disciples for ordinary men by the shores of the Sea of Galilee, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.
And, perhaps, to our surprise, these men immediately follow Jesus. They leave their marriage. They leave their families. They leave their boats and follow Jesus and Jesus demonstrates that the kingdom of God has come as he goes around casting out demons, healing diseases, giving life to those who are in pyrolysis and great coyotes follow him.
And now as we come to Matthew chapter 5. We will see that in mass in Matthew chapters 5, six and seven we have what is been called the greatest sermon ever preached a generally we call it the sermon on the Mount is given on the mountain when we go to Israel.
We go to the mind of the attitudes are there in that beautiful setting and the surrendering of the Sea of Galilee with the magnificent hills we can picture the quietness and the tranquility as Jesus sits there and addresses his disciples the sermon on the mind is arguably some of the best known words of Jesus, but I think that also perhaps the most misunderstood this time of confusion and crisis in our world. I thought how wonderful it would be for us who have been forces it were to be in isolation to quiet in our lives through their think about serious things that we would do as the first disciples did and sits at the feet of Jesus humbly and listen to his words, and I trust the respondent with humility so that we would have our faith strengthened that we would live our Savior or what does he say to us. Follow them listen to him following Jesus is the safest plan and all of the world.
We follow Jesus and is on following Jesus. I'm on the safest path in the world whatever comes with it is a virus with its unemployment withers a health challenge. I know this as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, as long as I follow him he will lead me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake. So ask your whatever you are able to do so to take your Bible and turn with me to Matthew chapter 5 Matthew five verse one we read seeing the crowds he that is Jesus went up on the mountain and when he sat down and his disciples came to him. I'm sure there were large cards. There, but notice that Jesus is speaking, particularly to his disciples you a follower of Jesus. Many of you would say yes we are. While Jesus is speaking to you what do people who follow Jesus look like what does it mean to follow Jesus when unbelievers look at those of us who are following Jesus. What did they see. What are some of the characteristics I find it intriguing that in this first sermon described by Matthew the first sermon of King Jesus. Jesus focuses not so much on what we do. He's going to address that later, but he focuses first on our character on our attitude should on who we really are. This then is what it means to follow Jesus. This is what it means to be in the kingdom of heaven. This is what you should look like and I should look like if we say were following Jesus. This is life in the kingdom. With you than the first five verses of Matthew chapter 5 singer cards, he went up in the mountain and when he sat down in his disciples came to him and 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.
The Lord willing. Look at verses six through 12 next Lord's day.
Here is teaching of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Here is a life in the kingdom with Jesus. He is saying, the kingdom of heaven is near the first of all we must address this question, how do we get into the kingdom of heaven. What about the entrance into the kingdom will remember King Jesus is speaking and Matthew tells us he went up on the mountain, perhaps to emphasize that Jesus is speaking with the ultimate authority he is God himself. He is speaking from a mountain which reminds us of Moses received the word of God about a 10 Commandments from Mount Sinai. The law was given on Mount Sinai but John, one of the other gospel writers reminds us that while the law was given by Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Yes, the laws given on Mount Sinai, and here is the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ delivered from another mountain and he's doing it with great authority. At the end of the sermon on the Mount in Matthew seven verse 28 we read this and when Jesus finished these sayings that chapters 5, six and seven. The sermon on the Mount, when Jesus had finished this the kind were astonished at his teaching. Why verse 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. Think of this. Here is the authority of God is God speaking to us. Jesus is God and he speaking to us and I have to remind you that the Christian life has a beginning. How do we enter this kingdom of heaven that Jesus speaks about the John the Baptist spoke about how do we get into the kingdom of heaven with the Jesus say chapter 4 verse 17 from that time Jesus began to preach, saying repentance for the kingdom of heaven is at hand Mark as he begins his gospel puts it this way.
In chapter 1 verse 15 the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand repent and believe in the gospel. How do I enter the kingdom of God and begins with repentance and begins with believing in the Lord Jesus Christ what's repentance repentance is a change of mind, leading to a change of attitude leading to a change of action is not just saying I'm sorry. When I was a little boy of 11 years old but my teacher was Ms. Keith and that she was very much of the old school but teaching really was with fear and intimidation, not to many smiley faces.
In fact, we never saw what I don't know if she smiled all the time we huddle together for a year.
I should probably when I was 11, was abides in her late 50s is very difficult when you're 11 years old. You think anyone over 20 is ancient and that trust. She seemed very old but I think is a look back.
You probably was late 50s and we called her TC behind the back of course, and for some reason she didn't like little boys like me talking in her class and so she caught anyone talking particularly bars. I don't think selectmen she sent me the likely-year-old we boys she would say Monroe not John that we not John Monroe standup standup. When you talking yes Ms. Keith, what do you say I'm sorry Ms. Keith sit down sometimes you might even say you silly little boy said Don I'm saying to the teacher.
I'm sorry but I'm so she looked at me, I appeared to be a little contrite, but there was no repentance on my part. I didn't really feel I have done much wrong because I'd spoken to the body next to me that's not repentance is a man in the Bible, called Esau and the when he didn't get his birthright and it says that he wept, but there was no real repentance. Repentance is not just saying I'm sorry and then going on as you always did no true repentance is an acknowledgment please get this an acknowledgment before a holy God that you are a sinful person because earlier. Matthew was told is in fact in chapter 1 that wouldn't God's son is born he is given the name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins not to continue in their sin, and with the tightening from our sin, repentance. There is also a tightening to God. Paul in acts 20 talks about repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
That said, tightening from my sin and turning to the Lord Jesus of all of us over the last two or three weeks of been absorbed with this coronavirus and we been given all kinds of advice about that wise advice in order to protect ourselves and to protect those around us with what to practice social distancing were told to keep washing our hands on but were told not to touch her face and taken away from people and the if you're one of the people who have been infected by the virus.
Are you got to keep away from others because it is so infectious, and it can easily be spread and in some cases as were learning.
It may even be fatal and none of us want to get a virus, but the Lord Jesus when he talks about repentance is thinking of a virus note which is are you there, but which is in here the Bible calls that sin of the size that all of us without exception are infected with this virus and you say how can we get rid of it.
I can we cleanse ourselves can we keep away from evil. It's not that simple.
Because yes, it's good to get away from evil. But what about the evil within us. That's called sin. How do we deal with this. Can we cleanse ourselves can we atone for our own sin is a is there some way I can get rid of this virus because the Bible tells me the wages of sin is death, not everyone dies when they got the virus. The coronavirus some die but some live, some get through it. But for every single person that awaiting us because the wages over sin is death. How can I be cleansed from this. This is the good news of the gospel, but into the dark world into our world of the virus of sender comes one man who is totally different from all others. And that's why Matthew has been stressing the sinlessness of our Savior that when these baptized are themselves as I'm well pleased with this one because he is unique he is without sin and why is it so necessary that not only do I repent of my sin.
But put my trust in the Lord Jesus is that he is the sinless Savior. Not only is he sinless, but his mission is to rescue me from my sin, and he can give me and you, a spiritual cleansing because he's accomplish that through his own death on the cross when he takes all of our sin on himself dies our death that we deserved is buried and then rises from the dead, and so here's the good news of the gospel that the Lord Jesus comes to those who are dwelling in darkness. Those who are dwelling in the shadow of death, he comes the perfect man the sinless Savior on a rescue mission of the messages. This repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved as the gospel. That's what is good news will not saved by works were not saved even by trying to obey the Beatitudes in our own strength from first to last, the Bible teaches us that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone, but as we come to the Beatitudes is a point I want to emphasize in this an often forgotten point, I think, was a very important point that those now who are following Jesus those who have repented of their sin and place their trust in Jesus, and have begun this exciting adventure to follow Jesus there must be different.
You cannot go on living as you once lived.
I am now following Jesus. Once I followed my own ambition my own desires. I followed other people know there has been a radical change. When I came to Christ as a boy can be learned. The coders things are different now. Something happened to me when I gave my heart to Jesus things I love before have passed away things I love far more have come to say things are different now.
Something happened to me when I gave my heart to Jesus. Yes I was 12.
I understood that when I place my faith in Jesus Christ. That was the most important thing I ever did. And then, yes, is a boy stumbling late faltering, often failing, but trying to keep my eyes on Jesus, things different to new life with the Beatitudes are all about. After the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt Lord said to them, Leviticus 18, verses two and three was into these words are so important. I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you lived and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, which I'm bringing your other people of God to be delivered from their slavery. They been rep led through the Dead Sea in God is saying to them, you're a redeemed people and you can do what they did in Egypt. Your once slaves in Egypt. What is different. You've been delivered. Furthermore, you're going to land is a great land. The land flowing with milk and honey. But the rest pagans in it and you must not live like them know those who were saved. Those who are redeemed win win difference when Christ comes into our life. There is this radical change of fundamental change of attitude of agendas of orientation and this is the focus in these magnificent Beatitudes are you coping with this repented of you believe in the gospel. If you saying God's grace Jon I have amassed schedule like different, so different from those who don't know Christ so different from your neighbors different from those at work different from the students at college. Jesus Christ brings out radical change in her life. This is how we get into the kingdom. But what about the blessings of the kingdom well kingdom living as a life of blessing you decide that the Christian life is often presented as some kind of killjoy side experience that the reverse is true. Notice how frequent are the blessings for Milliken verses three through 12 of Matthew five, nine times we have this word blessing.
The Greek word is Makarios is difficult to translate into English translator struggled with it.
Some translations give Pappy which captures the sense in and one aspect with the problem without usage of the word happy is that it very much focuses on my feelings and these blessings. Yes, they bring us happiness, but the thought is not so much about my feelings, my happy feelings, but to be in a place of happiness to be in a place of being blessed by God. You see kingdom living is the blessed life. Jesus is not talking about circumstances which make you happy, which are dependent upon the happenings in your life is talking about the blessing which comes from God and then her joy and peace which comes from following Jesus in this life of faith, a life of obedience. For example, are you handling this coronavirus must enjoy your frustrated, angry, depressed, fearful, see these blessings that Jesus talks about the can be manufactured, though not a result of our own achievements that can be handed on from parent to child is aware no become direct from God to you and every single one of us crave the blessing of God is that we do know you do the wonderful thing is this, irrespective of your surroundings irrespective of your health irrespective you of your bank balance irrespective of your background, irrespective of your education, you can be blessed by God and did you notice as I read the first three of the Beatitudes that they had a total reversal of the false prosperity theology of the false prosperity gospel.
Jesus does not say Blessed are the rich but blessed are the poor in spirit. He doesn't say. Blessed are the successful.
He says blessed are those that mourn. He doesn't say blessed RVS after but blessed are the blessings of the kingdom number. Think of the characteristics of the kingdom. We thought of the entrance into the kingdom. Secondly, the blessings of the kingdom not of the characteristics of the kingdom. I want to say the obvious that Jesus is focusing not on the externals, but the in internal Jesus is focusing and this is why so convicting to us is focusing not so much of what we do, but on who we are to Jesus was first concerned with your heart who you really are not the external rituals of religion, not how people view you not even how you view yourself with these concerned with your heart and in times of crisis, such as were facing as a nation. These situations tend to expose our hearts are values what's important to us deals with her character. Proverbs 4 verse 23 keep your heart with all diligence, far from it flow the springs of life. What we are inside.
It is the most important.
If you know someone's heart you know someone's character you're not worried about what they can do. I've learned over the years when I interview someone for a certain position. Yes, I'm unconcerned about their competence and that education but are much more concerned with her character and what kind of person. What man what woman is this person really like and so Jesus begins with feet in terminal. Here are the qualities of the attitudes of those living in the kingdom of those following Jesus. No, he's not dealing with personality traits. It's that every Christian has the same personality as the next person would would not be boring. No, these Beatitudes in respect of your personality of your or your background on your education. These Beatitudes are the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.
You see, when I received Jesus as my Savior medical takes place in that the living Christ comes to indwell me. We we we plan recently a song about Christ living in us coming from Galatians 220. That's right. And as Christ lives in us and as we show these wonderful characteristics were becoming more and more like Jesus.
You see, the more you follow Jesus.
The closer you follow Jesus, the more you listen to his words is why think it's so important that you read the Gospels, so I'm excited about preaching through Matthew the more we commune with Jesus, the more these characteristics and these and these qualities will be evidenced in our lives is another beautiful thing in the Christian community when we've known an individual, perhaps over a period of a few years and we see this man. We see this woman.
We see this boy, this girl becoming more and more like Jesus. Sometimes or even unaware themselves, but here is a man who once was very harsh and no is following Jesus the spirit of God is changing how he communicates as an individual before they come to Christ.
Everybody was very very greedy and as they follow Christ.
The become marked by generosity and grace. So what are these qualities that I want us to think of the first three of them. I'm asking you to do something very difficult. I'm asking you to examine your heart time on today. I'm like a spiritual cardiologist. I would examine your heart.
That was really the spirit of using the text you are you ready for a spiritual EKG.
Some of you have had that you got your doctor and the he or she has examined your heart and perhaps put you up to that EKG want to know how was your heart well is wonderful to have a healthy physical heart. But Jesus wants us to have a healthy spiritual heart. The first three of the of the Beatitudes.
First of all verse three is the first one. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is not referring to material poverty, but the spiritual poverty. Blessed are the poor in spirit was the point that the way of blessing. It begins as I've said by being repentant. It begins with an understanding that before a holy God and spiritually bankrupt I bring nothing to God spiritually speaking, other than my sin with a star and then before God, I come empty. There's nothing I can do to my salvation amount of giving monies not met a change in my life that I die I come empty to be foods with the infinite riches of Christ. Psalm 34 verse 18 the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crush in spirit. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Isaiah 66 verse two the Lord says this is the one to whom I will look he who is humble and contrite in spirit, trembles on my work. The Bible says that God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble have to understand that there's to be an acknowledgment not just to everyone who sins, but that I these sinful man, have you been there you are, you poor in spirit, an understanding that your spiritually bankrupt attending from your self-reliance and your pride. This is being repentant. Of course you see there's nothing in you which command yourself to God. I understand you might be very well educated you might be socially accomplished. You may have a lot of friends but as far as God is concerned. Your sinful, your poor in spirit, and you must acknowledge that the old hymn, put it well nothing in my hand I bring, talking about being poor in spirit than coming to Christ, nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling. I don't know if the camera can show us the cross with them preaching on the cross. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling naked come to the fore dress helpless look to the grace finalized to the Farmington fly wash me Savior or I die. That's it.
That's what Jesus wants, spiritually empty is a wonder in the grace of God we received the riches of the kingdom of heaven as the words first three Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Who are those in the kingdom of heaven. Those who have acknowledged before a holy God that they are poor in spirit that they are broken that there crashed but they're totally dependent upon the grace of God. Notice the second one in verse four. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. This is not mourning for the loss of a loved one set with a large through the spirit is the great comforter comforts us when we go through bereavement. But the thought. And there's a logical progression in the Beatitudes. The thought here is a morning over our sin is not just that I acknowledge I'm a sinful person. This shows the seriousness of her sin, the prodigal in Luke chapter 15 he was sorry when his money ran out. He was sorry when these friends run away from him.
He was sorry when he was reduced to eating from the pigsty but he began to understand the seriousness of the sin when he said I'll arise and go to my father and say have sinned against heaven and in your site a morning over over said you done that you mourn over your sins mourned over the sin that the evil in the world. Some hundred 19 verse hundred and 36 my eyes shed streams of tears because people do not keep your number amazing amazing sin when the Lord was on the minds of all of it and he went I was Jesus weeping. He looks after Jerusalem and says Jerusalem Jerusalem you that have stolen the prophets, and so on.
How often I would've gathered you as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you would know he is weeping over a sinful city, the holy city that was turning their back on him, the holy one of God morning over your soon.
I think you'll agree with me that our present culture is a very frivolous once a very superficial society for most people.
One of the top priorities of the life is having fun. There's nothing wrong with having fun, but I have that is one of your top priority shows that you lack seriousness that there's something wrong with you know the Beatitudes emphasizes the seriousness of our sin before, but I find it very difficult to get people to be serious and took to think about spiritual things. When were caught up in his entertainment instance assignee.
I'm one of the good things that this virus has done this forced us to be isolated. It's forced us. I hope to think think the whole section of our of our society who go around with headphones all the time and not I think that ever got away from that sign whatever it is and have a time of quietness.
The psalmist says in Psalm 46 yes when the mountain is falling into the sea, and all our is turning he says in a magnificent Psalm about God is a strength in the refuge. Therefore were not interfere, and then he says in verse 10 still no great time though your home to be still plans to go walking just by yourself to sit under a tree to go for a stroll to get in your homeland away from the noise away from everyone else and do some serious thinking about yourself.
What are your before God and Mayhugh as Jesus said the one who moans over your sin over the sin of our society and to receive this incredible blessing, a divine comfort. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted is the third one. The last one for today.
Verse five Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth, does not surprise you. Meek and gentle. Blessed are the meek.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Not don't confuse meekness with weakness. This is not saying that Christians are are are are to be wimpy characters. Not at all. No this gentleness. This meekness is part of the fruit of the spirit. Paul says in Galatians 5 and our Lord Jesus was the strongest of man, but he was also the meekest in the gentlest of man Matthews going to record his words in chapter 11, where Jesus stands in and says, coming to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek as her work. I meek and lowly in heart, here is God Almighty one who is supreme over the elements one who can raise the dead, and describes himself in one of these few self descriptions as I am meek and lowly in heart, what is this meekness but weakness know it's strength under control to have the power to smite them not to use it is strength to fold and is our Lord Jesus comes into time and space.
He comes not to do his own will but the will of his father. We saw that as he is baptized and the father says this is my son, my well beloved, in whom I'm well pleased to see were naturally rebellious and sometimes that's very obvious are the times we do through all kinds of devious ways, passive-aggressive colonists don't like people telling us what to do. We try to control our own lives and the fist coronavirus is taught as anything is taught as this that we are not in control in the United States may be the world superpower, but it has not stamped out this virus night and have the Russians or the Chinese are all low-tech analogy with all of our signs in all of our medicine and all of our armies, and military power cannot stamp out this virus today reminders and is this tiny little virus is almost shut the world out that God and God the Lord is in control. Could you deal with that.
But you know and control those who are meek and submissive to the will of God.
So you reacting to these changes impose upon us by the federal government under state government and the local government tell you that you showed again complaining trading of the government criticizing the president criticizing the Democrats criticizing the governor is on the way of meekness as it we need to tone down the rectory. We need to stop the insults Jesus is. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit humble before God, gentle towards others. You want to be in control, self assertive, you think life is all about you find it difficult to submit to your boss at work find it difficult to follow the guidelines and the mandate of the government find it difficult to submit to your parents manage your home, you demanding and harsh with her children with her wife, or is this, or is there present this wonderful quality of those who are in the kingdom of heaven. Meekness received with this in verse five is a tremendous promise. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. The premises future in verse three. The promise is no.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is presently the kingdom of heaven but to the meek. Here is the promise here is the reward is at work. They shall inherit the measures I get a job nothing of it this way. With the coming of Jesus. The kingdom of God. The kingdom of heaven. In one sense had come because King Jesus had come with has the kingdom of God, in his fullness with all of its majesty and glory so that righteousness and justice is overall the world know this virus.
We have evil without wars, injustice and unrighteousness in a world today. One day that's going to end one day we don't know when. I believe it's very soon. Our Lord Jesus is going to return. There's various events going to happen on earth and then our Lord Jesus is going to institute what is called the millennial kingdom reign of Christ for a thousand years. You can read about in Revelation 20 and we who are part of that kingdom, we who are followers of Jesus. The Bible says we going to reign with Christ and we will inherit the earth, and that millennial kingdom. Yes it will last for a thousand years and then put all of eternity.
There will be the new heavens and the new.
And we who are followers of Jesus are part of that and so we who are part of this kingdom will inherit the earth, is why we pray the Lord's prayer by kingdom come see our hope is not in this life will look beyond this life.
Yes, there are blessings here and now, as we follow Jesus, but the best is yet to come. As we look forward that this is not the end that our Lord Jesus has conquered death, and so our trust is in the living eternal God, you believe that which you response today, repented and trusted in the Lord Jesus. If you that you do that right now yes in your home alone.
Confess your sins before God to the cross of Christ would cry out to Christ to come and save you. He will rescue you and you begin to follow for those of us who are followers of Jesus are you poor in spirit you mourning over your sin is that this meekness and gentleness, which is so important. Samuel Rutherford said, still commands the door into the kingdom is low, or that's hard for. That's the way of Christ prudence. Mourning over my sin.
The door to the kingdom is no need to fear in this crisis. No need to panic to keep following Jesus to place my trust in the Lord Jesus.
He leads I follow the commands I obey.
I know you want to be blessed these blessings are not defined in the world but not finding yourself the not finding your achievements there something I find in the pleasures of this world there finding Christ and in Christ alone. I want you to stop and to reflect when you receive these blessings. Your hope will not be extinguished by a virus. Your hope will not be extinguished by volatile stock market is your hope will not be extinguished by a tough economy or difficult personal circumstances.
Know your hope will be in the Lord from this time and forever more than that, I will be nothing in this whole universe including this little virus which can separate you from the blessings of God and God will bless you and you will inherit the earth. Your hope in Christ and Christ alone. I would ask you where you are just a 23 with me. I will conclude our worship here by singing a song about hope many of you know what the home may sign the little different: I know it will be but but sing it is a worship team come and sing this amazing song. But let me first pray with you our father and their God. Thank you for your grace that you would bless us in these extraordinary ways. We who are so self-centered we sometimes were so superficial.
We sometimes turn from following Jesus to ourselves and the world and their own ideas. May we make a course correction today and for those who are followers of Jesus, help us each day to keep her eyes on him to be poor in spirit, and to mourn and to be meek under some listening right now. Father, who have never yet repented of their sin. Never yet called in the name of the Lord grant them the grace father to do so, open their eyes to see the ugliness of their sin open their eyes to see the beauty and the loveliness of Jesus as he says come to me and I will give you rest. We thank you father for the hope of the gospel and our hope is not in this world and is not in ourselves but is in you, the living God, we thank you for your grace. Bless us with all who are listening today. In Christ name