Having shown the characteristics of the citizens of the Kingdom and that persecution is most probable Jesus now tells us about the influence they should have on the world around them. ‘These two figures show that there must be something marked, distinct, and peculiar about our character, if we are true Christians.’ (J C Ryle) Both salt and light are different from their surroundings but they react with them.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matt 5:13) Read the rest of this entry »
Part 3 of a series on The Sermon On The Mount by John Lavric
When Moses was on Mount Sinai he asked to see God but the only revelation of God he was allowed was to be put in a crevice in the rock while God shielded him with His hand while He passed by, then Moses was able to see God`s back. Moses was perhaps the most respected Israelite, yet even he was restricted in this aspect. So as we come to our next beatitude, one which I think rolls off the tongue far too easily without much thought of the amazing thing that Jesus is saying.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (vs. 8) Read the rest of this entry »
Part 2 of a series on The Sermon On The Mount by John Lavric
The beatitudes are not a multi-choice question, choose any 1 from 8, but the building blocks of the character of a citizen of the kingdom. As Jesus goes through the sermon He will build on these basic principles. Knowing our poverty of spirit, mourning because of it and being meek or humble enough to acknowledge it will do us no good at all unless we are prepared to do something about it. These first three beatitudes imply the next one
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (vs. 6) Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of a series on The Sermon On The Mount by John Lavric
Rather than searching for which particular subject to consider next, I have decided to look at topics as they naturally arise in the Bible, beginning with the Sermon on the Mount? I don`t apologise for this even though I have preached though it at Celebration and Ashgrove and we have studied it at house group. Because its focus is on the citizens of the kingdom we should always keep it before us. It has influenced many ‘good’ laws since Jesus spoke it and is relevant for every generation. Let us first put it in its historical setting. This is one message, given in one location to a people waiting for a king to come and bring in his kingdom. For that reason I think a better title would be The Sermon of the Kingdom. Matthew records it as one complete sermon but I am sure parts of it were repeated. Jesus seeks to establish what are the pre-requisites for people to be part of that kingdom. Read the rest of this entry »