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SeattleSun
Jan 17th 2009, 01:15 AM
Sermon on the Mount, A Study by John Stott drawn from his book The Message of the Sermon on the Mount.

Getting the most out of the Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though arguably it is the least understood, and certainly it is the least obeyed. It is the nearest thing to a manifesto that He ever uttered, for it is His own description of what he wanted His followers to be and to do. The Sermon is found in Matthew's Gospel toward the beginning of Jesus' public ministry.

Immediately after His baptism and temptation Jesus had begun to announce the good news that the kingdom of God, long promised in the OT era, was now on the threshold. He Himself had come to inaugurate it. With Him, the new age had dawned, and the rule of God broken into history. "Repent", He cried, "for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matt 4:17). Indeed, "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom" (Matt 4:23).

The Sermon on the Mount, then is to be seen in this context. It portrays the repentance (the Greek meaning is "the complete change of mind") and the righteousness which belong to the kingdom. That is, it describes what human life and human community look like when they come under the gracious rule of God. And what do they look like? Different! Jesus emphasized that His true followers, the citizens of God's kingdom, were to be entirely different from others. They were not to take their cue from people around them, but from Him, and so prove to be genuine children of their heavenly Father. To me the key text of the Sermon on the Mount is Matt 6:8: "Do not be like them." It is immediately reminiscent of God's word to Israel in Lev. 18:3: "You must not do as they do." It is the same call to be different. And right through the Sermon on the Mount this theme is elaborated.

Their character (the Beatitudes) was to be completely distinct from that admired by the world. They were to shine like lights in the prevailing darkness. Their righteousness was to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, both in ethical behavior and in religious devotion, while their love was to be greater and their ambition nobler than those of their pagan neighbors.

There is no single paragraph of the Sermon on the Mount where this contrast between Christian and non-Christian standards is not drawn. It is the underlying and uniting theme of the Sermon; everything else is a variation of it. Sometimes it is the Gentiles or pagan nations with which Jesus contrasts His followers. At other times He contrasts them with Jews. At all times Jesus teaches His followers to be different -- different from both the nominal church and the secular world, different from both the religious and the irreligious.

The Sermon on the Mount is the most complete description anywhere in the NT of the Christian counterculture. Here is a Christian value system, ethical standard, religious devotion, attitude to money, ambition, lifestyle and network of relationship -- all of which are the total opposite of the non-Christian world. The Sermon presents life in the kingdom of God, a fully human life indeed but lived out under divine rule.

Perhaps a majority of readers and commentators, looking the reality of human perversity in the face, have declared the standards of the Sermon on the Mount to be unattainable. Its ideals are noble but unpractical, they say, attractive to imagine but impossible to fulfill. At the other extreme are those superficial souls who glibly assert that the Sermon expresses ethical standards that are self-evidently true, common to all religions and easy to follow. "I live by the Sermon on the Mount", they say. The truth lies in neither extreme position. For the standards of the Sermon are neither readily attainable by everyone nor totally unattainable by anyone. To put them beyond anybody's reach is to ignore the purpose of Christ's Sermon; to put them within everybody's reach is to ignore the reality of our sin.

They are attainable all right, but only by those who have experienced the new birth that Jesus told Nicodermus was the indispensable condition of seeing and entering God's kingdom. For the righteouness He described in the Sermon is an inner righteousness. Although it manifests itself outwardly and visibly in words, deeds and relationships, it remains essentially a righteousness of the heart. Only a belief in the necessity and the possibility of a new birth can keep us from reading the Sermon on the Mount with either foolish optimism or hopeless despair. Jesus spoke the Sermon to those who were already His disciples and thereby also the citizens of God's kingdom and children of God's family. The high standards He set are appropriate on to such. We do not, indeed could not, achieve this privileged status by attaining Christ's standards. Rather by attaining His standards, or least approximating them, we give evidence of what by God's free grace and gift we already are.

Those who first heard the Sermon on the Mount were astonished. I pray that you too will be astonished and challenged by the greatest sermon ever preached.


There's 12 sections of the study:

1. Unexpected Blessings
2. God's Way to Make a Difference
3. The Importance of Obeying God's Law
4. What's Wrong with Private Sins?
5. Faithfulness in Marriage & Speech
6. How to Really Love Your Enemies
7. How Not to be Religious
8. A Pattern for Dynamic Prayer
9. What God Thinks of My Ambitions
10. Relationships That Encourage
11. Detecting the Lies of Our World
12. Making the Choice of a Lifetime

Join Misty and me in this personal study, we hope to start Monday, if not sooner. :)

Cloudwalker
Jan 17th 2009, 03:46 AM
Cloudwalker, reporting in. I have been thinking much lately about my "old" TOM friends. Glad to see this starting. As normal, I don't have the book. I didn't even know you were thinking of starting a new study until I got your message. And yes I do miss your tangents. They are always constructive. And so, without further adue, I'll jump right in.



Perhaps a majority of readers and commentators, looking the reality of human perversity in the face, have declared the standards of the Sermon on the Mount to be unattainable. Its ideals are noble but unpractical, they say, attractive to imagine but impossible to fulfill.


That is just the point. The standards set forth in the Sermon on the Mount ARE unattainable, in our own strength. The whole Christian life cannot possibly be lived, as we are supposed to live it, if we try to do it on our own. Only when we learn to live our lives in the strength of Christ and His resurection moment by moment can we possibly hope to come even close to living our lives as Christ would want us to. It is only in relying on Christs strength each and every moment, as each moment comes to us can we have success. Can it be done? I am convinced it can. Have I done it? No!!! Have I ever known someone who has successfully done it? Again, no! Will I continue to strive to do it? To that I shout a resounding YES!!!!!

SeattleSun
Jan 17th 2009, 03:47 AM
Thanks Tim. :)

9 verses, blessed are ...

Matt 5:1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

2He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

And so much more. Scripture is Matt 5:1 to 7:29, and many more.

The salt and the light, fulfilling the Law, anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, loving your enemy, giving, the Lord's prayer, fasting, heavenly treasure, anxiety, judging others, asking and getting, the golden rule, our fruit, rejection, house on a rock and His authority.

Lord, we prayerfully enter Your Word, and we ask for teachable hearts and humble attitudes. Help us examine our hearts, convict us and cleanse us and show us our errors. We pray for honesty, if not with each other, with You alone. We pray our learning glorify You that we may serve You and be pleasing to You. Help us be the shining city on a hill. We thank You Lord for Your Word, and His incarnation.

For Jesus' fame, Amen

SeattleSun
Jan 17th 2009, 03:55 AM
Cloudwalker, reporting in. I have been thinking much lately about my "old" TOM friends. Glad to see this starting. As normal, I don't have the book. I didn't even know you were thinking of starting a new study until I got your message. And yes I do miss your tangents. They are always constructive. And so, without further adue, I'll jump right in.



That is just the point. The standards set forth in the Sermon on the Mount ARE unattainable, in our own strength. The whole Christian life cannot possibly be lived, as we are supposed to live it, if we try to do it on our own. Only when we learn to live our lives in the strength of Christ and His resurection moment by moment can we possibly hope to come even close to living our lives as Christ would want us to. It is only in relying on Christs strength each and every moment, as each moment comes to us can we have success. Can it be done? I am convinced it can. Have I done it? No!!! Have I ever known someone who has successfully done it? Again, no! Will I continue to strive to do it? To that I shout a resounding YES!!!!!

:pp:hug: AMEN!!!!

Hi David! :wave: Do you know Stott? He's amazing! An inspired and inspiring teacher, but he wants to simply be your guide.

Lol, you have the book! :D I bought the study over a year ago and its been languishing. Stott prompts, and I'll bet you're going to get weary of my tangents.

This study is waaay different from TOM. We gonna piece our hearts.

shepherdsword
Jan 17th 2009, 04:16 AM
I would like to be apart of this study. This sermon is easy to talk and tough to walk. I want this to more than some great teaching or an intellectual transfer of information. I want it to produce the the life that it takes to live it.
Jesus in us...the hope of glory. This is one of those places in the bible where you see that ,in the flesh, you have no hope of being obedient too. It brings you to a very real place where you find you must crucify your fleshly emotions and opinions about justice and let the love of Jesus flow. Has anyone been very successful form that vantage point? If so give me a hand here :help:

SeattleSun
Jan 17th 2009, 04:53 AM
I would like to be apart of this study. This sermon is easy to talk and tough to walk. I want this to more than some great teaching or an intellectual transfer of information. I want it to produce the the life that it takes to live it.
Jesus in us...the hope of glory. This is one of those places in the bible where you see that ,in the flesh, you have no hope of being obedient too. It brings you to a very real place where you find you must crucify your fleshly emotions and opinions about justice and let the love of Jesus flow. Has anyone been very successful form that vantage point? If so give me a hand here :help:

Hey SW! Welcome! What you want is what Dr. Stott is guiding us to, although his third person is my first person ;). (You'll see what I mean by that.) But like all studies, its a give and take. And its not like we're all in the same room and can hold each others hands. At least not physically. :hug:

By default, since I have the guide, I'll be posting the questions. Does that make me the leader? Nah. Not really, people come and go and others faithfully participate, but schedules get in the way.

This might be a scary study, since I've read ahead. Dr. Stott starts off mildly, but its looks as though the self-examination, whether we share or not, makes the study.

And IMO, hooray! Some of the questions aren't to be answered in the group but to be prayerfully pondered. Not that its discouraged, ut it really is between each of us and God.

I pray that we all develop the trust in each other to hep each other muddle through. We're not in this alone. By His divine disign. :)

And what David said:



Can it be done? I am convinced it can. Have I done it? No!!! Have I ever known someone who has successfully done it? Again, no! Will I continue to strive to do it? To that I shout a resounding YES!!!!!


We learn from the Word, the Spirit, and each other by the Spirit. It makes for interesting dialogues.

Looking forward to getting to know you!

jesuslover1968
Jan 17th 2009, 03:15 PM
Ok, going to read the intro...sounds exciting!! :)

SeattleSun
Jan 17th 2009, 04:23 PM
Ok, going to read the intro...sounds exciting!! :)

Mornin' Misty! :hug:

Might as well start! At the start of each section, Stott sets the theme to help guide us when we answer the questions that come later. Lol, he didn't anticipate this being an online study so the first group discussion would be fun, but doesn't work. :lol: I'll just type it out as written.

Section 1 - Unexpected Blessings - Matt 5:1-12

1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

2He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


A hymn by William Cowper reminds us to look for blessings in unexpected places.

You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Group Discussion. How would you define the word "blessed"? [Ask each member of the group to write their definition on a piece of paper. Collect and read each definition, letting the group guess who wrote each one.] What do the responses reveal about their authors?

Personal Reflection. Who do you normally consider to be blessed or fortunate?

In the Beatitudes we find a simplicity of word and profundity of thought that has attracted each fresh generation of Christians and many others besides. The more we explore their implications, the more seems to remain unexplored. Their wealth is inexhaustible. Truly, "we are near heaven here."

And we're off ...

SeattleSun
Jan 17th 2009, 08:38 PM
How would you define the word "blessed"?

It translates from the Greek as "happy", but I think in our fleshly selves, we wouldn't perceive every blessing making us happy. God will move in a way to draw us closer to Himself. We may not appreciate Him moving that way since it may take us to a place that's uncomfortable and hard. Its still being blessed.

Blessed is being the recipient of a gift and wasn't earned or deserved. We are blessed with a saving faith and knowledge of and a relationship with God through Christ and the indwelt Spirit.

Who do you normally consider to be blessed or fortunate?

This is the Christian counterculture Dr. S refers to in the intro ... the world sees the opposite. Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are gentle/meek ... none of those things are desired by the world. The world wants their egos stroked, to have every desire filled and power. Bill Gates is blessed because he's rich beyond measure by his own strength and cunning. A person whose house burns down waits for the insurance check and hopes to build a bigger house with the money. A kid who is bullied for her faith refuses to fight back and is seen as a bigger wimp and weaker than she ever was and the bully gleefully ramps up the attack and harassment and finds favor from her peers.

Blessed are those who know who God is, and love Him, and pray to Him, and serve Him, and need Him, and trust Him, and will spend eternity worshipping Him.

Cloudwalker
Jan 17th 2009, 08:54 PM
While I know that there is at least 1 "translation" that uses "happy" in the place of blessed to my way of thinking that word doesn't carry enough weight. I think that may be because of how the world sees "happy." I am happy if I get a raise. I am happy if I get a new car. I am happy if . . . Happy, to the world is a conditional thing. Look at the things that Christ says make us blessed in this passage. We are blessed by conditions that are not what the world would say would make us happy. But let's look at these passages in another way.


3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Why? Because they know they are poor in spirit and are willing to turn to Christ.

4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.


Again, why? I think the answer may rest in why they mourn. They mourn because of their sin and are comforted because they turn to Christ and have their sin forgiven.


5"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.


Why? They inherit the earth because they are saved.

6"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.


Why are they satisfied? Because their righteousness doesn't count on themselves and their own righteousness but on Christs.

I could go on but I think you may see where I am going. We are blessed, not because of these things, but because these things push us to rely more and more on Christ.

shepherdsword
Jan 17th 2009, 11:36 PM
If they used the greek word for blessed that we find in Ephesians it would make sense in some places. That word is "eulogos" from which we get our word "eulogy" or good word. It would then translate something like "well spoken of are the poor in Spirit" That sort of makes sense to the natural mind. However as both you and cloudwalker have pointed out they use "makarios". How can I be happy in such circumstances that are described here? I'm happy when I'm broken? I'm happy when I evil spoken of? This doesn't make sense to the natural mind. It violates our carnal natures critera for what it means to be "blessed" The natural mind can't recieve this blessing anymore than flesh and blood can inherit the kingdom of God. This reminds me of the verse in Romans that says" To be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" I think that is the key to recieving the blessing here. To be spirtually minded. The carnal mind is constantly judging God's Love and intentions based on the circumstances it finds itself in. If things go right then God loves me,if they don't go right then God doesn't love me. The spiritual mind says " I know that Jesus died on the cross for me and that is the only token of Love that I need. I am always assured of God's love no what the circumstances are."
In fact the spirtual mind understands that suffering and persecution are it's lot and looks to find it's life and happiness only in Jesus. I think this is the key to understanding "blessing" in this context.

SeattleSun
Jan 17th 2009, 11:44 PM
"Happy", its our limited language. Godly sorrow doesn't make me "happy", but it makes me blessed that He loves me and cares enough to chastise me. I remember when we talked about "love" ... I love Jesus, my dog, car, job, husband, football. The Greek has distinct words for different love, so maybe for "happy" too?

Hey, I just realized you answered the next 5 or 6 questions. Showoff. :lol:

The contrast to the world is plain, just as it is in 1 John.

SeattleSun
Jan 17th 2009, 11:54 PM
Hey SW! We kind of posted at the same time, but I got distracted by a misbehaving cat. :D

Thank you for the Greek meanings, its does very much help in understanding the context.

Just beginning to touch on the beatitudes brings all His parables and the followers who fell away flooding back in my head. Gives me a new perspective of why His first teaching started with the Beatitudes, part one of His ministry.

shepherdsword
Jan 18th 2009, 12:18 AM
I saw this poster once of a profile of Jesus. It was make up entirely of the sermon on the mount verses. I have seriously considered getting it tattooed on my forearm.

SeattleSun
Jan 18th 2009, 12:31 AM
I saw this poster once of a profile of Jesus. It was make up entirely of the sermon on the mount verses. I have seriously considered getting it tattooed on my forearm.

Can you find a .gif of it? I'd love to see it!

Oh, just so you know, we've been known to go seriously O/T in our study threads. We're not just studying, we're fellowshipping!

Wait ... the entire Sermon or just the Beatitudes? :o Ha, a member of my church has been voted a number of times "Best Tattoo Artist in Seattle". I'll never find out, needles skeer me and besides, my skin isn't as toned as it used to be. :D

matthew7and1
Jan 18th 2009, 12:49 AM
If they used the greek word for blessed that we find in Ephesians it would make sense in some places. That word is "eulogos" from which we get our word "eulogy" or good word. It would then translate something like "well spoken of are the poor in Spirit" That sort of makes sense to the natural mind. However as both you and cloudwalker have pointed out they use "makarios". How can I be happy in such circumstances that are described here? I'm happy when I'm broken? I'm happy when I evil spoken of? This doesn't make sense to the natural mind. It violates our carnal natures critera for what it means to be "blessed" The natural mind can't recieve this blessing anymore than flesh and blood can inherit the kingdom of God. This reminds me of the verse in Romans that says" To be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" I think that is the key to recieving the blessing here. To be spirtually minded. The carnal mind is constantly judging God's Love and intentions based on the circumstances it finds itself in. If things go right then God loves me,if they don't go right then God doesn't love me. The spiritual mind says " I know that Jesus died on the cross for me and that is the only token of Love that I need. I am always assured of God's love no what the circumstances are."
In fact the spirtual mind understands that suffering and persecution are it's lot and looks to find it's life and happiness only in Jesus. I think this is the key to understanding "blessing" in this context.
Ahhh but all of these things bring us closer to Christ, which would make us "happy" yes?

As for my own definition, I think that sums it up. Everyday, in every way, God is pulling us closer to Him. When we recognize it, we are blessed. When we are left penniless and homeless, we rely on our Lord God, and that is joy in itself. When we win the lottery and are so elated at the alleviation of our circumstances and praise God, and sow into our communities, we are brought closer to our Redeemer and are blessed. So I guess I would say that specifically to be blessed is to be in receipt of joy through the devine intervention of God/Jesus. Not necessarily the acknowledgement or the emotional fleshy manifestation of happiness. Just that our soul can be "happy" or "blessed" for it's eternal reward....

shepherdsword
Jan 18th 2009, 04:14 AM
I looked but I couldn't find one exactly like the one I want on the web. Here is one but I don't like it because it is a bit too catholic for me. However the technique is similar. But in the one I want It's Jesus's profile and the entire sermon on the mount makes up his face. There isn't any text on the border outside his picture like there is with this one:

http://artwork.barewalls.com/product/closeupFrame.asp?ArtworkID=284738&img=iisr001&type=noframe&addtocart=undefined


*I changed my avatar to a pic of the sermont on the mount*

SeattleSun
Jan 18th 2009, 09:20 PM
Thanks! I get the idea now, but too bad you couldn't find the "right" one.

That would be one intricate tattoo regardless. And I like the new av!

SeattleSun
Jan 19th 2009, 04:08 AM
1. How does our normal description of the blessed or fortunate person compare with those Jesus considers blessed?

2. To be "poor in spirit" is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty, our bankruptcy before God. Why is this an indespensable condition for receiving the kingdom of heaven?

Why is it so difficult for us to admit our spiritual poverty?

SeattleSun
Jan 19th 2009, 06:28 PM
CW already gave succinct answers to these upthread. But we have rules here, so here's the official questions. :lol:

1. How does our normal description of the blessed or fortunate person compare with those Jesus considers blessed?

Since blessed can mean "happy", which is evidently the term in the Beatitudes, I think of that happy person being smiling and upbeat, satisfied with their current life circumstances. That's subjective on my part. Jesus sees the condition as objective, what God thinks of their state, not what they feel.

2. To be "poor in spirit" is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty, our bankruptcy before God. Why is this an indespensable condition for receiving the kingdom of heaven?

Ps 70:5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!

To cry out in humble submission how desperately I need Him. Its not about a state of living in material poverty or need, but living in spiritual poverty and having a heart of stone when desiring a heart of flesh. There is nothing we can do to change our condition ourselves, but put our hope and faith in God.

Why is it so difficult for us to admit our spiritual poverty?

Maybe because its easier to look at our external circumstances rather than internal condition. When I'm "happy", its so easy to praise Him, when things are tough, internally or externally, its hard to probe deep or not to do what I think is right to "fix" a situation. By doing this I'm not trusting Him nor relying on Him. And sometimes not praying to Him.

And I also think of godly sorrow -- there is no repentance without sorrow. And with godly sorrow comes comfort from the God of Comfort.

All the Beatitudes make me think of Job.

Misty, come out come out wherever you are!

Cloudwalker
Jan 19th 2009, 10:53 PM
Bit off topic but would love to catch up a bit with my old TOM friends that are hear as well. Stick a word or 2 in while you are answering the questions.

SeattleSun
Jan 19th 2009, 11:16 PM
Bit off topic but would love to catch up a bit with my old TOM friends that are hear as well. Stick a word or 2 in while you are answering the questions.

When have we ever been off topic? Are you insinuating something? :mad: :kiss:

I'm still just me, sojourning here on earth praying for Him to come. I am however, a bit bummed about having to install (well, pay for) a new roof. Egads, that's a check I'm not going to enjoy writing.

Still can't get away from my 2-a-day JMacs, so this study is a nice change in style and perspective. Lol, then I read an article by JMac citing Dr. S as one of his favorite authors.

Missed you David! :hug: What's new with you?

Oh, and if you could put your mod hat on, would it be possible for you to change the thread title and delete "intro"? TYVM! :D

JesusPhreak27
Jan 19th 2009, 11:49 PM
Brothers and sisters in Christ.....

I read the title of this Bible Study and felt led to share this with you...

Now I know many of you do not care for The Message, but the way that Peterson translates the Beatitudes was just simply life changing for me.....

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.



4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.



5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.



6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.



7"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.



8"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.



9"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.



10"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.



11-12"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.



My absolute favorite is verse 5.....Once we realize that we dont need to be anything were not..... we dont need a bigger car or house and that who we are is perfect in the eyes of YHWH our Creator then we become owners of everything that truly matters!

Cloudwalker
Jan 20th 2009, 12:03 AM
Not much going on with me. Changed jobs a couple years ago. Still working in the hotel business just a new place. Work evenings now. This study came up right in time. Was looking for something new to study and hadn't found anything good yet. Some of the authors I see in the Christian bookstores I'm leary of because I've heard some people talking about some popular authors and what they are saying they are teaching I'm not sure of. But I can't remember any specifics. Still busy in my church. Mostly singing but do the childrens sermon from time to time. I'll go try to take the "intro" off.

Edit: I'm just a facilitator and since this isn't one of my forums I don't have any mod powers here. I'll see if I can get one of the others to take care of it eventually.

SeattleSun
Jan 20th 2009, 12:39 AM
I'm not familiar with The Message translation at all, I'm partial to the NASB and v 5 is translated:

5"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

These are two totally different meanings IMO.

5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

"Gentle" translated speaks of a soothing, cool breeze and of an animal that has been tamed. It speaks, to me, of power under control. Its submission to the master. "Gentleness" is a fruit of the Spirit and Paul commands us in Eph 4:1 to walk with all gentleness. That, to me, means that I don't hurl an insult when insulted or attack when criticized.

Gentle ("meek" in other translations) and content I believe are two different things entirely. I can be gentle and at the same time have righteous anger, as long as its under control with the right motives and expressed properly. Gentleness does not mean weak.

I'm not content with "just" who I am -- I am a new creation in Christ but I fall short, very short at practicing my position. He started a new work in me, and it will be completed. I crave growth and to constantly move forward in my gospel identity.

The Message translation to me, could cause a carnal or baby Christian to not examine him/herself. What if anger was a constant state? Should that person just be content with who they are? What if the person was bitter and unforgiving towards someone? "Oh well, that's who I am, and its okay". I know you don't feel that way, JP, but golly, its a "feel good" sort of translation.

I believe v. 4 is completely misleading. But I like v. 6.

I hope you join and participate in the study! :hug:

SeattleSun
Jan 20th 2009, 12:47 AM
Not much going on with me. Changed jobs a couple years ago. Still working in the hotel business just a new place. Work evenings now. This study came up right in time. Was looking for something new to study and hadn't found anything good yet. Some of the authors I see in the Christian bookstores I'm leary of because I've heard some people talking about some popular authors and what they are saying they are teaching I'm not sure of. But I can't remember any specifics. Still busy in my church. Mostly singing but do the childrens sermon from time to time. I'll go try to take the "intro" off.

Edit: I'm just a facilitator and since this isn't one of my forums I don't have any mod powers here. I'll see if I can get one of the others to take care of it eventually.

At least you have a Christian bookstore, I don't think Seattle proper allows them. :rolleyes:

Glad you're doing well, and isn't it nice (at our ages) that nothing much is going on. And what would we do without church? I've been asked to step up to a community group leader so going through the training. Its a bit intimidating, but I need a change and am craving more meat in serving. Lol, but certainly not teaching! I'd be a facilitator essentially, but very relationship-oriented in a group setting.

I'll just keep putting up questions, and if I'm the only one answering ... so be it! Critique me though would ya? Then I can give you a tangent. :lol:

Cloudwalker
Jan 20th 2009, 01:58 AM
Trust me, if I have something to say, I'll say it. You know me.

SeattleSun
Jan 20th 2009, 03:32 AM
Trust me, if I have something to say, I'll say it. You know me.

Yes I do know you! And I thank our God for that! :pp

Okay, you know anything about roofs? In the context of broken shingles and wood rot? What do I ask these guys who are cinubg ti give me estimates?

God promises us clothes and food, but not a roof. I can't bring myself to ask for wisdom regarding roofs.

But it is written ... be anxious for nothing. I rejoice, I have a roof and it doesn't leak. I don't invite trials into my life (who would?) but maybe there's one going on right now and He's seeing me through it in all gentleness.

I'm waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. David, is it normal to feel that one is being prepared for a trial? There's more behind that question, and I'll share later but would like your perspective on a rather ambiguous question. :)

shepherdsword
Jan 20th 2009, 07:47 AM
s
1. How does our normal description of the blessed or fortunate person compare with those Jesus considers blessed?

Our classic definition of being blessed is when circumstances go my way. When I have the abundant and prosperous life the flesh always craves. God's definition of being blessed is having circumstances that allow my faith to be tested. That purify me and conform me to the image of Christ.
And that is the ultimate blessing..being conformed to his image.




2. To be "poor in spirit" is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty, our bankruptcy before God. Why is this an indespensable condition for receiving the kingdom of heaven?

Why is it so difficult for us to admit our spiritual poverty? Spiritual poverty humbles our spiritual pride. It brings our exalted self image into reality. In can be discouraging to experience failure and hardship and we are oftentimes too proud to admit our true state. It is difficult to admit our sin to a group that doesn't make us feel secure. we don't feel that it is a place that we can be vulnerable.
I see two main reasons why we find it hard to admit our spiritual poverty
1) pride
2) it goes against our self defense mechanisms.

jesuslover1968
Jan 20th 2009, 02:49 PM
Good morning my fellow sermon on the mounters...sorry I haven't been around as yet. Have just finished reading all the posts and am ready to start as soon as I get the kiddies to school. How be you Sonja? CW? and all newcomers? Hope all are well. :hug:

Cloudwalker
Jan 20th 2009, 04:37 PM
Yes I do know you! And I thank our God for that! :pp

Okay, you know anything about roofs? In the context of broken shingles and wood rot? What do I ask these guys who are cinubg ti give me estimates?

God promises us clothes and food, but not a roof. I can't bring myself to ask for wisdom regarding roofs.

But it is written ... be anxious for nothing. I rejoice, I have a roof and it doesn't leak. I don't invite trials into my life (who would?) but maybe there's one going on right now and He's seeing me through it in all gentleness.

I'm waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. David, is it normal to feel that one is being prepared for a trial? There's more behind that question, and I'll share later but would like your perspective on a rather ambiguous question. :)

Don't know much about roofs except how not to fall off of them. I have spent some time feeling like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think it is normal, at times, to feel that you are being prepared for a trial. Sometimes it's because you are being prepared for a trial. At other times it's just because you are worried. In your case, it could be either one (or both).

SeattleSun
Jan 20th 2009, 06:08 PM
Morning Misty! :hug: Yep, we're off and running! No sign of Mercy, but I'm a patient woman. ;) Hurry and catch up!

Thanks CW, I appreciate some insight. I don't feel worry, but a peace. Maybe it has to do with my mom, but whatever it is, He'll reveal it in His time.

Hi SW! Pride ... I think that's the enemy's most potent weapon and the one most available to him. Not surprising, he's had a lot of experience with it.

I have to consciously battle with it and sometimes it wins. CJ Mahaney wrote a nifty little book called "Humility" ... he suggested when feeling full of yourself for whatever reason, to look at the cross and relect on His work. It helps me, but only when I can put myself in check. Be interested in hearing how anyone else copes with the sin of pride.

SeattleSun
Jan 20th 2009, 06:14 PM
4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

3. Why would those who are poor in spirit feel a need to mourn?

4. Those who mourn feel sorrow not only for their own sin but also for the sin they see around them. What have you heard in the news lately that causes you to mourn?

5. How do you think those who mourn will be comforted?

jesuslover1968
Jan 20th 2009, 06:37 PM
Had to go get stitches in my hand...I can't type very well yet...:cry:

SeattleSun
Jan 20th 2009, 07:35 PM
Had to go get stitches in my hand...I can't type very well yet...:cry:

What happened???!!!! :hug:

jesuslover1968
Jan 20th 2009, 08:06 PM
I was scraping the car windows and slid on ice...:rolleyes: When I fell, my hand landed on a rock. sliced it good. But I'm all sewn back together now. :)

SeattleSun
Jan 20th 2009, 08:51 PM
I was scraping the car windows and slid on ice...:rolleyes: When I fell, my hand landed on a rock. sliced it good. But I'm all sewn back together now. :)

Yikes! How many stitches? :cry: Thankfully you didn't break anything in the fall (ever looking at the glass half-full). Get the beasties to wait on you ... being injured in the line of duty and all!

SeattleSun
Jan 20th 2009, 09:23 PM
3. Why would those who are poor in spirit feel a need to mourn?

Its a progression from recognizing our spiritual poverty and having true himility to feel godly sorrow. That's not a human sorrow, but a realization of how are away from God we are in our fallen state. Human sorrow brought to mind:

Lu 9:60 But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God."

That's what we think of in mourning, death. Godly sorrow "produces a repentance without regret ..." and God does something real in response, forgiveness and real happiness that we have been forgiven.

Ps 32:1How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! 2How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!


4. Those who mourn feel sorrow not only for their own sin but also for the sin they see around them. What have you heard in the news lately that causes you to mourn?

When I was a baby Christian and left to my own devices, it could've been real easy to become that Pharisee in the temple, thanking God that I wasn't like "that man". I didn't understand, my sensitivity to my own sin wasn't particularly strong, let alone anyone else's. That being said, I live in Seattle. Its not Sodom ... yet, but its a great example of what Paul speaks of in Rom 1 for example.

Lu 19:41When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it,

I feel that way, its like everything is upside down ... wrong is right, and right is wrong. There's no line separating lawlessness or any expectation of personal responsibility. There's no recognition of sin, forget sin against God, sin against other people. Its all justified. And it gets worse every day. :cry:

5. How do you think those who mourn will be comforted?

Jesus is the Comforter. He'll wipe away our tears in heaven when His comfort is made complete, but while we're here He speaks peace into us and binds up the brokenhearted. He forgives us, and the sense of relief is remarkable.

jesuslover1968
Jan 20th 2009, 10:14 PM
4. Those who mourn feel sorrow not only for their own sin but also for the sin they see around them. What have you heard in the news lately that causes you to mourn?

An easier question would be what doesn't cause me to mourn...one thing about the news that causes me to mourn is that I can't even give an honest answer to how I feel about stories in the news because I would be reprimandeded for saying what I believe to be the truth. :(

SeattleSun
Jan 20th 2009, 10:28 PM
An easier question would be what doesn't cause me to mourn...one thing about the news that causes me to mourn is that I can't even give an honest answer to how I feel about stories in the news because I would be reprimandeded for saying what I believe to be the truth. :(

Ain't that the truth. I keep praying more and more and harder and harder for Christ to come, quickly. I pray for revival, but is it too late? Are we experiencing the wrath of abandonment?

"God turned them over ..."

The Spirit is active, churches have their lampstands, but men are lawless, false teachers are everywhere and God is mocked.

Maranatha!

jesuslover1968
Jan 20th 2009, 10:32 PM
Yes, it's the truth. I don't think it's too late for any person who is still alive, but I do believe it is too late to stop what has been prophecied from happening...( by this I mean I think it is too late to postpone any longer...) When we cannot even discuss truth with others who profess to be of the truth...that's a bad thing...
And yes, I agree, come Lord Jesus :).

Cloudwalker
Jan 20th 2009, 11:30 PM
When we become a Christian and turn our hearts toward Christ we start to compair oursleves to Him and try to become like Him. This is as it should be. The more we grow the clearer our sight becomes and we see better and better how far we have to go before we become what God wants us to be. However, we do have a blind spot. We see how far we have to go. But people around us see how far we have come. Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves where we came from and how far Christ has brought us. Not for the sake of pride but so that we don't forget what it was like before we were saved so that we can relate to those outside the body of Christ and to those that need our mentoring.

jesuslover1968
Jan 20th 2009, 11:45 PM
When we become a Christian and turn our hearts toward Christ we start to compair oursleves to Him and try to become like Him. This is as it should be. The more we grow the clearer our sight becomes and we see better and better how far we have to go before we become what God wants us to be. However, we do have a blind spot. We see how far we have to go. But people around us see how far we have come. Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves where we came from and how far Christ has brought us. Not for the sake of pride but so that we don't forget what it was like before we were saved so that we can relate to those outside the body of Christ and to those that need our mentoring.


Very true. I think a lot about who I used to be, and of course I haven't come anywhere near where I want to be, but it's all in God's timing, not ours. I have come a long way, but I still have even way longer to go. Keeping our eyes on Jesus is the main goal. :)

Cloudwalker
Jan 20th 2009, 11:55 PM
It's hard to know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. When they teach compass reading they also teach you to take not of the "back azmuth" (which is the compass reading directly behind you). That helps to keep you on the true path.

SeattleSun
Jan 21st 2009, 12:11 AM
In Christ, we always have hope! :) And His promises are true and will come to pass. :pp

On this sanctification process ... may I boast in Christ? This is something I just treasure, a little something my mom said to me a while back. She still is unbelieving, but not hostile, BTW. I have hope He will give her a new heart!

Anyway, she told me how much I have changed in my attitude. She told me that I'm kind, gentle, patient and more loving.

That's sure not my doing, no way. So, God certainly does teach an old dog new tricks. :lol: You guys know what I mean.

I serve her. That's really all I can do at this point, but that's what Jesus said He came to do. He's our supreme example, although we'll fall short everytime, but we can try our best to honor Him.

Not wanting to start works vs. faith here or anything ...

jesuslover1968
Jan 21st 2009, 12:25 AM
that's great!! :hug::)

Cloudwalker
Jan 21st 2009, 12:33 AM
We don't do good works to "be saved" we do them because we "are saved"

SeattleSun
Jan 21st 2009, 12:46 AM
We don't do good works to "be saved" we do them because we "are saved"

Praise God for that! Honestly, I don't understand how people confuse the two so much. Paul and James don't contradict, they complement! How could they contradict? God is never contradictory -- He means what He says and says what He means. And I'm pretty dense in this stuff.

Misty! :hug:

shepherdsword
Jan 21st 2009, 08:01 AM
4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

3. Why would those who are poor in spirit feel a need to mourn?

Hi Seattle, I don't know if I am supposed to respond or just read the answers you post but here's my take on it until you say i have broken protocol.
I know that I mourn because I see my utter inability to walk the Christian walk without the Holy Spirit. I actually wept today because of my sin. I work the night shift by myself and a bunch of calls came in at once. I was actually cussing the phone and getting angry. Now there is no one here to see me except the Lord. I just hate grieving the Holy Spirit.I know this was a test. After I had all the computer issues dealt with I just broke down and wept. The scripture that came to me was "shall out of the same mouth proceed both blessing and cursing?" What is cool about it as soon as I was done repenting I felt God's life flood into me. That was good. So I was blessed by God's presence after I mournedd my sin. I think this is a good example.


4. Those who mourn feel sorrow not only for their own sin but also for the sin they see around them. What have you heard in the news lately that causes you to mourn?I hear that there are many people out of work and losing their homes....this is sad.


5. How do you think those who mourn will be comforted?God blesses us with fellowship after we are broken over our sin and the sin of others and bring it to him. His presence is awesome.

Cloudwalker
Jan 21st 2009, 03:00 PM
Shepherdsword, glad to have you with us. As you may have guessed there are several of us here that have studied together before (this is my 3rd study with Seattle and Jesuslover). There is no set "protocol." Seattle posts the questions and generally gives us some time to comment. If we don't she will post the answers knowing that we will post our comments as we get a chance. As you get to know us you will also discover that fellowship is just as important as study and even the study often gets of on side tracks and tangents. We don't mind as often the side tracks and tangents are as enlightening as the main study. We take our time and enjoy it. Knowing this group, it's likely that we will still be on this study at the end of the year (or beyond). Sit back and enjoy and join with us.

SeattleSun
Jan 21st 2009, 03:04 PM
Hi SW! I really hope to learn from others' insights! And I have so much to learn. I just have my own "answers", and those are no doubt missing points or perspective.

Everyone contribute!



What is cool about it as soon as I was done repenting I felt God's life flood into me. That was good. So I was blessed by God's presence after I mournedd my sin. I think this is a good example.



:hug: Beautiful example. You show how although you may have felt this "right" to be angry and frustrated, it was misplaced. And you gave it to Him sincerely and humbly. You set aside "you". And His presence is indeed awesome!



I just hate grieving the Holy Spirit.


I don't have a solid concept on this. The context of Eph 4:29-30 is our speech, so I guess I don't understand why the sin of our tongues are more grieving to Him. Can I get some guidance? And I realize there's much Scripture in both the OT and NT regarding speech. Thanks!

shepherdsword
Jan 21st 2009, 06:21 PM
Shepherdsword, glad to have you with us. As you may have guessed there are several of us here that have studied together before (this is my 3rd study with Seattle and Jesuslover). There is no set "protocol." Seattle posts the questions and generally gives us some time to comment. If we don't she will post the answers knowing that we will post our comments as we get a chance. As you get to know us you will also discover that fellowship is just as important as study and even the study often gets of on side tracks and tangents. We don't mind as often the side tracks and tangents are as enlightening as the main study. We take our time and enjoy it. Knowing this group, it's likely that we will still be on this study at the end of the year (or beyond). Sit back and enjoy and join with us.

Thanks! Cloudwalker. I look forward to developing some good friendships here.



I don't have a solid concept on this. The context of Eph 4:29-30 is our speech, so I guess I don't understand why the sin of our tongues are more grieving to Him. Can I get some guidance? And I realize there's much Scripture in both the OT and NT regarding speech. Thanks!


I guess the passages that stand out most to me regarding this are the ones in James:

James 1:26

26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

This is pretty serious don't you think? It's almost as if the Lord is saying if you cannot control your tongue then your whole walk is in jeopardy.

Here's another whole mini sermon on it:

James 3:5-11

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

I guess the whole context is eliminating the hypocrisy of Praising Jesus and then turning around and cursing man because of some minor inconvenience. It actually says when this happens that our tongue has been set on fire by hell and is a whole world of iniquity. It then goes on to say that our whole body can be defiled by it. I think that would grieve the Holy Spirit ,don't you?

On the other hand these verses give us some hope:

James 3:3-4

3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

These verse show that if we can rule our tongue we can rule our whole body. It shows that the tongue actually acts as a rudder for our Spirit man and if we turn it towards the Lord then our whole being will be turned as well. I think I mentioned earlier that one of the greeks words for blessing is "eulogotos" and it simply means "good word" "or to well spoken of" we get out english word for "eulogy" from that word. I guess that makes saying the right things one of the most important things we can do doesn't it?

Cloudwalker
Jan 21st 2009, 06:36 PM
Thanks! Cloudwalker. I look forward to developing some good friendships here.




I guess the passages that stand out most to me regarding this are the ones in James:

James 1:26

26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

This is pretty serious don't you think? It's almost as if the Lord is saying if you cannot control your tongue then your whole walk is in jeopardy.

Here's another whole mini sermon on it:

James 3:5-11

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

I guess the whole context is eliminating the hypocrisy of Praising Jesus and then turning around and cursing man because of some minor inconvenience. It actually says when this happens that our tongue has been set on fire by hell and is a whole world of iniquity. It then goes on to say that our whole body can be defiled by it. I think that would grieve the Holy Spirit ,don't you?

On the other hand these verses give us some hope:

James 3:3-4

3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

These verse show that if we can rule our tongue we can rule our whole body. It shows that the tongue actually acts as a rudder for our Spirit man and if we turn it towards the Lord then our whole being will be turned as well. I think I mentioned earlier that one of the greeks words for blessing is "eulogotos" and it simply means "good word" "or to well spoken of" we get out english word for "eulogy" from that word. I guess that makes saying the right things one of the most important things we can do doesn't it?

You make some good points. One thing we have to be careful of is that we don't "throw the baby out with the bath." Meaning we don't take the James 1:26 passage so literally that we beat ourselves up if/when we slip. After all God is "faithful and just to forgive our sins" when we confess them. Yes, as James 3 shows, the tounge is hard to controle. But we must try. It is a constant battle. And one we may not fully win this side of Glory. But we must continue to strive. As one of the questions of the old Methodist Classes puts it "Are you going on to perfection?" Note that is "going on" not "arrived." In this life what counts is continuing on in the journey to become like Christ. We will eventually make it. God has promised us this. It probably won't be in this lifetime. But we need to continue to strive toward it.

SeattleSun
Jan 21st 2009, 06:54 PM
These are those "tangents" we mentioned. :lol:

Thanks SW!



It actually says when this happens that our tongue has been set on fire by hell and is a whole world of iniquity. It then goes on to say that our whole body can be defiled by it. I think that would grieve the Holy Spirit ,don't you?



I've been pondering my question and while I didn't go into Scripture (wanted to rely on my memory), the James verses came to mind. But also our next Beatitude about gentleness. Never hurl an insult when insulted or attack when accused. Jesus in His illegal trial didn't sin. And He also taught that its not what we put into our mouths that defiles us, its what comes out. And to be good salt, so as not to have anyone trample us.

The psalmist prayed to let the words of his mouth and the meditation of his heart be pleasing to the Lord. There's so much more. Thankfully, I don't curse, but I sure don't always think before I speak (unless to account for the gospel, that always makes me pause).

What comes out of our mouths truly exposes what's in our hearts. The Spirit indwells, and it must be painful for Him.

SeattleSun
Jan 21st 2009, 11:48 PM
I got really busy, sorry. Here's the next set:

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6. How would a true estimate of ourselves (vv 3-4) lead us to be "meek" -- to have a humble and gentle attitude to others (v 5).

7. From the world's point of view, why is it suprising that the meek will inherit the earth?

shepherdsword
Jan 22nd 2009, 12:58 AM
You make some good points. One thing we have to be careful of is that we don't "throw the baby out with the bath." Meaning we don't take the James 1:26 passage so literally that we beat ourselves up if/when we slip. After all God is "faithful and just to forgive our sins" when we confess them. Yes, as James 3 shows, the tounge is hard to controle. But we must try. It is a constant battle. And one we may not fully win this side of Glory. But we must continue to strive. As one of the questions of the old Methodist Classes puts it "Are you going on to perfection?" Note that is "going on" not "arrived." In this life what counts is continuing on in the journey to become like Christ. We will eventually make it. God has promised us this. It probably won't be in this lifetime. But we need to continue to strive toward it.

Yes,we must be careful when failure us fresh in our mind. The enemy loves these moments. These are when his ministry as the "accuser of the brethren" is the most powerful. I guess I encourage myself with the knowledge that these moments ARE a test. However,they are not "pass or fail" they are moments of testing as gold is tried. When I was a teenager I worked at my uncle's typesetting shop. I shoveled the old type up and melted it down in the smelter. As it melted I would throw in some flux and all the dross would come to the surface. After I scraped it off the lead was as shiny and reflective as silver. I could see my image in it. I think our testing is like this. Heated moments come so that the Lord can bring this garbage to the surface and scrap it off. He can then see his image through our brokenness.


Thanks SW!



I've been pondering my question and while I didn't go into Scripture (wanted to rely on my memory), the James verses came to mind. But also our next Beatitude about gentleness. Never hurl an insult when insulted or attack when accused. Jesus in His illegal trial didn't sin. And He also taught that its not what we put into our mouths that defiles us, its what comes out. And to be good salt, so as not to have anyone trample us.

I think you just touched on the essential aspect of Jesus's teaching..Do not retailate against any form of evil but overcome it with good....excellent.


The psalmist prayed to let the words of his mouth and the meditation of his heart be pleasing to the Lord. There's so much more. Thankfully, I don't curse, but I sure don't always think before I speak (unless to account for the gospel, that always makes me pause)You are blessed not to curse. Cursing was ever present in my household as a child so I guess I learned it is a way to vent frustration( that's not an excuse) I am seeking God to remove this garbage. It only seems to happen when the pressure is on.


What comes out of our mouths truly exposes what's in our hearts. The Spirit indwells, and it must be painful for Him.

I guess the pressure reveals what is truly inside doesn't it? I mean if you squeeze a grape you get grape juice. When squeeze an orange you get orange juice. When you squeeze me you get *gulp* a volcanic volley of ungraceful speech. HOWEVER, I realize that these emotional reactions and triggers are all part of my LOWER nature. It is rooted in my carnal nature and not in Christ. It is so strong because I have been feeding the nature for so long. As I begin to put it to death( through the cross) and I feed my new nature(given at the new birth)then my NEW nature will begin to come out when these situations arise. Then when you squeeze me..Jesus comes out! This is guaranteed. It is promised to me by God that as long as I sow to the Spirit I will reap his life and HIS life is the only one that can really walk the sermon on the mount,isn't it? The thing I must watch for is the accusing voice of the enemy that points at my sin and says" you can never overcome this,look at how hard you have tried" "you can never be holy,you are too defiled" "just give up,it will never work for you"
When I get thoughts like these this is a time for battle!

2 Cor 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

SeattleSun
Jan 22nd 2009, 01:12 AM
This is good stuff SW! I gotta read again and really think! You do have a way with words. :hug:

Have to go to a meeting at church right now! And then Proverbs class. Yippee, I love studying Proverbs.

Later brother!

shepherdsword
Jan 22nd 2009, 01:27 AM
5"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6. How would a true estimate of ourselves (vv 3-4) lead us to be "meek" -- to have a humble and gentle attitude to others (v 5).

A gentle spirit is a real reflection of Jesus. I guess I have always liked the hebrew version of "meek". Now in the greek the word is "praios" ( looks kinda like "pray" or praise" doesn't it?)and has the classic definition of "gentle" or "mild" However, in hebrew it is "naawiym" and the root of that word always meant to break a horse! It seems that the hebrew word shows us HOW to arrive at gentleness...by God breaking us from our carnal nature.

Just a disclaimer:
I took the liberty to throw the hebrew in for two reasons, You may discard the first if need be:
1) There are many who think that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew and thus he would have used "naawiym"( perhaps a stretch)
2) In Isaiah 61:1 which Jesus quoted and said these were the people he was sent to minister too, this word is "naawiym"
I just mention this in passing because some might balk at my reference to Hebrew when the new testament was written in greek.


7. From the world's point of view, why is it surprising that the meek will inherit the earth?The world has the darwinian perspective of "the survival of the fittest"
Where aggression and violence assure one of the best mate and choice in food. This primative view spills over into business life. Can you imagine telling a CEO to be meek and gentle during a takeover merger? Or how about telling a pro football player to be "meek" on the feild? This talk of meekness GRATES against typical male primate aggression that is all animal. It seems to promote failure rather that success so how can these "weaklings" inherit the earth? It is reserved for the violent that can take it by force. Jesus tells us just the opposite.

Cloudwalker
Jan 22nd 2009, 03:48 AM
The horse illustration is very apt. Like a horse, who's strength is controlled by a bridal, meekness is strength under control.

SeattleSun
Jan 22nd 2009, 06:10 PM
A gentle spirit is a real reflection of Jesus. I guess I have always liked the hebrew version of "meek". Now in the greek the word is "praios" ( looks kinda like "pray" or praise" doesn't it?)and has the classic definition of "gentle" or "mild" However, in hebrew it is "naawiym" and the root of that word always meant to break a horse! It seems that the hebrew word shows us HOW to arrive at gentleness...by God breaking us from our carnal nature.

Just a disclaimer:
I took the liberty to throw the hebrew in for two reasons, You may discard the first if need be:
1) There are many who think that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew and thus he would have used "naawiym"( perhaps a stretch)
2) In Isaiah 61:1 which Jesus quoted and said these were the people he was sent to minister too, this word is "naawiym"
I just mention this in passing because some might balk at my reference to Hebrew when the new testament was written in greek.

The world has the darwinian perspective of "the survival of the fittest"
Where aggression and violence assure one of the best mate and choice in food. This primative view spills over into business life. Can you imagine telling a CEO to be meek and gentle during a takeover merger? Or how about telling a pro football player to be "meek" on the feild? This talk of meekness GRATES against typical male primate aggression that is all animal. It seems to promote failure rather that success so how can these "weaklings" inherit the earth? It is reserved for the violent that can take it by force. Jesus tells us just the opposite.

Good morning fellow Mounters!

John MacArthur uses the tamed horse to explain what "gentle/meek" really means, and I thought it was from the Greek, good to know its Hebrew. That truly does convey what Jesus meant by gentle/meek -- we're not to be wimps. That would mean we could never express righteous anger, which He certainly did when He saw the temple being defiled. We're to be self-controlled and behave in a manner that reflects to others how kindly God treats us. And a tame horse wears a bridle, I believe James mentions that in regards to us.

"Survival of the fittest" is a great perspective of the world's view! Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms on earth if He would worship him. Christ knew He was heir to all the kingdoms, but on the Father's timetable not His. Since Scripture is foolishness to unbelievers, they can't grasp the concept of a new heaven and a new earth and that believers are co-heirs with Christ is just more foolishness. Reminds me of that Casting Crowns song, American Dream. Anything to be "king" of your own little kingdom, no matter what the cost to them and no regard to who they throw under the bus. I'll take a shack on a Rock!

SW, you really do have a way with words! Great illustrations! Thank you!

SeattleSun
Jan 22nd 2009, 09:07 PM
6"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

8. What has Jesus said so far that might lead us to hunger and thirst for righteousness?

9. Biblical righteousness has three aspects: legal, moral and social. What does it mean to hunger and thirst for each of these?

10. Jesus promises that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. What can you do to cultivate a healthy, hearty spiritual appetite?

shepherdsword
Jan 22nd 2009, 09:25 PM
Anything to be "king" of your own little kingdom, no matter what the cost to them and no regard to who they throw under the bus. I'll take a shack on a Rock!

SW, you really do have a way with words! Great illustrations! Thank you!

I love books by Guyon. She has such a clear cut and detailed concept of the cross. She plunges into the depths of truly making Jesus the Lord of our life.
She makes a little statement that I think fits well here:

Some people would rather risk anything,even eternal damnation,that to step down from their own little thrown of their heart

SeattleSun
Jan 22nd 2009, 10:11 PM
I love books by Guyon. She has such a clear cut and detailed concept of the cross. She plunges into the depths of truly making Jesus the Lord of our life.
She makes a little statement that I think fits well here:

Some people would rather risk anything,even eternal damnation,that to step down from their own little thrown of their heart

I don't know anything about her! I shall check her out. She sounds like Dr. S with that statement -- he can be really warm and fuzzy, and then POW!

Sigh, our hearts ... we get a brand new one and everything flows out of it. It can be pretty easy to take that new heart and let it become a rock again.

We're a stubborn bunch.

I don't know if I had posted this, every morning I get a devotional from Dr. S's ministry. Its the first thing I read in the morning. You can sign up here:

http://www.langhampartnership.org/

Its over on the right. I used to get the bible study, but cancelled it because it really wasn't any sort of a study.

SeattleSun
Jan 22nd 2009, 10:37 PM
8. What has Jesus said so far that might lead us to hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Vv 3-5 are negative, and our response is painful and requires some sort of sacrifice on our part. We become aware of the spiritual condition, which is depraved. Only when we understand how much we need God and how separated from Him we have become do we completely turn to Jesus. And this is the "happy"! He continuously fills us and when we can't think we can take anymore, we empty ourselves to Him. And He fills us again, and again!

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

Ps. 107: 9 For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.

9. Biblical righteousness has three aspects: legal, moral and social. What does it mean to hunger and thirst for each of these?

Legal is being declared by God to be righteous by our belief. We're justified. Its salvation, crying out to God. Moral would be our behaviour in relation to our positions as children of God, its our sanctification. Social is cultural (?). We are in the world, but not of it. We are to be the shining city on the hill.

Tasting God at salvation put in me a desperate hunger -- I had no idea who God was, and I had to know. I had to talk to a Christian, and I didn't know any. It was ecstatic chaos, if that makes any sense. Now I want to grow and learn and conform and submit and obey. I pray for wisdom, which brings knowledge which leads to understanding. Prayer and study is a joy, not a chore. Doing this is a joy! Proverbs class and small group last night was a joy! Serving the body at church is a joy! Corporate worship is a joy! Social ... I pray to have a servant's heart, to exhibit the fruits of the Sprit, to shine His light especially to my unbelieving mother who lives with me.

10. Jesus promises that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. What can you do to cultivate a healthy, hearty spiritual appetite?

Pray, confess sin, study, fellowship to walk worthy. Repeat.



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shepherdsword
Jan 23rd 2009, 12:17 PM
10. Jesus promises that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. What can you do to cultivate a healthy, hearty spiritual appetite?

You did a good job on 8 and 9 but I want to add a little to 10.

A man that has just eaten his fill doesn't have an appetite.

PROV 27:7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

I think the most important thing to do to develop a spiritual appetite is to empty ourselves. Stop seeking entertainment from the TV and movies.Stop watching things that you know God hates.

PS 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

The above almost sounds like a beatitude doesn't?
We are blessed when we set no wicked thing before our eyes. We are blessed when we hate the things that God hates. How can we praise and worship God one minute and then turn on a show that comes right from the pit of hell?

PS 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

The answer to cultivating spiritual hunger is simple. Do not fill yourself up on the things of the world.

SeattleSun
Jan 23rd 2009, 06:24 PM
The answer to cultivating spiritual hunger is simple. Do not fill yourself up on the things of the world.


I like that! :)

Ps. 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

God promised the land to Israel; to us He promises heaven and I like to think of the land in this verse as our new hearts. Like Joshua, we have to conquer the land and like Joshua, we won't completely conquer it while we sojourn here on earth.

2 Tim. 4:18 O Lord rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely to Your heavenly kingdom; to You be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

SeattleSun
Jan 23rd 2009, 10:01 PM
Dr. S. is shortening this part, focusing on vv. 7-12


7"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

11. Jesus says the merciful will be shown mercy. Why do you think our treatment of others will affect God's treatment of us?

12. Why would the promise of seeing God be reserved for those who are pure in heart?

13. How can we be peacemakers in our homes, in our churches and in society?

14. Why would the world hate the kind of people described in the Beatitudes?

15. How have the Beatitudes challenged you to be different?

Cloudwalker
Jan 23rd 2009, 11:28 PM
11. Jesus says the merciful will be shown mercy. Why do you think our treatment of others will affect God's treatment of us?


because how we treat others shows what is in our heart. He also says elsewhere that with the judgement we pass down we will be judged.


12. Why would the promise of seeing God be reserved for those who are pure in heart?


Because our God is a holy God. In order to see God we also must be made holy.


13. How can we be peacemakers in our homes, in our churches and in society?


First by humbling ourselves and accepting ourselves and others as they are. Second by listening to them and trying to see things from their point of view. Then we can be ready to work together to solve the problems to the mutual satisfaction of all.


14. Why would the world hate the kind of people described in the Beatitudes?


Because they don't buy into the "me first" attitude of the world.


15. How have the Beatitudes challenged you to be different?

Have to think about this one.

SeattleSun
Jan 24th 2009, 12:31 AM
Hey CW!

I can't add anything to what you said! Except to give my own thoughts:



13. How can we be peacemakers in our homes, in our churches and in society?



CJ Mahaney spoke at a conference at church last year, and I had the opportunity to listen. Something he said really stuck with me: to look for God's grace in everyone. Its humbling and encouraging to see even someone I'm not crazy about changing. Ugh, I can't love everyone as much as I might try and how Jesus commands, but doing this keeps me from getting thorny and has led to reconciliation. That's church for me in this question.

In society, you can't make a peacemaker start a fight. We have been given internal peace through Christ and we have been called to peace and to make peace. We're not at war with God, but the world is. The world pursues false peace, while we have true peace, which the world can't give us nor take from us. The world is enslaved to sin, and people would be more likely to hear the message of the gospel when we're perceived as not making war with them.



15. How have the Beatitudes challenged you to be different?


I see a ordered progression from justification to sanctification to glorification. I see the parables come alive. I see that none of this can happen by anything I do apart from God and His grace is sufficient. He has equipped me to live as a Christian the moment I was saved. I have to always submit, and not just when its convenient. Its a true commitment, and I'm more committed everyday.

His promises to us are true and He will fulfill them. Good thing our Christian walk isn't a sprint. We are blessed, not cursed but the Beatitudes are conditional. If I'm angry, I can't find peace or make peace; if I continue in a habitual sin, I'm not mourning; if I don't desire Him, I won't be filled, etc.

Babble alert! :D

Cloudwalker
Jan 24th 2009, 01:23 AM
A while back my church was having some problems. Our DS suggested we go through something called "The Peacemaker Process." Part of it was studying a book called The Peacemaker that was a Biblical approach to conflict management, not just in the church but in personal relations as well. I can't remember the author's but it was very good. What I wrote was a condensation of some of the things I learned there.

SeattleSun
Jan 24th 2009, 01:37 AM
A while back my church was having some problems. Our DS suggested we go through something called "The Peacemaker Process." Part of it was studying a book called The Peacemaker that was a Biblical approach to conflict management, not just in the church but in personal relations as well. I can't remember the author's but it was very good. What I wrote was a condensation of some of the things I learned there.

Phil 4:2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord.
3Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

I've always wondered what these to women were doing, that not only did it get back to Paul in prison, but he needed to address it in his epistle of joy.

Did your church work everything out?

shepherdsword
Jan 24th 2009, 12:58 PM
11. Jesus says the merciful will be shown mercy. Why do you think our treatment of others will affect God's treatment of us?

He loves those "others" as much as he does me


12. Why would the promise of seeing God be reserved for those who are pure in heart?
If we take this verse to mean actually seeing him then it is because he is holy. If we take it to mean that we see him in every situation then it because our selfishness many times blinds us to his hand


13. How can we be peacemakers in our homes, in our churches and in society?
By speaking well of everyone ans seeing the best in everything


14. Why would the world hate the kind of people described in the Beatitudes?
Because they appear weak and foolish


15. How have the Beatitudes challenged you to be different?
They are so contrary to my sense of fairness and justice but I am promised that I will be happy if I walk in them

Cloudwalker
Jan 24th 2009, 04:34 PM
We still have our problems but we are making it through.

SeattleSun
Jan 24th 2009, 07:59 PM
We still have our problems but we are making it through.

I think you gave me an example of a church dividing over paint color a long time ago. Praying y'all heal.

Acts 7:26"On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, 'Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?'

27"But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, 'WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND JUDGE OVER US?
28'YOU DO NOT MEAN TO KILL ME AS YOU KILLED THE EGYPTIAN YESTERDAY, DO YOU?' 29"At this remark, MOSES FLED AND BECAME AN ALIEN IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN, where he became the father of two sons.

Being a peacemaker is hard work and doesn't always yield immediate results.


They are so contrary to my sense of fairness and justice but I am promised that I will be happy if I walk in them

Again, you have such a way with words! Exactly!

We're done with the Beatitudes! Moving on to Part II. :)

SeattleSun
Jan 24th 2009, 08:07 PM
Study 2 - God's Way to Make a Difference (Matt. 5:13-16)

Purpose: To consider the kind of influence Jesus expects us to have on those around us.

"There are people in the world who will never open a Bible. Still, they are forming impressions about God every time they meet a Christian. You may be the only Bible that someone will read.

What possible influence could the people described in the Beatitudes exert in this hard, tough world? What lasting good can the poor and the meek do, the mounrers and the merciful -- those who seek peace and not war? Would they not be overwhelmed by the flood of evil? What can they accomplish -- whose only passion is righteousness and whose only weapon is purity of heart? Are not such people too feeble to achieve anything? Jesus does not share this skepticism, as this passage demonstrates. He expects us to have a profound influence on those around us."

13"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

14"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
15nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

SeattleSun
Jan 24th 2009, 08:10 PM
1. What positive qualities of salt and light do you think Jesus had in mind as spoke these words?

2. Before refrigeration, salt was used to keep meat from rotting. What then does Jesus' statement "You are the salt of the earth" tell us about society and the church's role in it?

3. What has been in the news lately that indicates society is rotting and decaying?

4. What are some practical ways we can function as solt where we live and work?

5. What might cause Christians to lose their saltiness?

Cloudwalker
Jan 24th 2009, 09:08 PM
Just a thought. "What possible influence can Beatitude people have?" They are like cream. They rise to the top. They are like a peace of wood tossed about on a very stormy sea. From time to time the wind and waves may push it under, but it continuously rises to the top again. The people of the world who do not know Christ see this. As a result beatitude people influence the world just by being who they are. This brings us to the salt and light illustrations. People are not called to become salt and light, they are salt and light. By being who they are through Christ they cannot help but influence their world.

SeattleSun
Jan 24th 2009, 11:44 PM
Just a thought. "What possible influence can Beatitude people have?" They are like cream. They rise to the top. They are like a peace of wood tossed about on a very stormy sea. From time to time the wind and waves may push it under, but it continuously rises to the top again. The people of the world who do not know Christ see this. As a result beatitude people influence the world just by being who they are. This brings us to the salt and light illustrations. People are not called to become salt and light, they are salt and light. By being who they are through Christ they cannot help but influence their world.

Great analogies CW! And indeed we became children of light and salt at the moment God's grace saved us and His Spirit came into us.

I remember in TOM how Andrew was a one-on-one type of man. And Dr. S rightfully states that one of us may be the only Bible an unbeliever ever reads. There's a poster here (can't remember who), that uses the term "peculiar" when describing the perception of Christians in the world. I think that's fitting, but we have heavier lifting in light of Westboro, sex scandals, thieving pastors, etc.

A city on a hill cannot be hidden, His will be done.

Eph 4:1Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,
3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

shepherdsword
Jan 25th 2009, 03:50 AM
Just a thought. "What possible influence can Beatitude people have?" They are like cream. They rise to the top. They are like a peace of wood tossed about on a very stormy sea. From time to time the wind and waves may push it under, but it continuously rises to the top again. The people of the world who do not know Christ see this. As a result beatitude people influence the world just by being who they are. This brings us to the salt and light illustrations. People are not called to become salt and light, they are salt and light. By being who they are through Christ they cannot help but influence their world.

Not much to add to that except ,well salt is a seasoning also. It helps things taste good. I think we add out own unique flavor to this world;)

SeattleSun
Jan 26th 2009, 12:43 AM
Not much to add to that except ,well salt is a seasoning also. It helps things taste good. I think we add out own unique flavor to this world;)

There's a little company here in Seattle that makes a bacon-flavored salt, its awesome! SW, you're not overly familiar with my infamous tangents, so here's one for you that came to mind. Our church has this amazing site so we can communicate on all sorts of levels. For personal use, we can memorize Scripture we select through this nifty tool which includes a daily email and we can make journal entries either just for our own use or that others can read. I came up with this thought 8 months ago, so just wrote about it.

The Dead Sea

The Lord God created in us the life-saving need for salt. He gave salt many other uses, primarily as part of the grain offering (Lev. 2:13), the burnt offering (Ezek. 43:24) and the incense (Exo. 30:35). It was part of the temple offering and used to ratify covenants. Ezek. 16:4 also tells me it was rubbed on newborn babies to promote good health. Salt is still used as a preservative, but also to make land barren. I’ve killed weeds in sidewalk cracks by putting salt on them.
The Dead Sea is on the eastern border of Israel and is the lowest point on earth. Water flows in, but doesn’t flow out. Sodom was along its shores. Zechariah tells me that one day, in the Millennial Kingdom, the Dead Sea will be living waters … the same waters that John saw in Rev. 22.
Okay, enough background. I wonder if the Lord, knowing all to come of course, but always giving us an “out” to avoid His anger, made the Dead Sea to purify the Promised Land from the idolatry that was to come from His people. To preserve them so to speak. So it didn’t come to that. But it did, the Baals were too alluring to a fallen world. The Father needed to sacrifice the Son. We are the salt of the earth.
The faithful remnant has always been, in the wilderness with Moses, in Assyria and in Babylon. The faithful remnant is still scattered, but God will regather them in the last days. They’ve been preserved, as has the Land.
By salt? Just makes me ponder and continue to be amazed by the wisdom of the Lord (Isa. 40). Lord, I thank you for humbling me, even though I may be so off-base in this tangent. Long thought about, but never put pen to paper. I’m blessed when my focus is on You. :-)

At least I've recited the biblical uses for salt. :D

shepherdsword
Jan 26th 2009, 06:26 AM
that was excellent

SeattleSun
Jan 26th 2009, 06:34 PM
that was excellent

Thank you! Weird tangent. :lol:

1. What positive qualities of salt and light do you think Jesus had in mind as spoke these words?

Salt and light is necessary for life. Christians, empowered by the Spirit, are the spiritual source of both to the world.

2. Before refrigeration, salt was used to keep meat from rotting. What then does Jesus' statement "You are the salt of the earth" tell us about society and the church's role in it?

The church restrains evil -- the rotting world with its immorality and changing perceptions of what is immoral. We are to speak out against immorality and practice our positions as children of God even though the world doesn't want to hear it, but the world may deep down yearn to see it.

3. What has been in the news lately that indicates society is rotting and decaying?

Ugh, too much. Violence for violence's sake. Crime at all levels against others, economic, personal property, the list is too long. Disintegrating families or no families to begin with, just people who happen to live together, sometimes. Self-love above all.

4. What are some practical ways we can function as salt where we live and work?

We can the humble peacemakers applying (not necessarily quoting, depending on where we are) Scripture and refuse to compromise God's standards. We can lead by example in gentleness and forebearing love.

5. What might cause Christians to lose their saltiness?

Can we? We could cease being salty by just stopping to "use" it If I compromise or appease God's Word so I can "fit in", I'm not salty anymore. I believe we're always empowered to be salty and its our choice how we handle ourselves in the world. We can sin by being timid or we can obey and be bold.

shepherdsword
Jan 27th 2009, 06:26 AM
5. What might cause Christians to lose their saltiness?

Can we? We could cease being salty by just stopping to "use" it If I compromise or appease God's Word so I can "fit in", I'm not salty anymore. I believe we're always empowered to be salty and its our choice how we handle ourselves in the world. We can sin by being timid or we can obey and be bold.

This "losing saltiness" has an interesting context:

Mark 9:
42“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck.
43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands.
45If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet.
47And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It is better to enter the Kingdom of God half blind than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
48‘where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out.’
49“For everyone will be purified with fire.
50Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.”


I get three main reasons from this passage(maybe you guys can see more)

1) Offending new believers and children
2) Sin
3) Failing to allow God to use his fire to purify you.

I want to focus on 3 since I think it is the most subtle one.
When God led the children of Israel into the wilderness you see him attempting to purify them. They kept resisting and complaining about every adversity he brought into their lives. They failed to truly believe in God's best intentions for them and spoke of returning to Eygpt. They even made a golden calf to worship at the same time God was delivering the law to Moses. This murmuring and complaining spirit reached it's apex when the 12 spies went into the land. They choose to believe the report of 10 faithless spies rather than Joshua and Caleb. This was the final straw. God swore that they would NEVER enter in! The died in the wilderness because they lost their saltiness and were good for nothing more.
This type of behavior and God's response to it are not limited to the old testament and it is SCARY stuff. We need to consider these next two vewrse when God brings some uncomfortable situation into our life to purify us and we whine and complain about it:

Hebrews 3:7-4:11

That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today you must listen to his voice.
Don’t harden your hearts against him as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested God’s patience in the wilderness.
There your ancestors tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years.
So I was angry with them, and I said, ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’
So in my anger I made a vow: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’ “
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.
You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
But never forget the warning: “Today you must listen to his voice. Don’t harden your hearts against him as Israel did when they rebelled.”
And who were those people who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Weren’t they the ones Moses led out of Egypt?
And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
And to whom was God speaking when he vowed that they would never enter his place of rest? He was speaking to those who disobeyed him.
So we see that they were not allowed to enter his rest because of their unbelief.
God’s promise of entering his place of rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to get there.
For this Good News—that God has prepared a place of rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t believe what God told them.
For only we who believe can enter his place of rest. As for those who didn’t believe, God said, “In my anger I made a vow: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’ “ even though his place of rest has been ready since he made the world.
We know it is ready because the Scriptures mention the seventh day, saying, “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.”
But in the other passage God said, “They will never enter my place of rest.”
So God’s rest is there for people to enter. But those who formerly heard the Good News failed to enter because they disobeyed God.
So God set another time for entering his place of rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David a long time later in the words already quoted: “Today you must listen to his voice. Don’t harden your hearts against him.”
This new place of rest was not the land of Canaan, where Joshua led them. If it had been, God would not have spoken later about another day of rest.
So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.
For all who enter into God’s rest will find rest from their labors, just as God rested after creating the world.
Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God, as the people of Israel did, will fall.

We shouldn't take for granted God's dealing with us. I know that God is a God of Mercy and Love but we see clearly from the above passages( and also from Jesus's warning about losing our saltiness) that we too can fall in the wilderness without entering fully into God's promises for us.

Another tangent that is not so tangent;)

SeattleSun
Jan 27th 2009, 06:21 PM
We shouldn't take for granted God's dealing with us. I know that God is a God of Mercy and Love but we see clearly from the above passages( and also from Jesus's warning about losing our saltiness) that we too can fall in the wilderness without entering fully into God's promises for us.

Another tangent that is not so tangent;)



Oh SW, I read this earlier when I was on my first cup of coffee and still a bit sleepy!Ummm, it sure woke me up! :D

The consequences of unbelief ... "They shall not enter My rest." And then I go back to the Beatitudes and our spiritual condition as His children. If we're happy/blessed, His promises are our's. And if we're happy/blessed, by our very nature we're different from the world we're called to influence. And if we're influenced by the world, we've lost our salt and our blessings.

Thanks for the wake-up call!

Here's another little tangent -- last night, dinner was bit salty and created a strong thirst in me. Matt 5:6? Purely rhetorical!

Cloudwalker
Jan 27th 2009, 11:36 PM
Here's another little tangent -- last night, dinner was bit salty and created a strong thirst in me. Matt 5:6? Purely rhetorical!

Not necessicarily. Another aspect of the salt illustration. Salt, as well as preserving, also makes people thirsty. We, as the body of Christ, if we are living our lives correctly, eventually create in the world a thirst for Christ. Another aspect of salt is that, in certain circumstances, has healing propertys (ie. if you have a sore throat you are told to gargle with warm salt water). We, as the body of Christ, also can have healing properties. Particularly as we function as Peacemakers.

SeattleSun
Jan 28th 2009, 12:59 AM
Not necessicarily. Another aspect of the salt illustration. Salt, as well as preserving, also makes people thirsty. We, as the body of Christ, if we are living our lives correctly, eventually create in the world a thirst for Christ. Another aspect of salt is that, in certain circumstances, has healing propertys (ie. if you have a sore throat you are told to gargle with warm salt water). We, as the body of Christ, also can have healing properties. Particularly as we function as Peacemakers.

I've been pondering SW's post all day and so much going through my head and digging in and again and again. Thanks a lot SW, I wanted to trap some dust bunnies today. :lol:

And also pondering the characteristics of salt! Yes, healing! I've gotten sunburned and salt water is so soothing, and also speeds healing.

I don't know what the salt from the dead sea looks/looked like. At that time, there was no refining, it may have just been dried and had a completely different texture (powdery?) or if it was even white. If it was white ... white connotes purity. What our hearts are to be, because if our hearts aren't pure, how can we purify the world?

Jesus condemned the Pharisees with His words, their hearts were so hardened. That old phrase "putting salt in a wound" ... it hurts! He aimed to sting their consciences, as we are. Hard words make soft people.

To retain our saltiness, attained by the spiritual condition put forth by Christ in the Beatitudes and by His grace,

Prov. 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

As a total aside, Matthew was the first book I ever read when I was saved. Talk about scratching the surface! I've read it many times since, but this study is like opening up a map on how to really get to the kingdom. I was missing a lot and thanks for teaching me. :)

And we haven't hit on being the light yet!

Cloudwalker
Jan 29th 2009, 04:30 AM
I don't know what the salt from the dead sea looks/looked like. At that time, there was no refining, it may have just been dried and had a completely different texture (powdery?) or if it was even white.

I don't know either but I can guess on the texture. Go to the supermarket and find "sea salt." You will probably find it in the same place as kosher salt. I would guess that the texture, and possibly the color, would be the same. I would imagine that it would be coarser that our normal table salt. Kosher salt is.

Gregg
Jan 29th 2009, 12:50 PM
Ain't that the truth. I keep praying more and more and harder and harder for Christ to come, quickly. I pray for revival, but is it too late? Are we experiencing the wrath of abandonment?

"God turned them over ..."

The Spirit is active, churches have their lampstands, but men are lawless, false teachers are everywhere and God is mocked.

Maranatha!

Good morning, I am new to this discussion. I have read everything up to the point in quotes above. I feel that if I don't jump in I might forget later. Funny thing, I have been reading Psalms lately, on Monday I was led to start reading Mathew. On Wed. I found "by accident" this study. I did not do a search nor was I looking for it. I LOVE IT WHEN GOD DOES STUFF LIKE THIS!!

Anyway, please take this next question as just what it is, a question. It is not meant to be critical but to help me understand. Why would you keep praying harder and harder for Jesus to come back quickly? This seems to be just opposite of the very thing we are studying. If God wanted this over it would be over. If God wanted you, or me or any of us home, we would be home. It seems to me the Sermon on the Mount is to encourage us to live in this world and when practiced, fills us up and lets us feel closer to our Father. What a blessing that is. The overflow shines a reflection of Christ that others cannot deny. The verse about not hiding our light under a bushel comes right after the Beatitudes. Some how I am not supposed to brag or be a know it all when trying to help others, knowing that the light is blessings takes me out of it. Anyway, I am glad that he did not end it yet. There are still loved ones that I hope will come to Jesus before he does. In the meantime I am glad that you are here and helping me with my journey. I am looking forward to seeing what he has in store for us.

jesuslover1968
Jan 29th 2009, 02:39 PM
Good Morning!! Stitches are all out and all the drama around here has quietened. :) I have to do some catching up but hope to have that done today sometime.

Cloudwalker
Jan 29th 2009, 04:11 PM
Good morning, I am new to this discussion. I have read everything up to the point in quotes above. I feel that if I don't jump in I might forget later. Funny thing, I have been reading Psalms lately, on Monday I was led to start reading Mathew. On Wed. I found "by accident" this study. I did not do a search nor was I looking for it. I LOVE IT WHEN GOD DOES STUFF LIKE THIS!!

Anyway, please take this next question as just what it is, a question. It is not meant to be critical but to help me understand. Why would you keep praying harder and harder for Jesus to come back quickly? This seems to be just opposite of the very thing we are studying. If God wanted this over it would be over. If God wanted you, or me or any of us home, we would be home. It seems to me the Sermon on the Mount is to encourage us to live in this world and when practiced, fills us up and lets us feel closer to our Father. What a blessing that is. The overflow shines a reflection of Christ that others cannot deny. The verse about not hiding our light under a bushel comes right after the Beatitudes. Some how I am not supposed to brag or be a know it all when trying to help others, knowing that the light is blessings takes me out of it. Anyway, I am glad that he did not end it yet. There are still loved ones that I hope will come to Jesus before he does. In the meantime I am glad that you are here and helping me with my journey. I am looking forward to seeing what he has in store for us.


First off, welcome to our study. Feel free to ask any questions you have, even if they seem off topic. You will learn as you get to know us that we don't worry about going off on tangents. We learn a lot that way. (This is the 3rd study together for some of us so we are quite used to tangents). I am convinced that you finding us is no accident. With God there is no accidents.

As Christians we live in a paradox. We long for Christ to come and for our long struggle in this world to be over and to rest in Gods peace. To live in His presence and to sit at His feet and learn of Him and worship Him. In short, we long to go home. However, there is a flip side to this coin. We also long to stay here and work for Him to bring more people into His kingdom. Especially those of our family and friends that don't know Christ. We long for both but we don't know which we long for most. We say with Paul "To live is Christ to die is gain." I know very well the longing for this to be over. I dearly long to see my dad again. But I also enjoy the work Christ has for me here. So, meanwhile, I learn to live in the paradox of longing to be with Christ in heaven and longing to be here working for Him. It's not always comfortable to live that way, but God never promised us comfortable.

jesuslover1968
Jan 29th 2009, 04:24 PM
Jesus condemned the Pharisees with His words, their hearts were so hardened. That old phrase "putting salt in a wound" ... it hurts! He aimed to sting their consciences, as we are. Hard words make soft people.

This reminded me of something PW's wife told him. She said that the "Christians" in America are so thin-skinned...Maybe they aren't really just thin-skinned, but their salted wounds are burning...:lol: anyway...
when I think of salt, I also think about what food tasted like without it...bland, boring and yuk. :P you just eat it because you are hungry, not because it tastes good. But salt makes it taste good and makes us want to eat more and more. By our being the salt of the world, I believe our effect on the world is to be somewhat addicting, for lack of a better word. :)

SeattleSun
Jan 29th 2009, 04:43 PM
Welcome Gregg!

I can't explain why, its become convictingly urgent though. "Thy kingdom come, They will be done.", the fulfillment of prophecy. And my whole family are unbelievers too, and the prayers for them are just as urgent.

Rev. 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Its my promise and my hope!

Morning Misty and CW and SW !:wave:

Mmmmm, salt! On to the light!

SeattleSun
Jan 29th 2009, 06:22 PM
6. Jesus' second statement is "You are the light of the world". As salt we prevent decay, the spread of evil. How does the church's role as light complement its role as salt?

7. How can we positively promote the spread of truth in the world?

8. Why might we be tempted to hide our light?

9. What is the result, according to Jesus, of people seeing our good deeds?

SeattleSun
Jan 29th 2009, 07:37 PM
6. Jesus' second statement is "You are the light of the world". As salt we prevent decay, the spread of evil. How does the church's role as light complement its role as salt?

A negative (decay) countered by the positive (light). Light represents life and renewal and regeneration. The church in preventing decay in the world offers, through Christ a reversal in a way. There's an alternative and come see!


7. How can we positively promote the spread of truth in the world?


By our speech and works, done with a servant's heart so as not to appear to be doing anything grudingly because we "have to" (legalism). Light must be visible to illuminate and also God did not give us His gospel for us to keep hidden away but to be shared with the world.


8. Why might we be tempted to hide our light?


Lot's of reasons -- not to offend others, afraid of what someone might think of us, a level of persecution in the workplace that could cause a job loss, indifference towards a "difficult" person, timidity and a perceived lack of knowledge. That's off the top of my head.

I'm guilty of making assumptions about people who I think I know -- I assume they will reject outright the good news or turn down an invitation to come to church with me. God created the light and by His grace and power I am now the light. Its my choice to hide it or let it shine.



9. What is the result, according to Jesus, of people seeing our good deeds?

It glorifies God! By letting others see the good He has worked in us is very attractive. We plant the seed, God does the work all for His glory!

shepherdsword
Jan 29th 2009, 11:39 PM
As Christians we live in a paradox. We long for Christ to come and for our long struggle in this world to be over and to rest in Gods peace. To live in His presence and to sit at His feet and learn of Him and worship Him. In short, we long to go home. However, there is a flip side to this coin. We also long to stay here and work for Him to bring more people into His kingdom. Especially those of our family and friends that don't know Christ. We long for both but we don't know which we long for most. We say with Paul "To live is Christ to die is gain." I know very well the longing for this to be over. I dearly long to see my dad again. But I also enjoy the work Christ has for me here. So, meanwhile, I learn to live in the paradox of longing to be with Christ in heaven and longing to be here working for Him. It's not always comfortable to live that way, but God never promised us comfortable.

I think this is a perfect response to the question

SeattleSun
Jan 30th 2009, 12:40 AM
I think this is a perfect response to the question

CW has a way with words too! ;)

Cloudwalker
Jan 30th 2009, 04:48 PM
I think this is a perfect response to the question


CW has a way with words too! ;)
:blush::blush::blush: Thanks

SeattleSun
Jan 30th 2009, 05:47 PM
10. What examples can you think of where the work of Christians has brought people closer to God?

11. What relationship do you see between the Beatitudes and our role as salt and light in society?

12. What is one way you can begin having a stronger influence as salt and as light?

End of Part 2. :)

SeattleSun
Jan 30th 2009, 06:44 PM
10. What examples can you think of where the work of Christians has brought people closer to God?

There's a lot of examples! Too many to even list! On a smaller scale though, closely fellowshipping with other Christians involves restoring a person, mentoring a baby Christian, encouraging, praying for each other. Doing these things bring all involved closer to God.

Here's an example that I had the privilege to experience recently. For many Sundays, two homeless women would come into my church knowing there was coffee available and warmth. They had no intention of listening to the sermon or any particular need to talk to anyone. They were welcomed as anyone is coming into church. And there was always people who just came by their table in the coffee "shop" just to exchange some pleasantries. Fast forward 5 or 6 months ... I watched one of the woman publicly proclaim Christ as her Lord and Savior at her baptism a few weeks ago. She's no longer using, homeless, is transitioning into a stable job, diligently recieves pastoral care to help her rely on Jesus to heal her brokeness, eagerly follows and seeks the advice of sister-mentors and is even on my greeting team. :pp


11. What relationship do you see between the Beatitudes and our role as salt and light in society?

The Beatitudes are the foundation of our walk. Without our new hearts and what flows out of them along with total submission to Christ, we are no different than the world.


12. What is one way you can begin having a stronger influence as salt and as light?

Be bolder in my gentleness, mercy, peacekeeping, humility -- don't be afraid. Stop relying on my own strength and let the Spirit use me. Let the Lord move my heart and move my feet. The smallest act done in Christ's name brings glory to God.

jesuslover1968
Jan 30th 2009, 08:09 PM
Great post SS. I can't add much to the answers you gave. I would say to trust in the Lord more and more. :)

SeattleSun
Jan 30th 2009, 08:22 PM
Great post SS. I can't add much to the answers you gave. I would say to trust in the Lord more and more. :)

There you are! :hug: Is your hand still sore even without the stitches?

Stop hiding! You know I'll track you down. :D

Cloudwalker
Jan 30th 2009, 10:51 PM
You never know when you are influencing someone for Christ. When I was growing up my father and I were both involved in a lay renewal program called Lay Witness Mission. At the end of a Mission weekend the chruch that we had hosted the mission got together and discussed what had happened. My dad and I were on the team for the only Mission that I know of that was voted by the church to be a failier. But wait until you hear the rest of the story. (I got this from my dad years later. He had kept in touch with some of the people there.) There was one boy whose life was changed as a result of that weekend. During that weekend there were 3 boys that were always together. If you saw one, you saw all 3. Two of the boys were on the team. The other was a member of the church. I know for a fact that the 2 team members never once thought about whether or not to include their friend from the town in anything they did (including the meetings the team had to coordinate what was going on). They didn't stop to consider whether or not they should include him, they just did. (As you can guess, I know they didn't because I was one of them). I found out years later that by including him we helped change his life.

jesuslover1968
Jan 30th 2009, 11:28 PM
There you are! :hug: Is your hand still sore even without the stitches?

Stop hiding! You know I'll track you down. :D


No, It feels much better just without the stitches pulling on it. It's pretty much healed up now...thanks for asking. :hug:
I am NOT hiding...lol...and yes, I know you can track me down...:lol:

SeattleSun
Jan 30th 2009, 11:58 PM
I found out years later that by including him we helped change his life.


Grabbing the opportunity! And there's so many opportunities God puts in front of us and how many do we completely miss?

A friend at church is a very shy man. Odd because he was on the radio doing talk shows for his entire career (now retired). Anyway, he had to share something that was so out of character for him ... he was returning to his condo and a another resident that he only recognized in passing, was sitting in the lobby upset. Here's what's out of character ... he approached her and asked what was wrong. She told him and he asked if he could pray for her. And he did!

She had apparently put aside her faith 25+ years ago, now she wants Jesus again.

Paul (not the apostle) set aside his own uneasiness and nature, and FRUIT!

CW its great that your dad told you that story, even though it took a long time. Who knows whose lives have been touched just by being included? Jesus was certainly inclusive during His earthly ministry. How can we serve and love someone if we don't invite them in some way?

SeattleSun
Jan 31st 2009, 12:04 AM
No, It feels much better just without the stitches pulling on it. It's pretty much healed up now...thanks for asking. :hug:
I am NOT hiding...lol...and yes, I know you can track me down...:lol:

Hooray!:kiss:

I've done it before missy, and I'll do it again! http://home.no.net/birgif/glis/copcar.gif

Cloudwalker
Jan 31st 2009, 12:19 AM
That is one of several stories that I use to illustrate the need to be watchful of how we live because we never know who may be watching and how God may use us, or who we may hinder if we're not careful. Another wake up call I had in that area was to be sitting in the congregation one sunday night and I heard the girl that was speaking that night quote something I had said in a sermon. When you are preaching you always hope that God will speak through you. And you work to let that happen. But it is still very scary :eek: :o when you realize that it has actually happened.

jesuslover1968
Jan 31st 2009, 12:23 AM
Hooray!:kiss:

I've done it before missy, and I'll do it again! http://home.no.net/birgif/glis/copcar.gif


Now, now...I think you have to admit that I did the tracking this time. :lol::):hug:

SeattleSun
Jan 31st 2009, 12:45 AM
That is one of several stories that I use to illustrate the need to be watchful of how we live because we never know who may be watching and how God may use us, or who we may hinder if we're not careful. Another wake up call I had in that area was to be sitting in the congregation one sunday night and I heard the girl that was speaking that night quote something I had said in a sermon. When you are preaching you always hope that God will speak through you. And you work to let that happen. But it is still very scary :eek: :o when you realize that it has actually happened.

Everytime I listen to someone preach, I think about how Scripture says they will be held to a much higher standard when accounting for themselves to Christ. I have much respect for the calling. :hug: God uses you and other preachers in a much more visible (and audible) way, and it must be rather frightening to answer in obedience.

Lol, did she like your what you said? :lol:

SeattleSun
Jan 31st 2009, 12:47 AM
Now, now...I think you have to admit that I did the tracking this time. :lol::):hug:

Yes you did! :hug: I thank you! :kiss:

Cloudwalker
Jan 31st 2009, 01:26 AM
Everytime I listen to someone preach, I think about how Scripture says they will be held to a much higher standard when accounting for themselves to Christ. I have much respect for the calling. :hug: God uses you and other preachers in a much more visible (and audible) way, and it must be rather frightening to answer in obedience.

Lol, did she like your what you said? :lol:

Whenever I preach or teach (and that includes on this board and thread) I am always aware of the fact that I will be called to account for what I have said. As I have said to many young preachers (and a few older ones as well) "Whenever you get up to speak forth in Gods name (which is what you are doing when you preach) if you are not a bit nervous you aren't takeing it seriously enough." I enjoy preaching but it scares me as well. BTW, yes she did like what I said.

SeattleSun
Jan 31st 2009, 01:51 AM
Whenever I preach or teach (and that includes on this board and thread) I am always aware of the fact that I will be called to account for what I have said. As I have said to many young preachers (and a few older ones as well) "Whenever you get up to speak forth in Gods name (which is what you are doing when you preach) if you are not a bit nervous you aren't takeing it seriously enough." I enjoy preaching but it scares me as well. BTW, yes she did like what I said.

Great advice! I'd be scared! I've always sympathized with Jonah in a way with him saying NO! and running! The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. People can parse "fear of God" with me all they want, whether it be real fear, or awe or respect.

My dad wasn't a Christian, but he was a great dad and husband. He loved me, he wanted the best for me and worked hard to give it. But I still feared him. He never ever laid a hand on me (mom's job was spanking) but he could show his anger or disappointment with me. Broke my heart. I'm fortunate to have had his exampe of a father, many people haven't and it makes it harder for them to trust the Father. :cry:

Of course she liked what you said! I was teasing! :D

Gregg
Jan 31st 2009, 03:49 PM
6. Jesus' second statement is "You are the light of the world". As salt we prevent decay, the spread of evil. How does the church's role as light complement its role as salt?

7. How can we positively promote the spread of truth in the world?

8. Why might we be tempted to hide our light?

9. What is the result, according to Jesus, of people seeing our good deeds?


6) Is everyone salt? I think we are. We are all kind of the same and yet all different. Salt is a spice that brings out the flavor of the meat or ?? that we put it on. We as salt "spice up" the rest of God's creation. When salt goes bad it loses it's effectiveness. Jesus gave us the sermon so we do not lose our effectiveness. The Beatitudes are about hope and help, about love and success. They condem and free us at the same time. They cause and illiminate legalism. They prove I need a Savior, and when practiced proove I have one. Jesus wants us to have a good and blessed life before we take the journey home.

7) Love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

8) Our fleshy sin nature can still give us "worldy goggles." We may think that we are offending someone, we may fall to temptation of caring too much what others think, we may experience some fear or embarrassment in some situations. On the other side we might be so humble and have just started to give God the Glory, that we really shrink back as to not make the mistake of glory grabbing. I know that my flesh wants some credit, I know my flesh wants some recognition. I know when I really feel that I am doing what my Father wants as he wants, he uses me and I get to be part of the plan. I feel closer to God and it makes me want to be even closer. Nothing feels better. (oops how is that for tangent?)

9) The short answer is all will be blessed. When we allow (or maybe not get in the way) God to work through us, people get attracted to the Christian lifestyle. They may not even be sure why. Ever notice people just wanting to be around you when you yourself are feeling close to God? I think God allows me to see it and feel good about it. It is then a blessing. If I am getting in the way, it does not derail God's plan, I just don't see/feel the blessing of being part of it. I am convinced that the blessing of doing God's will is more of a gift for us than the person receiving it. You would think I would be running around, more than I do, looking for good deeds to do.

SeattleSun
Jan 31st 2009, 08:48 PM
Hi Gregg!

Great answers, and that's what makes this sort of study so interesting for me. We each seem to approach the questions from a different perspective, but end up at the same place.



We are all kind of the same and yet all different.


There's this mindboggling variety of salt we can buy to consume. What's the difference and how many kinds? I don't know!

So why are there so many different kinds of salt on the market? There is table salt, sea salt, iodized salt, rock salt, kosher salt, popcorn salt, margarita salt, fleur de sel... the list goes on and on. The only differences are in two areas the chemicals added during processing, and the size (coarseness) of the grains. Period. That's it.

http://www.worldwiderecipes.com/all_about_salt.htm

We ARE all the same, but different!

Eph 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.


We're all unified into one body by one Spirit, with one hope in one Chirist with one faith that one Father is absolutely sovereign. But with different gifts for the body to function. We're all salt, but I think some are more salty than others to be used by God for His purposes to a larger degree. Like having the gift of evangelism, ala a Spurgeon.

Love your answer to 9 ... stay out of the way. Sigh, letting your words sink in.

Welcome again to the study! Tangents encouraged!

Gregg
Jan 31st 2009, 10:01 PM
Hi Gregg!

Great answers, and that's what makes this sort of study so interesting for me. We each seem to approach the questions from a different perspective, but end up at the same place.



There's this mindboggling variety of salt we can buy to consume. What's the difference and how many kinds? I don't know!

So why are there so many different kinds of salt on the market? There is table salt, sea salt, iodized salt, rock salt, kosher salt, popcorn salt, margarita salt, fleur de sel... the list goes on and on. The only differences are in two areas the chemicals added during processing, and the size (coarseness) of the grains. Period. That's it.

http://www.worldwiderecipes.com/all_about_salt.htm

We ARE all the same, but different!

Eph 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.


We're all unified into one body by one Spirit, with one hope in one Chirist with one faith that one Father is absolutely sovereign. But with different gifts for the body to function. We're all salt, but I think some are more salty than others to be used by God for His purposes to a larger degree. Like having the gift of evangelism, ala a Spurgeon.

Love your answer to 9 ... stay out of the way. Sigh, letting your words sink in.

Welcome again to the study! Tangents encouraged!





Thank you for the comments and the kind words. There is no doubt that God wanted me in Mathew. Then the same day or within a day or two I come across this study! I love affirmation. There is no doubt in my mind that God wants me to learn from all of you. I expect I will be needing these tools in my own life or to help others in the very near future. I think the blessing for me will be to see how it unfolds. I expect many ah ha experiences, combined with a closer feeling to God. I look forward with great expectation to see how he will bring all of the different things together for many uses.

Thank you all for taking the time to be used by our Father in this journey.

Cloudwalker
Jan 31st 2009, 10:15 PM
Gregg, welcome to the study. Knowing this group as well as I do I expect that just as many of the Ah Ha moments will come from the tangents as from the study. This group loves it's tangents. :D

SeattleSun
Jan 31st 2009, 11:42 PM
tangent
n tangent a line that touches a curve but does not cut it.

go off at a tangent

to go off suddenly in another direction or on a different line of thought, action etc It is difficult to have a sensible conversation with her, as she keeps going off at a tangent.

Oh my! :( I'm not letting that stop me! :lol:

SeattleSun
Feb 1st 2009, 03:09 AM
Yowzah! 1,057 looks! Come and participate.

Its all about Jesus!

This isn't a part of the SOTM, but Come See!

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

shepherdsword
Feb 1st 2009, 11:28 AM
6. Jesus' second statement is "You are the light of the world". As salt we prevent decay, the spread of evil. How does the church's role as light complement its role as salt?

Our exposing of abortion and homosexuality as social evils can be considered light. This in turn,can keep a society from reaching a point the bible calls "The fullness of iniquity" . The reason Israel spend 400 years as slaves in Egypt was for one reason. The iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full. God delays his judgment on a society until they can no longer be convicted of sin and all hope of repentance is gone. That is the point of the fullness of iniquity. When we delay this point we can be considered salt.


7. How can we positively promote the spread of truth in the world?

I think the best way is to do this is to live the truth ourselves. Sometimes people can't hear what I'm saying for the noise of who I am. That's why a study like this should be more than a simple transfer of information from one intellect to another. It should be a mutual fellowship that brings the life and power needed to walk out the sermon on the mount. Walking this sermon out is CRUCIAL to spreading the truth. When Jesus went throught he cities his ministry was always composed of two things.'that which he began to DO and to teach"


8. Why might we be tempted to hide our light?

The bible says the "fear of man is a snare" Our fear of rejection and marginalization can cause us to attempt to dodge the persecution that always follows those that live Godly in Christ Jesus. We can also be like some of the Pharisee's that believed but "they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God"
Paul said he wasn't ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it was the power of God for salvation. He was also willing to bear the burden of suffering that the message brings.


9. What is the result, according to Jesus, of people seeing our good deeds?

They glorify our Father in heaven

Gregg
Feb 1st 2009, 03:01 PM
I think the best way is to do this is to live the truth ourselves. Sometimes people can't hear what I'm saying for the noise of who I am. That's why a study like this should be more than a simple transfer of information from one intellect to another. It should be a mutual fellowship that brings the life and power needed to walk out the sermon on the mount. Walking this sermon out is CRUCIAL to spreading the truth. When Jesus went throught he cities his ministry was always composed of two things.'that which he began to DO and to teach"



The bible says the "fear of man is a snare" Our fear of rejection and marginalization can cause us to attempt to dodge the persecution that always follows those that live Godly in Christ Jesus. We can also be like some of the Pharisee's that believed but "they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God"
Paul said he wasn't ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it was the power of God for salvation. He was also willing to bear the burden of suffering that the message brings.



I also believe we are to live it. I would say my definition of "live it" has changed over my life time. I am here, this far down the road, so I must say God has been faithful to my prayers. My prayer is that he make me the best Cristian Gregg that he can. That he gives me the wisdom, heart, courage, and love and other tools, even if at times I fall or try to walk away, that I need to live the life that he intended and that is pleasing to him. I would like to be "a man after God's own heart" but fail so much of the time. I know that I need his intervention and constant help to walk that walk.

I must confess I do have some fear of rejection, mixed with some fear of being the kind of Christian that turns people off (or maybe the kind that turns me off). I find in personal setting or at our Christian 12 step meeting, I do not have as much trouble, giving my testimony or talking about Jesus as I do just walking around. I am not much of a "Have you heard of Jesus, or Can I talk to you about Jesus" kind of guy. On the other hand I feel like that part is expanding and he is teaching me what he wants me to do. I suspect that this study has something to do with it.

I will be going to a friends house today. I have known him for 38 years. He was not brought up in a Christian home. Both of his parents are dead. His Mom died about 25 years ago, and his Dad just passed in Nov. I sat with him and his Dad when they had the hospice at my friends house. I prayed to do what God wanted me to do, and looked for an opening or prompting and one never came. I was nervous, but I think I was ready. Of course today I have some doubts. Now I believe that God is prompting me to talk to my friend Ron. I have over the years broached the subject on several occasions. He has not been angry or to weirded out, but I could tell not really interested and kind of wandered. Kind of a that is good for you sort of thing. I feel stuck. Not only do I not want to push him away, but I then get hit with the guilt as satan whispers in my ear that Jesus will not know me as I have been ashamed of him on earth. Hmmm....a thought just came into my mind on how I might approach my friend. Please pray for me for the right time and prompting. Thank you Lord for this thought, you do work in strange and marvelous ways. Amen.

SeattleSun
Feb 1st 2009, 09:47 PM
I also believe we are to live it. I would say my definition of "live it" has changed over my life time. I am here, this far down the road, so I must say God has been faithful to my prayers. My prayer is that he make me the best Cristian Gregg that he can. That he gives me the wisdom, heart, courage, and love and other tools, even if at times I fall or try to walk away, that I need to live the life that he intended and that is pleasing to him. I would like to be "a man after God's own heart" but fail so much of the time. I know that I need his intervention and constant help to walk that walk.

I would like to be "the apple of His eye", and mess up so often. That's our mourning and we shall be comforted. I believe that at the moment of salvation we were empowered to exhibit by our lives the fruits of the Spirit -- but empowerment doesn't mean we'll do it. But at my moment of salvation, I had no knowledge of God, I had the faith of a baby and believed. Who is He?

Prov. 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

The more I learn of Him, the more He reveals to me in how He wants me to live and how I mess up. I can't partake of His nature if I don't know His nature.


I must confess I do have some fear of rejection, mixed with some fear of being the kind of Christian that turns people off (or maybe the kind that turns me off). I find in personal setting or at our Christian 12 step meeting, I do not have as much trouble, giving my testimony or talking about Jesus as I do just walking around. I am not much of a "Have you heard of Jesus, or Can I talk to you about Jesus" kind of guy. On the other hand I feel like that part is expanding and he is teaching me what he wants me to do. I suspect that this study has something to do with it.

I'm right there with you on this. I'm sure that apologetics is a calling which I don't think I have at a high enough level. Its frustrating for me, I'm either surrounded by Christians or by atheists -- hard core ones. It breaks my heart, a friend the other day brought up Satan tempting Eve and called God the liar and Satan the truthteller. Telling him that Satan is the father of all lies isn't particularly useful to the conversation, so all I can do is ... not much except show him Christ through me. But where's my righteous anger when God is mocked and dishonored? Maybe I don't have a proper understanding of righteous anger beyond Christ in the temple.

What's a Christian 12-step meeting?


I will be going to a friends house today. I have known him for 38 years. He was not brought up in a Christian home. Both of his parents are dead. His Mom died about 25 years ago, and his Dad just passed in Nov. I sat with him and his Dad when they had the hospice at my friends house. I prayed to do what God wanted me to do, and looked for an opening or prompting and one never came. I was nervous, but I think I was ready. Of course today I have some doubts. Now I believe that God is prompting me to talk to my friend Ron. I have over the years broached the subject on several occasions. He has not been angry or to weirded out, but I could tell not really interested and kind of wandered. Kind of a that is good for you sort of thing. I feel stuck. Not only do I not want to push him away, but I then get hit with the guilt as satan whispers in my ear that Jesus will not know me as I have been ashamed of him on earth. Hmmm....a thought just came into my mind on how I might approach my friend. Please pray for me for the right time and prompting. Thank you Lord for this thought, you do work in strange and marvelous ways. Amen.

Prayed for you hours ago that the Spirit use you mightily and to guide your words to plant that seed deep into fertile ground. That your friends heart be prepared prior to meeting with you to accept the truth that true peace and joy and purpose is only found in Christ.

:hug:

SeattleSun
Feb 2nd 2009, 01:40 AM
Question: Can being a peacemaker mean simply keeping your mouth shut?

Point in case: Fellow Christians vehemently disagreeing. If I state my own opinion/interpretation takes sides, no matter how gently I present it.

I'm not making peace, nor promoting war. But is sitting on the sidelines (I did comment in a way igniting all this), wrong? Thanks for guidance.

Ugh, message boards, can be unifying, can be equally decisive. I prefer the former.

I'm looking for a tangent alert smiley.

Cloudwalker
Feb 2nd 2009, 02:21 AM
It has truly been said "Discretion is the better part of valor." In a case like that it may be a case of "damned if you do damned if you don't" but I think you may be correct. By stating your opinion you may, indeed be fostering more discention. However, it is important to know when it is important to speak forth the truth regardless of the fact that it may increase the conflict. Remember Christ also said "I came not bring peace but a sword (CWIV)"

SeattleSun
Feb 2nd 2009, 04:30 AM
Oh David, I tried to make a post from my heart to you, asking for more help. I hit submit about half hour ago and it was gone. I hit a button inavertently. And I just left it alone.

The gist of my post was the hostility is "we" show to each other, as Christians. Its one thing to disagree, its totally another to attack. To cause one (like me) to not want to post so as to learn. How can I be salt or light when my own brothers and sisters here scare me? I crave unity, not divisiveness.

I think its best I just hang out here. :)

Cloudwalker
Feb 2nd 2009, 04:50 PM
Oh David, I tried to make a post from my heart to you, asking for more help. I hit submit about half hour ago and it was gone. I hit a button inavertently. And I just left it alone.

The gist of my post was the hostility is "we" show to each other, as Christians. Its one thing to disagree, its totally another to attack. To cause one (like me) to not want to post so as to learn. How can I be salt or light when my own brothers and sisters here scare me? I crave unity, not divisiveness.

I think its best I just hang out here. :)

I understand the problems of the internet I have had the same problem from time to time. It is true that most hostility takes 2 people. When we get attacked, whether for real or in an "attack" that is only perseved, it is human nature to attack back. Part of being a peacemaker, and a Christian, is to fight that urge and learn to see our "attacker" as Christ would see them and answer as Christ would answer. It isn't easy. First we have to fight against our human nature and then we have to have the mind of Christ. Both very difficult. The closer you get to Christ the easier it gets. Note, I said easier, it never gets easy. But we need to keep trying. If we abandon the attempt there may be people whom God intends for us to influence who's lives we may never touch. (I believe I told a story earlier on this thread about a boy who's life I inadvertantly touched without knowing it. If I hadn't been willing to step out of my comfort zone, and believe me the first Lay Witness Missions were uncomfortable to me, who knows where he would be now.)

SeattleSun
Feb 2nd 2009, 05:48 PM
Thanks, good counsel as always. :hug: Been digging into Ephesians 4 to read up on unity and wearing Paul's words on my sleeve (and on my heart). Discussion is great! Disagreeing is great! I think it was the tone that was affecting me.

SeattleSun
Feb 2nd 2009, 05:56 PM
Chapter 3 - The Importance of Obeying God's Law (Matt. 5:17-20)

John Wesley once wrote in his journal, "I am a Bible-bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small."

Group Discussion: Do you agree with John Wesley? Should everything the Bible says still be followed today? Why or why not?

Personal Reflection: If the Old Testament did not exist, what would be missing from your knowledge of God?

So far Jesus has spoken of the character of Christians. He has also emphasized the influence we will have in the world if we exhibit this character and if our character bears fruit in "good deeds". In Matthew 5:17-20, He proceeds to further define this character and these good deeds in terms of righteousness. This passage is of great importance not only for its definition of Christian righteousness but also for the light it throws on the relation between the New Testament and the Old Testament, between the gospel and the law.

17"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
18"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20"For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

SeattleSun
Feb 2nd 2009, 06:01 PM
1. This passage naturally divides into two parts, vv 17-18 and vv 19-20. What does each part emphasize?

2. Why might some people have thought that Jesus came to abolish the Law and the Prophets?

3. The Law and the Prophets (the OT) consist of doctrine, prophecy and ethical precepts. In what sense has Jesus fulfilled each of these?

SeattleSun
Feb 2nd 2009, 09:16 PM
1. This passage naturally divides into two parts, vv 17-18 and vv 19-20. What does each part emphasize?


Vv 17-18 emphasive Jesus and the Law; vv 19-20 emphasize Christians and the Law.


2. Why might some people have thought that Jesus came to abolish the Law and the Prophets?


Semantics? I don't know, but I've pondered this for quite a while, but never really followed up on history. I know the Jews expected their Messiah to be a conquering king to overthrow the Romans. Had the true meaning of the Law been so lost in tradition and twisting that they hoped the Messiah would abolish it? Was there even any true worship then or simply doing things by rote?

Its puzzling to me ... Jesus couldn't be more definitive. And He spoke with such authority; "For truly, I say to you ..." not unlike the Prophets speaking with God's authority; "Thus saith the Lord ...".

I got more questions than answers. :rolleyes:


3. The Law and the Prophets (the OT) consist of doctrine, prophecy and ethical precepts. In what sense has Jesus fulfilled each of these?

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us

The entire OT, from Gen. 1:1 to Mal. 4:6 is about Jesus. His being fulfilled the OT - He was divinely righteous, more than an example of righteousness and His sacrifice was most perfect.

2 Cor 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to become sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

He confirmed the Prophets' proclamations of God's promises by His presence, teaching and works. He proved Himself to be of a higher priesthood, on the order of Melchizedek. His sacrifice can truly cleanse sin, not the inferior sacrifices up to that time of the cross.

Everything was a preview of Him.

SeattleSun
Feb 3rd 2009, 07:51 PM
4. How does Jesus emphasize His high view of OT Scripture?

How can Jesus' words strengthen our confidence in Scripture?

5. What portions of the Bible have you tended skip over or neglect?

How can you make studying these a higher priority?

SeattleSun
Feb 3rd 2009, 08:52 PM
4. How does Jesus emphasize His high view of OT Scripture?


The smallest parts of the printed letters will not be erased or modified, God's Word is permanent and inerrant including the smallest part of the smallest letter.


How can Jesus' words strengthen our confidence in Scripture?

Jesus quoted Scripture all the time. "It is written ..." in response to thwart Satan's temptations. God gave us His Word to receive His revelation, we're to honor His gift and obey Him.


5. What portions of the Bible have you tended skip over or neglect?

Leviticus was hard, it was a struggle but I vowed to read every word and I did -- once. Does anyone even teach out of Leviticus today? It would probably be a very interesting teaching; I'm sure I missed a great deal of the whole point of it. I just kept thanking Jesus for His sacrifice and how "it is finished", which for me was the whole point.

I know "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." I get bogged down in some of the psalms and don't spend nearly enough time studying those.


How can you make studying these a higher priority?

I need to look at psalms with new eyes and keep seeking Jesus in every psalm. I don't have a clue about Leviticus.

Gregg
Feb 3rd 2009, 11:16 PM
Oh David, I tried to make a post from my heart to you, asking for more help. I hit submit about half hour ago and it was gone. I hit a button inavertently. And I just left it alone.

The gist of my post was the hostility is "we" show to each other, as Christians. Its one thing to disagree, its totally another to attack. To cause one (like me) to not want to post so as to learn. How can I be salt or light when my own brothers and sisters here scare me? I crave unity, not divisiveness.

I think its best I just hang out here. :)

Maybe the internet is a good place to practice lovingly disagreeing with each other. It is safe.

SeattleSun
Feb 4th 2009, 12:15 AM
Maybe the internet is a good place to practice lovingly disagreeing with each other. It is safe.

Oh I know, at least here it is. :) I love a good debate/discussion. And I didn't mean on this thread!

Lol, I attend a really big, multi-campus church, so there's like 30+ elders. I've heard their meetings are, shall we say, spirited!

Cloudwalker
Feb 4th 2009, 12:19 AM
Trust me. You don't have to have a large church to have "spirited" meetings. :P

jesuslover1968
Feb 4th 2009, 12:30 AM
Hey guys!!
Sonja, don't you dare let anyone scare you away from learning. Email coming...

Cloudwalker
Feb 4th 2009, 12:36 AM
Let me tell you, when you go to seminary studying becomes a way of life and it never ends. That's why I do things like subscribe to Biblical Archeology Review and come here.

SeattleSun
Feb 4th 2009, 12:55 AM
Trust me. You don't have to have a large church to have "spirited" meetings. :P

:rofl: Its been said that voices get louder. And these guys are all theologically on the same page.


Hey guys!!
Sonja, don't you dare let anyone scare you away from learning. Email coming...

Where you been missy? :mad: :hug:


Let me tell you, when you go to seminary studying becomes a way of life and it never ends. That's why I do things like subscribe to Biblical Archeology Review and come here.

It can't ever end! There's too much and His Word is so layered. Its like He says you get this revealed to you and go ponder it ... then come back and see what more I'll give to you.

One of the questions upthread got me thinking about Jesus' appearance as prophesied in in Isa. 53:2-5, and then comparing that passage to Rev. 19:11. Is that what Israel wanted Him to look like?

Cloudwalker
Feb 4th 2009, 04:49 AM
They were definately looking at the Conquering King passages (there are plenty of them in the OT) and missing (or ignoring) the Suffering Servant passages (such as Ps. 122)

Gregg
Feb 4th 2009, 05:02 AM
Let me tell you, when you go to seminary studying becomes a way of life and it never ends. That's why I do things like subscribe to Biblical Archeology Review and come here.

What is Biblical Archeology Review? It sounds interesting.

jesuslover1968
Feb 4th 2009, 03:56 PM
It can't ever end! There's too much and His Word is so layered. Its like He says you get this revealed to you and go ponder it ... then come back and see what more I'll give to you.

One of the questions upthread got me thinking about Jesus' appearance as prophesied in in Isa. 53:2-5, and then comparing that passage to Rev. 19:11. Is that what Israel wanted Him to look like?






Israel was under Roman rule. They were looking for a political warrior/king to overthrow the Romans and take back their lands.
That's why they are still looking for the Messiah. Their view of what He was to look like didn't take place, so they just figured He hadn' t come.
It sort of reminds me of the reasons given for divorce...
the person we married doesn't do, act, look like we thought they would, so we just renounce that person and go looking for another...

SeattleSun
Feb 4th 2009, 06:05 PM
Israel was under Roman rule. They were looking for a political warrior/king to overthrow the Romans and take back their lands.
That's why they are still looking for the Messiah. Their view of what He was to look like didn't take place, so they just figured He hadn' t come.
It sort of reminds me of the reasons given for divorce...
the person we married doesn't do, act, look like we thought they would, so we just renounce that person and go looking for another...

Yep. "Jesus wept", He was rejected and that was so clear to Him when he approached Jerusalem.

I wonder if Israel is still looking/waiting for the Messiah? I would suppose the orthodox Jews are. The remnant knows He came and is waiting for Him to come back. But the country as a whole ... it seems so secular now.

Cloudwalker
Feb 4th 2009, 11:04 PM
What is Biblical Archeology Review? It sounds interesting.

Biblical Archeology Review is a journal that comes out 6 times a year. It discusses issues involving Archeology in the Middle East. Several years ago they had an article on the discovery of the Pool of Saloam that was in use at the time of Christ (it isn't where they show you on the tours. That one was built during the Crusades). In this last issue they report on the fraud trial about the osuary that contanes the inscription "James the brother of Jesus." BTW, the judge has advised the procecution to drop the case. The journal is on the liberal side but they do a good job of showing both sides of a controversy.

jesuslover1968
Feb 4th 2009, 11:18 PM
Yep. "Jesus wept", He was rejected and that was so clear to Him when he approached Jerusalem.

I wonder if Israel is still looking/waiting for the Messiah? I would suppose the orthodox Jews are. The remnant knows He came and is waiting for Him to come back. But the country as a whole ... it seems so secular now.


They are still waiting for their Messiah. :( Yes, Much of Israel is secular. But the time is coming...:pp

SeattleSun
Feb 4th 2009, 11:54 PM
They are still waiting for their Messiah. :( Yes, Much of Israel is secular. But the time is coming...:pp

Maranatha!

I'll put more questions tomorrow!

My Stott devo this morning has to do with v 20, which is coming up, good stuff!

Morality and Holiness (cont’d.)
536. Christian righteousness
When Jesus said that Christian righteousness must exceed
pharisaic righteousness (Mt. 5:20), he meant that Christian
righteousness accepts the full implications of the law without
trying to dodge them. It recognizes that the law's domain
extends beyond the actual deed to the word, and beyond the word
to the thoughts and motives of the heart. Pharisaic
righteousness was an outward conformity to human traditions;
Christian righteousness is an inward conformity of mind and
heart to the revealed will of God.
--From "Christ the Controversialist" (London: Tyndale Press,
1970), p. 150.

It would take me pages to say that.

shepherdsword
Feb 5th 2009, 09:05 AM
Let me tell you, when you go to seminary studying becomes a way of life and it never ends. That's why I do things like subscribe to Biblical Archeology Review and come here.

You will definitely learn things here that you won't learn in seminary

Cloudwalker
Feb 5th 2009, 03:53 PM
You will definitely learn things here that you won't learn in seminary

Got that right. Even when you have gone to as many schools as I have. You learn something different in each place.

SeattleSun
Feb 5th 2009, 04:22 PM
Got that right. Even when you have gone to as many schools as I have. You learn something different in each place.

Good morning! I'm sure learning a lot, and even was able to apply it at church last night. I love these breakthroughs ... hearing the layers of His words.

Thanks all! :hug:

SeattleSun
Feb 5th 2009, 04:29 PM
6. How will our response to the Law determine our status in the kingdom of heaven (v 19)?

7. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were zealous about observing the law. How can our righteousness possibly surpass theirs (v. 20)?

8. Jesus states that only those who have this surpassing righteousness will enter the kingdom of heaven. How can this be harmonized with His statement about the poor in spirit (those who admit their spiritual bankruptcy) entering the kingdom (5:3)?

9. Some people claim that Jesus abolished the law for the Christian and that we are only responsible for obeying the "law of love". Respond to this view in light of Jesus' words in this passage.

10. How should you study and apply the OT law today?

SeattleSun
Feb 6th 2009, 12:24 AM
6. How will our response to the Law determine our status in the kingdom of heaven (v 19)?



John 14:15 If you love Me you will keep My commandments.

The righteousness that meets God's standard is faith in Jesus and if we love Him, we will strive to conform to His commandments. Love thy neighbor as thyself encompasses the Law -- murder, theft, cheating, coveting, but from a different perspective (kind of). We're regenerated with new hearts, we're newly enabled to love others as God loves us. Our hearts guide our behavior, but the Law never leaves us.


7. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were zealous about observing the law. How can our righteousness possibly surpass theirs (v. 20)?


I don't think Jesus used sarcasm, maybe He did in a divine sort of way, but He was calling out that brood of vipers. He was exposing them to the people for who they were. They were self-righteous and corrupt and to act as they did would condemn you. In God's eyes we are righteous because He imparted (imputed, I get those confused) His righteousness to us. We surpass because we believe.


8. Jesus states that only those who have this surpassing righteousness will enter the kingdom of heaven. How can this be harmonized with His statement about the poor in spirit (those who admit their spiritual bankruptcy) entering the kingdom (5:3)?


Those who admit their spiritual bankruptcy and sinfulness know they need a Savior. "No one comes to the Father but through Me." The Pharisees in their self-righteousness were blind to their sin and lack of faith or belief. They had their religion, and there was no room for God in it.


9. Some people claim that Jesus abolished the law for the Christian and that we are only responsible for obeying the "law of love". Respond to this view in light of Jesus' words in this passage.


Lol, there's a long thread on this in BC, and probably a lot of others like it. My quick take: Gods Word is eternal and doesn't change. He wants us to follow the Law as He intended it, not legalistically but by faith to glorify Him, not to glorify ourselves because we didn't murder anyone today. We obey the Law because we love Him and others. I'm being redundant from #6, but obedience and love flows from our regenerated hearts and without faith, we are unregenerated, unforgiven sinner.

Rom 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

Salt and light.


10. How should you study and apply the OT law today?

I'm to honor the morality God expects of me. I'm as prone to idolatry as the Israelits were, though I probably would fall down in front of a gold calf. The warnings and judgments concerning idolatry couldn't be clearer, so I ignore at my own risk. Paul told us that the Law makes of aware of sin. I believe the law is not just public and private conduct, our works -- its primarily worshipping God by obeying Him without "grumbling".

Some specific regulations don't apply -- one sacrifice was sufficient.

That was completely fulfilled at the cross. The veil was torn, reconciliation was complete. Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father. And His heavenly ministry began. :pp

shepherdsword
Feb 7th 2009, 11:24 AM
I like where Paul states he received grace for "obedience to the faith"

Rom1:
5By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:


That's what makes the fulfillment of the law, as reduced to Lev 19:18 and Duet 6:5 by Jesus himself ,possible. God's grace is an enabling power that gives us the ability to love. However, our duty goes BEYOND the law.
The law said "Love your neighbor as yourself" Jesus said a NEW commandment I give to you. "Love each other as I have loved you"

JN 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

This goes a bit beyond OT law don't you think? How can we possibly love each other with the love that Jesus love us with? A love that was willing to die for the recipients? I can possibly love you as I love myself because that love is qualified by a prior intensity demonstrated towards myself. But how can I possibly love you as Jesus has loved me? When he left heaven and became a man(like me becoming a maggot) and then poured THAT life out? As if he spread his arms and said I would rather not exist than not have you? This is powerful stuff and in need of some careful consideration...How can we love each other like that?

Only by considering Grace an enabling power.

Cloudwalker
Feb 7th 2009, 04:44 PM
JN 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

This goes a bit beyond OT law don't you think? How can we possibly love each other with the love that Jesus love us with? A love that was willing to die for the recipients? I can possibly love you as I love myself because that love is qualified by a prior intensity demonstrated towards myself. But how can I possibly love you as Jesus has loved me? When he left heaven and became a man(like me becoming a maggot) and then poured THAT life out? As if he spread his arms and said I would rather not exist than not have you? This is powerful stuff and in need of some careful consideration...How can we love each other like that?

Only by considering Grace an enabling power.

In our own power it is impossible. But as Paul also writes "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." It is only as we live in Christs power moment by moment that we can do it.

shepherdsword
Feb 8th 2009, 06:02 AM
In our own power it is impossible. But as Paul also writes "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." It is only as we live in Christs power moment by moment that we can do it.

whew..tell me about it.

If I can learn to drive ( and post on this forum;))with a sermon on the mount attitude I will be well on my way.

shepherdsword
Feb 9th 2009, 08:29 AM
whew..tell me about it.

If I can learn to drive ( and post on this forum;))with a sermon on the mount attitude I will be well on my way.



*edit*

I just want to say I am enjoying this study. Cw and SS you guys are both awesome

Cloudwalker
Feb 9th 2009, 05:24 PM
*edit*

I just want to say I am enjoying this study. Cw and SS you guys are both awesome

:blush: Thanks.

shepherdsword
Feb 13th 2009, 03:35 AM
:blush: Thanks.
Are we done? Where is SS?

SeattleSun
Feb 13th 2009, 03:44 AM
Life interrputed. Good stuff, amazing stuff!

I'm sorry for the lull, We need to go on! I'm truly thirsting for righteousness and I think I may have my head on kinda straight. Now. For the time being. I'm just messed up, but by His grace ...

jesuslover1968
Feb 13th 2009, 04:16 PM
Life interrputed. Good stuff, amazing stuff!

I'm sorry for the lull, We need to go on! I'm truly thirsting for righteousness and I think I may have my head on kinda straight. Now. For the time being. I'm just messed up, but by His grace ...


what's up? :hug:

SeattleSun
Feb 13th 2009, 08:43 PM
what's up? :hug:

:kiss: Not much, wassup witchu?

Questions coming right up!

SeattleSun
Feb 13th 2009, 08:53 PM
Part 4 -- What's Wrong With Private Sin? Matt. 5:21-30

Anger, rudeness and vengeance can often seem justified when we have been antagonized. Private thoughts of lust may seem harless. Jesus, however, calls these attitudes "murder" and "adultery."

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to get along with an irritating individual?

In what ways has your thought life pleased or disappointed God this week?

The scribes and Pharisees calulated that the Law contained 248 commandments and 365 prohibitions. But they were better at arithmetic than obedience. So they tried to make the Law's demands less demanding and the Law's permissions more permissive. Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus seeks to reverse this tendency. He came to deepen, not destroy, the Law's demands. In this passage He explains the true meaning of the sixth and seventh commandments, the prohibitions against murder and adultery.

Matt 5:21"You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.'

22"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
23"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
25"Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
26"Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
27"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY';
28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29"If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30"If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

SeattleSun
Feb 13th 2009, 08:57 PM
1. What standard does Jesus use for determining right and wrong?

2. In verses 21-22 Jesus places murder and unrighteous anger in the same category. How are they related?

3. Jesus warns against calling someone Raca (an Aramaic word meaning "empty" or "stupid") or "You fool!" (v 22). Why do you think insults such as these consitute murder in God's sight?

4. What has caused you to lose your temper with people?

Cloudwalker
Feb 13th 2009, 09:53 PM
1. What standard does Jesus use for determining right and wrong?

The standard Jesus used was using the spirit of the Law not just the letter. If an act is wrong the thought that precipitates it is just as wrong. For example, if stealing is wrong then lusting after something someone else has is just as wrong.


2. In verses 21-22 Jesus places murder and unrighteous anger in the same category. How are they related?

Murder is the ultimate act of anger. When you get angry, and if you do not keep your anger under control, you lash out. Murder is the ultimate act of lashing out.


3. Jesus warns against calling someone Raca (an Aramaic word meaning "empty" or "stupid") or "You fool!" (v 22). Why do you think insults such as these consitute murder in God's sight?

Raca, or it's equilivant expressions, are expressions of anger. You don't call someone a fool, (or stupid, or idiot or any of the other similar words) unless you are angery with them. And, as for the relation of anger to murder see question 2.


4. What has caused you to lose your temper with people?

We don't have that much space. I can have a bad temper if I don't keep it under control. I have been practicing that controle for numerous years and so I don't loose my temper often any more.

jesuslover1968
Feb 13th 2009, 10:55 PM
4. What has caused you to lose your temper with people?


I have also been trying to keep my anger under control. A lot of times, I will just not say anything to the person I feel angry toward, or exasperated, etc...I find that if I can hold that tongue for just a few minutes, my anger subsides somewhat, though I still lose my temper at times...more than I would like...:lol:
Usually anger or exasperation as stated above causes me to lose my temper. That doesn't mean it is always righteous. Most of the time, when I feel it is, I later realize that it wasn't, and I have to repent. Thank God for His SON!! :pp

SeattleSun
Feb 13th 2009, 10:57 PM
I got nothing to add!

Evil thoughts in our hearts, whether we act on them or not are not hidden and are serious sins. Are heart attitudes can be anger, hatred, vengeance or pride (among others). Some verses (there's so many):

Ps. 51:6Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

1 Jo 3:15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Heb 12:15See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

And the cure to the above as facilitated by the Spirit and knowledge of God's standards as He has revealed:

Prov 4:23Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.


Raca, or it's equilivant expressions, are expressions of anger. You don't call someone a fool, (or stupid, or idiot or any of the other similar words) unless you are angery with them.

Can this be projected into cursing God Himself by cursing His creation made in His image? That act demanded death (Lev. 24:15-16).


4. What has caused you to lose your temper with people?

With people I know, I tend to have hurt feelings rather than anger, but that's pride and wanting to please man and not God. Although I may not respond in anger, my response is still sinful by justifying impure impulses.

With people I don't know, its usually some guy who almost crashes into me (bad, bad traffic in Seattle), and I tend to say "raca!". And I can get very impatient in lines, which leads to feeling angry. That I can stop, either by looking for a quicker line, or just waiting with a corrected attitude by God's mercy. Both such examples, the anger is fleeting.

SeattleSun
Feb 14th 2009, 03:07 AM
I'm pondering my avatar ... "Crown of Love" Yep, He loves us, more than we can fathom. Loving others is His second commandment.

Lu 12:49"I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!

50"But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!
51"Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division;
52for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53"They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

Righteous anger for His church to be formed and unified? Take up My cross and follow Me? Not even sure what I'm commenting on!

1 Pet 4:16but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.

That verse really cuts deep, not that I've "suffered", I've never been persecuted. But I have experienced the division because of my beliefs. But He has strengthened me.

I should change my av for this study!

SeattleSun
Feb 15th 2009, 12:36 AM
5. What do vv 23-26 teach us about broken relationships?

6. Why is Jesus concerned that reconciliation and apologies be made quickly?

7. When have you either initiated forgiveness or had someone initiate it with you?

What was the outcome?

SeattleSun
Feb 16th 2009, 12:58 AM
5. What do vv 23-26 teach us about broken relationships?


Whatever caused the break, anger can be at the root, and if anger is in our hearts, we are murderers in God's eyes. That separates us from Him.

Ps. 66:18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

And its probably not one person's "fault", there's two sides that the parties need to consider.


6. Why is Jesus concerned that reconciliation and apologies be made quickly?


The seriousness of the offense. And like salvation, tomorrow may be too late. We were reconciled to God at the moment of salvation and He expects no less from us in our relationships.


7. When have you either initiated forgiveness or had someone initiate it with you?


Raw question! I have been much more humbled when someone has asked for my forgiveness than asking for another's. If I've been unfair or mean, I know it ... I grieve. I have to ask for their forgiveness. Humbly. And I keep trying. This passage has weighed heavy on my heart in the past.


What was the outcome?

Good, a relief. But we can't change another's heart, we can pray, we can try again, but we can't look back. There's only so much that we can do to reconcile to any degree.

SeattleSun
Feb 17th 2009, 03:26 AM
Looks like I'll be finishing this up by myself. Thanks who all who participated. :hug:

jesuslover1968
Feb 17th 2009, 05:14 PM
Looks like I'll be finishing this up by myself. Thanks who all who participated. :hug:


what do you mean?

Cloudwalker
Feb 17th 2009, 05:17 PM
I'm still with you.

SeattleSun
Feb 17th 2009, 05:28 PM
I thought everyone left. :( And now you're back! :pp

jesuslover1968
Feb 17th 2009, 05:36 PM
I thought everyone left. :( And now you're back! :pp


we were around...:pp we wouldn't desert you!!

SeattleSun
Feb 17th 2009, 05:40 PM
we were around...:pp we wouldn't desert you!!

I know! :hug: Hmmm, did you bring any dessert? :lol:

shepherdsword
Feb 18th 2009, 11:25 AM
I thought everyone left. :( And now you're back! :pp

Hey..we thought YOU deserted US !:kiss:

shepherdsword
Feb 18th 2009, 11:28 AM
I didn't respond to the last set because CW did such a good job.


from now on when he does that I'll give a :amen:

jesuslover1968
Feb 18th 2009, 02:59 PM
I know! :hug: Hmmm, did you bring any dessert? :lol:


I ate all the cheetos...:cry: :hug: :lol:

SeattleSun
Feb 18th 2009, 06:25 PM
:wave:

8. What, according to Jesus, is the full meaning of the seventh commandment: "Do not commit adultery" (vv 27-28)?

9. Lust has been compared to "a cannibal committing suicide by nibbling on himself". How have you seen lust hurt yourself and others?

10. Some Christians have taken vv 29-30 literally and have mutilated their bodies. How do you think Jesus intends us to understand his warnings?

In what situations might you need to "gouge out an eye" or "cut off a hand"?

shepherdsword
Feb 19th 2009, 03:40 AM
:wave:

8. What, according to Jesus, is the full meaning of the seventh commandment: "Do not commit adultery" (vv 27-28)?

Jesus said he that looks on a woman to lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.Once again we see Jesus taking the law to a whole new level by the Spirit.


9. Lust has been compared to "a cannibal committing suicide by nibbling on himself". How have you seen lust hurt yourself and others?I became a Christian at 19 but I still struggled with lust for years. I am a single man and I kept falling into fornication with different women. God just refused to send me a wife. This struggle continued all through my twenties,thirties and early forties. I am 46 and have only been walking what can be considered a solid walk for 4 years. The rest of the time was spent in periodic bouts of drinking,smoking pot and fornication.I was up and down like a see-saw. Much of my instability was due to me judging God as not having my best interests at heart when refusing to send me a wife. I would walk stable for a year or even two then get discouraged and go on a partying binge when he refused to answer my prayer. The backsliding periods would last anywhere from 9 months to a year and then I would start the cycle all over again. I am still single. I still desire to get married but I have learned to live with God's refusal to answer that prayer. It isn't likely that I will start a family in my late 40s anyway. So I have put that idol down. I can truthfully say that lust has almost destroyed my destiny and walk with Jesus. Only his mercy has brought me to where I am now. As for what the word says on the effect of lust:

1 Co 6:18

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.




10. Some Christians have taken vv 29-30 literally and have mutilated their bodies. How do you think Jesus intends us to understand his warnings?

In what situations might you need to "gouge out an eye" or "cut off a hand"?This may sound crude and I know this is mixed company. I will phrase this as tactfully as possible. The "hand" and the "eye" references are to the members that we use when we engage in solitary vice. The context is clear. He tells us that imagining lust in our hearts is adultery.He then goes on to say that if these particular members cause us to sin then we should cut them off. I think all of us engaged in this study know he was speaking figuratively. I think it was an early church father named Origen that self castrated himself due to this situation. However,Jesus was just telling us the gravity of the sin by saying it would be better to enter into the kingdom maimed that go to hell because of it.

jesuslover1968
Feb 19th 2009, 04:49 PM
Morning guys!! :wave:

SeattleSun
Feb 19th 2009, 06:33 PM
Good morning! :wave:

SW, thanks for your honesty and insights. It must've been a miserable struggle until you came to your understanding. But its never too late! How old was Abraham? Children may not be your earthly destiny (they weren't mine either), but a wife is never out of the question. :hug:

I remember when Jimmy Carter said he had lusted in his heart and I broke out laughing. I wasn't a Christian then and had NO idea what he was talking about except he sounded so pious in a phony way. Just saying that makes me wonder though how he defined "lust" ... I can see a good looking man and think to myself "that's a good looking man!". I believe some people go too far in the definition. Noticing that someone is attractive isn't sinful if that's all it is, an observation.

But now I understand how dangerous it is when the observation progresses into obsession of always looking and measuring your spouse against another. Let alone porn entering the equation. That's a whole other level.

I'm not going to spell this right ... the "aestetics"? Those guys if they felt something they deemed unholy would throw themselves in a thicket of thorns or something equally painful. Maybe Origen was one of them. Not at all convinced that would be the proper response. Wouldn't the pain just remind you of your lustful temptation, allowing it to rise up again versus relying on Jesus to overcome? Joseph literally fled, he didn't hurt himself, although Potiphar put him in prison.

Dani H
Feb 20th 2009, 04:59 AM
Just sticking my head in to say I read the entire thing (really, I did) and enjoyed it.

The Sermon on the Mount, to me, is how we're really supposed to be living. It only makes sense if you understand Jesus, and God's true requirements, and what love is capable of.

Keep on keeping on. :hug:

onfire4god
Feb 20th 2009, 05:26 AM
I'm still making my way through this but what I have read so far I have enjoyed.

I have learned a lot and will probably learn more the more I read.

SeattleSun
Feb 20th 2009, 05:33 PM
Good morning! :wave: OF4G and Dani! :hug: Welcome and jump right in. Time for Part 5!

Faithfulness in Marriage and Speech - Matt 5:31-37; 19:3-9

There is almost no unhappiness so painful as that of an unhappy marriage. And there is almost no tragedy as great as when a relationship God meant for love and fulfillment degenerates into a nonrelationship of bitterness, discord and despair.

Group Discussion - Your group has been asked to write an article entitled "The Top Ten Reasons Why Marriages Fail". What reasons will you give for the breakup of marriages?

Personal Reflection - If you are married, ask God to use this study to give you some insight into your marriage. If you are single, ask God to use this study to help you encourage someone who is married.

Divorce is a controversial and complex subject that touches people's emotions at a deep level. Yet in spite of the painfulness of the subject, I [Dr. S.] am conviced that the teaching of Jesus on this and every subject is good - intrisically good for individuals and for society. In this passage, Jesus calls us to faithfulness in marriage and honesty in speech.

Matt 5:31"It was said, 'WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE';
32but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33"Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.'
34"But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING.
36"Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37"But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil.

Matt 19:3Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?"
4And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,
5and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'?
6"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
7They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?"
8He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9"And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."

SeattleSun
Feb 20th 2009, 05:42 PM
I'm in my 50's, never married. Reasons I've seen that couples divorce:

1. Money
2. Adultery
3. Growing Apart, boredom in the relationship
4. Jealousy
5. Sickness

I also knew one couple who went from love to literally hating each other for no apparent reason. :confused

jesuslover1968
Feb 20th 2009, 05:46 PM
Hey guys!! :wave:

SeattleSun
Feb 20th 2009, 06:06 PM
Hey guys!!

Hey backatcha! :wave:

Stole your smiley.

SeattleSun
Feb 20th 2009, 06:10 PM
1. How do Jesus' statements contrast with the questions He was asked?

2. Rabbi Shammai taught that devorce was permitted on in extreme cases. Rabbi Hillel taught that is was permitted for any and every reason. How does this help us to understand the Pharisees' "test" question (v 19:3)?

3. Jesus points back to Genesis. What does this teach us about God's original design for marriage (vv 19:4-6)?

4. How can you prepare for a marriage that meets God's original design?

What difference does God's design make in living as a married couple?

jesuslover1968
Feb 20th 2009, 06:23 PM
I would say the number one reason: pride.

jesuslover1968
Feb 20th 2009, 06:40 PM
1. How do Jesus' statements contrast with the questions He was asked?

The questions Jesus was asked were intended to trip Him up and prove Him wrong. Not sure what he is looking for here. They differ in that Jesus had the truth and they did not. Because of their fallen natures divorce had been permitted but that is not what God intended from the beginning.



2. Rabbi Shammai taught that divorce was permitted in extreme cases. Rabbi Hillel taught that is was permitted for any and every reason. How does this help us to understand the Pharisees' "test" question (v 19:3)?

They wanted to trip Him up, probably knowing that He would tell the truth, which is that that was not the way it was meant to be from the beginning. I think they took every opportunity to discredit Jesus to the public.





3. Jesus points back to Genesis. What does this teach us about God's original design for marriage (vv 19:4-6)?

That it was intended for life, with one man and one woman. That the two would become one...a shadow of Jesus and the Church.


4. How can you prepare for a marriage that meets God's original design?
know what it is and do it.


What difference does God's design make in living as a married couple?
Not sure what he is looking for, either. Possibly that we are to love the other unconditionally( as Jesus loves His Church...) put the other before self because the other is PART of self...

Gee, I feel totally ignorant after trying to answer that set of questions...:lol:

SeattleSun
Feb 20th 2009, 07:03 PM
Gee, I feel totally ignorant after trying to answer that set of questions...:lol:

At least you're married! Think how I feel about these. :lol:

1. Jesus didn't even reply to their questions except to ask them a question.

2. In 19:3, they specifically say "for any reason at all", so they must've held to Rabbi Hillel's liberal interpretation of Scripture. Not sure where I read this, but a man could divorce his wife for burning dinner or something equally trivial.

3. Jesus keeps talking about marriage and the Pharisees only want to talk about divorce. Its telling that He said to them:

8He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9"And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."

Moses ... not God.

4. I'm skipping this one. :lol:

Question 2 is interesting to me in light of this question though about living as a married couple. Scripture tells us that the man has authority over his wife and he has many duties in that role. But I've seen people take the same "extreme" views as these two rabbis in their marriages. I've seen couples in what I can only describe as a "master/slave" relationship, including abuse and then the opposite, being married in name only.

Biblical marriages are beautiful when the couples live as God designed. Not that those couples don't have problems, or fights or whatever. They do! Okay, I'll stop ... I don't know what I'm talking about.



I would say the number one reason: pride.


Succinct answer Misty, and everything else flows from it.

jesuslover1968
Feb 20th 2009, 07:21 PM
Question 2 is interesting to me in light of this question though about living as a married couple. Scripture tells us that the man has authority over his wife and he has many duties in that role. But I've seen people take the same "extreme" views as these two rabbis in their marriages. I've seen couples in what I can only describe as a "master/slave" relationship, including abuse and then the opposite, being married in name only.

Biblical marriages are beautiful when the couples live as God designed. Not that those couples don't have problems, or fights or whatever. They do! Okay, I'll stop ... I don't know what I'm talking about.


you are absolutely correct. The reason women were so mistreated in the Bible. It wasn't because God ordained it, it was because the men took it to extremes. They believed that they were "better" and "superior" to women. Only those who knew God ( by faith ) understood this, even though they didn't all comply with it. It brings to mind David and Bathsheba. I wonder if she had any say in the matter...or if that mattered...
Those who came to know God though, knew that a woman is in submission to men because they were designed as the needier sex, not because they were lesser beings.
My hubby tells me I wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes with the men in Bible times...:lol:. I believe he is probably right.:bounce:

SeattleSun
Feb 20th 2009, 08:00 PM
you are absolutely correct. The reason women were so mistreated in the Bible. It wasn't because God ordained it, it was because the men took it to extremes. They believed that they were "better" and "superior" to women. Only those who knew God ( by faith ) understood this, even though they didn't all comply with it. It brings to mind David and Bathsheba. I wonder if she had any say in the matter...or if that mattered...
Those who came to know God though, knew that a woman is in submission to men because they were designed as the needier sex, not because they were lesser beings.
My hubby tells me I wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes with the men in Bible times...:lol:. I believe he is probably right.:bounce:

Interesting thought about David and Bathsheba, I never considered her position before. Maybe she was totally flattered by the king's attention, the old saying that power is the greatest aphrodisiac.

Boaz and Ruth sure modeled a biblical marriage as did Solomon and the Shulammite. Then there's Deborah, "wife of Lappidoth"; doesn't sound as though she lived in complete submission to her husband or Jael in Judges 6:24-27. Not many men are going to mess with a woman who can stick a tent peg through your head. :D

I see you as a Deborah! :hug:

jesuslover1968
Feb 20th 2009, 08:25 PM
I see you as a Deborah! :hug:


aww...I'll take that as a compliment! :hug:

SeattleSun
Feb 20th 2009, 08:48 PM
aww...I'll take that as a compliment! :hug:

As it was intended. :hug:

Cloudwalker
Feb 21st 2009, 04:05 AM
Divorce is a very painful experience. In my case it almost destroyed me (and would have if I had had an easy way of killing myself, I came close). One reason it is so painful is that it is the death of a relationship. In a real sense as real a death as if the spouse had actually died, only worse because the person is alive and you may encounter them over and over again, at any time (even if you don't have kids thrown into the mix that forces contact). Each time you encounter that person you are forced to live anew the death of that relationship.

SeattleSun
Feb 21st 2009, 04:31 AM
Yikes David. :hug: Very few mourn as you do.

I was a coward. Not brave enough to take that step into matrimony, even though it wouldv'e been secular.

The pain would be the same.

I'm switching this part of the study into the wife of Jehovah. Pull out your Dr. F books.

:kiss:

onfire4god
Feb 21st 2009, 04:54 AM
Hey Seattle
My parents were married for 25 or 27 years before they got divorced. They wanted to wait until us kids were older. I was 16 when they separated. We all knew it was coming though cuz my parents fought all the time. It was hard cuz I'm a Daddy's girl and my dad moved out. He lives in Raleigh now so I don't get to see him a lot but I do talk to him on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong I love my mom but I've always been closer to my dad.

shepherdsword
Feb 21st 2009, 07:42 AM
Divorce is a very painful experience. In my case it almost destroyed me (and would have if I had had an easy way of killing myself, I came close). One reason it is so painful is that it is the death of a relationship. In a real sense as real a death as if the spouse had actually died, only worse because the person is alive and you may encounter them over and over again, at any time (even if you don't have kids thrown into the mix that forces contact). Each time you encounter that person you are forced to live anew the death of that relationship.

I am not emotionally capable of withstanding a divorce. I have had several chances to get married but like SS I got cold feet. I even bought one young lady a ring. However,we did argue quite a bit(most of it was my fault)and I just knew it wasn't God's will. It fact after I bought her the ring at the jeweler's in the Broward Mall I almost passed out. I had to sit down. She took one look at me and thought I was having a heart attack( and I was in a certain manner of speaking) I KNEW at that moment it wasn't God but instead I put us both through another 2 months of pain before I broke it off..to her delight I might add. She was dating someone else within a month. If I married her it wouldn't have lasted a year and I would have been placed on suicide watch.

SeattleSun
Feb 21st 2009, 05:14 PM
Hey Seattle
My parents were married for 25 or 27 years before they got divorced. They wanted to wait until us kids were older. I was 16 when they separated. We all knew it was coming though cuz my parents fought all the time. It was hard cuz I'm a Daddy's girl and my dad moved out. He lives in Raleigh now so I don't get to see him a lot but I do talk to him on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong I love my mom but I've always been closer to my dad.

:hug: That's a long time to be married and so sad that they couldn't work it out. It must have been very difficult at such a young age to live in a house with tension, let alone the fighting. I'm sorry you don't get to see your dad all the time, but you love each other and he will always be there for you! :kiss:


I am not emotionally capable of withstanding a divorce. I have had several chances to get married but like SS I got cold feet. I even bought one young lady a ring. However,we did argue quite a bit(most of it was my fault)and I just knew it wasn't God's will. It fact after I bought her the ring at the jeweler's in the Broward Mall I almost passed out. I had to sit down. She took one look at me and thought I was having a heart attack( and I was in a certain manner of speaking) I KNEW at that moment it wasn't God but instead I put us both through another 2 months of pain before I broke it off..to her delight I might add. She was dating someone else within a month. If I married her it wouldn't have lasted a year and I would have been placed on suicide watch.

I know exactly what you were going through. You get all these thoughts in your head and not sure what they all mean...except get a grip and stop. I don't look back with any regret that I made the wrong decision and I've never closed the door that one day God will put a man in my path so we can take care of each other in our later years and for whatever purpose He has for us. But if not, I'm okay with that too. :hug:

SeattleSun
Feb 21st 2009, 05:28 PM
I'm switching this part of the study into the wife of Jehovah. Pull out your Dr. F books.


Such bad form to quote yourself. :lol: The next series of questions are what God thinks of divorce, not what man wants to interpret. Dr. F is Arthur Fruchtenbaum, and this is a summary of his teaching from his book "The Footsteps of the Messiah":

The Wife of Jehovah and the Bride of Messiah
There is a great deal of confusion surrounding the terms "Wife of Jehovah" and "Bride of Christ." Even though both names are easily noticed in Scripture, the big question is: Who do these phrases refer to? Dr. Fruchtenbaum's Messianic Bible Study "The Wife of Jehovah and the Bride of Messiah" gives a clear and thorough explanation. The following is a summary.INTRODUCTION
There are certain key distinctions in the Scriptures. If one does not understand these biblical distinctions, the Scriptures become contradictory because one part of the Bible says “you may” and another says “you may not” concerning the very same subject. One of these key biblical distinctions is the one between Israel and the Church. In the Bible, Israel is represented as the “Wife of Jehovah,” whereas the Church is represented as the “Bride of the Christ (Messiah).” A failure to maintain that distinction will only result in a misinterpretation of what the Scriptures teach.
I. ISRAEL: THE WIFE OF JEHOVAH
The relationship of Israel as the Wife of Jehovah is viewed throughout the Scriptures in various ways and facets. This relationship can be broken down into six distinct stages.
A. Stage One: The Marriage Contract
The entire format of the Book of Deuteronomy is that of both an ancient treaty and an ancient marriage contract. In this book, Moses took all the various facets of the three earlier books and presented them in the form of an ancient marriage contract. In this book we find the marriage contract signed between Israel and God whereby Israel becomes the Wife of Jehovah.
There are key passages that demonstrate how the Book of Deuteronomy fits into the scheme of a marriage contract. The first passage is found in Deuteronomy 5:1-3, which declares that God entered into a covenant with His people Israel at Mount Sinai. As it will be seen later in the study, the Jewish prophets always viewed this covenant-relationship as a marriage contract. In Deuteronomy 6:10-15, God announces His jealousy over His Wife, Israel: You shall fear Jehovah your God; and him shall you serve, and shall swear by his name. You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples that are round about you; for Jehovah your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; lest the anger of Jehovah your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth (Deut. 6:13-15). In this passage, Israel is warned against committing adultery through the worship of other gods because God’s burning jealousy will be kindled against her and will eventually cause her expulsion out of the Land.
Ezekiel is one example of the Jewish prophets who viewed this covenant-relationship as a marriage contract: Now when I passed by you, and looked upon you, behold, your time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yea, I swore unto you, and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord Jehovah, and you became mine (Ezekiel 16:8).
B. Stage Two: The Great Adultery
Several Old Testament prophets described Israel’s great adultery. Jeremiah 3:1-5 shows Israel being guilty of playing the harlot with many lovers and in verse 3:20 Israel is compared to a wife who has turned away from her husband. Israel was a wife guilty of adultery: Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, So have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel, says Jehovah. According to Jeremiah 31:32, the original marriage contract was broken because of this adultery: ... not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, said Jehovah. A long passage in chapter 16 of Ezekiel also describes this great adultery (Ezekiel 16:15-34), and Hosea 2:2-5 declares the charge God had against Israel: she was guilty of harlotry.
C. Stage Three: The Separation
Because of this adultery, a separation took place between God and Israel in the days of Isaiah. In Isaiah 50:1 God spoke to the prophet stating that God had not yet divorced His Wife. If God had divorced her, He would have given her a bill of divorcement; and since no such bill of divorcement was in hand, it meant that a divorce had not taken place. This separation lasted approximately one hundred years.
D. Stage Four: The Divorce
The one hundred years of separation failed to produce repentance in Israel and finally God had no other choice but to issue the bill of divorcement on the grounds of adultery. This bill of divorcement is contained in Jeremiah 3:6-10. To a great extent, almost all of Jeremiah can be declared to be God’s bill of divorcement of Israel, but especially this passage in chapter three.
E. Stage Five: The Punishment
Several Old Testament prophecies speak of the punishment of Israel for her unfaithfulness: Ezekiel 16:35-43 and Hosea 2:6-13 are two examples. The aim of this punishment is not simply so that God could be vengeful toward Israel, but rather to cause her to stop sinning and to stop her adulteries (Ezekiel 16:43). Also, the purpose of the punishment is to show Israel her need for her true husband and not for her false lovers (Hosea 2:7b). Although God has a long program of punishment for Israel’s sins, throughout the period of punishment there is a continual call to repentance. This call is presented in Jeremiah 3:11-18.
F. Stage Six: The Remarriage with Restored Blessings
The Jewish prophets did not leave things hopeless. They spoke of a coming day when Israel will again become the restored Wife of Jehovah. This will require a brand-new marriage contract, which is found in Jeremiah 31:31-34. What is often known as the new covenant is in many respects a new marriage contract that God will make with both the houses of Israel and Judah. This new covenant of marriage will be necessary because the old marriage covenant was broken. This remarriage contract is also described in Ezekiel 16:60-63. According to Ezekiel, God will enter into an everlasting covenant with Israel in the future.
The restoration of Israel as Jehovah’s Wife is also described in Isaiah 54:1-8, and the remarriage is further described in Isaiah 62:4-5. Hosea, who had much to say about the adulteries of Israel, also spoke of Israel’s reunion with her husband. Hosea 2:14-23 describes the courtship and the wooing in the wilderness and shows the four results of this reunion.

http://ariel.org/ffruit.htm#top

The Mosaic provision for divorce which the Pharisees tested Jesus:

Deut 24:1"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house,

2and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man's wife,
3and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, 4then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.

SeattleSun
Feb 21st 2009, 10:08 PM
5. The Pharisees refer to Moses' instructions about divorce as a "command" (v 7). What does Jesus' reply teach us about divorce (v 8)?

In what ways might divorce reveal the hardness of our hearts?

6. What similarities and differences are there between 19:9 and 5:31-32?

How do these verses stress the seriousness of divorce?

7. How does Jesus' teaching contrast with today's views you and your peers have held concerning marriage and divorce?

shepherdsword
Feb 22nd 2009, 06:58 AM
5. The Pharisees refer to Moses' instructions about divorce as a "command" (v 7). What does Jesus' reply teach us about divorce (v 8)?

That from the very beginning it was meant one man for one woman


In what ways might divorce reveal the hardness of our hearts?

It exposes the disposable option that we think we have regarding relationships. We think just about any relationship is disposable. This is a far cry from the heart of God.


6. What similarities and differences are there between 19:9 and 5:31-32?

The verse have the same qualification for a divorce that God recognizes. However one verse focuses on the man's personal sin and the other focuses on the sin he is indirectly causing.


How do these verses stress the seriousness of divorce?

They clearly show how much God hates it. However, I think the real issue to consider is how serious he considers marriage. It is a picture of Christ and the Church.


7. How does Jesus' teaching contrast with today's views you and your peers have held concerning marriage and divorce?

My views are governed by these verses. I will never marry unless I know that my wife will be as committed to the vows as I am. All you have to do is look at the divorce rate for the church and see it is as bad as the world's. This doesn't say much for our witness. It makes us look like total hypocrites when we preach "family" values.
Jesus help us.

Gregg
Feb 22nd 2009, 02:24 PM
We don't have that much space. I can have a bad temper if I don't keep it under control. I have been practicing that controle for numerous years and so I don't loose my temper often any more.

Hello folks! Just catching up Just read from Feb. 5th to here.

I do struggle at times with temper. I too have been trying to control my temper. Something crossed my mind when I read your comment above. Is it because "I" try to keep it under control? Can "I" expect victory if "I" am the one doing the controling? I know that with addictions or signature sins we do have God provided tools and work that helps us break the bondage, I also know from both experience and observation that those that seek God's help get the greatest success. Maybe this stays a thorn in my side until I fully give it to Jesus and then take "the outs" that he provides. That moment of hesitation just before I go off.

I am also not happy to learn that calling people Raca is mentioned specifically. I am guilty of that. Not so much to their face but in my head or to my friends about someone. As in "boy are they stupid." I didn't think it was in the gossip category. Now I have to go look up that scripture. Then pray, repent, and ask for help.

I think that the reason that I want to do this (at least I hope and pray that it is) is I want to feel closer to God, and when I sin I put up this barrier and don't feel close to him. He hasn't moved, I have. Maybe that is the difference between me the Pharisee (wanting to look holy) and me the Christian who wants to please and feel close to my Father and Savior?

Gregg
Feb 22nd 2009, 02:30 PM
In our own power it is impossible. But as Paul also writes "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." It is only as we live in Christs power moment by moment that we can do it.


Yes, I need a Savior to pay for my sins, to wash me clean, but then to change me to move on. This change that happens in me is the undeniable proof to me that God exists. I cannot change, the fact that I do...well to God goes the glory. The more I change the more my faith grows, the more my faith grows the more I love him, the more I love him the more I change. Thank you Jesus my Lord and Savior.

Gregg
Feb 22nd 2009, 02:41 PM
Looks like I'll be finishing this up by myself. Thanks who all who participated. :hug:

Calm down sparky.;):D What is that passage where God heard the prayer and dispatched an angel, but it took the angel a week to get there because he was battling demons? Well that is not what happened to me, but I did have a busy couple of weeks.

SeattleSun
Feb 23rd 2009, 03:09 AM
Calm down sparky.;):D What is that passage where God heard the prayer and dispatched an angel, but it took the angel a week to get there because he was battling demons? Well that is not what happened to me, but I did have a busy couple of weeks.

"Sparky"! :rofl:
:hug:

Okay, tomorrow I got questions and tangents. I have no idea why this subject is heavy on me, and the more I dig in, the more it doesn't clear things up.

First question -- Not talking kings here; just your normal working guy, married with kids (and the kids go to him). Why isn't the man subject to the law of adultery or jealousy? One man, one woman.

My tangents and questions flow into the next section on vows and oaths. And that led to more questions.

shepherdsword
Feb 23rd 2009, 08:54 AM
First question -- Not talking kings here; just your normal working guy, married with kids (and the kids go to him). Why isn't the man subject to the law of adultery or jealousy? One man, one woman.
.
:huh: I don't get the question

SeattleSun
Feb 23rd 2009, 06:19 PM
:huh: I don't get the question
Oops, sorry. Its seems the man who may lay with a woman not his wife got off scott free. Numbers 5:11-31 only addresses a woman that her husband suspects had defiled the marriage.

Also, adultery was a stoning offense, but then, like now, there likely were no witnesses to the actual act, hence the certificate of divorce.

I know later women were allowed to divorce their husbands if they were tanners or some other stinky trade, but I can only assume that a wife had to suffer her husband's infidelity with no recourse.

SeattleSun
Feb 23rd 2009, 07:50 PM
They clearly show how much God hates it. However, I think the real issue to consider is how serious he considers marriage. It is a picture of Christ and the Church.



:amen: Without having to go through the what He is going through with He wife Israel. And one day that marriage will be restored!

shepherdsword
Feb 23rd 2009, 11:11 PM
:amen: Without having to go through the what He is going through with He wife Israel. And one day that marriage will be restored!

I think we are hitting on the real mark here. God is looking for lovers.
For ones who will faithfully love him above all else. We can look at Israel and see his heart in this time and time again. We have a God who can do anything,create anything,and accomplish anything except one thing. He cannot make us love him. For this is happen we must freely choose.He rebukes Israel time and time again for esteeming the blessings he gave them over himself. In fact,his jealousy that was expressed when he took all those other blessings away wasn't vindictive judgment. It was so they would understand that he himself is the most precious thing of all.Has any of us gone through a breaking process that has left us stripped and destitute? Perhaps that process is too make us realize that the only thing of value is Jesus himself. Why do we cry for other things? Is our very prayer for these things idolatry? He is truly all we need.If we have him then we should be fully satisfied. This is how Paul learned to be content in whatsoever state he was in. He knew is having Jesus he had all he needed. We would be full of joy all the time if we had this revelation.
I was in our Sunday meeting yesterday and I was sharing some "profound and deep" revelation to everyone. When I was done this young girl said "I see it as being so simple, I just love Jesus"
There were a few of us who realized what had just happened. We, the great and learned men, had been beguiled like eve from a simple devotion to Jesus into eating from the tree of knowledge. It took a young girl,with a simple love for Jesus, to guide us back to the essential focus.
Loving him.:hug:

Cloudwalker
Feb 23rd 2009, 11:19 PM
TANGENT ALERT Just a little asside to ask you all to pray for me. I was asked Sat. to preach on "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done" on Sun. March 8 so I am scrambling to write my sermon. Divine providence already had me reading a Max Lucado book on the Lords Prayer, and had me in that section already. The Lord knows what's coming even when we don't. Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion.

shepherdsword
Feb 24th 2009, 12:00 AM
:pray:Lord I pray for CW and I asked that you give him an unction from you heart concerning this topic. :pray:I pray that it becomes more than a simple transfer of information but that your LIFE is poured from vessel to vessel.
In Jesus's name!
:amen:

SeattleSun
Feb 24th 2009, 12:08 AM
TANGENT ALERT Just a little asside to ask you all to pray for me. I was asked Sat. to preach on "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done" on Sun. March 8 so I am scrambling to write my sermon. Divine providence already had me reading a Max Lucado book on the Lords Prayer, and had me in that section already. The Lord knows what's coming even when we don't. Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion.

:pray:

That's sure short notice! Will the sermon be available online at some point? Would love to hear it!

Lord, we pray for Your wisdom and guidance as David prepares to teach on Your will and Your coming kingdom. We only spin our wheels when we don't pray in Your will. Grant David the clarity to reveal what can sometimes be a great mystery to the hearers of Your Word that they may become doers of Your Word. Come Lord Jesus.

Amen

SeattleSun
Feb 24th 2009, 12:39 AM
I think we are hitting on the real mark here. God is looking for lovers.
For ones who will faithfully love him above all else. We can look at Israel and see his heart in this time and time again. We have a God who can do anything,create anything,and accomplish anything except one thing. He cannot make us love him. For this is happen we must freely choose.He rebukes Israel time and time again for esteeming the blessings he gave them over himself. In fact,his jealousy that was expressed when he took all those other blessings away wasn't vindictive judgment. It was so they would understand that he himself is the most precious thing of all.

SW, you put this so well. I copied Dr. F's summary on the Wife of Jehovah because it is HIS wife and marriage. I'm no scholar, its difficult for me to put all the Scripture together, especially from the prophets and keeping the timing straight. But the Scripture shows how indignant, sorrowful and also hopeful He is towards His wife. We can spend so much time studying what God intends marriage to be and how divorce is the last resort and how serious lust is because of what it leads to, but how better to see all this when it is HIS wife.

Israel is the prodigal son. Jesus wept.



Has any of us gone through a breaking process that has left us stripped and destitute? Perhaps that process is too make us realize that the only thing of value is Jesus himself. Why do we cry for other things? Is our very prayer for these things idolatry? He is truly all we need.If we have him then we should be fully satisfied. This is how Paul learned to be content in whatsoever state he was in. He knew is having Jesus he had all he needed. We would be full of joy all the time if we had this revelation.


Can you imagine if we were without all the distractions we have today? How easy it is to turn any of these into idols, the slippery slope of engaging in something that is not sinful, but letting it become an abomination in His sight. His grace is everywhere, in you and me and we can completely miss it.

Blessed are those who are poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We should be fully satisfied, but I think our flesh just rebels -- we want control. And we do have control, to our detriment. I rebuke my mind and my heart when I plan evil in His sight. It works for a time, and it happens again.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

I'm so tired of mourning over my same sins, over and over, but He is loving and patient.



I was in our Sunday meeting yesterday and I was sharing some "profound and deep" revelation to everyone. When I was done this young girl said "I see it as being so simple, I just love Jesus"
There were a few of us who realized what had just happened. We, the great and learned men, had been beguiled like eve from a simple devotion to Jesus into eating from the tree of knowledge. It took a young girl,with a simple love for Jesus, to guide us back to the essential focus.
Loving him.:hug:


:hug: The faith of a child. Yep, that sums it up and is so humbling so we keep our eyes and hearts where they should be.

She said the profoundest and deepest statement there is! Sometimes I think we do theology as "sport" and lose focus on what the theology truly means... to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul.

shepherdsword
Feb 24th 2009, 01:27 AM
Can you imagine if we were without all the distractions we have today? How easy it is to turn any of these into idols, the slippery slope of engaging in something that is not sinful, but letting it become an abomination in His sight. His grace is everywhere, in you and me and we can completely miss it.Statements like these let me know we are really communicating!
This is EXACTLY what I am talking about. You just brought it out with greater clarity. It's the "little foxes" that destroy the vine. We are often on guard against gross sin. However, it is very easy to compromise with innocent pleasures and distractions. They have a way of sucking up our time without us really being aware of it. It's like being in a boat fishing and drifting downstream without noticing. Sometimes we have to wake up and paddle our way back to the essentials. Our whole study is on the Sermon on the Mount. I think the goal of all of us who are regular participants is to actually WALK these virtues out. We want to demonstrate them to a lost and dying word that will never see or read any word of God except what they see in us. Jesus told us that without him we can do nothing but if we abide in him we will bear much fruit. A passion and singlehearted desire to love him with our whole being is the only way to abide. You know, I find that it IS possible to love those that hate me when I am secure in my Father's love. It's when I am not secure in that love that I look for it in everyone else. Hence I get offended when people hate me. I guess we all need to realize trhat only God can give us the love we long for..not a mate..not a friend...

SeattleSun
Feb 24th 2009, 02:00 AM
Statements like these let me know we are really communicating!
This is EXACTLY what I am talking about. You just brought it out with greater clarity. It's the "little foxes" that destroy the vine. We are often on guard against gross sin. However, it is very easy to compromise with innocent pleasures and distractions. They have a way of sucking up our time without us really being aware of it. It's like being in a boat fishing and drifting downstream without noticing. Sometimes we have to wake up and paddle our way back to the essentials. Our whole study is on the Sermon on the Mount. I think the goal of all of us who are regular participants is to actually WALK these virtues out. We want to demonstrate them to a lost and dying word that will never see or read any word of God except what they see in us. Jesus told us that without him we can do nothing but if we abide in him we will bear much fruit. A passion and singlehearted desire to love him with our whole being is the only way to abide. You know, I find that it IS possible to love those that hate me when I am secure in my Father's love. It's when I am not secure in that love that I look for it in everyone else. Hence I get offended when people hate me. I guess we all need to realize trhat only God can give us the love we long for..not a mate..not a friend...

Aah, the foxes in the vineyard. ;) Sneaky and subtle little creatures, more clever than I am.

I sometimes forget about my security in His love. That's a sad statement, but I can be so comfortable in my complacency. I know He loved me the same yesterday, today and He'll love me the same tomorrow. I like the assurance of His consisteny -- how He never changes. John MacArthur wrote that we all need a bit of "real" persecution to shake us up. I get called names and put up with all sorts of nonsense. And my feelings get hurt. Well, big deal!

I may have mentioned this before, I don't remember. He sent me a verse over and over, I was in despair. I kept sending the verse to someone else! I didn't think it was for me, but it was.

His will was for me to be comforted, and I didn't accept it ... not right away. His grace is crashing waves, over and over.

I should comment on my women friends who never had relationships with their earthly fathers -- trust.

:hug:

Cloudwalker
Feb 24th 2009, 02:49 AM
:pray:

That's sure short notice! Will the sermon be available online at some point? Would love to hear it!

Lord, we pray for Your wisdom and guidance as David prepares to teach on Your will and Your coming kingdom. We only spin our wheels when we don't pray in Your will. Grant David the clarity to reveal what can sometimes be a great mystery to the hearers of Your Word that they may become doers of Your Word. Come Lord Jesus.

Amen

Fortunately I can handle it. I could probably do 10 minutes just off the top of my head on this. (I'm not a long winded preacher in any case). If any are interested I'll try to post it in my blog so you can read it. Wouldn't know how to go about posting an audio of it and I manuscript my sermons first anyway, then create an outline to preach from.

SeattleSun
Feb 24th 2009, 02:57 AM
Fortunately I can handle it. I could probably do 10 minutes just off the top of my head on this. (I'm not a long winded preacher in any case). If any are interested I'll try to post it in my blog so you can read it. Wouldn't know how to go about posting an audio of it and I manuscript my sermons first anyway, then create an outline to preach from.

One of my all time movie lines is "put an amen on it parson". John Wayne - The Searchers.

May I get a link to your blog? :kiss: And yes, I would very much like to read it!

Cloudwalker
Feb 24th 2009, 06:25 AM
One of my all time movie lines is "put an amen on it parson". John Wayne - The Searchers.

May I get a link to your blog? :kiss: And yes, I would very much like to read it!

My blog is on this board. Just click on the blog link by my name and you can read all of them. You can find it on the right hand side where it reads "blog entrys." Just click on the number

SeattleSun
Feb 24th 2009, 04:49 PM
8. Read Matt 5:33-37. How might the issue of oaths and vows be connected to the topic of marriage and divorce?

9. The Pharisees had elaborate formulas for oaths, with some being binding and some not (see Matt 23:16-22). Why is Jesus opposed to oaths?

10. Does this mean, for example, that we should refuse to give evidence under oath in a court of law? Explain.

11. Why should oaths be unnecessary for Jesus' followers?

SeattleSun
Feb 24th 2009, 07:14 PM
8. Read Matt 5:33-37. How might the issue of oaths and vows be connected to the topic of marriage and divorce?


Any oath or vow taken in God's name is binding and using His name frivorously is serious sin (Deut 20:7). I don't know what vows were used in Hebrew marriage ceremonies, but the certificate of divorce was written and must be truthful.


9. The Pharisees had elaborate formulas for oaths, with some being binding and some not (see Matt 23:16-22). Why is Jesus opposed to oaths?


Because we are to be truthful and keep our promises irrespective of the mechanics the law laid out in making an oath. The Pharisees were more concerned with the latter than the former.


10. Does this mean, for example, that we should refuse to give evidence under oath in a court of law? Explain.


No, Jesus says we should not have to take an oath, but He doesn't say that we can refuse if it is required by an earthly authority.

1 Pet 2:14or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.


11. Why should oaths be unnecessary for Jesus' followers?

We are to obey His commandments, including being honest, truthful and making good on on our word, as He is to us.

Gregg
Feb 24th 2009, 11:21 PM
The trick to staying married is not to get divorced.....for any reason. Sounds simple, needs the supernatural power of God to see it through. It is also one of those things that looking back builds faith. Because when it is bad it is so bad that the pain feels like it is going to kill you. Of course that is the lie that satan would have you believe.

SeattleSun
Feb 25th 2009, 12:39 AM
The trick to staying married is not to get divorced.....for any reason. Sounds simple, needs the supernatural power of God to see it through. It is also one of those things that looking back builds faith. Because when it is bad it is so bad that the pain feels like it is going to kill you. Of course that is the lie that satan would have you believe.

I'm not much for reading about celebrities, but I did read a short interview with Will Smith (lol, I like him usually). Anyway, in regards to his marriage he said "divorce is not an option". Just what you're saying. :)

Why is the divorce rate among Christian couples equal to the rate of secular couples? That's so sad ... its sad that any couple divorces, but to give up so easily. That's a huge rate -- over 50%! I'm not so naive that just because someone says they're a Christian ... ugh, frame that, you know what I mean (I hope). Don't pastors care? Or do people not look to counseling anymore?

Well, I googled, FWIW:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

There's a link at the end about "covenant marriages". Didn't want to read enough to form an opinion. What happened to love and commitment and Jesus as the foundation? I know marriage is a contract of sorts, but this seems to turn it into a corporate merger.

shepherdsword
Feb 25th 2009, 02:25 AM
I'm not much for reading about celebrities, but I did read a short interview with Will Smith (lol, I like him usually). Anyway, in regards to his marriage he said "divorce is not an option". Just what you're saying. :)


I love Will Smith. I don't think he's a christian yet but he's got his head screwed on straight


Why is the divorce rate among Christian couples equal to the rate of secular couples? That's so sad ... its sad that any couple divorces, but to give up so easily. That's a huge rate -- over 50%! I'm not so naive that just because someone says they're a Christian ... ugh, frame that, you know what I mean (I hope). Don't pastors care? Or do people not look to counseling anymore? This kills our witness. How can we preach family values to homosexuals and people living together when our stats are as bad as the world's?
I seem to remember a time when part of the gospel message was repentance. What happened?

SeattleSun
Feb 25th 2009, 03:46 AM
I love Will Smith. I don't think he's a christian yet but he's got his head screwed on straight

This kills our witness. How can we preach family values to homosexuals and people living together when our stats are as bad as the world's?
I seem to remember a time when part of the gospel message was repentance. What happened?


Yeah, IMO it just doesn't kill our witenss to the world, but it kills it in our own heads.

Faith killer. Entry for the enemy. Its a fine line.

Makes me realize how our pride in our words can be so damaging to another without even knowing it. There is Scipture to address sinners, correctly without driving them away from Christ. And I go back to the Beatitudes, a standard that we con't attain in our flesh.

Lord, I pray that You suppress the piide that is prevalent in my heart!

jesuslover1968
Feb 25th 2009, 02:42 PM
Yikes David. :hug: Very few mourn as you do.

I was a coward. Not brave enough to take that step into matrimony, even though it wouldv'e been secular.

The pain would be the same.

I'm switching this part of the study into the wife of Jehovah. Pull out your Dr. F books.

:kiss:

seriously? :lol::):hug:

jesuslover1968
Feb 25th 2009, 02:43 PM
I love Will Smith. I don't think he's a christian yet but he's got his head screwed on straight

This kills our witness. How can we preach family values to homosexuals and people living together when our stats are as bad as the world's?
I seem to remember a time when part of the gospel message was repentance. What happened?


I like Will Smith, too but right now he donates money to scientology. :(

Gregg
Feb 25th 2009, 02:56 PM
I'm not much for reading about celebrities, but I did read a short interview with Will Smith (lol, I like him usually). Anyway, in regards to his marriage he said "divorce is not an option". Just what you're saying. :)

Why is the divorce rate among Christian couples equal to the rate of secular couples? That's so sad ... its sad that any couple divorces, but to give up so easily. That's a huge rate -- over 50%! I'm not so naive that just because someone says they're a Christian ... ugh, frame that, you know what I mean (I hope). Don't pastors care? Or do people not look to counseling anymore?

Well, I googled, FWIW:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

There's a link at the end about "covenant marriages". Didn't want to read enough to form an opinion. What happened to love and commitment and Jesus as the foundation? I know marriage is a contract of sorts, but this seems to turn it into a corporate merger.

Six years ago (well after I was saved) I got thrown a curve that I did not even imagine when I took my marriage vows. I got on my knees and said to God that if he wanted my marriage fixed/saved he was going to have to intervene and fix it. I also asked for the strength, wisdom, and desire to do his will. It has been a long hard journey back (but worth it). It is not perfect, but he is not done. There is no doubt that he is guiding and healing. There is no doubt that he wants us to stay together. There is no doubt that this was the best "choice." There is no doubt that it is worth it.

Thank you Jesus for answering my prayers.

SeattleSun
Feb 25th 2009, 06:29 PM
Thank you Jesus for answering my prayers.


:hug:


seriously? :lol::):hug: :rofl: Only a little! But Dr. F sets out the Scripture for what God wants marriage to be and what He thinks about divorce.

SeattleSun
Feb 25th 2009, 10:54 PM
Part 6 - How to Really Love Your Enemies (Matt 5:38-48)

The real test of love does not come in how we relate to the kind and loveable but in how we relate to the cruel and despicable.

Group Discussion: A friend keeps borrowing things from you but either fails to return them or returns them damaged. Confrontation has done no good. Do you (a) make the friend pay for anything lost or damaged, (b) refuse to loan anything else to your friend or (c) continue to loan anything he or she asks for? Explain.

Personal reflection: When have you found it difficult to forgive another person?

This passage brings us to the highest point of the Sermon on the Mount. Christ's words here are both most admired and most resented. He calls us to show our attitude of total love to an "evil person" (v 39) and our "enemies" (v 44). Nowhere is the challenge of the Sermon greater. Nowhere is the distinctness of the Christian counterculture more obvious. Nowhere is our need of the power of the Holt Spirit (whose first fruit is love) more compelling. Read Matt 5:38-48.


38"You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.'
39"But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
40"If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
41"Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
42"Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
43"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.'
44"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47"If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

SeattleSun
Feb 25th 2009, 11:57 PM
Group Discussion: A friend keeps borrowing things from you but either fails to return them or returns them damaged. Confrontation has done no good. Do you (a) make the friend pay for anything lost or damaged, (b) refuse to loan anything else to your friend or (c) continue to loan anything he or she asks for? Explain.


I had a friend who always wanted to borrow books from me. I love my books, and these are hardbacks! Never got any back. :rolleyes: Confrontation, or at least bugging her to return them didn't work, so I resorted to (b), with the excuse that I was just about to read the one she wanted. She never wanted to borrow a book that I didn't like so wouldn't care if I got it back or not. Only the real good ones! Felt foolish to keep lending, knowing that I'd never see them again.

42"Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

This friend has long since moved away, so the friendship was before I was saved. Sigh, I'd lend (give) her a book. But can we "bargain"? Like "sure you can borrow it, and can I borrow that terrific blue sweater of your's?". Collateral, so to speak.

Nah, not the right heart attitude.

shepherdsword
Feb 26th 2009, 08:49 AM
It's at this point that I am going to listen. If I don't answer the questions don't get discouraged.

Gregg
Feb 26th 2009, 01:58 PM
I had a friend who always wanted to borrow books from me. I love my books, and these are hardbacks! Never got any back. :rolleyes: Confrontation, or at least bugging her to return them didn't work, so I resorted to (b), with the excuse that I was just about to read the one she wanted. She never wanted to borrow a book that I didn't like so wouldn't care if I got it back or not. Only the real good ones! Felt foolish to keep lending, knowing that I'd never see them again.

42"Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

This friend has long since moved away, so the friendship was before I was saved. Sigh, I'd lend (give) her a book. But can we "bargain"? Like "sure you can borrow it, and can I borrow that terrific blue sweater of your's?". Collateral, so to speak.

Nah, not the right heart attitude.

Early in my walk I was attending an AA meeting. One of the members asked if he could borrow $20 and he would pay me next week. I was short but felt bad for him. He was a player, I believed I would get the money back. Of course next week didn't come. For several weeks he made excuses. Several people, told me that I would never get it back as he does this to many new comers. I decided that this was not going to happen to me and made up my mind that I would be the first to get the money back. Well, I started thinking about this everyday, and started looking for him at meetings to "remind him" of his debt (never thinking about those that I owed and much more). I really had tunnel vision. I then came acrossed some of the scriptures above. I was convicted. I decided to gift him the money. The next time I saw him, I said Pete come in the back room. He immediately started to make an excuse. I said it is not what you think. When we got to the back room, I simply said, I am giving you the $20 as a gift, you do not have to pay it back. I do not want you worrying about it. He looked at me weird, but said thank you. I found out immediately that it wasn't him who was free, but me.

I would like to tell you that from that life lesson I never made mistakes again, but that is not the case. I really have to trust God in those matters. It is fun to see the results of being obedient, I just need the old fleshy sin nature to get out of the way sometimes.

SeattleSun
Feb 26th 2009, 06:09 PM
I would like to tell you that from that life lesson I never made mistakes again, but that is not the case. I really have to trust God in those matters. It is fun to see the results of being obedient, I just need the old fleshy sin nature to get out of the way sometimes.


:kiss: We're always to give when someone is in need; that's biblical community (Acts 2:45). But people are embarassed to disclose need at times, so maybe "borrowing" is a way cloaking the real meaning.

Best to err on the side of need, but that's not an error, that's obedience. I'll just remove "borrow" from my vocabulary.

Dani H
Feb 26th 2009, 06:11 PM
42"Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you."

This can only be done if we really (and I mean, really) know who the Lord of the Harvest is, and that nothing we think we have, is ours. And even we, ourselves, do not belong to ourselves, and have no right to ourselves. We are His to do with as He wishes. We are that drink offering being poured out. This is the kind of life where self has no voice, and no power. Because we have been crucified with Him and we no longer live, but Christ lives within us. And Christ is about serving and giving His life a ransom for many, and to seek and save those which are lost.

My enemies, aren't my enemies. I mean, they are, but not. They are God's enemies. It's tough to understand that, I know, and something I still have to remind myself of, often. Because it's not about me. I'm in Christ, and He is in me, and whoever cares to touch me, has to go through Him first.

Which reminds me of a story:

Some years ago, I was looking at my life, overall and things were looking pretty bleak, from where I was sitting.

I told God "Father, I'm in such trouble right now! What am I going to do?"

His response "Is Jesus in trouble?"

"Well, of course not."

"You are in Jesus. Jesus is not in trouble, and neither are you."

That really hammered home to me the reality of being "in Him". That is literally, where we are. Truly and really. From God's standpoint, that is our place of permanent residence.

And so we must pray for our enemies, because they're not our enemies. They just think they are, and we just think they are. But it's not about us, because we're hidden in Him, and we already have the most precious Prize in the entire universe. And His name is Jesus.

So if someone wants to borrow what belongs to Him, then really, they're borrowing from Him, not from me. And what they return or don't return, isn't my problem because God can just as easily replace it if He wishes and thinks I need it.

It's not about the books, is it? It's about the giving away of ourselves. So that we may be sons of our Father in Heaven, as Jesus is the Son of our Father in Heaven. It's an invitation to be on equal footing with the Lord. Because the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, is within us also, and we are sealed as His own.


To answer your question:

I only find it difficult to forgive when I think it's about me. As soon as I step away from that, then forgiveness isn't hard. Unless it involves my children, then it becomes difficult because I tend to take up their offenses because I'm so protective of them. Which in turn reminds me how God must feel as our Father, and that He notices very keenly the wounds that have been inflicted upon us, and longs to heal them. And there are times when forgiveness is a process until I am in that place of freedom again, where I can let it all go.

"Against You, You only, have I sinned." (Psalm 51)

SeattleSun
Feb 26th 2009, 06:12 PM
1. What do you find most difficult about Jesus' instructions in these verses?

2. Jesus' quotation of "Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth" comes from Exo 21:24. How would this instruction to Israel's judges clarify the meaning of justice?

How would it also limit the extent of revenge?

3. The Pharisees evidently extended this principle from the law courts (where it belonged) to the realm of personal relationships (where it did not belong). What consequences might have resulted?

SeattleSun
Feb 26th 2009, 10:22 PM
Dani! :kiss:

You sure come into a study with a bang! :lol:

You sure have the "gentleness" down. :hug: May I borrow your story, it would give great comfort to some friends in varying circumstances. It puts a most profound perspective to "He will never leave you or forsake you".

SeattleSun
Feb 26th 2009, 10:41 PM
1. What do you find most difficult about Jesus' instructions in these verses?


Its against my nature, that nature that was buried with Christ. While that is true, I can't be perfect (v48) and to think I am makes me a liar. But I am to be holy, which means to be different to glorify God and reflect His glory to the world. To be honest, I'm a sort of "fight or flee" person, with the stress on flee. Jesus' commands don't give either option. Dani's story is so encouraging in this regard.


2. Jesus' quotation of "Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth" comes from Exo 21:24. How would this instruction to Israel's judges clarify the meaning of justice?


Lev 24:20 and Deut 19:21 clearly provide the procedure for exact judgment in a trial with two or three witnesses conducted in public and with a thorough investigation. The instruction gives justice to the damaged party but with no more or no less than he lost.


How would it also limit the extent of revenge?

Revenge belongs to the Lord (Deut 32:35, Rom 12:19). Revenge demands more retaliation than what is called for. Revenge is taking the law into your own hands.


3. The Pharisees evidently extended this principle from the law courts (where it belonged) to the realm of personal relationships (where it did not belong). What consequences might have resulted?

Personal revenge, clearly prohibited in Lev 19:18

18'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.

Sin against God, consequences from earthly authority if carried too far.

shepherdsword
Feb 26th 2009, 11:08 PM
"42"Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you."'

This is one of the few verse I can actually walk out from the sermon on the mount. I love to give and I am not too attached to material things. It's the "bless those that curse you"parts where I really struggle.

SeattleSun
Feb 27th 2009, 01:49 AM
"42"Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you."'

This is one of the few verse I can actually walk out from the sermon on the mount. I love to give and I am not too attached to material things. It's the "bless those that curse you"parts where I really struggle.

It was on this board, years ago, that this discussion was going on. Someone posted that their prayer was "Lord, save them or smite them".

Another wrong attitude, but honest. I liked it!

Its incredible to me that even when God's war machine is full-tilt boogie in Revelation that there will be those who curse Him. He will get His glory, one way or another.

Dani H
Feb 27th 2009, 03:57 AM
Matthew 5:44 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=47&chapter=5&verse=44&version=50&context=verse)
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

To perhaps illustrate the "love your enemies bit", I'm going to paraphrase and condense other discussions I've had with the Lord over the years as He was teaching me these things.


"Heavenly Father, praise Your name. <XYZ person> is being particularly nasty, and I know I'm Your child and surely You love me more than him, because I obey you and he doesn't, and so please push him off a cliff. In Jesus' name. Amen."

<insert God laughing heartily>

"Lord, that's not funny. I'm hurting over here. Don't You see what he's doing to me?"

"I know full well what he is doing. What am I going to get out of it by ending his life though? He isn't saved and would be separated from Me."

"Well, he doesn't care about that. So just ... a little nudge, eh? How about a lightning bolt?"

"No. Pray for his salvation."

"How can I do that? I'd have to forgive him first, and I can't. I don't even want him to go to heaven, I never want anything to do with him ever again."

"It's not your heaven and so that's not your decision."

"Umm. I can't forgive him. It hurts too much."

"Jesus died for him. He has a right to him. Did He not say to pray for your enemies? Pray for them, not against them. I will deliver you from that pain when you forgive and pray for those who hurt you. Give it all to Me."

"I can't do it. Right now, all I want to do is drop-kick him."

"I know. Ask Me to help you."

"But I don't want Your help. I want to stay mad."

"I know. Now ask Me to help you forgive the person who hurt you."

"Okay. I need You to pull me through please. I can't do it."

"Jesus forgave people while they yet crucified Him. Are you greater than your Master?"

<insert Dani on her face in repentance>

So you see, the only right we have to personal offenses and grudges, is to turn them over to God. We've no right to them. Jesus does. And then to forgive others, and to pray for them, so they too may have a chance to experience God's love for them. People's hearts are not our domain. We've no right to deny prayer to anyone. And as we pray for others, not only do their lives change, but God changes our hearts as we pray and removes resentment, roots of bitterness, anger, and so forth. Prayer is the best heart tenderizer I personally know. Win-win situation in my book.

It's not about us. It's about God using us to save others. Freely we have received, freely we must give. :hug:

SeattleSun
Feb 27th 2009, 07:31 PM
So you see, the only right we have to personal offenses and grudges, is to turn them over to God. We've no right to them. Jesus does. And then to forgive others, and to pray for them, so they too may have a chance to experience God's love for them. People's hearts are not our domain. We've no right to deny prayer to anyone. And as we pray for others, not only do their lives change, but God changes our hearts as we pray and removes resentment, roots of bitterness, anger, and so forth. Prayer is the best heart tenderizer I personally know. Win-win situation in my book.

It's not about us. It's about God using us to save others. Freely we have received, freely we must give. :hug:

Amen! You sure have a way with words. :kiss:

The Sons of Thunder and the Samaritan village in Luke 9

52and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" 55But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."] And they went on to another village.

A rebuke! Get any bitterness or desire for revenge out of our hearts.

SeattleSun
Feb 27th 2009, 07:34 PM
4. Looking at vv 39-42, how would you contrast our natural responses in such situations with the responses Jesus expects of us?

5. What is accomplished by turning the other cheek or going a second mile?

6. In what situations might Christ's commands apply today?

Gregg
Feb 28th 2009, 02:19 PM
When we obey God when dealing with the unloveable, we essentialy bless them. When we bless them, we get to feel closer to God because we are part of that blessing. He uses us to bless them, but in reality is blessing us as well. Don't we long to "feel" closer to God while on this earth? Obeying him is one of the gifts that he gives us to feel closer to him. When we are a tool that God uses to bless someone that we do not want to bless, the glory does go to him. Because if we do not want to be obedient we will have to ask God for his power and help to do so. Then we cannot take the credit, and we do not have to worry about the results. If I remember that God does not need me to do anything, then anything that he puts in front of me is either a lesson or a blessing. Both are very good.

SeattleSun
Feb 28th 2009, 10:40 PM
When we obey God when dealing with the unloveable, we essentialy bless them. When we bless them, we get to feel closer to God because we are part of that blessing. He uses us to bless them, but in reality is blessing us as well. Don't we long to "feel" closer to God while on this earth? Obeying him is one of the gifts that he gives us to feel closer to him. When we are a tool that God uses to bless someone that we do not want to bless, the glory does go to him. Because if we do not want to be obedient we will have to ask God for his power and help to do so. Then we cannot take the credit, and we do not have to worry about the results. If I remember that God does not need me to do anything, then anything that he puts in front of me is either a lesson or a blessing. Both are very good.


Sigh, the saddest part is that the unloveable person is no doubt oblivious to the blessing at that time. CW touched on this at the start of the study though -- seeing Christ in us is God working and the blessing may not be recognized until later, and we'll never even know our actions though Christ had any effect at all.

1 Pet 2:20For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;

We uphold Christ's integrity and glorify God. Fruit of the Spirit is demonstrated (especially in my case) self-control, peace, patience and gentleness.


4. Looking at vv 39-42, how would you contrast our natural responses in such situations with the responses Jesus expects of us?


Our natural responses would be the same as the person pushing our buttons -- pushing back. We'd feel we're being disrespected and no one does that to us!



6. In what situations might Christ's commands apply today?


I've been talking with a number of folks at church who have seen layoffs in their companies. This being Seattle, many work for small software development firms and have been tasked with taking over the work of their laid-off colleagues. Lot's more hours and no extra money. Each of them, although tired, are grateful for their jobs and have stepped up hoping in Christ that He will see them through it. Others have mentioned that those still employed are bitter, resentful and feel exploited. They have no hope.

Society is just so crass. While wearying to me, its makes me yearn for Christ's return to establish His righteousness. But until then, I don't feel any need to respond in kind to rudeness or aggressiveness. I try hard to be salt and light by seeking the things above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of His Father.

Christ's love is a redemptive love, given freely. We can do no less.

SeattleSun
Mar 2nd 2009, 06:22 PM
:wave:

7. According to Jesus, how are we to treat our enemies and why (vv 44-45)?

8. In what ways is Jesus' command extraordinary (vv 46-48)?

9. Does all this mean that Chrisitans are to be doormats for the world to walk on? Explain.

10. How was Jesus Himself an example of the principles "Do not resist an evil person" and "Love your enemies"?

11. How might you reflect your Father's character when are mistreated?

Read Rom 13:1-5. How can we reconcile Christ's call to nonretaliation with the state's duty to punish evildoers?

1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.

shepherdsword
Mar 3rd 2009, 08:09 AM
7. According to Jesus, how are we to treat our enemies and why (vv 44-45)?We are told to love our enemies so we can be children of our Father in heaven. He is kind to even the ungrateful.


8. In what ways is Jesus' command extraordinary (vv 46-48)?His commands defy logic and common sense. They also take a supernatural power to perform. You can't do them in the flesh


9. Does all this mean that Chrisitans are to be doormats for the world to walk on? Explain.I don't think we are to be doormats. I do think that we should turn the other cheek and such when the only thing at stake is pride. However, I do think that we are expecting to protect others from real harm even if violence is necessary


10. How was Jesus Himself an example of the principles "Do not resist an evil person" and "Love your enemies"?I think the prime example was on the cross. Not only did he die for an ungrateful world but he even said "Father,forgive them. They know what they do."




11. How might you reflect your Father's character when are mistreated?Sometimes the best postion to take is the one David did when he was fleeing Absalom. Shimei was cursing him and when Joab wanted to run him through David said "Let him be, perhaps the Lord will look on my humility and bless me this day"


Read Rom 13:1-5. How can we reconcile Christ's call to nonretaliation with the state's duty to punish evildoers?I don't think the State is bound by certain aspects of the sermon on the mount. When Jesus returns he himself will slay millions with the sword of his mouth. This is an execution of Justice. The state has a similar responsiblity when it comes to punishing crime.

SeattleSun
Mar 4th 2009, 12:07 AM
Hey y'all!

Not much to add to SW's responses, especially on 10.

Matt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

We were all enemies of God until He showed mercy. His forgiveness flowed from His mercy and His mercy flowed from His love and He extended His grace.

Love --> Mercy --> Forgiveness --> Grace.

The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.

Love motivated him to set aside his animosity to the Jewish traveler, and mercifully to bandage him. Grace was extended by taking the traveler to the inn to care for him, paying for additional care and promising to return to pay more.

Compassion and mercy in action, just as God gave us when we were enemies. Mercy working with love, forgiveness and grace.

We can't have the blessing apart from He who gave it and we can't meet His condition of mercy apart from He who set the condition.

Now I'm thinking about false mercy, something I see a lot here in Seattle.

SeattleSun
Mar 4th 2009, 07:36 PM
Part 7 - How Not To Be Religious - Matt 6:1-6, 16-18

Not conforming to the world is a familiar New Testament concept. But it is not so well known that Jesus also called us not to conform to the religious establishment. He saw (and foresaw) the worldliness of the nominal church and commanded the Christian community to be truly distinct from it in life and practice.

In Matthew 5 Jesus taught us that our righteousness must be greater than that of the Pharisees (because they obeyed the letter of the law, while our obedience must include our heart) and greater also than that of the pagans (because they love each other, while our love must include our enemies as well). Now in Matthew 6 Jesus draws the same two contrasts regarding our religion. He says that we should not by hypocritical like the Pharisees and not mechanical like the pagans.

1"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2"So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3"But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 5"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

16"Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17"But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

SeattleSun
Mar 4th 2009, 08:38 PM
1. Jesus illustrates the principle of v 1 by focusing on three religious practices: giving, praying and fasting. What images come to mind when you read about the hypocrites in v 2?

2. In v1 Jesus commands us "not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them". Yet in 5:15 He said "Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds." Is there a contradiction here? Explain.

3. What does Jesus mean when he says, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"? Why is this important?

4. In what ways are we tempted to be hypocritical in our giving?

SeattleSun
Mar 4th 2009, 08:58 PM
1. Jesus illustrates the principle of v 1 by focusing on three religious practices: giving, praying and fasting. What images come to mind when you read about the hypocrites in v 2?


I can't help but think about the Academy Awards. The worship and fawning is so over the top, but so is the display of self-worship and entitlement.



2. In v1 Jesus commands us "not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them". Yet in 5:15 He said "Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds." Is there a contradiction here? Explain.

Everything we do is to glorify God, but our acts of worship are different than going about our daily lives. Taking communion (particularly how that's done in my church) is vastly different than having coffee with friends and our behavior should reflect that.


3. What does Jesus mean when he says, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"? Why is this important?


We should give discreetly with no consideration as to whether the recipient will even be grateful. Its about the heart, not about how much our hands take out of our wallets.


4. In what ways are we tempted to be hypocritical in our giving?

2 Cor 97Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Our motives can make us hypocrites by wanting or expecting something in return that benefits us.


My church doesn't do "collection plates". I can see how this could be uncomfortable for some or a temptation to others. Any thoughts?

Cloudwalker
Mar 4th 2009, 09:10 PM
1. Jesus illustrates the principle of v 1 by focusing on three religious practices: giving, praying and fasting. What images come to mind when you read about the hypocrites in v 2?

The images that appear in the Bible come first. Rich men giving to the temple in such a way as to be noticed (contrast that with the widows mite), praying loud, long elaborate prayers on the street corners, walking around with ashes on their face like "death warmed over" when they were fasting.


2. In v1 Jesus commands us "not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them". Yet in 5:15 He said "Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds." Is there a contradiction here? Explain.

No contradiction. The first is talking about giving to be noticed. Verse 5:15 is talking about living your life so that Christ shines through. That means that what we do will be different than what the world does and that will be noticed. When people see us living for Christ and the joy that gives us they will be drawn to Christ.


3. What does Jesus mean when he says, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"? Why is this important?

This goes back to not being praised by people. What we do, we do because we love God not because we love the praise of people. We act and give because we want to be like Christ, and He gave.


4. In what ways are we tempted to be hypocritical in our giving?

Face it, we all enjoy being praised by people. It strokes our egos. And example is in Acts with Ananias and Sophira (I'm probably spelling them wrong but don't have time to go look it up). They say all the praise that Barnabas got when he sold some property and gave the money to the Apostles so they tried to do the same thing. Trouble was they were greedy and tried to get the praise and still keep some of the proceeds so they lied about how much they got for the property. Had they said "we sold some property, here is part of what we got" they would have been fine.