We have been invited into the Kingdom of God and an experiential knowledge of how the Holy Spirit changes our lives. The way of life that we are being invited into is a beautiful way of living, but it requires us to confront our own brokenness. We are confronted with the reality in Matthew 5:17-20 that reminds us that if we, “break one of the least of the commandments” of the law, that we are guilty of all of it. Jesus states that “Unless our righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, we will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
This weighty reality is in light of the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 in which the Holy Spirit through Paul reminds us that Jesus, “who knew no sin” became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! This incredible scandal of grace is echoed as we dive into Matthew 7:13-14 and see that the way of the Kingdom is a narrow path and there are few who find it while at the same time recognizing that as we enter into the Humility of Christ, we are given the keys to this Kingdom! (Matt. 5:3)
Join us this fall as we ask God to help us to understand the depths of truth that He has extended in Matthew 5-7 (the “Sermon on the Mount”). We will be diving into these passages as a large family and in small groups, seeking God’s heart. We desire to hear God say to us what He says in Isaiah 66:1-2, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist’ says the Lord. But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.”
Father, let us come before you with a poor and contrite spirit, to hear from you this fall. Help us to experience Your Kingdom’s way of life in all of its fullness as Christ’s death makes it abundantly available to us. This beautiful life that is described in Matthew 5-7 requires Your perfection. Help us to submit ourselves to Your process and, as we do, help us to see You molding our lives to Your perfect will.
As we are invited into the Kingdom, we receive tremendous grace to walk in the freedom of His will. And as we experience this freedom, we begin to see our lives looking more and more like Christ’s perfect plan.
5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught 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 meek, 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 are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.