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.
12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’