Sermon on the Mount (part 6) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, June 11, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 6:1-4, 19-24.  This message was part 6 in the “Sermon on the Mount” series.  Below are a set of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 6:1-4, 19-24
  3. What are some examples of behavior you have done (or seen done) designed to make someone LOOK religious, even to the point of deception?
  4. In Matthew 5:16 we are called to “SHINE” while in 6:1-4 we are called to NOT let people see our good deeds.  How do you reconcile these two ideas?
  5. Have you ever given a gift that led you to feel somewhat “self-righteous” as you reflected on that gift over time?  What do you think Jesus meant when He said we are not to even let our “left hand know what our right hand is doing”?
  6. What is the “magnet” of your life — things in this world or things in heaven?  What does it look like for you to have your treasure in heaven (and not on earth)?
  7. Who is the master of your life?  What would it look like for you to follow Jesus, and not just the “gain” of this world?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Sermon on the Mount (part 6) Preview

Piety effects your wallet . . . but it is not for sale.  This seems to have been at least part of Jesus’  teaching about giving inside of the Sermon on the Mount.  In this epic sermon, Jesus polishes the tarnish off God’s Law so that we might see the righteousness of God in all its radiant brilliance.  In chapter 5 we saw Jesus clarify God’s righteous standards regarding our anger, thought life, marriages, lying, attitude toward serving, and how we treat our enemies.  In each of these categories, religious leaders had misinterpreted God’s Word and thus developed a standard below God’s best.  In the sermon on the mount, Jesus re-established God’s standard and called people to holy living.

In Matthew 6 (the next section of the sermon on the mount), Jesus talks about a few areas of the a person’s life where their religion shows up:  financial giving, prayer, and fasting.  In Matthew 6:1-4, 19-24, Jesus talks about how our piety will impact what we value and where we spend our money.  However, this clarion call from the Savior also comes with a warning about HOW we should give.  We should not give to “buy” approval from our friends or other people.  This is how the world operates . . . financial investments lead to influence.  However, it is not so in the Kingdom of God.  Since God owns it all anyway, we do not buy influence with our gifts . . . but that does not mean that our gifts are not important! 

This Sunday at Wildwood, we will look at this concept by studying Matthew 6 together.  Join us in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service as we worship Jesus together!

Sermon on the Mount (part 5) Audio

On Sunday, May 28, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Matthew 5:17-48.  This message was part 5 of the “Sermon on the Mount” series.  The audio from this message is posted below to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

Sermon on the Mount #5

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

Sermon on the Mount (Part 5) Questions

On Sunday, May 28, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 5:17-48.  This message was part 5 of the “Sermon on the Mount” series.  Below are a set of questions for personal reflection or group discussion related to the message.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 5:17-48
  3. How has the pain of divorce impacted your life?  How does Jesus’ teaching on divorce encourage/discourage you?
  4. Where are you currently being tempted to exact personal revenge for a past hurt?  How does Jesus’ teaching in 5:38-42 challenge you?
  5. Who is someone who feels “unloveable” to you?  How can you begin to love them through prayer this week?
  6. React to John Stott’s comments on this section of the Sermon on the Mount – “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.”
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Sermon on the Mount (part 5) Preview

Imagine you are in High School or college (I know . . . how dare I ask such a question on the first day of summer break!).  Now imagine you have a big test coming up on Tuesday.  How much do you need to study for that test?  The answer (of course) is tied to the nature of the class,  your aptitude for the subject, and the temperament of the teacher. The more complex the subject, the more you would need to study (calculus vs. PE).  The more challenging the subject is for you, the harder you would need to work (“science people” understand science more easily than poets).  The more a teacher was known for their high standards and difficult tests, the harder we would need to work.

I share this thought with you today in preparation for our final look at Matthew 5:17-48 on Sunday at Wildwood Community Church.  In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is defining for us the “righteous” standard of God.  A standard by which we will be judged.  Jesus lets us know that the nature of this “test” is complex – a high standard that we should not relax (Matthew 5:19).  He lets us know that the standard is challenging for all people – calling us to a standard of righteousness that exceeds the most religious people known (Matthew 5:20).  Further, the “teacher” who sits sovereign over this test is God Himself who is HOLY, and uses His holiness as the standard by which He judges the test (Matthew 5:48).  WOW!  With this test on the horizon, how can we stand?

To this end, John Stott offers a good perspective that offers us hope –

“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.” 

As followers of Christ we have a hope to see His righteousness flow through us from the inside out, impacting our marriages (5:31-32) and our relationships with those who seek to do evil against us (5:38-47).  This Sunday we will look at these verses together in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 worship services.  Hope to see you there!

Sermon on the Mount (part 4) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 14, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 5:17-48.  This was the fourth part in the “Sermon on the Mount” series.  Below I have posted the audio from this message to listen to or share.

To listen offline, click on the link to download audio:

Sermon on the Mount #4

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

Sermon on the Mount (part 4) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 14, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message on Matthew 5:17-48.  This message was part 4 in the “Sermon on the Mount” series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for further reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 5:17-48
  3. What are some human traditions or cultural ideas that have obscured God’s clear teaching on moral issues today?
  4. Jesus clarified God’s righteous standard on 3 issues we looked at in today’s message:  murder (5:21-26), adultery (5:27-30), and lying (5:33-37). Though this sermon is 2000 years old, it still is amazingly relevant in today’s world. How does Jesus clarify God’s standards in these three areas?  How does Jesus definition run counter to TODAY’S common understanding of what is appropriate in each of these three areas?
  5. How significant does Jesus think violating God’s standard in these three areas is?  How can you tell from the text (look at 5:22, 29, 37)?
  6. Pick one of these three areas that you feel is an area of particular struggle for you right now.  How do you react to Jesus’ call in that area?  What do you need to do or stop doing to follow Christ in all areas of your life?
  7. Have you trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins?  How does being reminded of God’s deep standards encourage you to lean into Christ even more?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Sermon on the Mount (part 4) Preview

Who do you think holds the record for the longest football pass in history?  Some would argue for Brett Favre.  Others might think it is Dan Marino or John Elway.  Still others might push for Aaron Rogers or Johnny Unitas.  Whatever your guess might be, virtually all would assume it was someone who once starred in the National Football League.

If one of these were your guess, you would be wrong.  The longest football pass was actually by Tim Kopra – a man who has never played a down in the NFL.  In fact, I don’t even know that he played in college!  Tim is not even a professional athlete; he is an astronaut living on the International Space Station.  Last February, to honor the Super Bowl, he threw a football in space’s weightless conditions (and aboard a vessel traveling 17, 500 mph) a whopping 564,664 yards.  This is the distance of over 5,600 football fields stacked end to end!!!!!  Unreal! 

 

This is truly a record that will not be broken . . . at least not by anyone on this earth.  If the record throw was done under normal conditions, we might imagine someone who is able to actually throw the ball farther . . . but the change in domain actually makes this record untouchable to other “earthlings.”  In order to throw a ball that far, someone would have to be out of this world.  Literally.

I was thinking about this today as I read Matthew 5.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls His followers to adhere to His deeper standard of righteousness.  This sounds good, but upon further examination, it seems to be calling us to an “out of this world” standard.  Not only are we to be obedient on the playing field of our observable life, but also in the space station of our thought life.  How can we ever achieve the record of righteousness Jesus requires?

The key to this kind of righteousness is truly “out of this world.”  In Christ, a righteousness is provided for us that is both “deep” and “wide.”  Jesus has thrown the moral ball well over 560,000 yards for us.  Further, He provides the grace to enable us to follow Him to record levels of obedience as we trust in Him.

No player on this earth can throw a football the length of one field, much less the lengths of thousands, and no human can live the perfect life God has called us to . . . but Jesus is out of this world!  In Matthew 5:17-48 Jesus demonstrates the thousands of yards that His righteous standard demands, so that we would trust in Him (and not ourselves) as we throw our lives toward eternity.

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 worship services, we will be looking at part 4 of the Sermon on the Mount series as we see what space age righteousness looks like related to our anger, lust, and honesty.  Join us this Mother’s Day Sunday . . . and bring a friend!

Sermon on the Mount (part 3) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 7, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a message based on Matthew 5:17-48.  This message was part 3 in the “Sermon on the Mount” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to or share.

Click link to download and listen offline:

Sermon on the Mount #3

 

Use the online media player below to listen online:

Sermon on the Mount (part 3) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 7, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Matthew 5:17-48.  This message was part 3 in the Sermon on the Mount series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 5:17-48
  3. If you “took your faith public” after last Sunday’s message, what did you do?  How did it go?
  4. Have you ever thought that it is easier to be a Christian than to be an Old Testament Jew?  In what way is this true? 
  5. What do you think Jesus meant when He said that He came to fulfill the law not abolish it?
  6. What are ways you have seen others (or yourself) try to “relax” God’s standards?  How do you see Jesus “deepen” our understanding of God’s standards? 
  7. When was the last time you confessed your sin to God?  If it has been a while, take the time to do it now.  Know that there is forgiveness for those who are in Christ Jesus!
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.