VerseD: Isaiah 54:17

“no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

Isaiah 54:17, ESV

When found in Christ, the worst people can do to us is kill us, for they would be sending us to God.

And we have truth on our side, so we can preach with boldness.

VerseD: Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12, ESV

We agar the truth of the Gospel because we are not fighting against people. We are fighting against demonic powers and ideologies with the truth of God to save fellow image-bearers from the earth of God.

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:10-12

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group.

Sermon on the Mount – The Beatitudes: Part 3

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean? How do you understand it?
The word “blessed” appears 306 times in the ESV Bible (in 288 verses; 302x in 287 vv. in KJV)
Happy (definitely deeper than this), Revered, Content, Worshiped, Made holy, Fortunate, Well-off

Matthew 5:3-12: The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:10-12:
The first several verses tell us it is blessed (brings joy, contentment, peace) to find salvation in Christ

  • We realize our wretchedness (v. 3)
  • We lament our sinful rebellion against God (v. 4)
  • We realize our need for help and salvation (v. 5)
  • We see a growing desire for God’s Word & presence (v. 6)
  • We realize our fallen neighbors need the same mercy we receive from God (v. 7)
  • We let God renew our hearts and minds to seek His goodness for others (v. 8)
  • We desire to bring others to the peace of God (v. 9)

What then happens in the life of the Christian?
Now we read:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:10-12, ESV

v. 10-11: Firstly, notice the first phrase to be repeated: “theirs is the kingdom of heaven?” (from v. 3)
• We mourn their sin as we mourn our own. It is no longer “me vs. the world” but “Here am I, send
me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
• We are letting God change us – Romans 12:1-2

When we allow God to change the way we see, think about, and interact with our world, it becomes
easier to live out these qualities and not act like the world.

What is righteousness?

(Doing/believing/teaching what is right – by GOD’S STANDARD)

[READ 2 Timothy 2:22-26]

  • Respect – This world has a lack of true respect for others, to the point even children are sing parents. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
  • Racism – “We evolved into different races.” No respect for the other people, even though there is only 1 human race (with different ethnicities and cultures, sure. See Acts 17:26)
  • Marriage – “Anyone can love who they want. Love is love.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
  • Gender – (Matthew 19:4)
  • Drugs
  • Abortion
  • Climate Change – (Technically true. The creation is cursed due to human sin – Genesis 3)
  • Truth – “Follow your truth” “What is truth?” (Pilate, John 18:38)

[READ 2 Timothy 2:22-27]

Taking a stand for truth (The Gospel and God’s standard) forces the world to face their sins. Do we like being told we’re wrong?

Seeing their sin results in lashing out: verbally, physically, emotionally
• 2 Timothy 2:8-12; 1 Peter 4:12-19 (Romans 1:16-17)

So, we show compassion. What does compassion mean? (Feeling with others, joining in their experience. “I was you. I, too, rejected God and sinned.”)

So, then, what does it mean to be blessed, I light of these 10-12 verses?
To join in Christ’s passion: His suffering, His sacrifice, His love, His grace. It seems Jesus speaks of
those who find contentment in life as they are made holy.

What does it look like to live out this blessing?

Jude 17-25

VerseD: Isaiah 55:11

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11, ESV

We faithfully share the Gospel. God uses it in ways we may never know to change hearts and minds to His glory.

VerseD: 2 Timothy 2:15

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15, ESV

Do we interpret the Bible and the Gospel to benefit our lives now, or do we see the need to faithfully interpret for the benefit and salvation of others?

Do we read it merely as about how great we are or as about how great God is and the world’s need for His truth?

The Church during 2021: Pray for the Christians remaining in Afghanistan

The Domain for Truth

For this Sunday here’s what you can do: Pray for the Christians remaining in Afghanistan.

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VerseD: 1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57, ESV

In Christ, Death has no more hold on us. Hold firm to His promises, and fear not what people may do to us, for we await eternal life with our Lord.

VerseD: Matthew 7:8

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7:8, ESV

God is first and foremost concerned with His glory and the salvation of our souls. Therefore, may not grant every request we make. He gives salvation, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and wisdom in abundance (and He does like to give us other things, as well.)

VerseD: 2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

2 Peter 1:3, ESV

God expects perfection. Thankfully, He has sent the Holy Spirit to fill in all of the many places we fall short as He clothes us in His Son, the only Perfect One.

VerseD: 2 Corinthians 4:16

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16, ESV

Though we face many problems in this world and our bodies often feel weak, the Holy Spirit refreshes us by the Word and by reminding us of the imminent return of Christ.