The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:17-18

GOOD MORNING!

It was in His “Sermon on the Mount” that the LORD JESUS made His declaration concerning the Old Testament Scriptures: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.(Matthew 5:17-18)

Consider the depth of this declaration. “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” This gracious mission of our LORD is opened up for us in other Scriptures: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  … For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.(Romans 8:3-4; Romans 10:4)bible-first pg

The whole New Testament declares JESUS CHRIST the LORD to be the end (that is, the carrying to completion) of God’s holy law. God’s law that is presented to us, written for our learning, is the Holy Bible that we are privileged to hear, to read, to study and by which to live.

Let us examine what this declaration says about the Word of God, -the “Scripture of truth”. “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

God Himself is the Giver, the Preserver, and the Illuminator of the Holy Bible. Men have, for the last hundred and fifty years, been publishing their own faulty, “tampered-with texts”, attempting to make Bible students believe that they must depend upon human scholarship for an up-to-date BIBLE, discarding the one way God instructed that His Word was to be copied, word for word, not thought for thought, nor any other way but simply accepting the Word of God to say what it means and mean what it says.

Man’s thoughts are not equal to God’s thoughts, nor are man’s ways God’s ways. In the prophets we read that “it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.(Jeremiah 10:23b)

Fellow Christian, it is well for us to hold, to read, and to practice the Bible that will not pass away as long as heaven and earth remain; because God’s Word is forever “settled in heaven.

When our LORD quoted the Scriptures, and He did so in all that He said, He did not have any of the original manuscripts, He had a copy that had been faithfully copied from an earlier copy that had been faithfully copied in harmony with the instruction of the LORD to the Levites.

Bible1Only a word-for-word copy of a faithfully copied manuscript will bring us the unadulterated, indestructible, inspired Word of the Living God.

May we notice that the smallest details of the Scriptures are preserved, for the jots and the tittles complete the words of Holy Scripture.

The Saviour followed His declaration about the Word of God with instructions that described the difference between a true citizen of the kingdom of heaven and one that was like the scribes and the Pharisees, who obeyed their own traditions rather than believing and practicing the law of the LORD. “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.(Matthew 5:20)  The “righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees” was outward and self-serving, rather than inward and pleasing to God.

The Bible was given to us by the inspiration of God in order that we might know the truth of God and the plan of God for our lives and the salvation that He so freely offers to us in CHRIST JESUS the LORD. Do you live by the Word of God that our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST came to carry to completion? The faith way is the true way, believing on the LORD JESUS CHRIST as He is presented to us in the Scriptures.

AMEN.

by Dr. R. B. Keyes

Adapted from the transcripts written and read by Dr. R. B. Keyes on a radio program called “Morning Chapel” (http://morningchapel.org/)

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The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:14-16

GOOD MORNING!

The “Sermon on the Mount” found in the Gospel According to MATTHEW is our LORD’S teaching His own disciples how God wants them to live their lives in this world.

candleHe said: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.(Matthew 5:14-16)

 Light is needed where there is darkness. Christians “… shine as lights in the world;  Holding forth the word of life; …” (Philippians 2:15b-16a)  Christians are those who are to “… walk as children of light:(Ephesians 5:8b)  Christians are to “… have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11)

 What does light do? Light illuminates. Light shows up things the way they are. When you turn on the lights in the house, you can see things just the way they are. Even so, a life that has been made right by the gospel of CHRIST is an illuminator to those of the world “… that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, …” (Luke 1:79b)

 When our LORD ascended to the throne as the reigning LORD, He gave His people the responsibility of being lights in the world. Our world cannot behold the LORD JESUS CHRIST, but it can behold His people.

 The LORD is the light of the Christian’s life; every one who follows the LORD JESUS, is walking “… in the light as he is in the light, …” and is having fellowship with the Father of lights and with the Son of God. (from 1 John 1:7)

We are the reflectors of His light. God hath shined into our hearts, giving us “… the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6b)

 The nature and property of light is to illuminate. Our LORD in His instruction is saying to be what you are. Do not, by wrong living, apathetic behavior, or selfish, reclusive conduct, hide your light under a carnal obstruction.

 Let your light so shine …”. God has freely bestowed His grace in your life, He has justified you by His grace, the Holy Spirit lives within you, you have open communication with the throne of Grace; and the commandment of your LORD is to let your light so shine that men may see your good works, the works which God has called you into His service to be doing; therefore you are to let your light so shine that men and women, seeing your good works, are influenced thereby to glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 candle-crossThe Christian’s light is to so promote the gospel, which is “… the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth …” (Romans 1:16), that those who are sitting in darkness may see the LIGHT and themselves become believers in JESUS CHRIST the LORD.

 There are many barriers that are obstructions to the light of the gospel of CHRIST. False humility is one, indolence is another. The fear of man and worldliness are dark covers which must be torn down by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit of God.

 Charity, holy diligence, godly courage, and willing obedience to the will of God are the things that make good light holders.

 We Christians are citizens of the kingdom of heaven, and we are to live and serve and love as those who have been “… deliveredfrom the power of darkness, “ and have been “… translatedinto the kingdom of [God’s] dear Son:(from Colossians 1:13)  For this is your life!

AMEN.

by Dr. R. B. Keyes

Adapted from the transcripts written and read by Dr. R. B. Keyes on a radio program called “Morning Chapel” (http://morningchapel.org/)

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The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:13

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. ~ Matthew 5:13

GOOD MORNING!

We are reading from our LORD’S Manifesto of the Kingdom of Heaven, in which He is teaching His disciples, -those who, by faith, were committed to Him, -those who believed on His name.

saltThis Manifesto, this Sermon on the Mount, is the LORD’S message to all who, by faith, claim a relationship of grace to the LORD and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST. “Ye,” the LORD said, “are the salt of the earth.

Among all of the gifts the LORD has given to His own is the new relationship in this present life. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Because all born-again ones belong altogether to the LORD, they have a significant place to fill in this world.

Salt is a commonplace necessity in all our lives. What would we do without salt? Here the LORD JESUS makes salt a symbol of God’s children in this present life. What salt is to natural things, so is the Christian to spiritual things.

Were it not for God-fearing men and women in any state, in any country, in any town, in any home, it would morally rot because of sin!

Salt is the strong, pungent antagonist of all manner of material corruption, and the LORD is saying to His own, to those who truly believe on His name, “You are the custodians of moral health, the enemies of moral disease.” Wherever anything in the life of this earth tends to become rancid, there is the real need of the LORD’S salt.

What sort of rottenness threatens this earth’s life? Need anyone ask? Human society without the influence of CHRIST’S presence and the change He makes, is a smelly, dead thing. For when the decadent influences of the natural man touch any of the vital, lovely things of this earth, rottenness sets in.

The question is, how is the evil influence to be met and resisted? The sons and daughters of the kingdom of heaven are to be healthy enough, and pungent enough to encounter the evil and to stay it in the same way salt stays rottenness.
The evil in politics is to be confronted; the evil in the world of merchandise is to be met with truth. Christian salt is to be the positive influence of the community and of the national and the international scene; everywhere Christian salt is to provide the sweetening and healing and cleansing influence without which the very essence of decency would be swept away.

There is another quality to salt that is also representative of the Christian. Salt is a wonderful additive for bringing out flavor in food. Many things would be insipid were in not for salt. The Bible asks, “Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?(Job 6:6)

In many foods a pinch of salt brings about a transformation. Well, that is one of the qualities of a Christian life. Think of the dullness that overloads the daily routine. Think of the tastelessness of a selfish life! “For all is changed when JESUS comes to stay.”  [ “Then Jesus Came”, Oswald Jeffrey Smith ]

Our LORD added a final word on this subject: “But if salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?” Another scripture makes the application: “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:6) Salt and grace! What a union! And, how meaningful this union is! You child of God, in your home in your neighborhood, in your city, in your state, are the salt of the earth. Our LORD saith to His own, “… Have salt in yourselves, (from Mark 9:50)

AMEN.

by Dr. R. B. Keyes

Adapted from the transcripts written and read by Dr. R. B. Keyes on a radio program called “Morning Chapel” (http://morningchapel.org/)

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The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:3,6

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Sea of Galilee from the northwest

GOOD MORNING!

Our LORD and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST, said in His sermon on the mount: Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. … Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”   ~ Matthew 5:3, 6

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ~ John 6:35

We Christians are more or less familiar with these declarations of blessedness, but the chances are that most of us do not know what these beatitudes really mean to our lives.

What is “poverty of spirit“? Do not allow worldly explanations to rob you of that which God’s Word is saying to you! Our LORD is not saying that weakness is preferable to manliness. “Poor in spirit” is not the opposite to “high-spirited”. Rather, to be “poor in spirit” is opposite to being of “a proud spirit.”

The natural man is bent on trying to save face; to hide his weaknesses and short-comings. But when one is responding to God’s will for his life, he is trusting the resources of heaven to be the strength and victory that God has purposed for his life.

Spiritual health is only available to the mendicant spirit: “Blessed are the poor in spirit. … And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  ~ John 14:13

This then is the blessedness of “the poor in spirit;” and this is the blessedness of “hungering and thirsting after righteousness.”

My recognized poverty makes me ready to receive the true treasures of the kingdom of God.

Would you know the blessed life? Come to the LORD in the way the precious old hymn puts it: “Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee.”

This “blessedness” that promises heaven’s response means for every believer the blessedness of belonging to the kingdom of heaven, and being filled with true righteousness.

The Bible shares with us a letter “postmarked heaven,” in which the reigning LORD counsels a self-righteous, self-sufficient, self-congratulating church, to  “… buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” ~ Revelation 3:18-19

We have looked at two of our LORD’S blessed as declarations. The other seven have the same heavenly emphasis For “… God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:  That no flesh should glory in his presence.  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. ” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:27 -31 

I hear Thy welcome voice
That calls me, Lord, to Thee,
For cleansing in Thy precious blood
That flowed on Calvary.

Though coming weak and vile,
Thou dost my strength assure;
Thou dost my vileness fully cleanse,
Till spotless all, and pure.

’Tis Jesus calls me on
To perfect faith and love,
To perfect hope and peace and trust,
For earth and Heav’n above.

( vs 1-3 from “I Hear Thy Welcome Voice” Words & Music: Lewis Hart­sough, 1872)

AMEN.

by Dr. R. B. Keyes

Adapted from the transcripts written and read by Dr. R. B. Keyes on a radio program called “Morning Chapel” (http://morningchapel.org/)

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