Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Testament Lessons 41-50

New Testament- Lesson 41

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 1

1.Sermon on the mount- Matthew Chapters 5-7; First of 5 discourses in Matthew; Starts with 8 beatitudes; In the Gospel of Luke, we have the Sermon on the plain (Luke 6:17-49) with 4 beatitudes followed by 4 woes. The term beatitude comes from the Latin word beatitudo which means "happiness". The Beatitudes are eight blessings. Each Beatitude consists of two phrases: the condition and the result. Sermon on the mount takes place early in the ministry of Jesus; when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down and taught them. Sermon on the plain takes place after Jesus spent the night on the mountain praying; 2 days later, he selected 12 disciples. On the way down from the mountain, he stood at "a level place" where many people had gathered. After setting free those with "unclean spirits",  Jesus began to teach.

2. There are 7 beatitudes mentioned in the book of Revelation- (Rev. 1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, 22:7, 22:14). A few more beatitudes are found in the Old & New Testaments.


New Testament- Lesson 42

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 2

3. Beatitudes- Jesus points to how members of his kingdom will/should be.
a. Those who are poor in spirit (willing to obey God in everything/depend on God for salvation) - blessedness- kingdom of heaven is theirs.
b. Those who mourn (mourn about wickedness, unrighteousness & sin)- blessedness- they shall be comforted (with salvation & answers to prayers).
c. Those who are meek (humble, gentle)- blessedness- they shall inherit the earth (new earth Rev.21:1).
d. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (living according to God's righteous ways)- blessedness- they shall be filled (with fruits of righteousness- peace, quietness, confidence)
e. Those who are merciful - blessedness- they shall obtain mercy.
f. Those who are pure in heart (born again & striving for holiness) - blessedness- they shall see God (after death/at rapture).
g. Those who are peacemakers (living in peace with God & men) - blessedness- they shall be called the children of God.
h. Those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake- blessedness- kingdom of heaven is theirs and great are their rewards.


New Testament- Lesson 43

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 3

4. Jesus taught that every born again Christian must be the salt of the earth and the light of the world- The relationship of a believer in Christ to the world must be as salt brings flavor to food, as salt melts coldness releasing warmth and as salt heals wounds, bringing healing to those around, with words and deeds. Salt that has lost it's savor is of no use; so is the believer who is not Christ like in his dealings with the community or world. A born again Christian must also be the light of the world- he should not hide his testimony but proclaim his position in Christ to the world and the light that he has received from Christ and his Word should dispel the darkness that is there in the world; he has been saved to do good works and bring glory to the Father in heaven.


New Testament- Lesson 44

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 4

5. The Law & The Prophets- Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law and not to destroy it; everything in the law would find fulfillment. Anyone who broke the law and taught the same would be called the least in the kingdom of heaven and anyone who kept the law and taught the same would be called the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. The Scribes and the Pharisees were hypocrites with an outward show of piety but with no real relationship with God and Jesus said that if one has to be part of the kingdom of heaven, true righteousness was needed.


New Testament- Lesson 45

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 5

6. Murder, Anger & Vain Words- Quoting the 5th/6th commandment from the Old Testament,["Thou shalt not kill." (Exodus 20:13)], Jesus said:
a. Killing or murder (unlawful killing resulting in bloodguilt) had it's just punishment, but a person being angry at his brother without cause would be in danger of judgment too, because anger could lead to murder.
b. Calling someone "Raca"which meant "empty head" (term used when despising someone) would be in danger for judgment from the Sanhedrin (Jewish Council).
c. A person using the word "you fool" which means "stupid" or "moron" would be in danger of punishment with hell fire.
What Jesus meant was- there was always a chance that an angry person or one who used vain words could go to an extent of murdering or killing someone if he lost self control and that would lead to punishment with hell fire.


New Testament- Lesson 46

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 6

7. Be reconciled (Matthew 5:23-26)- Jesus taught that God would not accept a gift from a person who is not reconciled with his brother. Such a gift could not be set apart or consecrated. First be reconciled with your brother who has something against you and then give the gift. He also taught his followers to be wise in legal matters; to be reconciled with an adversary before the matter reached a court and before a judge who had authority even to imprison.

8. Adultery (Matthew 5:27, 28)- Quoting the Old Testament commandment "you shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14), Jesus taught that lust arises first in the inside of a person and when one looks lustfully at a woman, the act is already being committed in the mind and the physical aspect will ensue if the opportunity arises; therefore it was in keeping with holiness not to lust from the heart.


New Testament- Lesson 47

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 7

9. Dealing with lust or any other sin (Matthew 5:29, 30)- A passage that some think is controversial for Jesus speaks of plucking out the eye that causes to sin and cutting of the hand that causes to sin. Jesus, in fact was teaching his followers that sin like lust or any other must not be dealt with a lackadaisical approach but in a way that one does not commit or repeat it. That does not mean harsh treatment of the body, but gaining control over fleshly desires with the help of the Holy Spirit. As Paul the Apostle writes, "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)"

10. Divorce (Matthew 5:31, 32)- According to the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 24:1), if a married man did not any more favor his wife because he finds some uncleanness in her, he could write her a bill of divorcement and give it to her and send her away from his house. Some used this law as a license to divorce their wives, but Jesus said that except for the reason of fornication or sexual immorality this should not be done. Jesus taught that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.


New Testament- Lesson 48

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 8

11. Swearing falsely & taking oaths in the name of the Lord (Matthew 5:33-37)- According to Exodus 20:7,  Leviticus 19:12 & Deuteronomy 23:21, one must not swear falsely in the name of the Lord and if one takes an oath in the name of the Lord, it should be fulfilled. Quoting this, Jesus taught it was better not to swear or take oaths at all; neither by heaven and earth, nor by Jerusalem and one's own head (self), because everything is God's and no one is capable even to make one hair white or black; saying "yes" or "no" without twisting matters would suffice to establish the truth.


New Testament- Lesson 49

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 9

12. Response of a born again believer to difficult circumstances- This of course will depend on the level of faith one has or has been given and Jesus chose to live by his teaching in observing these-
a. Retaliation (Matthew 5:38, 39)- This was the norm of the day and culture; even the law (Exodus 21:22-25) supported it. Jesus quoted Ex. 21:24 (An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth...) and taught that even if this was the norm, his followers must be different and not resist or retaliate; this would seem against self defense, but if taken from the vengeance view point or if taken with the view point of suffering for the sake of the kingdom, it would seem plausible.
b. Response to litigation (Matthew 5:40)- Again this would depend on how much faith one has or has been given; viewing things with an eternal viewpoint rather than temporary, wherein if one is sued  and has his coat taken away, he gives away even the cloak which is more expensive, not grieving temporary material loss, but being sure of eternal blessings.


New Testament- Lesson 50

Matthew Chapter 5- Part 10

13. Going the second mile (Matthew 5:41)- During the times of Jesus, a Roman soldier could compel a Jew to carry his weapon or shield for a mile. Referring to this Jesus taught that if one was compelled to walk a mile, he should be willing to walk the second mile too, indicating that his followers should be willing to go out of the way to help someone in need.

14. Christian Giving (Matthew 5:42)- There are many verses in the Word of God, especially in the book of Proverbs regarding lending, borrowing and giving and we need to take all of these together in view regarding Christian giving. Here Jesus teaches to give to them who are in desperate need and thus beg or borrow. The love of God can be shared by giving to the needy. There are them who take advantage of others by perpetual begging or borrowing and these do not fall in to that category.

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