THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 7-3-05
LESSON TITLE: "GREAT LESSONS FROM THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT: OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FELLOW BRETHREN"
In 1 John 5:7, we hear proclaimed, "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." It is before this God which we assemble on this glorious Lord's Day. May we praise our God!
Let me also say, good morning and welcome to our program. It is always a privilege to have you with us to hear the Living Word of God and we are excited that you have chosen to give this time of sacrifice to our Creator. Won't you take advantage of every opportunity this morning to give your own reverence to the Lord, as we together offer this time of worship to Him. May all things be done, to God, for God and unto His glory. Let's begin our offering to God with a prayer!
As we continue to Worship before the throne of God, let's sing a song of praise that reminds us of just how loving and wonderful our God is. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Is It For Me, Dear Savior."
(SONG # 1)
I often wonder if we really understand the idea presented to us in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,..." Inspiration is a beautiful concept which proves to us that the Bible is not just another book, rather it is the very Word Of God! In fact, the word inspiration itself actually refers to the idea of a "breathing through one," meaning that God breathed His message through those who wrote.
I think Peter helps us understand this concept a little better. In 2 Peter 3:20-21, we read, "knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." You see God actually "moved" the writers of the Bible in order that they would write exactly what He desire so that we might know His perfect Truth.
So now that we know that the Bible says that it is from God and that it is His very Word, notice what it can do for us. Back in 2 Timothy 3:16, that verse goes on to say, "and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." Verse 17 also adds, "that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." Here we learn that God's Word is complete and that it gives us all we need in this life to live, move and have our being - according to the way God wants us to.
A final verse I would like us to consider is found back in 2 Peter, again chapter 1, verse 3. There we read, "...His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue." God has truly given us all that we need in this life, that we might know His Will. No wonder Jesus told us that we can "know the truth and the truth will make us free." How could Jesus make this claim? He knew that God had given all the necessary knowledge which man needs to know His divine Will. Furthermore, how wonderful it is to know that we can be saved, through the knowledge of His divine Will and an obedience to it. Do you respect, honor and obey the Bible as God's true, complete and divine Will?
As far as our main study of the day, we will be continuing our study entitled, "Great Lessons From The Sermon On The Mount. Our specific lesson of the morning will deal with, "Our Relationship With Fellow Brethren." So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, I will be leading us in our main thoughts of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "Just Over In The Glory Land."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Hear the Words of Jesus in chapter 5 beginning in verse 21. "You have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not murder and whoever murders will be in danger of judgment, but I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council, but whoever says, you fool, shall be in danger of Hellfire. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift before the altar and go your way. First, be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift." Verse 25, "Agree with your adversary quickly while you are on the way with him lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny." Here, we learn the Words of Christ again to His followers, His disciples, those who were now learning for the first times, many at least, who this Messiah was, what this New Law would be about and how that certainly in His coming the New Law would have something even greater and better than ever was before under the Old Law of Moses.
In fact, what is really interesting here in this great portion of the Sermon on the Mount is that Jesus relates and refers back to the Law of Moses itself as we might find in Exodus chapter 20 or in Deuteronomy chapter 5 there in even the giving of the Ten Commandments. One of those commands, "Thou shall not murder." It is interesting here that he says there in the first verse that it is said of old or another idea in ancient times, that is under the Law of Moses and in his times. It is said that "Thou shall not murder and if you murder you will be judged accordingly" You will be found under judgment as to why it has taken place.
But how much more interesting to continue on and to see that Jesus says, "But I say if you are even angry with your brother, if you are even upset to the point of doing something that you should not, you also, "He says, "are in danger of (what?) judgment." He goes on to say that what if you are to call your brother something? What if you are to refer to him as "Raca", the concept of being empty-headed or stupid and to say that in a mean and a sincere way as if you hate your brother? What does He say again? He says, "You are in danger of the council." I think back to Africa and those who broke the law or those who even in the maybe civil way, or cultural way, broke the law by being disrespectful to their older neighbors, their older friends, or those whom they should have honored. They were brought before the council to be judged and they were found guilty if they were dishonorable or if they had done things contrary to what is right in the eyes of that council. Here, Jesus says, "You will be judged by the council when you speak things you ought not against a brother."
He goes on there to also say, "Do not say, you fool." Don't say, you fool in a mean, sincere, hateful way where you mean it and you're trying to bring someone down and there's really no fact to bear it out. Why? Because you will be in danger of Hellfire or of Hades itself.
I want you to notice just for a moment with me of the relationships that Jesus is speaking about, the relationship between brethren. He has laid out well for us in the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount what we each are to do in our own lives and how we are to shine and look in this world and how we are to be salt and how we are to stand on the Law of Christ who has come to fulfill that which was set of old. But now He begins to stay that as you stand in it, as you live the life, as you are one who strives in every way to be Christ-like, He says, "I exhort you. I encourage you to be good to your brother." In other words, in your relationships one with another. I don't know of anything that would be more important that we could talk about today or any other day because you and I all have problems in treating the brethren like we should, our neighbors like we should, our friends like we should. We all have problems in getting angry or upset, sometimes even going unto wrath with our emotions over something that has been said or done against us. How important it is that we understand here that Jesus is not condemning only what we would say big sins like murder, but Jesus says that sin is sin and if you do here as He says to discount or discredit or hatefully despise your brother with words, you are guilty of murder. You will be judged accordingly. You can lose your soul just as I could for speaking in a perverse and evil way against someone with no merit as opposed to even one who had killed someone.
I want you to understand how important it is what Jesus is bringing forth here and how He is trying to tell us that we must be very cautious with our words. They bear a lot of responsibility. We can also notice some different places. And just to bring up the thought of it better, there in Psalm 14, verse 1, he states there, that is David, "The fool has said in his heart there is no God." One of the passages we read there in verse 22 said, "Don't even call someone, you fool." David said, "You fool." In fact, there were 68 times in the Bible that the word "fool" is used in relationship to disobedience, those who hated God or those who spoke against God. So where must we bring our understanding to? How can we really resolve this and understand what Jesus is saying? What He's saying is that we must be kind. We must be as loving as we can and we must know what we're talking about. You know we don't go about judging and speaking evil and doing ugly things to other people. We don't just for the purpose of doing it try to be hateful or disliked in this world. We are to be people who are peacemakers as we'll look at in just a moment, as we even looked at back in the Beatitudes. Be peacemakers. If you'll think just for a moment, we need to be people that exemplify the spirit of Christ. Would the spirit of Christ be ugly and nasty and being ugly all the time? Certainly not! So what this is saying is that be careful with your words. Know that you will be judged accordingly by the council or according to the judgment of God. You will be judged, so make sure your words are worthy to be said. Yes, there are times that we might have to say, "Hypocrite." We might even have to say, "Fool," and other words, if they are founded in fact and they bear fruit and someone will not repent of what they have transgressed and brought to shame there before the cross of Jesus Christ. But He says to nonetheless, be careful, because if we abuse our words, if we misuse them, we can be guilty just as even that murderer.
I want you to continue with me because it gives us a good example beginning there as we have just read in verse 23. He says, "Let's say that you come to the altar..." You know it is still under the Old Law here. There is the temple and they're able to go in and worship God in the temple and sacrifice. He says, "Let's say you come to the altar and you're going to make sacrifice on the altar and you come there and you realize or you remember that you're brother has something against you." What does He suggest? He says, "Leave your gift." Don't sacrifice it yet, but leave your gift where? "Even at the altar, go your way and first be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift." Here we learn again what Jesus is trying to say. How must we act? What should our attitudes be like? How should we treat others as Christ would want to be treated as we can so to show Jesus in us? You see, that's what God wants. He wants us to know that He doesn't accept us or accept our offerings or our gifts or our worship if we are not even able to have the right attitude and spirit in relationship with our brethren. Now, does that mean we're always going to be able to work it out with our brethren? No. But it means that I have made every effort to go and live as Christ has asked me to toward that brother to see that I can resolve the situation. I've made every effort. And then even after the fact, even if they reject it, my heart is still open and I still want to resolve it at any time, any day that I have that opportunity. But what does it mean? It means we've done our best so that when we come to the altar, our slate is clean. Our hearts are pure. We have been washed in the blood of Christ. We are whiter than snow. We have made every good effort and even where we have made mistakes, we have tried to recompense or correct that or even at times to do that which would bring some type of compensation, to correct the wrong so that we might be right, not only right with our brethren, but Almighty God, because God will not accept us, will not accept our brethren, will not accept anyone's gift who is not living the life. It doesn't do any good to talk the talk, as you've heard before, even walk the walk, if you're not going to live the life and the fruit show that you are serious about your service to God.
I want you to continue with me now because as we go on, we learn in this same text, that the book tells us, that is Matthew again, in the very words of Christ how we deal with that brother. What happens if that gift now is brought to the altar? Let's say that I'm going to worship God and I know I've got it sorted out with my brother, over in chapter 18, Jesus again clarifies how I deal with my brother. He says, "Moreover," in verse 15, "if your brother sins against you, go and tell him the fault between you and he alone." I go to my brother and I try to sort it out. "If he hears you, praise God. You've gained a brother. You are both right in the eyes of God. But if he will not," verse 16, "take one or two witnesses so that every word might be established. They hear your righteousness and they see his disobedience. They see his hatred, his unwillingness to repent or to correct the situation." So then again if he hears, praise God, but if he will not hear, go to the church.. Tell the church so that he might be treated as a heathen and tax collector that they might know and that he might know that until he repents and gets right with God, we cannot be pure in our fellowship, our love one with another. So then we learn the lesson that Jesus states clearly that if I've got a problem with a brother, sort it out. If I want God to love me, sort it out with my brother.
And then finally in this text, go with me if you will to the last few verses. He says, "Agree with your adversary on the way." Why? Because even when someone dislikes you or hates you, what will they want for you? Bad things. You know you even want peace with your adversary. You want to do as best you can to keep from getting them too upset because eventually what they might do is end up bringing you a lot of trouble. So do good to all men. Heap coals of fire by doing what you should no matter what they do and no matter what they say, so that again God might be praised in all things, and ultimately again here, treat them as Christ would. Isn't that what the Bible speaks about? This brotherly love. I think that's exactly the idea that Jesus is giving here. Love your brethren enough to treat them just as you would want to be treated. The Golden Rule. Just as you would want others to act toward you, you must act toward them.
Over in 1 John chapter 1, we learn there about this great love, not only the fact that God is love, but the fact there if you'll continue with me in the same text, a new commandment is spoken of in verse 18 and it's not really new but it is a commandment that is reiterated and pressed forward and made greater through Jesus Christ as it is not just about murder anymore. It's about how we really treat one another. And so it goes on to say there in verse 9, "He who says he is of the light and hates his brother is (what?) in the darkness." You see, we can't have it both ways. Verse 10, "He who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for a stumbling block." You see He says you can't hate your brother here and claim to love God. Verses 10 and 11, "He who loves his brother abides in the light and there's no cause for stumbling, but he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in darkness even until now." You see, when we're in those things that are wrong, we are in darkness. We are away from God. What are one of the things that we can identify here as being wrong? Hating our brethren. Not loving them. In fact, if you back up in the same text around verses 3-6, we see there that "We must love God enough to keep His commandments." What are His commands? We read in verse 8, a command is that we "love our brethren." If we love someone, are we going to gossip about them? Are we going to be nasty to them and ugly to them? Are we going to go out of our way to hurt and to harm them? Are we going to do things that are going to bring them down in word or deed? Or is we love someone with the spirit of Christ, are we going to do everything we can to act just as we would act toward Jesus, to treat them in the same way and to love them and to embrace them no matter how much they hate us. It makes me think of what Jesus further said in the same text of the Great Sermon on the Mount there in Matthew 5. We'll be studying it in more detail later, but there in verse 44, He says, "Even to love your (what?) enemies." Even your enemies! If I'm supposed to love an enemy and do good to h
May none of us, none of us today on this beautiful Lord's day, may none of us come before the altar of God to worship Him with dirty hands, with problems with our brethren, but may we all correct our lives and sort things out, get our hearts and our minds right not only with our brethren, but make sure they are proper so that when we approach the throne of God, our hands are clean. We are pure and our offering then is accepted wholeheartedly by God. Why? Because we are living in word and deed in all ways that God commands. And when we do that, you know what's great? The world sees Him in us. That's what we studied about a few weeks ago. When we are the light, the world glorifies God and knows Him through us. When we are the salt, we savor and effect the world for God's sake. Are you willing to be that type of example? Are you willing to love your brethren and love your God and to prove it with every fiber of your being? Praise be to God that you do.
(SONG # 3 - "Farther Along!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!
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How important it is that we learn to love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. However, may we not love in word only, but in deed and truth! Are you showing the Love of Christ to your brethren?