For the past six weeks, I had the privilege to preach the Word of God in a series of messages regarding, “YOU HAVE HEARD WHAT WAS SAID OF OLD, BUT I TELL YOU THIS…” found in the book of Matthew chapter 5, from the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ teaching focuses on the righteousness that should exceed of the scribes and Pharisees or of those religious people who are trying to twist the Word of God from the Old Testament in order for them to gain something from the people inside the synagogue or people from the church.
Jesus Christ wants us to focus changing our heart’ desire and our attitude in order for us to live righteously before God.
1. Jesus teaches about anger – Murder Begins in the Heart
21 “You have heard that it was said to those [a]of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother [b]without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’[c] shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, [d]‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of [e]hell fire.
True righteousness is not just avoiding murdering someone, it is dealing with people in a loving manner so that anger does not break relationships, and when anger does occur it seeks to be corrected quickly and the relationship reconciled.
2. Jesus teaches about lust – Adultery in the Heart
27 “You have heard that it was said [a]to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
THE HEART OF ADULTERY
Jesus has also exposed their self-righteousness by teaching that adultery was also a matter of the heart and not just the physical act. They thought themselves to be righteous because they spoke out against adultery and punished those who fell to it, yet they were blind to the own evil in looking at women to lust after them.
3. Jesus teaches about divorce – Marriage Is Sacred and Binding
31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except [a]sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
Only in a divorce that is caused by the sexual immorality of the spouse can the innocent party remarry without committing adultery. Divorce is caused by sin and hardness of heart, but all sin can be forgiven with repentance and confession to the Lord. However, that will require the humility that comes with the true righteousness of a changed heart which is something the self-righteous do not have. Religious traditions and adhering to a man-made list of do’s and don’ts have never made anyone righteous.
4. Jesus teaches about vows – Walking in integrity, keep vows and promises
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of [a]old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
A half-truth is a whole lie. Concealing the truth is still a lie.
? It was important to Jesus that His followers spoke in such a way that there was no need to add promises or vows.
? Simply, His followers should tell the truth. Simply, let your yea be yea, let your nay be nay, and recognize that you determine the meaning and value of those words in your life.
? Your YEA (YES) and NAY (NO) should mean something.
? Those of us in Christ are accountable to God for the very words we speak.
? In your life, make your word enough by walking with integrity in all you say, and do.
5. Jesus teaches about retaliation – Go the second mile “Going beyond our responsibility”
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two
Anybody can grudge and complain about their situation. But a Christian can use it towards God’s glory! We are not merely to live the Christian life; We are to go the extra mile!
6. Jesus teaches about loving your enemies
Matthew 5:43-48 New King James Version (NKJV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your [b]brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the [c]tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
From these four kinds of love, we can be assured that the “Agape Love” that Jesus Christ wants us to show, loving our enemies. Jesus is telling us not to retaliate, Jesus keeps us from taking the law into our own hands. By loving and praying for our enemies, we can overcome evil with good.
If you love your enemies and treat them well, you will truly show that Jesus is Lord of your life. This is possible only for those who give themselves fully to God, because only He can deliver people from natural selfishness. We must trust the Holy Spirit to help us show love to those for whom we may not feel love.
Jesus Christ showed us the best example of loving enemies. THE CROSS BRIDGES THE GAP FROM ENEMIES OF GOD TO CHILDREN OF GOD. JOHN 3:16
My prayer is for all who read and/or watch our Sunday worship service through Facebook live video will be blessed and be encouraged to live righteously before God and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world. /pastor neil