Sunday, September 30, 2007

Part 5 - Jesus and Anger


We’ve been going over the life of Jesus to gain better understanding of the Great Commission.

We’re looking at the first recorded Sermon of Jesus which took place approximately 1 – 1 ½ years after His baptism.

We studied last week that Jesus has not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it.

He fulfilled it in the way He lived, keeping the commandments, and He fulfilled the prophecies about His birth, life, death and resurrection, and He fulfilled the requirement of the Law with His atoning sacrifice.

This is the atoning sacrifice that makes relationship with our Father in heaven possible.

Today we are going to look at verses 21 – 24 in Matthew 5 where Jesus addresses anger.


MATTHEW 5:21-24

21 You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.


Various translations exist of the sixth commandment; the Hebrew words are variously translated as "thou shalt not kill" or "thou shalt not murder".

Older Protestant translations of the Bible, those based on the Latin Vulgate and Roman Catholic translations usually render it "Thou shalt not kill", whereas Jewish and newer Protestant versions which use the critical text instead of the textus Receptus or the Latin Vulgate, tend to use "You shall not murder".

The Hebrew word for "kill" is - "harog", while the Hebrew word for "murder" is - "retzach".

The Hebrew word which is found in the Old Testament is - "lo tirtzach".

So the accurate translation of the Hebrew and the commandment IS “Thou shalt not commit murder.”

Jesus clarifies which word is used in the Hebrew for us as well in the Greek when He says in Matthew 5:21 “ou-phoneuo” which means “do not murder”

What does this matter?

To kill and to murder are 2 different things.

To kill may happen in defense of your home, your family or your country.

We see many examples where God’s people were instructed by God to war against others.

Killing took place.

But to murder, as Cain did, or King David did, and so on, murder is different.

And this is why I point this out, because it happened more than once to me.

When sharing your faith with others, you may meet with someone who will challenge your belief and understanding of the scriptures.

We are instructed to “always be prepared to give an answer to our faith”, which only comes from a constant reading and studying of God’s word.

If you were to say to someone, “and the 10 commandments say – thou shalt not kill…”

And the person you’re talking with says, “Then why did God have His people kill so many others in the Bible?”

Because God did not say thou shalt not kill, He said thou shalt not murder.


So we see Jesus referring to the Law that He just told us a few verses before, He did not come to destroy but fulfill.

The Law of Moses.

And He says to those listening, who know the Law, “you have heard it was said thou shalt not murder, who ever commits murder shall be in danger of The Judgment. BUT I SAY TO YOU,”

Jesus tightens the belt on understanding here.

Remember last week when Jesus talked about those who “loosen the law”.

Verse 19, “Whoever shall break one of the least of these commands…”

Remember the literal Greek does not mean break, but to loosen.

People loosen the Word of God, Jesus tightened it back up.

Jesus wants us to understand, and so He tightens the law here.


Because at this time the Pharisees thought that they were righteous and right with God, as so many do today.

This is called self-righteousness.

They believed they had no need for a savior.

They believed they were right with God.

So Jesus wanted them to see that you can not keep the Law, which is why there is a Law, to show the need for Jesus Christ to be a savior.

Christ giving us the true interpretation of the Bible, the Bible is the Word, and Christ the Word made flesh.

“I SAY TO YOU, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment…

Unjust anger, or hate, against a brother is the same as committing murder.

Have you ever felt that way about someone?

Why does Jesus place unjust anger in the same category with murder?

Because they both come from an evil heart.

We are supposed to be the light of the World…showing God’s love, not man’s hate.

And Jesus continued;

, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Raca means “O empty one” or “You worthless…” it was meant as a cut down, something mean and vindictive to say about someone.

And the Greek word for fool is moros…where we get our word moron.

The Sanhedrin was the keepers of the Law and justice, and Jesus was saying you may beat the system or earthly law if you break the least of the commandments, such as Jesus’ command to love your neighbor, but you will not beat the Judgment of God.

Man may, and do, beat justice in a human court of law, but will never do so in God’s Court of Law.

We are held accountable to the commandments of Jesus, not the Law, and Jesus instructs us to do all He commanded, and we are also held accountable to “every idle word on the day of Judgment”. Matthew 12:36

So we are not to have anger without cause Jesus said.

So what is Just anger?

Jesus was angry with those in the temple when they were using the temple for their personal gain instead of bringing people close to God.

Just anger is the abuse of people, God’s Word, Laws against those who follow Christ.

There are plenty of things that can cause Just anger in us today.

There are many injustices happening every moment of the day and night.

Look at how many times God was angry with Israel.

Jesus looked upon Jerusalem and cried in frustration because they would not turn to Him.

But sometimes we just don’t like people.

Because of their personality, or maybe because of their race, or maybe because of their financial state, upper and lower class thing, sometimes we don’t know why.

And just because we may be able to come up with a reason in our minds, does not make that reason just…

We cannot be that way.

How can we be the Light if we repel people?

How are we showing the Love of God to a dark world if we do not love others?

Especially the lost…

Jesus did not come do condemn, but to save.

Are we saving? Are we leading others to Christ?

Who are we supposed to be leading to Christ? THE LOST…

How can we do that if we are constantly condemning and attacking and judging the lost?

Why do we condemn and attack and judge the lost? SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.

We think we’re something…

We need to remember that we are no different than the lost with one exception.

We recognized our need for a savior.

And it’s ONLY by His grace we are saved! Nothing we did.

We need to flush that self-righteous behavior down the toilet where it belongs.

Or is it that we think we have a right to pick and chose who we share the Love of God with?

Who deserves to receive God’s grace.

Did Christ not die once for all?

Does He not deserve every single person on earth that He suffered and was tortured and died on the cross for?

Who are you to say you may come and who stays?

And if we were to look at you and judge you one day before you received Christ as your savior, what then?

Were you deserving of the Kingdom?

I’ll tell you right now, even if you have Jesus Christ, you are NOT deserving of the Kingdom of God.

But that is what is so beautiful about God, that He loved us so much, that He gave His only Son to be the sacrifice so that we may have that relationship with the Father once again.

Remember, it IS God’s will that all are saved!

I would not want to be the one who stands in the way of God’s will, or in the way of God trying to reach His people.

The Pharisees stood in the way, and God removed them.

Jesus called them the synagogue of Satan because of their self-righteousness!

Do not find yourself standing between God and His people.

Those in the Temple were, and Jesus, with just and righteous anger, cleared them out.


Jesus continues by telling us what happens when we do have anger for our brother.

He says;

If you bring your gift to the altar, and remember that someone has reason against you to be angry (That is, you have given someone JUST CAUSE to be angry with you), leave your gift at the altar, go, and first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Jesus is telling us here that the Lord will not accept our gifts unless we do all in our power to make things right with the ones we have offended.

Make every effort to bring reconciliation, if at all possible.

Worship will not be accepted by the Lord if we have wronged our brother, and have not done all in our power to make amends.

We can not make those who wronged us make things right, we forgive and move forward.

But if we wrong another, we need to make it right.


Jesus has shown us that our anger towards others is as dangerous as murder.

He has showed us that though we may beat the legal system run by man, there is no way to beat the system of God, and we will face Judgment.

If we harbor unjust anger or hate toward our brother, we are as Jesus says, in danger of the fire of hell.

The Greek Word for Hell fire Jesus used here is Gehenna, and anytime Jesus used this word, we know it is a reference to the final Hell, eternal pit for those who are judged.

If we have wronged someone, we need to make it right.

Otherwise God will not receive our prayers or gifts or our offerings.

We need to be reconciled with our brother.

But first and foremost, we need to be reconciled with God.

And this can only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Part 4 - Jesus and the Law


Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with giving us a description of the way those who belong to the Kingdom should behave.

He explains that a New Birth is absolutely necessary to enter the Kingdom, which is a spiritual kingdom right now.

Jesus explains that we are the salt, and must remain pure, so that we are useful to God. Jesus said if salt was to lose its saltiness, it would be thrown on the ground for men to trample upon, and be of no good to anyone.

Jesus also explains that we are to be the light of the world. Once we have been born again, we receive the Holy Spirit, act accordingly as members of the Kingdom, staying pure in God’s Word, and act as a light, to bring others to the Love of Christ.

This is Christianity made basic, to become members of the Kingdom through salvation. Keep the Word of God pure in us, and to share the Light of Christ with the World.

Jesus continues His sermon by explaining His stand on the Law.

Matthew 5:17 : Jesus and the Law

17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.


a. Law

The Pentateuch was the first 5 books of the Jewish scriptures, which are the first 5 books of our Old Testament. This was also called the Law of Moses.

b. Prophets

The prophets Jesus was referring to was what we would call the Major and Minor Prophets. This, included with the writings of the first 5 books, would comprise the whole of Jewish scripture, or what we call the Old Testament.

The scriptures that Jews read today are the same as they were as given by God thousands of years ago.

c. Jesus fulfilled

Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish them {the Law & Prophets}, but to fulfill them.” Jesus fulfilled the law by meeting its just demands with a perfect life, and satisfying its curse by dying on the cross.

Jesus fulfilled the Law, being perfect. And Jesus also fulfilled the writings of the Prophets, because they prophesied of His coming, His life, and His crucifixion.

Jesus is not speaking against the Law, but against the hypocrites, and the Pharisees legalism.

Their legalism was not the keeping of all details of the law, but the hallow sham of keeping the laws externally, to gain merit with God, while breaking them inwardly.

They followed the letter of the law, while ignoring the spirit.

Jesus rebukes the Pharisees’ interpretation of the Law and their view of righteousness by works.

Jesus preaches that righteousness comes only through faith in Him and His work.

Jesus then gives examples of this externalism of the Law.

Matthew 5:18

18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.


a. Smallest Letter

“pass away” is not a good translation for #3928 par-er'-khom-ahee, a better translation would have been “arrive”, Until Heaven and Earth Arrive. Jesus speaking of the New Heaven and New Earth.

After judgment, there will be a new heaven, and a new earth, and a new Jerusalem.

Because the heaven and earth and Jerusalem that is here now, has been touched by sin.

b. Least Stroke of a Pen

The Greek word here is “iota”. It refers to the little horn or mark one would put as a horn on a Hebrew letter.

I believe Jesus is saying a few things in this statement.

1. The written Word IS the Word of God.

2. Every mark in the Word was guided by the Holy Spirit and matters.

3. Every part of the Word of God is important, and counts until it has all been accomplished.

c. Until everything is accomplished

The Law accomplished what it was written for!

The Law and Prophets was fulfilled by Christ.

The law was meant to be fulfilled by Christ, in His life, Death, and resurrection, which brought about a New Covenant.

Matthew 5:19

19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


From the literal, the word loo'-o was translated into break. But loo’-o does not really mean break. It means “loosen”.

The scripture should read, “Anyone who loosens even the least of these commands…”

Jesus is speaking to those who teach the Word to others.

In the New Testament, all believers are considered priests, or saints, who are to share the Gospel, Word of God with others, with Jesus as our High Priest.

If you loosen what the Lord commands, and teach others to do so, you will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Those who are disloyal to the authority of the Word of God will be judged.

He shall be called least in the Kingdom, means that such a person will not be allowed in.

You can not make your own rules and call yourself a citizen.

Jesus says that anyone who lives by the Lord’s commands, and teaches them as they are written, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus, our Lord is setting the BIBLE, the written Word of God as the standard of all righteousness, and He recognizes no other.

Matthew 5:20

20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.


Jesus is making it clear what being the least means.

Our righteousness must be the standard of righteousness set forth by the Word of God, not a loosened version set forth by slackers.

The Pharisees and teachers of the Law had their righteousness, because they were outwardly obedient to the Word of God, but ignored the Spirit of the Word.

They were “self-righteous”.

Thinking they could meet with relationship with God on their own terms.

But the Bible is the standard for righteousness, and the only way to meet with God, is on His terms alone.


How are we to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

Not by our righteousness but His.

A Jesus taught, we must be born again!

According to the Word, not man…

It’s not words.

It’s not dunking in the water three times and your safe.

It’s not going to church every Sunday.

It’s not owning two Bibles, a Jesus bumper sticker and your own copy of the Passion of the Christ.

How can we enter the Kingdom of Heaven in our un-righteouness?

Easy, because Jesus is the gatekeeper.

And He knows His sheep by name, and they know His voice.

Listen to God’s voice.

Listen to your Good Shepherd calling you.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Part 3 - Light of the World


Last week we talked about being the Salt.

We talked about staying pure so as not to lose our saltiness, and in turn no longer being good to anyone.

Jesus continues to tell us that we are the light of the world.


Matthew 5:14-16

14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”


Jesus, after telling us we are the salt, and we need to stay pure so we do not lose our saltiness, also says we are the light of the world.

What’s the difference between the Salt and the Light?

Salt has to do with you and the Word and staying pure.

Jesus said if we lose our saltiness, we are useless.

Impurities cause us to lose our saltiness.

If we stay close to the Word, we will remain pure in relationship with God.

The light has to do with you showing God to others.

Not that you are the light, but that God’s light shows through you.

a. What is the Light?

A city cannot be hidden. (The Kingdom of God will produce light)

Citizens of the city should produce light.

We WILL reflect the light that comes from Christ.

But what IS the light?

The Light is the Fruit of the Spirit. The very nature and characteristics of God Himself!

Not spiritual gifts, but the fruits of the spirit.

Spiritual gifts are for building and edifying the Body of Christ, Spiritual Fruits are the characteristics of God, the light that reflects from us that act as a beacon to draw others INTO the body of Christ.

Fruits come from the Holy Spirit within us.

We represent the Kingdom, and God.

Galatians 5:22-25

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Since we are made alive by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, let us then walk in the Spirit!

Let us reflect God’s nature and characteristics.

When you are saved, you receive the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirits fruits WILL be shown through you. It is God’s characteristics coming from inside of us because of Him.

This light from God is like the light from a city on a hill, and cannot be hid!

The fruits which come from you will show of what tree you are from.

Luke 6:43-44

43 "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.

If I pick an apple, what are the chances it came from an apple tree?

If I pick a pear, what are the chances it came from a pear tree?

If I am displaying the fruits of the Spirit in my life, what are the chances I have the Holy Spirit?

If I am displaying the fruits of the world in my life, what are the chances I do not have the Holy Spirit?

Our fruit will show of what tree we come from, or more specifically, what Kingdom we belong to.

What fruit are you producing in your life?

Is it important?

Jesus thinks so, because He said;

Matthew 7:18-20

18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

We can recognize by a persons fruit of what Kingdom they belong.

b. What is the purpose of the light?

It is a beacon.

A lighthouse to draw others into the Kingdom.

c. Show your light!

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works.”

This is not done so that you may receive praise or attention from man…but to draw the unsaved into the kingdom of God by showing the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT.

If you pray for others to see, the scriptures say you have already received your reward, the praise of men.

If you give in the temple for all to see, you have already received your reward, the praise of men.

Jesus said about giving; don’t let your left hand know what your right is doing.

Matthew 6:2-4

2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have already received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

If you are telling people all the “Good Things” you do, then you have already received your reward. The praise of men.

But if your good works “fruits of Gods Spirit” are seen by others, but not blasted and announced with trumpets, (HEY EVERYBODY, I GAVE TO THIS, I DID THAT, THAT’S THERE BECAUSE OF ME) but done in secret, then you will glorify the Father in Heaven.

And you may not get the praise of man, but the praise of Christ when you stand before Him and He says, “Well done good and faithful servant!”

And that light, the fruit of the spirit will draw them to God, not you.

Do not do for the Lord, and pass His Characteristics off as yours…because the scriptures are clear that the only good that comes from us is God’s Spirit.

Even Jesus corrected the man who called Him good. Jesus said, only the Father in heaven is good!

Jesus wanted the man who saw Jesus’ Good works, the fruits of the Holy Spirit, to know that those good works were because of the Father in Heaven, for only He is good.

The good works are the fruits of the Holy Spirit in us, which are not our character, but God’s.


a. Acknowledge Jesus is Lord

b. Believe that He died for your sins to restore relationship with God

c. Confess your sins and Repent


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Part 2 - The Salt


Matthew 5:13-16

13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”


Jesus first gives us the beatitudes in this Sermon on the Mount, telling us the moral characteristics of the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Humility, hurting for those imprisoned by sin, being compassionate for them, having a great desire within us for righteousness, not just in our lives, but in the world, showing mercy, being pure in heart and being peacemakers.

Jesus also continues His sermon, telling us what will happen to us here on earth because we are citizens of the Kingdom of heaven.

Persecuted for righteousness, loathed by men, those who do not belong to the Kingdom of heaven will gossip and slander you, and as the scripture says in Matthew 5:11 “and they shall say all manner of evil against you falsely…”

Jesus tells us what to do when this happens as well…

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven.

But we are to behave in accordance to the characteristics of the citizenship of the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus first described.


Now Jesus tells us (the citizens) that believers are the salt of the earth.

a. Dead Sea Salt

Jesus used this comparison because the people would understand what He was talking about.

Salt is used for flavoring and preserving.

Salt here represents the Word of God.

The Word of God gives flavor to our lives. It makes our lives full of wonders, by giving us insight to the heart of God, teaching us about His law and love, and helping us to grow in relationship to Him.

His Word also preserves us. Keeping us until His coming.

b. Impurities

Most of the salt used in Israel comes from the Dead Sea and was full of impurities.

This caused it to lose some of its flavor.

We too, can lose our flavor.

The professing believer, who no longer holds to the Word, is of no use to God or man.

c. Staying Pure

We need to stay pure. But how?

If the Word is salt, the salt that gives us flavor and preserves us, then to stay pure, we must stay as close to the Word as possible.

We must not turn the Relationship that God wants from us into a religion.

We must NOT create in our own minds ways of pleasing God, serving God, or receiving from God.

1 Corinthians 3:18

“Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise.”

Science does not have the answers, new age philosophy does not have the answers, new age religions do not have the answers, the education system does not have the answers.

If you think you have understanding because of the age we live in, you deceive yourselves.

How do we stay pure salt?

The Word of God tells us how…

James 1:21 & 22

21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Too many times, well meaning people have deceived themselves.

They do not rid their lives of the moral filth and evil that is so prevalent in this world today!

They don’t accept the Word of God in humility.

They think they have an understanding others don’t.

They listen to the Word…and that’s it.

The scriptures are clear, if you just listen to the Word, you deceive yourselves. You MUST do what IT says.

I have met so many people who think they have their own thing with God…no you don’t, unless it’s written in the Word.

The Sadducees and Pharisees tried doing their own way, even though they had the Word, they read the Word, but they did not live the Word, and they deceived themselves into thinking they could rewrite the Word.

They were mistaken.

We can ONLY meet with God on HIS TERMS!

Not ours.

To stay pure Salt in this world, we must adhere to the Word of God, which is pure.

To allow anything of the world in, is to allow impurities into our salt, and thus become useless to God and Man.


a. Acknowledge Jesus is Lord

b. Believe that He died for your sins to restore relationship with God

c. Confess your sins and Repent