Matthew 5: Bible Study Guide

Matthew 5: Worship Guide/ 40-BSG-5A, (Matthew 5:17-20, 48)/ Theme: I came to magnify the Law/ Hymn: Cover with His life, whiter than snow (SDAH 412).

Exploration: Jesus’ Teachings by Precept or Example/ Doctrine → Law & Righteousness – (Mt 5:17–20, 21–47; Mt 19:16–26; Mt 22:36–40; Mk 10:17–19; Lk 16:17). Christ → Fulfilling the Law (Mt 8:4; 17:24-27; Ps 40:6-8; Is 42:21; Lk 2:39-42; Heb. 10:3-4, 6-7).

Reflection: In this chapter, Matthew draws our attention to the following –The Beatitudes; Believers are Salt and Light; Christ fulfills the Law; Murder begins in the Heart; Adultery begins in the Heart; Marriage is sacred and binding; Jesus forbids Oaths; Going the second mile; and Loving your Enemies!

Devotional Implication: There many themes here, but for the purpose of our ‘Worship Hour’ this morning, let us focus our attention on the subject of the Law of God: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Mt 5:17). From v. 17 through the end of the chapter we can develop the following points— 1. The Preeminence of the Law (Mt 5:17): Christ did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill and magnify it/ 2. The Permanence of the Law (Mt 5:18): In the Mark’s gospel, Christ says, “Heaven and earth will perish and pass away, but My words will not perish or pass away.” (Mark 13:31, AMP). “The law being an expression of the will of God, and the plan of salvation an expression of the mercy of God, neither will fail” (SDA BC 5:332). Prophet Isaiah wrote,  “The word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isa. 40:8)/ 3. The Pertinence of The Law (Mt 5:19-20): Those who obey and teach God’s laws will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. People like the godless Pharisees, who do not obey the law, will not enter into the Kingdom/ 4. The Purpose of the Law (Mt 5:21-47): God’s Law points out our sinful conditions, our unworthiness, our shortcomings, etc., that we may see our need for the Saviour. Christ does this eloquently by using six illustrations. In the end, He urges, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, ESV) Beloved, that’s what God wants, that’s what He’s looking for in your life and in my life: to be obedient, holy, and to uphold his Law!

Listen to this quote: “The death of Christ was to forever settle the question of the validity of the law of Jehovah. Having suffered the full penalty for a guilty world, Jesus became the Mediator between God and man, to restore the repenting soul to favor with God by giving him grace to keep the law of the Most High. Christ came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them to the very letter. The atonement of Calvary vindicated the law of God as holy, just, and true, not only before the fallen world but before heaven and before the worlds unfallen. Christ came to magnify the law and to make it honorable.” – [Ellen G. White, Faith and Works, (Southern Publishing Association, 1979), 118–119].

The Gospel’s Voice: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you—Because He does. What does the LORD say to me this morning? My son, when Christ came in this world, He not only obeyed My Law but demonstrated that it can be kept perfectly! He kept it even when it meant death, “even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). He went on the Cross, praying, “Not My will, But Your will Father be done” (Mt 26:36, 42). Jesus Christ did not sin, He kept the Law! By looking unto Jesus (Heb 12:2) you too can keep My Law. His Righteousness will be imparted and imputed in you: you will obey as He obeyed; live righteously; and eventually “see God” (Mt 5:8) in the coming kingdom of glory! Is this your desire? Would you?

My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to – 1. Have the qualities needed to inherit the Kingdom of God (Mt 5:3-12)/ 2. Be ‘the salt’ and ‘the light’ – shinning for Jesus (Mt 5:13-16)/ 3. Keep God’s holy Law (Mt 5:17-20)/ 4. Be victorious over ‘lust’ (v. 27)/ 5. Love my enemies (Mt 5:43-47)/ 6. Be perfect, just as my Father in heaven is perfect (Mt 5:48).

Have A Blessed Day: “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19, NKJV)

40-BSG-5C: INTRODUCTION.

The Book of Matthew 5/ Introduction/ 40-BSG-5C, (Matthew 5:1-48)/ Jesus Christ is indeed the King, and in this chapter, the King sets the Agenda. Just as a way of review, the purpose of Matthew’s gospel is very clear: to demonstrate that Jesus Christ is the Jewish nation’s long-awaited Messiah. No other gospel presents Christ in Royal Colors like Matthew.

  • The King’s Ancestry—His genealogy (1:1-17)
  • The King’s Arrival—His virgin birth (1:18-25)
  • The King’s Adoration—the worship of the magi (2:1-12)
  • The King’s Anticipation—the fulfilled prophecies of His coming (2:13-23)
  • The King’s Announcer—John the Baptist (3:1-12)
  • The King’s Affirmation—His Baptism; His Sonship affirmed by the Father (3:13-17)
  • The King’s Advantage—His defeat of Satan (4:1-11)
  • The King’s Activity—His ministry and miracles (4:12-25)
  • The King’s AddressHis Manifesto: The Sermon on the Mount (5-7)

“The Sermon on the Mount is very carefully structured. The nine Beatitudes (5:3–12) and the salt and light metaphors (5:13–16) form the sermon’s introduction. Matthew 5:17–20 provides the thesis statement of the greater righteousness required of Jesus’ disciples. Matthew 5:21–48 contrasts Jesus’ teaching with the law by means of six antitheses. Matthew 6:1–18 contrasts true and hypocritical piety by means of three examples. Matthew 6:19–34 turns to social issues, with various commands regarding money and true riches. Matthew 7:1–12 gives three further commands on how to treat others. Matthew 7:13–27 concludes the sermon with three illustrations of the only two possible responses to Jesus’ message.”  — [Craig Blomberg, Matthew, The New American Commentary, (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 22:95–96].

40-BSG-5D: TODAY’S CHAPTER

Matthew 5: Bible Reading Plan/ The Book of Matthew 5/ Theme: The Sermon on the Mount, Part 1: Jesus lays down the principles; rules of the Kingdom of God, (Mt 5:1–48).

Matthew 5 (NKJV) — 1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 21 “You have heard that it was said to those 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 without a cause shall be in danger of the 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 hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 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. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. 27 “You have heard that it was said 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. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 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 sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. 33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of 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; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. 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. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 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 brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

40-BSG-5E: TEACHING OUTLINE.

Bible Study Guide/ Teaching Outline/ Matthew 5, (40-BSG-5E)/ Theme: The Sermon on the Mount, Part 1: Jesus lays down the principles; rules of the Kingdom of God, (Mt 5:1–48).

An Overview: Matthew 5–7 contains Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The first section is known as the Beatitudes (vv. 3-16), which describes how citizens of the kingdom of heaven should live. In the next section, Christ shows the importance of God’s Law (vv. 17-20); the last section, Christ magnifies the Law (vv. 21-48). He does this by presenting six antitheses—statements using opposites to make a point. We hear this familiar phrase — “You have heard that it was said to those of old” …. “But I say to you.” In other words, He is correcting the misconception/ misguided rabbinical teaching of the Law of God.

Characters: God, Jesus, the Disciples, the Multitudes.

 Key Text: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17, NKJV)

Key Word: Sermon on the Mount, (Mt 5:1-2)

Striking Verses: Matthew 5: 21, 22, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 38, 39, 43, 44.

Division of Main Points — The Sermon on the Mount: Intro; the Setting (5:1–2)/ The Beatitudes: Kingdom Blessings (5:3–12)/ Salt and Light (5:13–16)/ The Preeminence of God’s Law (5:17–20)/ The Law of God illustrated: Murder (5:21–26)/ The Law of God illustrated: Adultery (5:27–30)/ The Law of God illustrated: Divorce (5:31–32)/ The Law of God illustrated: Oaths (5:33–37)/ The Law of God illustrated: Retaliation (5:38–42)/ The Law of God illustrated: Loving Enemies (5:43–48)

Biblical Events – [Events Occurring]: Jesus’ ministry, (Mt 3:13–19:22); Jesus’ Galilean ministry, (Mt 4:12–11:19); Jesus teaches the Sermon on the Mount, (Mt 5:1–7:29).

Biblical Phrases – “Blessed are you,”  “You have heard that it was said to those of old,”  “Love your enemies”

Issues for Further Study – Ten Commandments; Jesus’ fulfillment of Old Testament; Jesus and The Law of God; Wisdom of Jesus Christ; Will of God; Enmity (Bitterness/ Unforgiveness); Transcendence nature of God’s Law; Suffering of believers; Sufficiency of Scripture; Sin and God’s character; Significance of Moses (OT Scriptures); Self-righteousness and the Gospel; Righteousness of believers; Revenge and Retaliation; Promises in Mt 5; Divine vs. Human perfection; Opposition to Sin and Evil; Inheritance of heaven; Entry into kingdom of God; Characteristics of kingdom of God.

Striking Facts: The Sermon on the Mount, Part 1: Jesus lays down the principles and rules of the Kingdom.

  1. The Beatitudes! Do you want to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God? Have these qualities, (Mt 5:3–12)
  2. Faith without works is Dead! Demonstrate that you are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven by being “the salt” and “the Light” to the world around you, (Mt 5:13–15).
  3. Remember, Sin dishonors God, but Good behavior honors God! When people (unbelievers) see your good works.. “they will glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16). In other words, you are “a written epistle,” meaning your life is like a letter, everyone can read it (2 Cor. 3:2), so behave yourself; for you are God’s ambassador here on Earth.
  4. Christ did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill and magnify it (Mt 5:17)
  5. The Law of God stands forever (Mt 5:18) “Heaven and earth will perish and pass away, but My words will not perish or pass away.” (Mark 13:31, AMP).
  6. Those who obey and teach God’s laws will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 5:19)
  7. People like the godless Pharisees, who do not obey the law, will not enter into the Kingdom (Mt 5:20)
  8. Jesus says that hating someone is the same as murder. Our relationship with God is dependent on our relationship with others (Mt 5:21-26)
  9. Jesus teaches that looking lustfully at someone is the same as adultery, (Mt 5:27-30)
  10. Jesus teaches that unlawful divorce and remarriage is the same as adultery, (Mt 5:31-32)
  11. Jesus says, “Don’t make any vows!” A simple Yes or No should suffice, (Mt 5:33-37)
  12. Jesus says to turn the other cheek and to do more than is demanded, (Mt 5:38-42)
  13. Jesus says, “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” -(Mt 5:43-47)
  14. Jesus says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mt 5:48, KJV)

Key Thought: Every Christian should be a light shining for the LORD! The world is filled with the darkness of sin, and needs every light possible to lighten it. We ought to give light— “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men” (2 Cor. 3:2) People read our lives, therefore, we must remember this and be careful how we conduct ourselves. Every child of God will be manifested in the world by his shining and burning as a light for Christ, by his quiet and savory influence in society, and by his conformity to the Law (the Word) of God in all things. Secondly, as God’s little lights, we must give direction: Show to the world that Christ is the way, truth and life—(Jn. 14:6). Thirdly, we ought to give guidance: “A city set on the hill (a devoted Christian) cannot be hid” (Mt 5:14).

Admonitions: “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2:14–15, NKJV)

Warm Up Questions:

  1. Why ‘sitting’ while giving the sermon? (5:1)
  2. Why rejoice and be glad about persecution? (5:12)
  3. What attitudes does the LORD promise to bless? (3-12)
  4. How is a lamp or candle made to serve its purpose? (5:15)
  5. How should we use spiritual light? To what end? (5:16)
  6. There are three reasons why the Law is Preeminent. Discuss (5:17)
  7. How long will the law remain unchanged? (5:18)
  8. Of what importance is the keeping of the Law? (5:19)
  9. Of what importance is the teaching of the Law? (5:19).
  10. How can our righteousness ‘exceeds’ the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees’ (5:20)
  11. What is the meaning of being called ‘the least’ in the kingdom of heaven? (5:20b)
  12. What was said by them of old time about killing? (5:21)
  13. How should we seek right relations with our fellow men before coming to worship God? (5: 23, 24)
  14. Why should we agree quickly with an adversary? (5:25, 26).
  15. Does infidelity mandate divorce? (5:32)
  16. Who can be as perfect as God? (5:48)
  17. What do you think is the main point God is making by including this chapter in the Bible?
  18. What response do you think this chapter should inspires us to do?

40-BSG-5J: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

Bible Study Guide/ Matthew 5, (40-BSG-5J)/ Questions and Answers.

Note: Unless indicated otherwise, the — [Francis D. Nichol, Ed., The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1980), 5] – is abbreviated below as (SDA BC 5).

[1] How can the Sermon on the Mount be broken into small sub-divisions?  

  • Righteousness and Happiness (5:1-12)
  • Righteousness and Discipleship (5:13-16)
  • Righteousness and The Law (the Scriptures) (5:17-20)
  • Righteousness and Morality (5:21-48)
  • Righteousness and Practical Religion (6:1-18)
  • Righteousness and Mundane Things (6:19-34)
  • Righteousness and Human Relations (7:1-12)
  • Righteousness and Salvation (7:13-29)

[2] What took place just before the Sermon on the Mount? Jesus selected from his disciples the Twelve to remain with Him constantly (Luke 6:12–20).

[3] Why was this selection made? – “And He went up on the hillside and called to Him [for Himself] those whom He wanted and chose, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve to continue to be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach [as apostles or special messengers]” (Mark 3:13–14, AMP)

“Jesus had called His disciples that He might send them forth as His witnesses, to declare to the world what they had seen and heard of Him. Their office was the most important to which human beings had ever been called, and was second only to that of Christ Himself. They were to be workers together with God for the saving of the world. As in the Old Testament the twelve patriarchs stand as representatives of Israel, so the twelve apostles were to stand as representatives of the gospel church.” – [The Desire of Ages, p. 291].

[4] To whom was the Sermon on the Mount addressed? — the Multitudes, His disciples (Mt 5:1)

Who were these disciples? “This includes, of course, the Twelve appointed and ordained earlier that morning (see on Mark 3:13, 14; cf. Luke 6:12–19). As the most intimate associates of Jesus, they formed an inner circle and naturally took their places next to Him; but there were, in addition, many others who followed Jesus and were also known as disciples (DA 488; see on Mark 3:13). Later in His ministry, at least, there were several women as well who accompanied Him and who ministered to the needs of the disciples (Luke 8:1–3; cf. Matt. 27:55). Some of these devout women were probably present upon this occasion. However, the audience was composed largely of peasants and fishermen (DA 299; MB 39). Spies were also present (DA 307; MB 47)” – (SDA BC 5:323).

[5] What name is given to Matt. 5:3–12? The Beatitudes, that is, The Blesseds.

Blessed. Gr. makarioi, singular makarios, “happy”; Heb. ’ashre, “happy,” “blessed” (see on Ps. 1:1). ́Ashre and makarios are both generally translated “blessed” in the KJV, though occasionally as “happy” (1 Kings 10:8; Ps. 127:5; Prov. 29:18; John 13:17; Acts 26:2; 1 Peter 3:14). The English word “blessed,” in modern usage, is more nearly parallel to the Gr. eulogētos, “blessed” (Luke 1:68; 1 Peter 1:3; etc.), from the root eulogeō, “to speak well of,” “to praise,” “to honor” (Matt. 5:44; 21:9; 26:26; Rom. 12:14).

Our English word “beatitude” is from the Latin beatitudo. In the Latin Vulgate each statement in the first section of the sermon opens with the word beati, equivalent to makarioi.

The word makarios appears nine times in vs. 3–11. But vs. 10, 11, refer to the same aspect of Christian experience, and are therefore to be considered one beatitude, thus leaving eight rather than nine beatitudes. Luke gives only four beatitudes, the first, fourth, second, and eighth of Matthew, in that order (Luke 6:20–23), but he adds four corresponding woes (vs. 24–26).” —(SDA BC 5:324).

[6] Where are we in the scheme of things/ events? Christ’s Ministry in Galilee (Second Passover, A.D. 29—Third Passover, A.D. 30).

NOTE: Many events have now passed since Jesus’ baptism from Jordan. Matthew’s Gospel is arranged topically rather than chronologically! See “the Harmony of the Gospels” for a chronological events of the Ministry of Jesus Christ.

“The Sermon on the Mount, though given especially to the disciples, was spoken in the hearing of the multitude. After the ordination of the apostles, Jesus went with them to the seaside. Here in the early morning the people had begun to assemble. Besides the usual crowds from the Galilean towns, there were people from Judea, and even from Jerusalem itself; from Perea, from Decapolis, from Idumea, away to the south of Judea; and from Tyre and Sidon, the Phoenician cities on the shore of the Mediterranean. “When they had heard what great things He did,” they “came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases: … there went virtue out of Him, and healed them all.” Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17–19.” — (The Desire of Ages, p. 298).

[7] What attracted the crowd (multitude) to this occasion? — “Large crowds were following Jesus—he was the talk of the town, even of the entire province, and everyone wanted to see him. Jesus had already been preaching throughout Galilee (4:12–25). During that preaching mission, Jesus had healed several people: a government official’s son in Cana (John 4:46–54), Peter’s mother-in-law and many others in Capernaum (Matthew 8:14–17), a man with leprosy (Matthew 8:1–4), and a paralyzed man also in Capernaum (Matthew 9:1–8)… These events happened prior to this sermon… The many miracles that Jesus had performed throughout Galilee accounted for his immense popularity. When people learned of this amazing preacher with healing words and healing power, they sought him out and followed him.” – [Bruce B. Barton, Matthew, Life Application Bible Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996), 73–75].

[8] The Setting: “Jesus was always concerned for the multitudes, for whom He had great compassion—whether they were “distressed and downcast” (Matt. 9:36), sick (14:14; cf. 4:23), hungry (15:32), or in any other need. Whether the people were physically ill or healthy, emotionally stable or demon-possessed, financially poor or rich, politically oppressed or powerful, religiously insignificant or influential, intellectually ignorant or educated, Jesus had compassion on them. Jesus attracted all strata of people because He loved them all.”

“Everything Jesus said on this occasion was spoken publicly, to the multitudes (cf. 7:28–29). His intention was to drive them to a recognition of their sin, and thus to the need of a Savior, which He had come to be. Until they believed in Him, the demands of the sermon could only show them how terribly far they were from meeting God’s standards. This masterful evangelistic sermon is designed to confront men with their desperate condition of sinfulness.” – [John F. MacArthur Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 1:136].

[9] Why does Jesus go up onto a mountainside to address the crowd? (5:1) – “Jesus’ giving new instruction on a mountain reflects Exod 19–24. His comparisons with various points of the law (Matt 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43) allude to Moses. Mountains provide the setting for significant teachings and events in Matthew (e.g., 17:1; 24:3; 26:30; 28:16).” – (Faithlife Study Bible/ Mt 5:1)

[10] Who is a True Disciple of Jesus and what will be His Reward? The answer is given in the Beatitudes —

  • The Poor in spirit: shall given the Kingdom of Heaven (v. 3).
  • The person who Mourns: will be comforted (v. 4).
  • The Meek: will inherit the earth (v. 5).
  • The person who Hungers and Thirsts for Righteousness: will be filled (v. 6).
  • The Merciful: will obtain mercy (v. 7).
  • The Pure in heart: will see God (v. 8).
  • The Peacemakers: will be called the children of God (v. 9).
  • The Persecuted: will be given the Kingdom of Heaven (vv. 10–12).

[11] What useful qualities does salt have? (Mt 5:13) Salt adds flavor, retards decay, preserves meat, creates thirst, has antiseptic power, and was used as an insulator under tiles of an outdoor oven. Could also be used as a weed inhibitor.

“In the ancient world, salt was used for flavoring and as a preservative. Instead of being made by evaporation of salt water, the salt came mostly from salt marshes in the area southwest of the Dead Sea. Salt had commercial value, but the impure salt taken from the sea and its environs was susceptible to deterioration that left only useless crystals. Jesus’ question How can its saltiness be restored? did not expect an answer—for once salt has deteriorated, it cannot be used as a preservative. Jesus warned them against being defiled by impurities. Even today in Israel, people scatter such salt on the flat roofs of their homes to harden the soil and prevent leaks. These roofs are still used for children to play and for group gatherings, so the salt is still literally trampled under foot.

As salt preserves and brings out the best flavor of food, so believers should affect others positively. If a seasoning has no flavor (has lost its taste), it has no value. Jesus clearly told his disciples (the word “you” is emphatic, meaning “you, my followers”) that if they wanted to make a difference in the world, they would have to be different from the world.” – [Bruce B. Barton, Matthew, Life Application Bible Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996), 83–84].

[12] Light and its Properties — “ In a vacuum (a container with no air), light travels at the speed of approximately 299 792 458 metres per second (m/s). This is known as the speed of light. It is the fastest that anything in the universe is able to move! For comparison, the speed of sound is only approximately 300 m/s. This is why during a storm you always see lightning before hearing thunder. An important thing to know about light is that it travels in a straight line through a material” – Source (https://letstalkscience.ca/educational-resources/backgrounders/light-and-its-properties)

[13] What are useful characteristics of light? (Mt 5:14-15)

  • Light dispels darkness.
  • It must shine upon the darkness, yet be distinct from the darkness.
  • Light can be seen, not hidden; Light guides people in the dark.
  • Darkness is the absence of light. Darkness cannot destroy light but light can destroy, remove darkness.

“Light has ever been a symbol of the divine presence (see on Gen. 1:3; 3:24). John refers to Jesus as “the light of men” shining forth amid the darkness of this world (ch. 1:4–9). Toward the close of His ministry Jesus referred to Himself as “the light of the world” (see on John 8:12; 9:5). Having accepted Jesus as the light of the world, a Christian, if true to his calling, becomes a reflector of that light. In Messianic prophecy Jesus is referred to as “a great light” (Isa. 9:2), and as the “Sun of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2; see on Luke 1:79). When the true Light illumines men, they are admonished to “arise, shine” (Isa. 60:1–3). Those who love and serve the Lord are pictured as being like the “sun” (see on Judges 5:31), both here and in the hereafter (see Matt. 13:43). It was yet morning as Christ spoke (MB 38), and the sun was ascending the heavens toward the zenith (cf. Ps. 19:4–6). In a similar way the Twelve —and all future citizens of the kingdom as well— were to go forth and let their light shine abroad in the world, dispelling the darkness of sin and ignorance of the will and ways of God.” — (SDA BC 5:330).

[14] Read Matthew 5:17-18. What was the purpose for Jesus coming to earth?

  • He came to fulfill (obey and complete) the Law and the Prophets – (the OT).
  • Jesus didn’t add new laws. He just clarified God’s original meaning.
  • When God gave His Word in the original manuscripts, even the smallest letter, and the least stroke of a pen, was inspired by God.
  • Heaven and Earth won’t pass away until every single element in the Law is accomplished/ comes to pass. Therefore, THE LAW is still relevant even in this age, except for the “sacrificial law” because Christ became the “sacrificial offering” to take away our sins (John 1:29).
  • Instead of Christ being opposed to the Law of God, He came to earth to magnify it, to present it as honorable, and rather than His teachings undermining the Law, they confirmed and enforced it.
  • “The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will exalt the law and make it honorable.” (Isaiah 42:21, NKJV)

[15] In what sense does Jesus fulfill the Law of God?  (Mt 5:17).

  • The whole Scripture finds its fullest meaning in Him.
  • He lived it in his own Life
  • He fulfilled the whole OT Law by being its fulfillment.

He lived it in His own life: Jesus kept the Law perfectly — He was without sin; He had an impeccable record with regards to obedience to the Law of God; He provided the perfect model of absolute righteousness in fulfilling God’s holy Word. He didn’t come just to rescue the Law from rabbinical perversion or just to be a model of Righteousness; He came to bring in Everlasting Righteousness by being the Messiah, the Law predicted!

[16] In what way did Christ fulfil the Moral Law of the Ten Commandment? In His Conduct & Teachings.

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me – He obeyed the Word of God
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image – He bow down in Prayer
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain – He said: ‘Father in Heaven; My Father; My God, My God!’
  4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to Keep It Holy! – He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day, as His custom was, and stood up to read (Luke 4:16)
  5. Honor thy father and thy mother – He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them (Lk 2:51-52)
  6. Thou shalt not Kill – in Mt. 5: 22, He taught about hate, anger.
  7. Thou shalt not commit Adultery – In Mt. 5: 28, He taught about Lust.
  8. Thou shalt not Steal – In Mt 22:39, He taught about Greed, Selfishness.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor – In Mt. 5:37 “Let your yes be Yes, and no, be No”
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house – In Lk12:15  “Take heed, and beware of covetousness”

[17] What did Jesus say we should do about the Law, or God’s Word in its entirety? (Mt 5:19)

  • Meditate upon It – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8, NKJV)
  • Practice it – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NKJV) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21, NKJV) “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22, NKJV)
  • Teach God’s Word to your children – “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV) “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction.” (Proverbs 19:18, NKJV) “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4, NKJV) “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, NKJV)
  • Honor it and get it up there where it belongs — God says, “I have exalted My Word above My Name.” (Ps. 138:2). In Psalm 119:103, The Bible says, “How sweet are Thy words.” Do you have an attitude of love and honor toward the Bible? Do you lovingly submit to the sweetness of its words, teachings, doctrines, etc.
  • Study the Word of God — Paul says: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) Jeremiah says, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them.” (Jer. 15:16). Beloved, Take it in and make it your own, allowing, “The word of Christ to dwell in you richly.” (Col. 3:16)
  • Defend it — Jude 3 says, “Earnestly contend for the faith, once for all delivered to the saints.” That means, fighting for the integrity of the Word of God and its purity and authority against the onslaughts of those who would undermine it.

[18] What is the believer’s relationship to the Law? Are we free from it or are we not free from it? Matthew 5:19 gives the answer — “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:19).

NOTE: Do not set aside (release yourself from an obligation to obey) God’s holy Law. The consequences of doing so are far greater! Anyone who dulls God’s holy Word, and teaches others a watered-down sense of obedience, will be called least in the Kingdom. But whoever takes it at face-value and obeys it will be the greatest.

[19] Some insist, “we are now saved by grace.. so don’t worry about obeying God’s Law.” What say you?

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1–2, NKJV) “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:12–14, NKJV)

[20] What does the Bible say about Divorce?

  • Matthew 5:32 (NKJV) — 32 But I say to you 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. Note: In this passage Jesus is defining “indecent” from Deuteronomy 24:1 which is fornication and adultery only.
  • Matthew 19:8–9 (NKJV) — 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
  • Mark 10:11–12 (NKJV) — 11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
  • Luke 16:18 (NKJV) — 18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
  •  
  • 1 Corinthians 7:10–15 (NKJV) — 10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. 12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.

NOTE: Divorce is never God’s way to resolve a conflict. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) because divorce breaks a covenant, and then it breaks the marvelous illustration of marriage between Christ the bridegroom and the church, His bride. Divorce is destructive, never a righteous act under any circumstance. It hurts everybody involved; it does irreparable damage to everybody. But most of all it goes against God, who never ever planned that as a part of human life.

40-BSG-5K: DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.

Bible Study Guide/ Matthew 5, (40-BSG-5K)/ Discussion Questions

To Think About And Discuss[1] Those living the lifestyle mentioned in the beatitudes will be “blessed.” Why do the righteous suffer so much in this world despite adhering to the Beatitude formula? (Mt 5:11).

[2]You are the salt of the earth” (Mt 5:13). What is the purpose of salt? What was salt used for in the Old Testament? What useful qualities does salt have? Why are Christ’s followers liken to salt today? In what ways can we be like Salt?

[3] Compare 5:14 with John 8:12. In what ways can we be like the Light? What are the similarities and differences between these two verses?

[4] How did Jesus expand the meaning of the seventh commandment? Matt. 5: 27-28. How is the principle here involved explained in James 1:14-15.

[5]Blessed are the pure in heart!” Why is it important to keep the heart pure? (Prov. 4:23-24)

[6] What was the OT law of oaths? What does Jesus say about swearing? Why should one not swear by heaven, nor the earth? Nor Jerusalem? (Mt 5:33-35).

[7] For what reason ought one not to swear by his own head? How simple and direct should our language be? (Mt 5:36-37).

[8] For what good reason should our speech be thus simple and pure? What other instruction emphasizes the importance of simplicity in the Christian’s speech? (James 5: 12)

[9] How can our righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (5:20)?

[10] If you bring your gift to the altar ….. “leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Mt 5:23-24). How would our worship be improved if we applied this principles?

[11]If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you.” Will self-inflicted injury help us sin less? (Mt 5:29–30)

[12] Who are your enemies? How different would your life be, right now, were you to love your enemies? What four reasons are given by Jesus to love our enemies (Mt 5:44-48)

For Further Study[13] Read Matthew 5:20. What does Jesus mean when He says that unless our righteousness “surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law” (NIV), we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven?

[14] We are saved by grace through faith! The children of Israel were saved by grace at the Red Sea before they were asked to obey at Sinai (Exod. 20:2) Does keeping God’s Law save us?

For Self-Examination[15] Is it your earnest desire to go to heaven? If yes, have you truly adopted Jesus’ teachings and values as expressed in the Beatitudes? If not, what kinds of changes are needed in your life?

[16] It may seem all right to fight back, or retaliate a person who hurts us. The only problem with that kind of thinking is that we will be “acting like them” and not like “our Heavenly Father” – who “sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (v. 45b). Would you make a decision today not to hurt your enemies but rather Love, Bless, do Good to those who hate you, and Pray for them? (Mt 5:44). I know it is hard, but can you ask the Spirit of God help you do so?

[17] Spiritual poverty is an absolute prerequisite for receiving the kingdom of heaven! When we confess that we are indeed sinful, rebellious and utterly without moral virtues adequate to commend us to God, we are said to be “poor in spirit.” What danger, if any, to fail to see our spiritual poverty and our need for the Saviour?

For Life Today[18] Blessed are the Merciful! “The mercy of which Christ here speaks is an active manward virtue. It is of little value until it takes the form of merciful deeds. In Matt. 25:31–46 deeds of mercy are presented as being the test of admission to the kingdom of glory.” (SDA BC 5:327). Take a moment to come up with a list of things you can do to those around you, to show them kindness and mercy.

[19] About Murder! Jesus located the root of murder in anger and hatred (Mt 5:21–26). Rather than harbor anger, which may lead to murder, a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven is to value “peacemaking.” What initiatives can you take today to be reconciled to your brother, or enemy? How can 1 John 3:15 help change your stance on this issue?

[20] About Promises! Most people today do not keep their words… they change like politicians. Jesus calls for honesty when dealing with a brother – “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” (v. 37). What’s wrong with signing a legal contract in everything we do, (including members of the family, inner circles) in order to avoid future disputes?

[21] About Revenge and Repaying those who harm you! (Mt 5:38–48) Citizens of the kingdom of Heaven are called on to be like their Father in heaven! They are to love even their enemies. Does this deny justice? What about taking your enemy to the Court of Law? What’s wrong with that approach? How can you love your enemy and fight for your rights? Is there a conflict here? Discuss further.

[22] About Divorce! Moses permitted divorce, but Jesus called for a lifetime commitment (Mt 5:31–32). Here are common causes of infidelity in a Marriage – Insecurity, The Internet, Facebook, Running away from Problems, Pornography, Boredom, Not having the same Lifetime Goals, Addiction (alcohol and drugs), Lack of Respect at Home, Feeling unappreciated, Issues involving Body Image, Aging, Lack of Romance, Living apart for extended periods of time. Most of these issues can be avoided. What can you do to a couple whose marriage is struggling with these issues? What Scripture would you use to help them? What other measures are needed to prevent these things from escalating and culminating in a divorce?

For Going Deeper[23] Compare and discuss the teaching in the Old Testament (“you have heard”) and what Jesus taught (“but I say unto you”) in Mt 5: 21, 22, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 38, 39, 43, 44. In each verse, find the corresponding Scripture from the OT.

[24] Consider again the major truth expressed in the subject of ‘mercy.” How does Mt 5:5 and Mt 25:31-46; James 1;27; and Micah 6:8 expand your understanding of this truth?

For Personal Implications[25] Blessed are the pure in heart! — To be “pure in heart” is equivalent to being clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness (see on Matt 22:11, 12), the “fine linen” with which the saints are arrayed (Rev. 19:8; cf. ch. 3:18, 19)—perfection of character….. It was not ceremonial purity that Jesus had in mind (Matt. 15:18–20; 23:25), but inward cleanness of heart. If the motives are pure, the life will be pure.” (SDA BC 5:327). How can we perfect our character? What specific steps must we take to accomplish that goal?

[26] As Christians we are salt! The only question is whether we’re salty enough. Secondly, we are light! The only question is whether our light is hidden or not. Beloved, sin damages our testimony! When sin enters into our lives we will not walk in the Spirit: we will stop being effective as salt; we will be useless because our ‘lights’ will be dim. That’s why we are admonished to “trim our lamps” and “have some oil” –(the Holy Spirit), so that we might be able to stay awake, watch and pray, as we wait for Jesus Christ, (the Bridegroom), who cometh at an Hour we do not know (Mt 25:6-8, 11-13). Are you willing to do so today?

40-BSG-5Y: NIGHT DEVOTION.

Bible Study Guide/ Matthew 5, (40-BSG-5Y)/ Selected Devotional Thought(s) in Matthew 5/ Theme: Blessed, Enemies.

 Thought # 1: The Beatitudes! “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:” (Matthew 5:1–2, NKJV) Blessed are —

  • The Poor in spirit: will be given the Kingdom of Heaven (v. 3).
  • Those who Mourns: will be comforted (v. 4).
  • The Meek: will inherit the earth (v. 5).
  • Those who hungers and thirsts for Righteousness: will be filled (v. 6).
  • The Merciful: will obtain mercy (v. 7).
  • The Pure in heart: will see God (v. 8).
  • The Peacemakers: will be called the children of God (v. 9).
  • The Persecuted: will be given the Kingdom of Heaven (vv. 10–12).

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11–12, NKJV)

Three modes of persecution — Reviled and insulted; Slandered and falsely accused; Abused and killed. Joy is the attitude expected amidst persecution. The two reasons for joy — Great reward; the great examples: The OT Prophets. Apostle James writes: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2–4, NKJV)

Thought # 2: Love Your Enemies! Perhaps this is the most difficult commandment of all. God loves his enemies, He expect us to love our enemies too. Christ prayed for Peter, even though he knew that he would reject him.  Christ showed honor to Judas, knowing that he would betray him. During His arrest in Gethsemane, one of the disciples, “struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear” (Lk 22:50). What did Christ do? He healed the ear of the temple servant, even as he led Jesus to His trial. On the cross, Jesus prayed for His enemies, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34). As he was being stoned to death, Stephen “knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:60)

What kind of attitudes should we have towards our enemies? Love, do Good, Bless and Pray for them (Mt 5:44-45); Forgive them (Mt 6:12; Acts 7:59-60); Help and show kindness to them (Rom 12:20); Rejoice not in their misfortunes (Pr. 24:17-18); Win them with kindness (Rom 12:21).

Why should we love our enemies according to Mt 5:43-48? [1] Because God said so – “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.” [2] Because God does so—“He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” [3] Because our identity (who we are in Christ) demands is – “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” [4] Because God loved us first — “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NKJV). We were lost.  We weren’t just lost, we were workers of evil.  We weren’t neutral to God, we were his enemies, working against his good laws and good kingdom.  We were leading others astray, we were blatantly tossing to the muck the good laws of our God.  And yet, even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Beloved, it was when we were still God’s enemies (Col. 1:21 and Rom. 5:10) that He demonstrated His love for us. Through Jesus, God’s love brought salvation to us.

Our ability to love our enemies is directly tied to our willingness to let go of our anger, and to forgive.  This is not easy unless the Spirit of God dwells in us. We can always start by praying for our enemies. We can send out “peacemakers” to try to heal the divide and restore broken relationships. Praying is an act of mercy. Praying for our enemies is loving them like our Heavenly Father does. Praying changes our hearts “to start loving them.” Loving our enemies means seeing them as sinners (or, lost human beings) in need of the Saviour and the Father’s love! Start loving your enemy today.

Have a Good Night: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the Lord will reward you.” (Proverbs 25:21–22, NKJV)  “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21, NKJV)