“The True Righteousness”

 

Text – MATTHEW 5:20-37

 

GRACE BE UNTO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER AND FROM OUR LORD AND SAVIOR – JESUS THE CHRIST.

In that portion of the Sermon on the Mount which provides our text this morning, Jesus talks about true righteousness.

 

In Greek, the word is δικαιοσύνη which means “the state of a person or thing being what God created and defined it to be”.  

When God first created Adam and Eve in God’s Own Image, they were righteous.  They knew God intimately, understood God and His Will for their lives perfectly, and lived as the people God had created and defined them to be – until the temptation and fall.  That changed their lives – and ours – completely.  No longer did they understand God’s Will as clearly as before nor were they any longer able to live their lives as God created human beings to live -  for their knowledge of how God wanted them – and us – to live was clouded by temptations and guilt. They were no longer righteous – no longer what God created and defined them to be.

The entire human race has followed Adam and Eve down that unrighteous path.  As God Himself reminds us in Paul’s EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS (3:22c-23), “There is no difference, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  There is not even one of us who is δικαιοσύνη – righteous - not a one of us who without Divine Intervention is what God created and defines us to be.

                       

                   Γραμματευς                         Φαρισαιος

And Jesus warns us, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you certainly will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

“THE SALT, THE LIGHT, THE LAW AND PROPHETS”

 

Text – MATTHEW 5:13-20

 

GRACE BE UNTO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER AND FROM OUR CRUCIFIED AND RISEN LORD AND SAVIOR – JESUS THE CHRIST.

Last Sunday, as we began a series of sermons that focused upon the greatest sermon ever preached, Jesus began His Sermon on the Mount with THE BE-ATTITUDES in which Jesus sketched the only path to true and lasting blessedness and happiness. This morning, Jesus describes how those lives Jesus has filled with that true and lasting blessedness and happiness are called by Him to impact upon the world – as spiritual salt and light truly faithful to God’s Law and Prophets.  

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth ...”

In Biblical times, salt played an even larger role in life than it does today.

We are all familiar with its use as a condiment, of course, and probably equally familiar with its ancient use as a preservative in food.  In fact, it was by necessity the preservative in Biblical times.

A newborn baby was rubbed with salt – medically to cleanse the body and ward off germs – spiritually to ward off demons like the ones Jesus cast out in several of His miracles.

A covenant of salt was a permanent covenant since eating salt with someone signified being forever bound to that person or that commitment.

 

 

GRACE BE UNTO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER AND FROM OUR CRUCIFIED AND RISEN LORD AND SAVIOR – JESUS THE CHRIST.

“Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild restless sea – Day by day His Clear Voice sounding, saying ‘Christian, follow Me.’”  Is there any more apt description of the times in which we are living than “our life’s wild restless sea”?  Any more comforting words than “Jesus calls us o’er that tumult”?

The Season of Epiphany is a season of Divine Invitations.  Epiphany means”showing forth” or “revealing” – and, of course, what the Season of Epiphany shows forth and reveals is Jesus – the human Baby lying in an animal’s feeding trough in a cave stable  is revealed to also be The Son of God – True Man and True God – The Christ.  And throughout this wonderful enlightening season, the revelation can never be separated from the invitations – from Jesus calling us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild restless sea.

The season began with God as the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ being  revealed for the first time to Gentiles like us to whom God issued His call through the star God created to guide them.  Then came John the Baptist – the voice crying in the wilderness preparing the way for the Coming of The Lord with the invitation – “Come - Repent and be baptized”.  And after Jesus turned that rite of baptismal repentence into His Sacrament of Holy Baptism, God issued another invitation through John the Baptist to two of his disciples to whom he said, “Behold The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!” Those two – Andrew and John - beheld Jesus and ran after Him – where they heard Jesus’ personal invitation to “Come and see”.

“IS EVERYBODY HAPPY?”

 

Text – MATTHEW 5:1—12

 

GRACE BE UNTO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER AND FROM OUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOUR … JESUS THE CHRIST.

Thanks to radio, television, computers, video games, and theme parks, we have become the most entertained generation in the history of the world – but are we the happiest?  

 

Picture a lush green Galilean hillside - next to Capernaum and overlooking the Sea of Galilee – the perfect setting and gathering place for   people who have come to hear Jesus teach them about the things that really matter in life - now and eternally.

 

µạḵạṗḭṑḭ

Blessed … Happy

Jesus sat in the midst of the crowd as was the custom with the teachers of that day.  The people stood - as was their custom.

"OUR EVER-PRESENT LAMB OF GOD"

 

Text - JOHN 1:29-31 and THE 23rd PSALM

 

THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS - OUR CRUCIFIED AND RISEN LORD AND SAVIOUR.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!" THE LAMB OF GOD!

 

Without a conscientious shepherd to lead them, Judean sheep would die of starvation or thirst or wander into eminent danger.

I have an article in my files I’ve shared in sermons and BIBLE studies   about a group of Basque shepherds who left their flocks in the field as they went into town for supper. A sudden storm, a bolt of lightning, and a loud clap of thunder caused a panicky ram to run and 3,000 sheep followed that ram off the edge of a cliff to their death.  

As if Israel’s barren terrain and the sheep's helpless nature aren't enough of a handicap, their anatomy adds to their problems.  While cattle can graze the same pasture for long periods of time, sheep have such narrow lips that they eat the grass right down to the soil and their cloven hoofs tear up that soil and the roots just beneath it.  When it comes to water, sheep will only drink it if the water is truly clear and perfectly still.

    

Bible Verse of the Day

Contact Us

Address
2370 N.E. Catawba Road
Port Clinton, Ohio 43452
Phone
(419) 797-4628