Someone has called this sermon “A Sweaty Palms” message.
Luke 6:27-28 #79
Charles e. Whisnant, Pastor/Teacher
Beginning the 8th year at Rivers of Joy Baptist Church, Minford, Ohio
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and His confrontation with the World:
Jesus was in the truest sense the greatest moral philosopher who ever lived. Jesus intends that His teaching be not only understood and thought upon, but also acted upon.
What Did Jesus Teach? What were the principles set forth by Jesus to live by?
The knowledge of God and the Word of God are synonymous. Everything that comes out from God in His Word, because everything about Him instructs, helps and inspires us.
What did Jesus Teach? “to cause to know” so what did Jesus want His disciples to know?
“The followers of Jesus are so different,” writes John Stott, “different from both the nominal church and the secular world, different from both the religious and the irreligious. The Sermon on the Mount is the most complete delineation anywhere in the New Testament of the Christian counter-culture. Here is a Christian value-system, ethical standard, religious devotion, attitude to money, ambition, lifestyle and network of relationships–all of which are totally at variance with those in the non-Christian world. And this Christian counter-culture is the life of the kingdom of God, a fully human life indeed but lived out under the divine rule.”
Typically the sermons of Jesus are given to us in some very brief summary fashion,
It is an important sermon because it’s a sermon about salvation. I
It’s a sermon that draws some very clear lines. It is a very simple and very straightforward sermon. It always amazes me …as to how complicated certain commentators can get in trying to understand what is very, very simple and straightforward. This sermon draws a simple contrast. It is a contrast between those people who are blessed and those people who are cursed. And, truly, that includes everybody. Everybody everywhere who’s ever lived either falls into the category of being blessed or being cursed.
The sermon ends with what has been implicit throughout it—the demand for radical submission to the exclusive lordship of Jesus, who fulfills the Law and the Prophets and warns the disobedient that the alternative to total obedience, true righteousness, and life in the kingdom is rebellion, self-centeredness, and eternal damnation.— D.A. Carson, Matthew, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary
EVERY GROUP OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD HAS A RELIGION AND AN OPINION ON SPIRITUAL LIFE.
There is really a very simple approach to religion.
Everybody relates to God in one of two ways. You’re either blessed by God or cursed by God. There is only one true and living God and that is the God revealed on the pages of Scripture.
There is no other God. And all men relate to the true and living God one way or another.
They are blessed by Him or they are cursed by Him.
They are in His Kingdom, or out of His Kingdom.
They are His children or the children of Satan. They are in the kingdom of light or they’re in the kingdom of darkness.
They are citizens of heaven or of hell.
And that’s how Jesus begins His sermon by pointing clearly to the blessed and the cursed.
The word “blessed” is in verse 20, 21, and 22; and the cursed are referred to with “woes,” woe meaning curse, in verses 24, 25 and 26. And Jesus, like any good evangelist, creates a contrast.
There are the people who are saved and the people who are lost,
the people who are cursed, the people who are blessed,
the people who belong to God, and those who belong to Satan,
those that have been transformed and regenerated and those that have not, those headed to heaven, those headed to hell.
THE SETTING OF THE SERMON
Verse 20 tells us that He was talking to disciples. That’s a broad generic word for learner, student. There were lots of people following Him, not just the twelve apostles.
Don’t confuse the disciples here with the apostles. The apostles were disciples but they are set apart from the disciples as apostles. Disciple means student, learner; apostle means messenger, sent one. And they had been identified, as we know, back in verse 12 to 14 as apostles. So the apostles are the twelve apostles. The rest of those following Jesus and learning Jesus’ teaching to one degree or another, being students of Jesus are in the broad category of disciples.
THE INTENT OF JESUS SPEAKING TO THE BROAD GROUP OF PEOPLE:
Jesus speaks to an across-the board category of people and says you’re either blessed or cursed; you’re either in one category or the other. You’re either in the Kingdom of God or outside the Kingdom of God.
THE MESSAGE TO YOU WHO ARE HERE TODAY IN 2015
And that is still a message that I would give today. You are all here. You are to one degree or another learners. You are students; you’ve come to hear me speak. And you fall into those two categories; you’re among the blessed or among the cursed.
And Jesus said that’s the way you have to view this whole matter of religion in the world.
Who are the blessed: Who are the true believers: You know you are in the Kingdom of God by Luke 6:20-26 :
First……..Is by how he views himself. And, inevitably, he views himself as a desperate, empty, hopeless, helpless…fill in the blank…sinner. That’s how true believers view themselves
Second…By how you view others:
“But I say to you who hear” Luke 6:27
That’s a very important statement. There’s a contrast being made here. There’s a contrast being made between people who have the ability to hear the voice of God and respond and people who don’t. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “The natural man understands not the things of God, to him they are foolishness.” YOU CAN STOP NOW GIRL PUPPY Thanks for proofreading this outline/notes 08-08-2015
Would be nice to have software for Biblical Exegesis and Research
A panel discussion on church growth. The young preachers who led the discussion presented many solid ideas for building the church numerically. One assertion, however, struck me as “off the mark.”
As he discussed the role of preaching in “filling the pews” one of the panelists asserted that the top three subjects that appeal to a modern audience are marriage, parenting and finances. No documentation was given. Then as if to offer a rationale for preaching more on these three subjects the preacher asserted that these were the top three subjects addressed by Jesus in his teaching ministry. Again, no documentation was offered. Now this assertion was wrong logically and factually.
Logically, even if it were true that the top three subjects addressed by Jesus were marriage, parenting and finances, that would not be justification for a preacher spending a disproportionate amount of time of these subjects.
Jesus lived and died under the old covenant. It was not until the resurrection and ascension that foundations of the gospel were complete. Only then could the fullness of the gospel be preached.
The last time I read the great commission that is exactly what Jesus told his disciples to preach.
In the last forty days Jesus was on earth he taught his disciples what was most important for them to know and to teach. He spoke about the kingdom of God, the coming age of the Holy Spirit, and witnessing throughout the world (Acts 1:3-8). Finances, parenting and marriage did not make the curriculum of the forty-day seminar.
Everything Jesus taught was true. But he focused on teaching concerning the kingdom of heaven (Mt 4:17). When he sent forth his disciples, he told them to focus on the message that the kingdom is at hand (Mt 10:7; Lk 10:11).
Jesus told his disciples that he had only introduced them to his message. The Holy Spirit was to come to finish the job. The Holy Spirit would guide the apostles into all truth (Jn 16:13).
Therefore, what the apostles taught in sermon and epistle is as much the teaching of Jesus as the words that came directly from the lips of the Master. There is no logical reason that we should classify the sermons of Jesus topically in order to construct a preaching plan for our congregations. We need to preach the entire message of Christ not just those subjects upon which he focused during his 3.5 years of earthly ministry.
Church growth gurus are telling us that our services are to be seeker oriented. Some are even saying that church services are not for Christians! They are designed for the “unchurched,” that euphemistic concession to political correctness that we use nowadays to designate the lost. So we employ music that the “unchurched” can gyrate to and praise choruses that are gospel anemic in order to fill the pews.
We use modern technology and every Madison Avenue strategy to pack’em in. But when do the lost hear the gospel? Not in the song service! Not in the sermon! Even communion meditations often miss the mark in terms of explaining why we observe the Lord’s Supper each week.
What is the purpose of bringing the “unchurched” to church if they go home without a Savior? What shall it profit a man if he has an ideal marriage, raises outstanding children, and has his finances in order, but loses his soul?
Were the top three subjects addressed by Jesus marriage, parenting and finances? I decided to take the time to check the assertion of the panelist. I took a red letter edition of the NIV and looked at every red letter verse in the four Gospels. I classified each according to its primary teaching aim as indicated by context. This was no easy task. Some verses address more than one subject. For example, Jesus may refer to prayer and faith in one verse. Under what heading should the verse be classified?
From the study those few red letter verses where the disciples are merely repeating something Jesus said earlier. Here are some of the results of my study.
In the four Gospels there are 1,854 red letter verses in which Jesus is directly speaking. Of these 341 are comments that clearly have no direct teaching value. For example, Jesus often engaged in casual conversation with his disciples or with those in his audience. Removing these non-teaching verses left 1,513 verses to be analyzed.
I found that the Gospel of Matthew had the most red letter teaching verses both in terms of raw numbers (1,071) and percentage (55%) of the total material in the book.
The top ten subjects addressed in the teaching of Jesus are these:
eternal life and salvation (46 vv; 3.04%);
prayer (48 vv.; 3.17%);
persecution (54 vv; 3.57%);
judgment and hell (61 vv; 4.03%);
predictions, especially about his disciples and himself (67 vv; 4.43%);
hypocrisy (73 vv; 4.82%);
second coming (79 vv; 5.22%);
fate of Jerusalem and the evil generation that rejected Jesus (119 vv; 7.87%);
Jesus’ identity and mission (129 vv; 8.53%).
The subject that Jesus spoke about most was the kingdom (159 vv; 10.51%)—its nature, entrance requirements and nearness.
For the record, I found sixteen verses which had the primary teaching emphasis on marriage and divorce (1.06%), and forty-three verses (2.84%) that addressed treasure and greed.
Frankly, I could not find anything that Jesus said that had the primary intention of teaching on the subject of parenting. Perhaps the panelist was counting all the passages where Jesus referred to his heavenly Father!
Why would a panelist at a state-wide gathering make the outlandish assertion that Jesus’ teaching majored in the subjects of marriage, parenting and finances? Even allowing for a difference of opinion on the classification of some of the verses that I examined, these subjects would not come close to representing the thrust of Jesus’ teaching. It seems to me that in the interest of church growth we are taking our cues from Oprah rather than Jesus.