Jesus Is the Power to Live Morally
Topic: Epiphany Passage: Matthew 5:20–5:37
Preaching Text: Matthew 5:20-37
Jesus addresses some hot topics: murder, adultery, divorce, lying, retaliation, and hostility. Although it’s highly relevant, this list is certainly not exhaustive, neither are Jesus’ remarks. This is not a new law, but illustrations of the spirit behind the letter of the law. Jesus exposes why we do those things. The deeper sins are anger, lust, deception, vengeance, and hatred. The opposite attitudes exemplify the kind of righteousness that “exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees.”
Main Point: Jesus invites us on the adventure of living in his kingdom and shares his expectations of the character of that kingdom.
Christians are expected to make real-life decisions in this new kingdom situation like actors performing with improvisation. Through knowledge of previous acts of the play and the heart of the author, so to speak, good improvisation is possible. Christians must consider Jesus’ teaching along with the rest of Scripture and the Holy Spirit in the community of the church. Only then will we know how to live.
Take heart. You are never alone on this kingdom adventure. He is with you. Learn to repent of the deeper heart issues in his presence with honest prayer. Through his Cross, his Spirit and his Table, the Lord will transform you into his character.