We invite you to take the content of our Sunday Morning worship hour, and respond with a friend, your family, or your LIFEgroup each week. This is meant to be a guide for your discussions and can be used as a launching point or complete Study Outline. Feel free to choose all, many or even just one that will work best for your LIFEgroup.
downloads . (scroll down for today's discussion starters and additional resources)
Jesus calls His followers to live the most righteous lives, which is only possible for those with transformed hearts.
We’re continuing our journey through Jesus’ most famous teaching, His Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7. We began this series with the understanding that the main point of Jesus’ teaching is to show what it looks like to live in God’s kingdom, what it looks like to live a life of following Jesus.
To describe it in a word, it’s different; counter-cultural, upside down.
Followers of Jesus live lives that tell a different story
Not only is Jesus not going to do away with the law, he’s not going to change these rules of life... but he’s going to fulfill them, they’ll be accomplished. Now what does that mean?
The Law was given to show Israel how to live as God’s people & how to show the world what God was like.
The key to living as God’s people & showing the world what God is like, is righteousness, to be & live righteously.
For those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus, make no mistake, Jesus sets the bar high... he even tells us to count the cost before we decide to follow Him, Jesus isn’t kidding, He’s calling us higher & deeper. However, also remember you can’t succeed alone, you need a heart & mind that is being renewed, and God’s Spirit helping you.
Scripture to read.
Matthew 5.17-20, “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. For truly I tell you, 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. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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. 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.”
Jeremiah 31.31-34, “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out
of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ” declares the Lord. “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Ezekiel 36.24-27 "For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
questions to ask.
What are some areas of our culture that it is common to cut corners on the rules, but it is overlooked as "no big deal"? Are there areas you realize you need to be more honest about?
What is one area of your life that you realize you cannot attain righteousness however you try, and need to surrender and ask God for help again
What area of life do you need/want to ask God for wisdom in knowing what the "right" or "righteous" way is?
See Section C for further reflection.
application | challenge.
What is God speaking to you about?
What is He calling you to do?
We would love to hear your highlights from this discussion so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text us at 585-622-4575.