This week begins a verse by verse study of Mathew chapters 5-7. This section of the bible is traditionally called the sermon on the Mount. The words in this passage of scripture layout the ethic of Christ. It is commonly thought to be His regular message on how His true followers are to live their lives. It’s been called the constitution of Christianity.
The passage does not deal with the cross or the resurrection though it does begin with what repentance and faith look like. This is about how we are to live out our lives in relationship with God and others once we have repented. nearly all the teachings of the rest of the new testament find their moral roots in the Sermon on the mount.
It seems in these days where much judgment is being heaped on Christians in our culture that we need to know for ourselves what God expects of us. When you get, confused, and turned around you must go back to the last place you recognized. You try to do all you can to remember your guide’s directions. These are times where we need to go back to the clear directions of Christ about what it means to truly follow Him.
Mat 5:1 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
How do we live life as more than a religious act?
The new study is titled: BACK TO THE MOUNTAIN. In this, we will try to understand the teachings of Jesus in His sermon on the mountain. Let’s make a commitment to read Mathew 5-7 each week and prayerfully help each other understand what it means to follow Our Lord.
I am praying you will come and make an effort to bring some on with you.
STEPS TO PREPARE
PRAY FOR THE SERVICES AND FOR YOURSELF
AND ME AND THE OTHER TEACHERS.
PRAYERFULLY READ THE SCRIPTURES
AND CONSIDER THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND A PREACHING SERVICE AND A SMALL GROUP.
INVITE SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
The following questions will be considered as we study the “Sermon on the Mountain”. Please take some time to prayerfully read the scriptures and ask these questions. Make room!
New Sermon Series – Back to the Mountain
This Week’s Lesson – Avoiding Hypocrisy
Teaching goal is to recognize and turn from hypocrisy by learning to live honestly.
Start by reading the scripture then, ask the questions listed below.
Mat 15:7-9 “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: 8 ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. 9 ‘but in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'”
- Why are “Christians accused of being hypocrites so often?
- What is a hypocrite?
Luk 13:12-15 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” 13 And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God. 14 But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?
- Why is hypocrisy so easy for religious people to fall into?
Mat 6:2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Mat 6:5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.Mat 6:16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Mat 7:1-5 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
- In what areas is hypocrisy brought up most?
- Describe how hypocrisy has affected you or someone you know?
Gal 6:1-3 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking toyourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
- What is the difference between hypocrisy and stumbling into sin?
1 Jn 1:5-10 This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him. 6 If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth–we’re not living what we claim. 7 But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin. 8 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. 9 On the other hand, if we admit our sins–make a clean breast of them–he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 10 If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God–make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
- Why is this so hard for us?
- What is the alternative to living as a hypocrite?