Christian Counter Culture

I’m out of town but I wanted to get something on the blog this week. I’m still thinking about the Sermon on the Mount so I decided to put up my notes from this past Sunday. You can listen to the message by going to our podcast page on the website at www.springcreekbc.net it should be online by Friday.

Here are the notes:
Matthew 5:1-6

5/5/13

Intro: This is Jesus’ Treatise – What a Follower Looks Like
This is what He wants His followers to BE, not DO
Measure your life against every paragraph of the Sermon on the Mount

Christian Counter-Cultural Character

There must be a difference:
Sacred vs. Common
Set Apart vs. Everyday
A People of Distinction –Malachi 3

The church needs to learn that being like the world doesn’t attract non-Christians.
We also need to learn that Christ isn’t calling us to mere superficial/surface differences but to inner distinction.

True righteousness isn’t desribed by:
Wearing Christian clothes,
Listening to Christian music,
Watching Christian TV,
Driving a Christian car,
Working a Christian job, or
Making Christian money.

This is about the character of a person rightly related to God.
Who we should be as believers is contradicted by who the world wants us to be.
What we do will grow out of who we are.
What we do as believers will also be contradicted by what the world does.

There are also contradictions here, not only with the world, but also with the religious.

If you are not convicted as you read the Sermon on the Mount then you have issues at the heart of your relationship with God.

1. Blessed – Happy
Objective vs. Subjective

What God Declares How I Feel

What the believer What the world
Should want wants

Based on inner Based on outer
sufficiency circumstances

None of these are natural, they all require the power of the Spirit
They are for all Christians, not just the Super-Christians
They all are for Christians, not like spiritual gifts.

2. The Condition of My Spirit – v. 3-5
2.1 Poor in Spirit – v. 3
Definition:
Realization of my need for Christ
I will see this in the 10 Commandments or the SotM
Contrite and Humble spirit
I need God’s mercy
I am in spiritual poverty
Without pride before God
I have nothing to say about my education, honors, morality, accomplishments

Illustration – Isaiah 6 – I am a man of unclean lips

Contrast – “Believe in yourself, you have everything you need to accomplish great things”

Promise – Kingdom of Heaven – Present tense – not future
Salvation is only for those who recognize their own spiritual poverty and trust in Christ

2.2 Mourn – v. 4
Definition:
Not mourning a loved one, but mourning sin
Mourning the loss of innocence, personal integrity, self-respect
Sorrow over sinfulness that leads to repentance
Mourning over everything that hinders greater growth into the image of Christ

Also mourning the sinfulness of the nation, the world

Illustration – We make much of grace and sometimes that leads us to make light of sin

Contrast – Direct attack on superficial Christianity.
True joy will not precede conviction of sin.
“You need to be all that you can be”

Promise – There will be comfort
Be Sorrowful but not Miserable
Be Serious but not Sullen
We know Christ and His mercy, His grace, His hope

2.3 Meek/Gentle – v. 5
Definition:
Hard to define in English, Hebrew & Greek
Gentle, Humble, Considerate, Courteous
Power under control

A humble attitude that shows a true estimate of ourselves

“A man who is truly meek is the one who is truly amazed that God and man can think of him as well as they do and treat him as well as they do.” D. Lloyd-Jones

Illustration – David enduring the pursuit of Saul

Contrast – The world values the aggressive man who leads the organization with ambition
How did Peter respond to this? What about James and John, the Sons of Thunder?

Promise – Inherit the Earth
Not how we would expect to gain the world
Now – content, enjoying life without the frustration of unsatisfied ambition
Future – with Christ – even if I don’t get it here, there is the promise of eternity

2.4 How do we cultivate these?
Read about Christ from the gospels
Worship God throughout our lives
Contemplate standing before God
– we need to gain a proper view of ourselves in His presence
– we cannot continue to compare ourselves with others

3. The Longing of My Soul – v. 6
3.1 The Scope of Righteousness
– Rightly related to God – justified

– Rightly related to my own soul – morality

– Rightly related to others – social relationship, justice, freedom, honor

3.2 Spiritual Hunger Characterizes God’s People
Desire to be free from sin, the power of sin and the influence of sin in all its forms

Desperate to be holy

Illustration – Physical hunger moves us to get food
Spiritual hunger moves us to find satisfaction that can only be filled by Jesus Christ

If you have no desire for spiritual things then you need to examine whether you are related to God at all

Contrast – 1 Corinthians 2:14
The world seeks happiness – it can never be caught

Promise – Seek righteousness, you will be filled
You will be blessed

Conclusion:
Like the 10 Commandments, the SotM should confront us with our need for God’s grace and mercy that are found only at the Cross
Even as a believer, I must come to the cross

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