Ask God for salvation - Matthew 5:2
(A1) Open the session with prayer
(A2) Matthew 5:1 "One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him"
(1) Jesus directed the most famous sermon ever preached to his disciples (followers) with the crowds listening in. He wanted his disciples to know how to live in a way that God can bless both now AND after we die. It's called the "Sermon on the Mount" because it was given on a mountainside.
(2) This sermon was given by God himself (unlike any other sermon we've ever heard).
(3) The NKJV Study Bible "The essence of this sermon was probably preached many times during Jesus’ early ministry. The Sermon on the Mount was not given as the way of salvation for the lost, but as the way of life for true children of the kingdom. It was instruction for those who had responded to Jesus’ invitation to “repent” (4:17). These disciples were probably confused as to the true nature of righteousness and God’s kingdom. In this address, Jesus clarified both the heart of the law and the nature of true religion in God’s kingdom (see Mic. 6:8)." Why was the Sermon on the Mount given? It was instruction for those who had responded to Jesus’ invitation to _______".
(A3) Matthew 5:2 "and he began to teach them" If Jesus thought this sermon was important enough to teach shouldn't we also be teaching this?
(B) The Beatitudes
(B1) Matthew 5:3-10 "God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
(1) Jesus starts off his sermon with a pocket guide to his sermon with 8 easily memorizable keys to living in a way God can bless.
(2) The 8 Beatitudes all begin with "God blesses ...". Beatitudes means a state of blessedness. It comes from the Greek word that starts off each verse. These 8 divine guidelines explain the conditions what will bring true blessedness (full, genuine and not just circumstantial feeling of happiness) from God.
(3) The 8 Beatitudes are "attitudes to be".
(4) The beatitudes are the characteristics of a believer
(5) What are the 8 promises in v3-10?
(6) What are the 8 conditions in v3-10?
(C) Trust God for salvation
(C1) Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs."
(1) Blessed: From the MacArthur Bible Commentary "Blessed. The word lit. means “happy, fortunate, blissful.” Here it speaks of more than a surface emotion. Jesus was describing the divinely-bestowed well-being that belongs only to the faithful. The Beatitudes demonstrate that the way to heavenly blessedness is antithetical to the worldly path normally followed in pursuit of happiness. The worldly idea is that happiness is found in riches, merriment, abundance, leisure, and such things. The real truth is the very opposite. The Beatitudes give Jesus’ description of the character of true faith."
(2) Kingdom of Heaven: From the MacArthur Bible Commentary on Matthew 3:2 "Only Matthew’s Gospel uses the "the kingdom of heaven" expression. It uses “heaven” as a euphemism for God’s name-to accommodate his Jewish readers’ sensitivities (cf 23:22). The rest of Scripture refers to “the kingdom of God.” Both expressions refer to the sphere of God’s dominion over those who belong to Him. The kingdom is now manifest in heaven’s spiritual rule over the hearts of believers (Luke 17:21) and, one day, will be established in a literal earthly kingdom (Rev. 20:4-6). is at hand. In one sense, the kingdom is present but, in its fullest sense, is yet to be fulfilled."
(C2) Poor in Spirit
(1) Most translations say "poor in spirit". The NLT explains "poor in spirit" as "realize their need for him", the NIRV as "spiritually needy", the CEV as "who depend only on him" and the NCV as "who realize their spiritual poverty".
(2) The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Means "to acknowledge spiritual bankruptcy. To confesses one's unworthiness before God and utter dependence on him. ... All must begin by confessing that by themselves they can achieve nothing."
(3) The ESV Study Bible: "The poor in spirit are those who recognize they are in need of God’s help."
(4) the MacArthur Bible Commentary: "The opposite of self-sufficiency".
(5) Chuck Smith: "Christ not commending poverty. ... Many poor have a horrible spirit."
(6) Chuck Smith: "Only those who are poor in spirit will ever enter the kingdom of heaven."
(7) Guzik: "it is a confession that he is sinful and rebellious and utterly without moral virtues adequate to commend him to God."
(8) Which quote meant the most to you?
(C3) What it means to realize one's need for God - Luke 18:9-14 "Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: (10) “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. (11) The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! (12) I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ (13) “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ (14) I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
(1) The Pharisees followed the letter of the law while ignoring its true intent.
(2) Which one realize their need for God (was poor in Spirit)?
(3) In v13 What did the tax collector know about himself?
(4) In v13 what did the tax collector need from God?
(5) What did the Pharisee think he didn't need from God?
(6) In v13 what did the tax collect do?
(7) In v14 how did Jesus summarize the tax collector's actions?
(8) If we want to be justified with God what must we do?
(9) How to tell if you have confidence in your own righteousness. If you:
(a) Tell God how good you are.
(b) Don't ask for mercy.
(c) Don't realize you are a sinner, that you need God's forgiveness.
(d) Don't confess your sins.
(e) No sorrow for your sins.
(f) Feel no need for mercy from God.
(g) Substitute easy stuff (fasting, giving 10%) instead of being 100% devoted in heart, not just outward actions
(10) How to tell if you realize your need for God. If you:
(a) Fear and respect God
(b) Are sorrowful.
(c) Asking God for mercy.
(d) Confess you're a sinner.
(11) From the Moody Bible Commentary: "This tax collector’s demeanor conveyed his sense of unworthiness (18:13a), in that he stood some distance away from the temple proper. He showed utter self-abasement before God-unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven. He displayed a distressed and penitent attitude by his act of beating his breast, and his prayer was a cry for mercy from a repentant heart (18:13b). He entreated God to be merciful to him. Merciful (hilaskomai) was used in the LXX to translate verbs related to atonement for sins, and here means “to be gracious because of some sacrifice.” This publican was completely dependent on God for establishing a right relationship with Him, in contrast to the Pharisee in the parable. Jesus’ shocking conclusion was that the humble man, the tax collector, was justified (considered righteous in the eyes of God) rather than the proud man (18:14). The lesson was clear: only those who come to God with authentic humility can expect to find God favorable. This parable is one of the most significant lessons on the crucial truth of justification (cf. Rm 3:21-28). The tax-collector was declared righteous on the basis of his repentant faith." What is your take away from this?
(C4) Watch this 3 minute video that shows how one can be saved from his sins (from going to hell). 3 Circles video.
(1) How can we be saved? Turn from their way and surrender to Jesus and believe that Jesus came and died on the cross and rose from the dead and are willing to make Him their king and Lord.
(C5) Read the Billy Graham Gospel presentation including watching Billy's 2 minute video at StepsToPeace.org
(1) What do you have to do? You have to repent of your sins. That means being willing to change your way of living. You may have not power to do that. But if you surrender to Christ he'll give you the power.
(2) He will give you the power to change.
(3) Indecision is itself a choice.
(4) Your decision will determine where you are 100 years from now.
(5) If your not sure you are going to heaven, if you're not sure your sins are forgiven. You come and make him Lord and Savior of your life.
(C6) Read the Do You Know pamphlet
(1) What are the 5 things we need to know? (see pages 6,8,10,12-13, 14-15) Here's the 5 things: (1) Eternal life is a free gift. (2) Man is a sinner. (3) God is merciful. God is just. (4) Jesus Christ: Who is He? What did He do? (5) Faith is the key that opens the door to heaven. Saving faith is trusting in Jesus Christ ALONE.
(2) What are the 4 things we need to do? (see pages 16-17) (1) Transfer your trust. (2) Accept the living Christ as savior. (3) Receive Jesus Christ as Lord. (4) Repent of your sin.
(3) Did the prayer on page 19 make sense?
(C7) The Blessing “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs." What is God's blessing for those who realize their need for him and therefore repent and believe the Good News?
(C8) Review: Which gospel presentation did you like the best? "The 3 Circles", "Steps to Peace", or "Do You Know"?
(C9) Summary: Only by trusting God (and not our 'goodness') for salvation will we be saved.
(D1) How does one become a real follower of Jesus and go to heaven?
(D2) Who do you know that needs to know this session?
(D3) For next week study Session 3
(1) Share an update on last week's request.
(2) Share one thing you are thankful for this past week and 1-2 personal prayer requests for everyone to pray for this week.
(3) If you have time pray for the requests.