Matthew 5:13-20

Matthew 5:13-20

Jesus didn't come to make us guilty. We're already guilty! He came to free us from the guilt, to forgive us of the sin, and to fulfill His Father's law which started with love.Blessing isn’t about stuff. Blessing is about attitude: about an attitude of heart. You know what? We all need things in our life. I think we all have far more things than we really need in our life. We can live with a lot less, and God will provide those things that we need. But I think we have developed a wrong theology within our society, that we then look at those things as the blessing. But the blessing truly is the strength that comes from God’s Spirit when He dwells in us and around us; when our attitude is right with Him…

What are the attitudes that Jesus is dealing with here that He’s talking about? You know, I’ve thought about it all week, and you can take all of these attitudes of heart [from the Beatitudes], and wrap it up in one word. Humility. Jesus came to be an example of humility to this world. He was humble before men… [Do] you know what truly being humble is? Being humble is looking to God, seeing who you are through God’s eyes, and accepting who you are because God loves you. You know, it’s okay to say, “Wow, God loves me. I’m a filthy, rotten sinner, but God loves me”… The most humble thing you can do in life is display to a world around you the excitement that comes because God loves you [and] God loves me…

The true blessing comes when your heart is right with God, and you’re standing before a world saying, “Guess what? I love and believe in God, and more importantly, He loves me! And I couldn’t have loved Him unless He had loved me first, and He gave everything so that I could have this love.” That’s humility…

Did you know that that’s part of what your responsibility in life is? If you know and love God, if you have a relationship with Jesus in your heart, that it is now a part of your responsibility to help preserve those that are in the world around you because guess what? The world around us is decaying, and part of how we stop that decay is by putting a preservative on it. We’re that preservative. When we share God’s love with the world, when we stand firm in what we believe about Jesus and Who He was, what He did for us, we become a preservative…

Jesus, in John, says, “I am the Light,” and so if you’re now the light, how does that happen? It only happens when you enter into relationship with Jesus. Remember, Jesus is talking to His disciples, those that He is in contact with, those that are walking with Him and learning from Him. You know what? You’re not going to shine very brightly if you’re not in fellowship with Jesus. You’re not going to shine very brightly if you are not regularly learning and sitting at the feet of Jesus. And if you don’t have a relationship with the Lord, guess what? You’re not going to shine at all. It’s like a flashlight without batteries. It can’t shine. It doesn’t work. But once you put the batteries in, it works great. Jesus is our power source…

So often we do good deeds so that people will see me. “Hey guys, look what I just did! I did a good deed!” That’s not what He’s talking about. You know, we do need to do good works, but we don’t do good works because we’re good. We do good works because we’re a light. We are displaying a life that has Jesus in it. We are displaying a life that has encountered the God of all creation, and He has become a great power source in our life. And because we, then, become a light ourself because of that Spirit that indwells us, we shine for people to see. The things we do display godliness. We’re not working so people can see us. We’re working so people can see God. When we are truly living as believers, when we are truly doing the things we’re doing because we love God, we’re not doing it for a show so people can see me… If you’re truly serving God, you’re going to do what needs to be done if nobody recognizes it or not that you did it. They’re just going to notice that it was done…

And this is our problem in the world. We don’t want to love [God’s way]. We want to bind people to a rule or a regulation, and if they don’t follow the rule or regulation, we condemn them. What does that have to do with love? You know what? If I see you breaking God’s law, I still have to live God’s law. And so, if I see you breaking God’s law, I’m going to love you. I’m going to remind you of God’s law, but I’m going to love you…

Jesus didn’t come to make us guilty. We’re already guilty! He came to free us from the guilt, to forgive us of the sin, and to fulfill His Father’s law which started with love. Rather than looking down on those that He was with, He built them up. Rather than discouraging those that He was with, He encouraged them — not to sin more. He encouraged them not to sin. But He encouraged them not to sin by forgiving them, by helping them through, and then showing them God’s love. The real law that was given. When God gave the law to Moses on the mountain, He was giving a letter of love to a people who were in desperate need. They took that letter of love and reinterpreted it, and then they bound each other to it. And they kept reinterpreting and reinterpreting and reinterpreting until pretty soon it had nothing to do with what the original writer of the law intended…

Jesus wants a heart attitude, and He wants that heart attitude to draw us into the kingdom of heaven, and He’s not going to kick us out of heaven because we break a law, but He wants us to understand what the law was for… It’s not about condemning, but it’s about bringing us into a relationship that allows for us to walk with the kingdom of heaven, in the kingdom of heaven, with the kingdom of heaven indwelling us. It’s like I said before: the kingdom of heaven isn’t a place we go. The kingdom of heaven is a relationship we have, and the only way to have the kingdom of heaven is to have a relationship with Jesus.

Pastor Dave Elkins