Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BEGINNING WITH THE END

Susie Miller
Sermon on the Mount (pt 2)

As we begin our study of the Sermon on the Mount, we would do well to begin with the end.  We do not have the luxury of only spending 18 minutes with our subject, and then encouraging everyone to follow through on what was said. So we will begin by encouraging everyone to follow through on what is about to be said.

You know the story well—
Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matt. 7:24-27)
The failure to apply the principle given here is the number one cause for the weakness in the Body of Christ.

The principle is simple—Just Do It.
Nike made millions from the slogan.
Christians would become “nike” (Greek for overcomer/victor) if they would “Just Do It.”

Jesus is saying here that the only way to maintain a strong presence in the world is to put His teachings into practice.
Do them.
Practice what He says.

That is the Greek word which we have translated as “acts” in The Acts of the Apostles—practice. That book is the story of how the early church “practiced” their Christianity.
They “DID” the word of God.

James tells us that if the majority of our Christian experience is sitting in church listening to sermons, then we are deceiving ourselves (James 1:22). We learned in a previous study that it is difficult at best to extricate oneself from deception.

(click on the word "deception" on the right under 'Categories and Tags')

It would seem, then, that the best way is to avoid the possibility in the first place and DO the Word of God, ie, put it into practice when we hear it.

According to Jesus, we can build quite a structure that is pleasing to the eye, and may even provide comfort for awhile, but when the times of testing come (and they WILL come), it will all come tumbling down, because there was no foundation upon which to stand.

Let’s look at some of the other verses in the Bible which reveal God’s heart about our practice as Christians and following His Word.
  • John 13:17—If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Doing the Word of God is a key to happiness. Might it also be possible that NOT doing what we know to do could be a key to our Unhappiness? 
  • James 4:17—So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (ESV) We also know that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), and death is not a happy place.
  • John 8:31—Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; We know that the word “continue” (or “abide”) has much more meaning than simply a daily devotional practice of reading from the Bible. It means to “live in” that word, ie, doing it brings life.
Therefore, as we launch into this study of the Sermon on the Mount, you will find a strong emphasis on the practical application of its many lessons.


We will be looking for ways to DO THE WORD.
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