The fifth, sixth and seventh chapters of Matthew’s Gospel are known, collectively, as “The Sermon on the Mount!” It has been called “The Greatest Sermon of All Time!” The teaching is very similar to Luke 6:17-49 which is referred to as “The Sermon on the Plain”. Scholars agree that this indicates these were common teachings and themes that Jesus spoke of frequently from place to place. Anything Jesus felt was important enough to repeat clearly deserves some deep study and application on our part. The Sermon on the Mount and The Sermon on the Plain form a short Discipleship 101 course for us. What are the BASICS of what it means to truly be a FULLY DEVOTED follower of Jesus? What should we do? How should we speak? How should we act? How should we treat others? What should our motives be? In November and December, Pastor G will take seven weeks to dig deep into these incredibly important teachings of Jesus in his new message series: MAUNA: Teachings from the Sermon on the Mount.
Here, in Week Six: Dogs, Pigs, Wolves and Sheep!
Pastor G takes us through Matthew 7:6-23.
Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces. ~ Matthew 7:6
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:11
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! ~ Matthew 7:7-11
In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets. Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it! ~ Matthew 7:12-14
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it. ~ Matthew 13:44-45
Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will recognize them by their fruit. ~ Matthew 7:15-20
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23
The good person out of the good treasury of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury produces evil, for his mouth speaks from what fills his heart. Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you? ~ Luke 6:45-46
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. ~ Matthew 5:17-18
So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 5:19-20
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 7:21
… How can we who died to sin still live in it? ~ Romans 6:2b
Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows, because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith. ~ Galatians 6:7-10
Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as He does in obedience? Certainly, obedience is better than sacrifice; paying attention is better than the fat of rams. ~ 1 Samuel 15:22
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Matthew 7:6 and 1 Corinthians 5:11
1) What do you think Jesus would classify as a “pearl” in this context?
2) What are some examples of “pigs” and “dogs” in this context?
READ: Matthew 7:7-11
1) When Jesus says to ask, what is He saying we can ask for?
2) When Jesus says to seek, what are we seeking?
3) When Jesus says to knock, on what door is He referring to?
4) How does your Father in Heaven determine what is a “good gift” for you?
READ: Matthew 7:12-14
1) How does treating others the way you would want them to treat you fulfill the Law and the Prophets? Is this statement similar to another passage you are familiar with?
READ: Matthew 13:44-45
1) How is this reference to fine pearls related to Jesus caution about throwing pearls in front of pigs?
READ: Matthew 7:15-20
1) Jesus tells us to watch out for false prophets. How can you spot one? What are the signs of a false prophet?
2) What is their “fruit?” What are some examples of “false prophet fruit” that you have encountered in your life?
3) What are other examples of “good fruit” and “bad fruit” in this context?
4) When Jesus talks about this metaphor or parable of trees that don’t bear good fruit being cut down and thrown into the fire, to what real-world event is He referring?
READ: Matthew 7:21-23 and Luke 6:45-46
1) What is your first reaction to this passage? Does this give you pause? How confident are you that when you call Jesus “Lord” on judgment day He will recognize you as His fully devoted follower?
2) If you are not 100% sure of that what can you do now to be sure?
READ: Matthew 5:17-20, Romans 6:2, Galatians 6:7-10 and 1 Samuel 15:22
1) In our modern culture there is a tendency to hear people who have never studied the Bible “water down” the Bible and “boil it down” to “Don’t judge. Just love.” Do you think there is more to it than that? Why or why not?
2) Is that kind of “greasy grace” understanding dangerous? Why or why not?
3) With all of the Scriptures you just read above in this question how important is it to God that His followers obey His Law?
4) If we read in the Bible that something is a sin, should we consider it a sin? Why or why not? If it is no longer considered a sin in our modern secular culture should we abandon the idea that it is a sin as well? Why or why not?
5) If a brother or sister in Christ can show you in Scripture that a behavior in your life is considered a sin by God, what should your response be?