The Christ Church Wednesday Bible Study Group is conducting an exhaustive study of Jesus Sermon on the Mount, Matthew Chapters 5, 6, and 7. These are the Leader's notes to the study. The notes include the full text of the important scriptures of the study. Join us here and study along with us. The Sermon on the Mount is the Manifesto of the Kingdom of Heaven. In Session 3 Jesus tells the multitude, and Christians that they will be persecuted because of their relationship with Him and their righteousness. Those with a relationship with Christ have influence and because of it they must be like salt and light.
Persecution For Righteousness Sake
Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Do we celebrate every situation as victor? When pressed with trials, do our thoughts and emotions honor Christ? Are we passionate enough about reconciling ourselves and others with God to joyfully pay the price?
How do we feel deep inside when hurt by those we have helped? Are we truly able to “let go and let God”? Can we rejoice and keep on rejoicing in every situation? If not that is a goal we can strive for.
Salt and Light
Christ asserts that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. As salt we preserve and flavor a rotting and insipid world. As light we are to lift the brightness of Christ up with confidence and allow him to shine through us to reveal the darkness of our world. Jesus reveals to us that the ultimate purpose of our influence is to be distinct to the people around us so that they would encounter the love of Christ and give glory to God.
● Jesus calls us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. To do this Jesus the King must first be salt and light in our lives. How do you see Jesus preserving and flavoring your life? How do you see Jesus shining into your life exposing darkness and revealing sin, hurts and hang ups that prevent you from fully following Him?
● Read Matthew 5:13
Matthew 5:13 CEV You are the salt for everyone on earth. But if salt no longer tastes like salt, how can it make food salty? All it is good for is to be thrown out and walked on.
Salt has several capacities.
● Read Matthew 5:14-15
Matthew 5:14-15 CEV You are the light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, and no one lights a lamp and puts it under a clay pot. Instead, it is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house.
The "you" is emphatic in the Greek text, so that we might translate it "You, and you alone are the light of the world.".
"The light of Jesus Christ is to be reflected in our lives
John 8:12 CEV Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won't be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.”
Light has several functions.
Here we see our influence described as light. Light reveals and exposes darkness most effectively if it is elevated and put on display were people are able to see it. How do you elevate the light of Christ shining in and through you in your life? What are the things that might act as baskets that cover or obscure the light, inhibiting Jesus from shining through you?
● Read Matthew 5:16
Matthew 5:16 CEV Make your light shine, so others will see the good you do and will praise your Father in heaven.
Jesus teaches that the purpose of our influence is to expose others to the love of Jesus so that they would give glory to God. How do you see Jesus using you to show God to the people in your life? What areas of your life are distinct and different from the world around you? Where in your life is it challenging to be distinct and different?