Teaching: Committing Murder in Your Heart Matthew 5:21-26

  1. What is commonly believed is this: Anger is OK, Murder is not. (v. 21)
  2. But Jesus teaches us this: Anger in every form is the same as Murder. (v. 22)
  3. Application- Reconcile with your Brother. (23-26)
  4. Application- Settle conflict with unbelievers. (v. 25-26)

“We must not think that because we are not on death row, we do not deserve to be. We may not have murdered anyone, but we may have allowed anger toward another person to feed a root of bitterness in our hearts. Perhaps it is time to kill the root and restore the relationship. Until we do, we are the offender in need of the very mercy we are withholding.” – Daryl Crouch.[1]

 

[1] http://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/7-practices-to-help-heal-your-angry-heart

(I apologize for the mistake- Daryl Crouch is a he not a she).

The Blessing of Good Wine in the New Covenant

In my sermon this week, we saw a picture of the way Jesus comes and changes water into wine. This sign points to the way he comes and brings about the joy and blessing of the New Covenant in his blood. This covenant at its essence is the gospel; Christ came and died on the cross so that sinners who repent and believe can be reconciled to God.

But what is the ultimate good of the Gospel? Is it a freedom from punishment? Eternal comfort for ourselves? Being reunited with Christian family and friends when we get to heaven? These things are blessings of the gospel but they are secondary and can steal from the ultimate good of the Gospel which is God himself. Here are some passages of Scripture that may help you understand.

Psalm 42:1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.

Philippians 1:23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.

Isaiah 40:9 O Jerusalem, messenger of good news (Gospel); lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

The sin that Jesus paid for on the cross allows you to be in the presence of God forever. As believers in Jesus, we can see and savor the Lord now and forever. This is the good wine of the New Covenant that Jesus brings.

John Piper says this “If God is not treasured as the ultimate gift of the gospel; none of his gifts will be gospel (good news).”

The Before-and-After of the Christian Life

Today’s text (Colossians 1:21-23) gives us a beautiful before-and-after picture of the Christian life. It is very common for advertising companies to use before-and-after images in order to prove the power and ability of the product they are trying to sell.  This is the sort of thing Paul is giving us here. This is your situation before Christ saved you: because of your sin, you were “alienated, hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.” This is your situation now by the grace of God: you are “reconciled” in order to be presented “holy and blameless and above reproach” before God.

This amazing, before-and-after picture does not make much of you.  It merely shows how far you have come in your spiritual maturity.  This picture clearly makes much of God’s power in the way He gives sight to the spiritually blind (Matthew 11:5). This picture glorifies God in the way He gives life to us: we who were “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).  As your reflect on the sermon, remember the immeasurable grace of your savior Jesus Christ who, despite the fact that you were in rebellion against Him, loved you and saved you.  What an amazing God we worship.

The book of Colossians has been a huge blessing in my life.  If you are interested in going through Colossians in you devotional time, I would encourage you to consider The Hope of Glory by Sam Storms. My wife and I have been greatly blessed by reading this devotional together. I also recommend a book called The Hole in Our Holiness for anyone who would like to learn more about the joy of seeking holiness.

The Hope of Glory by Sam Storms

100 daily Meditations on Colossians

The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin Deyoung

Tells of God’s power to help us grow in personal holiness as we enjoy the process of transformation