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Matthew 5:1-16

Talks for Growing Christians

The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-16

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Lesson Number 8

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Sermon on the Mount does not present the way of salvation.
  2. The Sermon on the Mount does present the way of righteous living.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s not lose our salt or hide our light.

Questions

  1. Why did Jesus sit down to teach?
  2. Who were Jesus’ original audience for the Sermon on the Mount?
  3. What was the purpose of the Sermon on the Mount?
  4. In light of the historical context, does the Sermon on the Mount have any use for us today?
  5. How was salt used in the time of Jesus? What then does it mean that we should be the “salt of the earth”?

Answers

  1. This was the traditional position of rabbis during the time of Jesus. They would stand up to read the scripture, sit down to teach.
  2. His audience included not only His closest disciples, but also a multitude or crowd (see Matthew 7:28).
  3. Looking at the historical context, we see that this Sermon was given in the interim period – the period between the time when the kingdom was offered to Israel, and the time when the kingdom as rejected. It described the moral qualities that should characterize anyone who had participated in John’s baptism unto repentance and was preparing for the kingdom of the Messiah.
  4. Yes. When Israel rejected the Messiah and His kingdom, the interim was over. Now we look for appropriate application. Although not all of the Sermon on the Mount can be applied to believers, there is plenty of application for us today.
  5. Salt was used as a preservative, to prevent the spread of decay and corruption in foods. Similarly, believers are to act as a preservative in society, to limit the spread of moral decay and corruption.

Discuss/Consider

  1. The Sermon on the Mount does not present the way of salvation. Discuss why this statement is true. As you read further into the Sermon, can you see why it will be important to understand this up-front?
  2. Re-read the Beatitudes. If Christ is our king, these moral qualities of the kingdom should characterize our life today. These qualities are not our natural instinct; discuss how you can make them a part of your life. Remember, if we follow the way of righteous living, we are not only blessed now, we will be rewarded later.

Challenge

  1. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine not just with good talk, but with good works for the Lord.

Key Verses

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
  • “You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13
  • “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

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