Monday, 31 August 2015

Matthew 6:1-18 Be Passionate to Know Your Lord by Ho King Swee dated 30.8.15


On the average:
with whom have you spent most of your time? 
Who is most willing to spend time with you?
Who are you willing to spend most time with?
Jesus taught true righteousness
Do not be hypocrite when you (6:1-18)
1) Give alms (6:1-4)
      2) Pray  (6:5-8)    
      3) Fast  (6:16-18)
      But do them unto your heavenly FATHER (who is/sees in secret) . Worship our Father from our hearts when we carried out the above actions.
      Jesus taught the way to pray (9-15). In Luke 11:1 He taught this too. 
      a)      V.9 “Our Father who art in heaven” this is about a relationship with the Father.
Refer to John 17:3, Rom 18:15, Gal 4:6
      Our Father who are in heaven also speaks of a position in the highest. 
      b)      “Hallowed be thy name” – “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done” talking about compassion for the lost.  V.11 “give us this day our daily bread” . V. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. V. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, -Lord’s assurance of ability to stand against temptations.  1 Cor.10:13.  Also refer to John 17:15 – God is in control.  V. 13 For Yours is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Our focus must be on Jesus
1.See a true picture of God the Father (must know intimately)
2. Set eyes on Jesus (not Jesus + other)
Build a strong relationship with God as the Father on the foundation of Christ.
Pray and humble yourself and pray always
What we do --- Eternal Life
Who we are Christ likeness ------ Inner Life
The foundation 1 Cor 13:11------ Christ
Above is the lifestyle of the Kingdome of Heaven

Do you know that God is the one most willing to spend time with you?
What about you?
Jesus was declared in Matthew as “Immanuel” meaning God is with us (Mt.1:23)
Jesus promised to be with us even to the end of the world/age (Mt.28:20)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Matthew 5:1-12 Part 2: Living out the Ten commandments under the New Covenant by Dr. Thomas Chung dated 16.8.15


The Beatitudes were taught by Jesus on the Sermon of the Mount.  These qualities are not upheld by people nowadays.  They are totally opposite to qualities that people look for nowadays.  If we are to live according to qualities as spelt out by the Beatitudes people will call us wimps.  Who wants to have qualities like meek, mournful, etc?

The Church is like a battleship. It battles with evil.  Its a battleship to rescue those from the evil ones.  People take refuge in the church so to speak.  In fact, a Church is everything. 

Does God wants us to have qualities as listed in the Beatitudes ?

Why did Jesus teach about such qualities ?

According to a theologian the Beatitude is a Spiritual Charter of the Kingdom of God, another says it is an Essence of Christ-likeness.  Jesus lived out all the qualities of the Beatitudes.  This is what God wanted us to be, living like Jesus Christ.

Living out the Ten commands under the New Covenant

Some say the Beatitudes are "Blessed Attitudes", in a sense these are because God wants us to have these qualities which when followed blessed us.

A majority of the Beatitudes are presented in negatives because God knows human weakness, and He used commands like "thou shall not....".

What is the meaning of "blessed?" The Greek word is "Makarios". In Greek it means supremely blessed.  A blessed person is not like what he claims to be blessed and he is blessed.  But a blessed person means that others see of him as being blessed.  Meaning people seen him as having favors from God.  According to God a blessed person has all the qualities as listed in the Bible.

Beatitudes are what God wanted us to be like, we will be blessed by God if we have all these qualities.

1. Blessed are the poor - it is not about physical poverty, but about spiritual poverty.  People who trusted God in what ever the cause.  Piety to God.  A total dependence on God.  Like Mother Teresa, her work was a total dependent on God.  She gave to the dying love and care that no body wants to give.  A total giving out of her love for God, and also a total dependence on Him.

2. Blessed are those who mourn - not necessary bereavement as a love one died.  But people who are willing to suffer because of their loyalty to Jesus.

3. Blessed are the meek - Just like Jesus said of Himself in Matthew 11:28-30 that He was humble and He gave rest to others.

4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness - this is also in spiritual sense.  A spiritual appetite for righteousness and for God.

5. Blessed are the merciful - Merciful in Hebrew is a covenant word.  God showed mercy to the Israelites.  Mercy was symbolized by rainbow. Its about the character of God. When Jesus died on the Cross justice and mercy "kissed" each other.

6. Blessed are the pure in heart - this means single-mindedness.  Of one track mind. If there is anything that does not lead to Jesus throw it out!  The opposite of this is a divided heart.  When we are single-minded we will see God, but when our hearts are divided we cannot see Him.  Mathew 6:22-23, the eye is the lamp of the body.  If the eye is sound, the whole body will be sound, because it will be full of light.  Otherwise the whole body is dark.

7. Blessed are the peacemaker - Jesus meant it in spiritual ways and not physical ways.  He does not want believers to become wimps but to work through the problems and to reconcile. Reconciliation is difference from compromise.  In comprising both parties have to give up something.  In reconciling to God for example, Jesus died on the Cross to reconcile us to God.  We accept this on God's terms, not ours.

8.  Blessed are those who are persecuted - this is not an end by itself but being persecuted for God's sake.

9.   Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me - this is similar to number 8 but goes further in the descriptions. Again people do all kinds of evil against us because we believe in Jesus.

10.  Rejoice - is like the end of the rainbow, something there to look forward to.

A) Acts 5:41
B) Acts 5.42
C) James 1:1-4

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Matthew 5: 13-20 The Influencing Power of a Blessed People by Gan Tuan Boon dated 2.8.15

Jesus walked the earth for three years and during this time, he taught, related with people, performed miracles etc.  But what was closest to His heart was teaching the Word of God to His disciples, and the people of Israel.  One of His important principle is “know the truth and the truth will set you free”.  
Believers depended on God for a victorious Christian life.  Believers who are taught the Word of God and live according to His commands are able to cast away evils.
Jesus’ teaching were recorded in the four Gospels.  These contained important principles.  Matthew 5, 6, 7 contain twenty areas regarding Christian living, e.g He taught about marriage, divorce, adultery, prayers.
The Sermon on the Mount was carried out at a hill called Mount Eremos.  No one knew the eact location, but Eremos was most likely it as it was located near the Sea of Galilee.
The first topic of the Sermon on the Mount was “The Beatitude”.
English word – Beatitude
French word – Beatitude
Latin word – Beautitudo
Basically this means “Blessed”.
Jesus was telling us how we are to live but not so much about obeying Him to gain material wealth.
Third Beatitude
“Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth”.  This Beatitude is teaching us to be humble and God will reward us letting us “inherit the earth”.  He let us inherit the earth which contains numerous resources.  God Words are certain, they are not about “luck”, this word is not in God’ vocabulary.  Why does God wants to bless us?  Because He has greater purposes for us.  He wanted us to be His ambassadors. 
God’s witness to the world
Old Testament  : God used the nation of Israel to speak to the world.
New Testament : God used the church to speak to the world.
The Influencing Power of a Blessed People
1.        You are the salt of the world 
        a)      Salt is valuable
Use as a form of currency
Greek slave traders used salt to exchange for slaves
Roman soldiers were paid in salt or salarium ( the word “salary” is derived from this word ). 
    Christians are precious and valuable; they contribute positively to the wellbeing of human kind. 
       b)      Salt is a preserving agent
Salt was used to preserve foods from decay. 
    Christians are like salt; they possess the preserving characteristic and exert an influence on the culture and work ethics. 
       c)       Salt adds flavour to food
Food taste better with an addition of a pinch of salt.
Christians are like salt; their presence on earth brings out the pleasantness of life.
The warning of our Lord Jesus
…But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
(Mat 5:13)
If Christians lose their godly character and Christ-likeness, they will not have any more influence on the society and its culture; and they become good for nothing.
2.        You are the light of the world
This is one of the titles Jesus claimed for himself.
It is a great compliment and a great responsibility for Christians to be given this title.
We cannot shoulder this responsibility by our own strength. 
      a)      A Christian community is like a town built on a hill that cannot be hidden.
To illustrate that Christians are the light of the world, Bro. Gan told the story of Praise church, Taman Medan in Petaling Jaya.  Not too long ago the majority people in that area demanded that the church Cross be taken down.  In order not to create trouble, the church complied.  However, in this negative situation in fact the name of Christ was proclaimed.  In this instant, Christians are the light of the world. 
      b)      Christians are like a lamp put on a lampstand to give light to others.
They are to be conspicuous so that other people may see their good works and glorify the name of God.
Practical Means of Shinning God’s Light 
       1)      Reveal our Christian identity in our work place. 
       2)      Make a stand on events that contradict Biblical principles. 
       3)      Be an exemplary worker.

3.       “I have not come to abolish the Law but to fulfil them”
A)     Jesus lived his life in full obedience to all the laws.
B)      He paid the penalty for us, who broke the Law, by dying on the cross.
C)      We piggyback on Jesus to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
D)     Christ’s death is the end of the ceremonial laws, but not the moral laws
E)      Salvation by grace does not give us the licence to sin
F)      We are saved to do good works and to uphold the laws of God
G)     Jesus gives a strong word of caution not to neglect the commands of God
Obedience to the moral laws and New Testament teachings empower us to be the guardian of morality on earth.
Our Roles
Role 1 – Be the salt of the world
Role 2 – Be the light of the world
Role 3 – Be doers of the Word and laws of God.