Expressway Baptist Church We will air weekly sermons recorded at Expressway Baptist Church. Sermons are written and delivered by our Pastor Daniel McCrosky.

Sermon Series: The Life of Jesus: From Creation to the Cradle to the Cross to the Crown

Sermon Title: The Sermon on the Mount: The King’s Mandate-Happy are the Sad

Sermon Text: Matthew 5:4

Sermon Date: 7-16-16

 

 

The word “mourn” (Greek-Penthountes) – it means to have a broken heart. It is the strongest word possible for mourning. It is the word to describe someone who is weeping over the death of a loved one.

It is sorrow – a desperate, helpless sorrow.

The word here in vs. 4 “mourn” is the same word used in John 11:35 “Jesus wept” at Lazarus’ death.

Point: Do the things that break the heart of God break your heart? We got a dry eyed church in a hell bent world. One of the things our churches have learned not to do is mourn.

Today/this morning we need a (Jesus is speaking of one who is broken over sin, theirs and the nations):

 

1. GUILT THAT CONVICT US

Much of our problems today are due to the fact that those in and out of the church have become numb to sin.

Our problem is we just don’t see anything we ought to be mourning over.  The things we use to call in we practice out in public and call it a right.  The 10 Commandments have been replaced with 10 Things you can do or not do based on your perception of reality. 

As we think about the “guilt” that convicts us, I want us to consider…

A.      The Deceiving Power of Sin

 

But God sees what no one else sees; He sees the heart.

Jer. 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it?

What do we have to mourn over – the deceitfulness of sin.

But not the Deceiving Power of Sin, but also…

 

B.      The Defiling Power of Sin

Matthew 15:11 says it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

The problem is always the sin within.  A phycologist told Charles Colson once “I can cure a person’s madness but I can’t cure a person’s badness.”

 

 

C. The Destroying Power of Sin

               Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

 

 

 

(Galatians 6:7-8 ESV)Numbers 32:23 But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the LORD, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

We need to understand sin destroys.

Point: when you come to the point where you see that it is your sin that drove the nails in His hands, His feet, that is was your sin that put Jesus before Pilate and your sin that gave Him the beating that no man could take, then you will begin to see the:

§ Deceiving Power of sin

§ Defiling power of sin

§ Destroying power of sin

Then you can begin to understand why Jesus said, “blessed are they that mourn”

 

Now I want us to look at…

2. GRIEF THAT CONSUMES US

Grief/mourning. Again I want to point out that the word used here by Jesus is the deepest, strongest word for sorrow. It is the word that means to “lament” or to be “consumed” with grief.

Again I would also like to point out that this is what is missing from many of our modern churches today. Many people today aren’t more than baptized pagans.

What breaks God’s heart, breaks yours?

We need to be broken over sin today.

We ought to run to the altar, repenting of our sin, and they pray for our nation to repent of her sins as well.

There are 2 kinds of sorrow. Jesus here is speaking of a “Godly sorrow”.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7: 10

What is Godly sorrow? It is not mere regret. It is not mere remorse.

Regret goes to the mind and stops. Remorse goes past the mind to the heart. But remorse without repentance can be a very dangerous thing.

A. Regret – I got caught

B. Remorse – I love what I am doing and I hate myself for doing it. But they don’t quit and they don't make an attempt to quit.

C. Repentance – a person who hates his sin and loves his savior.

We have seen many in our churches who have come down to the altar with regret, remorse, but thanks be to Christ for those who have come with repentance.

Notice 2 men we all know who committed sin against Christ, but had 2 very different outcomes.

1) Judas – Matt. 27:3-7 – “was remorseful”. He “went and hanged himself”. Judas stepped from the hell that was within him into the hell that was beyond him. He is in hell today, because he was remorseful, not repentant.

2) Simeon Peter – Matt. 26:75/John 21:7, 15-17

Peter cursed, carried on, and denied Christ 3 times. Scripture says that he “went out and wept bitterly”. Peter was filled with, not remorse, but repentance.

And it is Peter that went out after being restored (John 21:15-17) and preached Pentecost.

He saw that he had broken God’s heart and it broke his heart.

 

You see God can’t use a regretful heart, a remorseful heart, but give Him a repentant heart and watch what Christ not only can do but will do.

Psalm 51:4 – Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight – That you may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.

Psalm 51:17 – The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise.

If we were to stop here, there are many of you who would walk out without hope, and that is not what God wants (nor do I). No. God wants to give hope to the hopeless and here it is. In closing notice…

 

3. THE GOD WHO COMFORTS US

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted”

Where or whom do we turn to in our spiritual lament? The God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 says

 2Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Do you know what comfort is? It is not sympathy, or a pat on the back.

It is a word much like our English word “comfort”. “Come” – means with. “Fort” – fortress, strength

In other words, God is saying “I will put my strength in you.” He will be your strength.

How does God do this? With the Holy Spirit. Notice with me in John 14:16-17

               “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

 “comforter”.

It is the Holy Spirit that strengthens me.

Do you see your need today? Are you broken over the things that God is broken over?

Have you been forgiven? Have you ever been repentant?

You might ask, “what about after I am saved?”

I John 2: 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

 Do you know the same word for advocate in I John is the same word for comforter in John 14?

Advocate – lawyer, come along side. When we sin, confess it to the lawyer. Let Him do the defending.

When you come to a place of brokenness and confess your sin (repent) God will forgive. And when life’s pitfalls come upon you, you have the Holy Spirit as your comforter, your advocate.

Sermon Series: The Life of Christ: From Creation, to the Cradle to the Cross to the Crown

Sermon Title: The Sermon on the Mount: The King’s Mandate- Happy are the Humble

Sermon Text: Matthew 5: 3

Sermon Date: July 10, 2016

God wants us happy. Psalm 144:15 says, "Happy is that people whose God is the Lord." God wants our lives filled with joy. God wants to bless us. He wants us to experience bliss, a deep inner happiness, not produced and not affected by emotion or by changing circumstance, a kind of blessedness and a kind of joy, a kind of bliss, a kind of happiness that is not subject to outside forces but only inside ones produced by God in the heart.

The first twelve verses of the Sermon on the Mount explain the purpose of Jesus' sermon: that believers know true happiness. The rest of the sermon deals with how happiness is possible  and the life-style that produces true happiness.

The Greek word translated "blessed" (makarios) is an adjective meaning "happy" or "blissful." Makarios comes from the Greek word makar, which speaks of being happy in a way not dependent on circumstances. Their happiness was thought to be unaffected by the poverty, problems, and death faced by men, so it described a state of contentment and bliss unaffected by circumstances.

The only people who will ever experience blessedness are those who belong to God and Christ. Second Peter 1:4 says that believers are "partakers of the divine nature." That means we can know the same happiness and contentment known by God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 5-7 Jesus was confronting a whole society of professional religionists. They were divided into four main groups within Judaism.

1. The Pharisees

The Pharisees believed that happiness was found by observing tradition and minute points of the law. They sought blessing by obeying the extensive body of oral and written tradition that developed over the centuries.

2. The Sadducees

The Sadducees thought that happiness was found in modernism and liberalism. They advocated putting aside the past in favor of an updated religion.

3. The Essenes

The Essene movement advocated happiness through separation from the world. But that separation was primarily geographical separation. They just moved out of town.

4. The Zealots

The Zealots believed that happiness would be found once Rome was politically overthrown.

There are five important reasons for studying the Sermon on the Mount.

A. It Shows the Necessity of the New Birth

The Sermon on the Mount shows that we can never please God on our own. Only those who are "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4) can know the happiness Jesus spoke of.

B. It Reflects the Mind of Christ

The Sermon on the Mount is perhaps Scripture's clearest reflection of the mind of our Lord. Anyone who desires to know how Christ thinks needs to study the Sermon on the Mount.

C. It Teaches the Only Way to Happiness

If you want to be happy and filled with the Spirit, don't attempt to seek those things through a mystical experience. Study the teachings of our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount and put them into practice.

D. It Provides the Surest Means of Evangelism

If all Christians fully lived out the principles taught in the Sermon on the Mount we would knock the world over for Christ! There is power in a transformed life.

E. It Shows Us how to Please God

Christians are a privileged people. Only they can please God because only they know His Son. Studying the Sermon on the Mount and applying its message enables believers to be pleasing to God.

 

The idea that Jesus deals with the inside and with our attitudes and our feelings and our thinking does not mean that there’s no commitment to the outside.  Because when the inside is right, the outside is right.  Faith without works is what?  Dead.  There’s going to be an outside.  You were created in Christ Jesus unto good works.  But the true outside, the real outside can only be produced by the real outside.  The Christian, while he puts his emphasis on the spirit, is also concerned about the letter.  But he is not concerned only about the letter.  He must never consider the letter apart from the spirit. 

On the one hand, to claim the spirit without living according to God’s law is to be a liar.  On the other hand, to try to live out the law without the spirit is to be a hypocrite.  They both go together.  The spirit is the right attitude and the letter is the obedience that comes as a result.  True spirituality, then, starts on the inside and touches the outside. 

as we look at these blesseds, these judicial pronunciations of God.  “Happy is the one who does this, who thinks this way.”  We see a sequence.  Look with me quickly at verse 3.  First we see the poor in spirit.  “Poor in spirit” is the right attitude towards sin, which leads to mourning, in verse 4, which leads after you’ve seen your sinfulness and you’ve mourned, to a meekness, a sense of humility, then to a seeking and hunger and thirst for righteousness.  You can see the progression. 

And that manifests itself in mercy – verse 7 – in purity of heart – verse 8 – in a peacemaking spirit – verse 9.  The result of being merciful and pure in heart and peacemaking is that you are reviled and you are persecuted and you are falsely accused.  Why?  Because by the time you have been poor in spirit, mourned over it, become humble, sought righteousness, lived a merciful, pure, and peacemaking life, you have sufficiently irritated the world so they’re going to react.

But when it’s all said and done, verse 12 says you can “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:”

  1. What Does It mean to be Poor In Spirit

The verb in the Greek means “a shrinking from something or someone to cower and cringe like a beggar.”  The ideal is someone who is cowering in the corner with one hand covering his face as to not to be seen and the other extended to receive some food or money. You are pleading for grace and mercy from somebody else.  You have no resource in yourself to even live.  Total dependence on somebody else. 

The poor in spirit are those who recognize their total spiritual destitution and their complete dependence on God. They perceive that there are no saving resources in themselves and that they can only beg for mercy and grace. They know they have no spiritual merit, and they know they can earn no spiritual reward. Their pride is gone, their self-assurance is gone, and they stand empty-handed before God.

It’s the broken and the contrite.  “Blessed are the beggars,” says Jesus.  Blessed are those whose spirit is destitute.  Blessed are the spiritual paupers, the spiritually empty, the spiritually bankrupt who cringe in a corner and cry out to God for mercy.  They are the happy ones.  Why?  Because they’re the only ones who tapped the real resource for happiness.  They’re the only ones who ever know God.  They’re the only ones who ever know God’s blessedness.  And theirs is the kingdom.

Poor in spirit, the absence of pride, the absence of self assurance, the absence of self reliance.  There must be an emptying before there can be a filling.

  1. How to be Poor in Spirit
  2.   Always look to God. 

 Read his Word.  Face his person in its pages.  Look at Christ.  Look at Christ constantly.  As you gaze at Jesus Christ, you lose yourself. 

  1.  Starve the flesh.
  2. Constantly ask God
    1. How Do I Know if I am Poor In Spirit
    2. You loses a sense of self.  Self is gone.  It’s gone.  All you think about is God and his glory and others and their needs.
    3. You will be lost in the wonder of Christ. 

You will be in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “gazing at his glory.”  You will be saying, “Show me the Lord,” and it sufficeth.  You will be saying, “I will be satisfied when I awake and thy likeness lost in the wonder of Christ.”

  1. You will never complain about your situation.

You know why?  You don’t deserve anything, anyway.  Right?  What have you got to offer.  In fact, the deeper you go, the sweeter the grace.  The more you need, the more abundantly he provides.  When you lack everything, you’re in a position to receive all grace.  There are no distractions, you see.  You will suffer without murmur because you deserve nothing.  And yet at the same time you will seek his grace.

  1. You will see only the excellences of others and only your own weakness.
  2. You will spend more time in prayer

Why? Because a beggar keeps on begging.

  1. You’ll take Christ on his terms, not yours. 

What are Christ’s terms’? You pick up your cross, denied yourself and follow Him. To save your life you must first lose it. To be exalted you first must be cast down low.

  1. You will have an overwhelming gratitude to God. 

 Why?  Because you will realize that every single thing you have is a gift from him.

Date: July 3, 2016

Charles Spurgeon, a well-known evangelical preacher in London, used the phrase "what would Jesus do" in quotation marks several times in a sermon he gave on June 28, 1891.[2] In his sermon he cites the source of the phrase as a book written in Latin by Thomas à Kempis between 1418 and 1427, Imitatio Christi (The Imitation of Christ.Then in 1896 Topeka, KS pastor Charles Sheldon wrote In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do.

A youth group leader in Holland, Michigan, named Janie Tinklenberg, began a grassroots movement to help the teenagers in her group remember the phrase; it spread nationwide in the 1990s among Christian youth, who wore bracelets bearing the initials W.W. J. D

 

CONTEXT: Many important events had already occurred before the Sermon on the Mount was given.  It is important to note these so that you will see the undercurrents within the sermon.
 After His baptism and testing in the wilderness in Judea (
Matthew 3 & 4), Jesus performed His first miracle which was turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John2:1-11).   Jesus had already cleansed the Temple during Passover (John2-13-22) which greatly irritated the Scribes and Pharisees.   He had also already had His conversation with Nicodemus (John 3).
 John the Baptist had been put into prison and Jesus had gone back up to Galilee (
Matthew4:12).   While on the way to Galilee, Jesus had his conversation with the woman at the well in Sychar (John4:5-26).   He then went up to Nazareth where He was rejected (Luke4:16-31, Matthew4:13) and then settled in Capernum (Matthew4:13).  With Capernum as a home base He went about preaching His message of repentance(Matthew4:17).   During this time He chose His disciples and performed many miracles.  Peter, Andrew, James and John were the first disciples called (Matthew4:18-22).  Jesus had authenticated His teaching in Capernum by healing a demoniac (Mark1:21-28, Luke4:31-37).   He had healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark1:29-34; Luke4:38-41; Matthew8:14-17). He had cleaned a leper which was followed by much publicity (Mark1:40-45; Luke5:12-16; Matthew8:2-4). He had demonstrated that He had the power to forgive when He healed the paralytic (Mark2:1-12, Luke5:17-26; Matthew9:1-8).  He had called Matthew followed by Matthew’s banquet, at which the Pharisees began to question Him (Mark2:13-22; Luke5:27-39; Matthew9:9-17).  Jesus had gone back up to Jerusalem where He healed a lame man on the Sabbath,after which the Jews sought to kill Him.   Jesus gave His discourse about being equal with God the Father (John5:1-47), and had further raised the anger of the Pharisees when His disciples were picking and eating grain on a Sabbath (Mark2:23-48, Luke6:1-5; Matthew12:1-8), and by healing the man with the withered hand on a Sabbath (Mark3:1-6; Luke6:6-11; Matthew12:9-14).   Jesus then retreated to the Sea of Galilee and was followed by a great multitude. It was then that He appointed the twelve, and it was after all oft his that Jesus gave the sermon on the mount.

Outline of The Sermon on the Mount (5-7)
I. The Beatitudes: The Character of a Kingdom Citizen 5:3-20
II. Jesus Corrects Six Moral Teachings,
Murder, Adultery, Divorce, Oaths, Revenge, Enemies 5:21 – 48
III. Jesus Corrects Three Religious Practices:
Alms, Prayer, Fasting 6:1-18
IV. Jesus Gives Three Prohibitions Concerning:
Riches, Judging, Holy things 6:19-7:6
V. Prayer for strength 7:7-11
VI. Entering the Kingdom 7:12-27

John Phillips said, “By the time Christ formulated this great sermon, the Greek philosophers had come and gone, Leaving the world as morally bankrupt as they had found it.  The religions of the East had likewise had their day.  They left men groping in utter darkness, hoping for their ultimate bliss of total nothingness or a better deal in some fancied future incarnation.”

Then Jesus,the Lord Creator of heaven and earth, by which we live and breath and have our being, tell man the best way to live. The only problem was man was totally unable to fulfill this task as it is only possible with a total life-changing, Holy Spirit-induced transformation of salvation by faith alone, through grace alone through Christ alone.


 
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains well the application of the Sermon to us. It “is a description of character and not a code of ethics or of morals.” It is “something meant for all Christian people. It is a perfect picture of the life of the kingdom of God.”“. . . we are not told in the Sermon on the Mount, ‘Live like this and you will become Christian’; rather we are told, ‘Because you are a Christian live like this.’ This is how Christians ought to live; this is how Christians are meant to live.”

To grasp the Sermon on the Mount you must understand the Beatitude which then sets everything else up.

After the Beatitude there are three key verses:

The first is Matthew 5: 17-20:

                “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota,not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you,unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

 The second is Matthew6:33

               But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

 The third is Matthew7: 21-23

                “Not everyone who says to me,‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord,did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you;depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

John MacArthur sums up well the importance of this Sermon and why we need to study it:
1. It shows the absolute necessity of the new birth. It’s high standards go far beyond the Mosaic law. Man must not only do right, he must be right. No other scripture more clearly shows man’s desperate situation without God.
2. It intends to drive the listener to Jesus Christ as man’s only hope of meeting God’s standards. Man needs a supernatural power to enable him to live up to the divine standards, and that is only possible through Christ.
3. The sermon gives God’s pattern for happiness and for true success. It reveals what God has designed man to be. In it we find the way of joy, peace,and contentment.
4. A life obedient to the principles of the Sermon on the Mount is the church’s greatest tool for evangelism.
5. The life obedient to the maxims of this proclamation is the only life that is pleasing to God.
Those who enter the Kingdom of Heaven must have a righteousness that surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees for they only had the self-righteousness of legalism which says, “I am good because I do (or do not do) these things.” True righteousness is unconcerned with self proclaimed goodness for true righteousness comes from the heart and says, “I love you Lord, help me to do whatever pleases You.”

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