Part 3: The Bright and Sweet Aroma of Salvation

God is incredible. His eternal light is bright, and the sweet aroma of salvation is His endless gift of good fruit. This experience comes from the ones Christ receives from God (John 17:24).

Christ is impressive in the way He teaches God’s truths. One of His greatest messages is making a real believer the salt and light of salvation (Matthew 5:13-16).

In other words, living in the Lord’s kingdom is full of flavor and filled with eternal light. And this means we must show those around us the impact Christ has on our lives through our Christian actions.

In our study of the Sermon on the Mountain (Matthew Chapters 5-7) we come into contact with Christ’s remarkable way of sharing God’s truths. Last week the Beatitudes gave us a glimpse into the Lord’s designed plan for righteous living.

To put it another way, those truths hold us accountable to show others the way the Lord wants us to live for His purpose. This is important to realize because Christ’s next discussion is taking those internal changes and displaying them to those around us.

Since God saves a soul through His grace (Ephesians 2:8), then we need to attract others into His light. For this reason, He delivered Christ to us so we can shine above our carnal selves and radiate the sweet aroma of a saved life.

And when we live by God’s will then our lives are a bright spot to those around us. For one thing, the Holy Spirit gives us the Christian attributes needed to help others overcome adversity. It’s in Christ we find the wisdom to comfort those in distress.

Shining Christ’s Light to those around us comes with responsibility. The first thing to remember is God watches the way we treat our neighbors.

Remember we don’t choose who Christ places in our paths. It’s easy assisting others we love, but the more challenging testimony of our faith is when God asks us to shine His light on someone we want to avoid. In this case, the Lord is asking us to go beyond our personal preference and offer our selfless services. And failing to not act on God’s commandment opens the door for a hardened heart.

Living a distasteful life brought me negative results. My life full of bitterness, resentment, and jealousy. The way I conducted myself left a horrible taste in other mouths. I was vulgar and rude causing people to turn away from my ungodly behavior. This immoral way of living left me alone, afraid and at odds with God.

I’m pleased to announce to you I’m no longer bearing rotten fruit. God stepped in and pulled me out of the black hole of despair and everything changed. And for the first time, I saw His shining Light. Today even in my imperfections Christ’s never dimmed His light. I now know the fruits of salvation, and this keeps me seeking the will of God.

It’s not by accident we cross paths with other believers. Since our bond is with Christ, God attracts us through the Holy Spirit and this unity strengthen His kingdom.

As long as we keep faithful our place in God’s house is secure. It’s important to realize Christ makes sure our light is bright, and this allows us to share with others God’s everlasting reality.

Expressing love, reaching out to others and giving more than expected are the results from Christ’s light and leaves the greatest impression to those receiving it. This is even more rewarding when we show the ones we dislike the same as those we love.

The experiences of Christ’s light are many, and we have touched on a few of them. Christ provides us many opportunities to shine. God’s salt heals because it never goes flat. And when we show others, the source of our Light this pleases God because we are professing His truth.

How do you shine Christ’s light to others?

Christ’s Sermon: Blessed are the Faithful

Part 2: The Beatitudes

Throughout man’s history, God recognizes faithful believers. He rewards those who place Him as their number one priority and live by His commandments. The Lord blesses His chosen ones, and in the Gospel of Matthew, we find this to be true. Blessed are God’s faithful followers.

Christ’s sermon on the mountain begins with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 3-12). Each of them starts with a blessing. In fact, this is Christ’s way of reaching out to humanity with the keys to eternal happiness. Because being blessed means living a joyful life through God’s grace.

This blissful consciousness is God given and not by our making. And when we live the Beatitudes, God takes notice, and our lives become prime examples of a Christ-centered life. And this makes living in a broken world enjoyable.

Jesus uses the Beatitudes as the blueprint for a life built on God’s word through living in His truths. They radiate a life anchored in Christ’s Deity showing others the inner-workings of God’s Spirit. In the same way, they are the spiritual principles the Lord gives to those worthy to receive His unconditional love.

In the Beatitudes, Christ outlines God’s eternal plan for a life centered on Christian action. As a matter of fact, it’s in those scriptures that Jesus spells out in perfect detail the behavior a Christian must show to find God’s blessing. For this reason, we need to deny ourselves and live for Christ.

It’s important to realize the Beatitudes have three distinct attributes. First, they show a life rooted in humility. For example, becoming poor in spirit isn’t a lack of spirit but is surrendering free will for God’s purposes.

Once a believer becomes willing to continue letting go of individualism for Christ’s sake then his or her spirit transforms into one driven by the Holy Spirit. And this brings an overwhelming want to serve God better.

This spiritual transition from spiritual darkness into Christ’s light opens the door to the kingdom of heaven. And the more our spirits yearn for God, the happier we become because real gratification of life comes from dependence on Christ and not from selfish motives.

 

The second Christian attribute contained within the Beatitudes is acting on God’s word without reservations. A point often overlooked is salvation is an active participation in God’s truth. And this means developing a personal willingness to apply faith under each circumstance of a Christian’s life. With this is in mind it’s easy to understand words are meaningless until they become active. Christ makes it easy to understand the meaning behind the Beatitudes.

As a matter of fact finding the kingdom of heaven, God’s comfort, eternal inheritance, and Christ’s righteousness are more than words. One must take action by showing God a willingness to do His will in a world that rejects His truths. This means showing a humble, mournful, and righteous life (in unjust circumstances) and knowing others will ridicule us for standing firm on Christ’s words.

The last spiritual attribute in Christ’s Beatitudes is receiving God’s unconditional love. A most compelling evidence to God’s love is best shown in His rewards of mercy, seeing Him, becoming sons of God. And receiving a great reward in heaven for standing firm in times of Christ persecution is His gift to the faithful. Christ didn’t shy away from the way God responds to those who follow the Beatitudes.

In my past unhappiness raised its head. Living in darkness brought me emptiness and discontent. Everything I tried to bring me joy failed because I lived in the lusts of the world. My selfish motives became interwoven in prideful ambitions. I knew nothing of meekness nor God Himself. Then, when I wanted to die, God rescued me.

I’m grateful God saved me and introduced me to Christ. Today my code for Christian living are the Beatitudes. I’m not perfect and fail to live those spiritual truths. But the moment I realize my failure and humbly ask Christ for help then through repentance I’m connected to the Holy Spirit.

How do you practice the Beatitudes?

Christ’s Sermon on the Mountain

 

Part 1: Overview

I have heard many great sermons preached on God’s truth. Those pastors are pouring out their hearts to spread God’s words. They motivate, inspire and encourage me to live for God. But the most excellent sermon I’ve ever read is the Sermon on the Mountain and the one sharing is Christ Himself.

Understanding the Sermon on the Mountain (Matthew: Chapters 5-7) is of the utmost importance. In fact, this speech speaks volumes and describes the Christian qualities God’s expects from his faithful followers.

Those chapters are Christ’s blueprints for building a spiritual foundation anchored in God’s Spirit. Here Christ gives us the tools of righteousness and leaves no doubt of the will of God.

Contained within those three chapters are God’s real truths and corrects every wrong presentation of the Lord’s word. In the Old Testament, the stubborn attitudes from God’s chosen ones continued to place distant between them and God. They became misled, and their spiritual leaders taught them an incorrect understanding of God’s word.

They practiced Jewish traditions giving little or no focus on God’s law. And when the time came for God to deliver Christ to them they were unprepared for the Lord’s truth.

As soon as Christ taught His Disciples the wisdom behind the Father’s words everything they knew changed. The scriptures written in The Sermon on the Mountain comes directly from God’s voice and spoken by Christ.

Christ’s opens His sermon with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) and ends it by telling the disciples His role as God’s Son (Matthew 7:24-27).

The Sermon on the Mountain shows the actions a member in Christ’s kingdom needs to take to find favor with God. In fact, the other three Gospels support its validity. Everything Jesus spoke of in this powerful sermon is in each Gospel. God is constant, never deviates from His words and we understand this from the way the Gospels tells the same truths.

In this sermon, Christ’s delivers God’s message of how a believer needs to respond to life’s terms. In other words, it spells out the solutions to the way we approach God (Matthew 6:5-15) and how to treat our neighbors (Matthew 5:43-48). Christ made sure He spoke on the actions God wants humans to take to live in His kingdom.

Christ shows God’s way of handling anger (Matthew 5:21-24), lust (Matthew 5:27-30), marriage (Matthew 5:31-32), and hatred (Matthew 5:43-48). Jesus explained the reason not live by oaths (Matthew 5:33-37) and how to avoid selfishness (Matthew 5:38-42).

In Chapter 6 the sermon identifies the proper way to please God (Matthew 6:1-4). Jesus spoke on how to pray (Matthew 6:5-15) and fasting (Matthew 6:16-18). The rest of this chapter places the focus on building a relationship with God (Matthew 6:19-20, 24) righteousness (Matthew 6:22-24), and trusting God (Matthew 6:25-34).

Chapter seven begins with Jesus sharing God’s command of taking a non-judgmental towards others. Then Christ points out going to God by asking, seeking and knocking on God’s door. The last sixteen verses of chapter seven cover the narrow way, false belief, and reliance on Christ himself.

Over the next few weeks, I will share a deeper look into The Sermon on the Mountain. I hope you will join me and share your experiences with Christ’s masterful display of God’s word.