WHO IS THE ENEMY—A Matter of the Heart: Part Three
Matthew 5:21-22a | Not Behavior, HEART. Jesus is making it clear: behavior is not the standard, but rather what is happening on the inside.
Matthew 5:22b | Merely using euphemisms doesn’t solve the problem: it is a matter of the heart. There are no loopholes! In fact, Jesus amplifies His language, moving from “judgment” to the “fires of hell”!
Dig Deeper: Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 2:8, 7:20-23; Luke 6:43-45; Romans 10:9-13; 1 Timothy 1:5
Matthew 5:17 | Not Religion, FAITH. Here we are defining “religion” as a set of practices by which people think they honor God. Jesus says, “go and be reconciled” and then do your religious practices. He is forcing us to consider: what is actually important? This reminds us of how our vertical relationship (God pours out His grace upon us) informs and empowers us for our horizontal relationships (that grace becomes a river which flows out).
Dig Deeper: Romans 12
Ephesians 6:12 | Faith is taking the world on God’s terms. Trusting His Word about everything. His testimony to us: those who are the enemy distract us, deceive us, and seek to destroy us, getting us confused about who is the enemy. They convince us to hurt one another when Jesus is calling us to love one another.
Dig Deeper: John 10:7-11; Hebrews 2:14; 1 Peter 5:7-11; James 4:1-10; 1 John 3:7-10
Matthew 5:3 | Before God, we have NOTHING to offer. We are made righteous by what JESUS does! We are BLESSED, which means SAVED. He sets us free so that we can love our neighbor. We take what we’ve been given and share it.
Dig Deeper: Romans 3:28, 4:13-15, Galatians 3:1-14