Tuesday: The Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees

Altar of Sacrifice

Read Matthew 5:20. What does Jesus mean when He says that unless our righteousness “surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law” (NIV), we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven? Though salvation has always been by faith, and though Judaism, as it should have been practiced, was always a system of grace, … [Click to read more …]

Monday: The Sermon Versus the Law

Sermon on the Mount

Some Christians view the Sermon on the Mount as a new “law of Christ,” one that replaced the “Law of God.” They say that a system of legalism was now replaced with a system of grace, or that Jesus’ law differs from the Law of God itself. These views are misconceptions about the Sermon on … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Principles and Standards

Sermon on the Mount

Skim through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Summarize on the lines below what stands out the most in your mind about it, about what it says to you. “Perhaps no other religious discourse in the history of humanity has attracted the attention which has been devoted to the Sermon on the Mount. … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: The Sermon on the Mount

Image © Lars Justinen Goodsalt.com

Read for This Week’s Study: Matthew 5-7, Rom. 7:7, Gen. 15:6, Micah 6:6-8, Luke 6:36, Matt. 13:44-52, Rom. 8:5-10. Memory Text:“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (Matthew 7:28-29, NIV). In the … [Click to read more …]

Friday: Further Thought – The Ministry Begins

bible book scroll

An evangelist came to town and advertised his meeting like this: “Come see a preacher tear a page out of the Bible!” That, no doubt, brought a crowd. He then stood before them, opened his Bible, and—to their astonishment—tore out a page. “This page,” he said, “never belonged there. It’s the page separating the Old … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: The Call of the Fishermen

Simon Peter the Fisherman

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17, NKJV). Just like John, Jesus began His ministry with a call to repentance. He knew, as did John, the fallen state of humanity and the need for all people to repent and come to a knowledge of God. Thus, it’s not surprising that His … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: The Land of Zebulun and Naphtali

The Teacher

Matthew 4:12 tells about the imprisonment of John, thus ending his ministry. At this point, Jesus’ ministry “officially” begins. The text doesn’t say why, when Jesus heard about John, He went to Galilee, only that He did. (See also Mark 1:14-16 and Luke 4:14.)Perhaps, while John was still preaching, Jesus wanted to keep a lower … [Click to read more …]

HopeSS: The Ministry Begins

Hope Sabbath School

You can view an in-depth discussion of “The Ministry Begins” in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: The Temptation

Third Temptation

Read Matthew 4:1-12. What happened here with these temptations? Why did Jesus have to go through this? What does this story have to do with salvation? How did Jesus endure such powerful temptations under such hard conditions, and what should that tell us about enduring temptations? Matthew 4:1 starts out with what seems like a … [Click to read more …]

Monday: The Contrast in the Wilderness

Christ in the Wilderness

“Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matt. 4:1, NKJV). Imagine this scene from the perspective of Satan himself. The divine, exalted Being whom he knew as the Son of God had now lowered Himself—had taken on human flesh—in order to save the human race. This was … [Click to read more …]