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Sunday: Introducing the Sermon on the Mount — 8 Comments

  1. “You are the salt of the earth, kbut if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. Matthew 5:13 ESV

    This verse loses some of its meaning in our modern world. In eastern countries where gas and electrically heated ovens are not available, an baking oven was constructed out of rock and mortar and then heated by putting a fire in it. When the oven reached the appropriate temperature, you raked the fire out and put the bread dough in the oven to cook. (Modern outdoor pizza ovens function in a similar way) The floor of such ovens were made out of salt rock; generally a sandstone that had a high salt content. As the bread was cooked salt from the rock infused into the bread. Obviously after some time the salt rock slabs would have given up all their salt and it would be replaced with fresh ones. The old ones were broken up and thrown out into the street where they essentially became road base. In Jesus time this would have been a familiar sight because typically most homes would have baked their own bread. In fact in some eastern countries ovens with salt rock floors are still used for cooking bread.

    Jesus uses this example together with the light set on a hill to illustrate the way. that the Gospel can influence others. He goes on to say:

    In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 ESV

    You are not saved by doing good works but saved people do good works to glorify God by helping others.

    Amen!(51)
  2. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
    An emphasis should be laid on the word falsely in this passage. It is not blessed to have evil spoken of us if we deserve it.
    If you are being persecuted because you bear the name of Christ then you are called blessed.
    Do not use religion to disgust or offend people.
    The Jewish religion at the time of Jesus considered the gentiles are less than dogs.
    If you are being persecuted because of your faith, be meek, patient humble and not angry.
    We are called to do good to our persecutors and slanderers.

    2 Timothy 2: 24-25
    24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

    This is the practical Christianity which would be out of this world.

    If you react the same way as an unbeliever, "what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans (unbelievers) do that?"

    In this many would be convinced of the power and excellence of the religion they are persecuting.
    They have seen the patience and meekness and would be lead to submit themselves to the gospel of Jesus.
    Long since it became a proverb, “that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

    Amen!(25)
  3. Unlike the souls led astray that Revelation 3:17 talks about, there were souls attending the sermon on the mount that felt that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. They longed for the Grace of God that brings salvation. We find in our study this week that Christ did not let them down. It is far better to feel empty and go away full then to feel full in need of nothing, and go away empty.

    Amen!(22)
  4. It is not God‘s will that we should seclude ourselves from the world. But while in the world we should sanctify ourselves to God. We should not pattern after the world. We are to be in the world as a corrective influence, as salt that retains its saver. Among the holy, impure, idolatrous generation, we are to be pure and holy, showing that the grace of Christ has power to restore in man the divine likeness. We are to exert a saving influence upon the world. Ellen G. White Notes, 3rd quarter, 2019, Lesson 8.

    Amen!(8)

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