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What does citizenship in the kingdom of heaven mean for our lives on earth?

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  • August 24, 2019
    9:30 AM

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Imagine receiving a new passport and now you're a citizen of a new country in Matthew chapter 5 Jesus describes a new country a new kingdom the kingdom of heaven find out more on this episode of In verse. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to. The Bible based conversation on life principle contemporary and thought provoking. Now here's your host Justin Tim within the. Friends you are watching in verse and in this particularly season we are in the midst of the topic on the topic on justice and mercy throughout the entire Bible we are in episode 8 A We're talking about the kingdom of Jesus the kingdom of heaven and we're going to go to Matthew chapter 5 and we have my esteemed guests my friends whom I dearly love and we try to make fun of as much as we can on air and try to embarrass with all godly love and Christian respect and kindness and so that's what we need a Holy Spirit to temper us so we don't ask for prayer seek you pray for us pray for us. The Father we thank you for the privilege that it is to come to you away and we thank you that the Holy Spirit can teach us and we ask that he would be our teacher now that we can glean things from scripture that will transform our lives help us to be. Representatives of your heavenly kingdom here on this I we pray these things are getting Amen amen and the 4 gospels of us all have a different emphasis and in Matthew the emphasis is on kingdom Jesus is inaugurating the principles of his of them a new kingdom the kingdom of heaven this is most clearly articulated in the Sermon on the mount so let's go to Matthew chapter 5 Matthew chapter 5 verse one and issue can you read verse one through verse about 10. And seeing the multitudes he went up on a mountain and when he was seated and when he was seated His disciples came to him then he opened his mouth and taught them saying Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven bliss there are those who mourn for they will be comforted comforted Blessed are the meek for they show inherit the earth Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God bless it are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Sons of God Bless their are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven verse 11 I'll pick up bless it or you one day revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you you are the salt of the earth verse 13 but if the salt lose its flavor how shall it be seasoned is it then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men you are the light of the world a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket but under a lamp stand and it gives light to all who are in the house let your light so shine before men that they me see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven is up to verse 16 so we are perhaps very familiar with this passage we know about the Beatitudes but I think it deserves some merit to be to read it weeded out loud this is kind of every every every nation has their constitution and whatnot so Sebastian what is going on here especially in the 1st verse 9 versus where Jesus same blast blast blasts why he's a say that what does it mean to be blessed and what I think is going on I think that there's 2 things happening in the passage number one you want to hear your thoughts. The goals you think. What's happening. In the passages that Jesus is being compared to Bose's being on the mountain and announcing this kingdom to this liberated people that he's been feeling on this mission that we looked at in a previous episode so he's liberated them so now where do we go from here what have we been liberated into and then now Christ begins to articulate what are the attitudes What is the objective state I don't think Jesus is dealing with subjective happiness right he's not talking about or you feeling good about life I think he's dealing with the blessid state that comes from having the favor of God upon your life and to prove that you're a citizen this is your passport this is how you know you are part of the kingdom of heaven and you've been translated in and these attitudes whether you're poor in spirit you're mourning your meek your hungering and thirsting for righteousness you're pure in heart these are the qualities of what puts you inside of the kingdom of heaven is what a citizen of heaven even looks like absolute and one perspective that's awesome in another perspective I don't know if I'm part of this Kingdom this is pretty crazy Well don't don't count yourself out just yet because the very 1st beatitude is so broad inclusive right if you're just poor in spirit you just recognize your need yours is the kingdom of heaven so that lets you know like it's almost like this latter where Jesus is like even if you're at the bottom step you're still in right even if you're like David says I would rather be a door keeper in the house of the Lord even if you're just the doorkeeper you're still inside the kingdom and so a lot of times we may not be persecuted for righteousness' sake or we're not peacemakers are pure in heart and you shall see God as like the Lord help me that with your heart but in reality just starting at the bottom yeah one person there's a lot of grace and hope and then that's exactly right so I think it's powerful even so you can see it in the statements that Jesus uses poverty mourning meekness hunger thirst these are these are things that generally we don't think of as positive things but Jesus says the. He's actually actually positive attributes in his poor in spirit and when you when you're mourning is a blessing in mourning because you know that there's going to be a comforting that comes that you will become fitted though the kingdom of God actually takes the kingdom of this wild and flips it on its head and is that completely opposite to the way that we would think reality should exist. As many years in verse 6 The result is what the condition is those who hunger and thirst meaning those who don't have it the promise is is is you will be filled and I think and I'm thinking here that you know we're in this in the in this entire quarter we're looking at how people are taking Jesus and the kind of almost man handling him and molding him into their own version of what they want and what they want him to be in society and what's ironic is Jesus never wanted that to happen even throughout his life we're still continuing to do that you have to his death 2000 years later we're making him into a social justice warrior and we're making him and like to justify my needs and my wants and and to and to justify just to some degree right isn't that you know a very unique concept of the modern age that the individual is always exalted among the group right there's no value there's no purpose there's no mission that's greater than the one right and I think redemption transforms that concept by saying that yes Jesus is willing to die for one but there's a lot more at stake than just saving this one person right there is the father's name there is the kingdom of heaven spreading abroad is the mission of redeeming the earth and restoring man into the image of God So in taking that direction yes social justice is a component but we have to be social careful that we do not pursue these earthly needs and concerns to the neglect or to the oversight of eternal matters of what's really going on on the broader scale and that's why I think Jesus is. Jesus's statements here are able to juxtapose those 2 together yes I can deal with your personal using you since your passions was juxtaposing if you take the Beatitudes right all the way through the all the blesses and then the rest that you read about being the salt and the light yes in the Beatitudes you have kind of a state of of needing something and there's a blessing because God is going to fill that need. And you juxtapose that with being the salt and the light of the earth in light of the fact that God is the one who fulfills your needs you have a mission to go and be able to read and to fulfill the needs of others to be salt and to be light in the world and so it's kind of like God God recognizes that you have needs that you're poor in spirit you know that you're attempting to do certain things and God is going to assist you in those things and in light of that now you can go with that confidence that God is working in your life to go and be a blessing in the life of something you can summarize your I mean I was missing verse 6 and blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness another word for righteousness at least in the Greek is the word for justice and so we're demanding justice but it's until Jesus gives it to us that we must be in a position to your own for that justice but never attain that justice and justice human justice only God can provide that level of righteousness for the entire society and then like you said until until the Lord gives it to us we are to we are to live as if God has given it to us on this earth and light so. This is this is the 1st time and perhaps the only time in scripture or at least in our study so far where social justice or where justice sorry the internal struggle as opposed to an external experience right and so the lesson that we glean from this because Jesus when he speaking about Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness it's talking about a specific kind of righteousness that the righteous of Christ is not just righteousness right doing is right yes I see so you know it throughout Scripture when God calls upon his people to do what is right to do justice and to love mercy and to walk a mile with our God in order to do that we need to be citizens of God's of God's country so it's impossible to do Godly things because justice is a Godly thing it's impossible for us to do Godly things without We ourselves being godly and so with that foundation Jesus says I need to make you a citizen of heaven before you go on my kingdoms or heavenly Aarons And so based on that he says Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness something critical that needs to be stated here is is not the people are not happy when they do right chestnuts but when they hunger and thirst for writing is and to hunger and thirst after righteousness is the differentiating factor between a person that is a Christian or not in other words how do I know if I'm a citizen of heaven how do I know if I'm in reality a Christian Jesus says well do you hunger and thirst for righteousness that's how you know but what is the mind yeah that's the sign that is the singular sign in other words you can have all these other things and I can still say to you I knew you not but you can never hunger and thirst after righteousness and not be Christ like that is the the singular thing that makes us Christ like what does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness the righteousness here is right just as His Holiness holiness is likeness to God and God is love that's actually written in this book thoughts from the mount of blessings. When she when the author speaks about this specific passage so to hunger and thirst after righteousness means to hunger and to thirst after Christ's likeness which is manifested in love love to God and love for others the word for blesses our is the word for happy and I think some modern translations use happy happy happy happy and we are in this this this with this this walk this journey to attain happiness but we are saying is if you seek happiness you will never get it but if we thirst for holiness holiness is the route to happiness Yes and what a powerful deception that Israel is alluding to is I can do things that God would do but not in the same spirit that God would do them so I can be about righteous behaviors but not have the internal righteousness that actually makes those works powerful and that's were to me Jesus in your letter he keeps on going in each of the commandments and the disasters those things so you're like well if the salt loses its savor it saltiness How can you salt salt again and I think that's the profundity of what Christ the saying by starting with the Beatitudes that's salting you now that you go forward and be the salt if you lose that if you use your your sense of need if you lose your merciful spirit if you lose your pure innocent heart and your desire to be a peacemaker you're no longer Sol But how are you going to solve this thing again because the deception is you think because I'm doing righteous actions I am already righteous so therefore I don't need to be salted again now Jesus is going to continue his his constitutional inauguration of his kingdom and talk about the saltiness that Sebastian is talking about in each of the commandments so stay with us after the break. Has been this been a blessing to you Do you have questions comments and feedback you'd like to leave us find us on social media by searching. On Facebook Twitter Instagram for you to while there join us. I'll handle again in verse Bible. Now back to the discussion. Welcome back we're in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount we just looked at the inaugural address of Jesus I'm going to go to Chapter 5 or 17 where thou Jesus Khana shifts a little bit and he's not replacing the 10 Commandments but he's now going to expose it on the 10 Commandments in Chapter 5 or 17 The Bible says do not think that I came to destroy the law or the Prophets I come not to destroy but to fulfill and then he goes into my me not all 10 but a lot of the commandments here and let's go to verse 21 secretly reversed 21 to 22 you have heard that it was said to those of old you shall not and where the meadows will be in danger of the judgment but I say to you that whoever he is angry with his brother without a cause be in danger of the judgment and we have a says to his brother Rocca shall be in danger of the council but whoever says You fool shall be in danger of hell fire Israel can go to 27 and 28. You heard it was said to those of all you shall not commit adultery but I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart and smash in 31 and 32 Furthermore it has been said whoever divorces his wife let him give her a certificate of divorce but I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery All right see what is going on here why it is she's a smidgen in these what is Why does Jesus go this route in this sermon of his where he's been talking about the characteristics there of of citizens of this heavenly kingdom and the Israelites already had the law of God and they had you know applications of the law and applications of applications you know so they they were well versed in it but when Jesus talks about these you have heard that it was said you have heard that it was said against the letter of the law he's saying that there is more to the law than just the words that you read on a page and even there's more to actually fulfilling the law in order to be a citizen of heaven then just doing what seems on the surface to be keeping the law that there is a character that goes behind the keeping and that the when you look at the Beatitudes when he was talking about the poor in spirit to the morning and these are internal qualities and what he's saying is this external keeping of the law has to come from something that is internal comes from who you are from the character of the person and what I want to do is to transform who you are to be a citizen of heaven not just in keeping on the outside the law but to be the person who would keep the law. Saying it's clearly seeing in the in the in the does not in the in the revealing of of what the progression is we're looking at what if I were. In the progression of the passage so you have here. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness something that is internal It is after the after the blesses after these internal transformations of the heart take place that then Jesus says you are the salt of the earth in other words you must 1st go through that blessedness happiness experience before you can be considered salt what is the significance of salt the significance of salt is that after you've experience the kingdom of God personally then you are able to infuse the kingdom of God into society and to other to others around you agents of change and then so and what continues after that beginning with Verse 21 is all right how does this infusion look like so you have internally you have internally had your heart transformed love for God love for others once you have that internal transformation then you have the infusion of that seed into society and then God Jesus goes on in verse 27 in verse 212731 to now talk about how to salt mingling with others look like and essentially what you can summarize that. You can summarize that to conclude is that love that has been internally born and then extremely infused is extremely radical it's radical in its appearance and so Jesus here speaking of the fact that many times we think we are loving people but he says actually you're really not because love is extremely radical like for example love boils down to not just actions but to the very mind and you can break the law of God in your mind in other words you cannot love God in your mind while you appear to love God in your actions is his outer radical this love and this transformation and we didn't read verse 38. Misread 1st you have heard that it was said An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth that sounds like justice. But I tell you not to resist an evil person but whoever slaps you on your right cheek turn the other to him also and if anyone wants to see you and take away your tunic let him have your cloak also and whoever compels you to go one mile go with him to give to him asks you and from him who wants to borrow from you do not in a way this is I mean this is antithetical to any concept that we have of justice it is especially justice that is owed to me right you're telling me that if somebody is mistreating me like this is obvious injustice that is being performed to me God Jesus is saying that in my kingdom what this this is completely flipped is that you're not out to protect your own rights yes actually that if somebody is infringing on your rights that you go the extra mile to show them kindness when they're being unjust towards you that doesn't make sense in inverse thinking to what verse Yeah yeah and if you if you transform we'll see who is saying to the next level a sensually the kingdom of God is a kingdom in which mercy and justice are always practice regardless of what we suffer you must do it because that's who you are as a citizen so you're blessed if you're merciful not if you're merciful only to your mom merciful to your son but if you're merciful even to the men who slap you across the cheek and in Jesus takes the fact that these individuals in Jewish society would be looked down upon you murdered someone you committed adultery you did this and then the 3rd in Jesus saying you thought that the Farriss who were considered the highest spiritually he says unless your righteousness in verse 20 exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven you will not be a member so here you are saying the people we think are the most spiritual people are actually the ones who are. Not inside the kingdom and Jesus why is that the case not because of their lack of external behavior but because they have not allowed that external The truth of what my kingdom is about to infuse their internal spirit with long as I practice it in secret it's OK and in Jesus's Kingdom completely exposes a person who wants to do it for the crowd but is not really committed to it in secret in my my grandmother used to say hypocrisy pays complement to virtue we always pretend to be something that we know that other people respect and value so we will always hypocritically do it if we think it's going to bring the certain level of respect and this is what Jesus is really trying to identify and pull out I mean I look at this passage and I see that Jesus in many ways is at 1st I thought he was maybe reinterpreting the 10 Commandments but he's not interpreting reentering 10 Commandments he's taking a jab at how human in human beings human society thinks they can they can maintain justice by keeping the Law externally you know which which we were time of the 10 Commandments here we have 0 politics and commandments but we have a problem with how human beings think if thinking just keep the law everything will be cool now we've traditionally interpret this in terms of salvation but if we translate this into society if we just have the right laws if we just have the right political system we just all obey shouldn't everyone be OK And Jesus would say the same thing no it's not a problem with law cannot your be just a law cannot save you which is what social justice advocates today do they bypass biblical just as I bypass religion they bypass conversion and just that we just need the right law and that will provide equality what would what society today neglects that Jesus is clearly stressing here is is in his passage an innocent on the mountain is that we have the tendency as human beings to think that everyone else is the prob. You know that the problem to society is someone else it is the law it is a fact that people are oppressing it is a fact that people are poor the system the system yes or society everyone except me yes what Jesus actually you know teaches the exact opposite he says actually the problem in society is not society the problem society is you you think that it is possible to keep the Law of God you think that it is possible on your own you think that it is possible for you to externally do great things but internally do them for selfish reasons and he is trying to say Do you understand the significance of the law of God you don't because the law of God is still radical it comes full circle when you have Verse $46.00 for if you love those who love you what reward Have you don't the tax collectors do the same in other words Jesus going to say if you really really really believe that you can keep to love God can you love your enemies and then you're like no way I can love my enemies and then he says well that the other day if you cannot love your enemies something that it is humanly impossible to do what makes you different from the people who are who do not consider themselves to be you actually the very same thing and so the point that Jesus is trying to get to here is we need to get to the point where we are hungry and thirsty for something for righteousness which means we are hungering and thirsting for something that we do not have and cannot get unless it is given to us externally and I would argue that or your hungering for sourcing for righteousness in all situations right has to be yeah to keep it 100 right like absolutely keep human nature is I'm driving if I see a cop on the go the speed limit but if there's no cop I'm going to speed is that right so that's human nature I mean I think I'm going to put myself out there. So if you if you feel like there's no threat of punishment right we are the type of people where we think wow I can speed and nothing's going to happen you know I know how to drive I know how to maintain myself in the wheel so yeah the speed limit is there but as long as there's no cop and so. The same sense I'm going to love my enemy if the cameras are on right so we come on in verse and your worst enemy comes on the show you're not going to be disrespecting this person knowing it's going to be broadcast all over the world with this because other people know that anyway that's. What we'll hear be authentic but if you go home and all the sudden and in the privacy of your living room in your car you're going off on the person because the cameras are not on the right supposedly And that's what to me Jesus is trying to address is this concept of the least of these can sometimes translate into people who there is no external ramifications on my character or my reputation for treating this person this way and there's no reward if I'm kind except for the fact that I'm a friend to my identity as a member of the citizen of gongs Kingdom and in verse 45484538 I think Matthew I mean study in verse 44 but I say to you love your enemies bless those who because you do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use them persecute you and then he says Why that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven. God is the kind of God who makes his sun to shine right whether it is on the evil and the good he sends rain on the just and the unjust and at the end to sum it up he says therefore you shall be perfect just as your Father in Heaven is perfect and you know when you think about it so I guess justice in the world and society God wants to do something in our lives that transforms us into His image so the way that we exercise justice in the world is a reflection of who God is not not out of a sense of like selfishness or you know self-importance but as an expression of exhibitionists an expression of who we are who God has transformed us to be his children now members of his kingdom so I believe that God permits for poverty for injustice to exist and for us to interact with that as an as an avenue for him to transform us into His image and we are talking about a lot of lofty ideals and this inauguration of a new kingdom of God Jesus is preaching about and even amongst us I mean we're talking about these things and these are high things in some ways that can be discouraging thing man I can't do that we can't do this our inverse team we could do we can't be Christians by our own strength and can only do it by the transformative blood and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ That's our prayer we extend that invitation to all of you to be citizens of the kingdom of Jesus to be selfless agents of change to change the world around us not for the world just the world's just us for heaven's just the sake join us next week here in verse. You've been listening to in verse a Bible based conversation with Kelly Williams Israel Jared Thomas Sebastian Braxton so you could doctor and your host Justin can invest is brought to you by the hope channel television that changes night but this and more inspiring episodes visit in various T.V. don't find this on social media has to invest time until next time this isn't 1st.

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