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Lesson # Matt. 5:48
Study Material - Matt. 5:48
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
48 'Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
'Therefore' is a conclusion. A conclusion based on all that has been said prior to the concluding statement, chapter 5. To be perfect is to follow the guidelines given in this chapter. In chapter 5 Jesus gave us the outline of the Christian way of life.
First the franchise, a franchise that was misinterpreted for centuries by the people of Israel. They thought that because they had been descendants of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob, that they had some sort of privilege in Gods eyes, where all other nations had nothing. They were wrong. Blood ancestry is no basis or guarantee for the spiritual life, nor eternal life, nor a relationship with God. There is only one way of salvation and therefore a relationship with God including eternal life, and that is through believing in Jesus Christ. So human genetics are irrelevant. The franchise comes with faith in Christ, and only through the expression of faith. The franchise is extended to the spiritual life through spiritual growth where blessings, happiness, etc., belong to those who follow Gods command to advance to spiritual maturity, which requires that we remain in fellowship continually. This is the first portion of this chapter. Blessings or happiness belong to believers who are mature or advancing toward spiritual maturity. Do other people have blessings or even happiness in this life/ Yes but it is limited and tends to be a pseudo happiness. Gods happiness is a satisfying happiness, a happiness that quenches the needs for happiness. Happiness of this life (apart from God) are transient in nature, short lived, and do not have lasting fulfillment's. People who ignore God or even reject God will never find permanent happiness, and the temporary happiness they do find is not real.
The whole process of spiritual growth is taught in the first 8 verses of this chapter. These follow the seven spirits principle of Rev. 1 and Isa. 11. The result of advancing to spiritual maturity brings in the salt principle and the light principle. Salt and light - one preserves and the other provides life. Without either of these principles life on this planet cannot exist. Sodom and Gomorrah are two illustrations of this principle. When Lot left he city, they had nothing in them to preserve them. And now they lie at the bottom of the dead sea which is appropriate for they are dead, with no light, but with all the salt necessary to preserve them in darkness forever, sort of.
Then Christ gave many examples of the Christian way of life. These examples follow the reality of spiritual growth and are a result of spiritual growth. These acts of charity, of forgiveness, of tolerance, of relationships with family of friends, of enemies as well, of ones own thoughts and weaknesses, of ones attitudes toward what is right and what is wrong, and most important of what might be the letter of the law and what might be the expected reaction of a person in any given situation, ie. sure you might be entitled to compensation, but what is your motive in pursuing it? All of these things add up to the sum total of ones life or your application of what you have learned in your Bible study, or what you have not learned in your Bible study.
To be perfect like God? How is that possible? Just in that we obviously cannot be perfect by the strength of our own energy, by the strength of our own rational abilities, by the strength of our own physical abilities. Nothing we have or can invent or can imagine can help us to become perfect. Satan (Lucifer) desired this a long time ago and that is what started this long running angelic conflict. But through our spiritual life, God gives us this perfection as a gift. We do not have to earn it, nor can we, nor do we deserve it. It is all a gift from God.
We are commanded to be perfect - 'you are to be perfect'. This is Gods will for every person. But of course it is potential. We may choose to not be perfect, and that is the result of everyone ignoring God, of ignoring Bible study, of deciding that they do not need it in life. People think that they do not need things spiritual, that all they need is a pay check, a little luck of the Irish, a break or two in life and all will be fine, yet their lives continue year after year and they get nowhere. They still hang on to their rejection or resistance toward Bible study. And that makes them the biggest fools of history.
God has this platter, a silver one of course, and it is piled high with gold (the actual stuff, not just the glimmer of gold but the actual material which you can spend, etc.) And most people laugh at it. They do not think that it is real, that Christianity is just another religion with rules and taboos, and the result is that you get nowhere. If you don't give your money to the church then you'll go to hell. So the resulting conclusion is that churches are just fronts for sucking your money out of you and heaven is just the marketing material.
Unfortunately over the centuries and more so even in this current day, that is probably true. But you cannot use that attack on this Bible study, because I do not pass the plate for money. Nor do I work on your guilt in order to bleed your pocket book. So you're safe. I do provide a convenient means for your donation if you so choose, so that you can fulfill your obligation to support Gods Word, but that is all. You make your own decisions. And as for that 40 acres and a mule you were thinking of buying in heaven, well you'll have to go elsewhere to buy that.
To be perfect like God, requires simply and first, salvation. You have this when you believe in Christ, 'Father, I believe in Jesus Christ', period. This only takes a moment and only needs to be done once in life. You probably believed in Christ long ago when you were young.
Second, fellowship is required in order to have a relationship with God. Fellowship is simply that status of being in the state of sinless perfection. You gain fellowship when you confess your sins privately and silently to God the Father (only the Father and no one else). No one else has the power to forgive you, only God has that right.
Third, you are to advance toward spiritual maturity through a daily Bible study program, in order to grow up spiritually, in order to build spiritual muscle in your soul, in order to learn what God wants from you in your personal life.
Fourth, you are expected to apply what you have learned from your Bible studies, to your daily life. Say what you mean, do what you say, avoid sin in all forms, stop the game playing, stop deceptions, stop favoritism, follow Gods commands in your life.
Chapter 5 of Matthew is one of the best descriptions of the Christian way of life. It is brief here, but Jesus said a lot more when He was teaching. John 21:25 tells us that Jesus said and did much more than is revealed in the entire Bible. That the world would not be big enough to hold all of the writings necessary to describe what Jesus did and said. So during those 3 ½ years we can only imagine why everyone did not turn immediately to Him. But so is the nature of the human soul.
Throughout history people have been negative toward God, and despite overwhelming evidence as to His existence. People are their own worst enemies. They put up their own barriers in their minds. They refuse to believe, they resist believing in the scriptures. Yet everyone knows that they will one day die and leave this world.
Who then will bring them back from the dead? Who then will save them? Who then will bless them? Not God. He has already said, 'because they first rejected Me, so I will reject them.' In Revelation we have already studied how Jesus Christ has His hand and arm on the lever of history. Jesus Christ controls history. His arm is flexed tightly and bulging as muscles do when they are readied to throw that lever at an instant notice. That lever applies to the rapture of course but it also applies to your human life in this world. You could die at any moment. You have no guarantee as to a long life of 60, or 70, or 80 years. Everyday you delay your Bible study, you risk your entire future (eternity) as well as losing out on blessings you could have during this life.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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