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Two Messages, Two Teachers, and Two Followers (Matt. 7:13-23)

Every good sermon closes with a call to action. Having established what life in the Kingdom of Heaven is to look like (Matthew 5:17-7:12), Jesus now invites us to choose whether we will follow the path he has laid out in this Sermon or the way of the world. ...

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Motivation for Prayer (Matt. 7:7-11)

After instructing his followers not to judge others, Jesus begins to close out the main body of the Sermon on the Mount with an appeal for his followers to regularly approach their heavenly father in prayer....

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Don't Judge Others (Matt. 7:1-6)

As Jesus begins to wind down his sermon, he returns to the theme of hypocrisy that dominated 6:1-18. In this case, he deals with hypocrisy in the way that believers address sin in each other’s lives....

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Two Kinds of Ambition (Matt. 6:25-34)

In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus addressed our values, the things we treasure. This leads quite naturally to the subject of anxiety, for if our heart is where our treasure is (v. 21), and if our treasure is something on earth that can be lost, then our hearts will always be restless with worry that our treasure might be taken from us....

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Two Kinds of Treasure (Matt. 6:19-24)

A major theme in the Sermon on the Mount is how different Jesus’ followers are to be from the rest of the world and what role our distinctiveness plays in God’s mission. In 6:1-18, Jesus illustrated the Christian’s distinctiveness in terms of his devotional life. Now he addresses our perspective and values. As citizens of the kingdom, the things we value (vv. 19-24) ...

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Don't Practice Your Righteousness For the Praise of Others (Matt. 6:1-8)

Jesus spent much of Matthew 5 illustrating the principle he stated back in 5:20: that his followers’ righteousness should be an inner one that delights to obey God’s commandments. This theme of inner righteousness carries over into this next section (Matthew 6:1-18) where Jesus contrasts hypocritical and authentic faith. In 6:1, he states a principle and illustrates it...

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The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-15)

In his discussion on prayer so far, Jesus has critiqued two methods. In contrast to the Pharisees, Christian prayer should be sincere rather than hypocritical. In contrast to the pagans with their multitude of gods, Christian prayer should be purposeful and direct, knowing full well that we are addressing our Father. To drive home his point, Jesus now gives his listeners a...

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Love Your Enemies (Matt. 5:38-48)

In Matthew 5:20, Jesus said that his followers’ righteousness should exceed that of the Pharisees who were considered by many to be the pinnacle of godliness. For the rest of the chapter, he illustrates the kind of righteousness he’s calling for by contrasting the true meaning of various Old Testament laws with how they were being misapplied by the Pharisees. In these ...

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Marriage, Divorce, and Commitment (Matt. 5:31-37)

The Pharisees thought they had discovered loopholes in several laws of the Old Testament. They won’t murder, but they’ll hate. They won’t commit adultery, but they’ll lust. In this section, Jesus calls them out on their attempts to justify adultery and lying....

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Anger Is Murder (Matt. 5:21-26)

To many in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees were the pinnacle of righteousness. It was shocking then to hear Jesus tell his followers that they must have a greater righteousness than them. The Pharisees’ problem though was that their righteousness was often only outward, whereas Jesus’ followers were called to inward righteousness as well. The remainder of chapter 5 (vv. 21...

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