Sermon on the Mount: Living in God’s Kingdom

Pastor Zach Bearss

September 13, 2020

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT: LIVING IN GOD’S KINGDOM: SEPTEMBER 13, 2020
Pastor Zach Bearss

1. Take 15 minutes or so and read through the Sermon on the Mount together, out loud, and all in one sitting: Matthew 5-7.

2.  What part of this sermon makes the most sense to you?

3.  What part of this sermon is the most confusing to you?

4.  Did you hear anything new for the first time  or did something stick out even though it is a familiar passage of scripture?

5.  In which area of life do you struggle the most in your personal walk with Christ?

  • relationship to the world
  • relationship to people
  • integrity in our sexual lives
  • integrity in our speech
  • our response to hostility
  • our response to the poor
  • our prayer life
  • our money
  • our anxiety and worry
  • our hearts towards people that are wrong

6.  How does this passage contract the righteousness of Christ versus our own self-righteousness?

7. Pray that our hearts will be open to becoming more like Christ in the next weeks as we study the Sermon on the Mount in the coming weeks.

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Sermon on the Mount: Living in God’s Kingdom

Pastor Zach Bearss

September 20, 2020

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT: LIVING IN GOD’S KINGDOM: SEPTEMBER 20, 2020
Pastor Zach Bearss

CONNECT
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most studied sermons in history.  If you have had an opportunity to study this passage it in the past, did  Pastor Zach’s sermon bring a different perspective to what Jesus was teaching in this passage or did it align with your previous study?

ENGAGE
Read Matthew 5:1-12. Where do you see contrasts of the kingdom of heaven versus the kingdoms here on earth?

In verse 3, to be “poor in spirit” is to be “completely bankrupt; beggars” and “destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches”. How does the world view being poor and needy?  How are we blessed to be poor in spirit?

In verse 4, to “mourn”  is to “grieve, mourn, lament” over our own sin.  How does the world view sorrow such as this? How are we blessed to mourn?

In verse 5,  to be “meek”  is “mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, and not occupied with self but the work of the Spirit.”  Look up synonyms of the word meek.  How does the world view meekness? How are we blessed to be meek?

APPLY
Read Joel 2:12-13 and James 4:7-10, Have you experienced mourning over your own sins in your walk with Christ?  Take some time to ask God where your heart needs to broken anew for His ways and His kingdom.

Read Philippians 2:5-11. Where do we need to humble ourselves as a follower of Christ instead of relying on our own strengths and accomplishments to further His kingdom? 

PRAY
Pray that the Lord will give us a renewed since of spiritual poverty and total dependence upon His Holy Spirit to work in us and through us, and not to rely on our own strengths and abilities in our spiritual walk with Christ.

Sermon on the Mount: Living in God’s Kingdom

Pastor Zach Bearss

September 27, 2020

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT: LIVING IN GOD’S KINGDOM: SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
Pastor Zach Bearss

CONNECT
Did your concept of the word “meekness” change after hearing Pastor Zach’s sermon?

ENGAGE
Read Matthew 5:1-12. How does verse 5, speaking of being meek (or gentle) fit into the context of the whole Beatitudes?

Read Psalm 37:11. The word “meek” (or humble) is virtually the same word with the same promise of inheriting the land as in Matthew 5:5. Read Psalm 37:1-10. What actions in our lives create an attitude of meekness? For each verb in these verses that we are commanded to do, what promise does God promise in return? How does the promise of “inheriting the land” keep us in a posture of meekness before the Lord? 

APPLY
In Numbers 12:3, Moses is described as “very meek (or humble), more than any man who was on the face of the earth.”  Who do you know in your own life who displays this same meekness or humbleness?  What can you learn from them to take and incorporate into our own lives?

Write your own definition of meekness, based on your study of this word.

PRAY
Pray that we will become more Christlike in this area of meekness.

PRAY
Pray that the Lord will give us a renewed since of spiritual poverty and total dependence upon His Holy Spirit to work in us and through us, and not to rely on our own strengths and abilities in our spiritual walk with Christ.

Sermon on the Mount: Living in God’s Kingdom

Pastor Zach Bearss

October 4, 2020

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT: LIVING IN GOD’S KINGDOM: October 4, 2020
Pastor Zach Bearss

CONNECT
Share stories of when you have been the hungriest or thirstiest in your lifetime.

ENGAGE
Read the Beatitudes: Matthew 5:1-12,  The righteousness Jesus talks about here is a deep, fierce, hunger that needs a whole lot of Jesus, not just a little bit of  Him.  How can we look good on the outside by doing a little bit of Jesus instead of loving Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength that only God can see on the inside? 

Read Jeremiah 2:13.  What are the 2 evils that God names?  When we drink from the promises of this world that say it will satisfy our deepest desires from what it has to offer,  each promise leaves us empty, dehydrated, and always wanting more.  Set a timer for 2 minutes and name as many things during this time that give us a promise of fulfillment but breaks it’s promise to us every time. 

Read  the following verses and discuss how Jesus is the only one who can fill our deepest longings: Ecclesiastes 3:11, Isaiah 55:1-3, John 4:14 and John 6:35. 

APPLY
Read Psalm 42:1. Are you thirsty and hungry for God?  The way Jesus stayed hungry for God was to fast for 40 days.  Is there something you need to let go of for a period of time and fast from the things of this world that have a hold on  you so that you can feast on the grace of God?

Discuss this quote: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”–C.S. Lewis

PRAY
Pray for one another, that you may each be given the strength by God’s grace to give up something of this world and replace it with His righteousness and HIs kingdom. 

Sermon on the Mount: Living in God’s Kingdom

Pastor Tom Dages

October 11, 2020

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT: LIVING IN GOD’S KINGDOM: October 11, 2020
Pastor Tom Dages

Read Exodus 34:6-7

 

Q-How do the attributes of God make up the glory of God?

 

Q-What is mercy and why is it the first attribute expressed from the heart of God?

 

 

Read Matthew 5:7

 

Q-How is Jesus an expression of God’s mercy and how is the cross the way we receive God’s mercy?

 

Q-Why must mercy be a mark of a follower of Jesus?

 

Read John 14:16-17

 

Q-List the different descriptors used for the Holy Spirit here and throughout the New Testament? What are some of the ways the Helper helps us?

 

Read John 8:2-12

 

Q-Why do we often attempt to punish people instead of giving mercy?

 

Q-Why is receiving mercy such a great motivator for holy living?

 

Q-What might be some reasons why a person has a hard time giving mercy?

Sermon on the Mount

Pastor Zach Bearss

October 18, 2020

 

The Election: Our Role in Politics

CONNECT
On a scale of 1 to 10, how “politically minded” are you as we head into the election?

ENGAGE
Read Mathew 22:15-22, Mark 12:12-17, Luke 20:19-26.  What do you glean from these 3 accounts of the same story?

Two enemies came together to trap Jesus: the Pharisees who believed in not paying the tax and the Herodians who believed in paying the tax and supporting Herod.  Read Psalm 21:11, Proverbs 6:16-19, Ephesians 6:11.  How can we apply this example of Christ in our lives when we are up against the schemes of wicked men?

Jesus responded to them, “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”  Jesus did not give a yes or no answer, but a yes and yes answer. Discuss what it is like to live in the tension of being an American citizen and a heavenly citizen.
Reflect in your own life: What  belongs to Caesar?  What belongs to God?  

Caesar’s currency is success, recognition, comfort, power.  God’s currency is The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.  Prayerfully ask: Which kingdom does your life currently reflect? 

APPLY 
1. GOD HAS ASKED US TO BE IN THE WORLD BUT NOT OF THIS WORLD.  Pray. Be Informed. Get involved. Pray.  Vote.  Do good if it is in your power to do it.

2. SHAPE YOUR OPINION OF POLITICS ON YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST. 
We are the light shining in the darkness and represent the kingdom of God. Is your heart being shaped ty the news or by His word?

3. DO NOT SACRIFICE WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR A POLITICAL AGENDA.  We must live together in harmony as believers after the election.  Can you dwell in  unity with those of a different political persuasion and unite our hearts around Christ instead? 

PRAY
Pray that the Lord will give us wisdom and our identity in Christ alone, and that we will be salt and light in an unbelieving world that has no hope both before and after the election.

Each one has been marked with the image of its owner. We have been coined in the image of God.”–Michael K. Marsh

Sermon on the Mount

Pastor Zach Bearss

October 25, 2020

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT
October 25, 2020

CONNECT
 
ENGAGE
Read Matthew 5:1-12. What connection is there between verse 8, “blessed are the pure in heart”, with the verses that directly proceed it, verses 3-7?
What can pour forth from our hearts when we are not centered on God? Romans 1:29-31. 
What can Christ do in us to purify our hearts?Hosea 10:2, Jude 1:24, I John 1:9, Psalm 51:6-11, James 4:8, Psalm 18:26, Jeremiah 29:13
How can this process sometimes be painful in our spiritual journey with God? Psalm 139:23-24
 
APPLY
How things can most easily divide your heart and make it impure? Discuss these statements below. Which sentence most reflects the primary  barrier to Christ being at the center of your life? 
*My heart is cluttered with the things of this world. 
*I seek God for His hand rather than His face.
*I am driven by outward appearances to other believers more than my inward appearance before God. 
*I am uncomfortable being honest before God. 
 
Discuss this quote: “we must teach plainly that the faith that saves the soul is not a dead faith, but a faith which operates with purifying effect upon our entire nature, and produces in us fruits of righteousness to the praise and glory of God” – Charles H. Spurgeon
 
PRAY
Pray that we will allow the Lord to examine our hearts and to give us a single minded love and devotion to Him that surpasses all else. 

Sermon on the Mount

Pastor Tom Dages

November 1, 2020

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT
November 1, 2020

BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS

Read Galations 3:24-29; Luke 9:23-26; Roman 12:18; Psalm 51:6

1). From where does all the turbulence in the world ultimately orginiate?

2). How does the devil use people to hurt the unity in the church?

3). Give an example of how you have witnessed division destroy a local church?

4).  What are some concrete ways God’s people can protect the unity of the church?

5).  Reread Psalm 51:6.  What does David mean by “truth in the inward being” and “wisdom in the secret hear”?

6).  Tell of time the Holy Spirit revealed to you a trouble making tendency?  What did you do about it?

Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:10

Pastor Zach Bearss

November 15, 2020

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT
November 15, 2020

CONNECT
Discuss if you have ever been personally persecuted for righteousness sake, or if you know of someone, or if you are aware of any people groups around the world that are currently being pursued or cast out for their faith in Christ.

ENGAGE
Read Matthew 5:10-12. Break apart the verses into who, what, where, when, and why.  How does that apply to us as believers today? Where do you struggle with these statements by Jesus?

The word persecute  means “1. to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away. 2. to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after. a. to press on: figuratively of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal. b. to pursue (in a hostile manner).

Name a biblical character that suffered for the sake of righteousness, what they endured, and what they learned from their persecution.

Read Acts 9:4-5.  Who is doing the persecution in this passage. And who is actually being persecuted in this passage? 
Read Matthew 5:44, I Corinthians 4:12-13.  What should be our response to those who persecute us?

APPLY
Discuss these 3 benefits of being persecuted for the sake of Christ:

  • THERE IS A CALL. 2 Timothy 3:10-12
  • THERE IS A BLESSING: James 1:2-4
  • THERE IS POWER: Hebrews 12:3, 1 Peter 3:13-17

PRAY
Pray for one another to help us to stand against the spiritual forces of darkness that wage war against us but at the same time, to love fiercely and pray for those that oppose us when we are noticed for being salt and light in a lost world.

Sermon on the Mount

Pastor Tom Dages

January 10, 2021

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT
January 10, 2021

 

SALT AND LIGHT

Read text: Matthew 5:13-16

 

Q-When Jesus calls us “the salt of the earth”, why is high potency and close proximity important?

 

Q-Comment on the importance of these 3 qualities of salt:

    1-Salt adds taste

    2-Salt increases thirst

    3-Salt prevents decay

 

Q-Which property do you think Jesus has most in mind for His people?

 

Q-What are the social issues Pastor Tom mentioned in which Jesus wants to arrest decay?

Q-Why is it important for Christians of integrity to be in both our major political parties?

 

Q-Why is clear communication of the gospel important as expressed through 1) performing deeds of mercy and 2) sharing the gospel verbally?

 

Q-How did Pastor Tom suggest we are to increase our saltiness and clarity in which we communicate Christ? (See John 15:5)

Q-The church is a city set on a hill for all to see His glory and to let His light shine forth. What tasks has Jesus given to us as a body of believers to engage in that gives light and hope to a dark world?

Sermon on the Mount

Pastor Zach Bearss

January 17, 2021

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT
January 17, 2021

 

CONNECT
Please take a few minutes to pray for our country, our community, and our church: for unity, for loving our neighbors well, that we would be peacemakers, our speech would be seasoned with grace, that we would submit to one another and be sensitive the Holy Spirit guiding and directing our interactions day by day.

ENGAGE
Read Matthew 5:17-20. Is there anything confusing to you about the passage?

In this passage Jesus was talking about the Law of the Old Testament. The Jewish scribes, however, had added oral interpretation of God’s laws that added up to nearly 800 pages when they were written down in the 2nd century, known as the Mishnah. The Pharisees were the ones who kept these rules and regulations created by God and by the scribes. Read Matthew 12:1-15. Discuss the interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees regarding what was “lawful.”

Read Matthew 23:13-28. How does Jesus view the outward righteousness of the Pharisees?

Read Ezekiel 36:26-27. How does an inward righteousness given to us by God surpass that of the outward righteousness of the Pharisees?

APPLY
Read I Peter 2:24, Romans 1:16-17, and Romans 6:11-18. How do we live out an inward righteousness that is pleasing to God?  What areas of your inward life and walk with God do we each need to work on?  Prayer, meditating on His word, confession, are several examples.

PRAY
Pray that you will seek first His righteousness and then all these things will be added unto you.
(Matthew 6:33)

Sermon on the Mount: Good and Angry

Pastor Zach Bearss

January 24, 2021

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT: GOOD AND ANGRY
January 24, 2021

 

CONNECT
What things in life make you easily become exasperated?  (Example, waiting in line).

ENGAGE
Read Matthew 5:21-2. How does this passage demonstrate that the Pharisees were concerned with outward, physical appearances but Jesus was concerned about our inward hearts?

In Matthew 5:22, do you see a progression of anger in this passage?  

Read Mark 3:1-6 and Mark 11:15-17. Do you think there is a difference between righteous anger and unrighteous anger?

Read Proverbs 6:2-5, Psalm 64, James 1:20, Ephesians 4:24-31, and I John 1:9. What is the remedy for anger?

Discuss this quote below:
“The Jews aimed to satisfy the law of God; and to the demands of law there is always a limit. The Christian aims to show his gratitude for the love of God; and to the claims of love there is no limit in time or in eternity. Jesus set before men, not the law of God, but the love of God.”—William Barclay

APPLICATION
Read Psalm 139: 23-24. Take a few minutes to pray and ask the Lord, “Am I harboring anger in my heart towards someone?” and “Have I murdered someone in my speech to others?” If so, is there anything I can do to bring about reconciliation?

PRAYER
Pray for the love and forgiveness of God to rule in our hearts and overflow to others in our lives, even when they don’t deserve it, because Christ first loved us, even when we were yet sinners.

Sermon on the Mount

Pastor Zach Bearss

February 28, 2021

SERMON ON THE MOUNT
February 28, 2021

 

CONNECT
What is troubling to you or hard to understand about the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5? What is comforting to you?

ENGAGE
Read Matthew 5:27-30. Verse 21 begins with “You have heard that it was said”. Verse 22 begins with “But I say to you.”  Where else are these phrases repeated in chapter 5?  What are these sections referring to as part of the Sermon on the Mount?

How do these sections tie in with Matthew 5:20?

Read Proverbs 16:2, Jeremiah 17:10, I Kings 8:39, I Samuel 16:7 Is God concerned with our outward appearances or inward motives?

Discuss Joseph’s response (Genesis 39:7-20) with David’s response (2 Samuel 11-12) to situations of adultery.

APPLY
In Matthew 5:28, the word “look” is not a glance or incidental look, but that a person sees and continues to look. The word “lust” means “a hyper desire; greed; no regard for their own well-being; selfishness.” How does adultery begin in the heart before it becomes an outward action? How does our culture today promote sexuality outside the boundaries of marriage?

Read this quote and examine as to what motivates your heart:
”If your strong desire is to be righteous, then you will walk with Jesus Christ confessing your sins of both mind and body as the Holy Spirit convicts. You will be one who thanks God for His forgiveness in Jesus Christ and also seriously strives to live a life pleasing and glorifying to Him. If your strong desire is to please your mind, emotions and flesh as you think best, then you will continue to judge yourself against a false standard made by man. You will be self-righteous and consider yourself to be good enough, but you will fail to meet Jesus’ standard and will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Will you be like Joseph who fled, David who confessed, or the Scribes and Pharisees who justified themselves?”—Scott L. Harris, Grace Bible Church, NY

PRAY
Pray that the Lord will give us the power to live lives of purity.  Also pray for complete healing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for those that have been harmed by the evil actions of others towards them in this area of sexuality through pornography, assault, rape, incest, sexually transmitted diseases and any other harmful consequences.

Sermon on the Mount – Divorce

Pastor Zach Bearss

March 7, 2021

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT – DIVORCE
March 7, 2021

 

CONNECT
Share briefly (if you feel freedom to do so) how divorce has touched your life. 

ENGAGE
Read Matthew 5: 31-32 and Matthew 19:3-12.  Discuss how Jesus took the discussion beyond the Mosaic law back to the time of creation and the intent of marriage.  Discuss why Moses allowed men of the nation of Israel to write a certificate of divorce.  Discuss the vulnerability of women in this culture.  Discuss the disciples’ reaction to this teaching.
Discuss these points about marriage:

  1. Marriage is:
    1. Calling
    2. Covenant
    3. Friendship
    4. Fruitfulness
  2. Divorce is an amputation.
  3. Divorce is sometimes necessary to life.
  4. God can heal the wounds of divorce.

APPLY
Discuss this quote from Craig Keener: “Do not break your marriage, do your best to make it work and flourish; but also, don’t hold responsible someone whose marriage is broken against their will.”
Who is someone you can reach out to that is divorced or going through a divorce?
If you are married, what resources can you put towards strengthening your marriage?
If you are single, what resources can you put towards strengthening your singleness?

PRAY
Pray for healing in this area of your life, to extend grace and mercy to those divorced. If you are married, pray that you will make your marriage a priority and bring glory to God through it.  For those single, pray that the Lord will sustain you if you have been called to remain single. If marriage is in your future, pray that the Lord will bring into your life a fellow believer so that you will be equally yoked spiritually. 

Sermon on the Mount – Spin Problem

Pastor Zach Bearss

March 14, 2021

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT – SPIN PROBLEM
March 14, 2021

 

CONNECT
We watched the video of the little boy who said he did not eat the sprinkles when there were sprinkles all over his face and the counter in the kitchen. Tell the group a funny story of your childhood of telling a lie to your parents or friend or sibling.

ENGAGE
Read Matthew 5:33-37.  Discuss the historical context of this passage considering the levels of oaths made by the Pharisees of which some they would keep and some they would not.

Read these verses and then contrast how Satan is the father of lies while God is the father of truth:
John 8:44, Psalm 119:160, John 1:1, John 17:17-19. Discuss examples in the bible in which God’s promises bring about life while Satan’s lies bring about death.

How should truth telling make a difference in our lives as believers?  Proverbs 6:16-20, 11:3, 12:17, 12:22, 21:3, 24:26, I Peter 3:10-12

APPLY
 Timothy Keller breaks lies into 6 different categories:

  • Political
  • Exaggerated
  • Word Inflation
  • Benevolent
  • Watergate
  • Business

 Where do I tend to tell a lie, half-truth, white lie?  What is the idol in my life I am protecting or trying to hold onto when I tell a lie?  Examples of this are: relationships, finances, reputation, our businesses.

Discuss this quote: “The ideal is that a man should never need an oath to buttress or guarantee the truth of anything he may say. The man’s character should make an oath completely unnecessary.” –William Barclay

PRAY
Pray that God’s word will grow deep in our hearts so that we will be known as truth tellers and men and women who keep our promises to God and those around us.

Sermon on the Mount

Pastor Tom Dages

March 21, 2021

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT
March 21, 2021

 

Read Dt 19:16-21, Matthew 5:38-42, Romans 12:14-21

 

Q-John Stott says the principle of exact retribution Jesus is commenting upon from the OT had a “double effect-that of defining justice and restraining revenge.” Q-Why are both of these concepts important?

 

Q-How did the pharisees get this teaching wrong in their teaching and their practice?

 

Q-Why is it important to understand that Jesus is not stripping government of its responsibilities of punishing evil doers?

 

Q-Why is it important as followers of Jesus that we take measures to protect ourselves from vengeance setting in against those who hurt us?

 

Q-Tell of a time when personal vengeance, resentment, bitterness and or unforgiveness set in against someone who hurt you.

How did you discover it and ho did you get rid of it?

 

Q-What are examples of radical love towards those who hurt you from the sermon, the Scriptures or life that serve to inspire God’s people?  

 

Q-What does it mean to be “born again” from John 3?

 

 

Q-Why is this concept so foundational for a love filled lifestyle?

 

 

Q-Why did Pastor Tom us the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. as a positive example as a love filled lifestyle?

Sermon on the Mount – Audience of One

Pastor Zach Bearss

April 11, 2021

 

SERMON ON THE MOUNT – Audience of One
April 11, 2021

 

CONNECT

Our society is obsessed today with outward appearance.  Name off as many places that you see evidence of this on a daily basis.

ENGAGE

Read Matthew 6:1-8.  Did you gain any new insight on this passage from the sermon?

Read and discuss the importance of our heart motives from these verses: I Samuel 16:7, Proverbs 4:23, Matthew 22:37.

Discuss these points:

  1. Motive is more important than simple activity.
  2. There are 2 types of rewards: a) from people b) from God

Discuss this quote: “…feeling known is synonymous with feeling loved. The two play off of one another to make a perfect combination.  If someone can know all the different parts of you—see you at your best and at your weakness—and still love you, that the gold of life. That’s what we came here for.” –“Come Matter Here” by Hannah Brencher (pages 161-162) 

APPLY

Go into your prayer closet and ask the Lord where you are in this matrix in your relationship with Him and then, as a result, with others. 

ACCEPTANCE

KNOWN

 

Illusion

 

Love

 

Isolation

 

Rejection

 

Is there a change in your life that you can make today to commit to working below the surface on a daily basis in your personal walk with God?

 

PRAY

Ask the Father to reveal in our hearts where we do good works to please HIm, and where we do good works to look good in the eyes of others.  Ask Him to sew righteousness into our hearts through the inner workings of Christ and the Spirit in our lives so that our good works will bring glory to His name and not our own.