RAISING THE STANDARDS – PART 3
MATTHEW 5:43-6:1-6, 16-18 – AT THE FEET OF JESUS – JESUS’ TEACHINGS IN MATTHEW #5
- Why is having standards important?
- Do people always have the same standards for others as they do for themselves?
- How are Jesus’ standards different?
In Matthew 5 we have already seen that Jesus has higher standards for anger, marriage, honesty, and compliance. Finishing Matthew 5 and moving forward we see Jesus has higher standards for these areas as well.
HIGHER STANDARD FOR LOVE – Matthew 5:43-48
- 43 – What part of Leviticus 19:18 were the Pharisees ignoring?
- 44 – Compare with Luke 6:27-28.
- 45 – God, whose children we are (John 1:12-13), is the perfect example of one who loves and blesses His enemies.
- 46-47 – If we don’t love at a higher standard, we are just like unsaved people.
- 48 – As God’s children through the new birth, we should try to be imitators of Him. Ephesians 5:1-2
HIGHER STANDARD FOR CHARITABLE GIVING – Matthew 6:1-4
- 1 – “Charitable deeds” is also translated “righteousness” or “practicing your righteousness”.
- Do you know anyone who wants everyone to know what good things they are doing for others? According to Jesus, what is the danger of that?
- 2 – Those who purposely made known their charitable deeds received instant gratification, the praise of others.
- 3 – What does this verse mean?
- 4 – How does God reward charitable giving?
HIGHER STANDARD FOR PERSONAL PRAYER – Matthew 6:5-6
- 5 – The Pharisees loved praying where they could be seen. They wanted to look spiritual. We must guard against doing anything religious for the sake of looking spiritual. Isaiah 2:22 (ESV) – Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?
- 6 – This is another verse that tells us that God answers prayer. 1 John 5:14-15
- All of God’s answers are not Him rewarding us openly. However, we will certainly see proof that God is answering, especially when we pray for the Spiritual well-being of others!
HIGHER STANDARD FOR FASTING (PERSONAL SACRIFICE) – Matthew 6:16-18
- How were the Pharisees showing their hypocrisy when they fasted?
- Why is it Spiritual to act like you are not fasting if you are?
- Any personal sacrifice done to draw oneself closer to God should be done in such a way that we try not to draw attention to ourselves.