WITH LIBERTY AND            JUSTICE FOR ME                     Matthew 5:6-8THE DISCIPLE’S HANDBOOKStudies in the Sermon o...
1. Families of murder victims are often given the opportunity to  confront their killer in court at the time of sentencing...
Gary Ridgway“The Green River Killer”48 consecutive life termsAdmitted to 71 murdersSuspected of 90+
How would I would feel? Could I       Would I wantforgive?       him to pay?
Mercy   I’m fresh out
THE DISCIPLE’S HANDBOOK            Worship       Economy    Code                       RelationshipsCharacter         Disc...
THE DISCIPLE’S CHARACTER       Matthew 5:1-16
THE DISCIPLE’S CHARACTERLifestyles of the Poor and Nameless (5:1-5)With Liberty and Justice for Me (5:6-8)
WITH LIBERTY & JUSTICE FOR ME    The Disciple’s Three Great Desires
BLESSED ARE …Those Crying for Justice
Blessed are …                     • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice     thirst for righteou...
2. When Jesus said "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness," what kind of people was he describing?    ...
Jeremiah 12:1You are always righteous, OLord, when I bring a case beforeyou. Yet I would speak with youabout your justice:...
Acts 17:31[God] has set a day when he willjudge the world with justice bythe man he has appointed.
Psalm 9:7-8The LORD reigns forever; he hasestablished his throne forjudgment. 8 He will judge theworld in righteousness; h...
Isaiah 9:6-7For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, andthe government will be on his shoulders. And hewill be cal...
Psalm 45:6Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justicewill be the scepter of yourkingdom.
2 Peter 3:13In keeping with his promise we arelooking forward to a new heaven and anew earth, the home of righteousness.
Blessed are …                     • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice     thirst for righteou...
BLESSED ARE …The Unexpectedly Forgiving
Blessed are …                     • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice     thirst for righteou...
3. When Jesus said "Blessed are the merciful," what kind of               people did he have in mind?                  2% ...
Matthew 18:23-35"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a kingwho wanted to settle accounts with his servants.24 As he b...
Matthew 18:23-3526 "The servant fell on his knees before him. Bepatient with me, he begged, and I will pay backeverything....
Matthew 18:23-3529 "His fellow servant fell to his knees andbegged him, Be patient with me, and I will payyou back. 30 "Bu...
Matthew 18:23-3532 "Then the master called the servant in. Youwicked servant, he said, I canceled all that debtof yours be...
Matthew 18:23-3535 "This is how my heavenly Father will treateach of you unless you forgive your brother fromyour heart."
Two qualities stand side by sideJustice           Mercy•Punishment       •Liberty
“The Merchant of Venice”Though justice be thy plea,       consider this,That in the course of justice,       none of usSho...
Booker T. Washington          “I shall allow no          man to belittle my          soul by making          me hate him.”
Blessed are …                     • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice     thirst for righteou...
BLESSED ARE …The Absolutely Innocent
Blessed are …                     • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice     thirst for righteou...
4. When Jesus said "Blessed are the pure in heart," what kind               of people did he have in mind?               0...
Psalm 24:3-4Who may ascend the hill of theLORD? Who may stand in his holyplace? 4 He who has clean handsand a pure heart.
Hebrews 12:14Make every effort to live inpeace with all men and tobe holy; without holiness noone will see the Lord.
Hebrews 4:16Let us then approach the throneof grace with confidence, so thatwe may receive mercy and findgrace to help us ...
Romans 3:25God presented him as a sacrifice ofatonement, through faith in his blood. He did this todemonstrate his justice...
Blessed are …                     • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice     thirst for righteou...
CONGRATULATIONS!The kingdom of heaven is yours!
120916 sm 02 with liberty and justice for me
120916 sm 02 with liberty and justice for me
120916 sm 02 with liberty and justice for me
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120916 sm 02 with liberty and justice for me

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Lesson 2 in a series on the Sermon on the Mount. Adapted from a lesson with the same title by Chip Bell at www.Bible.org. Presented September 16, 2012, at Palm Desert Church of Christ, by Dale Wells.

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  • Sermon on the Mount 02Last Sunday, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to me?” Companion question, “How can they get away with it? Why doesn’t God make them pay for what they did?” People have been asking God that question for thousands of years. Deep inside, we want evildoers to be brought to justice. In court, people seek justice from judges and juries.Family Law, idea of justice: “I get what I want … and the louse I used to be married to gets what’s coming to him!”Family Law as good people on their worst behavior.In criminal court, the last thing many defendants want is justice. They know they’re guilty. They know what they deserve and they are not seeking for justice, but hoping for mercy.They are bad people on their best behavior.
  • Families of murder victims are often given the opportunity to confront their killer in court at the time of sentencing. If you were to ever find yourself in that situation, which would better represent your feelings?33% - “I would never be able to forgive him”67% - “I would forgive him”Let’s put that to the test.
  • December 18, 2003 – Seattle, WA Gary Ridgway, “The Green River Killer”^ Sentenced for murdering 48 women. Most were allegedly prostitutes. He had sex with them, then strangled them and dumped their bodies in overgrown areas. He would often return later to further defile them by having sexual intercourse with the bodies.Because Ridgway helped police to locate the remains of some of his victims, he was spared the death penalty and instead was sentenced to 48 consecutive LWOP terms + 480 years for tampering with evidence.^ Later acknowledged 71 murders in 1980’s and 1990’s.^ Suspected of more than 90The Associated Press reported: “The sentencing gave the victims' relatives a chance to confront Ridgway at last. With an eloquence honed by years of grief, they stepped forward and cursed the killer, or forgave him.”On the next slide are photos of 45 of Ridgway’s victims and a video clip from his sentencing hearing.
  • How I would feel if this horrible man had killed my little girl?^ I don’t know how Robert Rule could forgive what Gary Ridgway did to his 16 year-old daughter, Linda. Could I do that?^ Would I want this man pay for his crimes? More like Vicky Ware, sister of 22 year-old Kelly; or Carol Estes, mother of 15 year-old DebraI would probably volunteer to pull the switch myself. I think death is not enough punishment for him. I would like to have him toasting in hell just as soon as we could arrange for it.
  • Clint Eastwood just returned from a speaking engagement in Tampa, FL.How would you feel about someone who killed, or tried to kill, your daughter?You’ve faced this before? Absolute Power (1994)What happened?Film clip
  • So, you caught the bad guy trying to kill your little girl and you put a hypodermic needle in his neck?^Then when he asked for mercy, you said “I’m fresh out” and injected the poison, right?
  • I know you can’t stay around to sign autographs.You’ve got places to go and chairs to talk to.But thanks for stopping by.
  • Today we continue our study of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7. I’ve called this “The Disciple’s Handbook” because essentially, it is a manual for Jesus’ followers – an instruction manual for you and me. Jesus’ sermon begins with the characteristics he looks for in disciples. It touches on every area of the disciple’s life
  • Matthew 5:1-16 describes the kind of people Jesus expects us to be.
  • What kind of people belong to God’s kingdom? The answer is surprising. One might expect the citizens of God’s kingdom to be the best and the brightest, the most noble, the most worthy, the most beautiful, the strongest and the bravest. Instead we find that God’s kingdom belongs to the poor and the nameless. It belongs to those who in this world are outcasts. These are the kinds of people who recognize their insufficiency. They have been driven to God, the only place where anyone can find true and lasting strength, comfort, and fulfillment. And because of that, they are to be congratulated. ^Today we look at the next three Beatitudes
  • Three types of people that Jesus says are blessed, three types of people that should be congratulated. Last week we looked at three great needs. This week, we look at three great desires. They all have to do with the issue of justice. If you are among those who have these three desires, then Congratulations! You’re just the kind of person Jesus wants as a disciple.
  • Let’s look at the fourth beatitude in verse 6: Those crying for justice
  • The word “righteousness” often refers to uprightness, doing the right thing, obeying God’s rules. But the same word is also used for what in English we call “justice” and I believe that here that is exactly what Jesus has in mind. In many places throughout the Bible, God’s people cry out for him to give them justice, to punish those who murder their loved ones, invade their land, steal their possessions, tell them lies, and cheat them in business. God’s people cry out to him and ask him to act on their behalf and bring them justice.
  • When Jesus said "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness," what kind of people was he describing?It appears my questions might have been “softballs” this week, because just about everyone was in agreement.100% - People who try to do what is right and obey God’s laws. The problem is that no one fully does what is right and no one fully obeys God’s laws.No one – People who want God to bring justice to wrongdoers. Yet, if you read the OT, you get a sense of people who are being mistreated crying out to God to do something about it
  • Sometimes it seems like people who do evil things will get away with it. But throughout the Bible, God also promises that one-day, justice will be done. No crime will go unpunished. No wrong will go unanswered. I believe that is the promise in view here. Are you that kind of person who doesn’t like to see the wicked get away with their crimes? If you are, then Congratulations! The Bible says that you’re just the kind of person Jesus wants as a disciple. One day, when the Kingdom of God comes in its fullness, the demands of justice will be satisfied.
  • Paul toldthehumanists in Athens – thosewhothoughtonegodwas as good as another, and thatonereligionwas as good as another.
  • David wasconfidentthatGodwouldultimately set rightalltheworld’swrongs.
  • Themessage of the OT is “Someoneiscoming”.Themessage of thegospelsis “Someone has come”. Themessage of therest of the NT is “Someoneiscomingagain”. ThatsomeoneisJesus. He has come – and iscomingagain – to set righttheinjusticethatman has broughtintotheworld.
  • There will be justice in God’s eternal kingdom. If you like justice, then Congratulations! That’s just the way God feels. And you’re going to like what you see in God’s kingdom.
  • Jesus says that in the eternal kingdom of God, justice will finally be fulfilled. All those who hunger and thirst for justice will be ultimately satisfied by the justice of God’s Kingdom. That means that Gary Ridgway’s crimes will be punished. Adolf Hitler’s crimes will be punished. Sadaam Hussein’s crimes will be punished. Osama bin Laden’s crimes will be punished. Dale Wells’ crimes will be punished – Oh, no. Wait a minute. Did I just say that I was hungry and thirsty for justice? Maybe I should think about this for minute. However much I want justice for everyone else who’s offended my sensibilities, what I really want for myself is to go free. I want justice when it comes to everyone else. But when it comes to my crimes, what I really want is mercy. It’s a strange combination: liberty AND justice for me.
  • Maybe we ought to take a look at the fifth beatitude: Congratulations to the unexpectedly forgiving
  • Fortunately for me (and fortunately for all of us), God is merciful. And he congratulates all those who reflect his quality of mercy in their own lives. Mercy is unexpected forgiveness. Justice is a punishment that someone deserves for what they have done wrong. Mercy is unearned. It’s a surprise. It’s forgiveness that someone does not deserve. There is nothing they’ve done to justify it. God forgives your sins, not because you said you’re sorry, not because you’re trying to make up for it. God forgives your sins just because he is merciful. And since God has been merciful to us, he expects us to be merciful toward others. Congratulations to those who demonstrate mercy – to those who forgive others even though they’ve done nothing to deserve it. Congratulations to the merciful, because that’s just the kind of thing God would do. And if you appreciate mercy, guess what? That’s exactly what you’re going to get in God’s Kingdom.
  • When Jesus said "Blessed are the merciful," what kind of people did he have in mind?2% - People who want God to show mercy to them when they sin98% - People who forgive others when they don’t deserve itMaybe I should have given you the option “Both of the above”, because that’s what this Beatitude is all about.Disciples who show mercy to others – when they don’t deserve it – receive mercy from God when we don’t deserve it.Jesus tells a story about mercy
  • If I read that parable correctly, it says God wants to show me mercy when I don’t deserve it.But it also warns me that if I don’t show mercy to others, God won’t show mercy to me.So, I guess, if I don’t want absolute justice – punishment for my sins – I’d better cut other sinners some slack!
  • It’s odd that these two qualities should stand side by side in the beatitudes: justice and mercy. They call for opposite responses: one for punishment, the other for liberty. Yet both of these characteristics are qualities of God, and both are qualities that God would like to see replicated in us: the desire for justice and the exercise of mercy.
  • As Portia says in “The Merchant of Venice”, Act 4, Scene 1: Though justice be thy plea, consider this,That in the course of justice, none of usShould see salvation: we do pray for mercy;And that same prayer doth teach us all to renderThe deeds of mercy.
  • John Burton shared this quotation with me. Booker T. Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to Republican presidents. He was the dominant leader in the African-American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915. He was representative of the last generation of black American leaders born in slavery.
  • Congratulations to those who demonstrate mercy, to those who forgive others even though they’ve done nothing to deserve it. Congratulations to the merciful, because that’s just the kind of thing God has done for us.
  • Take a look at the sixth beatitude: Congratulations to the absolutely innocent.
  • The word “pure” means without any contaminant, stain or spot. Jesus is saying that disciples are absolutely innocent of anything wrong. Not only is their outward behavior perfect, but so is their heart: their thoughts, motives, desires, dreams. They are absolutely innocent through and through. If you were among the disciples listening to Jesus that day, you’d probably find yourself coming abruptly to a halt at this point. Congratulations to the spiritually bankrupt, those deeply dismayed, those who feel completely inadequate. Congratulations to those who long for justice. So far, so good. When we get to congratulations to the unexpectedly forgiving, we start squirming. “I really need to be more merciful. I’ll have to work on that.” But when we arrive at the sixth beatitude, it all comes screeching to a halt. Congratulations to you who are absolutely innocent—inside and out—because you are the ones who will see God. Oops! Congratulations to someone, but it isn’t me.
  • When Jesus said "Blessed are the pure in heart," what kind of people did he have in mind?I suppose this was a trick question for all of us, because I think we all missed Jesus’ point!100% - People whom God considers perfect because of their relationship to Jesus’.No one – People who are perfect, inside and out.Now, in retrospect, as we look back at the cross, and as we see the way Paul develops the good news in the book of Romans, we understand that none of us is pure inside and out. All have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God.So, after the cross, we have a different perspective. But these disciples were hearing Jesus BEFORE the cross. They had been raised to believe that it didn’t really matter what they THOUGHT on the inside – only what they DID on the outside.Jesus says – and he is going to develop it throughout the sermon – that God is just as interested in what you THINK on the inside as what you APPEAR on the outside.Blessed are the absolutely innocent! Count me out!
  • God’s standard is absolute innocence. Not one spot or blemish is allowed. Do you ever use the 5-second rule at home? You know, if it’s on the ground for 5 seconds or less, then it’s not really dirty, you can stick it in your mouth. Well I don’t know if you ever noticed, but in surgery, there is no 5-second rule. If it touches anything not sterile, then it’s dirty. That’s the way it is with God’s holiness. He requires absolute perfection.
  • So much for the congratulations. But wait a minute. There is a way. Because the Bible says that if you are in Christ, then not only are all your sins forgiven, but you have the righteousness of Jesus Christ. If you are in Christ, then you do have a pure heart. In God’s eyes you are absolutely innocent. So congratulations! You will see God after all.
  • It’s through God’s mercy and grace that you have been declared clean. If you are in Jesus, then you are the pure in heart. But wait a minute. What about God’s justice? How can God be a God of justice if he lets me go free? How can God be a God of justice if he lets anybody go free?
  • God can be just and merciful at the same time because of the death of Jesus. The death of Jesus meets the demands of justice. And because of that, God can extend to us his great mercy and forgive our sins. Jesus alone is pure in heart and because we are in him, we will see God.
  • You’re just the kind of people who will appreciate God’s eternal kingdom. In the kingdom, God will bring justice to all, and through his mercy he will proclaim that all who are in Christ are absolute innocent. Only in God’s kingdom can I experience liberty and justice for me.
  • When Jesus spoke the beatitudes, he was not setting a new standard of holiness and asking the people to rise to meet it. Rather, this was the introduction to his lesson, designed to meet people right where they were and give them hope that God’s kingdom would satisfy their deepest needs and fulfill their deepest desires no matter how unworthy they might be. So, when God metes out justice to the wrongdoers, are you in line for justice – or for mercy – for yourself?It all comes down to the question “Are you in Christ?”Galatians 3:26-29 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
  • 120916 sm 02 with liberty and justice for me

    1. 1. WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ME Matthew 5:6-8THE DISCIPLE’S HANDBOOKStudies in the Sermon on the Mount
    2. 2. 1. Families of murder victims are often given the opportunity to confront their killer in court at the time of sentencing. If youwere to ever find yourself in that situation, which would better represent your feelings? 33% I would never be able to forgive him 67% I would forgive him
    3. 3. Gary Ridgway“The Green River Killer”48 consecutive life termsAdmitted to 71 murdersSuspected of 90+
    4. 4. How would I would feel? Could I Would I wantforgive? him to pay?
    5. 5. Mercy I’m fresh out
    6. 6. THE DISCIPLE’S HANDBOOK Worship Economy Code RelationshipsCharacter Disciple’s Choices
    7. 7. THE DISCIPLE’S CHARACTER Matthew 5:1-16
    8. 8. THE DISCIPLE’S CHARACTERLifestyles of the Poor and Nameless (5:1-5)With Liberty and Justice for Me (5:6-8)
    9. 9. WITH LIBERTY & JUSTICE FOR ME The Disciple’s Three Great Desires
    10. 10. BLESSED ARE …Those Crying for Justice
    11. 11. Blessed are … • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
    12. 12. 2. When Jesus said "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness," what kind of people was he describing? 0% People who try to do what is right and obey Gods laws People who want God to bring justice to wrongdoers 100%
    13. 13. Jeremiah 12:1You are always righteous, OLord, when I bring a case beforeyou. Yet I would speak with youabout your justice: Why does theway of the wicked prosper? Why doall the faithless live at ease?
    14. 14. Acts 17:31[God] has set a day when he willjudge the world with justice bythe man he has appointed.
    15. 15. Psalm 9:7-8The LORD reigns forever; he hasestablished his throne forjudgment. 8 He will judge theworld in righteousness; he willgovern the peoples with justice.
    16. 16. Isaiah 9:6-7For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, andthe government will be on his shoulders. And hewill be called Wonderful Counselor, MightyGod, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 … Hewill reign on Davids throne and over hiskingdom, establishing and upholding it withjustice and righteousness from that time on andforever.
    17. 17. Psalm 45:6Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justicewill be the scepter of yourkingdom.
    18. 18. 2 Peter 3:13In keeping with his promise we arelooking forward to a new heaven and anew earth, the home of righteousness.
    19. 19. Blessed are … • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
    20. 20. BLESSED ARE …The Unexpectedly Forgiving
    21. 21. Blessed are … • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Unexpectedly • Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they Forgiving will be shown mercy.
    22. 22. 3. When Jesus said "Blessed are the merciful," what kind of people did he have in mind? 2% People who want God to show mercy to them when they sin People who forgive others when they dont deserve it 98%
    23. 23. Matthew 18:23-35"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a kingwho wanted to settle accounts with his servants.24 As he began the settlement, a man whoowed him ten thousand talents was brought tohim. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the masterordered that he and his wife and his children andall that he had be sold to repay the debt.
    24. 24. Matthew 18:23-3526 "The servant fell on his knees before him. Bepatient with me, he begged, and I will pay backeverything. 27 The servants master took pity onhim, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 "Butwhen that servant went out, he found one of hisfellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.He grabbed him and began to choke him. Payback what you owe me! he demanded.
    25. 25. Matthew 18:23-3529 "His fellow servant fell to his knees andbegged him, Be patient with me, and I will payyou back. 30 "But he refused. Instead, he wentoff and had the man thrown into prison until hecould pay the debt. 31 When the other servantssaw what had happened, they were greatlydistressed and went and told their mastereverything that had happened.
    26. 26. Matthew 18:23-3532 "Then the master called the servant in. Youwicked servant, he said, I canceled all that debtof yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldnt you have had mercy on your fellowservant just as I had on you? 34 In anger hismaster turned him over to the jailers to betortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
    27. 27. Matthew 18:23-3535 "This is how my heavenly Father will treateach of you unless you forgive your brother fromyour heart."
    28. 28. Two qualities stand side by sideJustice Mercy•Punishment •Liberty
    29. 29. “The Merchant of Venice”Though justice be thy plea, consider this,That in the course of justice, none of usShould see salvation: we do pray for mercy;And that same prayer doth teach us all to renderThe deeds of mercy.
    30. 30. Booker T. Washington “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”
    31. 31. Blessed are … • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Unexpectedly • Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they Forgiving will be shown mercy.
    32. 32. BLESSED ARE …The Absolutely Innocent
    33. 33. Blessed are … • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Unexpectedly • Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they Forgiving will be shown mercy. Absolutely • Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for Innocent they will see God.
    34. 34. 4. When Jesus said "Blessed are the pure in heart," what kind of people did he have in mind? 0% People who are perfect, inside and out People whom God considers perfect because of their relationship to Jesus 100%
    35. 35. Psalm 24:3-4Who may ascend the hill of theLORD? Who may stand in his holyplace? 4 He who has clean handsand a pure heart.
    36. 36. Hebrews 12:14Make every effort to live inpeace with all men and tobe holy; without holiness noone will see the Lord.
    37. 37. Hebrews 4:16Let us then approach the throneof grace with confidence, so thatwe may receive mercy and findgrace to help us in our time ofneed.
    38. 38. Romans 3:25God presented him as a sacrifice ofatonement, through faith in his blood. He did this todemonstrate his justice, because in his forbearancehe had left the sins committed beforehandunpunished-- 26 he did it to demonstrate his justiceat the present time, so as to be just and the onewho justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
    39. 39. Blessed are … • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger andCrying for Justice thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Unexpectedly • Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they Forgiving will be shown mercy. Absolutely • Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for Innocent they will see God.
    40. 40. CONGRATULATIONS!The kingdom of heaven is yours!

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