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God’s Sufficient Grace
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Deal With It
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Jesus took particular offense to hypocrisy in the Scriptures. Our Savior specifically called out those who pretended to be something they are not. All of us are vulnerable to adopting a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. What are we to do?
Later in the chapter, we see the antidote to hypocrisy. Be authentic! Deal with your own issues. Don’t seek to help others when you have open sinfulness in your life. Don’t pretend you are something you are not but repent, confess, be forgiven, and seek to follow Christ.
When we are honest about our struggles, we gain credibility with those around us. Also, true genuineness will help us earn an audience with those who need the gospel message and with fellow Christians.
When we have dealt with our own issues, we are then better equipped to point others to the truth. We are to love others enough to tell them the truth. Let’s not let anything get in the way of being loving truth bearers in our age of confusion, especially our own hypocrisy.
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Behold the three offices of Jesus as given to us by Scripture:
*Jesus is Prophet
22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.”
*Jesus is Priest
5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” 6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
*Jesus is King
They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
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And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
Here is the heart of the matter about this passage in Matthew 7. Jesus’ main point is characterized in these two verses. His main point is don’t be a hypocrite.
We must deal with our own issues before we can help others. We must remove the plank (hyperbole) from our own eye before we can remove the speck from the eye of others.
Hypocrisy (pretending to be something you are not) is very offensive to Jesus. It was one of Christ’s main criticisms of the religious leaders of His day. Very little seemed to raise the ire of Christ more than hypocrisy.
“Lord, help us to be authentic and gracious in our dealings with all. Help us to discern with purity and righteousness. Grant us the wisdom to be who you have created us to be in Christ Jesus!”
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
2 Peter 2:1-3
False teaching is a constant danger that Christians face in our day. Often times, the false preacher sounds right and orthodox and his message can be very appealing. Nevertheless, once the student of the Bible digs deeper into the teaching of certain “teachers” they find that the doctrine of these false prophets is wrong and filled with error.
How can we know who to trust in times like these? Peter gives two signs to watch for that often mark the teaching of false prophets.
**False teachers deny the divinity and power of Jesus. False teaching often portrays Jesus as merely a prophet or teacher. However, He is the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, the Messiah, and our only Hope and Savior. To teach anything less than the robust proclamation of Jesus found in Scripture is to teach a false Jesus.
**False prophets deny and disbelieve the Bible. They will ignore certain Scriptural teachings or even have the temerity to claim that what the Bible plainly says is not true. False teachers often have their own statements, books, and writings as their authority and not the Holy Bible.
Be careful, dear Christian. Study the Word of God so you will know the truth. Know the Bible so you can refute the error that pervades our society.
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
The directive of our Savior is—be careful how you judge. Christians ought to make judgements based on the truth of God’s Word and not by their opinions. Believers should also examine themselves and remove any hypocrisy from their evaluations.
Let’s reiterate what Jesus is teaching. If we judge, we will be judged in return. When we judge, we will be judged by the same standard that we use for others.
Careful examination of ourselves is needed to help others. This careful evaluation reminds us to be cautious about judging the motives of the hearts and minds of others. When we judge, we will be judged in return.
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Shine The Light
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Shine the light. Christian, shine the light of Jesus. Shine it so that others may see and glorify God. Shine the light so that others may know the truth. Shine the light so that others may be saved.
Shine the light by loving others. Shine the light by loving the least of these. Shine it by loving and caring for those who need Jesus. Wherever you go, shine the light!
And He said to him,” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Shine the light by serving others. Let us find tangible ways to serve our neighbors and our communities. Serve the Lord with gladness by serving others.
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Shine the light by pointing others to the truth. Shine the light so that others may sin their sinfulness and be drawn to the Savior. Shine the light so that others may know.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
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“Judge not, that you be not judged.
Jesus uses an important literary technique of hyperbole in order to emphasize his teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. Hyperbole is exaggerations (sometimes extreme exaggerations) that are meant to underscore a point. They are not necessarily to be understood as doctrinal truth but they illustrate and demonstrate didactic truth. Christ uses hyperbole in this passage that we need to identify so that we can understand the truth being taught here.
Matthew 7:1 is the world’s favorite Bible verse. Many interpret this verse to mean that Christians are never to offer any judgement about matters of right or wrong and matters of morality or immorality. But is this honestly what Jesus means?
No. In Scripture, we are commanded to test the spirits, (1 John 4:1) to be wise as serpents, (Matthew 10:16) and to be on the alert for the lies of the devil. (1 Peter 5:8) In other words we are called to make judgements about truth and about lies. That can’t be what Jesus is saying.
Instead, let’s understand that Jesus uses hyperbole here to remind us to be careful about judging others. If we judge, we will be judged in return. When we judge, we will be judged by the same standard that we use for others.
We must make judgements and evaluations about right and wrong from time to time. We should be very careful about judging the hearts and minds of others because we don’t always know the whole story and we are sinners ourselves.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,not of works, lest anyone should boast.
God’s grace is undeserved. God has saved and transformed us not because we were worthy. We were certainly unworthy. Christ died for us out of His great love—a love that is undeserved in every way.
God’s grace is unearned. No amount of human effort can merit God’s grace. Salvation is not of works and there is no boasting.
God’s grace is unyielding. God’s grace saves us, supplies us, and secures us forever. His grace never ends.
Grace. No wonder they call it amazing!
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The end of this teaching forms one of the more famous passages in all of Scripture. Seek first God’s kingdom. When we do that, all that we need will be added to us.
Let us cease our worrying about the future. We cannot change the past and we don’t know the future. We have enough to worry about for today.
What does it practically mean to seek the Kingdom of God? How can we follow Jesus’ commands? The following list may help. This list is not exhaustive but can be a guide to help us.
Seek God’s Kingdom through prayer
- Seek to be obedient to God’s Word
- Be a part of a local church
- Seek God’s Kingdom through prayer
- Learn to serve others through the church and in your daily life
- Be aware of God’s work in your life through the day as He guides, provides, and protects
Worry saps our spiritual strength and keeps us from having power with God. May we choose the alternative and live by trusting that God will meet our needs by His power.