Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Matthew 6 Sermon Notes

Matthew 6:1-34

Secret Things
Lynchburg, Virginia

         At the center of secret things is our heart. What is going on in there? Is it faith in the Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth? What I mean to say, is that when you are in secret, when you have secret thoughts, are thoughts dominated by the reality that God is and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Do you believe that to be true on Sunday afternoon? How about on Monday? Do you believe it on Thursday?
         When the worries of the world rise up to confront you, can you calm your fears with faith in Jesus? If so, then you are trusting in heavenly riches. If not, then your treasures are on Earth and they are sure to rust and fade away.
         Keep in mind, here, that we are trying to get to know Jesus. Jesus says something here that are very uncomfortable. He has just issued blessing in the beatitudes and now He is issuing warnings. If you find in your secret place, greed, worry, a desire to please men, then beware. You may gain all of those things on the Earth and miss Heaven.
         But He also says some very comfortable words. If you having nothing but God, then you have all that is needful. But you have to actually believe this is true in order to possess that great treasure of earthly peace. Do you believe this? Are you prone to worry, like Martha? Or, are you at peace at the feet of Jesus, like Mary?

Matt. 6:1   Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Jesus makes a bold and categorical statement here. If you desire is to have the praise of men, you have it, but you have no reward with God. Jesus does not say that your reward of your Father in heaven is diminished. He says it is completely lost.
Why? He gives the answer in verse two.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
It is hypocritical to say that you believe in God and seek His favor and then seek the acclaim of men. The reason such men have no reward is heaven is that they are not going to heaven. They are hypocrites. They really do not love God.
This should call us up short. Such men do their good deeds openly and publicly. They do them as religious good deeds but God says that they do not belong to Him.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
This simply means do your alms secretly. There are times when your giving or your good deeds will be noticed publicly. Do not worry about that. But do not do them so that they will be noticed publicly. If you can, do them secretly. Do them so that the only one who could notice is God. This shows whether you really believe that there is a God who notices.

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Secret alms, open reward. The hypocrites desire the acclaim of men. A faithful Christian desires to please God. A hypocrite gets open honor but loses the honor of God. A faithful Christian receives the honor of God and then God also openly rewards him. God rewards him with spiritual blessings, financial blessings, even honor of men. He makes him honored in the gate. But in order for this all to work, one believe that He is and that He is the rewarder of men.

Matt. 6:5   And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Prayer works the same way. God is in heaven and you are on earth, therefore let your words be few. We seem to get this all backwards. Men are within earshot, God is far away, therefore let your words be big and many.
         There is a place for public prayer. Jesus is not outlawing it. But we should always pray to God and not to men. Also, our prayers should not be sermons that are consumed by men. We should not show off our Bible knowledge, our vocabulary, our endurance. If we really believe that God hears and answers, our prayers should be to Him who knows all things.
         Hypocrites show off to impress men. They do impress them and that is their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
The implication here is that hypocrites pray in public, not in secret and that the faithful pray in secret and do not worry about public prayer. How is your prayer closet? Do you pray privately? Do you believe that the Father meets you there to answer your prayers? Do you believe that your private prayers affect your public person?

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Jesus is referring to prayers that are like mantras, a repeated word or phrase said over and over again to appease God. We ought not to repeat a word or phrase over and over. Jesus says this, then He gives us a prayer to say and one that is also a model prayer.

Matt. 6:9   After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
God is holy. Remember His holiness. He is in Heaven and you are on Earth, therefore let your words be few.

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Jesus is announcing the kingdom. We should agree with Him and ask God to establish His heavenly kingdom on Earth.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Our provision comes from God. In the ancient world as in today’s third world, this prayer is a clear reminder that we need God to provide for us. Many need their food replenished daily or they go hungry. In our world, the connection is somewhat less clear. We have refrigerators and freezers full of food. But God still gives our sustenance to us. You should pray this prayer at least daily.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Since we pray this prayer daily, we should remind ourselves daily that we are forgiven sinners. This enables us to forgive those that have sinned against us. We should also be willing to forgive debts and sins just as our debts and sins have been forgiven. Who has offended you? Forgive them. Who owes you? Write it off.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The world, the flesh and the devil are full of temptation. May God deliver us from them. One of the great temptations of the devil is to refuse to forgive. He is the accuser of the brethren. He always has a charge to lay at the feet of the elect. It is God who justifies. So part of the deliverance from temptation is what is mentioned previously in this Lord’s prayer. Forgive. Cancel debts. Do not remember sins against the brothers. Do not accuse. Do not listen to accusers. Accusers of the saints are doing the devil’s work.
The internet is full of such accusers of the brothers. Some godly men are accused, often by others who claim to be Christians themselves. The accusers might be Christians but they are acting like the devil. Do not be led into such temptations. Stay far from them.
Why? Because the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. Kingdom people should not act like this. God’s kingdom will not tolerate such accusers. It will not tolerate unforgiveness and accusation. He is the one who gives power over the devil. Our work should be to do His glory.
If we, who are of the light, participate in the darkness, then our darkness is shown to be utterly dark. Such dark lights will be extinguished.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
This verse shows us that temptations are about bitterness, envy, accusation, unforgiveness. He sandwiches forgiveness around temptations. God has forgiven you, therefore forgive. If you do not forgive, you show that you do not belong to God.
If you refuse to forgive and let things go, then whatever God has forgiven you will be retained. You will go to the grave in your sins. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
What is going on in the secret places of your heart? Are you retaining sins? Are you accusing the brothers? Is there envy? Bitterness? Let it go. Forgive for you have been forgiven.

Matt. 6:16   Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
There is a place for fasting. The purpose is to focus on prayer to God. That should be done in secret, so your fasting should be done in secret. What is the purpose of a public fast? Is it not to gain the acclaim of men? Particularly, the purpose is to show men how spiritual you are. If you do this, you gain their approval but profit nothing from the approval of God. God is not pleased with public fasting.
From time to time, we have called for a church-wide fast. To that extent, if I have called for it, you know that I am fasting. Perhaps I lose my reward. That depends on how and why I am fasting. I might be calling the fast to show you how spiritual I am. In that case, I have my reward. But for the rest of you, there is no public display. You respond in secret. You skip meals and pray to God. Do so with a cheerful countenance. Make sure that no one but perhaps your immediate family knows you are fasting. Let God see and reward.
What is His open reward? Answered prayer. Closeness to Him. Honor, riches, favor with enemies, peace in your own heart. God’s rewards are manifold.

Matt. 6:19   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
This verse is not changing the subject. We are to lay up treasures for ourselves in the place where treasures last forever. Heaven. If you lay up for yourselves earthly treasures, they will perish. God’s rewards are heavenly treasures.
Is your heart in heaven? Or, is with being honored among worldly men? Think about this for a minute. Many of us strive for masteries in work, education, various hobbies. Why do we do this? Do we do this to be the best of a select group? Are we striving to stay ahead of those beneath us, so we can compare our excellence to all the ones behind us? That is earthly treasure. It will perish.
Or rather, do we seek to answer the first catechism, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? Are we working to give Him glory? If so, we will work hard, we will work for a long time, we will work when no man is watching.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Jesus now takes the application to a very earthly level. Greediness is a great detriment to godly living. An evil eye is one that is greedy of earthly gain. There is also the application leading back to the previous verses, succumbing to temptations. One of the reasons you would do this is so that you can benefit financially.
Do not take this too lightly. I have seen people whose great sin is that they really want stuff. They are willing to have stuff now and hell later. Seems like a bad trade to me but earthly comforts appeal to us right now and heavenly comforts seem a lifetime away. Jesus is saying that if you are in the light of Jesus and His Church but really you are seeking the things of the earth and not heaven, then you are not really light but darkness.
One warning here is for those who have something financial to gain from the body of the saints. I would put pastors at the top of the list. Are you serving for the sake of financial gain? Do you see your congregants primarily as tithers to support you? Are you more interested in those who give more? Are your people dollar signs?
But there are others in the body who benefit financially from the saints. Are you a real estate agent? Do you look at church people as potential clients? Are you a financial advisor or insurance salesmen? Do new members look like potential new clients? Are you a builder? Do your brothers and sisters in Christ look like dollar signs when you get to remodel their kitchens? There is a host of ways to sin. Beware.

Matt. 6:25   Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Take no thought. Stop worrying about dinner. Stop worrying about your clothes. Stop worrying whether you will have a place to lay your head.
But I have a mortgage. But I have car payments. But I have debt. This is a problem. Once we have become slaves, it is near impossible to not worry. The master keeps worrying us with his demands. So, you must seek to free yourself from that slavery.
You are more than what you eat or drink. You are more than what you wear. You are more important to God than the animals and the plants and yet God feeds and clothes them all. Do you believe this? If so, then take no thought. Take NO thought. Stop worrying, today. Give us this day our daily bread, our monthly house payment, our money to work on debt reduction, our food, our clothes, all of our needs. Take NO thought.

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Is this not monumentally important? Jesus goes out of His way to teach us to take no thought. Solomon was not as glorious as a lily. God clothes the lilies and God will clothe you. Do fail to believe this is a crisis of faith.

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Do you worry about clothes? Do you worry about food? Do you worry about housing? Then Jesus says that you have little faith. The word can mean short in stature or short in duration. Is your faith small? Is your faith temporary? If so, confess to God your little faith and ask Him for big faith. Faith that trusts Him fully now and that lasts long.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
To seek God’s kingdom is to seek God. You are citizens of God’s kingdom. If you seek Him, then all of your needs are provided in Him. Take no thought for the morrow. God is there, too.

Light Eyes

Is the light in your eyes? I hope so. It should be shining in them, or rather, from them. I love to see the light that is Jesus shining from the eyes of my children, from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, from the saints gathered here, young and old.
If Jesus has illuminated you, then you cannot hide this light. I am speaking more than merely metaphorically. There is a particular kind of bright-eyedness that is apparent in the life of the Christian. The life of the soul seeps out from the eyes and is on display for all to see. Conversely, the darkness is also obvious. A downcast, bitter, faithless soul, hides the light and the shadows and darkness grow.

When we look around at one another, our light shines, the light that is Jesus who transforms us into little moons that radiate His glory. This light is joy, hope, forgiveness, fellowship, empathy, and compassion. Namely, the love of God and the love of His people. May you possess these light eyes.

Open Reward

Our open reward is peace with God and peace in the beloved. Of course, God is particularly lavish. He gives many, many more rewards. He blesses us beyond what we had hoped or thought. We gain new brothers and sisters. We gain new hope. We gain financial blessing. We gain spiritual strength, might in the inner man. There are many benefits that accrue to the Christian.

         But for the true believer peace and joy in Jesus are at the center of our great rewards. We can whether any storm. We can put up with any foe. We can stand on the rock that is Jesus because our sins are forgiven and we are invited into the presence of our Father in Heaven, forever. Forever in the presence of God, that is our greatest open reward.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Beatitudes Matthew 5 Sermon Notes

Matthew Chapter 5 Sermon Notes

         Last week we did an overview of the entire Sermon on the Mount. This week, I want to slow down a bit and take a closer look at the Beatitudes. What is a beatitude? It is a blessing. In Jesus’s first sermon, He is handing out blessings to those who obey Him, who act like Him.
         Keep in mind our goal as we make our way through Matthew. We are trying to learn more about who Jesus is so that we can learn more about who we should be in Him. Learning Jesus is the way to understand who God is so that we can stand against the lies of the world as they try to deliver a counterfeit god to us. But we know our God, and His  Son and the Holy Spirit. If we know God rightly, then the counterfeits will have no power over us.

         Let’s take a quick look at the beatitudes. Keep in mind that Jesus is presenting a self-description to us. Since that is the case, we should measure the meaning of these words by the character and actions of Jesus. If we think about the beatitudes applying first to Jesus, then we will know how we must act.

Matt. 5:3   Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus blesses those who are poor in spirit. Spirit poor people can come in many shapes and sizes. But the one thing we know that they are not, is spirit rich.
The word here means someone who is poor like a beggar. They don’t have much to offer and they are very needy. Jesus says that such persons are fit for the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus struggled against the devil in the wilderness. He was constantly misunderstood even by His own disciples. He was assaulted by the Pharisees and repeatedly retreated to a lonely place for prayer. He was poor in spirit.
         Do you struggle? Are you needy? Do you not have much to offer Jesus? Is your spirit downcast? Good, you are fit for a Savior and fit for heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Jesus wept. He cried over Jerusalem. He was grieved by the sins of men. He was mournful in that sense. He went to the cross for the joy on the other side. That joy is God’s comfort.
Do you mourn your sins? Do you mourn the foolishness of the world? Do you mourn the apostacy of those who have served Christ for years but turn away? Are you sad about the state of our country, the state of the church or even the condition of your own church, or family or heart? Then you are blessed for you shall be comforted by Jesus.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Jesus was meek, like a lamb to the slaughter. He was reviled and answered not again. He was struck but did not retaliate. His desire was not to exalt Himself but rather to exalt His Father in Heaven. Thy will be done.
But this meek Jesus, since Moses, the meekest man on the Earth, was not a pushover, either. He made a chord and whipped those selling in the temple. He was angry and tossed over Tables. He called one of His best friends Satan. He lashed out at the Pharisees, refused to answer the Saduccees. He used strong language against them calling them whitewashed tombs, brood of vipers, dead men’s bones.
In all of His bold actions and statements, He did not exalt Himself above His Father’s will. He did what He did to the glory of God. Meekness is of this nature. It promotes God’s glory rather than personal glory.
Because Jesus did this, He inherited the Earth. He did so quite literally. The Earth belongs to Jesus. Jesus is giving a similar blessing to His disciples. If you are meek in the way that He is meek, the reward is the Earth. Now, in this life, the blessing of humility acquired but even more in the world to come, eternal life in the New Heavens and  New Earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Jesus did that which was right. He was righteous, doing right. He fulfilled the law and always obeyed His Father. He was perfectly righteous. Righteousness was His food and drink. He filled up His whole life with doing right.
Jesus promises a blessing upon those who pursue righteousness. How do you pursue doing that which is right? Are you hungry for it? How do you pursue food when you are hungry? You procure food. If you are hungry and have no food, you go to a store or restaurant and buy it. When you are hungry, nothing can stop you from acquiring food. We have all heard countless stories about men forced to extreme measures to get food. Are you hungry for doing right like that?
What happens when you are thirsty? You can make it a long time without food but not so long without water. We are going on  a three day trip and our first priority is water. We need lots of clean water to drink or we will think of nothing but water and may be forced to drink water that will sicken us. Do you think of righteousness in these terms? Is it a necessity to you? Will you die if you do not pursue righteousness today? Will doing God’s will, laying down your will and taking up the will of the Father, be your driving concern this afternoon, tomorrow, the next day. If you fail to do His will, will you be driven to extreme measures and start doing the will of another, even if it makes your sick? Pursue the waters of life with diligence. Hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you shall be filled.
Jesus said, My food is to do the will of Him who sent me. That is a hungry Christian.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Jesus was merciful. In this very sermon, He says that He has not come to abolish the law but rather to fulfill it. The law stands, in all its majesty and justice. As strict justice, the law is a scary standard. You sin against one part of the law and you are guilty of the law, at least as far as righteousness goes. If you sin you are not righteous. You need the righteousness of another. You need grace. You need mercy.
But Jesus is the one who exactly fulfills the law. He is embodiment, not only of mercy, but of lawfulness. How can this be? He fulfills the law. Jesus is the law keeper. And then, out of His abundance of mercy, He receives us as if we were law keepers. He does this by paying the penalty of the law on our behalf. He takes our death upon Himself. Because Jesus is willing to do this, He is always ready to extend mercy.
When the women was caught in adultery, the law said stone her. Jesus said, go and sin no more. When the women at the well was found to be on her fifth husband who was really not her husband, the law said stone her. Jesus said go and sin no more. He repeatedly extends mercy to those who need it.
Learn the lesson to be like Jesus. The more you extend mercy, the more mercy you find for yourself.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Jesus was pure in heart. He heart a heart of refined gold. There was no dross in Him. Think about all the different difficult situations Jesus found Himself in. He was disbelieved by many. He was attacked almost immediately in His ministry by envious and vicious enemies who tried to throw Him off a cliff. He was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit only to encounter the devil with manifold temptations. He traveled and was weary and thirsty. He was besieged by large crowds that sought Him for food but turned away from Him when  He spoke hard words.
No imagine some of the emotions these situations would conjure in you. Also, realize that Jesus had a range of these emotions. At times, He was angry. Even at church! At times, He was mournful, sad, thoughtful. We are not told whether He laughed but I imagine He did so often with His clumsy and confusing disciples. They were sort of like Narnian dwarves, quite frustrating and quite funny.
But here is the key thing about Jesus that we should notice. He had all these emotions and the various thoughts that go along with them without a taint in His heart. He felt many ways and always thought aright. He did not sin in His heart. He was angry and yet without sin. He was sad but without faithless despair. He was hungry and thirsty but kept His emotions and desires in check. This kind of purity of heart takes great self-control, great personal discipline. This was our Jesus and He calls us to be the same.
         Of course, our purity is in Jesus. He washes us white as snow and this washing starts inside. He washes our hearts. But seek to maintain purity of heart. When the sins are revealed, wash them in the blood of Jesus. Do this and you shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Jesus was a peacemaker. He came to bring peace between God and men and men and men. This is His fundamental task. Fellowship was broken and although God had made a vehicle to draw men to Him, it was never complete. God had to fully and finally fix this rift. That fix was Jesus.
But Jesus, the peacemaker also said. Matthew 10:32 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
Jesus is a peacemaker but He is also a divider. He divides the faithful from the faithless. He divides belief and unbelief. He divides the obedient from the disobedient.
But He does not divide the faithful or true brothers. True sons He disciplines so that by their training in discipline, He makes them warriors in the cause of Christ.
The blessings is pronounced upon Peacmakers, for they are God’s children.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Jesus now drives home the fact that the world is opposed to God’s plan and God’s people. The world that He is most attacking here is both the religious and political establishment. It is possible at various times and places for religion and politics to be in right relationship to God. That is, humbled before His mighty Word.
Jesus is announcing the end of the rogue rulers, those who serve under their father, the devil. He is the new King and His subjects will obey His rules. This upsets the status quo and they fight. They kill and steal and destroy for their treasures are laid up on the Earth.
The disciples of Jesus should expect an assault on their persons, their treasures, their families. Do not despair. The Lord Jesus is laying up treasure in heaven for you. The more vehement the opposition and the higher the earthly cost, the more treasure in Heaven. Thus, you cannot dampen the spirit of the faithful. The more persecution they receive, the more joy they enjoy. Exceeding persecution means exceeding rewards. This should produce joy, happiness, jumping up and down.
Jesus looked to the joy on the other side of cross. What is His reward? The Earth, Billions of saints, a church body that fills the earth, the throne at the right hand of the Father, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the perseverance of the saints. Look to these things in your sufferings and rejoice!

Matt. 5:13   Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Salt and light. One a foundational preservative and seasoning. The other a source of vitality and illumination. It may seem at first sight that we can live without salt and light. But that is not true. We will die.
If you are not salty, if you are not lit, it is because you are dead. How do you have salt in yourselves? From whence comes your light?

Matt. 5:17   Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
There is no room for a law-gospel dichotomy. Law and gospel are not opposed to one another. But the law does not save. The gospel saves. But those saved by the gospel gladly submit to the law of Christ.
If you belong to Jesus, then your salt is the law of God. You are seasoned with His will. This light illuminates the righteous and the wicked. The law reveals the truth about the fall of man, the wickedness of rebellion and horrors of the fruits of unrighteousness. This good tutor leads us to Jesus Christ.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus is not condemning the scribes and Pharisees for being keepers of the law. He condemns them for failing to keep the law. They are law breakers, salt without saltiness, lamps without light.

         Last week I talked about two fundamental questions. There are, “Who is God and who am I.”
         As we learn about Jesus, we are learning the answer to the first question. Jesus has come to reveal God to us. Look at Him. Learn Him.
         When you do so, you are also learning yourself. How do you measure up to Jesus? Do you act like Him? Do you think like Him? Do you speak like Him? And if not, then you are answering that next great question, “Who am I?”
         The work comes in reconciling the two. If I know Who God is and that I am to be like Him but I see in  my own life a start contradiction, then what am I to do? I only see shortfalls. I only see failure.
         The answer is to identify with Jesus Christ. In order for a Christian to answer “Who am I?”,  he has to ask it this way, “Who am I in Jesus Christ?”
         We then get to examine the life of Jesus and realize that the Father reckons all of the goodness of Jesus to our account. We are dead in Christ. Our life is hid in Jesus. We are dead to sin. We are transformed as new men, women and children, forgiven and turned around in Him. We are full of grace. Shall we sin then, that grace may abound? God forbid. But if we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ.

         In Him, and for you in Him, all the promises of God are yea and amen.