Kingdom Life is Detailed in Matthew 5-7
Good morning. Great to be here with you this morning, setting up some arts and crafts in honor of mother’s day, we’re going to be continuing in our series in Matthew chapter five. You’ve got the pupil Bible with you. This morning is going to be in on page seven 59. This is the densest teaching we have from Jesus often called the sermon, the sermon on the Mount, and we’ve made our ways through the beatitudes, all the blesseds.
And now we’re moving on to the next section that we have in Matthew five, but I’d like to read through the beatitudes and then get to our section this morning,
starting Matthew chapter five, verse two, he opened his mouth and taught them saying. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown. Mercy blessed are the pure in heart for, they will see God bless it are the peacemakers for, they shall be called children of God. Bless it are those who persecute you for heaven sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you, falsely on my account, rejoice, and be glad for your reward is great in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you, and then our passage here this morning, you are the salt of the earth.
But if the salt has lost its taste house, shall its saltiness be restored. It’s no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a Hill that cannot be hidden, or do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand.
And it gives light to all in the house in the same way. Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good work and give you glory to your father who is in heaven. Father. We come to this passage this morning. We come on this special mother’s day, acknowledging that for so many of us, the salt and light of redemption has come, come through.
The stories told to us by our mom and we give you thanks for that. We also come this morning, echoing. Your words of blessed are those who mourn. And we recognize that there’s a mother wounds that run deep. In many people this morning, confusions frustrations, prayers that have seemed to go unanswered. And as for those who find this day less of a celebration and more as a trigger of loss, we remember your words of comfort.
Bless it are those who mourn for they will be comforted guide and direct us this morning in Jesus name. Amen. So here’s what we’re going to do today. We are going to do an introduction to this next section. There’s two major sections we have said in Matthew chapter five, there’s the beatitudes, which we’re calling the values of the kingdom of heaven, the values of the upside down life.
And then the next part is the practical living, the practical teaching of Jesus, of what that kingdom life looks like in the every day. And we are entering that section, that second larger section, which we will intro today. We’re going to do this by doing some arts and crafts. Now my personal version of hell is being at a VBS craft table for the rest of eternity.
How many are with me? When they asked for volunteers, I never put, sign me up for anything. Okay. That’s that’s rookie mistake. Why? Cause I might end up changing diapers or in, or doing the craft table and whatever volunteers, fear. I don’t like them. I don’t enjoy them. I don’t do them with my children. I’m convinced that the day that, uh, creation fell was the very day when Play-Doh was made.
Okay. Glitter. Glitter’s not fun to begin with. It’s not fun for the years after that it’s embedded into your carpet. Glitter glue is its own form of evil. That should be anyway, but we’re going to do some things up on the board today and we’re going to give it a shot. And then we’re going to conclude with a 10 minute sermon.
So you have a short sermon today, but I’m going to take a little bit to get there. When we’re talking about ways of introduction, practice, typical living, we want to return to talking about what is this kingdom of God that we’re talking about? I think there’s a lot of confusion that we can have around this concept of the kingdom of God.
Again, in scripture, this is an incredibly important concept. The teaching of Jesus all over the place includes this phrase kingdom of God. But what exactly is it? Matthew? Three, two before Jesus came, John, the Baptist said the message of the kingdom of God. Is coming. I think we have that to pop on the screen there.
In those days, John, the Baptist came preaching repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. The kingdom of heaven is at hand Mark one 14 and 15 as Jesus came. We read this here is the message of the kingdom of God saying the time has been fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand Luke eight one. When Jesus came and sent out his messengers, he sending out his messengers with this.
He called the 12 together, gave them power authority over demons, cure diseases. He sent them out to proclaim what the kingdom of God and to heal Luke nine again, reiterate he called the, um, yes. Sent them out the kingdom of God. Then acts chapter one, three. He presented himself. This is after the resurrection.
After his suffering by many proofs appearing to them 40 days. And speaking to them about what the kingdom of God, Paul himself, who would then write much of the necks of the rest of the new Testament acts tells his story, says this at the end of his life, he lived two whole years at his own expense, welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming what the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
The question is what is the kingdom of God? So what we’re going to do here, you have some notes. I think, um, if you want to fill these out, we’re going to put kingdom of God here on top. Okay. And we’re not doing this to be clever. We’re doing this to seek to be clear. Cause I think there can be a lot of confusion.
About well, what exactly is the kingdom of God? Okay. So we’ll put that on top. Talking about the kingdom of God. This has mentioned 61 times in the teaching of Jesus. Now most of the gospels, right, are telling stories, their narratives about Jesus and some of the gospels, including our section here, Matthew five, six and seven are when Jesus is teaching in the sections, just in the sections where he’s is teaching 61 times.
He speaks of the kingdom of God. What it is is the kingdom of God. Very simply. We’ll say the kingdom of God is this. That which is under the benevolent and intimate governance of God, anywhere where God is in charge anywhere where Jesus is King. That is where the kingdom of God is simply John Ortberg writes and he has been very helpful for me in understanding this, the kingdom of God is the width.
God life, it’s the width, God, life it’s wherever God is wherever God is there. There, the kingdom of God is the kingdom of God is the width God life. Now we don’t use kingdom language a lot. You know, if you came to my house or apartment or some you got in my car, it wouldn’t be like, welcome. You have entered.
My kingdom. Right? You’d be like, thank you. You are a creep, right? That that’s weird. We don’t use that kind of language. We don’t talk that way. Right. In a lot of us think, Oh, kingdom monarchy was that kind of a bad idea? 1776 something. Right. We don’t typically think of kingdoms as a way of governance, nor is a way we want to be governed.
So when we talk about this language under the kingship of Christ, how can we make sense of it? First of all, I think something that’s helpful is the word dominion. All right. Cause we do speak in language of dominion. So we’re going to put dominion here.
Okay. So dominion kingdom of God, understanding of dominion, we have an innate sense of possession or dominion this morning, I got up my two-year-old crashes into bed, right. She’s learned to crawl out of her crib, which is wonderful. And she, um, I actually meant that, but now that I heard myself anyway, she, she crashes into bed.
It’s six 30, seven o’clock. And what is she immediately finds in the room, my phone. Now she sees my phone. She doesn’t say daddy, nice phone. Right? She doesn’t even say, Hey dad, can I use, you know, maybe your phone? She says what? My phone. Right? That’s the declaration. Because in two year old economics, if ball see it, I then possess it.
Right. So it’s my phone. Why? Because in Nate, in her. Innate in us is this idea of possession of dominion. This is a God planted idea. Very much in the design, in the garden of Eden, it says this Genesis one 26, let us make man in our image after our own likeness. So people like God, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea birds of the heavens over the livestock, over all the earth and over everything creeping on the earth.
There is a sense the amigo day, the image of God, we understand this concept of possession or dominion. This is why we innately inside of us. Know the evil of abuse. Abuse is the infringing of my kingdom onto the borders of your kingdom, forcing that, which is meant for your control and making it underneath mine control.
Physical abuse is taking over a thorny over someone else’s body. Emotional abuse is taking dominion over someone else’s mind or. Sense of identity spiritual abuse is the attempt to take control of the outcome of someone else’s soul. It is infringing upon a territory that is not mine to have. Now we set up in our world, all kinds of earthly kingdoms.
Now we’re down here. Okay. Earthly kingdoms. This is PTA days. Um, this is, uh, lots of different family structure. Wow. That does not say kingdoms for all of you falling at home that says heavens.
Not quite sure why I did that. Okay. Earthly kingdoms. Okay. So these are all kinds of structures that we set up. This is, this is governments. This is chains of command. This is having different authority structure. This is Geneva Geneva’s rules of war. This is Robert’s rules of order. This is a sense where we have around us structures and townships and municipalities and authorities that we establish as a part of earthly kingdoms.
That doesn’t mean that they’re bad. It doesn’t mean that they’re good. They are just ways that we have in the image of God constructed. Different types of complicated kingdoms, all of these kingdoms and structures that we find ourselves in, whether you’re a participant in a sports league, whether you’re a person at school right now, whether you’re a person in a business person, a family, you are within many different kingdoms.
And if I asked you what’s the structure, you could pretty quickly ratified the structure, the territory of that kingdom, the kingdom of God, simply. Is that, which is under God’s governance, his dominion, secondly, the kingdom and design. Okay. So we have the kingdom understanding of by dominion, but also this concept of design scripture teaches right in the very beginning, right?
God designed the world, he designed it and continually gave it an affirmation. God made whatever he made. And he said, this was what. Good. I’ve designed it to be this way. A word we’ve talked about is Shalom. Everything made in complete harmony, everything fitting together, such that all of the parts are elevating one, another working in complete togetherness on the seventh day, what happened?
Jesus, or God rested the seventh day. He rested. That doesn’t just mean he was tired of making camels. Right? What happened when he rested is that the world was finally at rest. It did not need more creating. It was, as it was intended to be all things were with God. And God was with all things. This is the design.
When God made the human being, he made them to operate at most themselves at mode to function right here in the kingdom of God, John 17, Jesus is talking to, is this start praying to the father about his disciples. And he says for, they are not of the world any more than I have am of the world. What they are about is the kingdom of God.
That is what they were made for. This is ultimately the Amal go day sign is the width, God kingdom. This is what we have the beatitudes spelling out what we call the upside down world. The, the sense of these principles, these values that are given are to describe what life is like under the governance of Jesus.
What life is like when he is King, when what life is like, when all things, our Shalom, this is the kingdom of God. But I think we get a little confused. All right. And so we’re going to put here where, so where exactly is the kingdom we’re going to we’ll use that for abbreviation. Where, where is the kingdom?
Right? Don’t kingdoms have a place, isn’t it? A land don’t they’ve got castles and walls and boundaries. That’s our construct or concept of kingdoms is there’s a place and a princess and an ogre and all of those things, it’s it seems like it should be a land with borders. And I think that’s sometimes why we associate the kingdom.
Oh God. And we say, uh, well, I probably just means heaven. Right? So where we say, where is it? It’s there. It’s out there. It’s a nice, wonderful place. We go to where we die. Right? The kingdom of God is talking about that place. Why? Because that place has God there all the time. So the place must be the shiny streets of gold heaven.
A wonderful land that we do hear about in scripture. I don’t believe when the kingdom of God is spoken about. And if you take that lens in to the teachings of Jesus, it doesn’t fit. The kingdom of God is not just talking about there. Does the governance of God direct the land of heaven. Absolutely. But that’s not the extent of the governance of God.
But when we see kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven, our concept often says, it’s that bright, shiny, beautiful, happy place I go to when I die, but it doesn’t fit. When we look at how Jesus teaches in the new Testament. I love this Dallas Willard. Who’s been so helpful in this understanding of the kingdom of God.
He talks about heaven. He says, incidentally, who goes to heaven? God lets anyone go to heaven. That can stand being there. Why. Because heaven is ultimately a with God place. It’s a place where the kingdom of God rules and ultimately to live and to die and to go to heaven is to be, and to want to be where he is.
And so this is what we often see. We see I’m just get I’ll slick move. Right. That was pretty slick, Dennis. You liked that. Okay. So what we often see is what salvation is, is a rescue story of getting people out of the bad and into the good. Right. This is often what we see and our goal, our desire is to endure all of this stuff down here.
So finally, we can be scooped up and get out there. And if we’re really good, then we can get a couple of other people that are way down here, you know, and, and maybe scoop them up too. So that salvation is taking people from this earthly place to finally endure this terrible spot. And to then finally get up to the place of heaven when we die and what the kingdom of God is, we think oftentimes is just, or what we think salvation is, is just getting people out of earth and in to heaven that plays much into what we think salvation is not just about getting us into heaven.
It is about this getting heaven into earth. In the teaching that we will have coming up of Jesus. He says, this here is how you should pray. Our father who is in heaven, hallowed, be your name, your kingdom, come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Our sense of place is not just how to endure here to get to a place there because one we’re talking about the kingdom of God. We’re talking about a place that is here as well as there. It’s so influential on how you view scripture. John Ortberg says what he came to do is bring up there down here, John 17, Jesus says this, this is eternal life.
What’s eternal life. Isn’t eternal life about heaven. No, he says this. This is eternal life that they may know you. The one true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent eternal life is life with God. It is that Greek word. Gunnoe SCO Jesus is using that intimate knowing that does not wait until a place we go to when we die, the kingdom of God is not just a land.
It is here as much as it is there. What, okay, what does that mean about how we view our place here? Oftentimes we can view earth as a place we’re trying to get out of. We see it as evil or oppressive, and we just have to hang on until we’re helicoptered out. But, but what we learn is that what this earth is, is a place where the kingdom of God is breaking through and the darkness and the hopeless places are the greatest opportunities for the kingdom of God, as it is in heaven to crash down and come to the places in earth.
Earth is not a dark and ugly place. It is a beautiful place where darkest places have become the greatest chances to be redeemed and healed and set free. Why? Because the kingdom of God is not just there. Jesus came to preach the kingdom. Is at hand, it has come to earth. Okay. So that’s time or that’s a place we’re going to talk about time wrong.
Marker. I’m very particular about that. Okay. So let me go where our win. Okay. So that’s where we’ll win. When is the kingdom? And again, if our view is that doesn’t it mean heaven or something in place? Our, our idea is that it’s later, right? That when is the kingdom it’s later it’s in Timesy it’s it’s after death or something.
That construct doesn’t mean much for me. Now that new Testament teaching doesn’t mean much for me now. But if it is here, it’s not a, then it’s a now old view of salvation is trying to you wait until then. But the kingdom is not just coming. The kingdom is here. I love this, uh, Tom Wright. Who’s been very influential.
Um, author speaks much about salvation and, and the full extent of what it means, not just in the escape hatch, but a way where God is crashing through. Now, he says this, he says, I’m living life after death now. Life after death begins, when the kingdom of God enters into a person’s life. That’s when life after death begins, he says I’m looking forward to life after life, after death, but life after death has already begun.
Okay. Now it’s time for 10 minute sermon because we’re left with this question. How, how does the okay. Kingdom of God enter the kingdoms of earth? How does the benevolent intimate reign of God take place? In our places in our families, in our businesses, in our parts of the world, how can the kingdom take ground here?
And Jesus takes these values of the kingdom right into our passage and says, yes, you are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. The with God, life is brought from heaven to earth. Through the people, God lives with you are the invention of God to bring Christ all around this us, a community of misfits people with all kinds of brokenness of fears of ungoverned places still left in our lives.
Are the very Torchbearers to represent what a width God, life is the very place where the up there crashes down into the down here, little bit about salt and life. Roman soldiers used to receive wages in salt. It was of such value. The Greeks considered salt to be divine. Salt can be a preservative and antiseptic, a fire catalyst, a flavoring, a flavoring, or a fertilizer.
It has different uses. And it’s hard to know exactly if Jesus is meeting a specific use or many of them. When salt loses its saltiness, you saw that in the passage in the first century, it would be thrown on the ground. To be trampled, very similar to what Jesus is saying, because if it lost all its other good uses, it would at least speed good for hardening the soil.
Um, so that paths may be a little more from the picture of light or read this. This week. Light is the essence of life itself. Without it, we simply would have nothing. Light is the main source of energy for all living organisms plants. The main sustainers of life are crucial in this conversion process and need light for photosynthesis that enables them to make their food and to be food for others, salt and light.
They’re good things. They’re necessary. Things. Nothing else can serve the function of light or salt. They are valuable things. They are in tremendous import in value. And Jesus is saying the good, necessary, valuable vehicle of the up there coming down here is the people who live under the governance of God.
And T Wright says this. We have been so used to seeing heaven as a place, separated from earth somewhere far away, way beyond the blue. That’s not how the Bible sees it. Not at all the point of God’s split-level what we’re talking about here. Creation, heaven and earth is not that earth is some type of training ground for heaven, but that heaven are, is designed.
Heaven and earth are designed to overlap and interlock. He’s describing this pretty pathetic drawing I’m doing here is he’s describing these, the connection between the two. And how is he saying? And how is that interlap interlock? How does it take place? Jesus says that point of connection because you are the salt of the earth in light of the world.
This means when we take money that we’ve seen just for our own kingdoms, And we give it to increase the other, the wellbeing of others. That’s up there. Crashing down here when men are too afraid to let their wives know about their insecurity and fear, and they open themselves up vulnerably to their need of love.
That’s heaven breaking through to earth when generational sin is broken, when the territory of our lives, which used to grow weeds now begin to grow fruit and then end that disease of generational sin. That is up there coming down here. When bridges are made between groups of people who were distanced by history or race or socioeconomic status that is up there coming down here, when there’s drama in your workplace or your family and pride is getting in the way of relationships and someone steps forward and honest, humble, apologetic, humility.
That’s up there coming down here when churches who used to fight over small things, turn their hearts to the needs of others up there coming down here, you can, you can see that’s when those beatitudes are beginning to happen. When Jesus is saying, this is my kingdom, these are the values. When poverty of spirit, when we look out for the morning, when we care for the meek, when we satisfy the longings of the hungry, when we celebrate peacemakers and pure and hard.
And we look after those who are persecuted, that is up there, that is now coming here and coming. Now the rest of the sermon that Jesus will give will talk about what is that life mean for my sex life? My thought life, my anger life. My words that I speak to others. What does it mean for my prayer life?
What does it mean for my spiritual disciplines? What does it mean for anxiety? This is what Jesus says will end. This is what he will teach is how the kingdom of God, God lives on earth very quickly by point of application. Well, how do we be salt and light? First off, I’d say this don’t be an alarmist.
Don’t don’t be walking around saying, Oh my goodness. I can’t believe how bad it is out there. Right. Can’t believe of this is going to hell in a hand basket, whatever that means, right. That sure. Ain’t what it used to be. You know what I mean? Like, um, like we can’t be people who are looking at earthly Kings saying, Hmm, I sure wish that was better.
We need to clean up all of those earthly kingdoms. Don’t be quiet. Don’t be alarmist. Don’t be quality control. One of the verses that God brings to my mind the most when I’m staring into evil situations. And there’s a lot of evil that we all stare into at times, he’ll remind you put the scripture my mind and she says this don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good to which I say, but cut.
There’s a lie evil. And he says don’t be, don’t be so caught up in quality control and being an alarmist about here, be about this breaking through, overcome evil with good, and then also be a detective be looking. I love this. And what Jesus says about the church. My favorite verse about the church in Matthew 16 says, Jesus simply says this.
I will build my church. The kingdom of God is at hand. God is on the move. And in those places we think on kingdom of God, can’t you hear look, watch, where is the kingdom of God moving in my marriage? Where is the kingdom of God moving in my school? Where is the kingdom of God moving in South Jersey, Henry Blackaby.
He wrote a book it’s experiencing God, like, I don’t know, a thousand years ago or something. And, uh, They in this book, he has a phrase that, that meant so much to me, back in high school, he said this, he said, go S uh, ask the question. Where is God? And then join him. Where is God on the move? The kingdom of God is not about yanking heaven into earth, manipulating God to somehow sprinkle some good heaven dust on earth.
The reality is that Jesus is on the move. Jesus is doing good, and it can feel like, Oh my goodness, earthly kingdoms just drown out. God. Don’t sell God short. The resurrection, the victory of Jesus means that he is at work. If you’re in a business and you’re like, I can’t see God anywhere here. Start praying.
God, let me see where you might be working and join him in your family. It feels like man, things are just crumbling and falling apart. Look, pray God, give me eyes to see not just what is falling apart, but what you are healing, what you are building and help me put my shoulders. They’re beyond that are behind that because he is the one who makes salt.
He is the one who makes light and he, along with us, Colossians three allows us to be his coworkers. As he carries the beauty of heaven and walks onto this earth, the churches, the church of Jesus Christ. Is thus not gathered because we offer the coolest sports programs or we have, it’s not, our hallmark is not that we get the greatest, um, music or the most clever preaching or the most beautiful artwork you’ve ever seen.
The church of Jesus Christ is a gathering of misfit. People who dare to not exist for themselves, but to join Jesus in his glorious B attitude, ridden kingdom, being a blessing to those around them. This is why we are to be known by how we love, how we serve, how we benefit and how we bless. We’re going to closing an invite, the worship team to come up and.
Normally when I preach, I like to offer a blessing at the end to just kind of the, in my mind, when we come together to worship, what we’re doing is, is your giving yourself and your singing to overhear to tell these people, these truth and your singing over there to declare the same truth in our presence.
You’re giving something. And at the end of a service, I want to just give you something, but I’m going to ask you to be a part of the blessing. I’m going to ask you to not just receive a blessing, but to give it. And this is what I mean, Mike and I talked about this stuff a lot. I called them this week on Tuesday and they asked if we could end this song.
And he said this, he says, Ben, can you please say this line? He says, tell them that formation. Is for mission. We come to be formed to the image of Jesus Christ. Mike says so that we can go with Jesus Christ into the world. So that up there may come down here and see spread formation is for mission. And as we sing this song, I want you to join us.
And this song is actually a song that that’s less to God and more to people about God. And, and to imagine your workplaces, your families, that this, that your South Jersey communities or Philadelphia communities, or where you’re watching from online, that this song would be a blessing that your giving that, your praying.
So they, in the kingdoms that you’re in the you’re saying, God, won’t you move won’t you help me see how you want to bless how you want to heal. How do you want to love it is a song that is a blessing blessing over people. And so sing it over Mount Laurel, sing it over, Collingswood, sing it over your communities.
That our desire that with God, we might be a part of his beautiful kingdom. As we delight to join him in his blessing and South Jersey. So if you would stand with me, if you know the words, please sing out. As you sing in your mind, a prayer over the earthly kingdoms that you are in a blessing of the kingdom of God may take ground.
And with this, we will be dismissed.